A town hall reception for employees of the clinic "pro:woman" has angered the Church. Cardinal Schoenborn is far from being in a celebratory mood and wants a "round table" to be convened
The Vienna City government has attracted the anger of the Roman Catholic Church with an evening reception in the Aldermen’s Hall of the Vienna Town Hall on Thursday next week. The reason for the celebration, which includes a jazz band is the thirtieth anniversary of the outpatient clinic for sexual medicine and the "pro: woman" pregnancy assistance- known as the outpatient clinic at the Meat Market and once again a target of abortion opponents.
Reason enough that Vienna's Socialist Mayor Michael Haupl got in a flap in City Hall recently over an angry letter from the Archbishop of Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn. Such an event would made it clear that "it seems there is no consensus regarding the protection of human life from conception," Schoenborn making his criticisms ed in the letter that was published on Thursday. Instead of a party for an abortion clinic, it would be the time, "for us to get together at a 'round table', to speak of the achievement of those accompanying measures to limit scheme, that Chancellor Bruno Kreisky had accepted in 1974," Schonborn wrote to the mayor.
A rich society like the Austrian, a "thriving city" such as Vienna had to be able to create conditions so that women do not feel forced to consider abortion.
Support for the Cardinal comes from the St. Pölten Diocese Bishop Klaus Küng, who is responsible within the Austrian Bishops' Conference for the areas of marriage, family and protection of life. The 30-year’s existence of an abortion clinic, "in which thousands of children have lost their lives cannot be a cause for celebration," criticizes Küng. The ceremony gives "a completely wrong signal at a time when it was so important that people make a pledge of a decisive yes to life". And this signal is even being given by Mayor Häupl himself
Häupl itself will not be present at the ceremony, City Councilor for Health Sonja Wehsely (SP) officially sent invitations to the reception. Her response given to this newspaper to the appeal of the bishops was quite clear: The right of women to self-determination about herself and her body was for her and the SPÖ not in question - and thus every attempt to put into the discussion penalties for abortion, was "beyond the pale".
Cathcon: Austria is the only country I know where they would celebrate thirty years of abortion with jazz and cocktails. They have a dark enough past but they will have an even darker future if they carry on like this.