Archbishop warns politicians over backing of abortion
POLITICIANS who help pass legislation allowing for abortion in limited circumstances cannot be considered “as one” with the Catholic faith, one of the country’s most powerful bishops has said.
Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh said that promoting abortion was not compatible with the teaching of the church, and that the right to life was “fundamental”.
“We need to inform conscience. How can we call a bill the protection of life in pregnancy bill when it allows the destruction of human life,” the told RTE’s News at One.
“You can’t reconcile a pro-life position with supporting legislation. Actively or promoting abortion cannot be reconciled with believing you’re at one with a church which says you shall not kill.”
His comments came after the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Maynooth issued a statement saying that legislation on abortion in limited circumstances would “fundamentally change the culture of medical practice in Ireland”.
“For the first time legislation will be enacted permitting the deliberate and intentional killing of an unborn child,” it said. “This represents a radical change. Every citizen, not just people of faith, should be deeply concerned.”
Archbishop Martin said that people were being “misled” by politicians who claimed the legislation was “life-saving” or “pro-life”.
“People are being misled because a lot of the spin is that this legislation is life-saving or pro-life,” he said. “We do not think the destruction of a life of an unborn baby can be described in this way. We think it will fundamentally alter medical practice in Ireland because it will allow the intentional killing of an unborn child.
“This allows for a very wide margin of medical assessment. The risk to life need not be immediate. There’s a huge margin there. This legislation opens the door to wider abortion.”