Northern Ireland news

Outspoken priest has said he will protest outside Irish abortion clinics

Fr Paddy McCafferty has said those who voted 'Yes' in the Republic's abortion referendum can no longer consider themselves Catholic. Picture Mal McCann.

A high profile Catholic priest has said he will protest along with other pro-life activists outside clinics carrying out abortions when legislation is introduced in the Republic.

Fr Paddy McCafferty, parish priest of Corpus Christi Church in west Belfast, also said those who voted to repeal the eighth amendment, or who procure abortions, will go to hell unless they repent, adding that 'Yes' voters can no longer consider themselves practising Catholics.

"We will do our utmost to ensure, that many of the abortion clinics soon to be opened in Ireland, will eventually close, due to lack of interest and lack of clients," Fr McCafferty said.

"We will be outside those abortion clinics praying, witnessing and striving to persuade potential clients, not to kill their children", he said.

"Pro-life people including priests and even bishops, we will have to do that in Ireland, we will have to be there outside those places.

"There can be no more so-called 'cultural Catholicism' in Ireland. The Sacraments of the Lord's Church are not 'rites of passage'.

"We must find ways now to remove ourselves - our parishes and also our schools -from inherited situations which are amounting to an abuse of the faith and the sacraments. For example, the Sacrament of Confirmation being conferred upon boys and girls who will never again darken the door of the Church", Fr McCaffrey said.

Fr McCaffrey has been praised in the past for waiving his anonymity after giving evidence against former priest and convicted sex offender James Martin Donaghy, who was sentenced to 10-years in jail for abusing three victims, following a 2011 trial.

In a lengthy Facebook post the outspoken priest said those who voted yes, "must face up to the reality of the decision they made in the polling booth".

"To have voted for abortion – and to expect to be still considered a Catholic – is profoundly dishonest – morally and spiritually. You do not get to choose what parts of the teaching of Christ and His Gospel that you 'like' or 'agree with'.

"Those who voted Yes and who might still seek to consider themselves as 'practising Catholics' need a reality check. They have broken faith with Jesus Christ. They have committed a grave sin.

"Unless they sincerely repent and seek reconciliation with Jesus, they cannot be considered as Catholics in any true sense. Such is the gravity of what they done. The consequences of our actions on this earth also affect our destiny in eternity.

"If such people will not repent and seek God's forgiveness, then we simply have to let them go on the path they have chosen. The reality of Hell comes directly from the Word of God and the plain teaching of Jesus in the Gospel.

"Let us be clear: children who die in abortions go straight to God. They share in the vast company of the blessed who are happy in the everlasting Light.

"On the other hand, those who advocate for abortion, those who promote it, lobby for it, campaign for it – even worse – those who perpetrate abortions and those who deliberately procure them – are agents of Darkness.

"The greater guilt lies with the politicians and those who wielded their strong influences to secure abortion on demand in Ireland. Their immortal souls are in danger if they will not repent. We must pray for them as well as resist their evil work", he added.

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