In a recent meeting of Priests, representatives of Parish Pastoral Councils
and Pastoral Workers, we spoke about the 8th amendment. Parishes shared
their initiatives and experiences, thoughts and worries about the whole
process. One thing that did emerge from the conversation was the need for
compassionate listening. Reasonable debate, the need to look at the facts
and to understand the principles that underpin the 8th amendment were also
points expressed. The underlying human rights issues were seen as pivotal
in the discussion. In order to have a debate it is imperative that we know
the text from the constitution that is under scrutiny so we ask you to read
it. (Article 40 contains other aspects that you could read also and article
41 is about the family)
*Constitution of Ireland *
*Article 40. *
All citizens shall, as human persons, be held equal before the law. This
shall not be held to mean that the State shall not in its enactments have
due regard to differences of capacity, physical and moral, and of social
Titles of nobility shall not be conferred by the State.
No title of nobility or of honour may be accepted by any citizen except
with the prior approval of the Government.
The State guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by
its laws to defend and vindicate the personal rights of the citizen.
The State shall, in particular, by its laws protect as best it may from
unjust attack and, in the case of injustice done, vindicate the life,
person, good name, and property rights of every citizen.
The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard
to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to
respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate
This subsection shall not limit freedom to travel between the State and
This subsection shall not limit freedom to obtain or make available, in the
State, subject to such conditions as may be laid down by law, information
relating to services lawfully available in another state.
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