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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Foul play by the German bishops- "Morning after" pill: a fait accompli during the Sede Vacante

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The German Catholic Bishops conference today approved of the use of the morning after pill in cases of rape.

The following commentary was published earlier in the week- but it was clear which way they were going.

"Are the German bishops playing foul by exploiting the Roman interregnum?" They convey this impression at least writes the Spanish church historian Francisco de la Cigoña. Although the Holy See only is vacant on 28 February, there is little doubt that in these final days of the pontificate of Benedict XVI, which are taken up by Lenten exercises, substantial papal decisions are hardly to be expected. "We experience a church that is for a month without a head," said de la Cigoña.

"It seems almost pathetic that the German bishops could take advantage of this time to introduce the morning-after pill and provide the next Pope with a fait accompli," said church historian on recent German events. No sooner does the Pope tender his resignation, than the German bishops availed themselves og the opportunity of a semi-Sede Vacante and soon the full Sede Vacante, to turn their backs on "non-negotiable values"? It all began with a media hyped rape case in Cologne which distorted the facts.

Rape cases represent only a tiny number of all the reasons for abortion and have been used since the beginning of the abortion debate as the crowbar with which the abortion lobby could overturn the right to life. And this has been very successful. A marginal exception is converted into a measure of the total issue, because it can be used as a moral cudgel against pro-lifers. The urge to defend himself against the media orchestrated attacks against institutions of the Archdiocese of Cologne, Cardinal Archbishop Joachim Meisner pussyfooted into abortion cases, by leaning on alleged research coming from all place the abortion lobby.

Since then, the question is asked whether he was simply advised poorly or if there is an actual change of direction in the Catholic Church in Germany. Perhaps to finally break out of the corset of the protection of life, which seems so little to relevant to "modern life" and even less with the current legislation.

The rape case seems to drive the abortion wedge in the Catholic Church. From the German bishops namely no criticism of Meisner's position was heard. With nuances from the Archbishop of Berlin, Cardinal Woelki to the Essen bishop, Cardinal Lehmann came consent. It seems as if the majority of the German bishops agree to use the unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict XVI as an opportunity to differentiate themselves in a central ethical question from the Roman position. This is not new. Since the "Königstein Declaration" of 1968 in response to the prophetic encyclical Humanae Vitae of Pope Paul VI. the German bishops have been in conflict with Rome. A wound of disobedience that has not healed to this day.

The results of the cited study, the Spanish church historian will be sure to investigate. The results presented by the abortion lobby alone are not enough, however. They must first be confirmed. And even then, there are still a number of other issues to consider, such as the prophylactic effect, over the use of force to the openess to life, before making a decision.

"A decision cannot be made while the Chair of Peter is vacant, or over the head of the Pope," said de la Cigoña.


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