Archbp. Chaput (RC-Denver) vs. Speaker Pelosi (D-CA)

From Catholic News Agency.  My emphases and comments:

Denver archbishop slams Pelosi on Church teachings and abortion

Rep. Nancy Pelosi / Archbishop Chaput

.- In a statement eloquently titled “On the Separation of Sense and State,” [God Bless this worthy bishop, if for that phrase alone!] the Archbishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., and his Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley harshly criticized Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for giving a confusing view of the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion, during a Sunday interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” [Read and watch it here.]

“Catholic public leaders inconvenienced by the abortion debate” –says the statement- “tend to take a hard line in talking about the ‘separation of Church and state.’  But their idea of separation often seems to work one way.” 

“In fact, some officials also seem comfortable in the role of theologian. [Nailed it.]  And that warrants some interest, not as a ‘political’ issue, but as a matter of accuracy and justice.”

Archbishop Chaput’s statement recognizes Pelosi as “a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills” but adds that “regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them.”  [regrettably… but with deadly consequences for some!]

During the Meet the Press interview on August 24, Pelosi responded to a question about when human life begins by saying that “as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time.  And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition . . . St. Augustine said at three months.  We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.”

The Archdiocese of Denver argues that since Speaker Pelosi claims to have studied the issue “for a long time,” “she must know very well one of the premier works on the subject, Jesuit John Connery’s Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective (Loyola, 1977). [Step into my ring, and you get what’s coming to you.]

The statement recall’s Connery’s conclusion: “The Christian tradition from the earliest days reveals a firm antiabortion attitude . . . The condemnation of abortion did not depend on and was not limited in any way by theories regarding the time of fetal animation. [Which is what Pelosi’s ever-so-informed observations were based on.]  Even during the many centuries when Church penal and penitential practice was based on the theory of delayed animation, the condemnation of abortion was never affected by it.  Whatever one would want to hold about the time of animation, or when the fetus became a human being in the strict sense of the term, abortion from the time of conception was considered wrong, and the time of animation was never looked on as a moral dividing line between permissible and impermissible abortion.”  [Everyone: memorize this.  Be prepared to repeat that and name the author.  I just put it on my wish list.]

The Archdiocese’s statement also quotes “the blunter words of the great Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer.”

Bonhoeffer, a strong critic and later victim of the Nazi regime in his native Germany wrote that “the destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed on this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.”  [Is it possible to name a dead Lutheran pastor as bishop somewhere in the USA, such as in Washington?  No?  Okay.]

Archbishop Chaput’s statement continues, explaining that, “ardent, practicing Catholics [I love this.  Keep repeating that!  You can hear the stiletto sliding across a rib.] will quickly learn from the historical record that from apostolic times, the Christian tradition overwhelmingly held that abortion was grievously evil.  In the absence of modern medical knowledge, some of the Early Fathers held that abortion was homicide; others that it was tantamount to homicide; and various scholars theorized about when and how the unborn child might be animated or ‘ensouled.’  But none diminished the unique evil of abortion as an attack on life itself, and the early Church closely associated abortion with infanticide. [Which some candidates apparently don’t have a problem with… but I digress.]  In short, from the beginning, the believing Christian community held that abortion was always, gravely wrong.”

Archbishop Chaput also highlighted that “we now know with biological certainty [Note the distinction.] exactly when human life begins.  Thus, today’s religious alibis for abortion and a so-called ‘right to choose’ are nothing more than that – alibis that break radically with historic Christian and Catholic belief.”

“Abortion kills an unborn, developing human life.  It is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions employed to justify it[Archbp. Chaput just called Pelosi’s MTP statement "evil".] Catholics who make excuses for it – whether they’re famous or not – fool only themselves and abuse the fidelity [Archbp. Chaput just said that she committed the sin of public scandal.] of those Catholics who do sincerely seek to follow the Gospel and live their Catholic faith,” the statement adds.

