Bp. Slattery of Tulsa on human life: correcting scandal, Pelosi & Biden

His Excellency Most Rev. Edward J. Slattery, Bishop of Tulsa has graced the electrons of this blog in the past.  You might remember his excellent liturgical catechesis.

Now His Excellency has issued a statement in regard to the Church’s teaching on human life as a correction to the false statements of  Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Vice-Presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) made on different Sundays on Meet The Press.

He is correcting the grave scandal committed on a grand scale.  Public scandal requires public response and public redress.

I was told by the Diocese of Tulsa that the diocese has paid for a half page in this coming Sunday’s Tulsa secular newspaper.

Now that’s apostolic work! 

Here is the statement, with my emphases and comments:

 

September 9, 2008
Saint Peter Claver, Apostle to the enslaved [I can't help but this this is a subtle reference both to the way some Catholic politicians are enslaved to a certain world-view as well as to the innocent human beings whose lives are threatened as a result.]

To the priests and deacons of the diocese, whose lives bear witness [!]
to the truth of the Gospel, to the men and women religious whose lives bear witness [!]
to the power of the Gospel, and to all the faithful of the Diocese,
committed – as I am – to our common struggle to preserve the sanctity of
all human life, from its natural conception to its natural death,
I send my greetings in the Lord.   

Peace be with you!  [This opening is very much in the style of a pastoral letter, also like a diocesan encyclical.]

In recent weeks, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Joe Biden have been asked by Tom Brokaw on "Meet the Press" to explain their personal opinions on the question of “When does Human Life Begin?” The essence of their views, which they both claim are developed from their experience as Catholics, is first, that the tradition is inconsistent (Pelosi), [I would add also an even more pernicious idea, namely, she said that no matter when human life begins, that shouldn't make a difference] and second, that even if it is clear, it is a matter of personal faith which, in a democracy, ought not be imposed on others (Biden). Having made their views public, and by presenting themselves as Catholics, both ["ardent Catholic"] Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Biden have invited a discussion about the legitimacy of their views.

I, and other bishops, have already stated that Speaker Pelosi’s position is clearly inconsistent with Catholic teaching, and to promote such a view is scandalous. [Good... note the important word "scandal".  Their actions and words in public undermine people's belief in the teachings of the Church and their adherence to the Church's pastors.] There are many witnesses in the tradition that clearly state the Catholic view in opposition to Speaker Pelosi.

In view of the absolute duty that we all have of protecting innocent human life, it is also necessary to respond publicly to Sen. Biden’s remarks. In his interview, Sen. Biden explained that although he was prepared as a matter of faith to accept the teaching that life begins at the moment of conception, it would be wrong in a pluralistic society to impose that judgment on everyone else, who may be just as ardent as he is in their own faith. He remarked that abortion is “a personal and private issue.

Sen. Biden’s remarks reflect two erroneous beliefs. It is plainly false to assert that the answer to the question of when human life begins is limited to the realm of personal and private faith and that therefore there is no basis for preferring one position over another. While it is true that Christian revelation provides a framework for understanding human nature, there is also biological evidence [Exactly!  It is not necessary for a Catholic Senator to say, "Since I am a Catholic, I must vote against this bill beacuse of what the Church teaches." No.  He can stick to science and then refer to natural law concerning the rights of the unborn person.] on when human life begins, that all persons of good will, and not just Christians, may examine. Also, the division that Sen. Biden creates between privacy and social responsibility is tenuous. He supposes that social responsibility ends at the point that we turn the decision over to individuals.

Modern science clearly proves that human life begins at conception. At the moment when DNA from the mother and the father combine, a new, unique human being, who will develop continuously until death, is created. From then on, the early zygote functions as a human being. It has specifically human enzymes and proteins, and, over time, it develops complex human tissues and organs. After this genetic transfer, it can never develop into any other kind of being. Even as it develops through the process of pregnancy, the human nature of the zygote, embryo, fetus, or baby never changes. It is this nature that directs and causes the miraculous physical transformation that takes place during the pregnancy.  [Good paragraph.  He shows the continuity of the human person, at different stages, from conception to natural death.]

