The Catholic Bishops Preliminary Response
On The Catholic bishops of Ireland stress once again the importance of
continuing to provide a health care service in Ireland which ensures
complete respect for the sacredness of the life both of the mother and her
unborn baby. The bishops express their appreciation of the work carried out
day by day in this ethos by doctors, nurses, midwives and other health
personnel. Through Cura, the Church’s crisis pregnancy agency, help is
available to any woman facing a crisis pregnancy.
The Heads of the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013 published by the Government on Wednesday would, if approved, make the direct and intentional killing of unborn children lawful in Ireland. The Bill as outlined represents a dramatic and morally unacceptable change to Irish law and is unnecessary to ensure that women receive the life-saving treatment they need during pregnancy.
The Gospel of Life is at the heart of the message of Jesus; the deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of life is always morally wrong. We uphold the right to life as the foundation of every other human right. We encourage a deeper understanding of the inviolability of the right to life of both a mother and her unborn child, in all circumstances. Accordingly, at this crucial time, it is essential that all who share these beliefs make them clear to their legislators.
The Bill also appears to impose a duty on Catholic hospitals to provide abortions. This would be totally unacceptable and has serious implications for the existing legal and Constitutional arrangements that respect the legitimate autonomy and religious ethos of faith-based institutions. It would also pose serious difficulties for the conscientious beliefs of many citizens.
Abortion, in the sense of directly killing the unborn child, is never a remedy for suicidal ideation and therefore should never be cited as a justification for the direct killing of an innocent human being. It is a tragic moment for Irish society when we regard the deliberate destruction of a completely innocent person as an acceptable response to the threat of the preventable death of another person. We invite all who cherish human life to support the Vigil for Life which is taking place in Knock tomorrow. We encourage everyone who can attend the Vigil to do so or to join in prayer with us. Cherish both mother and baby; Choose life.
No matter how sure we are about something, it is always legitimate to ask ourselves questions about what we believe, why we believe it and how we have arrived at that belief. Asking questions is not a sign of unfaithfulness, nor is it straying from “the path”. It is the appropriate response of a mature and honest adult.
When the issues of abortion and termination are raised in this country, sadly there are those who look on any process of thought or asking of questions as a pro-abortion stance. Any hint of understanding another person or groups position is looked upon not as a respectful approach but as something that undermines what the Christian Community believes and preaches.
If as Christians, we do not take a reflective and thoughtful approach to life, which is honest, it is difficult to see how we can have confidence in proclaiming who we are to the world.
On the News Archive page you'll find the Ferns, Ryan, Murphy & Cloyne Reports, as well as some articles that have previously appeared on this page.