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.”