Fr. Tony Flannery, an Irish Redemptorist, noted that the issues he had written that led to being sanctioned "are now being discussed widely and freely right around the Church, with no fear of sanctions."
The ceremony is due to be held on Oct. 21, and to be attended by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Irish President Michael Higgins. However, Higgins has now pulled out of the event, claiming that it had been "politicized.
Catholic bishops in Northern Ireland warned that unilateral moves by the British government to force Northern Ireland's Department of Health to introduce abortion services threaten the region's peace process.