Primate of All-Ireland Cardinal Sean Brady has confirmed the church’s decision to take more aggressive action against the bill.
The Irish Independent reports that the Catholic hierarchy will renew opposition to the bill over the coming days.
Cardinal Brady made the pledge after a mass in Drogheda to honor the martyred Irish Archbishop of Armagh, St Oliver Plunkett.
The Cardinal said the hierarchy will issue another strongly-worded and wide-ranging statement on Monday outlining their opposition to the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.
His remarks come after an estimated crowd of 50,000 attended a pro-life rally in Dublin.
He said: “The battle is not yet lost. There are various ways to challenge but those are for the lawyers to work out and we have to see what the final vote outcome is.
“I used a statement last week in which I urged politicians denied the right to exercise their freedom of conscience to challenge it in the courts.
“Even if the legislation is passed, the church may back efforts to pursue other options.”
The Cardinal confirmed that the Bishops will send an open letter to all members of the Irish parliament on Monday, urging them to reject abortion and promote life.
The Bishop of Ferns has also criticized the pending legislation. Speaking at the National Shrine in Knock, Bishop Denis Brennan criticized the lack of a free vote in the parliament.
He said: “I have huge admiration for those TDs (deputies), who despite massive pressure to toe the party line had voted and will vote with their conscience.”
The Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Brown, also referred to the legislation as he addressed the packed church in Drogheda.
The report says that, in his homily, Archbishop Brown referred to the Irish Constitution’s ‘explicit guarantee’ of the freedom of conscience to every citizen.