Divorce is Wrong.
On May 24th, the Irish electorate were asked once again to amend our constitution. Before getting into the subject matter of what we were asked to vote on, I would like to reflect on what exactly our constitution is. Put very simply, the Irish Constitution, Bunreacht na hÉireann, is the only mechanism which gives the Irish electorate control over what our governing bodies can and cannot do. Our constitution sets the limits of government power and seeks to prevent our governments from over reaching their authority in a way that interferes unjustly with the lives of Irish citizens. As such, it is a very important document.
Justice Walsh J. stated this principle in Crotty v. An Taoiseach 1987.
“It is not within the competence of the Government, or indeed the Oireachtas to free themselves from the constraints of the Constitution … They are both creatures of the Constitution and are not empowered to act free from the restraints of the Constitution.”
Given that our constitution controls and limits government activity, it is no surprise to learn that the political parties who seek to govern us, do not like the restraints placed on them by our constitution. In recent years, successive governments have sought ways to weaken the hold that our constitution has over them. We had the McKenna judgement of the Supreme Court in 1995, which found that it was unconstitutional for the government to use taxpayer’s money to promote one side in a referendum. Whenever a government loses a referendum, there will always be at least one spokesman who will attack the McKenna judgement.
But despite the existence of the McKenna judgement, a government was once again found to be in breach of the constitution and of the McKenna judgement during what was called the children’s referendum of 2012. In the McCrystal judgement of the Supreme Court in 2012, the court found that the government had breached the McKenna principles, and Justice Denham in her judgement conclusion said.
“I conclude that there was a clear disregard by the respondents (our then government) of the McKenna principles. The material published by the Minister was not fair, equal, impartial or neutral.”
We should not be surprised at this finding. Due to our fallen human nature, so called democratic governments do not like to be controlled by the electorate. They like to dictate to the electorate what is right and wrong, and they engage in campaigns of vilification, lies, and distortions of fact, against those who disagree with them. It would be interesting to have a Supreme Court case to test the constitutionality of private political parties voting to give themselves money from the public purse. This gives candidates for these political parties an unfair advantage over other political candidates and would seem to contradict the McKenna judgement which says that it is illegal to use the public purse in a way that breaches the equality rights of Irish citizens.
Last year’s referendum to remove the eight amendment to our constitution set a very dangerous precedent which was repeated in the referendum on May 24th. These referenda did not place any restraints on how the government could act. This is contrary to the very purpose of our constitution which is designed specifically to put restraints on government. In allowing the government to act however it pleases when legislating for the termination of pregnancy, and for divorce, the referenda were used very cleverly by the government to free themselves from the restraints of the constitution.
The May 24th Referendum removed the waiting period before the granting of a divorce from the constitution altogether, once again freeing future governments from any restraints in this matter. It is a further undermining of our constitution and gives more power to government by removing that power from the electorate. Successive governments are using referenda to steadily move our country’s political system in a direction where there will no longer be a need to hold a referendum. They seek to remove legislative decisions from the people and to vest all power to legislate in the government alone with no constitutional restraints. We are moving steadily in the direction of totalitarianism.
We can see the evidence of this creeping totalitarianism in the current political setup. In the 2016 general election, the pressure group known as the Fine Gael Party, received 25.52% of the first preference votes cast. If you take the total electorate figure, then that percentage drops to 16.47%. To understand what this means you simply need to reverse the percentages. This tells us that of those who voted, 74.48% did not vote for Fine Gael to govern Ireland and of the total electorate, 83.53% did not vote for Fine Gael to govern. Yet here we are with a Fine Gael led government.
Fine Gael gained 49 seats in the 2016 election plus the Ceann Comhairle giving them a total of 50 out of 158 seats, or 31.65%. In the election of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in 2017, Mr Varadkar received 57 out of 158 votes or 36.08%. In other words, 63.92% of our elected representatives did not vote for Leo Varadkar as Taoiseach. The question that must be asked is how can this happen in a so-called democracy where the rule of the majority is supposed to prevail? Leo Varadkar, and the Fine Gael pressure group which he leads, which is funded from the public purse, has support from less than 26% of those who voted and less than 32% of the seats in Dáil Éireann. The election shows that the majority in Ireland support neither Leo nor Fine Gael.
The dangers of this instability can be understood by remembering that Adolf Hitler’s NSDAP party won only 33% of the seats in the German parliament of 1933. Hitler threatened those who opposed him. Today, those who oppose the LGBT agenda are being threatened in Ireland and elsewhere. Dangerous times indeed.
The subject matter of the May 24th referendum was Divorce. This referendum, has now made it easier to obtain a divorce by completely removing the waiting period from our constitution. It was introduced and championed by none other than Josepha Madigan. There was very little opposition to the referendum and on an RTE website article, it said that a certain prominent Catholic “has no objection to reducing the waiting period from four to two years.”