In fact, the desire of some persons to destroy embryos in order to harvest stem cells is dependent upon the reality that they are already biologically human. [Excellent point!] Sen. Biden’s support for increased federal funding of embryonic stem cell research would therefore be at odds with his stated belief that life begins at conception. Contrary to some misconceptions, the early human embryo is not a vague collection of tissues without specificity. In fact the exact opposite is true. The first cells of this new human being contain all of the information that will guide its development throughout life. The process of embryonic and fetal development involves “switching off” the complete power of the early cells so that they only take on one function, like being a heart cell.

While there are some members of our society who would like to define this biological human being as someone who does not share our basic human rights, such as the right to its own existence, this is a dangerous path. We, as a human society, have gone this way before, with disastrous results. Inevitably, it ends with the act of murdering those whom we objectify, as we have seen with the lynching of African Americans from our own racism, or the Holocaust, or the countless other genocides of the 20th century. Whenever we treat another human being as an object, a thing, that we may do with as we please, rather than as a human person made in the image and likeness of God, we diminish, and inevitably destroy that being, and ourselves[The flip side is that not only can we justify doing terrible things to others, but we have no basis to defend ourselves from harm.]

It is also paradoxical to suggest that by throwing the cloak of “privacy” [well said] over the act of abortion, that individual choice can transform an evil act into something that is good, or even tolerable. [Ironically, some claim that if you are not in favor of abortion or "harvesting" embryoes, you are therefore against life.] If, as Sen. Biden believes, human life begins at conception, it is difficult to see how that view can be reconciled with the position that we, as a society, should legally allow individual persons to decide on their own if murder is wrong.

The modern day notion of “privacy” assumes that there is a neat division between the individual who makes a decision, and the rest of the human community. A “private” decision is one that is limited to the individual. However, in the case of abortion, this decision has implications not only for the mother, but also for the father, both of their immediate families, and, in fact, for all of our society. [Many people suffer, and for decades, in the wake of abortions.]  The mother and the father lose a child, the family a niece or nephew, or grandchild, and the rest of us, a companion in life. How we protect, or ignore, these smallest members of our human community defines who we are as human persons.

A democracy, in order to flourish, must attend to the defense of the values that are essential to the human community. Ignoring this hard work and simply relegating abortion to the sphere of individual choice allows a cancer to eat at our very core, as we permit some human persons to sacrifice the lives of others for their own personal reasons[The diabolical opposite of those who sacrifice their own lives for the sake of others.] As Catholics, we cannot accept the premise that in the name of “privacy” all choices are equally right[Excellent]

Sen. Biden has opposed federal funding of abortions and backed the ban on partial birth abortions, and for that he should be commended. Yet, his justification for continuing to allow Roe v. Wade to stand as the law of the United States is incompatible with Catholic teaching.  [There it is.  Roe must fall so that determinations can go back to the States.]

Once an evil is truly seen for what it is, neither can an emphasis on “privacy” excuse one’s moral responsibility to act to stop it, nor can defining murder as a “right to choose” change what it is that is actually chosen.

Trusting always in the protection of Our Blessed Lady, whose immaculate womb first tabernacled the Word made Flesh, and asking for your prayers, I am

In Domino

Edward J. Slattery
Bishop of Tulsa

 

Your Excellency, you will have those prayers and WDTPRS kudos as well.

This is one of the best statements I have seen.

For those priests out there who might want to put this in their "pastor’s page", here is the text without my gloss.

 

 

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39 Responses to Bp. Slattery of Tulsa on human life: correcting scandal, Pelosi & Biden

  1. bryan says:

    Wow.

    Prayers ascending for the good Bishop Slattery and all those who have stood shoulder
    to shoulder in clearly enunciating true Catholic teaching.

