Row breaks out among Irish priests over abortion vote

Row breaks out among Irish priests over abortion vote May 13, 2018

Dublin-based Father Terence Crotty, above, has hit out at a group of Catholic priests who want church leaders to refrain from telling people how to vote in an upcoming referendum on abortion in Ireland.
On May 25, Ireland will vote on whether to repeal its Eighth Amendment, and the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) has insisted that it will not take a “dogmatic” stance on the issue.
The association, according to Life Site News, said:

As leadership of an association made up of men who are unmarried and without children of our own, we are not best placed to be in any way dogmatic on this issue.

Pro-choice protesters in Ireland
Reporting on the clash for Life Site News, Claire Chretian wrote:

Jesus Christ was also an unmarried man with no children of his own, but he had spiritual children. As a father in a spiritual sense, he had the duty to be dogmatic about protecting the little children from harm’s’ way, be it supernatural harm (heresy) or natural harm.
Priests are ordained to be representatives of Jesus Christ on Earth, and they have a duty to uphold and preach the commandment ‘thou shalt not kill’.

Crotty insisted that the ACP:

Has no representative status for Irish priests as a whole. Much has been made of the ACP request for no pro-life talkers at Mass, because, of course, it chimes with the government and media campaign to introduce abortion, so these forces are glad to hear it and publicise it.
But it is worth remembering that the active membership of the ACP is absolutely tiny. I’d imagine you’re talking about, at the very most, a few dozen priests out of a population of around about 4,700 Irish priests (going by a 2012 figure in given the – a bit lower now).
We are doing our bit for the referendum with a 40 hours devotion for the protection of unborn children. I think we are much more typical of the reaction of the Irish clergy than the ACP. Several other churches are doing the same or similar around Dublin. In my experience, Catholics of whatever leanings are right behind the no vote in this referendum.

Said Lisa Hare of Human Life International Ireland:

Faithful Catholics continue to be horrified by statements that come from the so-called ‘Association of Catholic Priests’. Their recent statement on the 8th Amendment is no exception. This group are usually first in line to attack the Catholic Church and her teachings.
For the ACP to do anything other than UNAMBIGUOUSLY support the right to life of EVERY unborn child in Ireland in EVERY circumstance, demonstrates just how far they have walked away from Christ and his church.

On May 5 the ACP issued a statement saying “we do not wish to tell anyone how they should vote” and that:

A vote cast in accordance with each person’s conscience, whatever the result, deserves the respect of all.

The priests prefaced this by claiming:

As an association representing Catholic priests we fully endorse the Catholic teaching that all human life, from beginning to end, is sacred, and that every human person shares in the fundamental right to life.

But they went on to assert:

We are also aware, and are constantly reminded in our ministry, that human life is complex, throwing up situations that are more often grey than black and white and that demand from us a sensitive, non-judgemental, pastoral approach …
We do not wish to tell anyone how they should vote. But we encourage both ourselves and any citizens who may be interested in our viewpoint, to do the best we can to acquaint ourselves with exactly what we are being asked to vote for, and what the possible consequences of our vote may be.
Having done that to the best of our ability, and following it with the, often painful and difficult, task of consulting our conscience, let us cast our vote.

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  • L.Long

    Preacher opens mouth…LIES, bigotry, hate come out!!!
    To hell with the damned preachers and the dimwits who listen to them…they don’t want abortions then let them bare the babies!!!

  • Broga

    “Jesus Christ was also an unmarried man with no children of his own, but he had spiritual children.”
    If she was not religious she would fit the criteria to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

  • AgentCormac

    It its utterly inappropriate for an organisation with such a truly unforgivable and abhorrent history of paedophilia to be lecturing anyone on the subject of what is right or wrong when it comes to the subject of children.

  • Cali Ron

    There is no such thing as an unborn child. It is a fetus and by definition isn’t a child until it has been born. A concept the anti abortion crowd ignores, believing the fairy tales of the church over science. This will be an interesting litmus test of just how secular Ireland has become.

  • RussellW

    Religion is a form of mental illness. I don’t know where to draw the line between ‘spiritual’, barking mad and psychopathic.Have you seen the appalling news from Surabaya in Indonesia?
    I’d section all religiots.

  • Brian Jordan

    Association of Catholic Priests? I bet that Trade Union isn’t recognised by the bosses!
    …oh yes, look:
    One of its founders was Fr Tony Flannery who, in April 2012, was disciplined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for questioning whether Jesus Christ had instituted the priesthood. Wikipedia
    Who will quiz the Inquisitors?

