Bishops vow to fight any move to legalise 'immoral' abortion
By John CooneyThursday June 14 2007 The Irish Independent
THE Irish Catholic Bishops have espoused the 'Green' gospel and warned against any move to legalise abortion.At the end of their three-day June meeting in Maynooth yesterday, the bishops announced that they will address the issue of climate change in a pastoral letter this autumn.
But true to their traditional role as moral guardians, the bishops also presented their shopping basket of priority issues for the politicians - both in the Republic and the North.After sending their good wishes to the elected representatives of the 30th Dail and the Northern Assembly, they urged them to work for a society based on the integral promotion of the person and the common good.
Setting out their moral and social concerns, the bishops fired a broadside against any move by the incoming government to legalise abortion in the Republic in light of recent controversial court rulings.
Reaffirming the clear teaching of the Catholic Church that abortion was immoral, the bishops said that "there is no reason that can justify the taking of the life of the unborn".
In a statement which quoted Vatican teaching, the bishops pointed out that the fact that in many countries today abortion is a "service" that is "legal" and "socially acceptable", did not alter the reality that "direct abortion was gravely contrary to the moral law".
They added: "Recent cases that have come before the civil courts again raise the issue of the protection of unborn human life. Associated with these cases have been claims that funding for abortions outside the jurisdiction has been provided by statutory agencies. This is certainly an area that requires clarification."
The bishops also had a swipe at media coverage of abortion."The media, too, have a responsibility to exercise moral judgment in the often invasive way that they pursue vulnerable family members in covering abortion-related stories."The bishops also highlighted the importance of providing adequate support from politicians, including positive incentives, which promote the family based on marriage as the fundamental unit of society. The bishops further expressed their concern about the continuing disparity between the economically advantaged and those who are disadvantaged.- John Cooney