Abortion can never be morally justified: Catholic Bishops
The Catholic Bishops of Ireland have said three of the four options proposed by the expert group on abortion "can never be morally justified."
In their statement today, they said," Of the four options presented by the report, three involve abortion – the direct and intentional killing of an unborn child. This can never be morally justified."
They go on to say the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights does not oblige the government to legislate for abortion.
The bishops queried why the expert group's report on the European Court for Human Rights judgement in A, B and C versus Ireland did not propose a referendum to ban abortion or reverse the X-case judgement.
They also called for "sufficient time for a calm, rational and informed debate to take place before any decision about the options offered by the Expert Group Report are taken. Public representatives, they said,"must consider the profound moral questions that arise in responding to this report."
The bishops were attending their winter meeting in Maynooth.It concluded last evening.
In their statement, which they describe as an initial response by the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference to the expert group report, they said, "the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights permits options on this matter of fundamental moral, social and constitutional importance that are not offered by this report."
Included, they said, was the option of introducing a constitutional prohibition on abortion or another form of constitutional amendment to reverse the X-case ruling.
According to The Irish Times, the report provided "no ethical analysis of the options available, even though this is first and foremost a moral issue and consideration of the ethical dimension was included in the terms of reference," they said, adding, that it "takes no account of the risks involved in trying to legislate for so-called 'limited abortion' within the context of the X case judgement. The X case judgement includes the threat of suicide as grounds for an abortion."