I wrote in mid November 2012 about the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar. I made the point that the pro-abortion groups were being completely unreasonable in jumping to a conclusion that an abortion would have saved this woman’s life. I stated that there was simply no evidence to support this conclusion and it would therefore be wise for all parties to wait for the outcome of the investigations into the matter.
Sadly no one was prepared to wait. Even our own South African Catholic newspaper weighed in on the matter, saying that “The Catholic Church should now review whether its pro-life teachings, especially on abortion, are truly understood in all their nuances, or whether the manner in which they are communicated might create unwelcome misinterpretations, as they clearly did in Ireland.”
What I find amusing is that The Southern Cross, since it published the editorial, which was entitled “Misunderstood Teaching”, and pompously suggested that the Church should review whether its pro-life teaching is truly understood, has not published anything that would help give its readers a better and clearer understanding of the Church’s pro-life teaching. I would have thought that it would be the next logical step for our illustrious Catholic newspaper and its wiseacre editor.
At the time the editorial was published by The Southern Cross I actually made this comment on their website: “Catholic media, such as this newspaper, needs to review whether they have adequately communicated the various Church teaching to their readers. Have they made sufficient efforts to use their access to readers to promote and teach the Church’s teaching, plus help readers understand the truth of the Church teaching in various scenario’s, such as the Savita Halappanavar case.”
This editor and his staff would do well to take time to intently study the contents of Inter Mirifica - Decree On The Media Of Social Communications, if they have not done so yet. Its not acceptable for a Catholic newspaper to devote its resources to highlighting, along with all the secular media, what is wrong with the Church and her teaching. The Southern Cross should instead be intent on communicating the Church’s teaching in a manner that helps its readers to properly understand the truth taught by the Church.
It is interesting to note that the reporter, Kitty Holland, who broke the story of the death of Savita Halappanavar, has now admitted that: “the story of Mrs Halappanavar asking for an abortion may have been a little bit ‘muddled’ in the retelling, and there may have been no such request after all.” Holland has also told RTE, Ireland’s national television and radio broadcaster, that she never ever suggested that an abortion would have saved Savita Halappanavar’s life.
This is mind blowing, to say the least. This reporter, along with other pro-abortion proponents and secular media channels, have launched a global crusade against Ireland’s pro-life laws based on the fact that, according to them, an abortion would have saved this woman’s life. Now she casually admits that this is in fact not true. Do we see the media now splashing this updated news on the front pages? No, because it does not suit them to do so.
I am of course not surprised at this news. It is exactly what I expected would eventually unfold. These people will do anything to promote their agenda and I do mean anything.
I am more annoyed and sad at the fact that Catholic newspapers, like The Southern Cross, chose to jump on the bandwagon and felt it necessary to raise questions about the Church’s teaching. Why could they not have taken a positive approach and reinforced the Church’s position. It really was not the appropriate time to raise questions about the Church’s teaching and how it is communicated. What was needed at that time was a reemphasis of the Church’s pro-life teaching.
I really am sick of people, like this editor, who do not have the courage to write openly in defence of the Church’s teaching. Instead they always take positions where they effectively sit on the fence, taking neither position, but always able to easily morph when the story develops and it suits them to do so. The Church does not morph based on circumstances. The Church faithfully communicates its pro-life message regardless of how unpopular it may be. What we need in South Africa is a person to edit our South African newspaper who has the courage to do so as well.