Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pontifical Academy for Life meeting promises to be stormy

The Pontifical Academy for Life meets in Rome this week from February 8th -11th

For several years the Academy has been open to all those who were interested in attending, this year however the meeting is closed and has been notified to members only. This is a great pity as it has been reported that the conference will focus on Human Rights and many others would be keen to attend.

Sandro Magister writing in Chisea claims that the Academy for Life president, Archbishop Fisichella, no longer has the trust of some of its members because of an article written by him and published in "L'Osservatore Romano," concerning the case of an extremely young Brazilian child-mother in Recife, who was forced to abort the twins she was carrying.

The meeting according to Magister promises to be a stormy one and he claims that some of the members of the academy are openly questioning whether Fisichella is fit to be president. Foremost among them according to Magister is Monsignor Michel Schooyans, Belgian, professor emeritus of the Catholic University of Louvain, who is a member of three pontifical academies: for social sciences, of Saint Thomas Aquinas, and – most relevant here – for life.

Magister reports that in view of the meeting, Monsignor Schooyans has written a scathing critique of the "trap" into which he believes Archbishop Fisichella fell: a false concept of "compassion."

"Pseudo-compassion", according to Schooyans
frequently invoked in favour of the perpetrators of acts which are inherently wrong, such as abortion, hence leads to scandal; it invites others into grave sin. Scandal is the first thing to be avoided. Pseudo-compassion also leads to heresy and division within the Church, because it incites the faithful to deviate from a non-negotiable element of the doctrine of the Church: the duty to respect innocent life. Pseudo-compassion reinforces the movement towards the "tyranny of relativism", observable in some pastors and/or theologians. Ultimately, pseudo-compassion could lead to a situation in which the Church's doctrine and natural morality would be the outcome of a procedure of consensus based on compromise.

The following link to the Magister article sets out all the relevant issues and the article incorporates the carefully argued Schooyans document THE PITFALLS OF COMPASSION