16 March 2005
The following letter for publication has today been sent to the Daily Mail.
I was surprised to read in this morning's Daily Mail that the Church of England had been silent on the issue of abortion as I, and others within the Church, had made our position on this important issue very clear, both in public statements and in conversations with your reporter.
The Church of England believes, as it has made abundantly clear, that a range of reforms are needed to the way current abortion legislation is used in practice. It is right that politicians should respond to widely held concerns - shared by millions of Christians -about these fundamental issues.
We combine strong opposition to abortion with a recognition that there can be strictly limited conditions under which it may be morally preferable to any available alternative.
I regret that the Mail was unable to make contact with specific bishops yesterday, but there was no decision to “keep quiet” on abortion as your report suggested.
Indeed, your article included a view from the Bishop of Chester, pointing out his concern about the number of abortions carried out and the grounds sometimes advanced for them.
Director of Communications
Archbishops' Council, Church of England
More information about the Church of England’s position on abortion is available at: http://www.cofe.anglican.org/info/socialpublic/abortion.html