Fr Frank Brennan appears to have some conflicting views on abortion. As far as he is concerned, social policy and Catholic Church teaching on abortion can legitimately differ.
Fr Brennan asserts that "in a pluralist democracy which takes seriously the rule of law, the law cannot deviate too far from established social mores and perspectives." He goes on to say that "the law must be enforceable consistently and without discriminating against any group."
He seems to be saying that because there are people who believe that abortion should be available to those who want it, then the law should respect their wishes and allow them to carry out this procedure. He sees no problem with this, even though he claims to uphold the Catholic Church's teaching on abortion.
Fr Brennan must realise that the Catholic Church condemns abortion because it violates the natural law, which is synonymous with God's law. Every abortion constitutes the taking of an innocent life and contravenes the Fifth Commandment - "Thou shalt not kill."
Man-made laws which are an abomination in the sight of God have no place in social policy. It is an abuse of bureaucratic power to implement laws which are against the natural order.
His article in The West Australian (21.2.98) makes me wonder whether Fr Brennan really understands or accepts that abortion is inherently evil, as it denies the sanctity of life. In it he recalls an incident during his seminary training where a friend had told him in strict confidence that another mutual friend was going to have an abortion, but did not want him to know. On this occasion, Fr Brennan remained silent and chose to do nothing about it. He went on to explain: "But if I had been told that this friend was going off to commit a murder, I am sure I would have done something."
As a Catholic priest and prominent public figure, Fr Brennan has a responsibility to ensure that his statements reflect fully the beliefs and teachings of the Catholic Church, especially in the area of abortion, which has contributed greatly to what Pope John Paul II has termed a "culture of death."
[Editor: Numerous other letters of similar viewpoint have been received. Space did not permit publishing more of them.]