The Associated Press
May 27, 2018
Irish Catholics attending Sunday Mass were disappointed with the result of a referendum in which voters opted to legalize abortion and think it reflects the weakening of the Church — a situation that was unthinkable in Ireland a generation ago.
There was no mention of the referendum during the sermon at St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral, but it was weighing heavily on the minds of some worshippers as they left the Mass in central Dublin.
Ireland voted by a roughly two-to-one margin Friday to end a constitutional ban on abortion, and parliament is expected to approve a more liberal set of laws governing the termination of pregnancies.
Some worshippers said the overwhelming victory of abortion rights activists seeking the repeal of the Eighth Amendment of the constitution reflects a weakening of the Catholic Church’s historic influence and fills them with dread for Ireland’s future.
“I think the ‘yes’ vote was an anti-Church vote,” said Annemarie McCarrick, referring to the “yes” vote in favor of ending the constitutional ban.
The 52-year-old lecturer said on the cathedral steps that a series of sex abuse scandals had undermined the influence of the Church in Ireland. She said the Church had in recent weeks taken a “quiet” stand against repeal, but hadn’t been able to sway people.
“I am religious but the Church has definitely lost influence here because of the scandals,” she said. “The people will not take direction from the Church anymore. It’s hard for the Church to have credibility.”
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