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Irish Bishops disappointed by referendum result

Ireland's  Catholic bishops have expressed disappointment at the outcome of last week's abortion referendum and "vigorously refute" suggestions that their position on the referendum proposals compromised Church teaching on the sacredness of human life in the interests of political expediency.

In a statement released at the end of their spring meeting on Wednesday, they also dismissed as "absolutely untrue" suggestions by media commentators that their unanimous position on the referendum proposals was linked to the contribution which religious congregations have agreed to make to the Government's Compensation Scheme for victims of child abuse.

They also expressed regret at the low poll in the referendum.

Their full statement read: "We believe that human life is sacred from the moment of conception and that a primary function of law is to protect the most needy and vulnerable human beings, including the unborn. We are therefore disappointed at the result of last week's Abortion Referendum which effectively leaves the judgment of the Supreme Court in the "X Case" as the authoritative legal interpretation of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution."

Irish Bishops' statement on abortion referendum
Bishops' Abortion Referendum website

Irish Times

15 Mar 2002