Pres­by­te­rian notes

The Irish Times - - Bulletin Page -

The Mod­er­a­tor of the Pres­by­te­rian Church in Ire­land, Rt Rev Dr David Bruce, has ex­pressed his “shock” and “deep sad­ness” at the Depart­ment of Health’s first set of fig­ures that show 6,666 abor­tions were un­der­taken in Ire­land in the first year since the re­peal of the Eighth Amend­ment in 2018.

Com­ment­ing on the fig­ures, Dr Bruce said, “An­nounc­ing the de­ci­sion to hold the ref­er­en­dum on the Eighth Amend­ment, the then Taoiseach, Leo Varad­kar, stated that ‘abor­tion in Ire­land will be­come safe, le­gal and rare’. When you think of an event, or cir­cum­stance as be­ing ‘rare’, it brings to mind some­thing that is in­fre­quent, un­com­mon, or not of­ten found. Like my­self, many in Ire­land to­day, Chris­tians and non-Chris­tians alike, will be shocked and deeply sad­dened to dis­cover, there­fore, 6,666 abor­tions were car­ried out in Ire­land in 2019.

This is more than dou­ble those ac­cessed by women from Ire­land in the UK through­out 2018.

“For ev­ery 10 chil­dren born in Ire­land in 2019, the life of an­other un­born child was ter­mi­nated. On only 3 oc­ca­sions were abor­tions car­ried out where there was an im­me­di­ate risk to the life of the mother.”

The Mod­er­a­tor con­tin­ued by say­ing, “The depart­ment’s fig­ures don’t change the fact that all hu­man life re­mains sa­cred and spe­cial and that the lives of women and un­born chil­dren mat­ter pro­foundly, and are deeply pre­cious to God.

‘‘

All hu­man life re­mains sa­cred and spe­cial and that the lives of women and un­born chil­dren mat­ter pro­foundly, and are deeply pre­cious to God.

We recog­nise the great pain in­volved in the ex­tremely dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances faced by women and their fam­i­lies who ex­pe­ri­ence a preg­nancy cri­sis.

“We there­fore re­new our call for the Gov­ern­ment, and wider so­ci­ety, to place a greater fo­cus on the pro­vi­sion of world-lead­ing, com­pas­sion­ate care for women, chil­dren and fam­i­lies, in­clud­ing com­pre­hen­sive sup­port in the peri­na­tal pe­riod for those fac­ing preg­nancy cri­sis.”

Last week, Dr Bruce, wrote to con­grat­u­late Micheál Mar­tin on his elec­tion as Taoiseach. Speak­ing as one who also came to of­fice in June 2020, Dr Bruce wrote of the “un­prece­dented fight against Covid-19 and its dev­as­tat­ing im­pact in so many dif­fer­ent ar­eas of life” and as­sured Mr Mar­tin of the church’s sup­port.

Talk­ing about the for­ma­tion of the coali­tion gov­ern­ment, the Mod­er­a­tor said, ‘For all elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives, to know when to com­pro­mise is a qual­ity that speaks of hu­mil­ity. Many on this is­land will not fail to note the sig­nif­i­cance of the putting aside of past en­mi­ties to form this new gov­ern­ment, es­pe­cially as we ap­proach sig­nif­i­cant an­niver­saries in the his­tory of the State and the life of the is­land of Ire­land.’

Dr Bruce con­cluded, “as you be­gin your first full week as Taoiseach, I am re­minded that the call to lead­er­ship, es­pe­cially in the po­lit­i­cal sphere, is a great hon­our and a great chal­lenge.

“For those of us who fol­low the Lord Je­sus Christ, we are called to pray for those in au­thor­ity and you - and the coali­tion gov­ern­ment that you lead – can be as­sured of my prayers and many in the Pres­by­te­rian Church in Ire­land.”

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