THE IRISH ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS HAVE THREATENED THE GOVERNMENT THAT THEY WILL STOP CO-OPERATING IN THE CIVIL REGISTRATION OF MARRIAGES IF THE GOVERNMENT BRING IN SAME SEX MARRIAGE!
This would mean that couples choosing to get married in Roman Catholic Churches would not be legally married unless they made separate arrangements to celebrate a civil marriage in the presence of a marriage solemniser recognised by the State.
Such couples would have to celebrate a civil marriage either before or after their religious marriage.
Currently the Roman Church has all its priests registered on the State's Register of Solemnisers so that, at the end of their religious ceremony, the priest, the couples and their witnesses sign the state registration form in order that the marriage can be civilly registered and a civil marriage certificate issued by the state.
At present some 13,000 marriages (or 59%) in Ireland take place in the churches belonging to Rome. If the bishops carry out their threat those 13,000 couples will have to have a second, civil marriage.
Many, if not most young couples who opt for marriage in an RC church are opting for the nice old granite building, the long aisle to walk up and the nice background for the wedding photos.
Eighty percent of the couples getting married in these churches are not regular attenders.
However it has been this way for ages in countries like France where you MUST celebrate a civil marriage before your religious one.
I have celebrated quite a number of weddings in France and in each case the couple went to the registry office the day before the religious marriage to have their civil marriage.
If the bishops carry out their petty threat they will be cutting off their nose to spite their face.
It will mean that fewer couples will go to Roman Catholic priests to get married and the church will lose no only the income from those marriages - but also the allegiance of more people.
Personally I would like to see the Roman Catholic Church having nothing to do with civil marriages.
It would be another nail in the coffin for the RC church's effort to dictate to the Irish people on social and political matters.
The RC Church is imploding from within in Ireland in any event. People have had enough of medieval doctrines, political interference, sexual abuse and its cover up etc.
The RC Church in Ireland - and further afield - has become a church of ill repute.
It may be Roman Catholic but in so many respects it is not Christian.
The more it becomes a smaller and less significant dinosaur the better.
Were I in the government I would take great pleasure in removing all its "operatives" from the State's Register of Solemnisers of marriages.