Martin says repeal would be ‘a radical change to our broad pro-life culture’
Christians must be pro-life Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said:
Christians must be pro-life when it comes to the unborn and those who are vulnerable at the end of their lives, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said.
Referring to the referendum on May 25th, he said “it seems incongruous that just as medical science allows us to understand much more about the evolution of the baby in the womb and his or her originality and unique identity that we should simply throw out all constitutional protection of the unborn child. For that reason I will be voting No.”
The archbishop also recommended that over the coming weekend every parish in the Dublin archdiocese “hold a special moment of prayer for life” at a time of each parish’s choosing to coincide with “the Feast of Pentecost, dedicated to the protection of life”.
In a statement yesterday, he asked “the Catholic community in the Archdiocese of Dublin to join in moments of prayer in the coming days in each parish.
“I ask you to invoke the spirit of Jesus to touch hearts and commit our society to be pro-life in defending the lives of unborn children and in supporting women and men in the challenges they meet in accepting the joy of parenthood.”
Ostracised and humiliated
For too long “a mentality was common in Ireland in which single mothers were ostracised and humiliated. This narrow moralistic culture was often sadly enhanced by the attitude of the church.
“It was women who stood up and challenged that culture and affirmed their desire and right to be able to keep and give love to their children. We owe a debt to those women who, then and now, [are a] witness to life. It is still not easy to be a lone parent and we have to create an environment to ease the obstacles and burdens of lone parents and their children,” he said.
The Eighth Amendment “ought to have been accompanied by an appropriate legislative framework to assist doctors in dealing with complex situations. This is still possible,” he said.
Repealing the amendment was “not about permitting limited abortion. It would bring about a radical change to our broad pro-life culture. It would end any constitutional protection whatsoever for the unborn.
“Proposed future legislation would permit abortion without restriction up to 12 weeks, but also permit abortion on physical and mental health grounds up to six months,” he said.
In future it would be possible, “that small minority parties of a coalition government could demand that abortion legislation be extended as part of a programme for government.
Repealing the Eighth Amendment in such circumstances “would be a point of no return”, he said.
Evangelical Alliance Ireland, which represents evangelical Christians and organisations in the Republic, also called for retention of the Eighth Amendment yesterday.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: Christians must be pro-life