By Sarah Mac Donald - 19 October, 2019
The Bishop of Clogher has issued a strongly worded appeal to Northern Ireland’s politicians to set their differences aside and face up to their responsibility to protect life.
In a statement on Friday, Bishop Larry Duffy, whose diocese embraces counties on both sides of the border, said Northern Ireland was at a ‘critical moment’ in its history.
‘It is vitally important that political leaders in Northern Ireland face up to their responsibility to protect life, especially the life of the most vulnerable, such as unborn babies in the womb and their mothers,’ he stressed.
He appealed to political representatives to set aside differences and use the opportunity of the assembly meeting on Monday next and ‘to assert their own authority on this critical question’.
Elsewhere in his statement, Dr Duffy criticised the political stalemate in the North saying the impasse had gone on too long and had been ‘cynically manipulated’ by the parliament at Westminster to remove legal protection for unborn babies in Northern Ireland up to 28 weeks.
Referring to this weekend’s celebration of World Mission Sunday, Bishop Duffy said it acknowledged that Catholics are called to give witness to the teachings of Christ in their everyday lives, to permeate society with the joy and hope of the Gospel.
‘There is no greater calling than to protect, sustain and celebrate life from the moment of conception until natural death,’ he underlined.
He asked people to pray for political leaders at this time that they will respect and uphold the unique dignity of life, born and unborn.
The Diocese of Clogher encompasses all of Co Monaghan, most of Fermanagh and portions of Tyrone, Donegal, Louth and Cavan. It has a Catholic population of 88,000, across 37 parishes, which are served by 58 priests and 1 deacon. There are 85 churches in the diocese.