The Church must do everything possible to support women facing crisis pregnancies, the new Bishop of Galway has said.
Dr Brendan Kelly told The Irish Catholic that Church and society need to “support them in every way that we possibly can if there’s a child on the way” pointing out that people must be unafraid to say that “it is a baby that’s on the way from the very first moment”.
“That’s how people see it when they want a baby, that’s how it’s always described,” he said.
Following his installation as Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora on Sunday Bishop Kelly said Ireland’s constitutional protections for unborn children had clearly saved lives, and said it was vitally important to help mothers in need.
Noting how a willingness to miss the value of even the weakest human lives has become clear in jurisdictions with established abortion laws, Dr Kelly expressed a concern that such disregard can spread to attitudes towards older people and said that time spent in a French L’Arche commmunity had transformed his understanding of our duties to each other.
Describing how he had learned to “look after and cherish and care for the very bodies of people” who had to “surrender themselves into your hands because they had no other choice”, Dr Kelly said of this sense of responsibility to our fellow human beings and to those who can care for them: “This is why we must help mothers and why our society must give every possible support to mothers and their lives”.
Pointing to CURA, the Church’s national crisis pregnancy counselling service, as an example of a support that can be offered to help expecting mothers in difficult situations, Dr Kelly said: “I’d be very, very clear that we have to love both mother and child, and I think we can offer much more to mothers who are in difficult situations than simply abortion.
“We have to take better care of our women, of our mothers, than that. There are so many other supports that they can be given,” he said.