Saturday 17 March 2018

Archbishop slams Government

The Archbishop of Tuam Dr Michael Neary has said there is a need to expose the “half-truths, fallacies, and misrepresentations” with regard to the abortion debate.

“The Government is under no obligation to legislate for the X Case judgement, which includes suicidal ideation as a basis for the direct and intentional killing of the unborn. 

The European Court of Human Rights judgement in A B and C versus Ireland does not oblige the Irish Government to legislate for the direct and intentional killing of the unborn.  This judgement sought a legislative or ‘regulatory’ regime to clarify when a mother can receive termination of pregnancy under current Irish law. 

This can be adequately provided for by enhanced medical guidelines,"  Dr. Neary said last night. “With others, I believe that this would be a more effective and flexible way to provide any additional clarity that doctors require rather than legislation which is relatively inflexible and involves a potential complication of including the test of the X case judgement.

The Archbishop, who is one of the most powerful churchmen in Ireland, also said that assurances that the Bill will provide very “limited” access to abortion in response to suicidal ideation are “unreliable.” The Heads of Bill, in keeping with the X case judgement, are clear that the risk of suicide need not be “immediate” or “inevitable” to satisfy a judgement, “in good faith”, that there is a risk to the life of a mother.

The Heads of Bill fail to adequately balance the right to life of the mother with that of the baby, something which current law and medical practice does and which has contributed to Ireland continuing to be one of the safest countries to carry an unborn baby through to birth.  On the basis of testimony from medical professionals abortion is not an appropriate treatment for suicidal ideation.”

The Catholic bishops of Ireland point out that “the Bill as outlined represents a dramatic and morally unacceptable change to Irish law and is unnecessary to ensure that women receive the life-saving treatment they need during pregnancy”. The Pro-life commitment of the Church is reflected in her compassion for those who so often regret having had an abortion, her understanding for those who are facing difficult decisions, and her assistance for those who choose life. 

“Legislators are being asked to pass a law prescribing the death of innocent human beings in Ireland. I ask that legislators would reflect on the seriousness of the situation before voting” Dr Neary said during an address at our Lady’s Basilica , Knock, Co Mayo yesterday.

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