Cardinal Brady describes abortion Bill as ‘Trojan horse’
Catholic primate urges Government to publish Attorney General’s advice on ‘potential constitutional and legal conflicts’
Cardinal Sean Brady: “Bill obliges medical practitioners, nurses and midwives with conscientious objections to co-operate in the evil of abortion.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley
Catholic primate of All-Ireland Cardinal Seán Brady has called on the Government “to publish its advice from the Attorney General on the potential constitutional and legal conflicts” raised in response to the abortion Bill now before the Dáil.
In a statement yesterday he described the Bill as “a legislative and political ‘Trojan horse’ which heralds a much more liberal and aggressive abortion regime in Ireland”.
He said that “as well as involving the deliberate killing of an unborn child, this Bill by promoting abortion risks creating the very symptoms of suicidal feelings it claims to address”.
The Bill would “provide the widest possible legal justification for deliberately and intentionally destroying the life of the unborn child, with no time limits and no mechanism for ensuring that the right to life of the unborn is adequately vindicated as required by article 40.3.3 of the Constitution,” he said.
He also noted that “in contrast to the practice in many other jurisdictions, this Bill obliges medical practitioners, nurses and midwives with conscientious objections to co-operate in the evil of abortion by insisting they hand over the care of a patient to someone they know will provide an abortion”.
This, he said, was “in clear conflict with the unequivocal rights to freedom of conscience and religion provided for all in the Constitution”.
Meanwhile, in a direct criticism of Fine Gael, Catholic Bishop of Meath Michael Smith asked “is party unity more important than a decision to enshrine the taking of the life of the innocent unborn child in our laws?”
Speaking at an annual Mass to celebrate St Oliver Plunkett near Oldcastle in Co Meath, he said the “refusal to engage with the serious issues involved media distortion and misrepresentation, the imposition of a party whip which ignores conscience. All these factors demean the discussion [on the legislation].”
St Oliver Plunkett, he said, “was not swayed by personal convenience or social pressures, an example that is much absent in these times when opinion polls take precedence over those fundamental moral principles that give cohesion and substance to life and to society”.
Catholic Bishop of Cork John Buckley said “this abortion Bill, despite what the Government says, is not just a tidying-up exercise. It sacrifices the innocent life of another human being to another’s threat of self-destruction. This fails any test of justice.”