Bishop Kevin Doran called on Irish Catholics to attend confession if they voted to repeal the country’s pro-life Eighth Amendment on Friday.
Doran, who serves the Catholic Diocese of Elphin, told RTE Today that he believes knowingly voting in favor of abortion is a sin.
“I do find it quite surprising that a majority of people voted for this,” he said of the vote.
On Friday, Irish citizens voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment, which protects unborn babies’ right to life. Now, lawmakers are considering a bill to legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks and for a number of reasons up to six months.
“Personally I’m very sad about it, I still believe in the right to life of every person, I don’t believe there’s any such thing as a life without value,” Doran told the news outlet. “As far as the church is concerned, what was true on Thursday last is still true today.”
Here’s more from the report:
He said he thinks it is a sin if Catholics voted yes on Friday knowing that it was leading to abortion.
“Every person’s vote has a moral significance and a political significance. The Catholic Church is a family and nobody ever gets struck off and God never takes back his love.
“What I would say to a Catholic who voted yes is this: if you voted yes knowing and intending that abortion would be the outcome, then you should consider coming to confession, where you would be received with the same compassion that is shown to any other penitent.”
When asked if he considered a yes vote a sin, he replied: “If they knew and intended abortion as the outcome, yes I believe so.”
His remarks immediately were met with criticism from Irish Catholics who supported the pro-abortion referendum – the “cultural Catholics,” as Doran described them.
“We have seen this coming. There are what I would describe as ‘cultural Catholics’ and then there are committed Catholics,” he said during the interview.
But even a Catholic priest criticized Doran’s remarks, saying voters should follow their conscience.
Breaking News Ireland reports Father Brian D’Arcy said he would not call voting for the referendum a sin.
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“I wouldn’t like to attribute sin in this matter, at all,” D’Arcy said. “It’s the wrong language for this because this isn’t an issue about Church law at all. This is an issue about how the State is attempting to treat all its people in an emerging way, in an emerging republic in an emerging world.”
“Each of us is having to struggle to find a way of accepting what is right for yourself, while also allowing what you couldn’t allow for yourself to be allowed for others who might view life and its ethics and morality in a different way,” he continued.
Many Catholics and other Christians would strongly disagree. Supporting the killing of unborn babies is absolutely wrong.
Over the weekend, leading pro-life campaigners around the world were dismayed at the results from Ireland, which show that the long-time pro-life nation abandoned its legal protections for unborn children and will eventually approve legislation to legalize abortions on babies as old as six months.
For decades, the Eighth Amendment has protected unborn babies and mothers equally in Ireland by recognizing that both are valuable human beings who deserve a right to life. More than 100,000 Irish unborn babies and mothers have been spared from the pain and death of abortion, thanks to the constitutional protection. Ireland has become one of the safest places in the world for pregnant mothers and their babies, with one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world.
Ireland’s eighth amendment recognizes the “right to life of the unborn” with an “equal right to life of the mother.” Without the Eighth Amendment, there is nothing to prevent lawmakers from legalizing abortion for any reason up to birth.
The fear is Ireland’s abortion law will mirror Britain’s, where one in every five pregnancies there ends in abortion each year. In Britain, abortion is permitted until 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Irish doctors were some of the most outspoken advocates against abortion, saying the repeal of the Eighth Amendment would do nothing whatsoever to help Irish women. People with disabilities and their families also expressed fears that legalized abortion could lead to wide-spread, deadly discrimination against unborn babies.