Tábhacht an phósta… don Eaglais | Why Marriage Matters… for the Church

Inné bhí sagart sa Tuaisceart ar fud na nuachtáin nuair a dúirt sé nár chóir go mbeadh cead acu siúd a vótáil Tá sa reifreann pósadh i seipéal. Dúirt sé chomh maith gur chóir go mbeadh Caitlicigh atá ar son rogha curtha faoi choinnealbhá. 

Tá fímíneacht shoiléir ann anseo, i bhfianaise taifead deistíneach míthrócaireach na hEaglaise in Éirinn (féach na Magdalene Laundries, an mhí-úsáid córasach, na árais mháithreacha agus naíonán, ag díol páistí le daoine thar lear, gan ach beagán a lua). Ba chóir go gcuirfeadh ceann amháin de na rudaí sin cosc ar aon eagraíocht a bheith páirteach i reáchtáil na sochaí – ach le liosta chomh fada leis sin níl aon díospóireacht ann. 

Ach tá pointe eile ann chomh maith. Tá an Eaglais i ndiaidh a ndícheall a dhéanamh le blianta fada chun smacht righin daingean a choinneál ar phósadh. Idir iad ag troid go tréan in éadan an cholscartha a bheith dleathach, nó an riachtanas go rachadh siúd idir dall agus pósadh go “ceachtanna pósta”, nó an iarracht dho-ídithe acu srian a chur le pósadh taobh amuigh den Eaglais agus pósadh comhghnéis. Cad chuige?

De thairbhe, na teagaisc reiligiúnacha acu ar leataobh, sna laethanta a tháinig romhainn ba mhodh smachta fíoréifeachtach a bhí ann. Tá an pósadh nasctha go dlúth le stádas (dlíthiúil) s’agat, agus gach rud a thagann leis sin. Muna bhfuil tú in ann pósadh sa lá atá inniu ann, is féidir go bhfágtar tú faoi míbhuintáistí saolta ó thaobh cúrsaí cánacha, dlíthiúla agus eile.  San am a chuaigh thart, bhíodh na míbhuntáistí saolta sin níos géire arís, go háirithe do mhná, agus mar gheall go raibh an pósadh chomh tábhachtach sin i saolta daoine (ó thaobh airgid agus cúrsaí caidrimh de) dá mbeifeá ábalta é a smachtadh bheadh go leor cumhachta agat. Úsáideadh an chumhacht sin sa cheantar áitiúil agus i hallaí an rialtais. Go minic b’é an toradh ar an bhagairt sin a bhí os comhair daoine aonaracha nó pobail iomláine – nach mbeadh cead acu pósadh – ná go mbeadh sé fíordheacair orthu siúd gan chumhacht seasamh a ghlacadh in éadan treoracha na hEaglaise. Ba mhaith leo go mbeadh orainn pósadh i séipéil s’acusan sa dóigh is go dtig leo dul i bhfeidhm ar cad a dhéanann muid taobh amuigh dóibh.

Beidh an Eaglais Chaitliceach i gcónaí ag iarraidh smacht a bheith acu ar institiúd an phósta. Roimhe seo, bheadh tionchar nach beag ag rí-rá is ruaille buaille faoi chosc orthu siúd atá ar son rogha a bheith ábalta pósadh. Buíochas le Dia, thiocfadh leat a rá, is lú an tionchair atá ag bagairtí an lae inniu. Is beag seans go gciúnóidh siad an ghluaiseacht i dtreo neamhspléachais mhná, Thuaidh agus Theas, i gcúrsaí a gcoirp féin.

Yesterday a priest made all sorts of headlines with his statement that those who voted Yes shouldn’t get married in a chapel. He also said that pro-choice Catholics should/would be excommunicated.

There is the obvious hypocrisy here, given the Church’s abhorrent and inhumane record in Ireland (eg. the Magdalene Laundries, the systemic abuse, the mother and baby homes, the literal selling of children to people abroad, to name but a few). Just one of those horrific incidents should be enough to disqualify any organisation from having a say in how our society is run – but a litany of them…

However, there’s a second point as well. The Church has always tried its best to strictly control marriage. From fighting tooth and nail against the legalisation of divorce, to requiring soon-to-be weds take part in Church-led marriage ‘lessons’, to doing its best to restrict non-Church marriage and same-sex marriage. Why?

Because aside from its religious teachings about marriage, in days gone past it was an extremely effective method of control. Marriage is wedded tightly to your legal status, and all that comes with that. Today, the inability to marry can have a serious material disadvantages, in terms of taxes, legal matters and more. In the past, these material disadvantages were all the greater, especially for women, and thus as it is so important to people (emotionally and financially), controlling it gave you a lot of power. That power was wielded both in the local village and in the corridors of government. The threat of preventing people from marrying (either individually or en masse), meant it was often very difficult for powerless individuals to disobey the teachings and instructions of the Church. They want people to have to marry in their churches as a way of dictating what they do outside of them.

That is why the Catholic Church will always attempt to act as a gatekeeper of the institution of marriage. In the past, thundering about pro-choice people not being permitted to marry would have had a profound affect. Luckily, today’s threats hold less sway, and are unlikely to dampen the onward march towards bodily autonomy for women North and South.

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