Cardinal Cottier: ‘the future will be severe with us’
July 17, 2012
Cardinal Georges Cottier, the Swiss Dominican who served as theologian of the pontifical household from 1989 to 2005, said that “the future will be severe with us” because of lack of respect for human life.
Asked, “What is humanity doing today for which it will have to ask for forgiveness tomorrow?”, the prelate, now 90, replied:
The whole problem of the trivialization of abortion, and also diving without respect into some fields involving the human embryo. These are great sins, for which we run the risk of having to pay. As you know, now there is the opportunity to see the sex of a baby in the mother's womb, and in some countries there are those who prefer boys to girls, and they now have a serious demographic imbalance …
There is another issue, the arms trade. Efforts are being made but the process as such has not ended. When there are wars in Africa, they are in fact very harsh and affect many innocents, but all the armaments are made in our factories of the West, and also in China and Russia.
Cardinal Cottier, who served as a peritus at the Second Vatican Council, agreed with his interviewer’s statement that “the Council also changed the attitude to war”:
Before the last two World Wars, theologians had a theology of just war, which is a heavy issue, including monstrous things and also the power of the means, such as the atomic bomb, etc. Now we see that war is no longer a solution. I am referring to the modern war. But, what happened? The Council opened and immediately with Pope John XXIII's encyclical Pacem in Terris, and then with Paul VI's great address at the United Nations during the Council, the Church began to develop a doctrine of peace and no more war, which we see in all the [papal] addresses of January 1, [the World Day of Peace]. There is a whole complex of reflections on peace which is beautiful, and this is a modern contribution.
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- Cardinal Cottier on Conflicts in the Church (Zenit)
- Cardinal Cottier assesses legacy of Vatican II (CWN, 7/11)
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