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Cardinal O'Brien Responds to Abortion Critics. Says Tactics Distract From Real Message
EDINBURGH, Scotland, JULY 6, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Keith O'Brien says that his critics in the abortion debate in the United Kingdom use diversionary tactics to bury the message that life has value.

Cardinal O'Brien, the archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, made these statements today in a letter published in The Scotsman. He said: "The 'abortion debate' in the United Kingdom rarely involves any actual discussion about the realities of abortion!

"'Red herrings' and diversionary tactics keep us from proper consideration of the value of each and every human life. That has largely been the tactic used by many in response to me."

In a sermon delivered last month in Edinburgh, Cardinal O'Brien, 69, criticized Britain's abortion legislation, saying that in Scotland "we kill the equivalent of a classroom full of school children every day."

He admitted today in his letter that "the language I used was strong," but added that he did so "because it is true."

Addressing critics who accused him of entering into a political debate, the cardinal said: "I did enter into a debate, which has, wrongly in my view, come to be viewed as political.

"Abortion is neither political nor medical, though clearly it has implications in these spheres. It is about morality and the destruction of human life."

Cardinal O'Brien added:
"I believe the time has come for a wide ranging and open debate in this country about abortion. It should not be dominated by our political elites or medical professionals, by religious leaders or pressure groups, but should be open to all."

In the letter the cardinal appealed to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who he said is "a man of principle and deeply held moral convictions," to review the current abortion legislation.