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Tullamore parish apologises after Facebook post said IVF treatment was 'incompatible' with Catholic faith

Harris said he could not get his head around the comments.

Updated Dec 30th 2019, 5:25 PM

facebook A screengrab of the post which has since been deleted. Source: Facebook

TULLAMORE PARISH HAS apologised for hurt caused by a controversial Facebook post which said that IVF treatment was incompatible with the Catholic faith.

A post on Tullamore parish’s Facebook page, which has since been removed, caused outrage among groups who are trying to conceive. 

The post read: “The process of IVF damages embryonic stem cells and thus life and is therefore completely, clearly and totally incompatible with our Catholic faith. For all believers in God, all life is sacred at all times.”

It has since been deleted following the furore. 

A statement from the parish this evening reads: “A post published on the Tullamore Parish Facebook page on Christmas Eve concerning IVF has caused great distress to many members of our parish community and beyond.  For hurt caused we apologise.

“Matters concerning fertility are sacred and sensitive, and all children are cherished and God-given, this is the essence of the Christmas message.

“The parish understands the great suffering experienced by mothers and fathers who long for a child. At this time, we offer our pastoral and prayerful support to all parents and expectant parents.”

Health Minister Simon Harris today criticised the controversial comments about IVF treatment. Harris said he could not get his head around the comments. 

He said: “The idea that any Christian would find it objectionable is something that I never understand, that I never comprehend.

“So I thought the comments were, I’m sure unintentionally, but were extremely hurtful to many families who are struggling with fertility issues. I want those families to know that their government stands square behind them, and that we are moving ahead with plans to regulate IVF for the first time in our country.

“We know that about between 50% to 70% of people with fertility issues can have those fertility issues addressed without actually needing IVF if they can see a specialist in a regional  fertility hub. So I provided 2 million euro to the HSE to get on with doing that so I think the comments were unfortunate, insensitive and hurtful.”

The post on Facebook which caused the controversy added: “As Catholics, we are unapologetically pro-life and are proud and are honoured to stand up for the voiceless and for the vulnerable unborn persons whom we are called to love, cherish and bring closer to God.” 

The entire Facebook page has since been deleted. 

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