Finally Archbishop Chaput recalls that “the duty of the state and its officials is to serve the common good, which is always rooted in moral truth.  A proper understanding of the ‘separation of Church and state’ does not imply a separation of faith from political life[Exactly.  We must fight those who want to push faith to the margins of the public square.] But of course, it’s always important to know what our faith actually teaches.”

Read the full statement here

 

Mega WDTPRS kudos to Archbp. Chaput. 

Huzzah!

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Archbp. Chaput (RC-Denver) vs. Speaker Pelosi (D-CA)

  1. John Enright says:

    God bless the Archbishop! I hope that the other American Bishops get the message.

  2. Joseph Dylong says:

    Why doesnt the Church make a formal decleration of excommunication against politicans who defy the Catholic Church, and say things in public contrary to Doctrines of the Church on Faith and Morals. It would send a clear message that the Church has had enough.

  3. Paul Haley says:

    I was wondering when Archbishop Chaput would lay down the gauntlet to these politicians who call themselves Catholic but openly defy church teaching on abortion and when life begins. He has done an admirable job in demolishing Pelosi’s arguments and I thank him for it. May I hope that he will also do the same for politicians in Colorado who carry the pro-choice banner?

  4. Sieber says:

    Let me see now….. for the first time in my memory the Ordinary of the diocese hosting a Democratic convention was not invited to give the opening invocation. However this was made up for by inviting Sister Prejean to speak. By Jove, I’m beginning to see the light!

  5. Brian says:

    Personal opinion alert-
    For a while I was thinking of voting for Obama this election; I’m tired of war and torture and inflation. But now, as Obama reveals himself to be no reformer and the pro-abortion people are front and center, forget it.
    It just baffles me. Obama was anti-war, then backtracked; was anti-NAFTA, then backtracked. The only issue that Democratic party are actually more vociferous about this election is abortion. How is it that the Democratic Party is held hostage by the pro-aborts? How can Speaker Pelosi backtrack on every issue on which she got re-elected (i.e. the war) but make a fool of herself defending abortion on TV?

  6. Mary says:

    Awesome Archbishop Chaput, a fearless Catholic shepherd. I wonder if the MSM will pick this up…

  7. Joseph Dylong says:

    I presume in Countries where there isnt a clear choice between pro life and pro choice politicans like in America, then it is ok to vote for the lesser of two evils.

  8. Joseph Dylong says:

    Mary

    I hope so. I just emailed Fox News, and Rush’s show. I dont know if they actually read the emails but worth a try.

  9. Warren Anderson says:

    If Pelosi’s comments/beliefs weren’t so dangerous I’d say she’s a joke. It should be completely clear by now that Pelosi is comfortable twisting the truth and avoiding the obligations of the Faith. Her lies and half truths are as practiced as any member of the “personally-opposed-but-pro-abortion” cadre. She is, therefore, not only a liar but that she cares more about preserving (her) power than the truth. And, we all know who the father-of-lies is.

  10. Sieber says:

    Dear Archbishop Chaput:

    Thank you for your resume’.

    We expect an opening in our large West Coast Archdiocese within the next four years.

    Sincerely,

    The Faithful

  11. malta says:

    “The survey numbers on abortion and gay rights bear the importance of looking beyond denominational affiliation. Catholics overall agreed, 51 percent to 43 percent, that “abortion should be legal and solely up to the woman to decide.” Among traditionalist Catholics, the number changes dramatically, with 71 percent disagreeing. Modernists, not surprisingly, agree 80 percent with a woman’s “right to chose.” ”

    http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=28263

    What’s the problem? Pelosi merely espouses with what the majority of “Catholics,” in this Country agree with: abortion.

  12. fr. bill says:

    I apprecite your point Father bur my people are very upset about the dishonesty of the Bush administration and the war. [Not really the point of this entry.] There is evil in the DNC and RNC, and I think it is the amount of abortion, not anti-choice RNC rhetoric that matters.

