Quick Hits: Two crucial decisions in Ireland, and a plea for bishops to speak out

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Mar 21, 2018

As Ireland prepares for a referendum vote on a bid to allow for unrestricted legal abortion, the indefatigable David Quinn writes in the Irish Catholic about the moral obligation of the faithful to support the right to life. He also provides an intelligent answer to the vexed question of how pastors should approach the vote:

I think think priests have a huge role to play between now and the referendum. They don’t have a big role to play in the public debate. In fact, that would probably be counter-productive. But they do have a very big role to play when addressing their own congregations, in clearing up any confusion people may have in their minds about the issue.

A few months after that referendum, Pope Francis will visit Ireland to participate in the World Meeting of Families. Father Regis Scanlon, OFM Cap, in the Homiletic and Pastoral Review, explores the key issue in the preparation for that meeting: “This meeting is a ‘full court press’ attempt to pressure Pope Francis into welcoming the LGBT into the Church as a legitimate type of family.” Father Scanlon sees this as potentially a battle of apocalyptic importance, with “intimations of the final struggle.”


With a similar sense of urgency, theologian Christian Brugger makes An Open Appeal to the Catholic Bishops of the World, pleading with them to make their voices heard, to reject the notion of a “new paradigm” in Catholic doctrine and to assure their people that the truths of the faith have not changed.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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