Saturday 19 June 2010

Responsible Catholics cannot turn a blind eye to the rumoured promotion of Archbishop Fisichella

In a small inside story of yesterday's Corriere della Sera, it's mentioned that Archbishop Rino Fisichella (pictured) is shortly to be appointed president of a new pontifical council - a pontifical council for the new evangelization. Last month, when this appointment was being rumoured, I said that Archbishop Fisichella should be sacked, not promoted. The rumour mill is turning strongly again in Rome this weekend and my opinion about the archbishop remains unchanged.

National Catholic Register tells us that John Paul II coined the term “the New Evangelization” to mean a reawakening of the faith in long-established Christian parts of the world, particularly Europe, but which have since fallen away from the faith.

My reasons for continuing to say that Archbishop Fisichella should be sacked not promoted include:
  • he stands 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
  • Frances Kissling, of Catholics for a Free Choice 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"
  • during the past week, as Pat Buckley, SPUC's lobbyist at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, has reported, that the United Nations Secretary General and the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, have jointly been leading international political manoeuvres to declare a "human right to abortion"; I believe that the United Nations will sense that their moment has come with the Catholic leadership's witness on the inviolability and dignity of every human life appearing to weaken
  • US President Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton, his pro-abortion, secretary of state - who are bankrolling abortion worldwide - will recognize the significance of Archbishop Fisichella's appointment and will step up their efforts accordingly
  • Archbishop Fisichella's appointment will send the wrong signal to the Catholic bishops Conference of England and Wales whose policy, through the Catholic Education Service, is to co-operate with the British government's arrangements which have sought to ensure that schoolchildren, including Catholic schoolchildren, get access to abortion and birth control services
Responsible Catholics and pro-life leaders cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the damage to the common good, which includes the good of Archbishop Fisichella, by his appointment to such a post. If there is something one can do to speak up, to raise the alarm, to communicate our concerns, and to pray, we have a serious responsibility to present and to future generations to do so. As Pope John Paul II said in Evangelium Vitae, number 95:
"We need to begin with the renewal of a culture of life within Christian communities themselves. Too often it happens that believers, even those who take an active part in the life of the Church, end up by separating their Christian faith from its ethical requirements concerning life, and thus fall into moral subjectivism and certain objectionable ways of acting. With great openness and courage, we need to question how widespread is the culture of life today among individual Christians, families, groups and communities in our Dioceses. With equal clarity and determination we must identify the steps we are called to take in order to serve life in all its truth."

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