A Catholic parish priest denied Holy Communion to Robert Troy, a Fianna Fáil member of the Irish parliament, at a recent funeral mass. Troy is the opposition spokesman on Transport and Tourism and one of Ireland’s rising young political stars.
The stated reason was that Troy voted to legalize abortion services in Ireland. Fr John Hogan, parish priest of Multyfarnham in Co Westmeath, denied the host to Troy during a requiem mass at St Nicholas’s parish church.
The priest had tweeted on December 1: “Looking over list of TDs who voted to reject amendments to the wicked abortion bill, I see the name of one who, only a few years ago, stood in my house & swore he was pro-life. The desire for power & popularity lead so many to do the most horrendous things. A salutary lesson.”
Troy, 37 and a former banker who had been regarded as “anti-choice,” revealed last month in an interview with Ireland’s Hot Press magazine why he voted yes.
“By voting no, would it prevent one termination?
"And I then said, ‘No, because what it does is, it victimises women and it forces them to go abroad.’ While I had concerns about the 12-week nature, I ultimately came down with the decision to vote yes.”
The Irish edition of the London Sunday Times reported Thomas Deenihan, the Bishop of Meath, which includes Hogan’s diocese has spoken to Father Hogan but refused to discuss what was said.
Hogan had been in controversy previously when he spoke out against civil partnership for gays, alleging Catholic politicians who supported it could not remain “in good standing with the church.”
The Times reports that “Hogan is also the director of the Fraternity of St Genesius, a Catholic association which says its members support ‘the men and women of the theatrical and cinematic arts through their daily prayers and sacrifices.’ A book he wrote, entitled Devotions to St Thomas Becket, was published last month.”
He is also very supportive of US efforts to ban abortion.
On January 18, he tweeted: “Every good wish & blessing to all my friends Stateside who are participating in the March for Life. Your continued witness is making a difference in the US: keep it up! Please remember & pray for us in Ireland as our campaign of resistance must now intensify for the cause of life.”
It is just the latest example of the backlash to the abortion vote. Last week Josepha Madigan, the Culture Minister who spearheaded the drive to legalize abortion was denied a meeting room at a Catholic institution owned by the Sisters of Mercy.
The nuns’ congregation said “threats have been made of busloads of protesters being brought to the site.
“Many of the representations made to us refer to the speaker’s connection with the abortion referendum and bill, even though this topic is not the subject of her presentation,” Mary Reynolds, chief executive of the Mercy International Association, said in a letter.