© Ares

Century Marks

Double standard: Rosemary Radford Ruether questions whether the “consistent ethic of life” of Catholic moral theory is as consistent as it claims. Current Catholic moral teaching applies an absolutist ethic to abortion, no exceptions allowed, whereas it applies a consequentialist ethic to war that allows for exceptions, makes calculations based on competing interests and ultimately leaves the matter to the conscience of the individual. “Where is the bishop who would say that soldiers who directly massacre noncombatant civilians are excommunicated? Where are the bishops who would suggest that those who manufacture nuclear weapons are excommunicated and should repent by leaving such forms of employment?” she asks. “In short, Catholicism speaks softly and carries no stick when it comes to untimely and unjust death after birth” (Conscience, Spring).


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