For a religious leader who seems happy to speak out on political, scientific, and non-religious matters all of the time, the Roman Catholic Pope, Francis, seems oddly silent in the wake of Ireland’s vote to legalize abortion.
Here is one issue where the Catholic Church should voice its opinion to the masses – particularly in a nation that is predominantly Roman Catholic – and yet, Pope Francis sits silently twiddling his thumbs.
In Ireland, the local Catholic leadership has not been so quiet.
The vote showed Ireland’s people had distanced themselves from the Catholic church, which now has a marginal role in Irish society compared to its past influence, Primate of Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin, and archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, said, according to The Guardian. While the campaign to legalize abortion largely promoted legalization as an issue of women’s rights, church leaders say the argument over abortion was lost when the church lost credibility in Ireland over sexual abuse scandals.
“Many will see the results of Friday’s referendum as an indication that the Catholic church in Ireland is regarded today by many with indifference and as having a marginal role in the formation of Irish culture,” the archbishop of Dublin told a congregation on Sunday, according to The Guardian.
Martin said while the vote “deeply saddened” him, he knew the result did “not come out of the blue.” There was an obvious “changed culture” in Ireland and “for some years, we have been aware of a drift away from our congregations,” he added, according to The Guardian.
Meanwhile, the Vatican has been silent.
The people of Ireland, according to its Catholic leaders, have distanced themselves from the church and may even be signaling (with their vote) that the church no longer has moral authority in Ireland. If ever there was a time for Pope Francis to speak out in an effort to call his people back to the church, it’s now. Instead he’s likely planning his next sermon on global warming, or his next interview where he says hell doesn’t exist, or his next confession where he tells a sinner that his sins aren’t really sins.
Perhaps, if the Pope would get back to his day job of leading the Roman Catholic Church and begin calling the hundreds of millions of Catholics worldwide to embrace church teachings on morality, we wouldn’t have so many Catholics embracing child murder as acceptable?
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