Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cardinal Cottier's confusion

A few days ago, Michael P. linked to some recent, highly complimentary remarks by Cardinal Georges Cottier about President Obama, abortion, politics, Notre Dame, etc.  Others have also noticed and welcomed these remarks.  I expressed, here, some skepticism.  That skepticism is increased and, I think, confirmed, by this passage, taken from the Cardinal's statements:

In his speech at the University of Notre Dame, I was struck by how Obama did not avoid facing the most thorny question, that of abortion, on which he has received so many criticisms, including from the United States bishops. On the one hand, these reactions are justified: political decisions on abortion involve nonnegotiable values. For us, what is at stake is the defense of the person, of his inalienable rights, the first of which is the right to life. Now, in pluralistic society there are radical differences on this point. There are those who, as we do, consider abortion an "intrinsece malum," there are those who accept it, and then there are those who assert it as a right. The president never takes this last position.

But, of course, the President has been exquisitely clear regarding his view that abortion is, in fact, a right.  We might well believe the President and others in the administration when they indicate a desire to reduce the "need for abortions" -- and so, by extension, the number of abortions -- but there is no doubt that the President believes that there is a constitutional -- and, indeed, a moral -- right to choose abortion.


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