The archbishop of Québec, Marc Cardinal Ouellet, has been violently criticised for the following remark, which he made in an interview. He was asked about the Church’s teaching on abortion in the case of rape, and answered:
“[T]he child is not responsible for how he was conceived, it is the aggressor who is responsible. We can see him (the child) as another victim.”
“I understand very well that a woman who’s been raped is dealing with trauma and that she needs to be helped. But she needs to do so with respect for the being that is in her womb. It is not responsible for what happened. It’s the rapist who is responsible. But there’s already a victim. Do we need to have another one?”
Replies from pro-abortion groups and the Canadian government have been unremittingly hostile, with some even wishing a long and painful death for the cardinal. You can read a sampling here.
In all honesty, I am surprised by the hostility. Is what the cardinal said truly so shocking? I can’t imagine it is, unless it strikes a nerve for those who accept abortion as a fundamental human right. Cardinal Ouellet underlines the right to life of the unborn child, who is innocent of how he was conceived, as well as the necessity of help for the victim of rape. Both can be very well defended and lauded.
In a matter of life and death you can’t place one innocent person above the other. The reactions from certain quarters, and certainly the one columnist who wishes the cardinal a painful death, say more about them than anything the cardinal said or the Church teaches.