I might have shared this enthusiasm were it not for another rumour that Pope Benedict may be about to invite Archbishop Rino Fisichella (pictured) to preside over this new council.
Readers may recall that last February five prominent members of the Pontifical Academy for Life - following a meeting of the Academy - called on Pope Benedict to remove Archbishop Fisichella as President of the Pontifical Academy for Life.
Their unprecedented step was prompted by Archbishop Fisichella's opening address to members of the Academy in which he stood by the original wording of his article in L'Osservatore Romano, last year, which implied that there are difficult situations in which doctors enjoy scope for the autonomous exercise of conscience in deciding whether to carry out a direct abortion. I explained the potentially disastrous implications of Archbishop Fisichella's article in a talk at the 4th Pro-Life World Congress in Saragossa last November. Fr Finigan in The Hermeneutic of Continuity also covered the matter fully last July.
How, I wonder, would Frances Kissling, of Catholics for a Free Choice, respond to Archbishop Fisichella's appointment to such an important post - she who memorably said of the archbishop's article in L'Osservatore Romano that it "has opened a crack, through which women, doctors and political decision-makers can slip in"?
Or how would the US President Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton, his pro-abortion, secretary of state - who are bankrolling abortion worldwide - respond to such a papal appointment?
How would such a scandalous appointment affect the world's perception of Catholic moral teaching on abortion? And, in Obama's push for a universal right to abortion, how would such an appointment affect the world's perception of conscientious objection to abortion on the part of health professionals?
According to Catholic on Line:
" ... The new department will be aimed at bringing the Gospel back to Western societies that have lost their Christian identity ... There is a desperate need for such a new evangelization. Many Catholic Christians do not know what the Church actually teaches and have embraced what some have called a 'cafeteria Catholicism'- choosing what parts of their faith they will follow ... "Yes - and that's precisely the problem with appointing Archbishop Rino Fisichella to such a role. The position set out by Archbishop Fisichella, like the collaboration of the bishops of England and Wales with the British government on life issues, are cancers which are threatening to destroy countless human lives. A perception that Cafeteria Catholicism prevails in the church will end up serving up the right to abortion worldwide.
In the interests of the lives of unborn babies worldwide Archbishop Fisichella should be removed form the Pontifical Academy for Life without the consolation prize of a promotion especially one which might make him a Cardinal.
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