Thursday 3 October 2013

"Be Ye as Shrewd as Serpents, as Innocent as Doves"

Mercy sister, Sr Eugene Nolan has decided to go down the confused old lady route in defence of the Mater Hospital's Catholic ethos [Ed: may not be the worst approach.]

The Irish Times reports that:

 Sr Eugene, a former midwife who worked in England and Kenya before returning to the Mater in 1981, said of Fr Doran’s resignation: “It’s a tragedy that’s he’s gone. We will certainly miss him. He has been with the hospital for many years. He is a huge loss.”

She too expressed concerns about the Act at the time of Fr Doran’s statement in August, saying it was “against our ethos”.

Asked her position now, she said: “I don’t know where we go now. I’m going to see. I will see what is said.”

However, she said: “The Mater won’t be performing abortions. This is a matter of how we deal with complicated situations.”

You see what she's done there.  Yes, we'll comply with the Act;  no we won't perform abortions.  Confuse them, keep taking the money, don't perform abortions, see how it goes.

Here's the better approach which the Mater Hospital should have done. 

Issue a statement reconfirming:
  1. that the hospital is a Catholic hospital with a Catholic ethos;
  2. that all employees of the hospital are required by contract to operate according to the ethos of the hospital;
  3. that all employees of the hospital have the right under law not to carry out abortions.
That's all you say.  You don't say anything further.  You don't seek judicial reviews of the legislation. 


  1. Agree. Fr Doran should have kept his powder dry within the board of governors and not gone public. and then the hospital could have issued a statement along the lines you suggest and after that refuse to say anything else. And if some abortionist group try to wheel in a suicidal patient you triage her, leave her in A&E reception and wait till the baby is born.

  2. It's the St Thomas More approach. Stay silent. Don't give them ammunition. Wait until you're dragged into court and even then stay silent. Make them do all the work.