A Catholic priest in Dublin reportedly told parishioners they had “no businesses” receiving holy communion if they voted “yes” in the abortion referendum.
The unnamed priest made the comments during Sunday mass at a southside Dublin church, saying they had “no business approaching the altar if they voted YES in the abortion referendum,” according to Dublin Talks, an Irish radio talk show. Online Catholic activists reportedly lauded the priest’s stance and went as far as to say that those who voted “yes” should leave the church, according to The Liberal. (RELATED: Abortion Referendum Shows Church’s Weakened Position In Ireland, Irish Archbishops Say)
Kevin Doran, the bishop of Elphin, also rebuked Catholics who voted “yes” in the referendum, saying they had sinned and should therefore go to confession.
though “the Catholic Church is a family and nobody ever gets struck off what I’d say to a Catholic who voted Yes is this, if you voted Yes knowing and intending that abortion would be the outcome then you should consider coming to confession,” Doran said, according to Irish Central.
When asked if voting “yes” in the referendum was a sin, Doran replied, “If they knew and intended abortion as the outcome, yes, I believe so.”
Doran also said, however, that he would not turn someone away from receiving holy communion if they had not confessed after voting “yes.”
“That’s a matter for their personal conscience because I can’t see into someone’s heart or soul as they approach the altar,” Doran said, according to Irish Central. “In over 40 years as a priest I have never turned anybody away from holy communion because the presumption, as people approach the altar, is that they come in good faith.”
“I think ultimately this is about asking people to take personal responsibility for their own relationship with God and their own relationship with the church. But I would be putting down a marker that it isn’t something that you can just take as casual, like it doesn’t make any difference,” he added.
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