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Cardinal O’Malley urges Ireland to stand up to abortion lobby

By on Friday, 10 May 2013

Cardinal O'Malley (Photo: CNS)

Cardinal O'Malley (Photo: CNS)

Cardinal Seán O’Malley has urged Ireland to stand up to the “great pressure” it faces to legislate on abortion, saying it should be proud of its pro-life heritage.

His comments came as Irish MPs prepared to vote on legislation that would allow abortion in cases where the mother is deemed at risk of suicide.

The government claims that the legislation will merely provide “legal clarity” for doctors and codify a Supreme Court ruling that allowed abortion in such cases anyway.

But the country’s bishops’ conference have described the proposal as a “dramatic and morally unacceptable change to Irish law” that would “make the direct and intentional killing of unborn children lawful in Ireland”.

In an exclusive interview with Mary O’Regan in this week’s Catholic Herald Cardinal O’Malley said that changing the law would “encourage” and “condone” abortion.

Cardinal O’Malley said: “Abortion is the taking of an innocent human life; everyone should resist abortion. Ireland has the good fortune, in part thanks to Catholic sensibilities, that her people have been opposed to abortion despite the great pressure that they have come under from secularising forces.”

He continued: “Ireland should be very proud of its pro-life heritage and how traditionally there has been great importance given to human life. Every life counts, and I am very proud that in Ireland protection is given to life that is as vulnerable as the unborn. I hope that Ireland will continue to stand up against the pressures – I know the pressures are there. Pressure to legislate for abortion is a dehumanising force in our world.”

The cardinal, asked if the change in the law would make such a difference as many Irish women travel to Britain for an abortion, said: “The laws have a function of teaching what is right and wrong. And simply because someone is going to do something, does not mean that we have to facilitate it, condone it, or encourage it.”

The Irish bishops’ conference last week condemned the idea that abortion could be a remedy for suicidal depression.

Its statement said: “It is a tragic moment for Irish society when we regard the deliberate destruction of a completely innocent person as an acceptable response to the threat of the preventable death of another person.”

Cardinal O’Malley meanwhile said: “If any woman is suicidal, she must be given treatment for depression. If she has an abortion, there are greater chances that she will be depressed and suicidal as a result of having had an abortion.”

The cardinal also said the Church should do more to promote adoption. “I am realising how negative the attitude is towards adoption… When a woman is in a difficult pregnancy, she sees adoption as a continuation of her problems… We need to change that attitude, because otherwise we will never be able to counter abortion,” he said.

The full interview with Cardinal O’Malley is available in the May 10 print edition of The Catholic Herald.

  • Anne

    Please support Precious Life in their 40 days Campaign of Prayer and Fasting for the Protection of Life in Ireland which starts tomorrow, Sunday 12th May. You can check their facebook page for more details and events. Also Archbishop Eamon Martin came out with a very strong statement which can be found in full on the Irish Bishops Conference website.
    We need to hear our Bishops speak out more and encourage more prayer throughout the country. This is a spiritual battle. Thank God Cardinal O’Malley has boycotted the Boston College over Enda Kenny.

  • Frank

    Anne, I live and work in the UK but shall join the campaign from here.

  • irishrc

    There was no confusion in the understanding of Irish law. There was, however, a failure to recognise how ill Savita was.

    Mr Kenny is promoting a regime that will allow for abortion, with no limits, on the threat of suicide despite the fact that there is no evidence that abortion can be a treatment for suicidal ideation. The evidence is to the contrary. Post abortive women are more likely to commit suicide.

    We have an envable record in low maternal mortality which for the sake of women needs to be guarded.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    “There is only one thing necessary”, better the Church be occupied with it lest it be lost in too many things and get lost altogether.


  • bluesuede

    Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Nit-picking to find a just cause for killing, is so lame. Lie to yourself all you want. Life begins at conception. If there is failure anywhere,it is in each person, not the Church or her teachings.To the pro-life person, concern is from love, not sentimentalism. Live with that and you’ll be person of peace and joy.

  • bluesuede

    I wish that all Bishops would be courageous and boycott all Catholic colleges and universities who invite dissident Catholics and false Catholic politicians and pro-abort politicians and others, who really hate Catholism. It takes courage, but God will give them intestinal fortitude, if they want it, it’s part and parcel to their holy office.

  • Ziggy Ding Dong

    Well said… and so true!
    Abortion will be Ireland’s undoing and ruination.

  • ZuZuLamarr

    I agree. Kenny is an arrogant little upstart and Ireland could do without him!

  • Charles Martel

    Thank you, Your Eminence, and shame on JByrne24 and all those other pseudo-Catholics who try to justify abortion with all those sophistries and lies.

  • RuariJM

    gilhcan, you need to learn a great deal of the history of science in general and the Church’s role in promoting, fostering and patronising scientists in particular. from Roger Bacon to Gregor Mendel (without whom we would not have those high-quality plants you are so excited about) and Ivan Pavlov and beyond, to the person who developed the Big Bang Theory (not the comedy show!). And no, it wasn’t Stephen Hawking or Prof Hubble: it was Rev Georges Lemaitre, working at the Catholic University of Luvain.

    Stop swallowing the rubbish thrown at you by other ignorant people and do some auto didacticism (take the time to educate yourself, in other words). Once you have covered science you could maybe turn your attention to Theology. Or even just philosophy…

  • RuariJM

    I think you are unaware of the causes of Mrs Halappinavar’s death. I would refer you to the Coroner’s report, which attributed it to “medical misadventure”. When one reads the report it is jaw-dropping in its revelation of incompetence, negligence and failure to communicate. The truly avoidable complication was the failure to check the blood test results.

    However, it is also distinctly possible that nothing could have been done, other than to make her as comfortable as possible, as the infection she had contracted – e.coli ESBL – is antibiotic resistant.

    This tragic case was not about abortion, no matter who the mendacious, the committed, the manipulated and the basically evil with axes to grind seek to portray it as such. It was about very poor medical treatment in a particular incident and, longer term, it should be about the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections. In the longer term, that could have far, far reaching consequences.

    But instead of focusing on the real issue, the deafening shrieks are about an issue that is, actually, irrelevant in this case.

  • RuariJM

    The Savita case showed that Ireland is not without incompetent medics and is FAR from being short of unprincipled axe-grinders who are prepared – or even eager – to take advantage of a personal tragedy.

  • Laurence

    Brilliant RuariJM, thank you. Please listen you who have ears to hear with…

  • Laurence

    Am I alone in feeling uneasy when a mass media narrative is restated by a neutral memebr of the public, apparently? Something in the mawkishishness, the first name terms, the impeccable PC credentials, absolutely smacks of feigned concern.

  • Laurence

    The Taoiseach (Kenny) is in an even tighter spot now that the multinational tax haven cat is out of the nod and a wink bag! Hooray!

  • Laurence

    I never thought of it this way, but thinking of the similarities, legislative, tax codes, the bloated public sector, the parlous state of the Church and so on, I confess you may be correct.

  • Anne

    Thanks Frank. God bless you.