Cardinal Marc Quellet spoke his mind about the subject of a woman being raped and then becoming pregnant in the ongoing insensitive manner that has become the norm when leaders of the Catholic Church speak about abortion. The Cardinal was asked his views on whether a woman who was raped had the right to an abortion. He responded in the negative and said she had to show “respect for the being in her womb. It is not responsible for what has happened.” His remark unleashed a fury of responses including one from columnist Patrick Lagace who wrote, “we’re all going to die. I hope he(Cardinal Quellet) dies from a long painful illness.” Government officials were quick to distance themselves from the abortion comment.
Cardinal Quellet is arguing the issue of abortion is a “moral” one and it makes no difference how a fetus was conceived because it is life. Those opposing abortion assume an either/or stance which leads to moral arrogance. Certainly, the trauma of rape entitles a woman to decide if she should or should not give birth. Cardinal Quellet argues it is not the fault of the fetus, but does a child wish to enter the world being unwanted? In any moral issue, there exists a gray zone, nothing is either/or–except in churches which claim to know “the truth.”
The Toronto Star in Canada sent out an inquiry to all 225 Catholic priests in the city in order to find out which ones would actually discuss with parishioners the sexual abuse issue confronting the Church. About 20% responded but only ten provided information about their Easter sermon and of those, three said they would discuss the issue. The vast majority said they were busy and spoke from notes rather than wrote out a sermon. The Rev. Michael McGourty provided an excerpt of what he would say: “there is a real danger in these times in which we are barraged by media reports about human weaknesses that we might miss the real message of Christianity. Christians have never claimed that human beings are perfect.”
I trust the Father McGourty remembers his words the next time he denounces females who have abortions.
Republicans like Ann Coulter so enjoy opportunities to come across as persecuted and oppressed by the liberal establishment. Nothing is more self satisfying that being told to respect the rights of other humans who do not have access to the media. She was appearing at the University of Ottawa when the provost, half in jest, reminded her that in Canada, “promoting hatred toward other groups” is illegal. That was sufficient to allow the guardian of the rich and powerful to cast herself in the role of defender of freedom of speech. Of course, this is one defender who does not believe her opponents have free speech rights, particularly, if they are those “terrorists.” She told the media, “the provost of the u. of Ottawa is threatening to criminally prosecute me for my speech there on Monday, before I have ever set foot in the country.”
Of course, Canada was merely attempting to prevent abuses of freedom of speech such as occurred in Rwanda when 800,000 were murdered. In a speech in Ottawa, she insulted a 17 year old Muslim student and told her to take a camel after the girl pointed out that Ann’s comment about Muslims using flying carpets instead of planes was insulting.
Coulter thrives on innocent comments that can be interpreted several ways.