FRONT ROYAL, VA, October 25, 2007 (HLI.org) – The Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, STL, president of Human Life International (HLI), today remarked on an op-ed appearing in the British publication The Observer on October 21, entitled, “Britain’s abortion debate lacks a moral dimension” by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams.
Father Euteneuer said, “While not agreeing with everything Dr. Williams said, I certainly appreciate his comments on the tragedy of abortion in commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the British Abortion Act. He is certainly correct about the moral ‘slippage’ that has occurred, where abortion is viewed far more casually today than was foreseen in 1967.”
“However,” Fr. Euteneuer said, “As a Roman Catholic priest I see a genuine irony in his comments. At one point Dr. Williams asks, ‘We may well ask what has happened’ in regard to this slippage. For a Roman Catholic what has happened is all too clear: in 1930 The Church of England was the first Christian church to allow the separation of procreation from the marital act in the Lambeth decision on contraception and gave endorsement, even if unwittingly, to future policies which would allow the killing of children. It’s a small step from excluding children from sex to expelling children from the womb,” Fr. Euteneuer said.
“The ‘slippage’ Dr. Williams speaks of is precisely what Pope Pius XI warned of in the Papal encyclical, Castii Conubii, issued in response to Lambeth, and what Pope Paul VI reiterated in his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae. These popes said that the widespread use of contraception would lead to ‘a general lowering of morality’. By now we see this in our entire society. On the social as well as the personal levels, contraception and abortion are two sides of the same bad penny,” Fr. Euteneuer said.
He continued, “If you think it through, Dr. Williams’s comments on our current moral climate tend to vindicate the Roman Catholic position on birth control as still the only realistic position if we hope to restore moral sanity. HLI hopes that all good-willed people will take a hard look at how we got where we are today and recognize the role contraception played in it. It is my prayer that the centuries-old Christian consensus on the sin of contraception, which all but vanished at Lambeth, will be restored.”