This is nothing short of a horror. And totally emblematic of the state of much of the Church today.
The Association of Catholic Priests, which is a doctrinaire liberal organization but, according to the National Catholic Reporter has 1,000 members, has worked to confuse Catholics on this issue with this horrific statement about the abortion debate going on in Ireland right now:
In the midst of the debate and discussion in our country about the forthcoming referendum to repeal the 8thAmendment of the Constitution, we, the leadership of the Association of Catholic Priests, issue the following statement.
As an association representing Catholic priests we fully endorse the Catholic teaching that all human life, from beginning to end, is sacred, and that every human person shares in the fundamental right to life.
We are also aware, and are constantly reminded in our ministry, that human life is complex, throwing up situations that are more often grey than black and white and that demand from us a sensitive, non-judgemental, pastoral approach. Also, as leadership of an association made up of men who are unmarried and without children of our own, we are not best placed to be in any way dogmatic on this issue.
We do not wish to tell anyone how they should vote. But we encourage both ourselves and any citizens who may be interested in our viewpoint, to do the best we can to acquaint ourselves with exactly what we are being asked to vote for, and what the possible consequences of our vote may be. Having done that to the best of our ability, and following it with the, often painful and difficult, task of consulting our conscience, let us cast our vote.
A vote cast in accordance with each person’s conscience, whatever the result, deserves the respect of all.
There is undoubtedly a moral content to this referendum, but as with many other issues, there are also social, political and pastoral dimensions. For that reason we are concerned that some Catholic parishes are allowing their pulpits to be used by campaigners during Mass. As there are, among faithful, Church-going Catholics, a great variety of opinions on this vote, we believe this is inappropriate and insensitive and will be regarded by some as an abuse of the Eucharist.
We believe it would be better if this practice ceased for the rest of the campaign.
We wish the Irish people well in this immensely important decision awaiting all of us. The leadership of the Association of Catholic Priests will have no further engagement in this debate.
Because that’s what Jesus said, right folks? Life can be messy. Make up your own minds.