A crisis is often said to bring out both the best and worst in people; some succumb to the difficulties, while others courageously rise to the challenge. The result of the referendum which took place early last year was an indication of the depth of the crisis that Ireland is in. But those who oppose the direction politicians are steering the country have begun 2019 in earnest.
After abortion was officially brought into the country on 1 January 2019, many people took to the streets to protest in front of hospitals where this procedure will take place. Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda is one of these institutions; this hospital’s administration is also trying to remove every tie with the Church by renaming the hospital altogether. Some locals, led by their mayor Frank Godfrey, were quick to protest this additional attack on their culture.
Charles Byrne, a piano teacher from Drogheda, has spearheaded some of these protestations. He believes that the media is trying to completely erase the memory of Catholic Ireland. "We are being swept along by a tide where Christianity is being eroded and despised," said the musician.
But more importantly, people have recently been encouraging others on social media to pray for those mothers who are scheduling abortions to have a change of heart.
Unfortunately, while Christians are expressing their concerns through these outlets, there seems to be no room for the values of Catholic Ireland in the political sphere – the voices of opposition are going unnoticed. Anyone who does not accept the new agenda is silenced. The Meath TD, Peadar Tóibín, experienced such treatment first-hand. Due to his pro-life stance leading up to the referendum, he was suspended by his own party.
Among other issues, Tóibín realises that Ireland is an unwelcome place for religious people, and he hopes to be the voice for this conservative faction.
"We should be able to appreciate who we are and where we came from – and the religious aspect of it," said Tóibín.
But the greatest treasure of where we come from lies not only in the different customs and values of past generations, but rather in the true Mass for which many an Irishman shed his blood. This, above all, is the only true the Hope in these times of darkness. May more and more people have the same courage to stand up for Him Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.