DUBLIN, Ireland, JUNE 16, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Irish bishops’ conference has told the Church’s pregnancy counseling service to stop offering women a government leaflet which names agencies that give information about overseas abortions.
On Monday the bishops convoked a three-day conference to address, among other matters, the controversy regarding the policies of Cura, the Church’s national crisis pregnancy organization.
The issue centered on Cura’s cooperation with a state-run program. Following an agreement with the governmental Crisis Pregnancy Agency, Cura began distributing a “Positive Options” leaflet, which indirectly refers interested women to abortion clinics.
Concerned Cura volunteers exposed the issue, and the group’s National Executive Committee sought moral guidance from the bishops.
In response, a statement from the episcopate today said: “The bishops recognize that the intention of those who favor giving the leaflet in very specific circumstances is to try to save the life of the unborn baby and that the experience of volunteers suggests that this may not always be a vain hope.
“The suggestion made in some quarters that Cura volunteers would give the leaflet in order to deliberately facilitate an abortion is unfounded.”
Nonetheless, the bishops stated that the leaflet cannot be used unless some aspects are changed in order that abortion is not presented as just one option among others, much less a “positive option.” The leaflet would also have to emphasize that the child’s right to life.
The bishops asked Cura to discontinue the use of the leaflet and to voice their concerns with the governmental Crisis Pregnancy Agency.
Cura’s National Executive Committee promptly issued a statement of acceptance of all recommendations and considerations of the bishops’ conference.