"It is not possible to anesthetize the conscience, for example, when it
comes to molecules whose aim is to stop an embryo implanting or to cut short
someone's life," the Pope said...
"I invite your federation to consider
conscientious objection which is a right that must be recognized for your
profession so you can avoid collaborating, directly or indirectly, in the supply
of products which have clearly immoral aims, for example abortion or
euthanasia," he said.
The Inside Blog's Deal Hudson (who graciously links to CT Catholic in his comment) says this about today's news:
This can only be considered a direct rebuke to the decision of the
Catholic Conference and the Connecticut bishops to allow Plan B
to be offered by Catholic hospitals in the state.
I'm not so sure. The Connecticut Bishops' September 27th statement said they were complying with the state law (requiring Plan B to be administered to rape victims without an ovulation test) because of scientific and doctrinal uncertainty on whether Plan B is abortifacient. A clear statement from Rome that Plan B is or can be abortifacient and is therefore forbidden would indeed be a direct rebuke to Connecticut. But the quotes above do not say that. Given their current position, I would expect our bishops' response to be that emergency contraception to a rape victim is not one of the "clearly immoral aims" the Pope is speaking about and that his statement does not apply to their new policy.
Whatever the real import of the Pope's remarks, there is no question that the firestorm over Plan B is still raging among Connecticut's Catholic laity. Intense e-mail exchanges involving a list of about 50 local Catholics have been ongoing (one new blog in our Connecticut links is a product of those debates). The Archdiocese's annual respect life mass was sparsely attended. And the state's pro-life community is more dispirited than I have ever seen them (and in Connecticut, that's really saying something!).
The bishops, too, are thought to be having a rough time of it. Many who heard the Archbishop's homily on Plan B at the pro-life mass noted his defensive tone.
So, where do we go from here? How do we take back the high ground in the fight for life in Connecticut and how do we do it as a unified flock under the authority of our shepherds? I don't know the answers, but those are the questions we should be pondering. Having won their Plan B victory, pro-abortionists are no doubt planning their next assault. What are we doing now--and not just after the fact--to stop them?