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Catholic Church crisis pregnancy agency to close due to drop in demand

Journal.ie logo Journal.ie 3 days ago Gráinne Ní Aodha

© Shutterstock Kamil Macniak THE CATHOLIC CHURCH-affiliated crisis pregnancy agency is to wind down by the end of the week, citing a drop in demand and a change in counselling regulations.

Cura is a crisis pregnancy support service which is an agency of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. It said that competition from other agencies and new regulations had forced it to end its services this Friday, 15 June.

Since 1996, Cura said it has conducted 163,400 face-to-face and telephone counselling sessions with clients. It said that last year, more than 300 people contacted Cura for information on post-abortion counselling.

“When Cura commenced providing supports to women seeking assistance with crisis pregnancies in 1977, we were one of two agencies providing such a vital service. Today there are 14 various services, operating in a new regulatory environment with changing counselling quality standards compliance requirements.

In this new and changed environment we have been experiencing decreasing service demands in line with national trends and we feel this decision, which has been considered carefully for a number of years, is now the correct one.

Reacting to the decision, the Bishops’ Conference said it “regrets” that Cura was compelled to close, and praised staff and volunteers for their 41 years of work.

It cited a “decrease in demand for its services and the accreditation requirements associated with the new regulatory environment for counselling” as the reason for its closure.

Charlotte Keery, Cura National PRO and former Cura counsellor said today, “This is a difficult day for all of us but also a proud day as from 1977, we in Cura were there to care, to listen without judgment for as long as the person needed.

“We then helped them to access other supports in response to their individual needs as their crisis lessened and they began take control of their future plans, as we are doing now in a somewhat more strategic way in 2018.

“It’s time to pass our work on to other counselling services who will continue in the support and care of each individual who needs them.”

Council for Life

At this evening’s Summer 2018 General Meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, it was announced that a new Council for Life would be set up by March 2019.

Its role would be to “advise and advocate for the Catholic Church in Ireland on a consistent ethic of life and care for those most at risk”.

“In preparation for the establishment of this Council, bishops will consult with those already committed to, and engaged with, upholding the sanctity of life in Ireland.”

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