Minister criticises church's 'strident intervention' in abortion row

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte said today that he does not want to see the Catholic Church dictating to Oireachtas members how to legislate.

Minister Rabbitte said he was taken aback by the vigour of the language used by senior clergy opposed to abortion legislation.

The Government announced yesterday that it plans to legislate for abortion in certain cases, alongside regulations.

Four Archbishops, including Cardinal Sean Brady, claimed that the move would allow for the direct and intentional killing of the unborn.

Minister Rabbitte said that he is surprised at what he describes at their strident intervention at this stage in the debate.

"I'm a bit taken aback by the vigour of the language," he said.

"I'm also a bit surprised [by] the intervention at this stage because the legislation has not been published yet.

"So I'm not entirely sure how you can make that kind of strident intervention, without seeing the legislation."

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