Thursday, December 12, 2002

Archbishop Myers of Newark issues pastoral on sexuality

Doesn't mention sexual abuse.

In the new letter, the archbishop said he took pains to strike a positive tone. But the section on abortion is both graphic and provocative."How often do proponents of 'choice' mention the little arms and legs ripped off in vacuum aspiration abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy?" Myers wrote. "When was the last time an abortion propagandist in the media spoke or wrote of the scalded skin of a body aborted ... in the second trimester?"One church critic said Myers should have used the power of a pastoral letter to discuss his handling of the sex abuse crisis - both in Newark and in his former diocese - and what the scandal means for the future of the church."The whole thing he did missed the point of what is needed at the moment," said Eileen Flynn, a theology professor at St. Peter's College in Jersey City, who supports ordination of women and allowing priests to marry. "People have lots of questions. They want answers and information."

Flynn said she was surprised that a pastoral letter focusing on the sacredness of the human body failed to mention the death penalty, the poor, or the Bush administration's plans to wage war against Iraq. "What about the Iraqi bodies and the bodies of American soldiers?" she said.

Here's the text of the letter.

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