AN Irish priest has responded to claims made by the Bishop of Elphin yesterday that anyone who voted 'Yes' in the abortion referendum had sinned.
Speaking on Monday morning, Bishop Kevin Doran said any Catholic who voted for the Eighth Amendment to be repealed while "knowing and intending that abortion would be the outcome" had committed a sin.
He added: "[Yes voters] should consider coming to confession, where you would be received with the same compassion that is shown to any other penitent."
However, in an interview with Sarah McInerney on RTÉ Radio 1's Drivetime this morning, Fr Brian D'Arcy said that such comments were an "insult to people."
Fr D'Arcy added: "I wouldn't like to attribute sin in this matter, at all.
"It's the wrong language for this because this isn't an issue about Church law at all. This is an issue about how the state is attempting to treat all its people".
Fr D'Arcy also said that voters must always follower their conscience and vote conscientiously, regardless of the consequences.
"Each of us has to struggle - that's exactly what a Christian conscience has to do - to find a way of accepting what is right for yourself," he said.
"You also must allow what you couldn't allow for yourself, to be allowed for others who might view life, ethics and morality in a different way.
"That's very important."
Commenting directly on Bishop Doran's remarks, Fr D'Arcy concluded: "It's not a good idea by anybody to tell anybody how to vote.
"A priest from the Order has no right to tell anybody how to vote.
"It's an insult to the people [which] is quite incredible."