Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bishops and Pro-Obama Catholics

Here is an article from The Boston Globe about some bishops' recent comments on abortion in view of the elections. It goes on to talk about how some prominent Catholics, who are supposedly pro-life, are endorsing Obama. I don't see how any Catholic who is well-informed, who claims to be pro-life, could possibly even consider voting for Obama, who is extremely pro-abortion. Especially in view of the probability that our next president will appoint 1 or 2 supreme court justices. Knowingly voting for a candidate who actively promotes abortion like Obama does, is participating in a grave evil (i.e. mortal sin). People can rattle on all they want about "social justice," but I just want to ask them, "Where is the social justice for the aborted baby?" A vote for Obama is un-Catholic.

See the original article here.

Church pressing abortion fight
Many Catholic voters don't rank it top issue
By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff October 6, 2008
As Catholic bishops ratchet up their antiabortion arguments on the eve of the presidential election, Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley told hundreds of people gathered on Boston Common yesterday that Trig Palin, the child with Down syndrome whom Governor Sarah Palin chose not to abort, was the "star" of the political conventions this year.
"I very seldom get to see any television, but I did watch part of the political conventions, and for me the star of the conventions was Trig Palin, whose mother said that he was 'beautiful' and 'perfect,' " O'Malley said. "And when his little sister used that spit to slick his hair down, I mean, I stood up and applauded."
O'Malley's reference to the 5-month-old child comes in a political season in which the role of the abortion issue for Catholic voters has become more contested than ever.
Two prominent Catholic legal scholars, both of them antiabortion and both former law school deans, have endorsed Senator Barack Obama and are publicly making the case for opponents of abortion to vote for the abortion-rights-supporting Democrat.
The Catholic bishops, meanwhile, have been quick to denounce two prominent abortion- rights-supporting Catholics, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Senator Joseph Biden, for their comments about the abortion issue.
One of the highest-ranking American bishops at the Vatican , Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, last week warned that the Democratic Party risks becoming the "party of death," and the bishops have added "the practical and pastoral implications of political support for abortion" issue to the agenda for their fall meeting. It is set to take place a week after the election.
"We're not here to impose any religious principles on our nation," O'Malley said yesterday. "We know that this is a pluralistic society. But we're here to say that we must stand up for human rights, and the first human right of all is life."
Fall River Bishop George W. Coleman said in an interview at the rally that he does not believe the bishops have intensified their comments about abortion, but that "a rapid response was very appropriate and very necessary" and that "it is necessary to make statements and to bring the evil of abortion to the people of our country, not only at election time, but as long as the law exists."
But the bishops face an uphill battle even convincing Catholics that abortion is the determinative political issue. In Massachusetts , many of the most prominent elected officials, chosen by a heavily Catholic electorate, are Catholics who support abortion rights, including Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry, and the state is expected to vote overwhelmingly for Obama.
And last week, a poll of likely New Hampshire voters by Saint Anselm College found Obama with a slight lead, 43 percent to 39 percent, over GOP nominee Senator John McCain among Catholics.
O'Malley did not mention either presidential candidate in his remarks yesterday, which came at a rally that preceded the annual Respect Life March through the Back Bay .
But the emcee, former Boston Herald columnist Don Feder, told the crowd that his son had proposed a bumper sticker reading, "Palin: Raising babies, killing taxes. Obama: Killing babies, raising taxes." And some people in the crowd were wearing stickers or holding signs reading, "Vote Pro-Life; Vote McCain/Palin."
O'Malley has expressed concern about the abortion issue several times on his blog. In August, he joined several other bishops who had criticized Pelosi for comments she made suggesting that the church's teaching on abortion had evolved over the years.
"The bishops cannot endorse any particular party, but we must be clear on what the teachings of the Church are and the values that must be a part of any program for the improvement of our society," O'Malley wrote.
Then, in September, after Biden addressed abortion on "Meet the Press," O'Malley blogged that he finds it "disturbing when politicians and others try to dismiss us as people with merely an ecclesiastical or religious sectarian point of view or opinion. It is not that way at all."
"One of the challenges facing us as Catholics is how we communicate to our own people and to the larger community that the question of abortion and the immorality of abortion is not simply a matter of the Church trying to impose Church doctrine on other people in a pluralistic society," O'Malley wrote. "Rather, it is our firm conviction that abortion, like murder or racism, is a crime against humanity and a violation of the Natural Law."
The bishops have long been vocal in their opposition to abortion rights, but the issue has become increasingly contested as liberal Catholics argue that Catholic voters are justified in taking into account other issues, such as the Iraq war and the death penalty, when deciding how to vote. They frequently cite the bishops' guidance to Catholic voters, that, "as Catholics we are not single-issue voters."
This year, two anti-abortion Catholic legal scholars, Nicholas P. Cafardi of Duquesne University School of Law and Douglas W. Kmiec of Pepperdine University , have endorsed Obama. Kmiec was the dean of the law school at Catholic University of America, and Cafardi was not only the dean of the Duquesne law school, but was previously the general counsel for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.
He was also appointed by the bishops to their National Review Board on the abuse crisis. Kmiec has written a book, "Can a Catholic Support Him? Asking the Big Questions about Barack Obama," Cafardi explained his decision in a column for the Religion News Service.
"Every faithful Catholic agrees that abortion is an unspeakable evil that must be minimized, if not eliminated," Cafardi wrote.
"I can help to achieve that without endorsing Republicans' immoral baggage. Overturning Roe v. Wade is not the only way to end abortion, and a vote for Obama is not somehow un-Catholic."
Michael Paulson blogs about religion at He can also be reached at
© Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

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