ANOTHER attempt to amend the Abortion Act having failed, and the successful tactics employed by the pro-abortion MPs likely to be repeated on any and every future occasion, should we not be considering whether we are doing the right thing in the right way in attempting to reduce abortion by legislation?
The danger of setting a legal limit to the weeks after which abortion would be impermissable, is that people tend to accept the legal as the moral. The Church says abortion is wrong at whatever time it is carried out. Society, on the other hand, says "if it's legal, it's alright".
Confusion arises among Catholics and non-Catholics alike when a Church which condemns abortion totally, makes a big show of supporting a bill to legalise it, no matter at what foetal age. Rather than spending time and energy on banging our heads against a wall of parliamentary procedure,
should we not be better advised to deploy our forces, intellectual as well as emotional, firstly in teaching why abortion is wrong (and not simply asserting the fact dogmatically) and secondly in giving deep and detailed consideration to the arguments of the pro-abortionists in order to make clear why and how unacceptable they are.
Abortions will become less widespread when people realise how wicked it is. Praying and teaching will produce better results than parliamentary uproar.
B G Cross 15 The Greswoldes Radford Semelie Leamington Spa ONCE again I ask through your columns, must we let them off with murder? I mean the proabortion MPs who hacked and mutilated the Corrie bill, later Enoch Powell's bill, then Kenneth Hargreaves bill — all lost, not by a vote, but the rigidity of Parliamentary procedure and lack of time.
MPs like David Alton who fought a clean fight to reduce the number of unborn babies being killed in the most barbaric way hadn't a chance against proabortion MPs.
In late abortions babies are fully formed, so to abort unborn children at 28 weeks the surgeon must crush the skull and extract the body bit by bit. I challenge any or every pro-abortion MP to watch this painful, pagan operation, and let them not kid themselves or try to kid us that the victim can't feel pain.
The Government has a clear moral duty to allow time and if necessary make time for a clear majority vote in the Commons. Mrs Thatcher must act as quickly as she did in the Falklands crisis, to show the world she is as prepared to stand for moral issues as for political ones.
Sister Dorothea Bogue SRN St Joseph's Hospital
Beaconsfield Bucks IT IS with some concern that I have read recent articles relating to Archbishop Lefebvre and his society of St Pius X. It is well known that he has decided to consecrate three bishops on June 30, and that under the new code of Canon Law this will lead to excommunication.
This should make efforts to reconcile him all the greater. The recent headliner "Lefebvre backing for Le Pen" (May 13) can only have the opposite effect for it gives a false picture. Mgr Lefebvre has never given either his personal or society's support for any political party. He cannot be held responsible for individual traditional Catholics, nor for priests who having been ordained by him who have left the society of St Pius X.
It may further be noted that M Le Pen does not support Lefebvre, and makes great play of loyalty to the Pope and Rome. The recent Mass and honouring of Joan of Arc, where there were calls for the banishment of "France's enemies" (ie ethnic minorities and Jews) was celebrated on the new Roman Rite, as are the majority of Masses before his rallies.
It greatly offends traditional Catholics when they find themselves branded as "extreme right wing" when most merely wish to be allowed to continue in the practices of their youth. Only when there is an effort to treat them with respect and understanding will they realise their place is inside the Church and in obedience to their bishops.
There can be no real conflict between today's Church and that of the past. The alternatives are not either an acceptance of Vatican II and progressive Catholicism, or rejection of the Council and traditionalism. The official decisions of the Vatican Council must be welcomed, although the secularising interpretations so often given them must be emphatically rejected.
If Mgr Lefebvre does go into schism by unlawfully consecrating bishops he should help accomplish what he seeks to prevent. This is the message that should be published in Catholic papers and journals in the hope that traditional Catholics will be reconciled and not separated.
William Hudson Magdalene College Cambridge