Rome says no
2 March 2002
Rome says "no" London, 2 March 2002----The leader of the Catholic Church's fight against abortion is on public record as wanting Ireland's bishops to oppose the constitutional change on which the Irish people will vote on Wednesday. In November, Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, told a meeting in Rome that, while the situation in Ireland was delicate, he expected the bishops to come out against the proposal. John Smeaton, national director of the UK's Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), has since received a letter from Cardinal López's secretary indicating that the Cardinal had nothing further to add. Mr. Smeaton said: "From this I infer that Cardinal López continues to oppose the constitutional change despite considerable pressure on him from the 'yes' campaign. "The President of the Pontifical Council for the Family is the principal person in the Catholic church involved in opposing abortion worldwide, a position confirmed in an opinion obtained by SPUC from Kershaw, Fuligni&Fabbri, canon lawyers of Rome. "We earnestly hope that the Irish people vote in a pro-life, anti-abortion way by registering a decisive 'no' to the government's proposals on Wednesday. "We are not aware of any personal statement by the Holy Father on this matter." The meeting at which Cardinal López spoke was one which commemorated the 20th anniversary of Familiaris Consortio, a papal letter on the family. His remarks have been corroborated by Fr Ignacio Barreiro of Human Life International, who was present.