    And prayers for those who are indifferent in the hierarchy that their eyes may be
    opened and they too may be given the strength to actually live out their calling as
    shepherds.

  2. Aelric says:

    Consider three quotes:

    “Having made their views public, and by presenting themselves as Catholics, both ["ardent Catholic"] Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Biden have invited a discussion about the legitimacy of their views.”

    and

    “that Speaker Pelosi’s position is clearly inconsistent with Catholic teaching, and to promote such a view is scandalous.”

    and

    “Yet, his (Biden’s) justification for continuing to allow Roe v. Wade to stand as the law of the United States is incompatible with Catholic teaching.

    Invited a discussion? Why does not …

    Can. 1369 A person who in a public show or speech, in published writing, or in other uses of the instruments of social communication utters blasphemy, gravely injures good morals, expresses insults, or excites hatred or contempt against religion or the Church is to be punished with a just penalty.

    … apply? Surely scandal and incompatible positions are injuries to good morals. Note that the Church’s law holds that words matter and uttering or writing certain words in a public way is a canonical crime.

    Note that no option is given. The offender IS to be punished with a just penalty, not that the offender may be punished.

    Whilst the bishops speaking in this way is better than their previous record of silence, I am unfortunately reminded of watching parents who repeatedly tell their children “don’t do that” whilst the child simply continues in full knowledge that they have only to wear down the parent to win acquiescence.

    May our bishops fulfill the prophetic role by teaching, yes by all means; but fulfill also the kingly role by governing and applying the Church’s law with justice and mercy.

  3. magdalen says:

    Once more this faithful shepherd steps up to the plate; a place where he has long been. One of the ‘good guys’ in the episcopate.

    Deo Gratias!

  4. Memphis Aggie says:

    The biological paragraph is excellent – scientifically sound and yet clear to a layman. That’s hard to do well and it’s useful to convince those who are not religious.

  5. Jane Fulthorpe says:

    Fr,

    I was going to email you about this marvellous Bishop but dnow you’re so busy. It’s fantastic to see him on your post. But have you seen his latest letter in the EOC about vocations. He excels himself and of course there’s been his recent initiative with Fr Kirby. The bad news is that he seems to indicate that the EOC is about to fold. Perhaps in order to pay for that advert. Please do keep track of Bishop Slattery for us.

    He came over to the LMS first Merton conference last year when we couldn’t find a single bishop of our own to raise the profile
    and endorse the training of priest in learning the EF.

    God bless him and keep him. AD MULTOS ANNOS, and to yourself of course.

    Jane

  6. A true shepherd of Souls. God Bless him!

  7. Sean says:

    I think it would be good to correct the popular misconception that Sen Biden is opposed to taxpayer funding of abortions. In many of the statements coming from the Bishops against Sen. Biden they acknowledge his opposition to taxpayer funded abortions. Bishop Slattery said in his letter above he should be commended for this. However Lifesite.com has shown that on several occasions since 1999 Sen Biden has supported taxpayer funding of abortions. In April 2005, Biden voted against the Mexico City Policy, which President Bush instituted to prohibit taxpayer funding of groups that promote or perform abortions overseas. He also voted for international abortion funding in July 2003. Most recently in Feb. 2008 he voted no to an amendment that would have made permanent the elimination of funding of abortions at Indian healtchcare facilities. Here is the link to Lifesite which you can then follow to the link of his actual votes. http://lifenews.com/nat4284b.html he has also co-sponsored legislation to increase funding of birth control. Why haven’t the Bishops spoken out against this?

  8. Memphis Aggie says:

    One of the good fruits of these letters is that we all get to applaud and enjoy the grace, intellect and fortitude of our Bishops.

  9. Darel says:

    Bishop Slattery said

    While there are some members of our society who would like to define this biological human being as someone who does not share our basic human rights, such as the right to its own existence, this is a dangerous path. We, as a human society, have gone this way before, with disastrous results.

