In his New Year's day homily at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Sligo, Bp. Kevin Doran of Elphin said he was beset by "a profound sadness" at self-identified Catholic politicians who abandoned the principles of the Faith to enable the killing of the unborn.
Bishop Doran denounced those who have "publicly and persistently promoted" abortion "for political or ideological reasons" or "for their own personal advancement"; by promoting "the taking of innocent human life," Doran warned, pro-abortion politicians have "chosen a position which is clearly out of communion with the Church."
"There is no point in pretending otherwise," he said.
The bishop also warned of the corrosive impact abortion will have on Irish culture.
"This denial of the fundamental right to life will, whatever people say, unquestionably undermine the common good of our society," he said. "It will undermine the inner peace of mothers, fathers, grandparents, doctors and nurses and all who are directly touched by it."
Doran has spoken often in support of life. In August, he marked the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae by declaring that the encyclical's principles "have been ignored too long" and need to be "presented in contemporary language in an appropriate context."
"In a world which has embraced abortion and is flirting more and more with euthanasia, it may seem almost foolish to even suggest at this time that we should attempt to regain the ground that has been lost," Doran added. "To propose once again as Paul VI did a coherent and integrated vision of human sexuality in which the unitive purpose of the sexual act is never separated from the openness to the act of giving life."
But, he said, "There is undoubtedly a place in schools for an appropriate presentation of the church's teachings on human sexuality," he said. "I think we have, again, problems to address there. Not least, having a very good quality, Catholic inspired programme for relationship and sexuality."
In the aftermath of Ireland's national abortion referendum, the bishop warned that those who voted to repeal constitutional protections for the unborn had committed a grave sin.
"If you voted yes knowing and intending that abortion would be the outcome, then you should consider coming to confession, where you would be received with the same compassion that is shown to any other penitent," he said.
In May, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize abortion by national referendum. On May 25, two out of three Irish voters cast ballots approving the procedure. Abortion on demand is now legal throughout the first trimester, and in some cases, up to the end of the second. The new law forces taxpayers to fund abortions and compels Catholic hospitals to provide them.