In the wake of the Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s calculated televised attack on the Catholic Church’s teaching on when human life begins, some very prominent US bishops have issued corrective statements, making it clear just how wrong she is, and how scandalous were her remarks.
His Eminence Francis Card. George, Archbishop of Chicago, has made a strong statement in a letter posted on the website of the Archdiocese.
My emphases and comments.
Office of the Cardinal
September 2, 2008
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In the midst of a lengthy political campaign, matters of public policy that are also moral issues [pretty much all public policy issues are moral issues, but this one trumps all others] sometimes are misrepresented or are presented in a partial or manipulative fashion. [In other words, in a deceptive manner.] While everyone could be expected to know the Church’s position on the immorality of abortion and the role of law in protecting unborn children, it seems some profess not to know it and others, even in the Church, dispute it. Since this teaching has recently been falsely presented, [by Speaker Pelosi on Meet The Press, to a huge audience] the following clarification may be helpful.
The Catholic Church, from its first days, condemned the aborting of unborn children as gravely sinful. Not only Scripture’s teaching about God’s protection of life in the womb (consider the prophets and the psalms and the Gospel stories about John the Baptist and Jesus himself in Mary’s womb) but also the first century catechism (the Didache or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) said: “You shall not slay the child by abortions. You shall not kill what is generated.” The teaching of the Church was clear in a Roman Empire that permitted abortion. [A good reminder.] This same teaching has been constantly reiterated in every place and time up to Vatican II, which condemned abortion as a “heinous crime.” [Gaudium et spes 51: "Vita igitur inde a conceptione, maxima cura tuenda est; abortus necnon infanticidium nefanda sunt crimina".] This is true today and will be so tomorrow. [This teaching will not change.] Any other comments, by politicians, professors, pundits or the occasional priest, are erroneous and cannot be proposed in good faith. [Contradict the Church’s clear teaching, you are not in good faith.]
This teaching has consequences for those charged with caring for the common good, those who hold public office. [Read: pro-abortion Catholic politicians] The unborn child, who is alive and is a member of the human family, cannot defend himself or herself. Good law defends the defenseless. Our present laws permit unborn children to be privately killed. Laws that place unborn children outside the protection of law destroy both the children killed and the common good, which is the controlling principle of Catholic social teaching. One cannot favor the legal status quo on abortion and also be working for the common good. [Pro-abortion Catholic politicians are working against the common good.]
This explains why the abortion issue will not disappear and why it is central to the Church’s teaching on a just social order. The Church does not endorse candidates for office, but she does teach the principles according to which Catholics should form their social consciences. The teaching, which covers intrinsic evils such as abortion and many other issues that are matters of prudential judgment, could not be clearer; [and if you (or Speaker Pelosi) says the Church’s teaching is not clear, you (or Speaker Pelosi) are a liar undermining the common good] the practice often falls short because we are all sinners. There is no room for self-righteousness in Catholic moral teaching.
The Conference of Bishops in this country and the Bishops of Illinois have issued statements about Catholic social teaching and political life. They are available in our parishes. All of us should keep our country and all the candidates for office in the next election in our prayers. God bless you and your families.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Chicago
The Cardinal does not say explicitly that pro-abortion Catholic politicians should not receive Communion, but that is the logical conclusion. He doesn’t not say that pastors of souls should deny Communion, but that is the reasonable conclusion.
WDTPRS kudos to Cardinal George.