Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christ, the Apothecary


Cardinal tacitly approves of abortion law


First, a small note of clarification

Cardinal Schönborn is asked whether the Austrian law that allows abortion up to 12 weeks should be changed.His answer: "We do not advocate punishing women in distress." That is exactly what the present law does: It considers abortion to be illegal but it does not punish.

Therefore, the Cardinal confirms the present legislation not unlike Cardinal Danneels saying that the Church can live with the Belgian euthanasia law. One only has to look at the British bishops at the time of the "reformation" to note lack of episcopal moral fibre but in Cardinals who certainly want to become Pope and are even in some quarters considered Papabile, it is a matter of the very gravest concern.

Here the source article from the ever excellent

Cardinal Schönborn does not oppose abortion up to 12 weeksIn a scandalous interview with the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, the Archbishop of Vienna has accepted abortion – instead he cares about statistics. Here it is in summary.( Vienna) On December 3, the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn appeared in the ‘Press Hour’ – a programme of the Austrian Broadcasting Service, ORF.

He was interviewed by the two journalists. Andrea Koller of the daily, ‘Salzburger Nachrichten’ and Mathilde Schwabeneder of the ORF journal.
Andreas Koller asked among other things:

‘Cardinal, you have made a statement on ‘yes to life’. How is this to be understood with regard to the demand for abortion in the first 3 months? This has been practiced now for some time. The Catholic Church has not been happy with it. I have the impression that the Catholic Church has accepted this situation. However, a Parliamentarian, Ewald Stadler has recently said that one could discuss the situation and go above the three months- i.e. – he has questioned this period. Are you agreeing with him, so that one could say, there should be change in legislation with regard to the present abortion termination?

This is Cardinal Schönborn’s reply to this question:

‘Our position, and by ‘our’ I mean the bishops, the Catholic family organsiations and the pro-Life organisations, had always been clear in this respect:

We do not advocate punishing women in distress.

But we want, quite rightly, something that we have stated time and time again since the Kreisky government and has never implemented, the so-called associated measures.

This means: in a country, in which the demographic question is a serious reality, you cannot simply look on when for each child being born, one child is killed. There are no published statistics and this is estimated, but it is frightening.

What are these associated measures? Measures which support, encourage and assist women not to take the final step.

I am of the opinion that above all three measures are of importance:

First, a separation of counselling and abortion. This has been an urgent demand for over 30 years and which would really facilitate the re-consideration of the final step.

Secondly, there is a need for statistics – something that is a matter of course in other countries.

If abortion is not an offence – under certain conditions – then at least there should be statistics so that we know what is happening in our country.

Thirdly, and this is something on which there is a prevailing silence: the post-abortion syndrome.

We know from numerous accounts of counsellors of women in this situation that it is often an immeasurable plight.

One should counsel women better – specifically, it should be pointed out that abortion is linked to deep, psychological misgivings.

We have requested it and we consider the ‘yes to life’ so very important, both for the individual and for our country.

We, therefore, hope that we will succeed in speaking about this question with the necessary charity and the necessary openness. ‘

The journalist of the ‘Salzburger Nachrichten’ adds: ‘What do you think is the reason is that nothing has happened in the last six or seven years? After all, the governing party has been the ÖVP, the Austrian Christian Democratic Party? Have you tried to get in touch with them? Have you held talks in this respect?’

Cardinal Schönborn replied: ‘There were intensive talks. There was also a draft law on the additional measures, but this draft law has been shelved.

This draft law would be welcome. It was worked out by excellent lawyers and should become law.

After all, it is about strengthening the ‘yes to life.’’

Cardinal Schönborn diverts to another question which he had been previously asked about, namely the question of euthanasia:

‘The ‘yes to life’ is linked to euthanasia, which is, thanks be to God, well-regulated in Austria as a result of a consensus of all the political parties.

The ‘yes to life' at the end of the life.

We have a clear consensus in Austria. We do not want to go the path that Holland and Belgium have chosen, by clearing the way to euthanasia.

We want, what Cardinal König has coined so successfully with his words, that shortly before death, that a human being should not die through the hand of another human being, but rather holding the hand of a human being.

I consider this ‘yes to life’ as something self-evident. I have openly said this on television in France and Belgium and I have stated this as praise for our country that we managed to find a consensus and say ‘yes to life’.

See also Does Cardinal Schönborn of Vienna bless blessings for same-sex couples?