Friday, June 1, 2007

Scottish Cardinal challenges politicians on abortion

Edinburgh, May. 31, 2007 ( - Scotland's top Catholic prelate has exhorted Catholic politicians to stop defending legal abortion, saying that they must recognize "the barrier such cooperation erects to receiving Holy Communion." In a major address on the 40th anniversary of the Abortion Act, Cardinal Keith O'Brien of Edinburgh referred to abortion as an "unspeakable crime." "I urge politicians to have no truck with the evil trade of abortion," the cardinal said. Catholic lawmakers, he said, are morally obligated to find "means of overthrowing the legislation which makes the killing possible." The cardinal also said that doctors should refuse to cooperate with abortion, and medical schools should "teach that all human life deserves protection." Cardinal O'Brien issued a direct challenge to Scottish politicians: "Will you protect the right to life of all persons in our society from conception until natural death?" If politicians will not make that commitment, he said, the voters should refuse to support them. The cardinal decried the steady rise in the number of abortions performed in Scotland. In 2006 there were 13,081 abortions, up from 12,603 the previous years. Cardinal O'Brien described the rate of killing of the unborn as "unthinkable." Scottish Catholic leaders made a major push to reinvigorate opposition to abortion on the anniversary of the legislation that made the practice legal. In Glasgow, Archbishop Mario Conti urged pastors to preach about the evils of abortion and to "pray for legislation to protect the unborn child." Church leaders distributed 250,000 pro-life flyers through the 500 parish churches of Scotland.

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