27 May 2018

So what does it all mean? - Updated


"The Eighth Amendment did not create a right to life for the unborn child -- it merely acknowledged that such a right exists, has always existed and will always exist.........a wrong does not become right simply because a majority support it."

"Abortion was wrong yesterday. It remains wrong today. The constitution has changed, but the facts have not,".

"......The Irish Constitution merely recognized the right to life that is antecedent to all law. This most fundamental of all human rights is not extinguished or diminished because our constitution no longer acknowledges it. What is diminished is our constitution,"..................

"The task facing the Catholic Church now is to ensure that it makes every effort to accompany with the healing compassion of Christ everyone caught up in the tragic circumstances that surround an abortion ... from grieving parents to medical practitioners."

"When the Italian referendum on abortion was lost in 1981 (32 to 68%), a magazine close to CL titled "let us start again from 32." The next day Giussani said "let us start gain from 1" referring to Christ. The real problem in Ireland (and elsewhere) is not abortion. It is widespread loss of faith encouraged by a powerful secularist culture and abetted by a Church that sometimes seems ashamed of Christ."
- Carlo Lancellotti (Twitter)


A Pastoral Message from Bishop Kevin Doran following Referendum on 8th Amendment 

As we awake to the reality that Irish people have voted by a significant majority for abortion, my thoughts go out to the thousands of good people, across our Diocese and across the nation, who worked so hard to protect the right to life both of women and their unborn children. I include among them our clergy who have sought to offer pastoral leadership. Huge numbers of you, motivated by real compassion, also voted No. I share your sadness.

There will be plenty of time for analysis in the days ahead. For now, I want to encourage you with the thought that what was true yesterday remains true today. Every human being without exception has an inherent right to life which comes from God, in whose image we are all made.

In many countries where abortion has been legal for years Christians continue to bear faithful witness. That hope must inspire us now as we proclaim anew the Gospel of Life, both in the political arena and in the renewal of our pastoral outreach. As Church we will continue to explore effective ways to support women and their unborn children, families in difficulty and women who have had an abortion. I will be inviting people to actively engage in conversation about the shaping of that pastoral outreach in the coming months. We also need to find new ways of helping Irish women and men in this generation to rediscover the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.

St John speaks of Jesus as “a light shining in the darkness; a light that the darkness cannot overcome” (Jn. 1). My prayer for you is that the light of Christ will fill your hearts, especially in these days, so that you in your turn may be “a light to the world”. (Mt. 5)

Bishop Kevin 
26 May 2018


Society has been “very much divided” by the referendum on whether to repeal or retain the eighth amendment, the Bishop of Limerick believes. 

Limerick City and County voted by a significant majority to repeal the eighth amendment in Friday’s referendum. 

In a message read out at Masses across the Limerick diocese this Sunday, Bishop Brendan Leahy described the result of the referendum as “deeply regrettable and chilling” for those who voted no. 

In his message, the Bishop also acknowledged that each person’s political position on the matter was “ultimately borne out of care.” 

“Those who voted no did so with compassion particularly for the unborn child,” Bishop Leahy said. “Those who voted yes did so with an eye particularly on the mother carrying that child.” 

“We have unquestionably been divided in many respects as a society over recent years by pivotal political decisions but we must begin to heal and to remember that we are one, not two societies,” Bishop Leahy said. 

The stories of many women who terminated their pregnancies were heard during the debate, he added. 

“They were women in crisis pregnancies or women in dreadful circumstances; victims of sexual violence or those who have been given dreadful news regarding the viability of the baby in the womb, a baby they dearly want, or women whose lives are put at risk by an imminent childbirth.” 

“While the Church’s position is that life, in or out, of the womb is to be protected, it is only right that we have heard these stories and got a sense of women’s immense pain and distress.” 

“So often, women were left on their own at that time, perhaps with the support only of a friend, perhaps immediate family but not much else.” 

“A message we can take, therefore, from the stories we’ve heard is that we have ultimately failed them as a society if we allow them to be isolated.” 

“We need to engender more coherently a society of care, a society of support so that the default for women in these circumstances is to turn to that society and know that it wraps them in a blanket of love and support.” 

“The Church treasures life above all else and that extends to life in the womb,” Bishop Leahy added.  

“Even before the Referendum, it was a core value and it will remain so.” 

“The result, in that context, is deeply regrettable and chilling for those of us who voted no.”

“The final result of the Referendum is the will of the majority of the people, though not all the people.” 

The vote does not change the Church’s position on that matter, he added. 

“Our message is one of love; love for all, love for life, for those with us today, for those in the womb and God’s love is there also for those on both sides of the Referendum campaign.” 


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