A well-known West Belfast priest has won praise for a ‘Vote Pro-Life’ message delivered on Easter Monday, as the campaign heats up in the north ahead of the May 5th elections.
Fr Paddy McCafferty said he was calling for a protest vote – “a protest vote to Vote Pro-Life” – and ask the congregation to “pray for Aontú”, the pro-life party represnring nationalists in the north.
The outspoken parish priest of Corpus Christi parish in Ballymurphy, West Belfast, is well known and much-admired for his courageous witness for people abused in the Church, and for his outspoken advocacy on behalf of the families affected by the Ballymurphy massacre.
He has also spoken at the Rally for Life in both Belfast and online in Dublin, where he said protecting the unborn child was a human rights issue.
— Declan McGuinness (@Declanworld) April 18, 2022
He asked the congregation to take responsibility for “the children” referencing preborn children targeted by abortion.
“I make no apology [for his encouragement of pro-life voting],” he said. “They can go mad, I don’t care what they say, to hell with them. It’s too serious, there’s too much at stake,” he said.
“Give the pro-abortionists nothing,” the outspoken priest said, explaining the effect of the transferable vote.
A video of Fr McCafferty’s words attracted thousands of views online, with many praising the priest for speaking out.
“My kinda priest Says it exactly how it is, “these matters are too serious to keep silent on”. Catholics are not here to appease others but to speak only truth,” said one woman.
My kinda priest 🔥
Says it exactly how it is, “these matters are too serious to keep silent on”
Catholics are not here to appease others but to speak only truth.
— Saoirse ♱ (@iamsaoirse_) April 18, 2022
Reports of the abortion issue being raised at the doors became a news story this week when one SDLP representative was criticised for telling pro-life voters to ‘get a life’ when discussing their concerns on an internal zoom call.