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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 22 March, 2019

Bishop compares abortion to involuntary Nazi euthanasia programme

Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran also said that Eight Amendment had meant that “a great number of women were supported culturally in not choosing abortion”.

Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran
Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran
Image: Screenshot via Salt and Light

A CATHOLIC BISHOP has compared abortion to the involuntary Nazi euthanasia programme carried out during the Second World War.

Speaking at an event organised by pro-life organisation Family and Life, Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran’s address hit on a number of contentious issues in the debate over the Eighth Amendment, and outlined the Catholic church’s opposition to it being repealed.

“There is an interesting, but chilling pamphlet that was published in Germany in 1920 and which contains the arguments of Karl Binding and Alfred Hoche in favour of euthanasia,” he said.

The document being referred to by Doran is Die Freigabe der Vernichtung lebensunwerten Lebens (Allowing the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Living), published by Binding and Hoche in 1920.

The pamphlet lays out under what conditions euthanasia is acceptable, and argues that killing people with intellectual disabilities can be justified by the money saved that would spent caring for them.

“The views of Binding and Hoche formed the ideological basis for the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of so-called ‘undesirables’ in places like Hadamar Euthanasia Centre [one of the main locations used by the Nazis during the euthanasia programme] ,” Doran went on.

Now people will laugh and tell you that there is no comparison at all between this and abortion in the case of life-threatening illness, but the comparison is perfectly clear. It is the acceptance of the principle that there is such a thing as a human life without value.

In the address the bishop also reflected on the introduction of the Eight Amendment in 1983 – something that he supported at the time.

“Looking back now, I have no hesitation in saying that we got it right,” he said.

I am convinced that thousands of lives have been saved and, notwithstanding the large numbers who traveled to England over the years, a great number of women were culturally supported in not choosing abortion.

In the speech he also said that any government seeking to legalise abortion is “guilty of a crime against humanity”.

He concluded by saying:

The most important thing of all is for pro-life people to arm themselves with the facts and to talk to their neighbours, just as you would about the All Ireland or the weather. This is not a time to be shy and retiring.

This is not the first time that Kevin Doran has come out strongly on a contentious political issue.

Last year during the same-sex marriage referendum he came under fire for saying that gay couples who have children are “not necessarily parents”.

He later said that he regretted any hurt caused by the comments.

Read: Bishop ‘regrets any hurt caused’ by saying gay couples with children are not parents

Also: Louise O’Reilly: “You can’t just tell a woman to be quiet because you feel like it”

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