Irish Catholic leader says Church needs 'reality check'

Global Post: Ireland’s top Catholic leader said that the Church needed a “reality check” as preliminary results on Saturday showed a referendum for gay marriage had been approved in what he called a “social revolution”.

“I think the Church needs to do a reality check right across the board… Have we drifted away completely from young people?” Diarmuid Martin, the Archbishop of Dublin, told national broadcaster RTE.

“It’s a social revolution that didn’t begin today,” said Martin, who had called for a “No” vote arguing that gay rights should be respected “without changing the definition of marriage”.

“There’s a big challenge to see how we get across the message of the Church.

“We’re becoming a Church for the like-minded and a safe space rather than the Church that Pope Francis is talking about that is reaching out,” he said.

The Catholic Church once controlled virtually every aspect of Irish life but its clout has been vastly reduced by the impact of secularisation and a wave of child sex abuse scandals that discredited the clergy.

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