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Irish Bishop: “Yes” Voters Should Go to Confession

Ireland’s Bishop Kevin Doran is telling his flock that those Catholics who voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment, which legalized abortion on demand, should consider going to confession.

The Irish Times is reporting on the Bishop’s statement, which was made on RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke during a discussion about Friday’s referendum in which two-thirds of the country voted to repeal an amendment which made abortion illegal in Ireland.

Bishop Doran, who heads the diocese of Elphin, said he believed voting “Yes” to repeal the amendment was a sin if someone “knew and intended abortion as the outcome” of their vote.

“[E]very person’s vote has both a moral significance and a political significance,” he said. “What I’d say to a Catholic who voted Yes is this, if you voted Yes knowing and intending that abortion would be the outcome then you should consider coming to confession.”

He added: “Ultimately all sin, and sin is not just related to this area, but all sin is about decisions that impact on our relationship with God.”

Should Catholics receive communion if they voted “yes” and didn’t go to confession?

“That’s a matter for their personal conscience because I can’t see into someone’s heart or soul as they approach the altar,” the bishop said. “In over 40 years as a priest I have never turned anybody away from holy communion because the presumption, as people approach the altar, is that they come in good faith.

“I think ultimately this is about asking people to take personal responsibility for their own relationship with God and their own relationship with the church," the bishop said.

Bishop Doran isn’t the only Irish prelate issuing a stark warning to Catholics who helped to usher in abortion-on-demand in Ireland.

On Sunday, Archbishop Eamon Martin said Ireland had “obliterated” the right to life of the unborn, and now stood on the brink of bringing in a liberal abortion regime, the Times reports.

Speaking in Knock in the wake of Saturday’s result, the archbishop said: “We have elevated the right to personal choice above the fundamental right to life itself.”

Some priests went even further. The Irish Sun is reporting that comments on social media suggest priests across the country took the opportunity to chastise “yes” voters during Sunday Mass.

In one case, parishioners were told that anyone who voted “yes” could leave the church immediately.

Thomas Crosse, an Irish radio presented, tweeted: "My mam went to mass earlier. The priest told the congregation if they voted yes, they weren’t welcome. So she got up and left.”

The Vatican’s Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, was more measured but still scolding as he said: “This is no victory to sing about, let along to rejoice over.”

Let us keep this troubled nation in our prayers.

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