COUNTY WESTMEATH, Ireland (ChurchMilitant.com) - Earlier this month, a priest in Ireland denied Holy Communion to a politician who supports legal abortion.
Father John Hogan refused to give Holy Communion to Robert Troy, a member of the Irish Parliament, at a funeral Mass on Jan. 4. The Mass where this happened was at the Church of St. Nicholas in the village of Multyfarnham in the diocese of Meath.
Troy had a previous track record of being opposed to abortion until he said publicly that he voted in favor of abortion in Ireland's abortion referendum in May 2018. In that referendum, the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to legalize abortion by overturning the Republic's Eighth Amendment, which protected the right to life of the unborn.
In December 2018, Troy told the press that he had voted for abortion in the referendum earlier last year.
Father Hogan refused to give Holy Communion to Troy when he came forward for Communion at the funeral Mass, owing to the politician's stance in favor of decriminalized abortion. Both Fr. Hogan and Troy have declined to give comment to the media about the incident.
Ever since the May 2018 abortion vote, Church leaders have been divided over how to handle the fallout from the legalization of abortion in Ireland.
In a homily on New Year's Day, Bp. Kevin Doran of the diocese of Elphin denounced politicians who back abortion, warning that they have "chosen a position which is clearly out of communion with the Church."
Back in May 2018, Bp. Doran had said that those who knowingly voted in favor of abortion needed to go to confession.
The Emerald Isle's senior prelate, Abp. Eamon Martin of Armagh, made comments suggesting that pro-lifers should fight to ensure that the new abortion legislation "allows for abortion which is rare, which is safe, and which is legal."
A spokesperson for the archbishop later claimed that this comment was taken out of context.
Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan of Waterford and Lismore has said that those who voted for abortion should not go to Communion unless they repent and go to confession.
However, Bp. Cullinan also said that he would not deny such people Holy Communion, saying, "On the spot that is a totally different matter, because then you are politicizing the actual Mass itself, very awkward situation that you don't want to get into."
Many saw Ireland's abortion vote as the latest sign of its loss of Catholic identity. The Emerald Isle used to be known as a bastion of Catholicism, but the Faith has been declining at breakneck speed for several decades now.
Father Hogan is a parish priest in the diocese of Meath. He is also founder of the Fraternity of St. Genesius, a private association of the lay faithful which offers spiritual support and intercession for those involved in cinema and theater. Its namesake, St. Genesius of Rome, is patron saint of actors.
The Irish priest appeared on EWTN with Fr. Mitch Pacwa in 2012 and has been on EWTN programs since then as well.
Father Hogan is apparently a professed member of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites.