Congratulations to church goers in Ballina, co. Mayo who walked out of mass last weekend when the priest attempted to publicly shame those who had voted ‘Yes’ in the Marriage Equality referendum.
The priest, Fr. Tom Doherty, demanded that those who had voted yes stand up and identify themselves. He said they had given ‘two fingers’ to the church and spoke of a “descent into immorality’ with the ‘barbarians at the gate’.
The Western People report (see image) said he adopted a “chiding, condemnatory” tone and told the parishoners to recite the creed, ‘if they felt it had anything to offer them’.
Quite a threat in historic terms as the creed was essentially drawn up to define an orthodoxy against which ‘heretics’ were to be punished, often by brutal execution. For instance 8 years after it had been drawn up Emperor Constantine decreed that for those who continued to follow other ideas “the penalty for this offence shall be death; for immediately after conviction the criminal shall suffer capital punishment”
Thankfully the time when the church had anything like those sort of powers is in the rear view mirror but it is disturbing that the retain control of some many schools, hospitals and community centres.