Chicago Abp: Crushing Baby Skulls ‘No Less Appalling’ Than Capital Punishment

News: Crisis in the Church
by Church Militant  •  •  August 8, 2015   

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By Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D.

In a signed op-ed in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich listed a series of social ills that he says people should find just as appalling as the gruesome ripping apart of unborn children and the sale of their organs by Planned Parenthood.

The Archbishop wrote that the strong negative reaction to the release of the videos showing Planned Parenthood physicians discussing the market for organs harvested in abortions was a sign of hope. It "unmasked the fact that, in our public conversation about abortion, we have so muted the humanity of the unborn child that some consider it quite acceptable to speak freely of crushing a child's skull to preserve valuable body parts and to have that discussion over lunch."

As repulsive as commerce in the body parts of defenseless children is, however, he said:

We should be no less appalled by the indifference toward the thousands of people who die daily for lack of decent medical care; who are denied rights by a broken immigration system and by racism; who suffer in hunger, joblessness and want; who pay the price of violence in gun-saturated neighborhoods; or who are executed by the state in the name of justice.

By insisting on the moral equivalency of many different societal problems, the Archbishop reduces the particularly heinous moral offense of slaughtering the unborn and trading in their body parts to just another social ill, no worse than unemployment or the death penalty.

It would seem that people who are "no less appalled" by the execution of a convicted serial killer than by the ripping apart of an innocent child may be morally obtuse, rather than morally superior. As Congressman Henry Hyde once said, "Show me an unborn child who has been convicted of a capital crime by a jury of his peers, and he's all yours!"

In 2004, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — the future Pope Benedict XVI — made the very important distinction that "[n]ot all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia." Ratzinger said that despite the Church's general opposition to war and the death penalty, for instance, "it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment."

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