  • L.Long

    RussellW … its easy to determine if you are spiritual …
    if you drink alcohol you are a alcoholic, if you drink distilled spirits, then you are “spiritual”.
    By any other definition you are just delusional.

  • Laura Roberts

    @CaliRon: all true, but the debate over whether a small collection of cells is a “person” seems a red herring to me. As I see it, the issue is to do with consent and with autonomy. Regardless of whether we call a collection of cells a “person” or (more accurately) a blastocyst, the question is whether it has the right to use someone else’s organs without consent.
    Another issue the religiously-afflicted seem not to consider, is the notion that we should call it “murder” if we deny an individual access to the resources they need to survive. If we really want to go there, then anyone who has spent discretionary funds on a big-screen TV instead of donating it to the world’s most impoverished, malnourished and diseased people would be guilty of “murder”.

  • Cali Ron

    Laura Roberts : I think you have identified the real legal issue well. It is logical and science based which is why the religious will try to change the debate to an emotional and religious one. The religious don’t do science or logic, it contradicts their fairy tale belief system. I can hear it now, ‘don’t confuse us with facts, it’s about god and faith’.

  • Robster

    Does one need a laughably silly name to take part for the religiously afflicted side in this “debate”? We’ve a Cretin and a Grotty. Couldn’t ask for more.

  • Question Mark

    I have known facts that majority of those who want abortion to be legalized here in Ireland are those women who had not only one or two experiences of having abortion but some of them had as much as five experiences of having aborted their babies. These pregnancies occurred because they went on a night out, got drunk and had one night stand with whoever they wanted to have sex with them. They only want to satisfy their lust by having sex without any responsibility! My gosh, the sickening guts of these murderers of helpless unborn babies. They want the murder or butchery of the innocent to be legalized!

  • barriejohn

    I have known facts that majority of those who want abortion to be legalized here in Ireland are those women who had not only one or two experiences of having abortion but some of them had as much as five experiences of having aborted their babies.
    And I say “Bullshit”!

  • Broga

    Question Mark : State the facts and provide the evidence. We cannot trust your word as a Christian as lying comes with the territory. Are you also prepared to “state the facts” about the paedophile priests who infest your grisly church.

  • Broga

    Question Mark: This may interest you as you like facts. In 1415 Pope John XX111 (he was air brushed out hence the recent Pope John XX111) was charged with seventy crimes. The charges were so scandalous that the sixteen worst were suppressed. He was therefore only accused of simony, sodomy, rape, incest, torture and murder – he was charged with poisoning his predecessor, physician and others. The Popes were infamous for their criminality.
    The charges and much else were recorded by his catholic accusers and you can read them. They are described by Stephen Greenblatt, Professor of Humanities at Harvard University -in “The Swerve: how the Renaissance began.” The book won the Pulitzer prize in 2012 and was praised by the critics.
    On Amazon the opinion of almost all reviewers is five star with one exception who gave it one start. My guess is that the one star reviewer is a terrified Roman Catholic who does not want the historical facts read.
    You like facts. You can check all this for yourself pp170/171 in the book. You can also read how men were burned alive, including priests, in an attempt to suppress the challenge to the superstitions of the catholic church.
    You should not be surprised that the RC church, with its centuries of criminality, is regarded with contempt. If you are so ready to defend your faith with what seems to me like lies perhaps you could challenge the facts which can be checked.

  • RussellW

    ‘The Swerve” is a fascinating book. The courage of those individuals, often they were clerics, who defied the RCC was remarkable.

  • Broga

    RussellW: We can no longer appreciate the courage required or the subterfuges they employed to escape the RC Church. I liked the man who began by quoting the biblical truth about God knowing about the fall of a sparrow and the number of hairs on everyone’s head and then follows that with a long list utter trivia which God knows even in a small town.
    I see that Question Mark has not returned to put his facts before us. Looks like barriejohn’s description (bullshit) was right.
    The RC Church can no longer censor (apart from the shameful Thought for the Day) by inflicting hellish tortures on brave men and women. If they are so confident of their truth why cannot they defend it with their reasons?
    Brilliant book and I liked the information about Michel de Montaigne who had almost 100 quotes from Lucretius in his own writing. The “Essays: a Selection” translated by M.A.Screech (Penguin Classics) is a favourite of mine, lots of underlining, and I often return to it.

  • Question Mark

    Not all priests are pedophiles but all pro choice are pro murders of innocent lives.