Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources said today that he stands by his comments on the Catholic Church's role in the abortion debate.
Last weekend Pat Rabbitte said it would be a retrograde step if the Church went back to dictating to elected representatives how to address the issue.
It followed comments by the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland Cardinal Sean Brady.
He said the church would lobby public representatives as part of its campaign against abortion.
Speaking this morning, Minister Rabbitte said his view has not changed.
"I think my remarks on Sunday were very temperate," he said.
"I expressed the view that the Cardinal was perfectly entitled to set out his views as was the leaders of the other churches.
"But, that if we were to go back to the days when the Catholic hierarchy dictated to legislators that would be a retrograde step - and that continues to be my view."