Dublin, Ireland, Jan 28, 2019 / 11:30 am (CNA).- A pro-choice Irish legislator has been denied the reception of Holy Communion, after he announced that he had voted in favor of measures that allow for abortion in Ireland.
Robert Troy, the member of parliament, or Teachta Dala, for the Irish constituency of Longford-Westmeath, revealed in a December interview that he voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment to Ireland’s constitution, which prohibited abortion in the nation. The amendament was repealed after a May 2018 referendum on the issue.
Troy had previously identified as pro-life.
“I voted to repeal it,” Troy told Irish magazine Hot Press in December 2018.
“I have to say, I thought long and hard about it. In terms of repealing the Eighth, I would have no issue in terms of fatal foetal abnormalities, incest and rape. Other areas I’m uncomfortable with it. But when it came down to it, I asked myself the question: ‘By voting no, would it prevent one termination?’ And I then I said, ‘No, because what it does is, it victimises women and it forces them to go abroad.’ While I had concerns about the 12-week nature, I ultimately came down with the decision to vote Yes.”
In the same interview, Troy said that he had supported a successful 2015 effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Ireland.
The Times reported that Troy was denied the Eucharist at a Jan. 4 funeral Mass in the Diocese of Meath. The diocese has not commented publcly on the matter.
The report comes amid debate in the United States over the situation of New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo, a Catholic who signed into law Jan. 22 a set of measures that will allow for abortion in New York throughout a woman’s pregnancy, if her “life and health” require it. Some Catholic groups have called for a response from Cuomo’s bishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.
Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law says that Catholics “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”
A 2004 memorandum penned by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who would later become Pope Benedict XVI, told bishops that if a Catholic politician is “consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws,” his pastor “should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.”
Citing a document from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ratzinger continued: “when ‘these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible,’ and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, ‘the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it.’"
In May 2018, another Irish legislator, John Halligan, claimed that despite his avowed atheism, he was singled out to be prohibited from serving as a confirmation sponsor in the Diocese of Waterford because of his pro-choice position.
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