    Let us be clear on exactly what Sen. Biden and the mainstream pro-choice position is saying: some human beings are not persons. There it is in black and white. This belief informs much wrong teaching regarding euthanasia as well. Note as well that there are more bold (and honest) people in the pro-choice camp — largely outside the mainstream — who admit that all human beings are indeed persons, but assert that the liberty of some persons (pregnant women) requires in some cases the death of others (their unborn children). I am not certain which viewpoint is more frightening.

    Fr. Z said

    The flip side is that not only can we justify doing terrible things to others, but we have no basis to defend ourselves from harm.

    I would respectfully disagree here. What the flip side is, in my view, is that there is only one basis to defend ourselves from harm: self-interest. This is the root of all materialist approaches to human society and makes us quite literally into nothing more than beasts, and our society into one ruled by beasts. In such instances, the promise of a more fully human life ends up delivering us over to nothing but one properly led by animals.

  10. Central Valley Catholic says:

    Another blessed bishop. Here in the diocese of Fresno, Ca., we are still waiting for out sheperd to speak on this issue and the issue of elected officials in the Fresno diocese who hold the same opinions as Biden and Pelosi. We are waiting but it is a good thing we are not holding our breath…….

  11. Marnie says:

    “nor can defining murder as a “right to choose” change what it is that is actually chosen.”

    Where I live (in Spain) the government is trying to “change the negative connotations” that reactionaries have given to the phrase “right to choose” and are calling it “a voluntary termination of pregnancy” and hoping to put into full effect by the end of 2009, a new abortion law that would place no limits on murder on demand and would furthermore punish doctors or hospitals for refusing to perform said murders.

  12. Gerard E. says:

    In reading this bold and forthright statement by an outstanding successor to the Apostles, a sports analogy occupied my fevered brain. Many a career in baseball pitching has been saved by the process known as ‘Tommy John surgery,’ named for its first recipient. In this surgery, a damaged elbow tendon is replaced by another one within the patient’s body. A pitcher may require up to 24 months of rehabilitation, but chances are excellent that he may regain his former prowess on the mound. It appears the U.S. bishops are fully recovered from a spiritual round of ‘Tommy John surgery,’ and are once more firing fastballs and breaking pitches. Play ball.

  13. David says:

    Thank you, Your Excellency!
    God bless you!

  14. TerryC says:

    I have always found that the best method to debate a pro-abortion supporter is through the biology aspect. Eventually you can get most people to admit that that collections of cells does indeed have a unique DNA which makes it(he or she) a unique human animal. All this quite apart from soul or religion. NExt discuss personhood. It is amazing how many pro-abortion individuals have never consciously considered whether or not the baby exists as a real person, all the while accepting such an outlook when a planned or accepted pregnancy is involved. I can’t say I’ve ever converted anyone to the truth, but I know they’ve had to think about it and I known some have been uncomfortable with the conclusions they’ve drawn once they have.

  15. Brian Mershon says:

    We live in a republic, not a democracy.

  16. Lance says:

    As a Catholic in the diocese of Tulsa, I can vouch for what an excellent Bishop we have. Bishop Slattery has never faltered in protecting the unborn. From purchasing massive billboard advertisements to counteract Planned Parenthood, to acquiring property across the street from Tulsa’s abortion mill (on which he plans to build a Garden of Life in solidarity with the unborn), our Bishop has stood unfailing for authentic Catholic teaching in this matter. I will be sure to thank him on behalf of the blogging community this coming Saturday when I will be dining with him (after a Pontifical Novus Ordo chanted by the Monks of Clear Creek!).

  17. Paul says:

    I see the diocese is paying for half a page in the local paper. Just to let everyone know here in Pittsburgh the Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper has been putting out statements on local radio clearly explaining the unequivocal position of the Church in regards abortion. This is the first time I have seem or heard one of these comments and it is truly wonderful. I was listening yesterday and a message from the Obama campaign by a nurse praising abortion was immediately followed by the Pittsburgh Catholic message.

