After only mentioning the ‘unborn’ once Archbishop Martin then criticises the pro-life movement not Enda Kenny!

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin gave another perplexing homily in the face of the unprecedented threat to unborn babies posed by Enda Kenny’s Abortion Bill. As before, Archbishop Martin preferred to widen his focus to talk about the dignity of all human life. He only mentioned the unborn once, and never  once referred to Enda Kenny’s Protect of Life During Pregnancy bill.  But this time Archbishop Diarmuid Martin added something new, he criticized the pro-life movement, and offered no criticism of the pro-abortion Catholic politicians. Associated Press is reporting Archbishop Martin as criticising the pro-life supporters gathered to celebrate Mass with him. AP reports:

But in a nuanced sermon Martin told the crowd, among them families sitting on the floor beside packed pews, that pro-life campaigners must be careful not to come across as heartless to those on the other side of the debate. Martin said those seeking to keep abortion out of Ireland must make their case ”not through slogans but through the witness of life that we give.” If not, he said, “what we say will appear, to quote Pope Francis, as being cold, impersonal and oppressive for people’s day-to-day lives.”

For some reason unknown to everyone but himself Archbishop  Diarmuid Martin is unable to focus solely on the plight of unborn babies threatened by Kenny’s Abortion Bill, even though the 60,000 plus people gathered for the Rally for Life where there solely to protect the lives of Irish babies and their mothers from the nightmare of abortion:

‘The Christian message is a message which respects life and respects every human life, from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death and at every moment in-between.  It respects the life of the unborn; it cherishes and wishes to protect the lives of mothers and mothers to be.  It searches out for those who are the weakest; it must stand by all those who suffer anguish and anxiety and hopelessness, all those who are suffering poverty and hunger and precariousness, all those who for any reason are unable to celebrate the joy of life which is their birthright as children of God.

Being Pro-Life is not about a slogan or a mantra.  It is about being someone who searches for the foundations of the deepest meaning of life and the roots of hope.   I often repeat the beautiful and simple words of Pope Benedict at the Mass of his inauguration as Bishop of Rome: “We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary”. Willed!  Loved! Necessary!  Being Pro-Lifemeans working for a culture in which every human person is recognised as willed, loved and necessary and where every human person feels assured that they are willed, loved and necessary.’

But what is jar-droppingly shocking is Archbishop Diarmuid Martin laying into the pro-life movement on the day that 60,000 women, men and children protested against the biggest threat to Ireland’s Culture of Life in its history:

‘No matter what legislation is in place in any nation and no matter how such legislation will change, the Church will continue to teach about the dignity of each human life and how the direct and wilful destruction of human life is never acceptable.  Our challenge is to witness to that truth not through slogans but through the witness of life that we give.  If we do not focus on the quality and the integrity of our witness to the convictions of our conscience and our belief, then what we say will appear, to quote Pope Francis, as being “cold, impersonal and oppressive for people’s day-to-day lives”.


Protect the Pope comment: How about the ‘cold, impersonal and oppressive’ lack of integrity of Enda Kenny and the pro-abortion politicians Your Eminence? How about those pro-abortion politicians and journalists who have made the death of  Savita Halappanavar into a slogan to legalise the abortion of babies? Enda Kenny’s bill doesn’t threaten the elderly, or the poor, or the depressed Your Eminence, it threatens 1,000′s of babies! Why can’t you say this?



37 comments to After only mentioning the ‘unborn’ once Archbishop Martin then criticises the pro-life movement not Enda Kenny!

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon Nick,

    With leadership like this in the Catholic Church in Ireland…the abortionists must be larfing their heads off.

    Unbelievably useless…has all the utility of a chocolate fireguard.

  • tro

    The discredited playbook of Cardinal Bernardin.

    Oh dear!

  • Lynda

    This is Archbishop Diarmuid Martin’s MO. He derides the hard-working, suffering, sacrificing people who work for the prolife cause, ditto for those who work against great odds to uphold the one, true Faith. The effect at any rate is demoralisation of the Faithful and encouragement of those who hate the Church and the Deposit of Faith, and who support the legalising of the killing of children in utero and other evils. Those committed to the Faith gave up looking for support, never mind leadership in Faith and morals from him. In fact, it would be be a much better situation for the Faith and morals in Ireland if he just kept silent. It is a trial. We pray for our Bishop and remain obedient to him in all that accords with Church teaching.

  • Michael Petek

    If – and I fear when – abortion becomes legal in Ireland, it is Archbishop Martin who will have blood on his hands.

    • tro

      There has to be a reason for pusillanimous ‘strategy’, but I certainly can’t see a good one.

      Why is he bayoneting his own troops?

      Odd and demoralising.

      He seems to be showing scant concern for the the most vulnerable and powerless of all.

