America’s editors on Irish abortions and the separation of family at the border

Protesters hold up banners on a bridge in Dublin to persuade voters as Ireland holds a referendum on its law on abortion on May 25, 2018. (CNS)

Two stories separated by 5,000 miles this weekend reminded us all of how crucial it is for citizens of democracies to avoid complacency in the defense of human rights, particularly the rights of those in greatest peril. They also are a reminder that every generation faces challenges to the dignity of life—and those threats are often tragically familiar.

The first was the unexpected landslide vote on May 25 that repealed the Republic of Ireland’s Eighth Amendment, which guaranteed the right to life of unborn children. By a margin of 2-to-1, one of the only societies left in Europe that prohibited abortion on demand voted to allow it on almost exactly the same terms as everyone else. As the votes were being counted in Ireland, journalist Chris Hayes was reporting on a case from Brownsville, Tex., in which border patrol officers took an 18-month-old baby from his mother at the border in February because she was seeking asylum from violence in her home country; she says in a lawsuit that she has not seen her child for more than a month. The inhumanity of the episode was reinforced by news reports that of the 7,000 undocumented children the federal government has taken into custody, the Office of Refugee Resettlement does not know where 1,475 of them are.

No doubt the Israelites of Exodus thought Pharaoh’s new law, that their offspring should be marked for death, a singular evil upon the earth.

In the case of Ireland, most prognosticators saw the liberalization of abortion laws as a likely outcome, given that nation’s legalization of divorce in 1995 and same-sex marriage in 2015, both by similar referendum processes and against the vociferous opposition of the Catholic church. But the sheer enormity of the vote for repeal—both in terms of turnout and the winning margin—has taken everyone by surprise. On abortion, Ireland seemed to have succeeded where almost every other modern democracy has failed. Their European neighbors have long allowed abortion early in a pregnancy but also have strong maternal safety nets; across the Atlantic, the United States has some of the most permissive abortion laws in the world (far more so than those aforementioned European nations) and almost no safety net for young mothers at all. But Ireland went its own way (it is worth noting that the Eighth Amendment is not some holdover from colonial rule: it was passed in 1983). Ireland created a modern state that both prohibited abortion in almost all circumstances and aimed to provide the best care for women before and after childbirth. No more.

To defend our prosperity, to defend ways of life we reflexively consider blessed, we seem to ignore the true and good impulses of our nature and instead turn again on our children.

Within our own borders, the draconian immigration policies and open race-baiting of the nominally pro-life Trump administration perhaps made public episodes of inhumanity inevitable. But an America where babies are torn from their mothers’ arms because their parents had the temerity to flee violence, where children are separated from their families and then lost through a blasé indifference, is not a pro-life nation at all. The rhetoric of Emma Lazarus, where the “Mother of Exiles” welcomes “the wretched refuse of your teeming shores,” seems less pertinent than that of theologian William Stringfellow: Is our nation now “a demonic principality” that “exacts human sacrifices, captures and captivates presidents as well as intimidating and dehumanizing ordinary citizens”?

The juxtaposition of these policies against the Trump administration’s efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, a necessary and laudable pro-life goal, reveals a cruel irony: Under this regime, the dignity of human life is subordinated to political ends even when, by happenstance of political alliance, it is being defended.

It is our biblical heritage that provides another warning—and mandate—in both cases. No doubt the Israelites of Exodus thought Pharaoh’s new law, that their offspring should be marked for death, a singular evil upon the earth. Yet in the time of Christ, another generation was vexed by the same nightmare in the person of Herod, in an edict whose eerie echo we remember in our own liturgical readings to this day. And now, 20 centuries later, that evil slouches forth again. To defend our prosperity, to defend ways of life we reflexively consider blessed, we seem to ignore the true and good impulses of our nature and instead turn again on our children.

Correction: This editorial has been updated to correct a reference to Ireland as the only society in Europe to prohibit abortion on demand. Poland and Malta also prohibit abortion on demand.

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Joan Sheridan
2 years 6 months ago

Vincent Gaglione Your comment about your Irish grandmother shows how careful we must be when we comment about the Church in front of our children. Because they respect us so much they remember what we said. Instead we should let them grow up and make their own opinions

Dr Robert Dyson
2 years 6 months ago

"The first was the unexpected landslide vote ...."?

