The last 22 of October was a significant day for Northern Ireland. Abortion and gay marriage became allowed based on a ruling of Westminster parliament.
Abortion had always been a controversial law in any countries where the Catholic Church is present. Especially in Northern Ireland where they are still powerful and where more than 90 percent of the population is Christian (Catholics, Protestants, and others).
During the campaign, the Church was really involved in making its ideas heard. The day after the adoption, they publish a communicate where they regret the content and the form of the law, especially in a province which does not have a government. The Circular took reaction from reverent Edward McGee as a spokesman from the Down and Connor Diocese (Belfast one).
Bishops talked about “a tragic day for the unborn children who will now never bless the world” in its release published last week. If we consider the abortion law and gay marriage in Northern Ireland, plus the abortion law in the Republic of Ireland last year as a whole, could we more speak about a “tragic era”?
We consider any such devaluation and depersonalization of the human being. Particularly when it results in the loss of human life is a tragedy. Throughout human history, there have been many instances where tragically the lives of voiceless and vulnerable human beings have been put at risk and wilfully destroyed. It remains the responsibility of every Christian to promote and protect the value and dignity of human life.
What is the Church considered as a “right to life”? Can you explain this term?
It’s something which surpasses culture and religion. Indeed, those who have campaigned for the protection of the value of human life and the fundamental right to life in Northern Ireland come from all over the society. We were united in the pursuit of respect for life before birth. We are significant numbers across the community in Northern Ireland who will continue to seek the protection of human life. We will continue to speak up for the voiceless and to stand up for those who are most vulnerable and at risk.
Don’t you think the Church way of thinking about those questions is not anymore in harmony with our era? Why people are increasingly moving away from the Church’s way of thinking?
The introduction of this legislation illustrates that civil law is not in harmony with the revealed values of the Gospel. But there are many people across Northern Ireland who continue to hold on to the precious value of life, from its earliest and most vulnerable instance until natural death.