When members of the Dáil voted earlier this year to legalize abortions for the first time for women who claim the need an abortion because they are considering suicide, Fine Gael TD for Dublin Mid West Derek Keating was among those who upset pro-life advocates and voted for the bill.
Now, according to an Irish Independent report, Keating has received word from his parish priest to cease participating as an assistant during Communion.
The Sunday Independent has confirmed that Mr Keating was contacted last Saturday evening by Father Peter O’Reilly, parish priest in St Mary’s in Lucan, who called on him not to fulfil his duties as a eucharistic minister given the controversy during the summer around the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.
Despite repeated attempts to contact Fr O’Reilly this weekend, he was not available for comment.
In separate correspondence, Mr Keating was severely criticised by Fr Anthony Reilly, parish priest in St Philomena’s Parish in Palmerstown, where he holds clinics for supporting the controversial legislation.
In one letter sent to Mr Keating, Fr Reilly who declared himself to be a Fine Gael voter since 1977, said the party has engaged in a “terrible deception”.
Fr Reilly wrote: “I was satisfied that Fine Gael was a christian, democratic, party which to the present day is affiliated to the European People’s Party.
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
“What we have witnessed over the past while is certainly not democratic but more akin to a Nazi regime.
“There has been a terrible deception from your party in referring to directly procured abortion as protection of life when directly procured abortion will be permitted until virtually the time of birth.”
Though polling data and massive public rallies show the Irish people are opposed, the Ireland Parliament voted to legalize some abortions on a 127-31 vote. Abortions would be allowed in cases when pregnant women may commit suicide, even though studies show abortion increases suicide risk for women.
Four Fine Gael TDs voted against the bill in second reading and were subsequently booted form the party.