Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has insisted his Catholic faith has not been damaged by the controversy over his Government passing the country's first abortion legislation.
According to the Irish Independent, Kenny says he remains a regular massgoer and his religious beliefs are intact.
'I'm a Catholic, admittedly not the best Catholic, but I am a Catholic,' he says. Then he added he was clear in his mind that the Irish government's passing of the abortion legislation through the parliament was 'absolutely the right thing.'
Kenny said the abortion legislation had dealt with 'very sensitive issues.'
Defending his handling of the passing of the legislation Kenny said the final vote, with three-quarters of all ministers backing the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013, was in tune with Irish public opinion.
'I think the vote in the parliament reflected accurately the public mood and the public expression of support in this case,' he said.
'It brings regulation, legal certainty and provides the women of the country who have had a Constitutional right conferred upon them, by virtue of the vote of the people and endorsed secondly, that they were never able to have clarity about – now that clarity is there, that certainty is there,' he said.
'And that is a good thing in terms of my Constitutional responsibility here. As I said on many occasions, it is about women, it's about their lives and the lives of their unborn children.
'Written into the legislation is the clarity of the Constitutional responsibility of medical personnel to do everything practical and possible to save the life of the unborn, as well as that of the mother.'
Kenny says he retains his staunch Catholic faith and remains a regular massgoer. He remains dismissive about the threats of excommunication flagged before the abortion legislation debate.
'I have answered that before by saying I talk to my God. That's it. I don't want to comment about the Catholic Church,' he continued.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore