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An Atheist Rightly Rebukes a Craven Cardinal

by Christopher A. Ferrara
July 24, 2017

Corrispondenza Romana (CR) has published an exposé on Cardinal Enrico Ezzati, Archbishop of Santiago Chile, who, contrary to the constant teaching of the Church and the Fifth Commandment itself, views the legalization of abortion as a purely political matter in which he will not interfere.

A petition by young Catholic activists and deputies in the Chilean parliament, which is debating whether to end Chile’s absolute ban on abortion, invokes a prior condemnation of abortion by Pope Bergoglio in anticipation of his visit to Chile in 2018. As CR reports, however, in response to the petition Ezzati, as reported in the Chilean daily El Mercurio, declared that the Pope is not “going to cause any type of problem. On various occasions I have assured the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, speaking to the competent authorities, [that] the Pope is coming as a pastor and not a politician.”

This craven capitulation to the specter of legalized mass murder in the womb prompted CR to comment: “As if the killing of babies in the womb by their mothers were simply a parliamentary squabble and not a most grave crime, to be opposed with force and decisiveness.”

Ezzati’s position, falsely separating politics from the moral law, is so blatantly a betrayal of his high office in the Church that, as CR notes, even a militantly atheist academic, Professor Carlos Peña, a professor of law and Rector of Università Diego Portales, denounced it in a column in the daily El Mercurio (translation mine).

If, Peña argues, the Pope and Ezzati really believe that abortion is murder, and that its legalization would “permit the homicide of a certain class of persons,” then they have a duty to declare this openly and publicly, whether the Pope’s visit is “political, pastoral or otherwise in character.”

Peña rightly condemns Ezzati for a “most crude pragmatism, the simplest utilitarianism,” which is disillusioning for believers (like those UDI [political party] deputies) and also for non-believers (who take the moral debate seriously).”  To declare, as Ezzati does, that “the Pope would be willing to be silent and ‘not cause any kind of problem’” is, Peña continues, “simply disconcerting, because how could one consent to be silent before the legalization of a crime, murder of the most innocent among the innocent?...”

Peña thus concludes: “These UDI deputies are quite right… when they declare that it would be incomprehensible for a moral leader like the Pope to be silent about what he himself has denounced as a real authorization to commit mass crimes.”

Incomprehensible, yes, but nonetheless entirely likely. For while Pope Bergoglio has consistently and publicly demanded before civil authorities the worldwide abolition of the death penalty for convicted murderers, and even life sentences for murder, he has never once (so far as I can see) called for the worldwide abolition of abortion as opposed to issuing an occasional generic condemnation of abortion, in passing remarks, not tied to any politically operative demand for legal reform. 

Ironically enough, it would appear that here the Pope is acting precisely as a politician, issuing politically safe demands for specific laws banning the execution or even life imprisonment of convicted killers — a cause popular with the pro-abortion Left — while safely avoiding the denunciations he would incur should he demand laws, like the current law under attack in Chile, absolutely banning the execution of innocent children in the womb.

As for Ezzati, Peña levels this withering assessment: “[I]t is quite extraordinary that Ezzati suggests to his followers that they accept that the shepherd be silent while his sheep are killed.  But no: perhaps it is better to recognize that there are neither sheep nor murder.”

As Ezzati “stands in the corner” (to quote CR) while the Chilean parliament debates whether to legalize infanticide, it is important to note that he was made a cardinal by none other than Pope Bergoglio. That appointment, like the others with which Pope Bergoglio is stacking the College of Cardinals, has contributed substantially to a growing ecclesial debacle that has already attained unprecedented proportions.