Have you noticed the uproar from the eighteen Catholic members of the U.S. House of Representatives who publicly criticized Pope Benedict XVI’s condemnation of politicians who support abortion “rights”? The pro-abortion Democratic Party has been ruffled by increased attention to the gulf of difference between US pro-abortion Catholic lawmakers and their alleged faith. The Party relies on Catholic voters to support their current Congressional majority, which they captured in 2006, in part through overtures by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi touting her “conservative Catholic” credentials despite her virulent opposition to the Church’s teachings on the sanctity of life.
“We are concerned with the pope’s recent statement warning Catholic elected officials that they risk excommunication and would not receive communion for their pro-choice views,” said the lawmakers, that included Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Joe Baca (Calif.), Patrick Kennedy (R.I.) and Carolyn McCarthy (N.Y.).
Well should they be concerned, if they still wish to call themselves Catholic! They are not risking excommunication; they have already excommunicated themselves by supporting abortion and are not worthy to receive Communion, as the Pope explained in his recent interview.
The statement went on: “The fact is that religious sanction in the political arena directly conflicts with our fundamental beliefs about the role and responsibility of democratic representatives in a pluralistic America – it also clashes with freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution”
What nonsense! What about the fundamental belief in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which they are denying to the millions of the aborted? It is their role as lawmakers to uphold the rights of all, including the unborn.
In the May 14 statement, the Democratic congressmen said that the pope’s reiteration that Catholics who participate in the legislative promotion of abortion should consider themselves excommunicated “offend[s] the very nature of the American experiment and do[es] a great disservice to the centuries of good work the church has done,” reported The Hill. Again, nonsense! Supporting the unborn contributes to the value of life and supports the good work the Church has done. How can that be a disservice?
The Pope said pro-abortion politicians have “doubts about the value of life and the beauty of life and even doubt about the future.” “Selfishness and fear are at the root of pro-abortion legislation. We in the Church have a great struggle to defend life…life is a gift, not a threat.” (Peter J Smith, LifeSite)
Earlier in February, 55 Catholic House democrats led by Rep. DeLauro and joined by Speaker Pelosi released a self-proclaimed “historic Catholic Statement of Principles”, which gave lip service to the Church’s teachings on life, but justified support for legal abortion under “the primacy of conscience.”
Conscience has no primacy, if it is not well informed, and if it is not aligned to the Magisterium of the Church. Ignorance often excuses from sin, but politicians would not likely admit to ignorance. The Pope has spoken.
–Fr. John Malloy, S.D.B