However, I was seriously shocked to read on John Smeaton's blog that the C V Monitor is saying abortion should be legal - and indeed that that is our bishops', and most Catholics', view.
I really wondered if John had got it wrong: it is always possible to mis-read something, and to be honest, I don't think he always approaches CV in a completely neutral frame of mind.
So I went to the CV Monitor blog, and there it was:
But in reality, Catholics on campus have nothing to fear. The motion contains no definition of "pro-choice"; if it means simply someone who accepts that abortion should be legal, most Catholics -- including the bishops of England and Wales, who advocate incremental restrictions, but not yet a total ban -- would fit that description.One might legitimately dispute whether, tactically, we should be campaigning for incremental restriction or an outright ban (I myself have shifted from the former position to the latter over recent years), but surely no Catholic in good conscience could describe himself as "Someone who accepts abortion should be legal" !!
Let us be charitable, and assume they did not mean it (at least while we seek clarification). But at the very least, it betrays monumental incompetence in an organisation set up to be a public voice for Catholic truth.
To be quite clear, here is what the Catechism says (§2270): Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognised as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
By no stretch of the imagination is that compatible with accepting that abortion should be legal.
Let us hope that CV quickly move to clarify that they didn't mean what they wrote. Let us remember that one individual, presumably, wrote this.
So let us not condemn all those who have been trained by CV. The ones I know, I am sure, will be as appalled by this as anyone, and do not need tarring with this brush.
UPDATE @ 22.52
The post has now been corrected to read:
But in reality, Catholics on campus have nothing to fear. The motion contains no definition of "pro-choice"; if it means simply someone who accepts that abortion cannot be prohibited immediately, most informed Catholics -- including the bishops of England and Wales, who advocate incremental restrictions, but not yet a total ban -- would fit that description.