The Public Interest

Reflecting on War and Morality

Patrick Glynn

Summer 1984

NOT long ago, in a speech at Fordham University, Cardinal Bernardin, the Chicago Archbishop, attempted to enunciate the principles common to contemporary Church positions on abortion, capital punishment, and nuclear war. Of abortion the Cardinal noted, “It is because the fetus is judged to be both human and not an aggressor that Catholic teaching concludes that direct attack on the fetal life is always wrong.” Over the years there have been a variety of justifications offered for the Catholic prohibition on abortion; suffice it to say that nonagression on the part of the fetus has until now not been prominent among them.

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