It wasn't unexpected in Europe; no one seriously doubted that the people of Ireland would vote for repeal. The pro-repeal rhetoric was not so much about positively choosing abortion as about 'defending the human rights of women', etc., etc.

One of the most significant things that the referendum result shows is the growing weakness of the Church in Ireland. Thanks partly to the Church's general decline in the decades after Vatican II but also to the scandals that have engulfed her in Ireland, the hold of the Church on the minds and consciences of ordinary Irish people seems to have weakened to a point that people of my age can only witness with amazement.

rose-ellen caminer
2 years 6 months ago

That antipathy towards the Catholic Church's hierarchy with its history of patriarchy and the sexual abuse scandal, provoked people to vote for abortion on demand shows how the innocent have once against become the sacrificial victims of spiteful adults. All the glee and joy being shown against the church now that Ireland has freed her self from the power of the Church, and will be able to kill its unborn people, is a sad deplorable state of affairs. Was not abortion already legal to save the mothers life? So the issue of competing rights was not even relevant in this referendum.

Dr Robert Dyson
2 years 6 months ago

" ... the innocent have once against become the sacrificial victims of spiteful adults. "

I'm not sure that it's quite fair to talk about 'spiteful adults.' As I understand it, the sentiment that carried the referendum was not mere spite directed against the Church but the conviction that women should have the final and only say about what happens to their bodies, without being subject to a male-dominated Church or to laws made predominantly by men, Whether you accept this proposition or not, it's mighty difficult to argue against it in the modern world; and the Church's record in Ireland, not only in the matter of child abuse but also with respect to how unwed moters are treated, is so deplorable that one can understnd the antipathy of Irish voters even while not sharing it. I certainly don't feel 'glee' about the declining power of the Church; but I think it's impossible to deny that her decline is in large measure a self-inflicted wound.

Crystal Watson
2 years 6 months ago

The vote to repeal the ban is not surprising. Ireland, along with Catholic Poland and Malta, has the most restrictive abortion law in the world. That didn't stop Irish women from getting abortions - Ireland just exported its abortions to the UK and Europe - but the law did make women's lives more dangerous. The death of Savita Halappanavar is an example.

The Catholic church can no longer hold Ireland hostage to outdated moral teachings, and the church has no one to blame but itslef. How can we believe the church cares about fetuses when it has covered up massive child sex abuse in Ireland?

THE CHRISTOFFERSONS
2 years 6 months ago

The article would be better if it acknowledged the difference between principle and practice. Yes, the principle of treating with appropriate dignity life that has been conceived is a good principle. "Thou shalt not kill" has been with us since Cain and Abel.

Yet enshrining that principle in law is, at best, a mixed blessing. The law in practice seldom measures up to both the principle and to the love which is the source of the principle. The 1983 law -- an amendment to the Irish constitution -- is an example. In practice, implementation of the law resulted in both saved lives and injustices. Even if the injustices are relatively few, their existence stands out like a sore thumb. It is not surprising that the 1983 law was overturned by such a wide margin. The hearts of the people are very sensitive to injustice.

This is not the first time that the Church has too glibly relied upon the mechanisms of the law to enforce principle. The leadership of Christ calls for a process of discernment that opens up the possibilities of love. This is the path toward the reign of God. The law -- by contrast -- is about drawing lines. This is not the way of Christ. There are times when the good order of the community requires reliance upon the law, but was the 1983 law such a time? At the very least, the wide margin of public rejection should call the Church to an examination of conscience on whether reliance upon the law was truly necessary.

Life is messy. It is tempting to conflate sound principle with law, but injustice in practice will defeat law. It is better to preach discernment and build reliance upon the possibilities for loving one another that are pregnant in the human heart by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is a better strategy for the Church to focus its energies on building this kind of reliance -- as messy as that can be -- and resort to the law only when absolutely necessary to preserve the community (which is a practical question, not a moral question).

Phillip Stone
2 years 5 months ago

It is well to remember, or be informed, that Christendom has enacted laws for at least two purposes.
A raft of laws have the explicit power and mandate the enactment of appropriate punishment after the establishment of guilt beyond reasonable doubt, and some laws simply instruct.
Who can be so dull witted as to imagine that a law against suicide was ever intended to result in trial and punishment, the perpetrator was inevitably dead. The law was to guide and instruct as a possible deterrent.
I see no reason why a legislated ban on killing babies still in the womb could not be seen in exactly the same light.

