Charles Byrne (right) with fellow members of the “Our Lady of Lourdes Protectors” Brian ÓCaithnai and Sandra Clonan during a recent “vigil” outside Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.
A group going by the name of “Our Lady of Lourdes Protectors” whose members have carried out several anti-abortion protests (they call them vigils) outside Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital recently, have responded to the article published yesterday on Drogheda Life New Bye-law proposed to prevent further abortion protests at Lourdes.
The co-ordinator of the group, music teacher Charles Byrne, who took an unsuccessful case against the Irish Government to prevent the referendum to abolish the eighth amendment to the constitution, issued a statement to Drogheda Life on the proviso that it is not altered.
Mr. Byrne said that the group would not be deterred from holding further vigils in future. He said that they were prompted by information from a source inside the hospital but that they usually happened on Fridays because that is when terminations are carried out there.
Mr. Byrne says that as a follower of Christ he sees it as his solemn duty to defend and protect the vulnerable.
Advertisement - continue reading below
“Should Louth County Council proceed with its plans to introduce grossly immoral bye-laws prohibiting the protest of child-killing we will be forced to boldly bypass them and adopt the spirit of St Thomas Moore, whose last words were “I die the king's good servant, but God's first” he said in his statement.
Here is his statement in full:
Who would have thought that a day would come when a proposal to prohibit protest against the killing of human beings would receive practically unanimous support from members of the Louth County Council?
This is not the Ireland I was born in. It is not the Ireland that my parents grew up in, nor the Ireland of my grandparents or great grandparents. In fact, none of my ancestors would even recognise this brave “new Ireland” that promises an utopian sunrise of diversity and tolerance. We shall become so diverse and tolerant, in fact, that no divergence from the new creed can ever be tolerated.
To see the Ireland of old, just look at the way that the Irish Constitution begins:
“In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred, We, the people of Éire, Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial... Do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.”
It is clear that in this age the majority of Irish people have rejected Jesus Christ. History has a habit of repeating itself. A society that discards Christianity will soon seek to outlaw it. The uneasy conscience demands a tyrannical silencing of those who remind it of its inconsistency.
As a follower of Christ I see it as my solemn duty to defend and protect the vulnerable. Christ told us that when we die God, the Just Judge, will say to us “as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.” There can be no person more innocent or defenceless than the child in his mother’s womb.
That little person is trapped - totally at the mercy of any would-be intruder. There is literally nowhere to run to. These human beings rely completely on our protection. But, alas, we see that they have now been abandoned, thrown to the wolves, in this modern “grown up Ireland” of spoilt children.
You know what happens when you give a spoilt child their own way, when you “give in”. They actually get worse. Rather than pacifying the little brat it emboldens them. Ireland has lost her innocence. She has become a harlot. The joy in simple things is thus lost and we utterly lose our true identity and purpose. Our lives start to mirror trashy American sitcoms or a dour British Soap Opera. Genuine culture (something that must be carefully cultivated over many generations) is lost. True diversity disappears. Everybody becomes the same - overly-busy consumers of cheaply-made stuff - swimming in a sea of materialism, completely blinded to the truly spiritual.
The word martyr comes from the Greek, martur, a witness. Christ, of course, is the model par excellence for all those who follow Him, and indeed for every person. He told us clearly “The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” Christ was executed by a majority vote. The crowd asked for Barabbas to be freed and when Pilate asked what should be done to Christ, they roared, “let Him be crucified!”
Anyone who professes to follow Christ must strive become a martyr of sorts - a witness in their everyday life to the boundless love of Almighty God. They must die to themselves daily and so they will find happiness and true life. They must witness by showing a transcendent joy despite the sorrow and transience of this life. This joy is possible because we know that God is all around us, even living in us, and that Heaven is our true and lasting home.
It seems certain that the daily (dry) martyrdom will soon very likely give way to a wet, bloody, martyrdom in the West. Widespread persecution against Christians is inevitable. This has happened before in this country and it will happen again. St Oliver Plunkett and so many others chose fidelity to Christ rather than compromise with the world.
A Christian doesn’t seek this type of martyrdom but must be willing to accept it if such a difficult situation arises. Should Louth County Council proceed with its plans to introduce grossly immoral bye-laws prohibiting the protest of child-killing we will be forced to boldly bypass them and adopt the spirit of St Thomas More, whose last words were “I die the king's good servant, but God's first.”