Thursday, April 09, 2009

Archbishop speaks out about Abortion Adverts

The new Archbishop of Westminster wants the 4.2 million Roman Catholics in England and Wales to take a stand against proposals to allow abortion services to advertise on television and radio.

Last month, in an attempt to cut Britain's soaring teenage pregnancy rate, the Committee of Advertising Practice and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice announced proposals to relax the rules on condom advertising and allow pro-abortion services to advertise on television for the first time

Archbishop Nichols, who has already forced the Government to change its mind over non-religious quotas for faith schools and campaigned against gay adoptions, said that current television advertising for condoms demeaned young people by depicting “casual sex on the street corner” and “drunken sex”.

In an interview to mark Good Friday, the day that Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus, he urged Catholics to respond to a consultation exercise on the proposed changes. The country would not expect abortion to be advertised “alongside a packet of crisps”, he said.

“I would appeal to Catholics to respond to the consultation. Two of the principles put forward are that advertisements should be truthful and tasteful.

“I doubt that any intended adverts about abortion would be fully truthful and tell the whole truth of the effects of abortion in a woman’s life. I seriously wonder if any advertisements for the use of condoms would be tasteful because the ones we have at the moment are demeaning of the young people of this country.

"They depict casual sex on the street corner and drunken sex. I do not think these things do anything to genuinely help young people to understand themselves in their own dignity and in the proper meaning of what human sexuality is about.

“I know the media likes to say its task is to reflect reality, but the media always has a responsibility to put something in front of people to which they can aspire and it has an educative function as well. I think often what is on the television screen in these matters sells the young people of this country woefully short.”

Archbishop Nichols said that the Catholic Church’s teaching on sexual morality presented a “high ideal” and he acknowledged the struggle in people’s lives to live in accordance with the dignity given by God.

See Ruth Gledhill`s blog in The Times for the full story.

A Very Good start for the Archbishop`s episcopate notwithstanding the offensive piece about him in The Tablet.