Should we be so unfortunate in our family to have one of our daughters raped and killed, is the injustice and pain of myself a good reason for not forbidding the raping and the killing and for insisting that I allow society to exact the punishment. My wish and my will is to inflict maximum pain on and then eventually bring about death to the guilty party myself - and it would be agony to be denied such vengeance even when voluntarily obeying the demands of the system results from my self control. I have fallen human nature, not sinless perfection which seems to be the self-judgment of many of the commentators here.

Jim Lein
2 years 6 months ago

Legality is a civic not a religious issue. It is Caesar, not Jesus. Focusing on the legality can be a cop out, freeing Christians from living a christian life, turning it over to the legal system, rather than ensuring that all pregnant women have the wherewithal to physically, psychologically and financially to carry a pregnancy through to birth and to feed, nurture and support it. A Christian life is pooling our resources so that those in need, the vulnerable, have their needs met before we satisfy our wants. And those needs include pregnant women and their unborn who need intra-uterine nourishment.
Until we can at least ensure than no woman has to consider abortion for financial reasons, we should shut up about the legal issue. If we were Christians, especially us guys, there would be much less need for abortion. Men are of course involved in all unwanted pregnancies--and in some cases are among those urging the woman to abort. If we men could all pass the unwanted pregnancy test and if our society welcomed and supported pregnant women and nursing babies and children, we would be like societies where abortion is legal but resorted to at a much lower rate than some societies where it is illegal. Again, legality is a side issue.

J Jones
2 years 5 months ago

Editors:

Jim Lein's is the comment you should highlight on the webpage.

This guy gets it.

How about this: before you men at America write one more article or editorial about contraception and abortion, dedicate space in every single editorial board members' or the author's rectory or seminary and college to room/board/childcare for at least one woman ((((((((and whatever spouse/partner/dependent child/elder parent/disabled relative she may have)))) who carried a pregnancy she knew she could not afford/provide for.

Then commit to ensuring stable housing, nutrition, clothing, education, medical care, etc, for all of them until that child is 18.

And do it without exploiting, abusing or abandoning her or any of those in her care. YOU face the consequences of your advocacy that that woman let YOU decide what happens in her body before and after she gets pregnant.

YOU ---- each of you ----- lead the way. Put your individual lives at the service of one specific child, its mother and all her dependents, every minute, every day, every week, every month, every year for 18 years plus nine months.

You will meet that child's mother this week when you tell her God will punish her for preventing pregnancy or choosing not to carry a new pregnancy when she knows she is barely managing her marriage, her chdten, her extended day, her job, the bills.

If you need practice, we can start the way we start with teens. Keep a raw chicken egg on your person 24/7 for a month.

For the duration of the egg exercise, you will need to lay off your cooks and housekeepers; you will need to use public transportation for grocery shopping and getting to work and the laundramat.

You will also use the bus to pickup your three other chickens at school. You hoped I'd forget them, didn't you, just like you discount the existing children while bullying women into bearing children you will see only at the altar.

You'll need to figure out how to get your elderly father rooster to the VA in the next town the same day your mother chicken needs to go to PT at the county health clinic.

Oh! And you have to pay your own garbage pick up fees and for the three school age chickens to play sports and for your disabled brother rooster's diabetic test strips and depends because insurance doesn't cover that.......and the husband rooster with his job bailed out last week...

Take comfort in knowing we will pray for you. And we'll slip you an extra bag at the food bank. Trust us.

And let us know how it is going. Office hours Tuesday 3-4 and Fridays 5-6.

Please note: It is best not to bring chicks to these meetings. No onsite daycare.

J Jones
2 years 5 months ago

And please don't hurt Jesus by doubting that all will be well when you can't pay the rent and you and your family get evicted. We'll get you on the waiting list for rent assistance and in the meantime, we'll give you bus tokens to the Catholic (tax-funded) homeless shelter.

And don't forget: your baby egg cries when not held, is allergic to cow's milk, has frequent diarrhea and is showing some developmental delays. Baby Egg may NOT be kept in a cartoon or other container in your briefcase: it will get a flat spot. HOLD the baby!!!

Last:. Childcare costs are equal to your rent payment.

