By Elizabeth O’Brien

VATICAN CITY, August 20, 2007 ( – In an exclusive interview with Vatican Radio on Sunday evening, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican official who is second only to Pope Benedict XVI, spoke of his regret over Amnesty International’s newly adopted advocacy of abortion in cases of rape or when the mother’s life is in danger.

Referring to the organization’s official confirmation of this “selective abortion” stance, given at its International Council Meeting last week, Cardinal Bertone stated, “Men and women of the Church throughout the world have already made their stark opposition to this decision clear.”

“Violence cannot be answered by further violence, murder with murder,” said Cardinal Bertone, “for even if the child is unborn it is still a human person.”

“It has a right to dignity as a human being.”

At the same time, the Cardinal condemned all forms of violence against women, especially rape. Vatican Radio reports that he reiterated that “all forms of violence against women must be opposed and that the inhuman violence of rape be stopped and society be mobilized to defend the dignity of women.”

The Cardinal underlined that in the Church’s many writings, it has promoted the dignity of women. He gave the example of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith document signed by himself and Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. He noted that this teaching emphasized the importance of both men and women working together in the Church and public sphere.

The Cardinal concluded, “We cannot ever destroy life. We must always save life even if it is the fruit of violence.”

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