  13. Paul says:

    Will the Archbishop do her immortal soul the kindness of refusing her the Eucharist?

  14. Joe says:

    Siebler,

    I think we’ll petition harder in Washington to see him here, so the transient-resident politicians can know they are not far from this Ardently Catholic Bishop.

    On a side note, 1 innocent American child aborted, Fr. Bill, deserves attention. Zero is the only tolerable number.

    Deo Gratias!

  15. ckdexterhaven says:

    I wish Archbishop Chaput would call 1-800-282-2882 between 12 and 3 (eastern) tomorrow!

  16. fortradition says:

    Why can’t all of our bishops speak with one voice as they did 40 years ago? Wish the Holy See would require them to do so. Pelosi comes from my town. When she comes ‘home’, the Catholic Church she grew up in gives her such an ovation with large color photos on the front page of the newspaper of the priest kissing her and radical nuns waving flags to greet her. Her Catholic high school honors her and says they are so “proud of her”. God save us all!!!

  17. Gloria says:

    So many of us are frustrated that the Church hierarchy does not take a united and vocal stand against people like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, et al. And I mean really vocal, publicly excommunicating them or threatening excommunication,with the whys and wherefors, with all the media attention they can get. Some of our good bishops are; but they are not getting the attention they need nationally and there aren’t enough of them. These people are validating the feelings and wishy washy beliefs of too many Catholics and are potentially responsible for losing more souls than their own.

  18. PMcGrath says:

    Dear Sieber:

    We have an opening in New York right now, and we want Abp. Chaput first!

    The fun part will be: Will Papa Benny make the announcement, whomever it might be, before 4 November or after?

  19. Sieber says:

    PMcGrath.

    OK, you can have him first. Then we get him in four years.

    See, I’m easy!

  20. Alison says:

    All of you who want the heroic Archbishop Chaput, you wouldn’t do bad at all with his auxiliary Bishop Conley. He is stellar. They did knock it out of the park and I enjoyed the commentary.
    I am betting Rush will pick it up because he did spend a good portion of his show being a pretty good Catholic apologist today on this matter.

  21. RBrown says:

    I apprecite your point Father bur my people are very upset about the dishonesty of the Bush administration and the war. [Not really the point of this entry.] There is evil in the DNC and RNC, and I think it is the amount of abortion, not anti-choice RNC rhetoric that matters.
    Comment by fr. bill

    I notice you write “anti-abortion” instead of anti-choice”. Why do you buy into the pro-abortion rhetoric?

    If your people are upset about the dishonesty of the Bush admin and the war, they might want to look at US history.

    In the campaign of 1916 Woodrow Wilson ran for re-election with the slogan “He kept us out of war”. After Wilson was re-elected, the man who had kept us out of war then proceeded to take us into it.

    In the campaign of 1940 FDR, who was behind at the time, assured his fellow citizens that he would not send American boys to fight in foreign wars. Even before saying that, he was maneuvering to get the US into war.

    In 1964 LBJ maintained that the US had been twice attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin–it was either an exaggeration or an outright lie. The result was the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave LBJ a blank check for the Vietnam War.

    If Bushco lied about the Iraq War (and I’m not so sure it did), it is merely in a long line of Presidential lies about wars.

  22. Sieber says:

    What a commentary! That a clear exposition of our faith by a bishop is recognised as an heroic exercise of office.

    O tempora, etc.

  23. WFW says:

    The USCCB just issued a statement about this, its on their homepage.

  24. Deusdonat says:

    LOL! Father, I’m sorry I’m laughing, since I know this is a serious thread. But when I saw you wrote Archbp Chaput (RC – Denver) I nearly bust a gut.

