The Repeal of the Eighth Amendment


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  1. iggy o'donovan says:

    Any priest or indeed layperson who feels in a quandry should listen to Brendan’s clip. The most brilliant analysis to date.

  2. Eddie Finnegan says:

    Thanks to Brendan for so articulate a response. Perhaps the ACP could now lead on developing guidelines to ‘accompaniment’ of both Yes and No voters, as well as to faith and ethics development within parishes as distinct from the old school based record of failure. ‘Accompaniment’, of course, not to be based on Bishop Kevin Doran’s summons to confession for all yes-voting sinners. Indeed the ACP’s best thinkers could provide Pope Francis with food for thought and accompaniment in the eleven weeks or so before his WMoF addresses in August.

  3. Máire Ní Fhloinn says:

    Just listened to Brendan’s clip, yes indeed it was absolutely brilliant,.

  4. Paddy Ferry says:

    Excellent, Brendan. Very well said.

  5. Michael Router says:

    A good analysis Brendan of the reasons for the Yes vote in the referendum. Unfortunately, the result was no surprise to us who are working at the coalface (except, perhaps, for the overwhelming nature of the majority in favour of abortion). We have known for a long time that about two thirds of the population pay no heed to anything we do as a church and many of the one third who do take an interest ultimately do what they feel suits them best. This however is no reason to give up the cause and to struggle to make our voice heard, particularly in defence of human life.

    It was, and it is, incumbent upon us as shepherds entrusted with the task of passing on the Christian faith to ensure that the message of life, which gets so little time on the mainstream media, is proclaimed from the pulpit of the church. Many of those who were invited to speak at Mass from Pro-Life organisations were women and mothers. They provided an alternative voice to the celibate male priest whom the ACP claim to represent but who they so often rail against. For that reason, the statement by the ACP before the referendum was unfortunate and damaging.

    But what is done is done and the focus must move on to what sort of a church we wish to see emerge in Ireland in the future. It is clear from the past two referendums that there is a lot of people in Ireland who, despite being educated in Catholic schools, have little interest in, or indeed understanding of, what we believe. Therefore managing 90% of the Primary Schools in this country is untenable. We need to be proactive in the whole area of divesting schools while we still have a reasonable negotiating position. Sooner or later the schools will be taken from us and it will be perceived as yet another damaging defeat for the church. Perhaps a legally binding deal could be struck with the government before handing over patronage to allow us to use the schools for 30 minutes after school a few days a week. This time would be used to instruct children from interested families in religious education and in preparation for the sacraments. Teachers who are willing to help out with this instruction could be paid for their involvement.

    The present system is not working, it is a cause of deep frustration and angst and consumes huge amounts of time and energy for parish personnel with very little in the way of results. It also encourages an indifferent attitude among Catholic parents who leave the religious education of their children solely to the school. Most children preparing for 1st communion have to be taught, at the age of eight, how to bless themselves. Removing ourselves, voluntarily, from the education system and setting up an independent framework of catechesis for the sacraments and developing a genuine emphasis on Adult Faith Formation would be much more beneficial for everyone.

    We must begin take the initiative in completely separating the church from the state. The century of close partnership that we are just coming through has ultimately been disastrous for both institutions. Of course, it would mean a smaller Church but at least it would be healthier, better able to critique society and to provide much needed alternatives from the margins.

  6. Joe O'Leary says:

    Michael Router, you seem to think that there was no case for rescinding the 8th amendment. I don’t like the festive reception of the yes vote and I fear that a high level of responsible reflection will not be maintained (with a view to making abortion rarer than it currently is, as well as respecting women who are obliged to have recourse to it). But listening to the women whom the church have never encouraged to speak I think they made their case quite persuasively

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