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Vatican newspaper: Irish referendum result a challenge for the whole Church

Votes are cast in Friday's referendum (PA)

The Irish referendum vote to legalise same-sex marriage was “a defeat” that highlights a gap between the Church and modern society, the Vatican daily newspaper has said.

“The margin between the ‘yes’ and the ‘no’ votes was too large not to be accepted as a defeat. It was the result of high voter turnout, notably among young people,” L’Osservatore Romano said in an editorial, according to AFP.

The paper described the result as “a challenge for the whole Church” and spoke of “the distance, in some areas, between society and the Church.”

Friday’s referendum saw 62 per cent vote in favour of legalising same-sex marriage with 38 per cent opposed.

In response to the result, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said that the Church in Ireland needs a “reality check”.

“The Church needs a reality check right across the board, to look at the things we are doing well and look at the areas where we need to say, have we drifted away completely from young people?” Archbishop Martin told RTE.