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All-Creatures Blog


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All-Creatures Blog
By Phil - 10 Mar 2013

Re: Challenging Church Compassion – 04: Lying Priest

Greetings Frank and everyone else:

In regards to the quote in your article: "'You can lie when an unjust organisation imposes sanctions or threats,'” said Fr. MacAndrew, who invoked the right of equivocation, where a person omits or misleads to protect the attack on their beliefs."

My reading of this statement prompted the recollection of an incident from the Holocaust. When the Gestapo arrived at the front door of a home for the developmentally handicapped, that was operated by monks, and asked if any such individuals were inside, the monk who answered the door looked into the pocket on his cloak, and replied, "Nobody is in here." By "here" he meant inside of the pocket, while recognizing that the Gestapo agent would infer his answer to mean that no such person was inside of the building. His reaction was a cleaver ploy to protect both vulnerable individuals from execution and to maintain the integrity of his words.

Perhaps Father MacAndrew learned about "the right of equivocation" from hearing the telling of such a story. If so, he made a serious error in applying this tactic to the protection of a major industry in his area, when it was intended (presumably) exclusively for the protection of human life.

Best regards