Chile’s Abortion Plan a ‘Trap for the Gullible,’ Cardinal Says

Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, warned that creating exceptions in the nation’s abortion law was just the first step to legalizing abortion on demand.

(photo: Morgan via Flickr (CC BY 2.0))

SANTIAGO, Chile — Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, firmly rejected a proposal to legalize abortion in Chile, calling it “a trap for the gullible.”

The cardinal is in Chile from Nov. 6 to 10 to participate in two official conferences on the challenges of the family and the role of Catholic universities. He was invited by the Pontifical Catholic University.

In a statement published in the print edition of El Mercurio daily, he emphasized that “the life of the individual is sacred.”

“Human beings are not the property of the state, and the state doesn’t have absolute power over them,” he said. “Human dignity must be respected.”

He discussed a proposed bill to legalize abortion in Chile in cases of rape, fetal non-viability and when doctors determine the mother’s life is at risk.

Looking at “what has taken place in other countries, that’s always the doorway,” the cardinal said. “They talk about special cases, but the goal is different: It’s the opening to all abortions.”

“I don’t believe the words of some of these politicians — it’s a trap for the gullible who let themselves be led in the wrong direction,” he continued.

The situation is particularly important, Cardinal Mueller said, because “a country’s well-being depends on respect for human rights, without conditions.”

“People can’t place conditions on other people’s worth. Do you have the right to say that one life has less value than another? Who decides? If you accept that, the door is opened up for all kinds of arbitrariness,” he warned.

The Pontifical Catholic University, the cardinal stated, “not only has the right, but also the duty, to defend life and reject abortion.”

“We can’t say as Catholics or as religious people or those who respect the moral law that the state has the right to let some human beings be killed and others not. If the state commits this offense, we must not go along with these false ideas; we have to give a counter witness for the unconditional respect for every life,” he said.

“Governments are abusing their authority when they want to define the basic elements of human existence,” the cardinal said. “A legislature can’t contravene or reject the right to life.”

The Earth is Not Our Mother

“The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate.”—G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy