Cardinal campaigns against abortion move

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ROMAN Catholic primate Cardinal Sean Brady has called for a campaign of protest against abortion in the Republic.

The cardinal, in his Christmas message, gave a strong reminder of his church’s position on abortion, urging those who believe in the “fundamental” right to life to lobby TDs in the Republic’s parliament who are currently considering introducing measures on the issue.

Dr Brady urged people to tell politicians that no government was entitled to remove that right from an innocent person.

He said the country was now approaching what would “prove to be a defining moment regarding Ireland’s attitude to respect and care for human life”.

He added: “Public representatives will be asked to decide whether a caring and compassionate society is defined by providing the best possible care and protection to a woman struggling to cope with an unwanted pregnancy or by the deliberate destruction of another human life.

“I hope that everyone who believes that the right to life is fundamental will make their voice heard in a reasonable, but forthright, way to their representatives.”

Cardinal Brady said politicians needed to be reminded “that the right to life is conferred on human beings, not by the powerful ones of this world, but by the Creator”.

The debate around abortion in the Republic has intensified since the death of Indian-born Savita Halappanavar, who suffered septicaemia after a prolonged miscarriage in late October.

In the New Year, the Dublin government will introduce a combination of legislation and regulation to legalise medical termination as a last resort to save a woman’s life.

The legislation is expected to be drafted in accordance with the 20-year-old Supreme Court ruling on the X case, which allows for abortion to be permitted when a woman’s life is in danger. This includes the threat of suicide.

However, the Fine Gael/Labour government’s position has opened up a gaping rift with the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy, as the cardinal’s comments confirm.