Fr Kevin Doran has said he stepped down from the board of directors of a Mater hospital in Dublin after it promised to comply with the country’s new law that allows abortion in limited circumstances.
Fr Doran stepped down from the board of the Mater Misericordiae
University Hospital in September shortly after it announced its
intention to comply with the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act.
The law permits abortion if medical professionals believe the mother is at risk of committing suicide.
Speaking to Catholic News Service after a symposium on the
new evangelisation in Shrewsbury, Fr Doran said he found the hospital’s
“statement of adherence to a law which provided for the direct taking of
human life was something which I, as a Catholic priest, couldn’t
support and so I resigned.”
The priest, who served as general secretary of the 2012 International
Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, said the hospital took its action after
it appeared on a government list of health care institutions that would
have to comply with the law because it receives public funding to
deliver health services.
The priest said the law was “dangerous” and “against the spirit of
the Irish Constitution”, which explicitly prohibits abortion. He added
that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin “was aware of my thinking and
fully accepted my reasons.”
The archbishop has since asked the hospital to clarify its position.
No abortions have yet been performed under the law because the
Government has so far failed to implement it.
The hospital initially declined to comment on Fr Doran’s resignation when contacted.
But a statement later sent by email said: “The Mater Hospital has
carefully considered the act. The hospital’s priority is to be at the
frontier of compassion, concern and clinical care for all our patients.
Having regard to that duty the hospital will comply with the law as
provided for in the act.”
Fr Doran is a respected theologian and philosopher and has served as
the spiritual director of the Pontifical Irish College in Rome.
has held a number of senior positions in the Dublin Archdiocese.