Some sobering thoughts from canon lawyer Ed Peters on the gay marriage referendum. He points out something many priests and bishops here will be terrified to even think:
At the lower end of the responsibility scale are, I suppose, rank-and-file Catholics who cast a personal ballot securing, not just passage of the amendment, but its passage by a higher margin than would have occurred without their vote. At the higher end of the responsibility scale are, of course, Catholics who, from positions of political, social, or ecclesiastical prestige, lent their influence to the cause of “same-sex marriage”. But any Catholic who directly helped to bring about Ireland’s decision to treat as marriage unions of two persons of the same sex has, at a minimum, arrayed himself against the infallible doctrine of the Church and, quite possibly, has committed an act of heresy. (See my Primer of 27.III.2013). In either event, the technical term for such an action is “sin”; the consequences of sin are always spiritual and sometimes canonical; and the solution for sin is repentance and Confession.Fr Ray Blake also has a few thoughts on the state of the Church here in Ireland in the context of the referendum. I cannot disagree with anything he says. One paragraph in particular resonates with me:
A Church that is rootless is not 'owned' by the people. A Church that is afraid to teach because it has cut itself from it previous Magisterium, and which instead sows uncertainty, has nothing to say in the daily living of its members, nor in the intellectual forum in general. In fact it is irrelevant. It has all the outward appearance that it once used for the furtherance of its mission but has lost its interior meaning. It is not so much an Emperor with no clothes, but the clothes without an Emperor, all that is left is the institution, which itself is meaningless. In Germany, as in Ireland, the real-estate portfolio seems to be what the Church is about rather than any actual teaching or revelation of Christ.