  • Richard

    From what you quote all that the archbishop said was that Christian witness needs to be a witness of the way we live, not just parading slogans. How is this “laying into the pro-life movement?” It may well be a message that some pro-lifers need to hear. Protesting about abortion has surely to be accompanied by practical help given to women in their dilemmas. George W. Bush said he was pro-life and was supported by Catholics as such, but during his presidency rates of abortion in the USA went up (he also launched the war on Iraq and as governor of Texas ordered more executions than any previous governor). Under President Clinton rates of abortion went down because he followed policies to help women avoid having an abortion, even though he said he was pro-choice. So what is it really to be pro-life?

  • ms Catholic state

    With prelates like Diarmuid Martin…..we can only thank God for the strong pro-life movement in Ireland. It is really baffling. This is either a deliberate strategy….or a loss of Faith. I think it is the former. But why on earth do they think it is going to be effective?!

    Our Lady….please keep Ireland abortion free, and bless abundantly the pro-life movement of Ireland!

  • Andrzej

    Martin said those seeking to keep abortion out of Ireland must make their case ”not through slogans but through the witness of life that we give.” If not, he said, “what we say will appear, to quote Pope Francis, as being cold, impersonal and oppressive for people’s day-to-day lives.”

    OK, imagine someone would want to legalize child rape. Would we be engaging them in a civil discussion, taking care how we appear, that we aren’t oppressive of the other side?

    NO WE WOULDN’T! The just thing to do would be a punch in the face and stern warning that any further action to legalize such behavior would result in a much stronger – even lethal – reaction.

    So why are we even debating abortion???? There are some things than should not be debated and to debate them just lends credibility to the other side.

  • peter

    I’m not so sure Nick.

    If you read the whole sermon, Archbishop Martin is asking us to fight everything that harms human life. He asks us to love those we disagree with and by that witness of love we can change peoples hearts. It seems to me, a deeply spiritual homily and gives me hope.

    I link the suffering of the unborn and the suffering of Jesus. It seems to me we are called to be in solidarity with the unborn and all who suffer. I believe when we recognise the suffering of the unborn, there is a special grace that reminds us of that we are hoping for – a world built on love and salvation in the suffering Jesus.

    • Deacon Nick Donnelly

      Peter, I would have no problem with Archbishop Martin’s homily at any other time, but a few days before the vote to legalize abortion is not the time for such oblique nuance. What’s needed is plain speaking and direct challenge. I don’t disagree with you Peter, but I link the violation and killing of the unborn to the legalised torture and murder of Jesus, and all brutalised murder victims. There is something so evil about torture and murder that it transcends all other suffering. Deacon Nick

      • Peter

        This afternoon I have written to every TD stating my opposition to abortion. I also sent the rules of discernment given in the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius. I think everyone should write to TD’s. The list of emails can be found on the House web site.

        • Deacon Nick Donnelly

          Peter, this is a great idea, particularly the sending them the rules of discernment. Deacon Nick

        • ms Catholic state

          Peter….is it possible that you can write to every TD again….and warn them of Hell if they vote for this bill. For nobody who is pro-abortion gets into Heaven. This makes people stop and think.

          • ms Catholic state

            If it is possible….you could also remind them that while there are no pro-aborts in Heaven….Heaven is full of their victims.

        • ms Catholic state

          Glad to say that with a little help….I e-mailed all the TDs with the message that Hell awaits those who condone the murder of the unborn……while Heaven is full of their innocent victims.

    • Wake up England


      Fine words, as the expression is, butter no parsnips.

      Whilst you (and your ilk) waffle liberal platitudinous piffle, millions of babies are going to be murdered.

      This is a stark choice between defending the innocent from the very, very wicked.

      It is not the time for “Flower Power Love Hug-Ins” from 1971.

      Fudging this issue is yet another facet of your distorted view of Catholicism called “Peterism” – and it’s wrong. Very wrong.

      [Moderated by Deacon Nick]

      • peter

        Wake up England

        Solidarity with the poor, vulnerable and powerless is a theme In John Paul’s letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis. John Paul writes of solidarity in these terms

        “This then is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for for all” (#38).

        Our spirituality needs to be rooted in this solidarity with the powerless, and built on the love of God. If we don’t have a spirituality of love, we become just another NGO.


        • tro

          “Solidarity with the poor, vulnerable and powerless is a theme In John Paul’s letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis.”

          Who could be more vulnerable and powerless than unborn children?

          Do tell us.

          • peter


            we may have out wires crossed.
            i referred to John Paul’s letter because it helps me understand catholic solidarity. Solidarity is not a vague feeling of love and compassion, it leads to action and the common good.

            As i mentioned above, solidarity with those who are powerless and vulnerable is a good place to root ones spirituality.


        • Wake up England

          When you choose quotes and string them together it adds up to confusing incomprehensible droning-on

          Why not say something we ordinary people can understand?

          You’re far too pleased with yourself, Peter, and complaisant; given that you’re founding a your new religion of PETERISM, shouldn’t you preach a little more succinctly and plainly to the world-wide (potential) congregation whom you are so very keen to enlist – and lead astray?

          We’re not all blessed with the intellect of Hans Kung, you know.

          So keep it simple, dear.

          By the way:

          Are you a priest?
          Something to hide?

          • peter

            Wake up England
            sorry to confuse you.

