Condemnation of Amnesty International

Source: FSSPX News


Last Spring, the same intention had been expressed by the executive board of the Association in case of “rape, incest, and serious dangers for the health of the mother,” likewise, they had declared themselves in favor of the “decriminalization” of any abortion. Last June, Cardinal Renato Martino had declared to the American weekly National Catholic Register: “The inevitable consequence of such a decision will be the end of any financial support from Catholic organizations or individuals to Amnesty International. Thanks be to God, there is no internationally-recognized right to abortion, as is clear from the UNO meeting on population in Cairo, where abortion was excluded as a licit means of birth control. Pro-abortion pressure groups continue their propaganda in the framework of what the Servant of God John Paul II called the ‘culture of death’. It is extremely worrying that an organization as worthy as Amnesty International bends to the pressures of these groups.” And he explained that: “the Church teaches that the killing of an innocent human life can never be justified. Abortion is murder. To justify abortion in a selective manner, even in case of rape, is tantamount to considering the child as an enemy, a “thing to be destroyed.” The voluntary suppression of any innocent human life is always a crime and undermines the very foundations of the common good of the human family.”

After Amnesty International’s decision to officially support the right to abortion in case of rape, Cardinal Martino, president of the Pontifical Council Justice and Peace, declared to the Italian daily Il Messaggero of August 14, 2007, that: “the money Catholics give to this organism is badly spent.”

“I hope they will soon publicly backtrack on their decision and proclaim loud and clear that their activity is in favor of the protection of life, from its beginning until its natural end,” because “the Church will not support pro-abortion actions or projects.” This organization, added the cardinal, “cannot fight against the death penalty, for prisoners’ and refugees’ rights and behave differently when confronted with the life of a defenseless child in its mother’s womb.” When committing itself to “defend the oppressed and the weakest”, Amnesty International cannot “ignore the intrinsic evil of abortion, which is a horrible crime.”

“In the case of persons who have experienced something as brutal” as rape during “mass violence, or terrible crimes,” “to incite these victims to have an abortion is to aggravate the drama they have already lived through, because the experience of an abortion is always a dramatic and painful time for a woman and it leaves deep wounds.” And, “this is adding violence to violence.” It is to be deplored that the organization “decided to travel along this road to death.” “The principle of life is and remains sacrosanct. Abortion is the murder of an innocent, which should never be forgotten,” he recalled.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary of State of the Holy See spoke on the subject on the airwaves of Radio Vatican on August 20, 2007. “Life must be saved, even if it is the fruit of violence.” Indeed, “a homicide may not be added to another homicide, the murder of another person; for they are human subjects, with all their dignity as human beings.” It would be better to “fight against violence towards women, against this inhuman form of violence that rape is, and fight all together and defend the dignity of all women, whoever they may be.”

Following Amnesty’s stance on abortion in case of rape, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, primate of Scotland and Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, sent his resignation to the organization. In a letter addressed to the director of Amnesty in Scotland, Archbishop O’Brien declared: “Throughout my priestly ministry and more recently as archbishop and cardinal I have shown my desire along with my Church to defend life in all its aspects.” “As a matter of conscience and with great sadness I have decided to resign from Amnesty International, which I have supported since my student days.”

In reply, John Watson, director of Amnesty International answered: “We have considered the question in the context of our work, for instance in Darfur, where rape is used systematically as a weapon in the war, and where the victims of the rapes suffer a double trauma, because they are also rejected by their communities. These women must not be abandoned by the international community.” “We encourage the Catholic Church not to turn away from the suffering endured by these women and we urge Catholic authorities to defend tolerance and the respect for the freedom of expression in the defense of human rights (sic)”. And he added that he hoped that Catholics would respect the position of Amnesty, “even if it is contrary to the official viewpoint of the Catholic Church.” (Sources: Cipa/AFP)