An Irish politician who is pushing to legalize abortion faced backlash Sunday after she criticized an elderly Catholic priest for speaking out against abortion.
Catherine Noone, who led the Oireachtas abortion committee, complained on Twitter about the Easter Mass she attended with her parents, according to the Evening Echo.
“Easter Mass in Knock Basilica this afternoon with my parents – an octogenarian priest took at least three opportunities to preach to us about abortion – it’s no wonder people feel disillusioned with the Catholic Church,” Noone wrote.
Ireland is scheduled to vote May 25 on whether to retain its Eighth Amendment, which protects unborn babies’ right to life. Abortion activists, backed by some of the world’s richest men, are pushing the pro-life country to legalize abortion on demand. But pro-life advocates, many of them Catholic, are working hard to educate the public about the truth.
Noone, who opposes the amendment, told the Irish Independent that she did not expect to hear about the abortion issue at church.
“Maybe that’s naivety on my part,” she said.
Later, she deleted the tweet after being criticized as ageist and intolerant of religious free expression.
“I’m not ageist, anyone who knows me knows I’m not ageist,” she said. “Certain people are trying to take anything I say and construe it in a certain way.”
But pro-life advocates said Noone should have thought more carefully before she wrote that message, especially given past statements she made about a well-reasoned abortion debate.
Senator Noone has since deleted this bigoted and ageist tweet.
I’m just wondering what was she expecting when she went to a Catholic Church. Catholic faith condemns killing tiny innocent unborn babies.
One of the True faces of Repeal!#savethe8th #votenotoabortion pic.twitter.com/cVMR1bUv76
— Tanya_Coonan (ELC mammy) (@angellilliesmam) April 1, 2018
Senator Noone seems to forget that we have freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom of speech and that the separation of Church/State protects religious expression as well as protecting the State. Senator Noone is entitled to make her point, but so is the Church. https://t.co/WR29L3Abjd
— Thomas Byrne (@ThomasByrneTD) April 2, 2018
“She insists her remarks were not ageist,” said Cora Sherlock of the Pro Life Campaign. “Okay then, what message was she trying to convey? I thought she called for a measured and reasoned debate on numerous occasions where everyone would be free to express their sincerely held views on the Eighth Amendment without being attacked or caricatured.”
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Sherlock said she would never defend any offensive or abusive comments toward Noone. However, from what she noticed before Noone deleted her tweet, Sherlock said most of the comments reasonably challenged the politician’s distasteful remarks.
“Senator Noone claims she deleted her offensive tweet not because she didn’t stand over it but because she did not need the negativity that came in response to it,” she continued. “It’s all becoming a little bizarre.”
Pro-life advocates are up against a biased media and huge, illegal donations from American businessmen who are intent on pushing Ireland to adopt abortion on demand. If the amendment is repealed, lawmakers will consider a bill to legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and even later in a broad range of circumstances.
While polls show modest support for repealing the Eighth Amendment, they also consistently show that most people do not want abortion on demand. A poll released last week showed the pro-abortion side losing ground.