In what can only be described as a brave and bold action, Jesuit Priest Robert John Araujo, SJ delves into waters.
Here is the introduction and excerpt of Fathers article.
Catholic Teaching, Senator Kennedy, and Abortion
This posting is not intended to delve into the subject of Senator Kennedy’s views on a variety of issues. Rather, it is an opportunity to bring to the attention of those who visit this site some relevant information about what may have contributed to Senator Kennedy’s change of position regarding the matter of abortion.
I have been reading Albert Jonsen’s 1998 book The Birth of Bioethics. For those unfamiliar with Dr. Jonsen, he most recently taught at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine. He is a Ph.D. holder who studied religious ethics at Yale University in the mid-1960s. At that time, he was a young Jesuit priest. In 1975 he left both the order and the priesthood and married.He has one of the most interesting and credible accounts of how Senator Edward Kennedy and his brother, Robert, had the occasion to encounter a group of priests who provided information to the Kennedy brothers about ethical views on issues such as abortion. I will state at the outset that I find many of Dr. Jonsen’s conclusions in his book that I have cited regrettable and inconsistent with Catholic teachings on a number of pressing issues. But these disagreements are not the motivation for writing today.
It is his account of a meeting he attended in the summer of 1964 at the famous “Kennedy Compound” in Hyannisport, Massachusetts that I discuss. Jonsen’s invitation to attend the meeting according to his account came by way of Fr. Joseph Fuchs, another Jesuit priest, who had taught moral theology for many years at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Then Fr. Jonsen had met Fr. Fuchs on the campus of the University of San Francisco one summer afternoon. According to Jonsen, Fuchs asked him if he would like to attend a meeting that was to take place on Cape Cod to assist Senator Kennedy who was standing for reelection to hear the views of several Catholic theologians so that he, the Senator, could formulate his political stance on the abortion issue.According to his account, Jonsen accepted the invitation and attended the meeting. Once they arrived in Boston, Dr. Jonsen states that he and Fr. Fuchs were driven “at breakneck speed” to Hyannisport by Fr. Robert Drinan, another Jesuit who was then the Dean of Boston College Law School. In addition to these three priests, all Jesuits, they were joined by two other priests, Fr. Richard McCormick, a fourth Jesuit, and Fr. Charles Curran, a diocesan priest then teaching moral theology at the Catholic University of America. In attendance at the meeting were Senator Edward Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Dr. Jonsen says that he and Fathers Drinan and Fuchs “struggled with the problem posed to us.” However, in Jonsen’s estimation, Fr. McCormick was “particularly articulate.”
Jonsen states that to the best of his recollection the theologians agreed with the Church’s teaching that abortion was immoral but were in further agreement that “a rigorously restrictive ethics of abortion into law was unlikely to be enforceable or to achieve its positive goals without significant attendant social evils.” He does not specify in his book what these “significant attendant social evils” were.Jonsen further contends that the theologians present at the Kennedy Compound on that day favored the American Law Institute’s 1962 draft which would withdraw protection from the fetus (during the first twenty-six weeks of its life) and thus allow abortion when a woman’s health was at risk, the fetus had a severe defect, or the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest. This position they advanced did not then nor does it now coincide with the Church’s teaching.
Link (here) to the full post by Fr. Robert John Araujo, S.J. , his post is at the Mirror of Justice blog.
Fr. Robert John Araujo, S.J. is a professor at St. John's University, he was an associate and then professor of law at Gonzaga University from 1994 to 2005. He has served for the past ten years as an advisor to the Holy See. He is presently Professor of Ethics and International Relations at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He is also the Robert Bellarmine University Professor of Public and International Law at Gonzaga University. Link (here)