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Catholic Marriage Counselors Cut Off

Editor’s Note: The Irish government, which supports redefining marriage in the May 22 constitutional referendum, has decided to cut funding for marriage preparation for men and woman seeking marriage in the Catholic Church. This provides more evidence of what the Marriage Reality Movement has contended: The hidden agenda for redefining marriage is eliminating the only institution that unites kids with their moms and dads, along with all recognition that there is any unique value for men and women to marry before having children. It is a withdrawal of support for future mothers and fathers and for building strong families with children living in unity with their own moms and dads.

The Irish government has cut off all funding for a Catholic marriage-counseling agency.

The announcement that the government has blocked €378,000 ($429,000) in subsidies for Accord, an agency administered by the Irish bishops’ conference, comes at a time when the government has been at odds with the Irish hierarchy over a campaign for legal recognition of same-sex marriage.

With a national referendum on same-sex marriage scheduled next week, opponents of the measure have argued that if the referendum is approved, the government will block funding for Church-related institutions that do not recognize homosexual unions. The cut in funding for Accord will undoubtedly intensify those concerns.

In a May 7 letter, health minister James Reilly informed Accord that government funding was retroactive to January 1. The Irish Catholic reports that Accord had no prior notice of the cut, and had been operating on the assumption that the government funds would be forthcoming. Bishop Denis Nulty, the president of Accord, said that the surprise cutoff in government support “will certainly undermine a vital service provided to women and men preparing for marriage.” He observed that the agency would be placed in a precarious financial position at a time when demand for marriage counseling has risen dramatically. Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin remarked, in an interview with the Irish Catholic, that the government’s sudden decision to stop support for Accord conflicts with the constitutional obligation to support marriage. He also recalled that two years ago, the government had threatened to block funding for Catholic hospitals over a dispute on abortion.

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