  18. When bishops speak out like this (en Masse), it is edifying for the faithful that make a solid attempt to follow the Church’s teachings and such. Ad Multos Annos to His Excellency.

  19. Anthony says:

    AD MULTOS ANNOS!

  20. Mary says:

    This is great, and the closing line about Our Lady is not only pointed but beautiful. Thank you Father.

  21. Bo says:

    I will only add that I too am from the Tulsa Diocese, and after living under a sub-par Bishop while at grad school, it is so uplifting to have a leader you are proud of.

  22. Rob says:

    Interestingly appropriate reference to Tommy John, with a couple of lessons of some relevance to the issue at hand.

    1. While he was never renowned as a fastball pitcher, he persevered in the face of the challenges before him and kept pitching.

    2. He had a long and successful career, playing until an advance age (at least, as major league baseball players go). What finally put an end to him was he could no longer field his position. As long as our bishops (and our priests and ourselves, for that matter) field our position (speak the truth) we’re still in the game.

  23. Dominic says:

    What a great bishop!

    I was saddened, however, by one of your own comments Father Z:

    There it is. Roe must fall so that determinations can go back to the States.

    First of all Bishop Slattery said nothing about determinations going back to the States. [No... I said that.]

    Secondly, wanting states to determine laws on abortion should not be the — or even a — goal of the pro-life movement. The primary function of any government is to protect its citizens, born and unborn. If a country has a constitution, any weakening of this primary function of government undermines the value of the constitution itself – and remember, in the United States public officials have to swear an oath to uphold the constitution! [This is a federal republic of states which make laws. Right now, however, Roe seems to overtop them all. Roe must go first.]

    Either Roe v. Wade is a legitimate interpretation of the United States constitution or it isn’t. Either the constitution of the United States protects the unborn or it doesn’t. Do good and decent pro-life officials who swear the oath currently swear (i) to uphold a constitution that properly-understood (and contrary to the aberration of Roe v Wade) protects the right to life, or (ii) to uphold a constitution that, as interpreted by Roe v. Wade, protects a right to abortion, or (iii) to uphold a constitution that should be understood as leaving it to the individual states to determine the laws on abortion?

    Surely no public official can rightly swear an oath to uphold a constitution unless it is in accordance with option (i)?

    Conceding to the view that states should be allowed to determine their own abortion laws, means that protection of the unborn is not an essential element of the common good and that elected officials can legitimately decide from a range of options on the question of abortion. [Look... there is no way to make forward progress unless Roe is overturned. If it is, then we move to the next step. This one has to be torn down brick by brick.]

  24. Brian says:

    It is my hope and my prayer that these faithful Bishops will be rewarded dearly in heaven.

    May God have mercy on every politician and every Catholic voter who, “simply relegating abortion to the sphere of individual choice, allows a cancer to eat at our very core, as we permit some human persons to sacrifice the lives of others for their own personal reasons.”

  25. Jordanes says:

    Dominic said: Conceding to the view that states should be allowed to determine their own abortion laws, means that protection of the unborn is not an essential element of the common good and that elected officials can legitimately decide from a range of options on the question of abortion.

    No, that doesn’t follow at all. It merely means that under the U.S. constitution, states have the right to criminalise abortion. Concern for the common good, and the overarching principle of the sacredness of life and human dignity, mean that states MUST criminalise abortion. If there is adequate support, the U.S. constitution can (and I think should) be amended to make the right to life explicit, or abortion may be made a federal crime (though that is constitutionally dubious), but when Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Dolton are overturned, under our current law it is the states that are to outlaw abortion, not the Supreme Court.

  26. Brian says:

    Would it be possible for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade on the basis of the facts beautifully stated by Bishop Slattery, that:

    “Modern science clearly proves that human life begins at conception.” And that,

    “At the moment when DNA from the mother and the father combine, a new, unique human being, who will develop continuously until death, is created.” So that,

    Unborn children “share our basic human rights, such as the right to its own existence.” So that,

    Any law that allows abortion violates the unborn child’s right to existence and is unconstitutional.

