THE Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, has stepped up his criticism of Catholics who support contraception, abortion and stem-cell research on the basis of their own moral conscience as proponents of a “Donald Duck heresy”.
In a compilation of 10 short essays to be published this week, Cardinal Pell also warns that the pill has created a “contraceptive” mentality with “evil consequences” for the world, including a plummeting fertility rate in which many children will one day know no siblings, aunts, uncles or cousins.
He says a new approach is needed to combat unacceptably high levels of abortion, including the possibility of television advertisements to encourage women to proceed with a pregnancy by framing it as a means of regaining control of their lives, rather than it ruining them.
His treatise on religion politics and society came as Cardinal Pell avoided backing either side of politics for the election, saying they have “scarcely distinguishable” policies.
But Australia was “blessed” to have serious Christians leading both sides of politics, he told the National Press Club yesterday.
Asked how he rated the Howard Government on humanitarian issues such as the involvement in the Iraq invasion and treatment of asylum-seekers, he said both parties had policies that, from a Christian point of view, were imperfect.
…This argument lies at the heart of debate in the church over contraception and moral and ethical questions surrounding bioethics, euthanasia and abortion. It was aired recently when Cardinal Pell controversially called on state politicians to follow church teaching and not their conscience on issue of stem-cell research.
Referring to the work of the English historian Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Cardinal Pell said he was concerned about the consequences of support for a Donald Duck heresy.
“Too many Donald Ducks produce the feel-good society which works to remove personal guilt, anything that would make people feel uncomfortable so that complacent self-satisfaction becomes a virtue; confession is replaced by therapy and self-reproach by self-discovery.”
I always love Cardinal Pell, but I do wonder about calling contraception a Donald Duck heresy. At first it doesn’t seem really fair to connect Donald to contraception. Donald is unable to get involved in a contraceptive act considering his total lack of sexual organs having been neutered by artists. But Cardinal Pell knows his Donald Duck and surely knows that Donald once was involved in a Disney propaganda cartoon that encouraged families in the developing world to have few children. The cartoon "Planificacion Familiar" (Family Planning) was created by Disney for the U.S. Population Council.