Good luck with that appeal, bishop!

A Catholic bishop in Ireland says that those Catholics who voted in favor of repealing the ban on abortion have committed a sin and should go to confession. He tried to explain the vote.

He said the result indicated something “a little bit shocking” in Irish society. “There are cultural Catholics and committed Catholics… To be honest, many people would consider themselves Catholics, religion has become somewhat divorced from faith.”

He said “I think perhaps one of the problems we face is that for too long we’ve tended to rely exclusively on a model of faith formation which is addressed to young people in schools, and apart from the Sunday homily there hasn’t been serious faith formation in our parishes.

Sorry bishop, your explanation is completely missing the boat. You should look inwards instead. You and the church are simply becoming irrelevant because the Catholic church has become more of a criminal organization, tolerating and covering up the worst kind of crimes and abuses. No amount of confession by you and the rest of your colleagues in the clergy and hierarchy can ever wash away those sins.

I had not realized that Northern Ireland, though a part of the United Kingdom, has far more restrictive abortion laws than the rest of the UK.

Northern Ireland has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe with even rape and fatal foetal abnormality not considered legal grounds for a termination. And unlike other parts of the United Kingdom, abortions are banned apart from when the life or mental health of the mother is in danger.

The penalty for undergoing or performing an unlawful abortion is life imprisonment.

Following Ireland’s move to scrap its constitutional ban on abortions, British prime minister Theresa May is now under pressure to relax those laws to bring them into conformity with the rest of the UK.


  1. jrkrideau says

    British prime minister Theresa May is now under pressure to relax those laws to bring them into conformity with the rest of the UK

    And at the moment the chances of that are -0 or so. She has a minority government and a revolting House of Lords over Brexit. May depends on the DUP (mad right-wing Northern Ireland party) to prop up her government.

  2. fentex says

    British prime minister Theresa May is now under pressure to relax those laws to bring them into conformity with the rest of the UK

    She should resist it, because Northern Ireland has a devolved parliament, making these issues it’s own. That constitutional arrangement must be respected for it to mean anything.

    You can’t have them responsible for themselves ONLY when you agree with them, that isn’t how authority and responsibility work.

  3. jrkrideau says

    @ 2 fentex
    She should resist it….
    I agree, but she seems in deep enough hot water to be willing to try anything if it would help. (I do not have a high opinion of the current UK Gov’t.)

  4. jazzlet says

    fentex, well it does have a devolved parliament but at the moment it hasn’t got a devolved Government because of the row about Cash for Ash.

  5. blf says

    The “devolved ‘government'” in N.Ireland has been dysfunctional for over a year now, and the place is being run largely on momentum by a technocratic bureaucracy. Broadly, one group of toddlers refused to accept responsibility for a scandal, so the other group of toddlers left, and since then they’ve been screaming at each other, whilst still conveniently drawing their salaries. Since the breakdown (the umpteenth of many), the first group of toddlers found itself in the position of propping up Theresa May’s “government”, giving it a powerful edge over the other group of toddlers — and, perhaps, not much reason to try too hard to restore a “working” executive in N.Ireland (very roughly, the rules of the Good Friday Agreement equate to both groups must be seated, so the walkout by the second toddler’s group stopped the “government” from functioning). Frustratingly, the toddlers keeping May’s “government” afloat are — judging by polls — seriously out-of-tune with the N.Irish electorate; e.g., supporting brexit (N.Ireland voted against) and perhaps the most restrictive / “medieval” anti-abortion laws in Europe (opinion polls consistently(?) indicate a liberalisation is wanted).

    I refer to both groups of wannabe politicians as “toddlers” — and to the Irish and British governments as “uncles” — because the toddlers keep throwing fits and the uncles keep having to calm them down and get them to play together. Again. And again. And again. The toddlers — actually, their proxies — are not shooting at each other, and have generally disarmed, which is one of several HUGE improvements, but they continue to seem to need the uncles to keep things working.

    This is neither an argument for, or against, May et al stepping in on those absurd abortion laws, but currently the toddlers are not in any position to do anything at all, including agreeing not to do anything.

  6. KG says

    giving it a powerful edge over the other group of toddlers -- blf@5

    If that other group of toddlers (Sinn Fein, for those not up on UK politics) could grow up enough to take the 7 seats they won in the 2017 election (they refuse because doing so would mean swearing allegiance to the Queen, but there’s no law that says they can’t cross their fingers while doing so), we’d have a better chance of ditching the Tories and their idiocy over Brexit. The Tories plus the “Democratic” Unionist Party would still have a wafer-thin majority (327 seats out of 350), but with the amended Brexit Bill coming back to the Commons, they will have trouble holding together as it is. But it may be that Sinn Fein want a complete Brexit trainwreck for tactical reasons.

  7. says

    As a father and grandfather (grandNerd actually, but that’s another story), while I get your point, it is rather insulting to toddlers.
    Most of them are fairly pleasant for most of the time and they do grow up in a few years (apart from the ones who go into the Northern Ireland Assembly instead).

  8. blf says

    richardelguru@8, I frequently refer to both groups (Sinn Féin and the “D”UP (to borrow KG‘s quite appropriate spelling)) as “not-toilet-trained toddlers”. Which is still insulting to all toddlers, albeit it’s hard to think of something to compare either or both groups to which wouldn’t be insulted by the comparison.


    Incidentally, May has ruled out doing anything (No plans to intervene on Northern Ireland abortion law, says No 10), albeit for a false reason — claiming abortion is a health matter — but whilst health is a devolved authority, human rights are not, and abortion rights fall into that not-devolved authority. This is all to retain the support of the “D”UP, The only Northern Irish woman with a choice about abortion? Arlene Foster (the “D”UP’s “leader”): “In Northern Ireland a rape victim seeking to end a pregnancy risks a longer sentence than her attacker. This has to change”.

    And Ireland’s Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has pointed out there’s no obvious reason women in the N.Ireland couldn’t come to Ireland for an abortion, Varadkar: Northern Irish women may be able to have abortions in republic: “Irish PM says he cannot see why women would be barred from travelling for procedures”.

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