Vatican criticizes Obama on abortion issue

Reactions to Pres. Obama’s decision.

Vatican criticizes Obama on abortion issue

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Vatican officials said Saturday they were disappointed by President Barack Obama’s decision to end a ban on federal funding for international groups that perform abortions or provide information on them.

Monsignor Rino Fisichella, who heads the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, urged Obama to listen to all voices in America without "the arrogance of those who, being in power, believe they can decide of life and death."

Fisichella said in an interview published Saturday in Corriere della Sera that "if this is one of President Obama’s first acts, I have to say, in all due respect, that we’re heading quickly toward disappointment."

Obama signed an executive order that ended the ban on Friday, reversing the policy of the Bush administration.

"This deals a harsh blow not only to us Catholics but to all the people across the world who fight against the slaughter of innocents that is carried out with the abortion," another top official with the Academy for Life, Monsignor Elio Sgreccia, told the ANSA news agency.

"Among the many good things that he could have done, Barack Obama instead chose the worst," he was quoted as saying Saturday.

Officials at the academy could not be reached Saturday.

In Corriere there was another article about this and it mentions the video I posted the other day from CatholicVote.org in which it is shown and argued that abortion kills people who might grow up to be someone like… Pres. Obama.  I posted about that here.  GO WATCH THE VIDEO.

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34 Responses to Vatican criticizes Obama on abortion issue

  1. Sieber says:

    Hey Prof. Kmiec,

    Here’s the first fruit of your journey toward reduced abortions.

  2. Tom Ryan says:

    Great Video! But as the comments here show, the message is lost on many Catholics. ;-(

    http://www.4marks.com/videos/details.html?video_id=987

  3. TJM says:

    Ambassadore Kmiec,

    Your Church has spoken and your cover is gone. By By.

    Tom

  4. Jim says:

    I am convinced that we cannot end abortion until there is a reconversion of the U. S. to basic Christianity. We should pray for the conversion and salvation of President Obama despite our complete disagreement with his position on abortion. After all, St. Paul was once a persecutor of the church. Look what he became after his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus.

    We are reaping the deadly fruits of 40+ years of non-evangelism. The Church, its bishops, its priests, and its people need to encounter the Risen Lord, and rediscover their mission as evangelists.

  5. EDG says:

    I went to the March For Life in Jacksonville, FL (couldn’t make it to DC – there was no bus and I didn’t have the time to drive myself) and I was puzzled because there was only one tiny group of pro-abortion demonstrators, and even they left after a few minutes. Then someone informed me that the pro-abortion folks had taken out a full-page ad in the local press boasting that they no longer needed to appear at pro-life demonstrations because now they had a President who was going to do all the things they wanted. Evil people, all of them. We have to keep those prayers going.

  6. Edward C. says:

    Does this mean that my tax dollars help abortionists stay in business at home and abroad???? If so I severely want to cut uncle sam off… grrr

  7. Central Valley Catholic says:

    The Vatican says what the American bishops were afraid to………….

  8. Piers-the-Ploughman says:

    so while the country’s banking system and auto industry are about bankrupt we still have the money to send overseas and help foreigners kill their babies. This is the leadership of the great USA. Is the all too loyal opposition not speaking up?

  9. Rancher says:

    Just look at the agenda posted by Obama’s staff on the White House website within hours of his taking the oath of office. Revocation of the Mexico City agreement is but one small step that this merchant of death will take. I am not exaggerating, but soon the definition of federal hate crimes will include negative comments about the LGBT lifestyles. Wonder who the first priest/minister/rabbi will be that is prosecuted for such a crime merely because he teaches correctly on the subject. The agenda includes doing all he can to uphold Roe v Wade. It includes opposing any and all constitutional ammendments to define marriage as one man-one woman. It includes expanded embryonic stem cell research.

    When the Pope expressed his concerns about Obama’s abortion stance Obama’s retort was “we agree to disagree”. No, your highness, WE did not agree. That’s your position, not the Pope’s.

    It is clear that the need exists to take of the gloves. The Vatican and the U S Bishops sent the mandatory congratulations and best wishes communiques. Obama’s response was in your face on the most crucial issue out there–abortion. It is time for the Catholic Church to publicly and consistently oppose Obama, to criticize his every anti-life decision, to preach regularly and forcefully in our Churches abourt moral responsibility. To seek the support of those (unfortunately too few) pro-life Senators and Congressmen to be outspoken opponents of Obama’s agenda.

    Finally, it is up to us as individuals to: #1 pray and pray hard and #2 to oppose, in all lawful ways, the pending reign of terror that this follower of the devil offers. And, for some of us it may involve the illegal but necessary act of not paying that percentage of our federal income taxes which goes to support government paid murder of innocents.

  10. Tzard says:

    “the arrogance of those who, being in power, believe they can decide of life and death.”

    I must say when I heard this on the secular news It struck a chord with me. It seemed exactly what needed to be said. (No, it doesn’t say it all, but it seems the right thing to say to a President who thinks he has a mandate to do anything he wishes).

