Tags: vatican | obama | abortion

Vatican Luminary: Obama's Abortion Stance Destructive

Thursday, 14 May 2009 01:58 PM

By Edward Pentin

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A Belgian human rights expert who is a member of three Vatican academies warns strongly that President Barack Obama’s pro-abortion stance threatens to lead the United States into totalitarianism.

President Obama's enacting policies that threaten the lives of the unborn is “dragging the law into a process of regression that is altering the democratic nature of the society that elected him," Monsignor Michel Schooyans said during a prestigious Vatican conference at the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences this month.

A society that calls itself democratic but whose leaders are invoking subjective "new rights" that permit the elimination of some categories of human beings “is a society that has already set out on the road of totalitarianism,” Schooyans said.

He also predicted that the administration’s pro-abortion position will lead “sooner or later” to abortion's becoming a human right at the United Nations.

The Belgian priest predicted there will “no longer be any room in the law for conscientious objection” on pro-life issues, and warned that other subjective "new rights" would become part of the government’s program, such as “euthanasia, homosexuality, unilateral divorce, and drug use.”

Schooyans, 79, a retired philosophy and theology professor at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and author of many books, including one that warns of the totalitarian tendencies of liberalism, also criticised Obama’s pro-abortion “messianism” that, he said, proclaims the extinction of the moral principles upon which the United States was founded.

“What matters now is the will of the president,” Schooyans said. “According to his own words, the president no longer needs to make reference to the moral and religious traditions of humanity. His will is the source of law.”

At the conference, which was attended by various dignitaries including government ministers, a Nobel Laureate, a cardinal and other human rights experts, the Belgian professor also castigated Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation, saying its goals dangerously threaten fundamental human rights and religious freedom.

He argued that the foundation, which Blair founded in 2008 to promote respect and understanding about the world's major religions, actually aims to remake these religions and use them to expand "new rights."The result, he said, would reduce those religions “to the same common denominator, which means stripping them of their identity.”

The foundation’s intellectual base is “impregnated with New Age thinking,” he said. Its support for a Global Ethic Declaration, an initiative strongly supported by dissenting Swiss Catholic theologian Hans Kueng “cannot be realized except at the price of the sacrifice of religious freedom, of the imposition of a "politically correct" interpretation of the sacred Scriptures.”

Schooyans also criticized the former British prime minister, who joined the Catholic Church in 2007, for suggesting in a recent magazine interview that the Pope should “rethink” his approach to homosexuality. “Is he Catholic?” he asked, adding that Blair “does not believe in the authority of the Pope.”

With Blair’s support, the Belgian professor argued that President Obama will push toward a worldwide government based on legal positivism. He argued that, just as Blair’s foundation is trying to subjugate religion, so Obama is trying to subjugate the law. “This is the new version of the two-headed eagle,” Schooyans said. “Law and religion are exploited to "legitimize" anything at all.”

The priest ended his speech by calling for a “mobilization” of politics, media and higher education to reaffirm basic morality, namely “to acknowledge and love one's neighbor, beginning with the smallest and most vulnerable.”

In a May 12 e-mail to Newsmax, a spokesman for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation responded to Schooyans’s criticisms by saying the foundation is “definitely not looking to discover or create a lowest common denominator among faiths”, but that it was “seeking to encourage humanitarian action based on certain values which the great faiths share.” Interfaith dialogue, the spokesman said, “can enhance the capacity of believers to understand their own faith better when they see it through the eyes of someone of another faith.”

The spokesman referred to a speech Blair made in Westminster Cathedral, London, last April in which the former prime minister said the foundation “will expressly not be about chucking faith into a doctrinal melting pot. It is not about losing our own distinctive faith. It is about learning about, living and working with others of a different faith.”

Schooyans’s speech came just a few weeks before President Obama’s May 17 commencement address at the Catholic University of Notre Dame, during which the president is also due to receive and honorary law degree. The university’s decision to honor the president has caused an outcry in the Catholic Church, with more than 70 U.S. bishops protesting the move.

Recently joining them was Mary Ann Glendon, former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, who declined a prestigious medal from the university that was scheduled to have been awarded on the same day. A Harvard law professor, Glendon is also president of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences and was present to hear Schooyans’s academy speech this month.

The core of Msgr. Schooyans’s concerns about President Obama are commonly held by a number of middle and senior ranking U.S. Vatican officials. However, officially the Vatican is eager to promote a more conciliatory and diplomatic tone with the administration in an effort to find ways of cooperating on areas of common ground.

Obama administration officials did not respond to requests for comment.

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