Tim O'Leary
2 years 5 months ago

Jim & J - If this were a discussion about a sacrament (such as rights to Communion or a Catholic marriage) or about rules of membership in a religious organization (such as employment at a religious school), I agree Caesar should stay out of it. But, when it comes to a human right to life and liberty, abortion and slavery are both repugnant. The very idea that one human being is permitted by law to kill or maim another human being without any criminal consequence is the essence of injustice.

J Jones
2 years 5 months ago

Tim, be part of the solution rather than preaching from a choir that has no skin in the game (male). It hasn't worked. Women all over the world continue to find the harsh realities of raising children unmanageable. You can be appalled when they and people like me articulate those realities and you can stand on moral high grounds and try to shame people by mentioning Jonathan Swift's 19th century satire. It will still be true that women abort pregnancies because they know they cannot manage to care for that child and meet all their other obligations. Your preaching here or outside a clinic isn't changing that. So be part of the solution. Adopt a child. Support its mother for the duration.

Tim O'Leary
2 years 5 months ago

J - I will not be part of any "final solution" that has murder as its method. You say no male has skin in the game. But, you are not thinking straight. Has no white person any skin in opposing black slavery or racism? Can I not oppose capital punishment if my family hasn't been the victim of a capital crime? Must I oppose immigration if I won't house immigrants myself? Do I have no justification for opposing any injustice, unless I am somehow part of the injured identity group. In any case, I fully support adoption, with funds. But, as the data shows, PP does not. They are disappointed when a woman is persuaded to change their mind. How could anyone who is for choice not want the mother to have all the information on her child before she decides to kill her? Yet, PP will not support ultrasounds and a 24-hour waiting period. They will not support full information about adoption.

Perhaps, you support adoption agencies like I do. But, it is not enough. There are still too many being murdered every day. If you want to be part of a solution that saves more babies, at least support the following: 1) A week waiting period; 2) An ultrasound and other technology showing the beauty of the child in their womb; 3) a chance for mothers who have gone through similar situations but chose life to try to persuade the mother; 4) a promise that if they cannot afford to raise the child, the Church or state or other families will step in (this is already the case with many pro-life organizations); 5) a government that explicitly describes all abortion as a tragedy (and not to be celebrated) that is killing part of the human family, and that will step in and provide care for any child under this threat (maybe tax PP to pay for this); 6) shaming of any man or woman who pressures a woman to have an abortion; 7) recognition that any woman who takes the killing way is taking the bad road (not glorification, as goes on presently).

J Jones
2 years 5 months ago

Tim, n
I said nothing about a "final solution". You do not serve your cause well by such tactics. Quit preaching about the sacrifices others need to make for children. Adopt a child or commit to the 18 year full-need sponsorship of one. Demonstrate that you are willing to make that sacrifice for a child.

Tim O'Leary
2 years 5 months ago

J - you seem to think this is just some difference of opinion, and we can all live and let live, not one of the greatest injustices of out time, just as slavery was in the 19th century or the holocaust in the 20th. Have you taken your own advice and paid for an 18 year sponsorship for someone who was otherwise going to be aborted? If so, then that is great. But, if not, then don't be a hypocrite.

J Jones
2 years 5 months ago

Tim, first, I do not spend my time telling women what they must do with and inside their bodies and telling them that, when they do so, they are committing atrocities equivalent to the Holocaust. The false moral equivalencies that allow men to make that statement are repugnant.

Equally repugnant is the suggestion that the enslavement of human beings by other human beings is morally equivalent to a woman's decision to terminate of an early pregnancy.

My experience is that the vast majority of people understand that, which is not the same thing as saying that there are no moral issues involved in abortion or that the vast majority of people do not understand and engage morally with the topic.

It simply means that these arguments are ineffective as are the lectures in which they are delivered very often by men who COULD be either the slave or the or the slave owner and, thus, can instinctively understand the situatuin. But men can NEVER be either in the womb or the person with a womb and, thus, need to spend a tremendous amount of time learning from WOMEN before they spend this much time lecturing them and accusing them of being Hitler.

Winifred Holloway
2 years 6 months ago

I thank Vince for his spot on analysis of this confused editorial. I would also add to Ellen B's comment regarding Planned Parenthood. Yes, it does provide health care services to women and also abortion services. It is illogical to conclude that government funding should be eleminated if the goal is to reduce abortions. That is what this organization does: it reduces the incidence of abortion by providing education and contraception to low-income women.

