Catholic World News

Northern Ireland: bishops’ election statement emphasizes child poverty, abortion

May 04, 2016

The bishops of Northern Ireland have issued a pastoral reflection ahead of the Northern Ireland Assembly election on May 5.

Describing “the systemic and comprehensive eradication of childhood poverty and social need” as “the key priority of the next Assembly,” the bishops said that “one practical appeal we make is for funding to be made available to schools so that no pupil begins the day without a nutritional breakfast.”

Turning to abortion, the bishops stated:

The next Assembly term will see further pressures being brought to bear on politicians to introduce abortion to Northern Ireland. The moral issue here is not whether what is proposed is abortion ‘on demand’ or some form of so-called ‘limited’ abortion. From a moral point of view, there is no such thing as ‘limited’ abortion. Abortion is always the deliberate and intentional taking of an innocent, vulnerable human life, and a direct breach of the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’. All forms of direct and intentional abortion contravene this fundamental sacred and human moral principle.

The bishops also discussed other issues, including religious freedom, faith-based education, same-sex unions, and ecology.

“As Pope Francis has recently said, there are ‘no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family,’” the bishops stated.

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