Bishops to hold fire until after Seanad vote on abortion legislation

Leaflet opposing Bill to be read at Masses

The bishops’ leaflet quotes at length from a sermon by papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown in Drogheda last Sunday. Photograph: Alan Betson

The bishops’ leaflet quotes at length from a sermon by papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown in Drogheda last Sunday. Photograph: Alan Betson

Sat, Jul 13, 2013, 01:00



Prayers are to be offered in the cathedrals of Catholic diocese across the State this weekend in response to the Dáil’s passing of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill on Thursday night. However, the Catholic bishops do not intend commenting on the vote until the Bill has been dealt with in the Seanad, a spokesman said last night.

Meanwhile, the bishops have again circulated every parish with another of their weekly leaflets opposing the legislation. It will be read at Masses and distributed in churches over the weekend.

It points out that “in recent days bishops have sent a briefing note to deputies and senators on the ‘Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013’.”

The note “highlights flaws in the abortion bill and explains that it: will fundamentally alter the culture and practice of medical care in Ireland; accepts the premise that abortion is an appropriate response to suicidal ideation; and, creates serious moral, legal and constitutional conflicts in the area of freedom of conscience and religious belief,” they say.

The leaflet also quotes at length from a sermon by papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown in Drogheda last Sunday. There he said: “If we abandon the principle which teaches that innocent human life is inviolable, which is to say, that is it is sacred and must be protected by law, if we relinquish that principle, and begin to allow for the deliberate and direct destruction of human life, what basis will we have to object when the situation shifts further and other categories of vulnerable human beings are under threat?”

He continued: “We will have none or very little, because we will have sacrificed the foundation, the basis, the principle: every human life is to be respected, because it is of inestimable value. This recognition is at the origin of every human society and community.”