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Archbishop Chaput on the Gosnell Case

Archbishop Charles Chaput released a statement on the Kermit Gosnell case. Take a few moments to read his powerful words:

Some stories, no matter how unsettling, just can't be ignored - even when some people are determined to look away.

The murder trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell will soon go to jury. And like every other criminally accused person under the law, Gosnell is innocent until proven guilty. Whatever the verdict though, there's no ambiguity about the kind of business he ran at his West Philadelphia "Women's Medical Center" - an abortion clinic that critics have likened to a meatpacking plant or a butcher shop, with unborn children delivered into a toilet, and jars of fetal body parts stored around the facility.

Dr. Gosnell was originally charged with one count of infanticide and five counts of "abuse of corpse" for killing fetuses born alive by plunging scissors into their necks. Without explanation, the judge in the case accepted a motion to acquit Gosnell of these charges earlier this week. Gosnell still faces four counts of first-degree and one count of third-degree murder. Eight of his coworkers have already pleaded guilty in the case, including three to third-degree murder.

Or so said The New York Times in a report dated April 23. The date is important. Gosnell's trial began March 18, more than a month ago. The Times coverage, while modest, is significant. Why? The answer is simple. The Inquirer - Philadelphia's hometown paper - has done a good job following the trial. But most prestige national media have seemed remarkably eager to ignore the story until shamed into covering it.

Gosnell is much more than a "local" story. The continuing debate over legalized abortion is a hot button national issue that drew half a million prolife demonstrators to Washington in January. The battle over abortion restrictions continues in every state. Forty years after the Supreme Court's Roe v Wade decision, resistance to permissive abortion remains high. And the vivid details of the Gosnell clinic tragedy have the kind of salacious appeal that few national media would normally avoid - if the issue were anything else. But abortion is too often, and in too many news rooms, exactly the kind of topic that brings on a sudden case of snow blindness.

The real story in the Gosnell trial is bigger than the ugly allegations against Gosnell himself; it includes the failure - the allergic disinterest - of some of our most important national media. A headline in The Atlantic magazine, April 12, states the obvious: "Why Dr. Kermit Gosnell's Trial Should Be a Front-Page Story: The dead babies. The exploited women. The racism. The numerous governmental failures. It is thoroughly newsworthy."

The irony is that much of the media's lethargy in covering the Gosnell case really doesn't surprise. It's part of the fabric of a culture that simply will not see what it doesn't want to see about the realities of abortion. And it leads to the kind of implausible claim made recently by one local commentator that "no sense of guilt is warranted" by the media because "there is no causal connection between coverage of [the Gosnell] case and bias." It's hard to imagine a more untenable alibi.

The brutality in abortion is intimate, personal and permanent. It violates women, and it kills a developing human life every time - whether the venue is a "Women's Medical Center" style meat factory or a soothing suburban clinic. What makes the Gosnell story unique is that it should distress anyone with its details, pro-choice or prolife, regardless of religion or politics.

But of course, people need to know about an evil before they can do anything about it.

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Mary De Voe said...

The dog nurtures and nourishes its pups. The animal kingdom breeds and brings forth it own kind. Some human beings destroy human life. The Court gave custody of the newly begotten human being to someone who intended to murder him. “Is it a person?” Potter Stewart asked Sarah Weddington in Roe v. Wade. Weddington told the court to prove that the unborn is a person. Weddington told the court to prove a self-evident truth, that all men are created equal. Weddington demanded that she and the unborn are not equal. True, the unborn are not possessed by the devil. The unborn are innocent. Since 1973, fifty-five million human souls have been denied, violated and aborted.

Mary De Voe said...

Atheism has unleashed a demon of unspeakable horror and Main Stream Media is terrified of its own Frankenstein. We now live on the FORBIDDEN PLANET. If or when the Main Stream Media delivers itself of cowardice and frozen fear, which may be never, for they will die in their sins, they may again call themselves news people.

Proteios1 said...

Well said archbishop. We need more of our religious men and women overtly stating their contempt for this horror. We, the laity, will follow suit. It is sickening and there is no doubt the mainstream media that routinely promotes the culture of death and slanders or demeans those who stand for life, life and human dignity deliberately ignored this story. No doubt with the goal that if people don't hear about it, they won't know it sickness. Isn't tht why PP lobbies against regulations, slanders those who want to show a woman a simple ultrasound or their growing child and mock anyone "not enlightened" enough to subscribe to their deadly view of " women's health". It's clear now who is really waging a war on women and who is waging a war to protect women.
But seriously, this case is disgusting. I can only imagine the abortion advocating media realizes they would have to put PP in front of the camera and ask them questions they can't answer without saying yes, we made this a reality. And for all those claiming the media is unfair to Obama..he got a free pass after running an election with abortion as the crown jewel.

Blackrep said...

Enough words, Bishop. No one listens anymore when there are no consequences. Excommunicate prominent pro abortion politicians. Ban them from communion. Then, people might stop yawning through your lectures.

Mary De Voe said...

I have to agree with Blackrep. Excommunicate the abortionists.

Lynda said...

Amen. Until then they can continue to spread their evil throughout the Church with impunity. Stand up and fight the Devil!

Anonymous said...

Though I generally admire Achbshp. Chaput, the fact that he is calling Gosnell's chamber of horrors a meat factory is disturbing. He, by his words, is aligning himself in a grammatical way to Gosnell. He should never go near the term "meat factory" when describing women and their unborn children.

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