  27. David Kastel says:

    I am not impressed with this letter.

    How can the bishop write at such length about the preciousness of human life while only discussing the physical and material nature of man? He has not mentioned the more important aspect of man, which is his spiritual nature, the immortal soul which God creates immediately at the moment of conception. It is in his spiritual nature that man is made in God’s image. In it is the reason and the will.

    Arguing through materialistic rationalism may convince a materialistic, rationalistic person that a fertilized egg is a living organism of the species homo sapiens, but it cannot convince him that it has any more value than any other similar collection of molecules, such as the fertilized egg of a rabbit or a fish, or a piece of rock for that matter. Without a soul, we truly are nothing more than a random collection of atoms and molecules.

    The Church has been arguing on the turf of liberals, rationalists, and naturalists (modernists) for long enough.

  28. Jordanes says:

    The fact that abortion is immoral something that is knowable by all, whether or not one believes in the immortality of the soul. Why should the bishop go off on a tangent that won’t convince anyone who disbelieves in the existence of the soul? Pelosi and Biden did not deny the immortality of the soul, so they did not have to be corrected on that point. Nor does belief in the soul’s immortality guarantee that one would agree that abortion is immoral. It would have made a weakened and unimpressive discourse if Bishop Slattery had gone off on the tangent that you wish he had gone off on.

    Nor did Bishop Slattery “argue on the turf of liberals, rationalists, and naturalists (modernists).” He argued on the turf where the Church is expert: the turf of the truth about human nature. Your characterising his discourse as “arguing through materialistic rationalism” suggests that you don’t know what materialistic rationalism is.

  29. ThomasB says:

    Does anyone believe that Pelosi and Biden actually care what the many bishops have had to say?

  30. Dominic says:

    Father, yes you are right that Roe must be overturned, but in overturning Roe the Supreme Court will also proffer a constitutional interpretation indicating, for example: (i) that the unborn are entitled to protection under the constitution, for example because they are ‘persons,’ or (ii) that abortion is a matter for states to decide on.

    I took issue with your comment for two reasons. In the first place it is not the case that “Roe must fall so that determinations can go back to the States.” Secondly, although it is possible that the Supreme Court might decide to allow the States to determine abortion laws, this would be neither a just nor a desirable decision. We would then be in a situation with different states scrapping over which of the unborn were worthy of protection and which weren’t – a can of worms as unwholesome as the present situation.

    In many instances you’re right to suggest that change be accepted, and even promoted, “brick by brick.” With respect to the morality of changing the law on abortion, this sort of “incremental” change is not as straightforwardly applicable as it is in other areas.

  31. Lindsay says:

    I’m not sure it matters if Biden and Pelosi care what the bishops say (except, that it is for the benefit of their souls). However, their public stance and statements “as Catholics” must be corrected for the benefit of other Catholics who indeed would care what the bishops say and might be swayed by the false teachings as presented by Biden and Pelosi.

  32. Jordanes says:

    Dominic said: in overturning Roe the Supreme Court will also proffer a constitutional interpretation indicating, for example: (i) that the unborn are entitled to protection under the constitution, for example because they are ‘persons,’ or (ii) that abortion is a matter for states to decide on.

    That’s not how it works. If the court says the unborn are entitled to protection, then that necessarily means states may criminalise abortion — that’s how our political system is set up. The court could issue an opinion that abortion is a matter for the states to decide without opining that the unborn are “entitled” to protection under law, but the court won’t strike down Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton without the matter automatically being sent back to the states to decide, where it was before. Congress also would be free to step into the fray to some extent as well.

    In the first place it is not the case that “Roe must fall so that determinations can go back to the States.”

    Yes it is. The states are not free to criminalise abortion at this time. Roe must fall in order for that to happen.

