Bishop of Raphoe Alan McGuckian has reiterated the Catholic Church’s position on abortion ahead of the Supreme Court ruling on the rights of the unborn.
The Supreme Court’s judgment, due to be delivered today, could affect the timing and wording of the proposed abortion referendum.
Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland, Bishop McGuckian says that this is a “life or death issue”, and says that he and a number of other Bishops will be releasing pastoral statements on the matter.
He also fears that Irish people are becoming “desensitised” to the rights of the unborn and hopes that Irish people “do not lose [their] clarity.”
“The unborn had rights before the Irish Constitution was ever written and they will have rights for all time. All of us were once unborn,” he told RTÉ.
“Rights are inherent, this is something that people whether they are of faith or of no faith know. Our big fear is that we are allowing ourselves to be desensitised to something that fundamentally every one of us knows.”
The Bishop reiterated the Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion in all cases, including rape, incest, and in cases where a fatal foetal abnormality is identified.
“There are tragic cases of all kinds where a woman carrying a child in very difficult circumstances deserves all the love and compassion that we can give to her, her husband, to her partner and family. But there is also a love for the child, the unborn child as I believe the constitution has always recognised, as one of us. We share this common humanity. We pray that Irish people do not lose our clarity.”
He adds that “the evidence says that pregnant women in Ireland are safer than they are in almost every other country in the world and we have heard many people say that very, very clearly”.
“There are medical professionals who are very clear that the situation of pregnant women in Ireland is safer and the medical system that we have had has protected pregnant women in Ireland better than anywhere else in the world.”
“Bishops are teachers and we have a duty to teach this fundamental principle that is in danger of simply being obliterated in Ireland.
“We are not campaigners, we are teachers and that teaching has to be put out.
“In a democracy it is not my job to tell someone else how they much vote, but it is my job to teach.”
To listen to Bishop McGuckian’s interview in full, click here.Tags: