Archbishop Charles Chaput has been all over the news lately, and for good reason. This is from Kathryn Jean Lopez's recent interview with the Archbishop:
"Lopez: Is there an abortion litmus test for Catholics?
Archbishop Chaput: “Litmus test” is a media expression that’s front-loaded with the assumption of some priestly censor checking off behavioral-compliance boxes. That’s not how any sincere believer thinks about his or her faith. Faithful Catholics want to live their faith fully — and one of the principles of Catholic social teaching is that we can never deliberately kill innocent human life. Abortion always, deliberately kills an innocent unborn child. Nobody can honestly claim to be a faithful Catholic and then support a false “right” to abortion; it’s just an elegant way of evading the brutality of what abortion actually does.
Lopez: Is there any virtue to the Cuomo-esqe personally opposed, etc. formula we see over and over again with politicians, especially Democrats?
Archbishop Chaput: The problem isn’t unique to either political party, and no, there’s no virtue to the “personally opposed” argument at all. The word “virtue” comes from the Latin virtus meaning strength or courage. I don’t see much courage in maneuvering around the reality of abortion with sanitized labels like “pro-choice.”
Lopez: Whenever I write about Catholics and abortion, I am immediately asked, “What about war? What about the death penalty?” What about them? Can a Catholic vote for Senator “Surge”? We have killed people in Iraq, after all.
Archbishop Chaput: I’ve written and spoken against the death penalty for more than 30 years. And along with most other American bishops, I opposed our intervention in Iraq. But these issues are different in kind, not merely degree, from the violence involved in abortion. Anyone rooted in Scripture and Catholic tradition will understand the distinction if he or she reasons honestly. Genocide, euthanasia, abortion, and deliberately targeting civilians in war — these things are always grievously wrong. But in Catholic thought, war and capital punishment can be morally legitimate under certain carefully defined circumstances. Abortion is never morally justified."
No wonder he's not invited to the convention!