Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Archbishop Gänswein reportedly says Cardinal Meisner's statement "not true"

Secretary of Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Georg Gänswein is said to have accused the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Joachim Meisner of being untruthful. The Osnabrück-based social ethicist Manfred Spieker was reported in the "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger" (Wednesday edition). Spieker says he received an email from Gänswein on 14February , in which the latter wrote that it was "not true" that Meisner had called him and spoken with him about his opinion on the "morning after pill". This was "to deny" the report.

The Archbishop of Cologne had earlier in the "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger" said after his surprising statement, that the "morning after pill" could be ethically used after rape as a contraceptive, he had informed Gänswein by telephone. He said, "The Pope knows. it's all in order".

Spieker, a protagonist of the "protection of life" movement did not at their request provide the "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger" with Gänsweins alleged e-mail, but quoted from it in conversation.

He stressed that he had sent the secretary of the Pope the relevant passage from the Meisner interview on 12th February. It must be presumed, said the Osnabrück scientists that neither the CDF nor the Pontifical Academy for Life had dealt officially with the declaration of Cardinal Meisner, but that only by phone or electronically given a quick okay for the declaration of the Cardinal. Meisner had in KStA interview highlighted the support for his statement from the Roman institutions.

Cardinal Meisner's spokesman Christoph Heckeley reiterated that Meisner's statement was "intensely" discussed with the Academy for Life and the Congregation. He also indicated a possible misunderstanding of Meisner's statements. The Cardinal did not claim to have given Gänswein or the Pope knowledge of his statement in advance, but only after the publication of his statement. Meisner's U-turn in the moral judgment of the "morning after pill" is a response to the Cologne clinic scandal. In December, two Catholic hospitals refused to treat a raped woman, because they feared that otherwise they needed to provide guidance on the "morning after" pill, the prescription of which was in Catholic institutions at that time strictly prohibited.


See original interview in English

and  German Catholic Bishops' Conference inclined to approve "morning-after" pill
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