Courtesy of irishpost.co.uk.
Once a mainstay of Catholicism, Ireland is now yet another country moving on from the religion’s crumbling hold. On Saturday Ireland legalized gay marriage after a referendum was passed by a 62% vote. The Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, tragedized this progress toward equality as “a defeat for humanity.” He encouraged the Church to double its resolve, to “[reinforce] its commitment to evangelism.”
The modernization of longstanding anti-gay sentiment in countries with histories of strict Catholic control is a phenomenon not unrelated to the Church’s recent controversy over sexual abuse. But this modernization is also economic in nature. An interesting graph on a piece posted on citylab.com not only shows the correlation between countries with an accepting attitude toward homosexuality and more advanced economic development, but that these countries also tend to attract “entrepreneurs, educated workers, and even gifted athletes, or the families that produce them.”
The votes to pass the referendum in Ireland were distributed among cities and rural areas alike, despite the fact that these rural areas have for the most part been clenched between the teeth of Catholic beliefs. What seems to be happening now is a movement away from religious Catholicism and toward cultural Catholicism–an identification with the religion out of namesake rather than an active, fervent observance of its rituals (such as Mass). Regardless, this is a milestone for Ireland, a testament (if anything) to the accelerated progressiveness of many European nations.