Robert Klahn
2 years 6 months ago

Your assertion that defunding Planned Parenthood is a good thing is false and anti-life.

Federal money cannot be used for Abortion of choice, and I doubt many Planned Parenthood clinics are prepared for medical necessity abortions.

Before you go on a rant about details, let me point out, the one sure way to eliminated Planned Parenthood health care at the same time reducing the causes of abortion is to adopt full National Health Care, just as all of the rest of the industrialized world has.

That way there is no question of the availability of health care to all.

Tim O'Leary
2 years 6 months ago

Pure propaganda! In Planned Parenthood's 2016–2017 annual report, they admit to 321,384 abortions committed in the last year (880 a day!); over half a billion in government funding; nearly $100 million in profit (a staggering 27% increase over the prior year). For every 1 child Planned Parenthood refers for adoption, they abort 83 others. Also, PP abortion services are the only growth part of their business. The rest dropped over 25% from the previous year. Their so-called women's care is like the Nazi gas chambers claiming they were primarily in the clothes recycling business.

J Jones
2 years 5 months ago

Tim, how many of those children have you adopted and raised to the age of 18?

Tim O'Leary
2 years 5 months ago

J - can you not hear what you are implying with this question, that economics should come in to a consideration if another human being should be permitted to be cut to pieces. How would such a question fare if you took this approach to slavery, apartheid, immigrants, the poor & deprived in general, the elderly or those with special needs. It sounds like Swift's satire - the "Modest Proposal" without the satire.

J Jones
2 years 5 months ago

Tim, I said no such thing, here or anywhere else. Be part of the solution, Tim, not just part of the preaching from a choir that has no skin in the game (is, male).

Tim O'Leary
2 years 5 months ago

See my response above. When you bring up an economic justification for abortion you are devaluing a human life.

J Jones
2 years 5 months ago

No, Tim, i am telling a bona fide truth about why abortion occurs and has always occurred. When you refuse to listen to what women tell about why they choose not to carry a pregnancy to term, you devalue the life of the mother AND the child in favor of your own preferred lecture.

J Jones
2 years 5 months ago

No, Tim, i am telling a bona fide truth about why abortion occurs and has always occurred. When you refuse to listen to what women tell about why they choose not to carry a pregnancy to term, you devalue the life of the mother AND the child in favor of your own preferred lecture.

Tim O'Leary
2 years 5 months ago

What you are saying, over and over (preaching in your own way, by repetition) is, because of the economic burden, some women kill her unwanted children, and that's just how it is, you say. So, will you agree, to follow your logic (if that is your aim), that a rich healthy woman who has an abortion is committing a terrible act against an innocent human being?

J Jones
2 years 5 months ago

Tim, what I am saying is that men need to spend more time learning from women what would help and then doing THAT and less time hectoring from their womb-less, child-less lives.

Amadeo Mifsud
2 years 6 months ago

I have very good news for you. Ireland was not "the only society left in Europe that prohibited abortion on demand". No, not quite! Here, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea is a little independent island state, a member of the European Union, where abortion is still strictly illegal. The country is called Malta and we are proud to be the only EU member state that is more compassionate, more caring and more respectful of human life than anywhere else in the EU.

Tim O'Leary
2 years 6 months ago

Catholic Ireland is dead and gone, It's with the eighth in the grave
They'e chosen violence in the name of sexual freedom
Not against an invader, an oppressor, or a terrorist, not to protect
But, to murder their own flesh and blood, their very children - the ultimate child abuse
With Mass attendance in a nose dive, a Eucharistic famine has come upon Ireland.
Death and a Demographic winter follows their Descent into secularism.
Pope Francis comes in August. Will he have the courage to oppose this?
1980 - Contraception
1995 - Divorce
2015 - Gay marriage
2018 - Abortion on Demand for the crime of being unwanted

20xx - Euthanasia for the unwanted

J Jones
2 years 5 months ago

So, Tim, how many children have you adopted and raised to the age of 18?

Tim O'Leary
2 years 5 months ago

See response above.

J Jones
2 years 5 months ago

Be part of the solution, not part of the preaching choir with no skin in the game (male). Adopt a child or fully fund a child for 18 years.

Tim O'Leary
2 years 5 months ago

How much is the ransom you are proposing to cover the 18 years? I am surprised that you don't think pro-choice women should also pay the ransom, if they are not pretending to be pro-choice.

