Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Oath of Office of the Irish President is a declaration to maintain the Constitution and uphold its laws

Much has been written, debated and broadcast about the upcoming presidential election in Ireland. The Constitution of Ireland declares that the President ‘shall take precedence over all other persons in the State and … shall exercise and perform the powers and functions conferred on the President by this Constitution and by law.’
On election, the President ‘shall enter upon his office by taking and subscribing publicly, in the presence of members of both Houses of the Oireachtas, of Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Court, and other public personages, the following declaration:
“In the presence of Almighty God I …. do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will maintain the Constitution of Ireland and uphold its laws, that I will fulfil my duties faithfully and conscientiously in accordance with the Constitution and the law, and that I will dedicate my abilities to the service and welfare of the people of Ireland. May God direct and sustain me.” ’
That’s a mighty powerful declaration to make, and it is all the more so in the light of the words of the Preamble to the Constitution:
‘In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred,
‘We, the people of √Čire,
‘Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial, […]
‘And seeking to promote the common good, with due observance of Prudence, Justice and Charity, so that the dignity and freedom of the individual may be assured, true social order attained, the unity of our country restored, and concord established with other nations,
‘Do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.’
When the time comes to elect a new president, the Irish voter would do well to listen to and act on the words of Cardinal Raymond Burke, paraphrased as follows: –
The faithful Catholic has a very serious moral obligation to vote only for a candidate who will uphold the truth of the moral law, which also serves the greatest good of everyone in society.