    I really wish I knew how to get a message through to Nancy Pelosi and my shared archbishop in order to ask him why he is such a poor pastor to his people. I would ask him point blank why he allows a high-profile parishoner in his archdiocese to flaunt her pro-abortion views, and more cloyingly attempt to pass them off as legitimate dissenting opinion welcomed within the church. I would refrain from asking him why he sees no harm in giving communion to transvestites who mock church attire at mass, just as I would refrain from asking him why he continues to ignore Summorum Pontificum and prohibits the EF in his city. Why? Because the issue at hand is far more important to overlook his other shameful errors.

  25. RBrown says:

    “The survey numbers on abortion and gay rights bear the importance of looking beyond denominational affiliation. Catholics overall agreed, 51 percent to 43 percent, that “abortion should be legal and solely up to the woman to decide.” Among traditionalist Catholics, the number changes dramatically, with 71 percent disagreeing. Modernists, not surprisingly, agree 80 percent with a woman’s “right to chose.”

    What’s the problem? Pelosi merely espouses with what the majority of “Catholics,” in this Country agree with: abortion.
    Comment by malta

    It’s just another example of 35 years of failure in leadership of the Catholic hierarchy.

  26. JohnE says:

    Fr. Bill,
    First, Bush is not a candidate in the next election, and no one is saying you have to vote for McCain either.
    Second, if a candidate has no problem allowing the murder of the most innocent and helpless of human beings, what makes one think he can be trusted with less innocent lives like yours and mine?
    Third, if our leaders allow the murder of these most helpless and innocent human beings, what will be the influence on society’s views towards other crimes such as vengeance, drive-by shootings, road rage, pollution, disregard for the poor and elderly, and even unjust war and torture? I think the effect is obvious. I think more and more people vote according to whatever they think will most benefit their pocketbook. If you and your people are really concerned about such issues, voting for a candidate who supports abortion is at best short-term relief for whatever problems you think will be alleviated.

  27. Margaret says:

    Deusdonat–

    The Archdiocese of SF is not especially helpful for those who would like to contact the Archbishop. I had to settle for sending a gentle note to the generic info@sfarchdiocese.org No idea if/how/when it will get to Archbishop Niederauer himself. Still worth a try, though, methinks.

  28. Rivendell says:

    http://www.adw.org/news/news.asp?ID=569&Year=2008
    And now Archbishop Wuerl has released his own statement.

  29. Geoffrey says:

    Excellent for Archbishop Wuerl! See? The bishops know what to do. Let the bishop-bashing cease and let the prayers continue!

  30. Matt Q says:

    Sieber wrote:

    “Dear Archbishop Chaput:

    Thank you for your resume’.

    We expect an opening in our large West Coast Archdiocese within the next four years.

    Sincerely,

    The Faithful”

    )(

    Siebert, you said it. Yeah, 2011. Why necessarily Chaput though? I’ve seen that bandied about lately. Is there some indicator this is possible? Chaput’s embrace of Tradition has not necessarily been firm. Mass in Denver doesn’t look too different than Los Angeles. Why not the likes of Bruskewitz? It would be totally fantastic if he came here. Bruskewitz may even open up one or two personal parishes here? I doubt Caput will. My opinion anyway.

  31. Hidden One says:

    Why do I hear so little of this apparently fantastic Archbishop? And could Pope Benedict XVI please make him a Cardinal if he keeps this up?

  32. Hidden One says:

    And kudos to Cardinal Rigali, Bishop Lori, and Archbishop Wuerl. Now, where’s Bruskevitz…

  33. Central Valley Catholic says:

    Denver is so blessed with their sheperd. Of how we could use a man like him in the Fresno Ca. diocese.

  34. Deusdonat says:

    Central Valley Catholic – I hear you guys got it bad too. But I’m on Pelosi’s home turf. And all our Archbishop does is…well…

    Semper FI – thanks so much for that. I hope the bishops’ statements go national.

