Parting of the ways at the abortion crossroads

In an interview with The Sunday Times, published yesterday, the next Catholic primate of Ireland has said politicians who “knowingly introduce legislation aiding and abetting abortion” should not “approach [a priest] looking for communion”.

In the clearest statement so far on the church’s position Archbishop Eamon Martin, who will succeed Cardinal Seán Brady next year, said legislators who support abortion are excommunicating themselves.

“You cannot regard yourself as a person of faith and support abortion,” Martin said in the interview. “You cannot believe you are with your church and directly help someone to procure an abortion. This includes medical professionals and the legislators.

“If a legislator comes to me and says, ‘Can I be a faithful Catholic and support abortion?’ I would say no. Your communion is ruptured if you support abortion. You are excommunicating yourself. Any legislator who clearly and publicly states this should not approach looking for communion.”

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