Is the “paper of record” troubling consciences?

Well what do you know? The “paper of record” has done it again. If you wanted some detailed news about what the leaders of the Catholic Church in Ireland is offering to its followers this weekend by way of information and encouragement to take a stand consistent with the belief and moral teachings of the institution they have freely chosen to follow, which paper would you go to? Not the paper of record.

Below are the three reports from Saturday morning’s Irish broadsheets. The Irish independent gives us nearly 400 words in its comprehensive summary of what the Irish bishops have issued to the parishes throughout the county. The Irish Examiner gives us over 200 and a good report. The Irish Times, however, gives us just over 150 words from its renowned even-handed religious affairs correspondent and buries the story at the bottom right hand corner of page six, probably one of the most “invisible” news slots in any newspaper.

Wonderful – and this after last week’s numbers debacle where the Times reported – apparently under “tweeting” pressure from the pro-abortion people –  that “several” thousand protesters thronged the ranks of a pro-choice street demonstration in Dublin last weekend when in fact a serious count using the video images from the demo showed that the number did not even reach one thousand.

Combine this observation with everything else we have been reading in the Irish Times in the past few months pertaining to the abortion issue and it is very hard not to conclude that here we have a paper which has deliberately set it face in the direction of the Mecca of introducing abortion legislation into Ireland.

What choice has a conscientious person who considers that such legislation, if put on the statute books of this country, would lead to the wholesale taking of the innocent lives of babies awaiting delivery from their mothers’ wombs? One choice, I think – if they are paying subscribers to that paper.  Cancel their subscription because it looks very much like a financial subscription to a cause supporting that wholesale slaughter.

Irish independent

Church launches new anti-abortion campaign

By Luke Byrne, Saturday October 06 2012

The Catholic Church will tomorrow begin a public campaign to oppose access to abortion in Ireland under any circumstances.

A pastoral message is to be read out at Mass opposing abortion and earlier this week all 1,360 parishes north and south of the Border were sent material on the church’s opposition to abortion, including homily notes, prayers, and posters.

The move is being seen as the opening salvo in the church’s campaign to lobby against access to abortion here.

It follows a promise by Cardinal Sean Brady in August that priests would be provided with the resources to campaign on the issue.

The homily notes have suggested that tomorrow’s first Bible reading come from the creation account of life from Genesis. “This provides an ideal context in which to speak of the beauty and sanctity of human life as part of the gift of God’s creation,” it said.

A prayer card has also been provided for parishioners. Along with a prayer, the card will say: “As science makes clear it is at fertilisation that a new, unique and genetically complete human being comes into existence.”

Responding to the planned campaign, Senator Ivana Bacik said she believed that the church’s moral power had been “significantly weakened” by the sexual abuse scandals.

“I think it’s disheartening that the church still thinks it can dictate to women regarding sexual health matters,” she said.

“I think the church should get its own house in order,” she added.

The church has also called for a month of prayer dedicated to the theme of ‘Choose Life’ to begin tomorrow, which it has called ‘Day for Life Sunday’.

The literature has told priests that it is not necessary for the Government to legislate for legal abortion in Ireland following the 2010 European Court of Human Rights case against the State.

Instead, it said that the Government “could choose to protect the life of the unborn baby in the womb” by changing the Constitution to set aside the Supreme Court ruling in the ‘X-case’.

As part of the campaign, the bishops’ conference has also commissioned a website at

Ms Bacik said that the issues of the ‘X-case’ have twice been put to referendum and both times Ireland supported safe abortion in the case where a mother’s life was at risk.

Irish Examiner

Church to launch pro-life campaign with messages to Mass-goers

By Juno McEnroe, Political Reporter, Saturday, October 06, 2012

The Catholic Church will launch its pro-life campaign this weekend with anti- abortion messages for Mass- goers, posters in churches, and testimonies from women who have experienced crisis pregnancy.

The campaign details, letters, and materials have been sent to 1,360 parishes ahead of the release of the Government’s expert group report on abortion.

Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Seán Brady, recently said the Church would run a campaign against legalising abortion in Ireland.

Cardinal Brady said the State was not obliged to legislate for abortion as a result of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights on the so-called ABC case, which the expert group is addressing.

The “choose life” campaign will run for the next four weeks. Notes sent to priests on homilies read: “Any mother or father who has gazed in wonder at an ultrasound scan of their baby, or heard his or her heart beating for the first time, will know how rapid and beautiful is the development of their baby in the womb.”

Priests are also being advised to tell Mass-goers the Government should introduce laws or a constitutional amendment that would set aside the Supreme Court ruling in the X case, which allowed for abortion in some circumstances.

The Irish Times

Bishops launch anti-abortion month


Ireland’s Catholic bishops have called on “all who believe in the equal dignity and beauty of every human life” to “join us in calling on our public representatives to respect the humanity and life of children in the womb and to reject abortion.”

The bishops made their appeal in a special pastoral message which will be read and distributed in all Catholic parishes on the island this weekend. It coincides with “Day for Life Sunday” tomorrow, which also marks the start of a month of prayer around the theme “Choose Life!”, announced last month.

Relevant “Choose Life!” material was sent to all 1,360 Catholic parishes in Ireland this week to promote the month of prayer campaign. A special website chooselife2012.iehas been launched with a complementary Choose Life! presence on social media (Choose Life 2012 on Facebook, and @Chooselife2012 on Twitter and on YouTube).

The bishops said their message was for people of all backgrounds and traditions across the island.

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