British Catholic Church Applauds Conservative’s Desire to Limit Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 17, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Catholic Church Applauds Conservative’s Desire to Limit Abortions Email this article
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by Maria Vitale Gallagher Staff Writer
March 17, 2005

London, England ( — The Roman Catholic Church is praising the leader of Britain’s Tory Party for his stance on abortion. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor commended Tory leader Michael Howard for calling for a cut in the legal abortion limit in Great Britain from 24 to 20 weeks.

The Archbishop of Westminster added that Labor could no longer count on the support of Catholics because of the party’s stance on the life issues.

The Archbishop’s comments might have particular influence in areas with large Catholic populations such as the West Midlands, the North West, and portions of London.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor went public with his views after the three main party leaders offered their opinions on abortion to Cosmopolitan magazine.

Prime Minister Tony Blair said he believed there was no need to change the nation’s abortion limits. He’s also said that he does not believe that abortion should become an election issue.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor told the British press, "I am very pleased that this has been brought out on to the public agenda and that there is going to be a debate about it, both in the lead-up to and after the next election. It is a key issue. The position is that we are totally opposed to abortion."

Blair’s wife, Cherie, is a practicing Catholic and he regularly attends the Catholic Mass with her. But his views on abortion put him at odds with the Catholic Church.

"There has been a notion in the past that Catholics would be more in support of the Labor Party because they were working-class people who felt that the Labor Party stood for many of their needs. I’m not so sure that would be quite as true today," Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor told the British press.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor also stressed the Church’s opposition to human cloning and euthanasia. He also expressed concerns that a campaign might be waged in the next Parliament to legalize mercy killing.

The cardinal also defended the fact that the bishops of Britain are speaking out about political issues.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor told the British press, "Sometimes people say religion and politics do not mix and they should not mix. Religion is about the love of God and the love of our neighbor. It is clearly the second of those where religion and politics do mix.