Rhetoric on abortion needs to be tempered

Archbishop O’Brien’s column (CR, Sept. 10) describes the third Kennedy brother, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, as a “pro-abortion poster boy,” and suggests that in death he might now intercede for America, “if granted Paradise.” By contrast, Cardinal O’Malley of Boston (CR, Sept. 10), in reflecting on the life and political career of Sen. Kennedy, stated: “At times … zeal can lead people to issue harsh judgments and impute the worst motives to one another. These attitudes and practices do irreparable damage to the communion of the church.”

Could we not wish that our archbishop emulate the archbishop of Boston’s public Christian charity, and begin by abandoning the inflammatory language of the far political right which seeks to demonize those who do not agree with them? Senator Kennedy and many Catholics who believe in the fundamental right to privacy implicit in the Constitution have admitted to agonizing over the issue of abortion, but as President Obama has repeatedly stated, no one is pro abortion, and every abortion is a tragedy. Should not all people of good will stop the shouting and condemnation, and constructively engage in efforts to reduce the incidence of abortion as much as possible, and pray fervently that it can be to zero?

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.