Statement from the Elphin Diocesan Pastoral Council* in relation to the Irish Government’s proposal to legislate for the ‘X’ case
ask the people of our diocese – laity, religious and clergy – to
observe the Fridays of Lent 2013 as special days of prayer and fasting
for the intention of supporting expectant mothers and for the protection
of the unborn”
The unborn baby has a fundamental right to life
Life is the greatest of all gifts. Each of us from the moment of
conception in our mother’s womb to our natural death has a fundamental
right to life. It is essential that this most basic of all human rights
is protected and promoted. Catholic wisdom holds that the life of the
mother and the life of her unborn baby are sacred and are to be given
equal respect. At this time, in our country, the right to life of the
unborn baby is under threat. In conscience, we feel we must speak up for
the voiceless unborn.
Medical Intervention: Yes – Abortion: No
Abortion is the direct and intentional killing of an unborn baby. This
is morally unacceptable and can never be justified under any
circumstances. Abortion is totally different to “medical intervention”
where there is a real and substantial threat to the life of a mother.
Such “medical intervention” may indirectly and unintentionally lead to
the death of the child in the womb. The Catholic Church holds that this
is morally acceptable provided that every effort has been made to save
the life of both the mother and her unborn baby. Current law and medical
guidelines in Ireland allow the medical profession to apply this vital
distinction in practice.
Legislation for the ‘X’ case is not a necessity
Legislating for the ‘X’ case actually means legislating for abortion
and is not necessary to ensure women in Ireland receive all the
life-saving “treatment” they need during pregnancy. As for a mother with
suicidal tendencies she should receive all the compassion, love,
medical and psychiatric care and support possible before during and
after the birth of her child. Experts accept that abortion is not a
‘treatment’ for such suicidal tendencies and that it may even make such
painful situations worse.
A call to defend the right to life of the unborn baby
The Diocesan Pastoral Council urges all Catholics in the Diocese of
Elphin and all men and women of goodwill to continue to uphold and
defend the inherent right to life of the unborn baby. We respectfully
call on all public representatives to oppose the Government’s proposal
to legislate on the basis of the ‘X’ case.
A call to special prayer and fasting this Lent
We implore all to pray to God that for enlightenment, courage and
inspiration for those who have the power to stop the introduction of
this proposed legislation to do so. In particular we ask the people of
our diocese – laity, religious and clergy – to observe the Fridays of
Lent 2013 as special days of prayer and fasting for the intention of
supporting expectant mothers and for the protection of the unborn.