"The archbishop of Dublin (Diarmuid Martin) has said that church must take account of this reality, but in the sense that it must strengthen its commitment to evangelisation," Parolin said.

"I think that you cannot just talk of a defeat for Christian principles, but also a defeat for humanity," Parolin said at an award ceremony.

The Republic of Ireland, where until recently the Catholic Church wielded enormous power, became on Saturday the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.

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