Wednesday 10 August 2011

Pro-abortion Jon Cruddas MP reappears on Catholic speaking circuit

I recently blogged about the National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN) which held its 33rd annual conference last month.  I explained that one of the people invited to speak at the NJPN's conference was pro-abortion Jon Cruddas, Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham.

In December Mr Cruddas told The Catholic Herald that abortion:
"should be safe, legal and rare".
Since 2000, Jon Cruddas MP voted 18 times with the anti-life lobby, for example voting in favour of the anti-life Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act at second reading (which denotes approval for the bill's principles) - a law designed to kill millions of innocent human beings deliberately created never to be born. He also voted for the pro-euthanasia Mental Capacity Bill (now Act) at second reading and third reading (which denotes approval of the bill as a whole). Mr Cruddas has expressed his pride in his voting record in support of the homosexual agenda.* In this connection I draw attention to the June 2004 US bishops' document Catholics in Political Life which says:
"the Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."
I now hear that Jon Cruddas is due to speak at Blackfriars Hall, the Dominican permanent private hall of the University of Oxford. Organization for this event is led by the Las Casas Institute Halley-Stewart scholars Robert Heimburger and Marcos Medina. The event is entitled ‘The Modern State and the Kingdom of God’. Jon Cruddas is giving talk five Building Democracy.

It is appalling that a "Catholic" politician who holds pro-abortion opinions has been invited to speak at this event and on this topic. Blessed John Paul II wrote the following about democracy, in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (20):
If the promotion of the self is understood in terms of absolute autonomy, people inevitably reach the point of rejecting one another. Everyone else is considered an enemy from whom one has to defend oneself. Thus society becomes a mass of individuals placed side by side, but without any mutual bonds. Each one wishes to assert himself independently of the other and in fact intends to make his own interests prevail. Still, in the face of other people's analogous interests, some kind of compromise must be found, if one wants a society in which the maximum possible freedom is guaranteed to each individual. In this way, any reference to common values and to a truth absolutely binding on everyone is lost, and social life ventures on to the shifting sands of complete relativism. At that point, everything is negotiable, everything is open to bargaining: even the first of the fundamental rights, the right to life. This is what is happening also at the level of politics and government: the original and inalienable right to life is questioned or denied on the basis of a parliamentary vote or the will of one part of the people-even if it is the majority. This is the sinister result of a relativism which reigns unopposed: the "right" ceases to be such, because it is no longer firmly founded on the inviolable dignity of the person, but is made subject to the will of the stronger part. In this way democracy, contradicting its own principles, effectively moves towards a form of totalitarianism. The State is no longer the "common home" where all can live together on the basis of principles of fundamental equality, but is transformed into a tyrant State, which arrogates to itself the right to dispose of the life of the weakest and most defenceless members, from the unborn child to the elderly, in the name of a public interest which is really nothing but the interest of one part. The appearance of the strictest respect for legality is maintained, at least when the laws permitting abortion and euthanasia are the result of a ballot in accordance with what are generally seen as the rules of democracy. Really, what we have here is only the tragic caricature of legality; the democratic ideal, which is only truly such when it acknowledges and safeguards the dignity of every human person, is betrayed in its very foundations: "How is it still possible to speak of the dignity of every human person when the killing of the weakest and most innocent is permitted? In the name of what justice is the most unjust of discriminations practised: some individuals are held to be deserving of defence and others are denied that dignity?" When this happens, the process leading to the breakdown of a genuinely human co-existence and the disintegration of the State itself has already begun.
In his 2006 interview for Compass Youth, Jon Cruddas MP responds to his interviewer as follows:
Q. Like Ruth Kelly, you are a Catholic - and some people have suggested you are not progressive enough on important issues like gay rights and abortion. What do you think of these issues?
A. I sometimes feel like starting these sorts of responses with “my name is Jon Cruddas and I am a Roman Catholic!” It’s not something I particularly feel should be a big issue. I am more than happy to debate the real issues though. I don’t know what progressive “enough” means, but I can give the facts from my votes in Parliament. Since 2001, there have been 14 votes in the Commons to extend equal rights for gay people. I made sure I attended every single one, and I voted in favour of extending rights for gay people in every vote. On abortion, there is a vote on Tuesday next week [31st October] in Parliament. A Tory MP has proposed strict restrictions on a woman’s access to abortion services. I will vote against that Bill on Tuesday and would vote the same way on similar legislation in future. As Bill Clinton put it, I think abortion should be safe, legal but rare.
Q. So Jon, do you believe in a woman's right to choose?
A. Yes.
MPs who hold such views constitute a danger to the most vulnerable people in society. Jon Cruddas MP shows himself to be dismissive of the right to life, a self-evident right founded on natural law and ascertained by right reason He is also dismissive of the Catholic faith which has consistently taught and upheld the sanctity of human life from conception [Evangelium Vitae 57]. Both his political and his Catholic credentials show Jon Cruddas MP to be unqualified to speak on building democracy.

*The late Pope John Paul II, the great pro-life champion, taught in paragraph 97 of his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae that it is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not offer adolescents and young adults an authentic education in sexuality, and in love, and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection.

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