Referendums on Family and Care

Source: SSPX Ireland

Letter from the District Superior, Rev Fr David Sherry, on the Family and Care Referendums to be voted on Friday 8 March 2024.

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

We will shortly be asked to vote in two referendums to amend Bunreacht na hÉireann on matters concerning the Family. Our civic duty to vote is also a moral duty to vote well.

Voting, like any other human action, has to be guided by a rule. You can see that in sport. To play a game, I have to follow the rules of the game. If I do not, I am committing fouls and will end up not being able to play the game. Life itself is the greatest of all possible games. To play well, I must follow the rules.

Just as the player of the game doesn’t make the rules as he goes along, so also in life, we do not make the rules, they are given to us by the Creator of life, Almighty God, the Most Blessed Trinity. This truth is obvious. If you buy a machine or a piece of technology, you get a user manual with it. This user manual is written by the creator of that piece of technology, not by the consumer. It would be a very foolish man who decided to ignore the rule that the toaster manufacturer made not to put water in the toaster. The maker knows how the thing works, we follow his rules. It is our Creator Who makes the rules by which we prosper, not us.

This rule or user manual which God gives us is called the Natural Law and it is written in the heart of man. He also revealed to us this Law so that it would be abundantly clear. This revelation is contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition. The Catholic Church does not invent this law but teaches it infallibly as it is the “pillar and ground of truth.” (I Tim. 3, 15) My actions are good when they are in conformity with God’s law, they are bad when they are not.

In the first amendment, it is proposed to stop saying that marriage is founded on the family and to say instead that the family can be founded on marriage “or on other durable relationships.” This is false. The Creator founded the family on marriage alone. When the first man and the first woman were created, Adam said:

This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh. (Gen 2:23–24)

Our divine Lord, Jesus Christ taught the same thing.

Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, made them male and female? And he said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore, now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. (Mt 19:4–6)

Marriage is not one of a series of equally good and interchangeable “durable relationships,” it is not a human invention at all, it is given to us by the Creator for the purpose of fulfilling

His command to “increase and multiply” in other words, for the purpose of procreation and education of children. What is really being proposed is just another stage in the rage against God and His creation. Thirty years ago, marriage was murdered by the introduction of divorce; twenty years later the corpse of marriage was exhumed and dismembered by changing the basic truth that marriage is for procreation. Now, having removed from marriage what it needs to do its job, we propose digging it up again and saying that it’s not up to much good. It is like taking the wheels off a car and then saying it’s not good for driving.

The other amendment proposes that we would no longer recognise the unique and irreplaceable role of motherhood. The original article of Bunreacht na hÉireann simply states the creed of any sane society: the economy exists for the family, not the family for the economy. A man works to support his wife and children, not vice versa. Now, in the family, the Creator has assigned roles. He gave the parents the privilege and duty of being the chief educators. They can and should enlist the help of others, but nobody can truly replace them. The Creator has fitted them above all others to love and sacrifice for their children. Between the parents, there are differing roles because being a father and being a mother is not the same thing. The mother's role is in a sense even more primordial and vital than that of the father. It is she who carries their baby for nine months and who gives birth even at peril to her own life. She it is who nurtures and feeds and who is the loving heart at the centre of the home. Any slave can earn a wage, a loving mother, no-one can buy.

More than 100 years ago, Pope St. Pius X warned that Society was in an evil pass and the root of the evil was apostasy from God. Ireland, faithful through centuries of trial is now far down the road of destruction. The remedy to its sickness is simple and sovereign: the return to Our Lord Jesus Christ through penance. May God bless you,

Fr David Sherry
District Superior
17 February 2024

Read also: Proposed Amendments to the Constitution by Fr Francis Gallagher