Dermot Farrell, the Catholic Bishop of Ossory, has said that abortion is worse than rape.
Bishop Farrell, who was appointed by Pope Francis on January 3 of this year, sat for an interview with the Pat Kenny show on Newstalk FM, in which he called for a No vote in Ireland's abortion referendum on May 25.
First, made sure to qualify that rape is bad:
"First of all, rape is a violent act and it's a violent crime against a woman - a terrible crime."
Then, he suggested that women who have been raped and went on to have abortions have told him that the abortion was worse than being raped:
"And sometimes, what I understand from women who have been raped, is that the abortion that followed sometimes after rape was far worse than the rape itself."
He also argued that "abortion knows no gender bias":
“A man is equally responsible for a pregnancy. How often is the woman abandoned with her pregnancy, when the man, the child’s father, is unwilling to accept responsibility for it? In abandoning the mother of his child during pregnancy he indirectly encourages the woman to seek an abortion. Abortion knows no gender bias. In this regard abortion visits harm not only on women, but also on men and the surviving children,” he said.
He commented that “in recent years and more with increasing intensity during the past months, I have listened carefully to what has been said. I have listened as a son, as a brother, as an uncle, as a priest. I have heard heart-rending stories of people, sometimes couples, but usually women in very difficult situations. In recent weeks, since becoming Bishop of Ossory, I have listened with a new awareness to what is being said.”
Bishop Farrell had written a letter to parishioners on the Right to Life, making his case for why they should vote No.
Ossory is named for the ancient Kingdom of Ossory in the province of Leinster.