Below is the text of a letter to our local TDs (members of parliament) in which Irish Franciscan Friars express their deep concern about the proposed legislation that would introduce abortion into Ireland.
Debate over this fundamental issue is often contentious and bitter. In keeping with the Franciscan spirit the tone of this letter seeks to be prayerful and courteous.
The Lord give you peace.
I write to you as an Irish citizen and also as a Franciscan friar, guided by the Gospel vision that inspired St Francis of Assisi. At the heart of that vision was a profound reverence for life.
As you are so well aware the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill has aroused intense discussion. The proposed legislation has raised grave concerns for many, particularly about its likely unintended impact on the protection and care for human life in our country.
I wish to echo the compassionate approach expressed by Pope Francis who has said: “We must listen, support, and understand in order to save two lives: we must love and support the mother in every way we can and also respect the smallest and most defenseless human being, to take all possible steps that can preserve the child’s life, to allow that child of God come to birth.”
I realise that you carry a major responsibility as you reflect on this most important matter – literally one of life or death.
I promise to pray for you as you fulfil your duty as our elected representative.