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The Vatican’s pelvic theology presents perverse and confusing ethics
by Graeme J. Davidson,
10 May 2008

If the Vatican is to be consistent, surely it would be pro the sanctity of all human life and against the wilful taking of any human life, or, if it’s going to allow the qualified killing of post-birth humans, why not pre-birth humans as well?

....When high profile pro-choice politicians received communion under the eye of the Pope during his recent visit to the United States, the public could have thought the Vatican was relaxing its attitude to abortion. In taking communion, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Senators Edward Kennedy, John Kerry and Christopher Dodd were all too aware of Pope Benedict XVI’s strong stand, voiced in Brazil last year, “The killing of an innocent human child is incompatible with going into communion in the body of Christ”.
.... They also knew that some US bishops would ignore the requirement to withhold communion from pro-choice Catholics. The Pope told the dissenting bishops, “Christians are easily tempted to conform themselves to the spirit of this age. We have seen this emerge in an acute way in the scandal given by Catholics who promote an alleged right to abortion”. And in 2004, before he became Pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger aimed an equally clear message at pro-choice Democratic Party candidate for US President John Kerry in the forlorn hope that the devout Catholic would turn back like the Prodigal Son.
.... Cardinal Ratzinger wrote in English saying abortion and euthanasia were “grave sins” and that Christians were to resist and oppose such evil practices. That ruled out Catholic politicians being anti-abortion for themselves and pro-choice for others. But in the next paragraph, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote, “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia”. He gave as an example how Catholics could go to communion if they disagreed with the Holy Father over capital punishment or waging war, as this kind of killing could be permissible in certain circumstances.
.... So killing an innocent unborn child is a grave sin but state-sanctioned killing of post-born people – whether they’re innocent or not – might be OK. You can be a soldier and kill to prevent the enemy raping the women you’re trying to protect, but if they are raped and become pregnant then it’s evil for them to seek an abortion. Or you can be a politician and vote for capital punishment and receive communion, but not if you vote for pro-choice. That kind of perverse logic leaves me confused.
.... If the Vatican is to be consistent, surely it would be pro the sanctity of all human life and against the wilful taking of any human life, or, if it’s going to allow the qualified killing of post-birth humans, why not pre-birth humans as well?
.... No normal person likes abortions and they’re usually the last resort for an unwanted pregnancy. But sometimes an abortion is the ethically correct thing to do. I recall listening to a woman who was about to have an abortion because tests had shown her foetus was microcephalic. Doctors had told her the pinhead brain meant the child would die either in her womb or soon after birth, and, while she loathed the idea of an abortion, she knew doing otherwise would serve no useful purpose and might create medical complications for her.
.... Two years ago, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini created a stir when he wrote in L’espresso, “Everything possible must be done to oppose AIDS. Certainly, in some situations the use of condoms constitutes a lesser evil.” Like many of his fellow Jesuits, Cardinal Martini argued that the Vatican’s rule about no artificial contraception was working against the Church’s goal of promoting life.
.... But any hope of the Vatican doing a U-turn on condoms was short-lived. The response approved by the Vatican in La Civiltà Cattolica was for people to stick to monogamy and for AIDS victims to remain chaste – including with their spouse. Otherwise, the Church would seem “to support promiscuous, excessive, and destructive behaviour”. The Vatican’s perverse ethics strikes again. Its fear of promiscuity outweighs the potential for saving lives.
.... There’s no mention of abortion or contraception in the Bible and despite the Catholic Church’s excellent stand on justice issues, the Vatican has produced a pelvic theology that presents weird and conflicting sexuality and reproduction ethics.


 

 

 

 

 

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