Pro-Life Hypocrisy by the Church

Pro-Life hypocrisy by the Church

IRSP Belfast Activist Conchur Ó Ceallachain highlights the absolute hypocrisy of the Church and their influence in the Abortion Debate in Ireland. 

The last number of years have seen a serious shift in attitude on the abortion debate in the 26 counties. This being mirrored by a growing campaign in the North of Ireland calling for Women to be allowed to choose whether to have free and safe access to abortions. One recent poll carried out by Kantar Millward Brown reported that 48% of respondents supported giving women access to abortion services with 33% against. Numerous other polls show similar figures. In the north of Ireland there has been cases brought to court which concluded that Women’s lack of access to safe abortion services were ‘inhuman and degrading’.

All of the above come amidst emotive campaigns by so called “pro-choice” and “pro-Life” activists on the abortion debate. The use however of the “pro-life” label by those who oppose women’s access to abortion services is highly hypocritical given the strong influence of the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations in these campaigns. Many point to the Churches track record in covering up abuses of Children and Mothers in the care of the Church as a contradiction to their “pro-life” stance.

However I would like to point out another major hypocrisy in the “pro-life” position; the Churches stance on the use of contraception, especially condoms in Africa.

Since the global HIV virus outbreak, the Catholic Church has refused to change its teachings on the use of condoms, claiming that they are not effective. Pope John Paul II toured Africa in 1990 and finished the trip by declaring condoms as a sin and promoted abstinence and marital fidelity as solutions.

This was completely in contrast to medical professionals’ advice at the time. The church would rather promote their ‘moral’ values than encourage a highly effective preventative measure in stopping the spread of HIV.

To this day millions have died from HIV/Aids in Africa and millions are still infected. This has led to a whole generation of Children being raised by Grandparents, many of whom are born HIV positive via Mother to Child transmission.

Shockingly the Catholic Church maintains its deadly stance on the matter to this day. Pope Benedict XVI remarked to the horror of medical professionals that condoms could worsen the spread of HIV. Pope Francis then arrived in Africa in 2015, visiting HIV/Aids treatment centres and kissing victims. Some may have expected him to take a more progressive view but he refused to soften the Churches stance, instead telling journalists that there are bigger problems.

It is in this context that I question how “pro-life” the church really is if it can repeatedly ignore the advice of medical professionals on HIV in Africa, yet claim to take the moral high ground in Ireland where many young women want the right to choose whether to have safe and free abortions. With the Churches track record should the wellbeing of Women be dictated by the unhealthy and terrible moral compass of the Catholic Church?