Message from Bishop Cullinan regarding the Referendums on Friday March 8th

A few weeks ago we celebrated Christmas. The vast majority of us gladly celebrated among family and friends at home. The centrality of home and the vital importance of family is key to the well-being of any society. Currently our Constitution gives considerable protection to home, family and parents. On March 8th we are being asked to remove from our Constitution any reference to home and to mothers.  We are being asked to redefine the family based on marriage and are being introduced to a new definition of family as based on a ‘durable relationship’. Nobody knows exactly what ‘durable relationship’ means. The consequences of this new wording being passed are unknown since it will be the courts which will determine its meaning. Is it wise to vote for such an uncertainty and to insert into our Constitution?

Contrary to the misinformation being pedalled by some, the Constitution does not say that the woman’s place is in the home. Our Constitution as is offers some protection to those mothers (and fathers) who wish to look after their children at home and who do not wish to be forced out of the home for economic reasons.  As the bishops have collectively stated: “The State has to date failed to financially acknowledge the role of women in the home; once again there is no indication that there will be provision for the adequate financial remuneration of carers.  The proposed term ‘strive to support’ appears to weaken the State’s constitutional responsibility to materially and legislatively support such care.  Indeed, the proposed new Article 42B does not actually confer any enforceable rights for carers or for those being cared for.” 

There are umpteen strange issues surrounding these referendums.

The chair of the Citizen’s Forum was chaired by a person who is now heading up a Yes campaign!

Oireachtas debate on the two referendums was rushed. Why such a rush?

A Freedom of Information request for the minutes of the inter-departmental group who met to set out the wording for the two referendums was denied!

Lawyers for No have shown that there are serious implications if these two referendums were successful in relation to tax implications, immigration laws, family reunification of migrant families, etc.

The way this campaign is being rushed through should disturb every reasonable person who cares about this country, about family, about home and about the generations of the future. As a pastor who tries to care God’s people, for families and for the common good I urge you to consider deeply what I have tried to point out here and to cherish marriage, family and home by leaving this portion of our Constitution as it is.