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LT on Martini: nice guy, but a duffer

By Diogenes ( articles ) | May 06, 2006

Sandro Magister's blog quotes last Tuesday's interview on Colombian television with Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, who affectionately but unambiguously declared his fellow Cardinal, Carlo Maria Martini, mistaken in his recent comments about condoms and abortions, and generally out of his depth on issues of bioethics. An excerpt:

Lopez Trujillo says he's a friend of Martini and that he holds him in high regard. But on issues of bioethics he considers him an incompetent: "It's not his field. He's always concerned himself with the Bible. In the bioethical field he gave voice to personal opinions not found in the Magisterium."

On the question of the condom ban, Lopez Trujillo affirmed that no exceptions are countenanced, not even the one adduced by Martini: that of a married couple where the husband has AIDS.

As for abortion -- and Martini's declaration that an abortion procured by a mother whose life was "seriously threatened" by the fetus was "legitimate self-defense and a lesser evil" -- Cardinal Lopez Trujillo replied: "That notion can only be explained by an error in the transcript. I mean to ask Martini, through the proper channels, if that statement of his is genuine."

Hm. Martini used to teach text criticism. I wonder if he'd consider resort to the "transcription error" excuse to be a lesser evil, or perhaps a case of legitimate self-defense. You have to love LT's exit line, in which he must be pictured meaningfully slapping a length of pipe into his palm:

"The next time [Martini] comes to Rome I shall certainly demand an explanation of the transcript and I shall certainly get the happy news that some of his statements were misunderstood."

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