Thursday, February 18, 2016

Irish Bishop's statements in the lead up to the Irish general election

The Catholic Bishops of Ireland have issued a pastoral statement on the upcoming election and in addition a number of Bishops have issued their own pastoral statements.It is vitally important that the Bishops are currently speaking out in advance of next weeks election on the necessity of voting for candidates committed to protecting unborn human life right from the time of conception and retaining the pro-life amendment to the Irish Constitution Article 40.3.3 also referred to as the 8th amendment.

Whilst it is gratifying to see this we must comment that had they spoken out in this way prior to the unfortunate referendum on marriage the result may have been different.

We focus here on the pro-life aspects of the various texts and additionally link to the full statement in each case.

18 February 2016: Pastoral Statement of the Catholic Bishops of Ireland on the Upcoming General Election

[…] A true human ecology recognises the equal right to life of every person from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.   The Constitution of Ireland embraces the right to life of the unborn child.    It is a fundamental affirmation of equality, where the right to life of no child is considered of less value than that of another.   We strongly oppose any weakening of the affirmation of the right to life of the unborn.

Click here to read the full statement.

18 February 2016: Pastoral Message from Archbishop Eamon in preparation for the forthcoming General Election
Archbishop Eamon encourages everyone to ask those who seek your vote to confirm a number of critical issues including the right to life

Archbishop Eamon asks specifically
[…] Most importantly, because the right to life is the most fundamental right of all, ask them:
Will you continue to support the equal right to life of a mother and her unborn child as enshrined in the eighth amendment of the Constitution?
We must make it clear to those who wish our vote that there are no circumstances in which the direct killing of an unborn child can ever be justified.


Click here to read the full message.

16 February 2016: Bishop Ray Browne calls us to cast our vote

Abortion is an issue that is highly sensitive for many, many people. It is not just an issue in Ireland. There are and will always be, in every country in the world, people of all faiths and none who will campaign against it. Christian people will always say ‘no’ to abortion. To repeal the 8th Amendment of Bunreacht na h√Čireann is to say that difficulties with acknowledging “the right to life of the unborn, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother” can be resolved by reducing to nought, the right to life of the unborn.

Click here to read the full statement from Bishop Browne.


16 February 2016: Recognising One Another as Persons – A pre-election 2016 statement from Bishop Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin

The right to life is a fundamental human right. Respect for life is one of the key indicators of a civilised society. In 2013, the Government passed legislation which permitted direct abortion in certain circumstances. In recent months there has been talk of removing the right to life of the unborn from the Constitution. This talk tends to focus on babies with life-limiting conditions and, in the public debate, much of what is presented as fact is actually quite misleading. Some babies who are seriously ill only live for a very short time, while others live significantly longer. For a Christian, however, there is no such thing as a life without value. For as long as they live, children with life-limiting conditions are entitled to be loved and cared for like any other childand their parents are entitled to the support of proper peri-natal hospice services.

Some of the political parties and some individual candidates have made no secret of the fact that they favour the widespread availability of abortion, while others have begun to talk about “assisted suicide”. Pope John Paul II wrote: “To claim the right to abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, and to recognize that right in law, means to attribute to human freedom a perverse and evil significance: that of an absolute power over others and against others. This is the death of true freedom.” (The Gospel of Life, 20). We need to convince our politicians of the importance of supporting and promoting a culture of life that recognises the unique value of every human person, and we need to actively support those who do. Meanwhile, I find it very difficult to see how any Catholic could, in good conscience, vote for a candidate or a political party whose policy it is to legalise abortion.

Click here to read the full statement from Bishop Doran.

16 February 2016: Statement by Archbishop Michael Neary concerning the equal protection of the right to life of mothers and unborn children

Of critical importance in any society is the unique value placed on each human life from the moment of conception to natural death.  If life is not fully respected and protected then the very basis of our society is weakened.  The Eighth Amendment guarantees the right to life of the unborn and the equal right to life of the mother.

Regrettably, some of those standing for election have declared their intention to work to remove this protection from our Constitution and laws.  This simplistic approach to the most significant of issues is not only an outright attack on the unborn, but an affront to the charter of human rights enshrined in Ireland’s basic law.

If an unborn child has a life-limiting condition, it would be inhumane to withdraw the protection of the Constitution to their right to life.  In this most significant of centenary years it is more pressing than ever “to cherish all the children of the nation equally” whether unborn or born, and irrespective of a child’s health status.

Click here to read the full statement from Archbishop Michael Neary.

13 February 2016: Statement by Bishop John Buckley concerning election 2016

It is sad that a child’s life-limiting condition is being used to promote the agenda of those who seek to legalise abortion on much wider grounds. Candidates in the election should be questioned politely but firmly, not just on their future intentions but on their past record.

There is no moral justification for a lack of housing. It is an issue that demands investment
The vast majority of refugees are good and law-abiding people. Refugees must respect the values, laws and traditions of the host countries. Ireland and Europe must address the refugee crisis as a matter of urgency.

Click here to read the full statement from Bishop Buckley.