Rorate Caeli

Call for Masses for Ireland's abortion referendum

A previous Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Caversham, outside Reading, England. This year's Pilgriamge,
whose Mass will be offered for this intention, takes place this Saturday at 11:30am.
Latin Mass /  Una Voce groups throughout Britain and Ireland call for Masses to be offered for the Irish abortion referendum.

Many readers will have heard of the attack on the unborn currently being planned in Ireland. The background is that in 1983, in the context of fears that Ireland’s historic legal protection of the unborn would be undermined by the courts, the Irish voted to amend their constitution—the Eighth Amendment—as follows:

The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.

A referendum is now being planned to abolish this amendment. This will take place in late May or early June.

Ireland’s protection of the unborn is of special significance because it is unique in Europe, and among ‘developed’ countries in general. It is therefore a test case for the argument, so often made, that abortion is necessary for the safety of mothers. In fact Ireland has one of the best records for maternal mortality in the world, a fact deeply embarrassing to the abortion industry. Abortion is not necessary for the protection of women’s health, but indeed is a direct attack on it.

In response to this threat, four affiliates of the Una Voce Federation in the British Isles have come together to appeal for Masses to be said for this intention. Ireland has two national associations: the older Latin Mass Society of Ireland, and the more recently founded Una Voce Ireland. They are joined by Una Voce Scotland, and the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales.

In their press release, John Briody, President of the Latin Mass Society Ireland, declared:

The act of abortion, the direct killing of an innocent person, is never permissible. Many pro-life groups are engaged in valiant campaigns to educate people on the reality of abortion and its effects. The role of God’s grace is recognised too in the prayer campaigns which have commenced. What better way to implore God’s grace than to offer the ultimate prayer, the Mass, in its most worthy form – to implore Almighty God to enlighten Irish citizens so that we better understand and fight this evil, which not only kills the bodies of our unborn brethren, but deprives their souls of baptism, the gateway to spiritual life (vitae spiritualis ianua)? (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213, quoting the Council of Florence).

Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, commented:

The significance of this referendum is world-wide. Over many decades, Ireland has demonstrated that a developed nation can protect the unborn and mothers at the same time, with one of the best records for maternal mortality in the world, giving the lie to the claim that access to abortion is necessary for the protection of women.

This is an issue which is close to hearts of our members and supporters, who are well represented in the Pro-Life movement. 

It behoves us as Catholics to pray and offer Masses to protect our brothers and sisters in Ireland.

Masses to be offered for this intention include the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales’ annual Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Caversham, in Reading, on Saturday 24th February, and its annual Pilgrimage to Preston on Saturday 5th May.

The Dominicans of Holy Cross, Leicester, will be offering a Novena of Masses for this intention culminating on the Feast of St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on 19th March.

We hope readers will feel inspired to add their own Masses, prayers, and sacrifices for this important intention.

Voice of the Family has also called for a spiritual crusade for this intention.

Press release from the Latin Mass Society