Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Call for Masses for Ireland's referendum

Update: it has now been announced that the referendum is likely to be on 25th May, the Friday of Whit Week (after Pentecost).

A Dominican Rite High Mass in the Priory of the Holy Spirit (Blackfriars), Oxford

Latin Mass /  Una Voce groups throughout Britain and Ireland call for Masses to be offered for the Irish abortion referendum

Many readers will have heard of the attack on the unborn currently being planned in Ireland. The background is that in 1983, in the context of fears that Ireland’s historic legal protection of the unborn would be undermined by the courts, the Irish voted to amend their constitution—the Eighth Amendment—as follows:

The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.

A referendum is now being planned to abolish this amendment. This will take place in late May or early June.

Ireland’s protection of the unborn is of special significance because it is unique in Europe, and among ‘developed’ countries in general. It is therefore a test case for the argument, so often made, that abortion is necessary for the safety of mothers. In fact Ireland has one of the best records for maternal mortality in the world, a fact deeply embarrassing to the abortion industry. Abortion is not necessary for the protection of women’s health, but indeed is a direct attack on it.

In response to this threat, four affiliates of the Una Voce Federation in the British Isles have come together to appeal for Masses to be said for this intention. Ireland has two national associations: the older Latin Mass Society of Ireland, and the more recently founded Una Voce Ireland. They are joined by Una Voce Scotland, and the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales.

In their press release, John Briody, President of the Latin Mass Society Ireland, declared:

The act of abortion, the direct killing of an innocent person, is never permissible. Many pro-life groups are engaged in valiant campaigns to educate people on the reality of abortion and its effects. The role of God’s grace is recognised too in the prayer campaigns which have commenced. What better way to implore God’s grace than to offer the ultimate prayer, the Mass, in its most worthy form – to implore Almighty God to enlighten Irish citizens so that we better understand and fight this evil, which not only kills the bodies of our unborn brethren, but deprives their souls of baptism, the gateway to spiritual life (vitae spiritualis ianua)? (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213, quoting the Council of Florence).

Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, commented:

The significance of this referendum is world-wide. Over many decades, Ireland has demonstrated that a developed nation can protect the unborn and mothers at the same time, with one of the best records for maternal mortality in the world, giving the lie to the claim that access to abortion is necessary for the protection of women.

This is an issue which is close to hearts of our members and supporters, who are well represented in the Pro-Life movement.

It behoves us as Catholics to pray and offer Masses to protect our brothers and sisters in Ireland.

Masses to be offered for this intention include the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales’ annual Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Caversham, in Reading, on Saturday 24th February, and its annual Pilgrimage to Preston on Saturday 5th May.

The Dominicans of Holy Cross, Leicester, will be offering a Novena of Masses for this intention culminating on the Feast of St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on 19th March.

We hope readers will feel inspired to add their own Masses, prayers, and sacrifices for this important intention.

Voice of the Family has also called for a spiritual crusade for this intention.
Support the work of the LMS by becoming an 'Anniversary Supporter'.


  1. A great cause. Let us hope and pray Ireland does not fall any lower.

  2. You seem to be labouring under a widely shared misapprehension about the legality of abortion in the Irish Republic. Because of the misnamed 2013 'Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act' abortion is already legal in Ireland in any case where the life of the mother is threatened including the crucial case where a mother states that the thought of having her baby makes her feel suicidal. What is more, the abortion can be carried out up until birth, making the Irish abortion regime particularly liberal and evil. The government wishes to repeal the Eighth amendment not in order to make abortion legal but in order to prevent anybody challenging the current law on the basis that it is inconsistent with the Irish Constitution taken on its own or, more surprisingly, with the Irish Constitution taken in conjunction with the European Convention on Human Rights. Furthermore, the procedures for obtaining an abortion in the Republic are cumbersome. In the case of threatened suicide the case has to be signed off by one real doctor and two psychiatrists. The government wishes to make it very easy for a woman to kill her child in the first twelve weeks after conception. Make no mistake, Ireland, as its vote for sodomite unions shows, is no longer a Catholic country. The bishops are too craven or too modernist to make clear to those who still go to Mass the consequences for their eternal salvation of voting in favour of infanticide. The laity will also wait in vain for any intervention from the pope in favour of the unborn. The snakes that Saint Patrick banished have returned with a vengeance.