Spanish Cardinal Antonio Canizares, prefect for the Congregation of the Divine worship, apparently attempted to moderate the effect of Ireland’s Ryan report on the thousands of children sexually, physically and psychologically abused by Irish priests and brothers in church-run institutions during the past six decades by claiming that abortion was a worse sin .
What kind of culture generates such reasoning? Is it impossible for the church, particularly the hierarchy, to bear the burden of its own sin, or must the spotlight always be turned away toward someone or something that is worse? What is to be gained from the comparison of the systemic and systematic abuse of children and protection of the perpetrators with abortion? What’s the point? (One legitimate comparison might be made to those cases – and NCR has done its share of stories on the matter – of Catholic clerics, especially in areas of Africa, who have raped nuns or impregnated other women and in some cases urged the women to procure abortions.)