Internal Vatican grudge match: Who you calling a relativist?

The excommunications surrounding the abortion for a nine-year-old Brazilian girl who was raped and impregnated with twins by her stepfather continues to roil Rome. Back at the time, a top Vatican official, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life and an apparent up-and-comer in Rome (at least then) wrote in L’Osservatore Romano that the excommunications had been a mistake.

Now Msgr. Michel Schooyans, a professor emeritus of philosophy at the Université Catholique de Louvain, in Belgium has accused Fisichella of “situational morality” and “total relativism”–the Big One in Benedict XVI’s arsenal of anathemas.


LifeSiteNews has coverage:

Mgr. Schooyans bluntly says that Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, the head of the PAV, justified the abortion of twins of the nine year-old girl in Brazil “on the grounds of compassion towards the little girl and compassion towards the doctors.” The morality expounded in the article, he said, “is a situational morality. According to him, moral principles ought to be taken into consideration in so far as they respect freedom of choice in concrete circumstances. Here we have total relativism.”

What Fisichella failed to do in his March 15th article in L’Osservatore Romano, was to “recommend compassion towards the aborted twins.” “Let it simply be established,” Schooyans wrote, “that [Fisichella] is here admitting direct abortion.”


Schooyans, a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences who has written twenty books on political philosophy, contemporary ideologies and international population policies, wrote, “In objective terms, … [the] article provides formidable backing to all who, in Latin America (Brazil, Santo Domingo, etc.) and elsewhere, are waging a campaign to legalise abortion, with the support of President Obama, the European Union, the IPPF and other NGOs.”

Trouble in the king’s court. Which can happen when everything looks like relativism…

H/T: CWNews

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posted June 13, 2009 at 9:31 am

Yet, based on your blog posted March 16th, it would seem that Archbishop Rino Fisichella did not condone the abortion, rather was targeting the justifiability of the excommunication. In what way is Monsignor Michel Schooyans justified in attacking Fisichella? Is, for Fisichella, the moral validity of the or any abortion even in question?

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posted June 13, 2009 at 11:27 am

Ex-communication? That is the answer given so that this child could go up knowing that no man could be counted on to have her best interest at heart? I am so horrified that I don’t even know what to say. Except this: what is the opposite of relativism?

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posted June 13, 2009 at 2:56 pm

As a former student of Archbishop Rino Fisichella, I can guarantee that he toes the line on doctrine. I can also guarantee that he is a compassionate pastor. I think this is just a case of Msgr. Schooyans trying to play a game of “one-upmanship,” a game he will lose in attacking a man who could very well one day become pope.

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posted June 15, 2009 at 8:04 am

Msgr. Schooyans is a hard-hearted man who has no compassion. He has endorsed killing a nine-year-old victim of rape. What kind of an ethical or moral stand is that? No, I’m not going to allow him to excuse this by putting it in God’s hands and claiming that all three might have lived. He should know better than that. The best medical decision was an abortion. He has decided that the girl and her fetuses should die, sacrificed to self-righteous moralizing.
[Captcha ate my first post, even though it claimed it hadn’t]

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posted June 15, 2009 at 8:48 am

The moral absolutism of Msgr. Schooyans is abominable.Even Karl Barth argued for the ultimo ratio wherein love would in the particular override the absolute.Barth’s particular was abortion. Does this idiot still have a job?

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