Fr Frank Brennan's reply (November AD2000) to Phillip Robinson on the matter of abortion (quoting Evangelium Vitae) clearly illustrates the predilection of the modern legal mind to grasp at the peripheral and ignore the whole. This, together with flippant remarks attributed to Father Frank in Catholic Voice (August 1999) must have had the unborn crying out for him to wear his priestly hat at all times, whether in confidential or public utterances.
Reformed American abortion king, Dr Bernard Nathanson, once looked a group of priests in the eye and declared: "We would never have gotten away with what we did if you had been united, purposeful and strong."
Father Frank could have also quoted from Evangelium Vitae: "From the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care, while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes (Gaudium et Spes)."
On 23 April 1996, the Holy Father said: "In the encyclical Evangelium Vitae, I recalled how, on the one hand, present day society has developed increasing sensitivity to human rights, but on the other, has not succeeded in applying them to the defence of the weakest."
In greeting the Irish bishops on 26 June 1999, Pope John Paul advised: "The new evangelisation involves a strenuous defence of the right to life, the most basic of all human rights, more basic than any individual's, group's or government's 'right to choose'" (emphasis added).
On behalf of the unborn, I appeal to Fr Brennan to devote his prestige and ability to leading the Fight for Life - the ultimate social justice cause.
PATRICK V. HEALY