Church’s first word should never be “no”!

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The March 7th edition of the Tablet contains an excellent article by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. In  this article taken from a talk he gave at Westminster on Gaudiem et Spes, the  Cardinal calls for the Church to boldly speak it’s truth, primarily by being “present” in the important conversations and not to allow itself to be side-lined.


The Church has both balance and insight which can get lost in a caricature or prejudice that exiles it to a purely private realm of esoteric practice and belief.

However, he warns that the Church cannot simply be negative towards everything in the world. How the Church comes accross is as important as what it says. I [Friar Rick, not the Cardinal] think here of the situation in Brazil with that poor young girl of 9 years old raped and pregnant with twins! It was a very delicate situation and the horror of abortion is not wiped out by the circumstances. However, the Church came accross as callous and horrible when a Cardinal in the Holy See was perceived as diminishing the seriousness of the rape vs. the abortion.

This is why the Church first word should never be “no”.  It is always a “yes” to the fundamental calling and dignity of life, through which we come to see more clearly the necessary “noes” that must also be uttered if the truth is to be spoken.

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