J Jones
2 years 5 months ago

You continue to lecture. It will not change anything

JR Cosgrove
2 years 6 months ago

Within our own borders, the draconian immigration policies and open race-baiting of the nominally pro-life Trump administration perhaps made public episodes of inhumanity inevitable.

Wasn't this an Obama policy?

Lisa Fullam
2 years 6 months ago

It is worth noting that the Irish abortion question is a gendered issue: overall 72.1% of women voted for legalization, compared to 65.9% of men, (according to the Guardian.) This really isn't that surprising, considering the reasons given by those voting for reform, in your report: "Among "yes" voters, the most important issues were the right to choose (84 percent), the health or life of the woman (69 percent), and pregnancy as a result of rape (52 percent)." And what does the Church teach? Here's JPII in Evangelium Vitae: "It is true that the decision to have an abortion is often tragic and painful for the mother, insofar as the decision to rid herself of the fruit of conception is not made for purely selfish reasons or out of convenience, but out of a desire to protect certain important values such as her own health....Nevertheless, these reasons and others like them, however serious and tragic, can never justify the deliberate killing of an innocent human being." The woman's health doesn't matter, nor does it matter whether she is to bear her rapist's child, nor whether she is a child pregnant by a sexual abuser. Even where, as in pre-referendum Irish law, the woman's life can be considered a reasonable interest, in practice this seems to have meant that the woman must be on death's doorstep before action might be taken to protect her life. See Savita Halappanavar, et al. Women, istm, see such things differently than an all-male magisterium whose sole interpretative focus is on the embryo.

Mike Schafer
2 years 6 months ago

I'm confused as to how this is a "gendered issue" since both universally-recognized genders voted overwhelmingly in it's favor.

Lisa Fullam
2 years 6 months ago

Just pointing out that women favored it quite a bit more than men. In the US, 52% of women describe themselves as "pro-choice" compared to 45% of men. 33% of women want abortion legal in all circumstances, compared to 24% of men. Error is +/- 4%. (Gallup data, 2017: http://news.gallup.com/poll/211901/abortion-attitudes-stable-no-consensus-legality.aspx).

Phillip Stone
2 years 5 months ago

Demonstrating the truth that female fallen human nature is just as murderous as fallen male human nature.

Crystal Watson
2 years 6 months ago

Another example would be from 2009 - the nine year old girl in Argentina who was raped by her stepfather and was pregnant with twins. Her doctors said she needed an abortion for health reasons and the Catholic church fought against this. When they lost the battle, they excommunicated her mother and her doctors, but not her stepfather. About putting the little girl's life at risk, ;ocal Archibishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho said "Abortion is much more serious than killing an adult. An adult may or may not be an innocent, but an unborn child is most definitely innocent. Taking that life cannot be ignored."

Tim O'Leary
2 years 6 months ago

Lisa - all the leaders of the pro-lie campaigns in Ireland were women, esp. the Love both campaign and the Pro-Life Campaign. Women lead many US pro-life organizations, notable the NRTL and the SBA list. So, your argument falls apart with a little digging. There are hard cases when two lives are at stake or there is rape or incest. But, the vast majority of voters didn't vote for those reasons. They wanted abortion on demand.

We already know that a Down syndrome diagnosis is a death sentence in England. But, even that is rare. Women are pro-choice because they want to have the right to kill a child they don't want. Men are pro-choice because they don't want to have the responsibility for their sexual exploits. There is nothing noble about it.

rose-ellen caminer
2 years 6 months ago

Thanks for correcting a false but pervasive propaganda cliché, Tim O'Leary. I disagree however that men are prochoice predominantly because they don't want the responsibility for their sexual exploits. [ That too is a cliché].The predominant reason men are pro choice[IMO] is because they have been brainwashed by pro choice feminism to believe that to be against killing unborn humans means you are anti woman; the whole" our bodies ourselves" falsifying of biology propaganda. They have had to make a choice; alienation[from the strident pro- killing- of -capable- of -suffering - un born -humans, -feminist culture] or aquiesence with it. Being pro legalized abortion confers benefits; respectability , and status[ you are an enlightened - woman- loving- male] in the dominant pro abortion culture, while opposition brings with it the alienation of disrespect and smearing[ you are anti woman].So many men, understandably, choose to not be alienated from the [fallen] world. Or they [like many women] are just swayed by the power of this might -makes- right - ethos and anti science propaganda; unborn fetuses don't feel pain etc., or are just part of a woman's body flagrant lie.

