FRONT ROYAL, VA, July 7, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Father Thomas J. Euteneuer, President of Human Life International (HLI), today praised Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho of Olinda and Recife, Brazil as a "pro-life hero." Archbishop Cardoso's retirement was approved by Pope Benedict XVI on July 1, 2009.
"Archbishop Cardoso is to be congratulated for his stalwart charity and courage under very trying circumstances," said Fr. Euteneuer. "His heroic stand for life, taken near the end of his official service to the Church, is a fitting capstone to a career replete with Christ-like love and self-sacrifice."
Critics from the media, the political arena, and even from within the Catholic Church attacked Archbishop Cardoso earlier this year for his declaration of excommunication of those who performed an abortion on a nine-year-old girl who had been raped by her stepfather. In particular, an editorial by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella in L'Osservatore Romano was seen by pro-life advocates as being especially damaging both to Archbishop Cardoso and to the pro-life movement.
"The facts of the case are known, and Archbishop Cardoso did exactly what he should have done as a loving shepherd of the souls in his charge," said Fr. Euteneuer. "We don't expect accuracy or fairness from politicians and the media, but for this hero to endure the unjust persecution of his brother bishop is unconscionable."
Pointing out that the eminent theologian and demographer Fr. Michael Schooyans has called on the Vatican to correct Fisichella's unjust criticism of the Brazilian prelate, Fr. Euteneuer reiterated his concerns about the gravity of that is at stake.
Fr. Euteneuer said, "The heroic Archbishop Cardoso is at the center of a huge battle for the purity of our teaching and discipline on life issues."
Reiterating the call of Fr. Schooyans that the Vatican clarify the unjust criticism of Archbishop Fisichella and assure the faithful that there has been no change in the Church's teaching on abortion, Fr. Euteneuer added, "Pro-lifers deserve a clarification that abortion is never permitted under any circumstances, and a statement of support that their efforts are not in vain!"