Ireland’s prime minister defies the Catholic Church.

Ireland’s prime minister, Enda Kenny, is set to pass legislation in favor of abortion.  In response, the Catholic Church threatened him with excommunication.  This was his response:

“Everybody’s entitled to their opinion here but as explained to the Cardinal and members of the church my book is the constitution and the constitution is determined by the people. That’s the people’s book. We live in a Republic and I have a duty and responsibility as head of Government to legislate in respect of what the people’s wishes are,” Mr Kenny said.

Let me translate: “I will not be bullied into acting against the well-being of humanity.  You will argue the issues fairly, because I will not cave to threats.”

If only every person responded to the threats of religion that way.  Hell, I’d be happy to see some of our politicians do it.

Added Kenny:

It is time to bring clarity and certainty to it. It is time to recognise that we’ve gone on now for 30 years without any regulation without any professionalism involved in this area and that’s what this is all about.”

His level: all other politicians need to get on it.  We need to orchestrate a trade.  Maybe we can send them Obama and Biden and a future first round draft pick in exchange for Kenny…

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Glodson

    I cannot wait until the day comes that the threat of excommunication holds no sway over anyone.

    • Zugswang

      At this point, I think it should be considered a badge of honor. When principled ethical decisions meet with excommunication and kiddy fiddling barely registers a “tsk, tsk”, I’d put excommunication on my CV.

    • http://www.facebook.com/park.james.102 Park James

      Edit: just seeing that the other response is almost exactly the same as mine. Oh well, it can’t be said enough that the RCC is an immoral cesspit.

      At this point, the threat of excommunication from the RCC should give you a pretty good idea that you’re behaving morally.

  • islandbrewer

    My friend and I have been writing letters for a while trying to get excommunicated. We’ve even both declared ourselves pope(s), as historically that was the most effective way of being excommunicated. We don’t live in Avignon, unfortunately.

  • Stev84

    He already told them to fuck off when the Cloyne Report was released:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo5MXrqbDeA

    • http://www.facebook.com/anne.orsi Anne Orsi

      Came here to post this video. I cheered Enda Kenny then, and I cheer him now.

  • Machintelligence

    Mr. Kenny appears not to be the sort who will take any crap from the Vatican.

    Following an electoral victory, the Fine Gael government led by Enda Kenny took stronger steps against the church in Ireland. Speaking to the Dáil following the release of the Cloyne Report, which showed that Irish clerics partook in a cover-up to conceal the extent of child sexual abuse after the Vatican questioned the child protection guidelines adopted by the Irish bishops, he said that “the historic relationship between church and state in Ireland could not be the same again. The rape and torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and reputation.”[8] On 25 July 2011 the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Leanza was recalled to the Secretariat of State of the Holy See “for consultations” as a sign, among other things, of “surprise and disappointment at certain excessive reactions”.[9]

    On 3 November 2011 the Irish Tániste and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore announced that Ireland would close its embassy in the Vatican, and that the Irish ambassador to the Holy See would reside not in Rome but in Ireland.[10]

    The above from Wikipedia.

  • Little Magpie

    Just remember, that Irish politicians telling the RCC where they can go is especially noteworthy.

  • http://twitter.com/flyingteacosy Aoife O’Riordan

    The legislation is bloody awful, though. THREE doctors need to be unanimous in order for a suicidal woman/girl to have a lifesaving abortion? And FOURTEEN YEARS in prison if you’re convicted of self-inducing.

    Yeah, it’s nice that he’s telling the Church to fuck off. It would also be nice if he didn’t introduce legislation that could make things significantly worse for Irish women.

    • islandbrewer

      That is abysmal. Do you think he could really have gotten better legislation though, however?

      It’s a sincere question, I’m clueless about the state of Irish politics and how influential the church is.


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