FORMER Redemptorist rector Fr Adrian Egan has offered his support for the upcoming marriage equality referendum.
In a letter to The Irish Times which was published late last week, Fr Egan, who stepped down last month as rector after seven years at the helm of the Limerick order, said he would be “voting Yes on May 22”.
“When two people, not bound by blood or kin, love each other to such a profound depth that they want to make a lifelong commitment of faithfulness to each other, then that deserves to be acknowledged, celebrated and solemnised,” he wrote. “We are all the better for it, individuals, families, communities and society are life-enhanced, and God in his heaven rejoices. That is why I will be voting Yes on May 22.”
Fr Egan, 52, a native of Greystones in the city, handed over control of the Redemptorists recently to Fr Seamus Enright. Another Redemptorist, Fr Tony Flannery – himself a former rector in Limerick – who was censured by the Vatican for his writings in 2012, has also indicated his intention to vote Yes.
“Having considered the question that is being presented to us on this occasion, and after having listened to the debate so far and given it a great deal of thought, I will be voting Yes,” he wrote in a column for the Independent at the weekend.
“I do not consider this decision to be in any way in conflict with my faith, or with my position as a priest,” he added.
Archbishop Eamon Martin, the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, said at the weekend that same-sex unions were “fundamentally and objectively different” to that between a man and a woman and outlined that the Church “cannot support an amendment to the constitution which redefines marriage and effectively places the union of two men, or two women, on a par with the marriage relationship between a husband and wife”.