Thursday 18 October 2018

'Please make it stop' - Simon Harris hits back at bishop's comments on contraception

Conor McCrave

Health minister Simon Harris has hit back at a bishop who said the Christian teachings on contraception have been ignored for too long in Irish society.

Catholic Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran was speaking at an event in Dublin where he said the principles of Humanae Vitae had been forgotten.

The event was organised to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the encyclical issued by Pope Paul VI in 1968.

The document speaks of ‘responsible parenthood’ and ‘natural law’ teachings which the Bishop of Elphin said had been forgotten about.

He called for a "good quality, Catholic inspired programme for relationship and sexuality" in schools.

“Please make it Stop!” said Simon Harris, who campaigned strongly to repeal the eighth amendment

“Increasing access to and availability of contraception is and will remain public health policy,” he said in a response on Twitter.

“Religion plays an important role for many on an individual basis – but it will not determine health and social policy in our country any more. Please get that.”

At the event which was organised by the Nazareth Family Institute, the bishop also said contraception impacted the “dignity of women”.

Following the abortion referendum result this year he said those who voted in favour of repealing the 8th should attend confession.

“The principles of Humane Vitae have been ignored for too long and need to be presented in a fresh way,” he said.

“As a church, we probably have not lived up to that demand. It needs to be presented in contemporary language in an appropriate context.”

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