Priest refutes Senator’s claims

Local senator Mary Moran says that going to Mass should be about receiving the sacrament and not listening to campaigners speaking from the pulpit.

Local senator Mary Moran says that going to Mass should be about receiving the sacrament and not listening to campaigners speaking from the pulpit.

The Labour senator claims that while attending Sunday Mass in Blackrock, pro-life campaigners spoke to the congregation from the pulpit after communion.

The former secondary school teacher, who is the organist at St Fursey’s Church, Haggardstown told The Dundalk Democrat: “I think some of my comments were misinterpreted in the national media last week.

“I was not saying that I am pro-life or pro-choice. I was stating that if one side of the campaign is invited to speak, than the other side should also be given the opportunity.

“I am a practising Catholic and when I go to Mass, I want to receive the sacrament. I don’t want to listen to campaigners speaking from the pulpit.”

Speaking to The Dundalk Democrat about the issue, Very Rev Pádraig Keenan, parish priest, refuted claims that a member of the pro-life campaign spoke during the Mass.

He said: “Leaflets in relation to a vigil being held in Dublin were handed out by pro-life campaigners after the Mass.

“No leaflets were handed out during the Mass. No lecture was given during the Mass. No campaigners spoke during the Mass.

“I don’t want to get into a slagging match with Senator Moran,” he said.

Fr Keenan stressed that the handing out of leaflets had nothing to do with the parish or the church.

Meanwhile, Dr Ruth Cullen of the Pro Life campaign said: “Seriously, what does Senator Moran expect?

“The Catholic Church regards the right to life as a defining human rights issue. It’s hardly surprising that it’s going to promote this cause.

“It is completely bizarre that Senator Moran would suggest that the Church should give equal time to advocates of abortion to address their congregations.”