By Susan Gately - 18 May, 2018
“In future it is possible that small minority parties of a coalition government could demand that abortion legislation be extended as part of a programme for government,” says Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.
The Archbishop of Dublin has praised single parents who in the past challenged a “narrow moralistic culture” which ostracised and humiliated single parents.
“It was women who stood up and challenged that culture and affirmed their desire and right to be able to keep and give love to their children,” he said in a statement released yesterday.
“We owe a debt to those women who, then and now, witness to life. It is still not easy to be a lone parent and we have to create an environment to ease the obstacles and burdens of lone parents and their children.”
The Church must always be pro life, said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin – a “beacon of support for life” at its most “vulnerable moments” and a beacon of support at vulnerable moments of any woman or man along their path of life.
Its pro life attitude could not just be in words, he said, but had to be in deeds. “That loving care includes support to help those women who face enormous challenges and who grapple with very difficult decisions to choose life. Being pro life means protecting and loving every human being. There are no second-class humans worthy of less protection and care than others are.”
The Archbishop of Dublin said the Eighth Amendment “ought to have been accompanied by an appropriate legislative framework to assist doctors in dealing with complex situations. This is still possible.”
However, repealing the Eighth Amendment is not about permitting limited abortion, he said, pointing out how the legislation allows abortion without restriction up to twelve weeks, and on physical and mental grounds up to six months.
“How abortion legislation evolves into the future would be left entirely to the Oireachtas without any constitutional framework within which legislation can be set. In future it is possible that small minority parties of a coalition government could demand that abortion legislation be extended as part of a programme for government.”
Describing the repeal of the Eighth Amendment – where the rights of the unborn are left “definitively” without constitutional protection – as a “point of no return”, the archbishop called on the Catholic community in the Archdiocese of Dublin to join moments of prayer in parishes in the coming days.
“I ask you to invoke the Spirit of Jesus to touch hearts and commit our society to be pro life in defending the lives of unborn children and in supporting women and men in the challenges they meet in accepting the joy of parenthood.”
The most recent poll on the referendum, published yesterday in the Irish Times, shows the Yes side (for Repeal) ahead by 12 points at 44 per cent and No at 32 per cent. Undecided voters are at 17 per cent. The Yes side has dropped ten points since the end of April and the No side is up four points. Dublin remains the part of Ireland most in favour of repeal. When the Don’t Knows are excluded, 68 per cent favour repeal.