Speaking of the Great Abortion Debate (see below), Cardinal Egan says there is no debate.
The Archbishop of NY, in the new Catholic New York, continues to raise his profile as one of the day’s most outspoken opponents of abortion.
I’ve noted several times that Egan’s harsh statements toward Rudy Giuliani and Nancy Pelosi have become rallying cries for pro-lifers.
Wait until they read Egan’s new column. Referring to this picture — “of a being that has been within its mother for 20 weeks” — he writes:
The picture on this page is an untouched photograph of a being that has been within its mother for 20 weeks. Please do me the favor of looking at it carefully.
Have you any doubt that it is a human being?
If you do not have any such doubt, have you any doubt that it is an innocent human being?
If you have no doubt about this either, have you any doubt that the authorities in a civilized society are duty-bound to protect this innocent human being if anyone were to wish to kill it?
If your answer to this last query is negative, that is, if you have no doubt that the authorities in a civilized society would be duty-bound to protect this innocent human being if someone were to wish to kill it, I would suggestâ€”even insistâ€”that there is not a lot more to be said about the issue of abortion in our society. It is wrong, and it cannotâ€”must notâ€”be tolerated.
Egan says that photographs like this one — and a 2-DVD set from the National Geographic Society — present visual evidence that stamps out other arguments.
Then he offers this: “If you can convince yourself that these beings are something other than living and innocent human beings, something, for example, such as “mere clusters of tissues,” you have a problem far more basic than merely not appreciating the wrongness of abortion. And that problem isâ€”forgive meâ€”self-deceit in a most extreme form.”
Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life has competition here. So does James Dobson and others who lead the charge against abortion.
Egan even compares the “self-deceit” of abortion-rights defenders to the self-deceit of Hitler and Stalin:
Adolf Hitler convinced himself and his subjects that Jews and homosexuals were other than human beings. Joseph Stalin did the same as regards Cossacks and Russian aristocrats. And this despite the fact that Hitler and his subjects had seen both Jews and homosexuals with their own eyes, and Stalin and his subjects had seen both Cossacks and Russian aristocrats with theirs. Happily, there are few today who would hesitate to condemn in the roundest terms the self-deceit of Hitler, Stalin or even their subjects to the extent that the subjects could have done something to end the madness and protect living, innocent human beings.
He concludes with this:
Do me a favor. Look at the photograph again. Look and decide with honesty and decency what the Lord expects of you and me as the horror of “legalized” abortion continues to erode the honor of our nation. Look, and do not absolve yourself if you refuse to act.
As I’ve said before, I believe that in the past year, Egan has transformed his legacy for many people. He will be remembered by many for challenging supporters of abortion with a steely new rhetoric.