Bishop Kevin Doran, Elphin and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Dublin
A leading bishop has called on Catholics who voted ‘Yes’ in the abortion referendum to “consider coming to confession”.
Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran said today that those who want to come to confession “will be received with the same compassion as any other penitent”.
When questioned by Sean O’Rourke on RTE Radio One, Bishop Doran replied; “Voting ‘Yes’ was a sin.”
Bishop Doran’s comments come after Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said the church’s influence in Ireland is under threat after the landslide victory for the ‘Yes’ campaign in the abortion referendum.
Dr Diarmuid Martin told mass-goers yesterday morning that many will see yesterday’s vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment as an indication that the Church is now widely regarded with indifference and as having a marginal role in the formation of culture in Ireland.
He also said he Church may be seen as “lacking in compassion”.
Michael Burrows, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cashel, Ferns, and Ossory,
A Church of Ireland bishop has welcomed the Yes vote in last Friday’s referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment.
Michael Burrows, the Bishop of Cashel, Ferns, and Ossory, said “I personally feel a genuine satisfaction at this time to be a citizen of a Republic which faces uncomfortable truths about itself, and which allows women in particular to tell their stories with candour and clarity.
“There will be those who will see the referendum result somehow as a rebuke to the voice of faith in our society. I react very differently… I do not sense that as citizens that we are taking leave of our moral compass, or ceasing to recognise the complex balancing of factors that lies at the heart of ethical decision making.”
Bishop Burrows said that, for him, there was “an exhilarating challenge in presenting the faith in a fresh way to a changing nation.
“We are now placed in a society which asks hard questions, dislikes hypocrisy and will offer attentive respect only to those who earn it through the integrity, depth and courage of their contributions to public discourse.”
An tEaspag Fionntan Ó Monacháin, Chill Dalua
Dúirt an tEaspag Ó Monacháin gur ceist chasta í ceist líon na gCaitliceach a vótáil ar son na haisghairme ach nach aon chabhair é a bheith ag caint faoi dhaoine a dhíbirt ón Eaglais toisc gur vótáil siad ‘Tá’ sa reifreann ginmhillte.
“Is ceist fhíordheacair é sin. Is Eaglais é agus tá go leor daoine le tuairimí difriúla agus caithfidh muid glacadh leis go bhfuil sé mar sin. Ní dóigh liom gur cabhair é a rá nach féidir leat a bheith i do Chaitliceach, mar bheadh go leor daoine imithe ansin. An dearcadh a bheadh ag an bPápa ná má tá aon dóchas ann go mbeidh daoine go mbeidh creideamh acu agus go mbeidh siad ag leanacht rialacha Íosa Críost, gan iad a chaitheamh amach ar fad as an Eaglais… Ach tá sé deacair an teannas sin a choinneáil agus an dá thaobh a choinneáil le chéile,” a dúirt an tEaspag Ó Monacháin agus é faoi agallamh ar an gclár Adhmhaidin ar RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta inniu.
Thomas Reese S.J.
The overwhelming vote in Ireland in favor of allowing access to abortion shows that the pro-life movement needs a new strategy. Trying to preserve anti-abortion laws or trying to reverse the legalization of abortion is simply not working.
In almost every country where abortion has been on the ballot, abortion has won. Rarely have pro-choice laws been reversed. This trend is not going to change. To think otherwise is simply ignoring reality.
The American pro-life movement still holds out hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will reverse Roe v. Wade, but even if that does happen, most Americans will still live in states where abortion is legal. Those who don’t will be able to travel to a state where it is, just as Irish women have long traveled to Britain.
The reality is that most Americans think that abortion should be legal even if they think it is immoral. There is no indication that this thinking will change. In fact, opinion is moving in the opposite direction, thanks to the attitudes of younger generations. The Pew Research Center shows Americans under 50 are more likely than their elders to support abortion in all or most cases. Likewise, in Ireland, younger people voted more strongly to change the law. Time is on the side of the pro-choice movement.
If making abortion illegal is an impossible goal, what should be the pro-life strategy for the foreseeable future?
The answer is simple and obvious: work to reduce the number of abortions.
When women are asked why they are having an abortion, the main reasons given are that having a baby would interfere with their education, their work or their ability to care for the children they are already raising, or that they simply cannot afford another child at the time.
Pro-life activists must take these reasons into consideration when developing a new strategy.
Archbishop Eamon Martin, Armagh
Like many others who advocated a NO vote in the referendum, I am deeply saddened that we appear to have obliterated the right to life of all unborn children from our constitution and that this country is now on the brink of legislating for a liberal abortion regime.
I am very concerned about the implications for society of interfering with the fundamental principle that the value of all human life is equal and that all human beings, born and unborn, have inherent worth and dignity. At a time when scientific and medical evidence is clearer than ever about the beginning of life, we have effectively decided that some human lives – in this case the lives of the unborn – are less significant and deserving of protection than others.
We have elevated the right to personal choice above the fundamental right to life itself.
Tina Beattie, Professor of Catholic Studies at Roehampton University, London,
“The “yes” vote is not a cause for celebration. It is a “yes” to respecting the freedom of conscience and moral autonomy of women in situations that no woman or girl should ever find herself in, whatever the conditions of her conceiving and whatever the reasons for her not wanting to carry the child to term. I only hope that now, those who use the language of killing and murder will pause for thought, and I say this particularly with regard to my co-Catholics. How might Catholics accommodate this decision within their moral understanding and church teaching?
“Catholic moral teaching is rooted in reason and in a fundamentally positive anthropology. Human beings by nature are good, even though distorted desire can get us into situations of deep sin and wrongdoing. But also, Catholic teaching upholds the common good and the just society by distinguishing between morality and legality. The law should only be used to protect the common good – not to police people’s consciences. So even if I as a Catholic believe that abortion is gravely sinful, that alone does not justify criminalising it. But there are limits with regard to moral autonomy, and those limits are and always have been decided around issues of the common good and shared social values in the western tradition.