Many Catholics are deeply distressed about the result of the Irish referendum. Abortion is a uniquely challenging ethical dilemma. It is quite different to the same-sex marriage referendum which was held in Ireland in 2015. Then a significant majority – including a majority of Catholics – voted for a change in the law which allowed same-sex couples to share with heterosexual couples the difficult delights of married life. Whatever one’s theology of marriage might be, it was hard not see that referendum result in positive terms. The vote to open the way for a legalisation of abortion in Ireland invites no such unambiguously positive interpretation. At best, it can only ever be the lesser of two evils.
30 May 2018, The Tablet