The State should not give the Catholic Church control of state-funded hospitals

The Irish Constitution was heavily influenced by the Catholic Church. There are Articles in the Irish Constitution that favour religion and protect the interests of religious institutions.

There are Constitutional reasons why governments should not fund religious institutions to deliver public services. Publicly funded hospitals that are religious can deliver healthcare according to their own ethos.

For example publicly funded Catholic hospitals can refuse contraception, in vitro fertilisation and abortion. Funding such hospitals means that these services cannot be accessed and people would need to access such services elsewhere.

The state is not obliged to fund religious healthcare institutions, but has chosen to do so. Here are the Articles in the Constitution that put restraints on the State if it makes that choice.

Article 44.1

The State acknowledges that the homage of public worship is due to Almighty God. It shall hold His Name in reverence, and shall respect and honour religion.

Article 44.2.5

Every religious denomination shall have the right to manage its own affairs, own, acquire and administer property, movable and immovable, and maintain institutions for religious or charitable purposes.

Article 44.2.6

The property of any religious denomination or any educational institution shall not be diverted save for necessary works of public utility and on payment of compensation.

WIth these Constitutional clauses in place, why would any government want to hand over our New Maternity Hospital to a private religious charity?

This Sunday is the Census. If you are not religious, please mark that you have no religion. Send a message to the state that we are not all Catholic, and that we want secular public services.

Atheist Ireland

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