A Discerning Church

A Discerning Church Listens

Many of us don’t like the idea of abortion in Ireland. But at the same time we feel unsure about imposing our opinion on other citizens. Especially when the pregnancy is problematic. As a parish community which welcomes all, Gardiner Street Church wants to engage with the questions raised by this referendum. Pope Francis encourages us …

“to create spaces where pastoral workers can be helped and healed, ‘places where faith itself in the crucified and risen Jesus is renewed, where the most profound questions and daily concerns are shared, where deeper discernment about our experiences and life itself is undertaken in the light of the Gospel, for the purpose of directing individual and social decisions towards the good and beautiful’.”  Joy of the Gospel #77

We want to create a safe space to listen to the teaching of the Church, the experiences of women/couples facing challenging pregnancies and to the legal consequences of a yes/no vote. So, you are invited to three meetings in May.

Download Brochure

 Pat Coyle of the Jesuit Communications office has written some articles for the Jesuit website - Session 1 click here     Sessions 2 & 3 click here

Session 1 - Professor Pat Hannon- What is the Church’s teaching on abortion, the informed conscience and the law? 

Session 2 What is the experience of women in Ireland facing challenging pregnancies?

Pictured to the right are Fr Richard O'Dwyer SJ with Ann-Marie Lee, Midwife and Deirdre Twomey, Obstetrician at our 'A Discerning Church Listens' talk on 8th May. This talk was well attended and received excellent feedback. Our final talk is next week Tuesday 15th May at 8pm.

Session 3 Professor Gerry Whyte - 'What are the likely legal consequences of a Yes/No vote?' 


The aim of the meetings is to promote listening: listening to real life experiences, listening to the teaching of our Church and listening to the legal realities. This will not be a forum for campaigners but it will be a safe space for you to listen, inform your conscience and take that step towards a referendum decision.


Statements from Churches

Statement of the Irish Catholic Bishops

...Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution of Ireland (Bunreacht na hÉireann) has a particular vision which is based on respect for the right to life of every person. We believe that the deletion or amendment of this article can have no other effect than to expose unborn children to greater risk and that it would not bring about any benefit for the life or health of women in Ireland...
Two Lives, one Love


Church of Ireland

....We acknowledge that too often in this debate the voice of women has not been heard. The church will seek to continue to care for and pastorally stand alongside women, and their partners and families, who face immensely difficult situations and dilemmas....
Statement on the proposal to repeal

Evangelical Alliance Ireland

....We would strongly argue against any proposal to repeal the Eighth Amendment. We would see the Eighth Amendment as a positive Human Rights measure that is in keeping with Ireland’s growing reputation as a modern and compassionate

Statement of the Evangelical Alliance Ireland

Methodist Church in Ireland

...And we encourage all to prayerful and loving action in support of pregnant women and families who find themselves in need and seeking help. We remain committed to a society where all are valued and where we are willing to use our time and resources to ensure justice for all...

A society in which all are valued

Presbyterian Church in Ireland

...“We strongly urge you to work for an Ireland that follows a different, more truly progressive path, and is a place where the weak and vulnerable, including children in the womb, are cherished and protected.”...

Concerns Expressed with regard to the 8th Amendment

The Eighth Amendment reads 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.

(Article 40.3.3º)