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Bishop of Raphoe says abortion is a life or death issue

Bishop Alan McGuckian has reiterated the church’s opposition to abortion in all cases

Staff Reporter

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Staff Reporter

BREAKING: Donegal has a new Bishop of Raphoe

The Bishop of Raphoe Alan McGuckian has reiterated the church’s opposition to abortion in all cases, stating that it is a life or death issue.

He was speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland ahead of the ruling from the Supreme Court that the unborn have no rights under the constitution other than the right to life in the Eighth Amendment.

The landmark case came about after the State had appealed a High Court finding that the unborn has constitutional rights beyond the right to life.

Speaking from Maynooth where the General Meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference is being held,  Bishop McGuckian said he will be issuing a pastoral statement on the issue of abortion.

He reiterated the church’s opposition to abortion in all cases.

Tragic cases

“There are tragic cases of all kinds where a woman carrying a child in very difficult circumstances deserves the love and compassion that we can give to her and her husband and partner and family, but also there is a love for the unborn child and the unborn child as I believe the constitution has always recognised even before Article 40.3.3, the unborn child is one of us. We share this common humanity.

“There is a real danger for us in Ireland, and we would hope and pray and ask people to pray, that the Irish people will not lose their clarity about this fundamental truth that we are all one and the unborn are one with us.

“What we are talking about is a very fundamental principle that cannot be modified. This is a life or death issue and the choice that is made is about the life or death of  a human being.”

Bishop McGuckian said he did not accept the view of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists that the Eighth Amendment had caused grave harm to women, including death.

“I think all of the evidence in Ireland is that pregnant women are safer almost more than any other country in the world. We have heard many people say that very, very clearly. There are medical professionals that are very clear that the situation of pregnant women in Ireland is safer and the medical system that we have had has protected pregnant women in Ireland as well and  better than anywhere else in the world.”

He said bishops have already issued pastoral statements on the issue and he intends to issue one.

“Bishops are teachers and we have a duty to teach that this fundamental principle that really is in danger of simply being obliterated in Ireland. We are not campaigners, we are teachers.

“In a democracy, it is not my job to tell people how they must vote, but it is my job to teach this very, very fundamental principle about the sacredness and preciouses of  every human life.”