  35. Ron says:

    I believe the heat is on Archbishop Niederhoff? to release some kind of statement. Either he should take her to task OR he should admit that he doesn’t have the backbone to do it. If he does nothing I should think it would be as the scriptural passage where Jesus spits out lukewarm water and could wind up condemning himself (and I would not want that to happen to anyone). Nancy Pelosi has stated that no one in her diocese has told her not to receive Holy Communion. Why is she boasting about that?

  36. Nick Winker says:

    While the Bishops are right to defuse Pelosi’s foolishness, they are missing a catechtical point. Even BEFORE CONCEPTION any intentional act to frustrate fertility is intrinsically evil, and gravely sinful. Sure she takes Augustine out of context, but she should be reminded St. Augustine condemned contraception, as did all the Saints and Popes. It does NOT MATTER as to the immorality of an action if there is a human being, abortion or contraception they are both intrinsic evils that if freely done with full knowledge destroys charity in the soul. In the moral reasoning the actual death of the child who representative Pelosi claims does not exist is irrelevant to the permissibility of the action. A failed abortion is as wrong as a “successful” one is as wrong as an abortion attempted when the woman was never pregnant is as wrong as an otherwise permissible life saving surgery such as for a tubal pregnancy if the mother though it might be abortion but never bothered to find ask anyone if it was moral because she had the intention to do it abortion or not.

  37. Delia says:

    Quite apart from the natural law/biological arguments, just how many days pregnant was Our Lady when she arrived in Judaea (she left ‘immediately’ after the Annunciation), and the unborn John the Baptist acknowledged the Christ Child in her womb?

  38. Blake says:

    Now that she’s been properly catechised, does she officially become a heretic with her next utterance?

  39. Agnes B. Bullock says:

    OK, let us get a grip on the war and so called torture here. It is not the issue (and what happened with the terrorist detainees was NEVER torture, by any definition, except those of the kooks on the far left)

    Why isn’t Archbishop Chaput a Cardinal, in Washington DC. Wouldn’t the fur fly then

  40. jarhead462 says:

    Agnes,
    AMEN!

    Semper Fi!

  41. Ron says:

    It’s great that the Bishops are addressing the issue and making the Catholic teaching clear. The problem, I fear, is that most people will write it off as “well the institutional Church is cracking down but we must continue to fight.” God bless our Bishops for speaking out though! I do think at very least it addresses the scandal and makes clear to all the Faithful that these people are wrong and against Christ’s Church. I think, however, the Church needs to reinforce these statements by all diocese refusing Holy Communion to all such politicians and those who are in public rejection of the Faith; it’s for the good of their soul and to put an end to some of the many sins of sacrilege occurring in the world in these days.

    Most of all we need to pray for these our dear Bishops. Maybe they lack strength and help because we’ve not prayed and sacrificed enough for them.

    Pax Christi tecum.

  42. Ron says:

    It’d be great to see Archbishop Burke in Washington DC! Then the fur would really fly!

    Hopefully he won’t be silent in Rome. Me doubts he will. We’ve heard from him once already and he just got there.

    Pax Christi tecum.

  43. ben says:

    Please continue to pry for Abp. Chaput. Not only has he shown courageous leadership on this issue, but the FSSP have been given permission to celebrate mass at the Cathedral on 9/14. It will be the first traditional mass offerred in our cathedral in 40 years.

    Abp. Chaput has also been vocal for immigrants rights and the integrity and priority of the immigrant famility regradless of thier legal status. He has advocated comprehensive immigration reform.

    And true to his Franciscan roots, he has long been an advocate for the poor.

  44. Christopher Milton says:

    “If you’re Catholic and you disagree with your Church. What do you do? You change your mind.” – Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

  45. Paul Haley says:

    Matt Q wrote in part:

    Siebert, you said it. Yeah, 2011. Why necessarily Chaput though? I’ve seen that bandied about lately. Is there some indicator this is possible? Chaput’s embrace of Tradition has not necessarily been firm. Mass in Denver doesn’t look too different than Los Angeles. Why not the likes of Bruskewitz? It would be totally fantastic if he came here. Bruskewitz may even open up one or two personal parishes here? I doubt Caput will. My opinion anyway.

