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21 April 2024
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Conscious bias in national media!

As I watched Monday night with RTE investigating abortion and followed by Katie Hannon's discussion proposing that Religious Formation be removed from schools, I was shocked by the extreme level of bias in both programmes. I pay for my TV licence along with the majority of the nation and am not happy that all that I hold most valuable is not just dismissed, but rubbished.

Human life, from the moment of conception is precious and with great potential and purpose regardless of viability or imperfect quality as judged in an increasingly material world. People are not material! We have responsibility to care for human life from the moment of conception. The conceived child is not the property of the parents or of lesser value than the mother or father. Nothing justifies the destruction of human life at any stage of existence.

Referring to an abortion as a 'delivery of a baby' makes is sound normal, but changes nothing in fact. For whatever purpose or by whatever means, abortion involves the killing of human life that is real and present and with purpose, even if we do not understand what that purpose might be. Did anyone really know the purpose of any conceived person until they had a chance to bring out what was/is within through the opportunity that life presents? The right of freedom of choice for the woman was mentioned a number of times. However, every freedom has a consequent responsibility.

The Catholic services exposed in the programme were of an extreme nature and reflected very harsh and judgmental response to the women who had abortions. Presenting the extreme, in any story, does not reflect the real truth or choices available. Yes, authorised Catholic organisations will seek to protect human life at all stages but not by control or by seeking to cause deeper guilt.

The call to remove Religious Formation from all schools followed on in perfect tandem with the investigation on abortion. The argument against Religious Formation/Education was strident, forceful, biased and aggressive. The purpose of Catholic education does not seek to oppress anyone or disregard any other faith or non-faith; it seeks to respect everyone.

If parents and teachers in indicate that they want their school changed from Catholic patronage, they will be supported and enabled. There is opportunity for change of patronage but most people are not opting for a different choice yet. That may change as time moves on, but let us not try to build a society that is without the beauty of different cultures, faiths, non-faiths, diversity and the freedom to live according to our chosen values.

Change is ongoing throughout time but let the change not grow out of anger, hatred, fear, selfishness or dismissal of any group of people or individual regardless of the person in early conception or any other stage of life. The dignity y of each person is linked with every person past, present and not yet even conceived. Meaningful decisions must be made in a meaningful way!

Cathy Burke,
Lucan Partnership of Parishes