Matt C. Abbott
'A Tale of Two Cardinals'; German and Swiss bishops; Catholics and gay marriage; Father Alfred Kunz
By Matt C. Abbott
March 10, 2013

Believe it or not, The New York Times recently published a letter of mine – short and pithy, of course – on Cardinals Keith O'Brien and Roger Mahony. Click here to read it. (It'll take you all of four seconds, maybe five.)

I'm very concerned about the following development, as reported by (excerpted; click here for the full article):
    Days after the German bishops approved the use of the morning-after pill in cases of rape, the Swiss bishops have followed their lead. A spokesman for the Swiss bishops, Walter Müller, told the Swiss News Agency that the drug may be used in cases of rape, but only when it will have a contraceptive effect, and not when it 'induces an abortion'.....

    This is the same position taken by the German bishops, a position that has received the backing of the head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula. However, this position is not without its critics, with some pointing to evidence that in some circumstances 'emergency contraceptive' drugs act as abortifacients....

    While the German bishops stated that they had learned about new formulations of the morning-after pill that act only as a contraceptive, a leading Catholic doctor in Spain questioned this statement. 'I would say that approximately in half of the cases it acts as a contraceptive and the other half it has an anti-implantation effect,' Doctor Justo Aznar told the Catholic News Agency.

    One pharmaceutical expert in Switzerland also criticized the bishops' statement, stating that in practice it is not possible to determine exactly when the drugs might act as a contraceptive or an abortifacient. 'The bishops' statements give the impression that there are different types of morning-after pill on the market, which is not the case,' Karl Küenzi of Pharmasuisse told Zurich's Tages Anzeiger newspaper.

    Bishops' spokesman Müller reportedly acknowledged concerns about the potential the drug may cause an early abortion, but said that women should consult with physicians or a pharmacist on that issue....
Yikes. The new pope will have a lot of house-cleaning to do. Of course, whether he decides to do that remains to be seen.

According to yet another poll, a majority of American Catholics favor homosexual marriage. Well, considering the crisis of faith we've been experiencing for the last several decades, it's really no surprise.

That said, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League makes some good points in a March 8 news release:
    The media are ecstatic: Catholics are pro-gay marriage. Indeed, Peter A. Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, says, 'Catholic voters are leading American voters toward support for same-sex marriage.' His conclusion is based on the finding that Catholic voters favor gay marriage, 54-38 percent, while the figures nationally are 47-43 percent.

    Leaving aside the not insignificant fact that the sample size of Catholics was a mere 497, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent, there is something so bizarre – that would be the kind word – about a much more problematic methodological issue: Quinnipiac asked Catholic voters 14 questions on issues of interest to them, and on all but one the survey disaggregated the answers on the basis of church attendance. The one exception was on same-sex marriage.

    In other words, we know how Catholics think on issues ranging from celibacy to whether the new pope should come from the U.S. or not; we also know how they split on these subjects on the basis of church attendance. But all we know about the issue that is receiving top billing in the media – gay marriage – is the aggregate figure.

    This takes on added significance when we consider that 4 in 10 of the Catholics sampled do not practice their religion (28 percent go to church 'a few times a year' and 11 percent say they 'never' attend). That these nominal Catholics are precisely the biggest fans of gay marriage is a sure bet, though the poll fails to disclose the results. The Quinnipiac Polling Institute has some explaining to do.

It's been 15 years since Father Alfred Kunz was found in his parish school in the Diocese of Madison, Wis., with his throat slashed. His murder remains unsolved; the mystery continues. Click here to see a short article and video segment on the case, courtesy of CBS 58 Milwaukee.

Pray that Father's killer(s) is/are brought to justice.

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 'Unsolved' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other media outlets. In 2005 and 2006, he was among the first writers to expose former cardinal Theodore McCarrick's abuse of power with and sexual harassment of seminarians. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback and story ideas. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if they're marked confidential. Also, if you give me permission to publish a quote of yours, please do not contact me at a later time to request that I delete your name. Only in limited circumstances will I quote anonymous sources. Thank you and God bless!)


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