    Secondly, although it is possible that the Supreme Court might decide to allow the States to determine abortion laws,

    If the court strikes down Roe and Doe, that automatically means the states may determine their own abortion laws.

    this would be neither a just nor a desirable decision.

    Desirable or not, it certainly is just and in accordance with Catholic social doctrine that a political community be free to organise itself in keeping with justice and natural law. There is nothing unjust about the states having the right to outlaw abortion. It is unjust that they cannot.

    We would then be in a situation with different states scrapping over which of the unborn were worthy of protection and which weren’t – a can of worms as unwholesome as the present situation.

    No more unwholesome than scrapping over getting the states to approve a Human Life Amendment, which would be preferable to having some states allowing abortion and other states banning it. If Roe is stricken, however, it could make it easier to convince states to approve such an amendment — if it ever gets out of Congress, of course.

  33. Rob says:

    As to legal options to overturn Roe, what is most likely to happen? Also, what practical effect will it have on availability and use of abortion?

    1. The Supreme Court takes up and decides a case with the effect of overturning the federal right and returning the question to the states?

    Won’t that just result in 1/4 or 1/3 or 1/2 of the states deciding to allow abortions? If most of the population is merely a long car ride (or less) away from abortion service, are we going to see much of a decrease?

    2. The Supreme Court takes up and decides a case with the effect of deciding that there is a Right to Life, including the child in the womb (from the moment of conception), that trumps the privacy/personal freedom issues that are so central to earlier decisions?

    3. The Constitution is amended to enshrine a Right to Life, specifically including the child in the womb (from the moment of conception)?

  34. Brian says:

    Fr. Z, Please forgive me for drifting away briefly from the main topic here, which is Bishop Slattery’s powerful witness to the truth. Please also forgive my lack of legal knowledge, but I am not clear on something and have a question.

    Jordanes,
    If the Supreme Court rules that the unborn, as human beings, are entitled to the same protection as any other person, how could it then be constitutional for states to have laws that allow killing these people?

  35. ThomasB: Does anyone believe that Pelosi and Biden actually care what the many bishops have had to say?

    A good question.

    I bet they do care, deep down inside. I think if there were censures, they would care deeply.

  36. wsxyz says:

    If the Supreme Court rules that the unborn, as human beings, are entitled to the same protection as any other person, how could it then be constitutional for states to have laws that allow killing these people?

    I think the Supreme Court would have to explicitly criminalize abortion to take the issue out of the hands of the states, but that is not likely.

    The Supreme Court is far more likely to simply decide that there is no constitutional protection for abortion. With that, the issue would be returned to the states.

  37. pat says:

    I don’t know the answer to this, but has the Supreme Court ever reversed itself based upon new scientific information? (If the right case came before it)

    Back in the 70′s, I don’t think they had the technology for DNA analysis (which exonerated many people on death row) and stem cell research – which as the bishop points out would be worthless unless the stem cells came from a human.

    From what I’ve read, an unborn baby really was considered to be nothing more than a clump of cells with no soul. In my cell biology class, when we were studying how unbelievably early development starts, I had the creepy thought “when do embryos start to dream?”

    I’m almost ready to move to Tulsa when I finally graduate.

  38. Jordanes says:

    Brian asked: If the Supreme Court rules that the unborn, as human beings, are entitled to the same protection as any other person, how could it then be constitutional for states to have laws that allow killing these people?

    If that is what the court rules, then yes, states would not be able to keep abortion legal. But my point was that the court could well strike down Roe and Doe without making any such determination.

  39. Brian says:

    Thank you Jordanes and wsxyz.

    If (in what sounds to be the more likely scenario) the Court leaves it to the states, then “state by state” it is.

    In many ways, it comes down to “Catholic by Catholic.” If all, or even the vast majority of Catholics refused to vote for candidates who support abortion, in no time, abortion would be illegal in every state.

    If “my people upon whom my name is called, being converted, shall make supplication to me, and seek out my face, and do penance for their most wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.”
    2 Paralipomenon (Chronicles) 7:14