            I used one quote about solidarity with the weak and powerless from John Paul II, It seems to me an opportune moment to reflect on the words of someone who will be a saint in a few months time.

  • Celia

    Archbishop Martin, of whom I have to admit I know nothing,clearly tailored what sounds to me like a good, thoughtful homily to his listeners: as ‘pro-lifers’ they surely don’t need reminding about what is going on at the moment vis-a-vis abortion in Ireland. I thought his definition of ‘being pro-life’ fine and I have to say necessary. Too many ‘pro-lifers’ in my experience while passionately against abortion appear much less bothered about the slow slide towards euthanasia in this country and the increasing lack of concern for the well-being of the vulnerable (think of those hospital scandals). We are all willed, loved and necessary- just as much in old age or middle age as before birth. And we should be careful not to appear to be ‘anti’ for ideological reasons. Not everyone who supports abortion intends evil and people can be open to reasonable argument if it’s combined with compassion.

    • Wake up England


      Kindly explain to me how destroying a baby can be anything but evil.

      How can it be compassionate to destroy a new life?

      Do you support the murder of children in the womb Celia?

      • Celia

        Many people, particularly younger people brought up in a society where abortion is acceptable, are simply not aware that it is a grave moral evil rather than a right. You know and I know that it is- the benefit of Catholic education and faith. But most people I come across do not have that benefit and are not likely to respond well to being told they’re evil-particularly if they’re trying to decide what to do about an unplanned pregnancy. Certainly I will always argue the child’s right to life- but not in a way I think counter-productive.

        • Wake up England


          Err Umm…………

          You say “Certainly I will argue the child’s right to life-but not in a way I think counter-productive”.

          I’m afraid I find that deeply shocking.

          • John Dare

            Why do you find that shocking WUE?

          • Wake up England

            John Dare:

            Because I am a Catholic.

          • John Dare

            Whats Catholic about not arguing in a way that is productive?

          • Wake up England

            John Dare: What a daft question.

            I should have thought that, by now, at least a little of what Catholics believe would be starting to rub off on you.

            Abortion is always wrong.

            Celia is saying – in paraphrase – that she will argue for an unborn child’s right not to be murdered IF (AND ONLY IF) SHE CONSIDERS IT NOT TO BE “COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE” TO DO SO.

            As a catholic she should Always and in ALL CIIRCUMSTANCES argue for the child’s right to life; not only when SHE thinks it’s appropriate so to argue.

            If your understanding of VERY BASIC Catholic teaching is so poor (having Trolled this blog day in and day out for so long) I can only suppose you must be extremely weak of intellect.

            The “Counter-Productive aspect of saying nothing in such circumstances is the wilful murder of a child in its mother’s womb. This is gravely contrary to God’s law.

            Why don’t you bother to learn the basics of Catholic teaching? If you’re so ignorant of what we believe, it’s quite impossible for you to have a meaningful opinion, either pro or con. So in effect, you’re wasting everyone’s time chiming-in with opinions that are based on no comprehension whatsoever of the subject under discussion.

            Or in better words: Trolling for the Hell of it as a sort of weird hobby.

            AND before you start whining-on about 19th Century nursery manners, may I pre-empt you by pointing out that it’s tremendously bad manners (“Rude” as you would say) to enter into a conversation about which you are wilfully ignorant.

          • John Dare

            The words I’m intererested in are ‘not in a way I think counter productive’. The important words seems to me to be ‘way’. For example you might convince a man by charm, or reason, or force ( in the best sense) of argument. Other ways of making a point are shouting, quoting rules, saying ‘I’m right and you’re wrong’ or being patronising.

            Its a choice, and the people who get what they desire are often good at making these choices.

          • Wake up England

            John Dare

            This is just the sort of Liberal nonsense one would expect from someone like you.

            It does nothing to protect the unborn baby or to uphold the teachings of Gods Holy Church.


            Do you not see that at least a basic knowledge of Catholicism is necessary to make comments with integrity or express valid opinions?

            You have every opportunity to learn, and therefore your continuing ignorance is wilful and deliberate.

            I repeat my opinion that you make a lot of silly comments on this blog for your own amusement; not to contribute meaningful opinion to a mature debate.

            Why not go and annoy the Protestants? No-one there would disagree with any of your ill-informed balderdash

          • John Dare

            Thanks for letting me have your opinions WUE. I suspect that you’re confusing good sense with ‘liberalism’. No one has a monopoly of good sense.

          • Wake up England

            John Dare:

            “Good Sense” is listening to Jesus Christ and accepting what his church teaches as being true.

            “Good Sense” is NOT defending abortion of babies from their mothers’ wombs.

            Of all the regular commenters on this blog. in my opinion, you manifest the least integrity.

          • John Dare

            Thanks for the compliment WUE. ;)

          • Wake up England

            John Dare:

            If you regard lack of integrity as a compliment then it’s no wonder your comments are so very deeply troubled.

            “Nudge Nudge, wink wink etc”

  • Karla

    ‘Irish bishops again urge lawmakers to reject abortion legislation, prepare for legal challenge’

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