    I will stand up for Archbishop Chaput. He has kept the Traditional Latin Mass community known as Our Lady of Mt Carmel in Littleton alive and has shown, at least to me, a willingness to converse with traditional Catholics on subjects that they consider to be most important. He is an honest man, a product of the Council to be sure, but not one with a closed mind. I applaud his most recent effort to teach in accord with Tradition, what the church has always held, and I hope the Lord grants him length of days.

  46. Jerry O says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe Abp Chaput has denied Holy Communion to manifest politicians supporting abortion.

    Jerry

  47. Woody Jones says:

    I join the others who hope and pray that Abp Chaput will be made a cardinal — and soon! With Burke removed by promotion, Archbishop Chaput is perhaps the best of the higher profile bishops (unfortunately Bishop Bruskewitz is not so high profile). I hope that our own Cardinal DiNardo, and Archbishop Gomez, will be taking notes.

  48. Paul Haley says:

    Jerry O said:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe Abp Chaput has denied Holy Communion to manifest politicians supporting abortion.

    If I interpret his position correctly, the archbishop would prefer that politicians so inclined do not present themselves for communion but, instead, reconcile themselves with church teaching. In other words, he presents himself in the image of a patient father, albeit a spiritual one, not wanting to exile his own children. However, I also believe his patience is not unlimited and as to the future, who knows what his position would be if, say Pelosi, presented herself for communion without having recanted her views. Whether or not these politicians have presented themselves for communion at his masses, I cannot tell. His position, however, as to when life begins is fully in accord with Traditional church teaching.

  49. Patrick T says:

    Jerry,

    Perhaps he has not yet had the chance. I strongly suspect, he would refuse Pelosi or Biden.

    Matt Q,

    Unfortunately, Bp. Bruskewitz is nearing retirement age, so it is very unlikely that he will be moved from Lincoln.

  50. Connie C says:

    Let me please chime in and say Archbishop Chaput is a very bright, strong, and
    personable man of God.

    I am a Catholic Convert for a very good reason. There is actually a book of rules
    called the Catechism, and a massive group of supportive writings. If you don’t want
    to believe these rules and thought about God. Go find some other place to worship.

    I am furious that some of these politicians are so busy twisting our faith for the
    almighty job or the big bucks.

    In politics and media so many are so busy slamming Catholism, that we better start
    standing up now. I do not require them to be Catholic but I require them to have
    some fairness toward others. We are one of the few groups of people that are suffering
    the situation of being publicly ostracized for our personal beliefs. Nancy seemed to
    find standing up for our true beliefs in public to uncomfortable. It would have made
    her an outsider. In fact it could have even made her suffer for her faith. Her blatant
    twisting of the churches truth is actually promoting the outrageous hated toward
    our faith.

    Let’s wake up and figure out that we are becoming silent victims. In the end it would
    be one thing to be persecuted and killed because you are part of the outsiders. BUT
    IT IS SOMETHING HONERABLE TO STAND UP AND SPEAK OUT FOR THE INOCENT AND PERSECUTED.

    As for me, I am inspired to stand alongside the Archbishop and speak out for who we
    are. We have a history or seeking the true God and actually trying to stop the
    destruction of those who can not speak for themselves. Even if they are marginalized.
    Even if it doesn’t make us money. Even if it doesn’t make us popular in the general
    media. For Jesus it went so far that he gave his life.

    Can we have that much strength? “I can do all things in him who strengthens
    me.” (Philippians 4:13 – Paul) Paul died for his “Catholic” beliefs and the real
    reason for our faith in God is based on this stand. If that is too much for some,
    fine. May you find your way in life. But don’t pretend you have a faith in God or
    truly belong in the Catholic church.