Local Jesuit agitator, Fr Frank Brennan, thinks that the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference got it wrong when they made a “blanket determination, in the absence of any published reasoning [???!!!] distinguishing both formal and material cooperation and permissible and impermissible material cooperation” declaring that Australian Catholics should “seek other avenues of defending human rights” than through financial support of the now officially pro-abortion Amnesty International.
In an article in Eureka Street entitled “Don’t Boycott pro-choice Amnesty” he argues that “within the framework of Catholic moral reflection…the issue does not permit such a blanket determination” because of all the other worthy things Amnesty does. Or more or less that anyway. He imagines a fictional situation in which a conscientious Catholic financially supporting Amnesty “could ask that Amnesty establish bookkeeping practices which would quarantine flagged payments from abortion activities.” Ha! Amnesty officials have already made it quite clear that they will do no such thing–even if it were possible!
And then he has the gall to quote Bishop Anthony Fisher’s excellent article in his defence. I don’t think the good bishop would agree with Fr Brennan on the way he applies the principles outlined in his paper. (Is this a backhanded revival of the old animosity between the Dominicans and the Jesuits?)
Yet it should be noted that this is not a “Jesuit vs Church” issue, as the leading exponent for ceasing support of Amnesty Internation in the Catholic Church in Australia is also a Jesuit, Fr Chris Middleton, Principal of St Aloysius College in Sydney. You can read what he had to say here.
All I can say is, taking up the idea of Archbishop Chaput quoted in an earlier blog: Fr Brennan better be confident of explaining his rationale for continuing to support Amnesty International to Jesus and the victims of abortion when he meets them.