Alive But Not Yet Born

It was hard to take in the result of the Irish referendum on abortion. A huge majority of Catholic Ireland (66%-34%) voted to change the Constitution which formerly gave full protection to the child in the womb.

Where is God in this thinking? We say we believe God gives life – how deeply do we believe? If babies in the womb are accidents or incidents and not persons we are denying or devaluing God-given life.

I heard of some people remarking they had voted in order to avenge themselves on a hypocritical Catholic Church which had used its power to influence Irish democracy. Will the same happen in Iran and similar regimes where the people are at present ruled by religious orthodoxy? The history of religions dominating (rather than serving or guiding) society is one of corruption and power, including shamefully our own Catholic Church in a number of countries.

The alignment of Church/Politics/Military is a brutal witness to self-serving powerful families, wielding power and controlling populations. Latin America is our prime witness to such corruption. Only last week the 38 bishops of Chile offered to resign after a ferocious report by Vatican delegates into how they had failed the people. They deserve to be sacked, not allowed to resign, but only after they have been held to account for their failures.

Dictatorships in Latin America have been supported by the Church as bulwarks against Communism – but those dictatorships were cruel and the Church, except for a few brave voices silenced by death squads, was compliant.

If the Irish people (wanted revenge for the Church’s) control of Irish life the referendum is a startling reflection of that anger.

Bernadette Smythe of Precious Life writes:
“Despite the tragic result, the fact remains that every unborn child still has the right to life. Last week the Irish state acknowledged the right to life of those who are “alive but not yet born” (Beo gan Breith) – today the state does not acknowledge that right. But the Constitution did not give this right to unborn children – every person’s right to life is inherent. As Pope Benedict once said, “the truth is not determined by majority vote”.

God bless our sad world,

Fr John

(10th June 2018)