Priests in Dublin’s Catholic archdiocese have been urged by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to tell parishioners at all Masses this weekend and during the week that various pro-life groups are organising a “Unite for Life” vigil in the city next weekend.
has asked the priests also to inform parishioners that in advance of
the vigil at Merrion Square next Saturday, there will be a period of
quiet prayer in St Andrew’s Church, Westland Row, from 3pm-4pm, which he
himself will attend.
He drew the priests’ attention to the
prolifecampaign.iewebsite, where, he said, more information about the planned vigil is available.
an unprecedented move on December 4th last an anti-abortion street
protest outside Leinster House, organised by the Pro-Life Campaign,
Youth Defence, the Life Institute, and Family Life, was attended by a
Catholic archbishop and four bishops.
They were Archbishop of Tuam
Michael Neary, Bishop of Raphoe Philip Boyce, Bishop of Kilmore Leo
O’Reilly, Bishop of Killaloe Kieran O’Reilly, Bishop of Ossory Séamus
Freeman and the administrator of Derry diocese Msgr Eamon Martin.
Diarmuid Martin has further asked his priests, “over the coming weeks
to draw attention, in an appropriate way, to some basic principles of
Catholic teaching concerning the dignity of human life and regarding
He pointed out that on the Dublin diocesan website
“ample resources prepared by the Irish Episcopal Conference are
available”, as were previous statements of his own on the matter.
Christian message is a message of life. It is about how every human
life is a reflection of the very life of God. Each of us is created in
the image of God. Catholic teaching clearly affirms that every
human life has unique and irreplaceable dignity. Every human life has
the right, from its very beginnings, to flourish and develop as God
wants it to,” he said.
He continued: “Any society which attempts
to define certain lives as being of lesser worth and of lesser
protection betrays the common good. All should be equal in the face of
the law. That is a fundamental principle of our Constitution – and
indeed of democracy – to be maintained and protected.”
Compassion and support for women “in difficult situations also belongs to the essence of Catholic teaching.
Catholic pregnancy counselling service Cura provides advice to pregnant
women as well as counselling services to women who have had abortions
or who experience difficulties following childbirth,” he said.
spokesman for the Irish Episcopal Conference said yesterday it was
expected other Catholic archbishops and bishops would make similar
requests of their priests in the weeks ahead.
He noted a statement
by Bishop of Cork Ross John Buckley on December 19th last that “there
is no democratic mandate in Ireland to introduce abortion in Ireland
against the wishes of the people.”