BISHOP of Killaloe Fintan Monahan is pleading with voters to vote no in the upcoming referendum on the Eighth Amendment.
He believes the right to life is sacred and a most fundamental human right and that human life should be protected from the moment of conception until natural death.
“A ‘Níl’ vote in the referendum will keep the equal right to life of the mother and the unborn baby and this will continue to save the lives of countless babies for the foreseeable future,” Bishop Monahan said.
Bishop Monahan believes the gift of human life is the most profound and wonderful gift that we have on this earth.
“I contend that God is the author of all life and God only decides who should live or die. The most fundamental human instinct of all human beings is to live, to thrive, to celebrate life and to develop to her or his potential.
“I believe that every living being deserves the opportunity to do this,” he added.
Bishop Monahan confirmed that he is constantly being contacted by pro-life campaigners expressing their concerns about repealing the Eighth Amendment.
He pointed out that it is an issue that people hold very definite views on and feel very strongly about, himself included.
Bishop Monahan said that rape is an unthinkable crime and a terrible violation of the dignity of a person.
“In the case of a woman being raped or as a result of incest and becoming pregnant it is essential that every possible effort is made to give care, counselling and any assistance available.
“But is it right to punish the unborn child for the crime of his or her father? Surely that child has a right to life also, provided every professional help and assistance is given to his or her mother,” he added.
In the case of fatal-foetal abnormalities, Bishop Monahan believes every baby deserves the right to “live as long as God sees fit”.
“In the Christian view of things whether it is in the case of an unborn child or an elderly person, terminally ill, it is not up to humankind to choose when they should live or die and the challenge and reality of the suffering involved has profound meaning that might not be as obvious to a person searching for faith,” he said.
Bishop Monahan advised anyone considering an abortion to seek help and objective advice and carefully consider the situation before making a decision.
“No matter how difficult or traumatic the situation there are always options. Help is always available.
“Advice, counselling, assistance, support, family, friends, carers and a listening ear will help to get through any situation no matter how challenging,” he added.