Archbishop Eamon Martin has hit out at plans to legislate for abortion in the Republic, calling on Catholics to live by the commandment “Thou Shalt not kill”.
Speaking in Dundalk, Dr Martin branded abortion “gravely immoral”, adding that unborn life is “under direct threat” in Ireland.
“Such direct and intentional taking of any human life is gravely immoral. It strikes at the very heart of our faith and belief because it directly targets human life which is sacred and a gift from God. The right to life is such a natural and inviolable right that no individual, no majority and no State can ever create, modify or destroy it. “
He called on Catholics to continue their campaign against “a massive effort” by the Irish Government to legislate for abortion.
He said that the Irish coalition government should redirect similar efforts to establishing “clear medical guidelines together with robust support structures for medical personnel, towards supporting mothers who have very real anxieties or fears about their pregnancy”.
He said that such a move would ensure “it is still possible to preserve Ireland’s reputation as one of the safest places in the world for mothers and babies during pregnancy”.
Dr Martin, who was last month ordained coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh (the Irish Catholic Primate-in-waiting), directed that no Catholic can leave their faith “outside the room” in the debate. “We must face the challenge of putting faith into practice in our lives, and have the courage to follow our informed conscience, no matter what the consequences might be. And in this vital case our conscience has to be informed by our communion with the Bread of Life, by the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’, and by the fundamental Christian belief in the sacredness of all human life.