Catholic Bishops welcome announcement of date for Abortion Referendum
Meeting in Knock, Co Mayo, the members of the Irish Episcopal Conference welcomed the Government announcement that the Abortion Referendum would be held on Wednesday 6 March 2002.
The bishops drew attention to their statement of 12 December 2001 reinforcing the clear and consistent teaching of the Catholic Church that human life is sacred from the moment of conception. In that statement, the bishops welcomed and supported the new proposal as a significant improvement in the current unsatisfactory situation, describing it as “an opportunity that should not be lost”.
In December, the bishops also made it clear that the proposed legislation is essentially an “anti-abortion measure rather than a comprehensive pro-life amendment” and that “outstanding issues remain which (will) require the ongoing attention of our legislators”. In the meantime, “Catholic voters should feel free in conscience to support this measure, even if it is viewed as less than might have been desired”.
At their meeting in Knock, the bishops re-iterated their concern that everyone eligible should vote in the forthcoming referendum, and renewed their appeal that these coming weeks be a time of special prayer for God’s guidance.
The bishops were meeting in Knock this week for their annual days of prayer and reflection.
7 February 2002
Catholic Communications Office (01) 601 6700
Fr Martin Clarke 087 220 8044
Ms Brenda Drumm 087 233 7797