J Jones
2 years 5 months ago

Rose-ellen, thanks for being pro-choice ....for men.

James Haraldson
2 years 6 months ago

Every single one of the bald faced lies about assaults on the poor by the Trump administration necessary to fortify the false moral equivalencies between an imaginary concern for the downtrodden with abortion are precisely the sort of thing that undermine the moral honesty necessary to see the historically unique moral catastrophe of abortion. Good Lord there are even those in this forum who believe planned parenthood actually provided "free" medical services to the poor. For shame!
Calling Trump "nominally" pro-life? Please. He's done more for unborn lives already than all the contributors to America Magazine, Commonweal, The Catholic Worker, and all the other Catholic leftist blowhard groups combined over the last half century.

Lisa Weber
2 years 6 months ago

Trump says he is "pro-life" but his policies toward immigrants and their children prove that his "pro-life" stance is nothing but political posturing.

Michael Barberi
2 years 6 months ago

Why did almost everyone in Ireland, a predominately Catholic country, overwhelmingly vote to make abortion 'legal'.

Vince Gaglione hit the nail on the head; ".....our clergy do not provide a consistent moral vision, instruction and leadership".

Does everyone truly believe that the problem is grounded in our secular culture that is poisoning our minds, hearts and souls? Are the overwhelming percent of Catholic Ireland simply 'bad Catholics'. Did the majority of Catholics in other countries turn their minds, hearts and should against God?

It is easy to 'blame' the problem on 'our secular culture', that mysterious evil force that is winning the souls of mankind. I do believe that our permissive secular culture is part of the problem. However, can we honestly admit that we need to turn our attention to other reasons?

Does the Catholic Church need to change its own culture, from a top down authoritarian model to a Church where the People of God all have a voice? Are we all blind that Pope Francis is trying to change our Church for the better but all we see are the worldwide bishops fighting with each other and the Pope over such issues as the role of conscience, discernment and virtue in the pastoral application of certain teachings (e.g., Amoris Laetitia and the possibility of Holy Communion for the divorce and remarried). Or are we to continue to live in a divided Church and in a crisis in truth where polarization is not the answer, but is the problem? When each side claims the truth, nothing gets resolved.

I believe it is long overdue that the bishops recognize the sign of the times, the charism of the Sensus Fidelium and the need for a convincing moral theory in support of many of the teachings on sexual ethics. Let's face it, bishops, theologians and the past two Popes have debated the issues on sexual ethics for the past 45+ years but it is also clear that the magisterium has not addresses the legitimate issues that have been posited for change. Make no mistake about what I am saying. I don't believe in abortion on demand, but I do believe that terminating a pregnancy to save the life of a mother that is threatened by an inviable fetus (and both we die with certainly but the mother can be saved), or in cases of rape and incest should be seriously considered by the magisterium. Ditto for changes in the teaching on contraception.

Why do the overwhelming percentage of millennials do not attend weekly Mass and disagree with many of the Church teachings (e.g., ordained women, same sex marriage, and whether taking the pill for regulating fertility is 'intrinsically evil').

Granted abortion is a serious issue. However, this is a moral decision, regardless if it is a legal. If we, as Catholics, cannot reverse the legal question, then the Catholic Church must address the moral question and help Catholics receive its teachings.. Unfortunately, they have not been successful. Perhaps this is the problem.

Tim O'Leary
2 years 6 months ago

While the clergy have been particularly weak in Ireland in recent years, one cannot put the blame on them alone. The judgment falls squarely on the shoulders of the post Vatican II lay men and women who have abandoned their faith. Like the Golden Calf, they now worship a lesser spirit. The Didache in Roman times begins with "There are two ways, one of life and one of death; but a great difference between the two ways." and "you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is begotten." This vote has brought down a curse on the Irish people, like previous votes have brought judgment down on other peoples. The first result of the curse is the loss of children, and children's children.

J Jones
2 years 5 months ago

Tim, how many children have you adopted and raised to the age of 18?

Tim O'Leary
2 years 5 months ago

So sad. See my response above.

J Jones
2 years 5 months ago

Be part of the solution. Stop preaching from your safe choir. Adopt a child or fully fund one for 18 years.

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