My­mother’sad­vice to the bish­ops

Irish Examiner - - Opinion -

When I read that Bishop of El­phin Kevin Do­ran said re­gard­ing the suc­cess­ful vote to re­peal the Eight Amend­ment from the Ir­ish Con­sti­tu­tion: “If you voted yes know­ing and in­tend­ing that abor­tion would be the out­come, then you should con­sider com­ing to con­fes­sion,” I was re­minded of my mother‘s views on this topic and her ad­vice to the bish­ops. Mary Carmelita Dono­hoe Lyons, mother of seven chil­dren, a grand­daugh­ter of Ir­ish im­mi­grants from Co West­meath, would climb over snow banks to get to daily Mass at her parish church in Yank­ton, South Dakota, up un­til two weeks be­fore she died at the age of 93. She vis­ited our home in Cam­bridge, Mas­sachusetts, in 1984 shortly after Bernard Law, newly in­stalled Arch­bishop of Bos­ton de­cried pro-choice women as “the great­est evil of our time”. I asked my mother what she thought about the arch­bishop’s charge against women. She snapped her fin­gers and in­stantly replied: “Well, they can’t have it both ways. You can’t deny a woman the right to de­cide whether or not to con­ceive and then ex­pect her to live with the con­se­quences.”

And then my mother, who not only knew her mind well, but could speak it well, added: “I think it’s time for those bish­ops to get off their high horses.” That was very strong lan­guage from my de­vout Catholic mother. I told her that I thought she was a bet­ter the­olo­gian than any bishop.

If my good mother were alive to­day, I am quite cer­tain she would re­peat the same ad­mo­ni­tion to Bishop Do­ran and to all the bish­ops of Ire­land. If they de­sire to stop abor­tion then they should be preach­ing to the faith­ful the ad­vice of the late Spike Milligan: “Con­tra­cep­tives should be used on ev­ery con­ceiv­able oc­ca­sion.”

And my mother would give her bless­ings from on high. Robert F Lyons

Ken­neb­unkport Maine

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.