Priests con­demn Min­is­ter’s re­marks at Sum­mer School

Wexford People - - NEWS - By DAVID LOOBY

A NEW ROSS priest strongly de­nounced Chil­dren’s Min­is­ter Katherine Zappone at Masses on Fri­day and Sun­day fol­low­ing her ad­dress at the Kennedy Sum­mer School last Thurs­day.

Min­is­ter Zappone gave an im­pas­sioned plea for the Gov­ern­ment to move on the ref­er­en­dum for re­peal­ing the 8th amend­ment, at the of­fi­cial open­ing of the Kennedy Sum­mer School at St Michael’s The­atre on Thurs­day night.

Ms Zappone said: ‘As long as the Con­sti­tu­tion treats a foe­tus as equal to a woman, her au­ton­omy can be noth­ing more than a myth.’

At his ser­mon on Fri­day morn­ing and again on Sun­day, New Ross PP Fr Roger O’Neill spoke about the is­sue.

On Fri­day he said: ‘And it al­most com­mands that I speak about it be­cause there is an irony that the Min­is­ter for Chil­dren would be pro­mot­ing the mur­der of chil­dren in the womb.

‘Also that such an ut­ter­ance would take place in a build­ing where the holy sac­ri­fice of Mass was of­fered for one hun­dred years; a build­ing that is still a church, was a church, but is still owned by the par­ish.

‘So let us to­day do our lit­tle bit to try to coun­ter­act this in what way we can. We will pray the of­fi­cial Bishop Con­fer­ence Prayer for the child in the womb. the prayer ti­tled Choose Life.’

Dur­ing the ser­mon, one per­son was heard to ex­claim ‘Oh my God’ in shock. Speak­ing to this news­pa­per on Mon­day Fr O’Neill said the 8th Amend­ment guar­ant­ess the equal­ity of the life of the child in the womb.

He said he re­ceived a very pos­i­tive re­ac­tion from paris­hon­ers af­ter the Masses.

‘The teach­ing of the church is that we don’t sup­port abor­tion. We re­gard the dig­nity of hu­man life from con­cep­tion to death and we pray the of­fi­cial Bishop Con­fer­ence Prayer.’

Fr O’Neill said many New Ross paris­hon­ers were up­set about what Min­is­ter Zappone had to say.

He said he was not in at­ten­dance at the the­atre on Thurs­day night as he had an­other en­gage­ment. but he did read the tran­script.

The build­ing is leased to St Michael’s The­atre, he said, adding that he does not know if hav­ing Min­is­ter Zappone in at­ten­dance would af­fect the lease ‘go­ing for­ward’.

‘Peo­ple were un­happy what what she had to say. It’s not about her; it’s more about what she said.

‘No­body would have any prob­lem with any­one com­ing to speak at the the­atre. It’s what she said on the 8th Amend­ment.’

Re­act­ing to a post on Face­book by New Ross Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict coun­cil Cathaoir­leach Cllr Wil­lie Fitzhar­ris prais­ing the suc­cess of this year’s Kennedy Sum­mer School, St Leonards PP Fr Michael Doyle said:

‘For the pro­mo­tion of the death of chil­dren. Yes, that is very cul­tural. The cul­ture of death. It re­minds one of a gather­ing of Nazis self con­grat­u­lat­ing them­selves.’

Cllr Fitzhar­ris said in his post in the early hours of Sun­day morn­ing: ‘The Kennedy Sum­mer School 2017 closed last evening and I can’t wait un­til next year.

‘The event has con­trib­uted enor­mously to the cul­ture and eco­nomic ben­e­fit of New Ross. Our open­ing was by Katherine Zappone, the Min­is­ter for Chil­dren and Youth Af­fairs and our clos­ing was by Ryan Tubridy but there was a moun­tain of tal­ent and cul­ture in be­tween.

‘The Kennedy Sum­mer School has be­come the big­gest arts and cul­tural event in the Wex­ford arts cal­en­dar and I want to con­grat­u­late all in­volved.’

Fr Doyle replied later in the morn­ing on his Face­book page.

Fr Michael Doyle.

Fr Roger O’Neill.

Min­is­ter Katherine Zappone.

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