Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Red Tail Wagging Blue Dog?

At the end of our St Genesius Film Club in Dublin yesterday evening, a number of people were discussing the government's decision to legislate for abortion and the Archbishops's response, one young man, a teenager commented: "Well, what do you expect?  It's the red tail wagging the blue dog."  An interesting comment and one which reflects the opinion of many that Labour has whipped Fine Gael into supporting its own anti-life agenda.  I do not know if it is true, but it may well be academic since history will record, and we will never forget, that Enda Kenny and Fine Gael as the majority party in government, brought abortion into Ireland.  

I see Labour Minister Pat Rabbitte is shocked at the Church's response and is castigating the bishops in his own inimitable way.   He wonders how the bishops can jump to conclusions when the legislation has not even been written, well the dogs in the streets, red, blue or green, know what Labour are trying to do.  The bishops have stood up and are being counted and are showing that in the struggle to come they will not be silenced now. Perhaps Minister Rabbitte is shocked to discover that the Church has teeth after all.  And it seems Minister Rabbitte does not like the term "culture of death", well it may grate on his ears, but that's what he and his colleagues in government are seeking to create. 

Of course bishops, faithful and pro-life organisations must work together, as I have said.  No doubt the media will be up to its usual tricks and will try and support red tail/blue dog in getting the legislation through,  That may well mean the "exposing" of another scandal involving the Church at a crucial moment, but I think we need to take a piece of advice from an exorcist when engaged in an exorcism - when the strange things start happening, ignore them, they are distractions designed to unsettle and interrupt.  It will be necessary, then, to be prepared and to have a plan of action ready.  While I hesitate to use the terms of war since they imply violence, which we must reject at all costs, we are engaged in a war - the battle for life. 

One of the issues the Archbishops's statement raised was that of the free vote - as I mentioned, the parties are going to impose the whip and so TDs will not be free to vote according to conscience but must do as they are told.  First of all I note the hypocrisy as Minister Rabbitte's insists that he did not want to see bishops dictating to legislators while he sees no problem in party leaders dictating to the consciences of TDs.  Whether he believes it or not, TDs will have to answer to God for the way they vote and their eternal salvation may well now depend on how they respond to this legislation.  If a party leader wants to send himself to hell, does he have the right to insist that his minions must do the same?

But I also thought of the Nuremberg trials, where Nazis tried to defend their actions by insisting that they were only following orders.  The judges at the trial correctly rejected that defence pointing out that each of us is responsible for our actions, and when it came to their part in the murder of millions of innocent people in the death camps they could not evade justice.   That insistence by the judges on personal responsibility has been accepted by most, yet now here in Ireland personal responsibility has no place, all that matters is that TDs do as directed by the leader. 

A third issue that also arises concerns our doctors: will they be forced to perform abortions?  It has been said that doctors will not be permitted to object in conscience.  I presume nurses will also be forced to participate in the procedures.  One doctor has said that she will leave medical practice if she is required to participate in the killing of the unborn.

And finally, another issue that now also arises is that of excommunication.  The Church in Ireland will have to brush up on its canon law to see how to deal with Catholics in parliament who vote for the legislation.  Are they to be excommunicated, or just deprived of the Eucharist?  And will the pastors of the Church have the courage to follow through?  Lest people think that this is the Church imposing the party whip - it is more nuanced than that.  The Church teaches that direct abortion is evil and never justified: a Catholic who wishes to remain in full communion with the Church cannot support abortion.  In the Church's eyes TDs will be free to act as they see fit, however if they vote for abortion legislation they themselves have broken communion with the universal Church:  the decree of excommunication merely confirms what the TDs have done themselves.

I also note the timing of all this: Advent and Christmas - the feast of the Incarnation, of the birth of the child who was God.   It is grotesque and a real sign that evil is at work.

In a related argument, Fr Alexander Lucie Smith reflects on how choice has become a god in the eyes of so many today.


  1. Thank you Fr. John for that link to that article in the Irish Independent. Wonderful, I hope other doctors follow suit and not give in to this heinous crime against life at its most vulnerable stage. It is bad enough that this should be even thought about at any time, but coming up to the celebration of the birth of Christ, it is even more unbelievable. We must pray alot for these sad politicians. I remember in 1990, King Baudouin of Belgium temporarily gave up his throne saying his Catholic conscience would not allow him to sign a controversial law legalizing abortion. If only we had more like him in our world today...

  2. My dear Father John, I wrote today on Vultus Christi, "Indeed, there is a famine in the land -- a famine of hearing the word of the Lord; for this reason do the fair virgins and the young men faint for thirst. Pray God to send preachers and teachers to His people, not of the sort that tickle the ears of their hearers with novelties, and trade in the false coin of compromises with the truth, but, rather, of the sort capable of bringing divine fire and light to those who languish in a world that, almost by the day, grows colder and more hostile to the truth." You, Father John, are one such preacher, one such teacher, bring fire and light to the Hibernia (long, hard winter) of many souls. My prayer and my fraternal support are with you.

  3. The below although very political in its structure is nevertheless inspired by Roman Catholic Christian principles. It was the hondout given to any politicians entering the Dail yeaterday as the baby murder legislation was bieng discussed. Christian Solidarity members protested outside the Dail and were handing this out.

    The Christian Solidarity Party condemns any Irish Government’s plans to implement the Holocaust of The Innocents by Abortion. We condemn that wicked, horrid and squalid political ideology which desires the murder of innocent persons at pre-birth baby stages.
    We in particular condemn the Irish Government for its failure to remove the inept and wicked X case judgement. We also condemn the Irish Government’s use of its’ Inexpert Committee’ while failing to make full use of the’ Dublin Declaration’. The Dublin Declaration which was the declaration by world wide experts in gynaecology and obstetrics. It was the result of the international maternal health symposium held in Dublin in September 2012. These experts stated that abortion is never necessary and is never a medical treatment.

    The Christian Solidarity Party state in opposition to the squalid Anti-Life policies dominant in Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail, Labour and Fine Gael that:-
    Without any exceptions
    Without any compromise
    Every Human Life is worth living
    From first instant to natural death

    We state that the Irish People are Pro-life and did not elect the Kenny’s , the Gilmores , the Gerry Adams, the Mary Lou Mcdonalds, the Mick Wallaces nor the Clare Daly’s to abuse the Irish State and its Legislature in order to implement abortion.