Publicstatementonmytheologicalpositions_TinaBeattie.docx.pdf

I have been called pro abortion in some recent blogs

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I have been called pro-abortion in some recent blogs, and I find that deeply offensive. I am the mother of four children, and I am personally pro-life. I do not believe that there is any justification for the followers of Christ ever to endorse killing as a good or commendable act, whether it be abortion, war, capital punishment or euthanasia. However, there are serious issues that must be addressed with regard to how far the Church should use the law to defend positions which may not be defensible from the perspective of those who do not share the Christian faith. I have argued robustly against all late abortion, and I have written in detail about the serious abuses and violations which currently take place in Britain with regard to abortion. Many ‘pro- choice’ arguments put forward by secular feminists are morally repugnant and alienate those with a genuine concern for the sanctity and dignity of human life. It should be the aim of every Christian to work towards a world in which neither war nor abortion is necessary, while avoiding a dangerous utopianism which denies the complex and often tragic realities of human life. This means that a rightful concern to minimise the incidence of abortion must be balanced against the knowledge that nearly 70,000 of the world’s poorest women die every year as a result of illegal abortion, and many thousands more suffer serious long-term injury. Anyone who claims to be pro-life should be as concerned for the lives and well-being of these women as they are for their unborn children. These dilemmas are far more complex and anguished than either so- called pro-choice feminists or anti-abortion campaigners are willing to acknowledge. As a woman theologian who has personal experience of the joys and the struggles of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood, I believe that I have a responsibility to reflect upon and address some of these issues. I find myself on the receiving end of profound hostility from both feminists and Catholic conservatives because of this. The other claim that has been made against me recently is that “Tina Beattie mocks the Mass as an act of homosexual intercourse”, and that extracts from my work are “sacrilegious and deeply offensive”. This is pernicious. In the work that is cited and quoted by these bloggers, I was writing an extended critique of the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, whose writings I have studied for a number of years. My comments were made in the context of my deep concern over his highly sexualised representation
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of the Mass. This criticism is shared by a number of others who have written on von Balthasar. The suggestion that I mock the Mass because I criticise another theologian’s
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