In these times when many seem to be confused because they have been listening for too long to secular propaganda, it is good to go back and read Catholic Church documents. Pope Leo XIII’s ‘Imortale Dei’, on the Christian constitution of States, is a very good starting point. Some Catholics may think that this document is no longer relevant because it was written in 1885. They forget that Catholic Church teaching does not change and that it is always relevant. Immortale Dei clearly shows up some of the errors which have befallen Ireland. Speaking of the duty of the State to acknowledge that all authority comes from God, Pope Leo XII says.
“As a consequence, the State, constituted as it is, is clearly bound to act up to the manifold and weighty duties linking it to God, by the public profession of religion. Nature and reason, which command every individual devoutly to worship God in holiness, because we belong to Him and must return to Him, since from Him we came, bind also the civil community by a like law.
For, men living together in society are under the power of God no less than individuals are, and society, no less than individuals, owes gratitude to God who gave it being and maintains it and whose ever-bounteous goodness enriches it with countless blessings. Since, then, no one is allowed to be remiss in the service due to God, and since the chief duty of all men is to cling to religion in both its teaching and practice – not such religion as they may have a preference for, but the religion which God enjoins, and which certain and most clear marks show to be the only one true religion — it is a public crime to act as though there were no God.
So, too, is it a sin for the State not to have care for religion as a something beyond its scope, or as of no practical benefit; or out of many forms of religion to adopt that one which chimes in with the fancy; for we are bound absolutely to worship God in that way which He has shown to be His will. All who rule, therefore, would hold in honour the holy name of God, and one of their chief duties must be to favour religion, to protect it, to shield it under the credit and sanction of the laws, and neither to organize nor enact any measure that may compromise its safety.” (Immortale Dei – para 6)
Pope Leo XIII clearly rejected the false ecumenism, which is all too common nowadays, even in Catholic circles, which grants equal rights to all religions. He speaks of the duty of the State to acknowledge the one true religion which is the Catholic Church.
“Thus, as is evident, a State becomes nothing but a multitude which is its own master and ruler. And since the people is declared to contain within itself the spring-head of all rights and of all power, it follows that the State does not consider itself bound by any kind of duty toward God. Moreover. it believes that it is not obliged to make public profession of any religion; or to inquire which of the very many religions is the only one true; or to prefer one religion to all the rest; or to show to any form of religion special favour; but, on the contrary, is bound to grant equal rights to every creed, so that public order may not be disturbed by any particular form of religious belief.
And it is a part of this theory that all questions that concern religion are to be referred to private judgment; that everyone is to be free to follow whatever religion he prefers, or none at all if he disapprove of all. From this the following consequences logically flow: that the judgment of each one’s conscience is independent of all law; that the most unrestrained opinions may be openly expressed as to the practice or omission of divine worship; and that everyone has unbounded license to think whatever he chooses and to publish abroad whatever he thinks. (Immortale Dei – para 25 – 26)
The Pope then notes that when views such as these prevail it will not be long before the State, acting against the Catholic Church will “claim jurisdiction over the marriages of Catholics, even over the bond as well as the unity and the indissolubility of matrimony.” Pope Leo XIII also notes “If in any State the Church retains her own agreement publicly entered into by the two powers, men forthwith begin to cry out that matters affecting the Church must be separated from those of the State. Their object in uttering this cry is to be able to violate unpunished their plighted faith, and in all things to have unchecked control.” (Immortale Dei – para 28)
Welcome to the Ireland predicted by Pope Leo XIII way back in 1885 where men usurp the rights of God by claiming the authority to decide who shall live and who can be killed and claim authority to put asunder Catholic marriages.
Pope Leo XIII addresses Josepha Madigan and those like her who seek to reconcile their Catholic Faith with abortion, contraception, divorce, and other evils.
“Further, it is unlawful to follow one line of conduct in private life and another in public, respecting privately the authority of the Church, but publicly rejecting it; for this would amount to joining together good and evil, and to putting man in conflict with himself; whereas he ought always to be consistent, and never in the least point nor in any condition of life to swerve from Christian virtue.” (Immortale Dei – para 47)
Pope Leo XIII also has words of encouragement for supporters of Catholic Voice and Lumen Fidei.
“First and foremost, it is the duty of all Catholics worthy of the name and wishful to be known as most loving children of the Church, to reject without swerving whatever is inconsistent with so fair a title; to make use of popular institutions, so far as can honestly be done, for the advancement of truth and righteousness; to strive that liberty of action shall not transgress the bounds marked out by nature and the law of God; to endeavour to bring back all civil society to the pattern and form of Christianity which We have described.” (Immortale Dei – para 46)
Let us never tire of proclaiming the Truths of our Catholic Faith.
May God bless you