The Catholic Church is 'spreading fear' in the debate around assisted dying, and making links where there are none.
That's according to People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny, who proposed the Dying with Dignity Bill.
The bill proposes that people who are terminally ill can seek assistance for "a dignified and peaceful end of life."
In a pastoral letter, the country's Catholic bishops have said they share the concerns of the elderly who feel vulnerable when they hear proposals for the legalisation of assisted suicide and euthanasia.
But Deputy Kenny told Lunchtime Live this is nothing new for the church.
"There's nothing kind of surprising in relation to the Catholic Church - i.e. bishops against assisted dying.
"They're quite consistent in relation to their opposition to it.
"What I have an issue with is that it's spreading fear in relation to those of advanced age in Ireland.
"And I just want to be very pacific [sic] about what voluntary assisted dying is about.
"It's not somebody of advanced age: somebody of advanced age could never avail of assisted dying - so that's ruled that out.
"It's those that have a terminal illness, coming to the end of their life, and in that situation they should have a choice".
Deputy Kenny said the Catholic Church hierarchy 'uses fear' on issues like this.
"They've used fear for many, many issues over the last number of decades - it hasn't worked.
"The Catholic Church used fear for other things to, I suppose, get people in line in relation to their ideology".
He said the bishops are making a link where there is none.
"What has assisted dying, the issue of assisted dying, got to do with those in our society that are of advanced age?
"I don't see the link at all - I just don't - if somebody can show me the link I'll be happy to articulate why voluntary assisted dying, the debate around it, has got to do with somebody that's of an older age.
"I just don't get it", he added.