Facebook page of Tullamore’s Catholic parish in Offaly was taken down amid criticism
The Tullamore parish Facebook post drew numerous comments, the great majority from women, strongly criticising the message and calling for the author to be identified. File image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A Catholic parish in the midlands was at the centre of controversy over the weekend after circulating a message to parishioners critical of IVF treatment.
The Facebook page of Tullamore’s Catholic parish in Offaly was taken down following a virulent social media reaction to the Christmas Eve posting.
Published at 3.51pm on Tuesday by “Tullamore Parish, Offaly”, the message was accompanied by an image of a foetal Jesus with a halo over his head and the words “He’s on His way” and “Christmas starts with Christ”.
The message called for prayers “for couples struggling to naturally conceive life and who are avoiding IVF treatment”.
It continued: “The process of IVF damages embryonic stem cells and thus life and is therefore completely, clearly and totally incompatible with our Catholic faith. For all believers in God, all life is sacred at all times.”
The post drew numerous Facebook comments, the great majority from women, strongly criticising the posting and calling for the author to be identified.
One woman wrote “I actually had no words in response to it, I was so shocked, maddened and really upset by it all especially after being through the process. They are so far removed from the realities of people’s everyday lives in their ivory tower.”
Attempts by The Irish Times to speak to priests in Tullamore parish on the matter were unsuccessful. One priest who was contacted simply said “bye” and hung up when this reporter identified himself. A second attempt to speak to the priest elicited the response “no comment” before he hung up again.
There was no response from the diocese of Meath communication office or from spokespeople for the bishop’s conference.
The silly clerical ejits of Tullamore parish have put their big ignorant feet in by criticising IVF over Christmas.
They are also showing their absolute ignorance of the science of IVF.
Quite rightly, many people have protested and now the clerics have taken down their post.
They are now running away from The Irish Times and Patry McGarry, even hanging up the phone after saying a haughty “bye”.
Very courageous! High principles!
These ejits belong to a totally disgraced priesthood and institution.
What makes them think that they still have the right to lecture Irish men, women and couples about their bodies, their sexuality and family life.
It’s like asking Dr Crippen to give a lecture on the right to life.
Tullamore is where I was born and baptised.
A few years ago I attended a family function in the GAA club in Tullamore.
The then PP was touring the tables and was shocked to find me at one. Embarrassed, he sputtered out the line: “You must join us for lunch some day”.
I replied: “How about tomorrow”. He had no option but to agree.
The next day I bought two bottles of half decent wine and headed for the presbytery at lunch time – to the shock of the clergy.
The two bottles of wine were taken from me and put in a cupboard, the PP saying: “We will keep these for a feast day”.
Lunch proceeded with the clergy talking about football and golf – totally ignoring my presence
I was neither surprised or disappointed. Why didn’t one of them challenge me on my theology or my opposition to their “church”?
I’ll tell you why. Most priests do not halls the balls of a mouse.
They prefer to sit anonymously at a computer condemning those good couples who only chance of having a baby is IVF.
There will come a time when there are no priests in Tullamore.