National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Is bishop statement end of discussion?

 |  NCR Today

One can almost hear, in the statement released by the U.S. bishops addressing the anguishing case out of Phoenix involving Mercy Sr. Margaret McBride, a punctuating sentiment: And that’s it! No more discussion! See story (and the bishops’ statement) here.

The bishops didn’t actually say that, but it is the essence of the conclusion by the doctrine committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. What occurred in Phoenix was a direct abortion, they determined, and “Nothing … can justify a direct abortion. No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church."

The statement seems to end all discussion of the matter, though one wonders if a declaration simply ends all questions, including those posed by church ethicists.

A question that won’t recede is whether the bishops are persuasive enough to convince Catholics who still may have deep questions about their conclusions. One of the ethicists interviewed recently for the tragic case, noted that Pope Paul VI “argued that Catholic moral teachings must be made clear and persuasive to intelligent persons and cannot be imposed by mere authority.”

envelope-gray-background.jpgLike what you're reading? Sign up for NCR email alerts.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

July 18-31, 2014

07-18-2014_0.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.