    Unfortunately, the news couched this as a “reaction from The Vatican”, which attempted to pigeon-hole the statement. But the quote above stood out to me.

  11. Mario says:

    so much for obama’s, “i think one area that we can both agree on is that both sides of the issue want to see less abortions done.”

    what could be a bigger slap in the face, especially doing this immediately after the pro-life march?

  12. Emil says:

    I’m not one to “spam” my friends and family with requests for action, but after receiving an email from an acquaintance directing me to http://www.afa.net/, I went to the site and sent President Obama an email, protesting his stance on abortion and infanticide. Here is a copy of my letter, although the site itself will direct you to a pre-written letter you can sign:

    Mr. President: I strongly oppose your stance on the issue of abortion. I am dismayed that you are willing to play a part in the mass slaughter of countless innocent and defenseless lives. Do you consider you were not alive at the moment of your conception? Death does not beget life, Mr. President, and a being conceived is the polar opposite of being destroyed.

    You also oppose assistance to children who are born alive due to “botched” abortions. You have opposed an Illinois law stating in part that “a live child born as a result of an abortion shall be fully recognized as a human person and accorded immediate protection under the law,” and you have opposed it because you see such action as a threat to Roe v. Wade. I, on the other hand, see it as infanticide and highly offensive to Him in whose likeness we are created and of whom you claim to be a follower.

    Sincerely,

    I urge all of you who read this to please pass the message around that we need to contact President Obama and our representatives in Congress in order to make a positive difference.

    And, thank you for your blog, Father Z. I found it last week, and am enjoying it.

    God bless all,
    Emil

  13. ED2 says:

    Does anyone here think that moving out of the country is a good solution to the problem of our taxes going towards funding abortions? This is a real question and its something I’ve been thinking about a lot. Is there a better place to live? Is it bad to give up on our country?

    ED2

  14. sacerdosinaeternum says:

    I preached the same exact thing this afternoon in the context of the conversion of St. Paul, and people walked out! Good to know that I’m on the same page as the Holy See and not the only one speaking out!

  15. Make me a Spark says:

    It seems to me that we are all Americans and we are responsible for our government, we elected this man, and a majority democratic senate. If we did not actually vote for those people did we do enough? Were we brave enough to speak up to our friends and neighbors, not just this year but for many years, to inform and teach and not alienate our friends an neighbors to the truth. Did we present the message in an intelligent and understandable and humble way?

    Have we created a prolife environment around us? Are we supportive of single mothers? Do we encourage them and are we there for them without condemnation because “but for the grace of God” we could be in their shoes? Are we kind to our fiends and neighbors who support a fatherless child? Do we offer to babysit, even when it is uncomfortable?

    Let us all repent and do penance for any part that we have played in this culture of death.

    2 Chronicles 7:14 says “If my people, who are called by My Name, will HUMBLE themselves and pray, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land”.

  16. Bridget says:

    Obama should realize that 48% of the voting population DID NOT VOTE FOR HIM; therefore his pro-abortion position does not represent ALL American points of view. It is vital for everyone who is pro-life to write a protesting letter to Obama & the representatives in their district explaining their seats will be in jeopardy at the next election if they do not fight to save the lives of innocent unborn children. Whatever happened to “Life, Liberty & the persuit of Happiness”? “Life” is the first one of these 3 treasured american ideals. We must let our political representatives know we mean business – those politicians who do not protect our unborn babies must be penalized at the voting booth in the future – letter writing and e-mails are a crucial first step to be heard! And where are all those liberal catholics now who said Obama would help reduce abortions? I don’t see them protesting against Obama’s increase in the slaugher houses here and abroad that will surely follow this legislation. A nation that does not protect It’s most innocent members will fall! History has proven that!

  17. Calleva says:

    “if this is one of President Obama’s first acts, I have to say, in all due respect, that we’re heading quickly toward disappointment.”

    Disappointment? Why? Obama has never made any pretence about his views on abortion. He promised to make FOCA a matter of priority. It was a matter of not ‘if’ but ‘when’ he would start to pay back the pro-abortion people for their support.

    I should probably say no more. I’m not an American, but one who loves America, having some experience of the country. Watching the election steeled me not to expect too much – I saw this adulation and unreasonable expectation before, in a similar way, with Tony Blair, and I never believed that either.

    Didn’t I read that embryonic stem cell research is to start in earnest in the US?

    Sit tight….. and be grateful that you do have some good bishops.

  18. ckdexterhaven says:

    I’m trying hard not to be bitter and angry toward some of my fellow Catholics who voted for this guy because he’s right on the “social justice” stuff. In my own parish, the crickets were chirping, we didn’t hear anything before the election. On Sunday, we were told to pray for Obama. Just pray for him, nothing, nothing! about praying for his conversion. I just have to remind myself over (and over) Trust in the Lord… lean not on your own understanding.

  19. Aelric says:

    we’re heading quickly toward disappointment

    What, pray tell Monsignor, does Obama have to do actually to reach disappointment (much less downright disapprobation)?

  20. little gal says:

    I share many of the thoughts posted here. I think the root of the issue is education of Catholics-not at the last minute before an election and not just on the abortion issue, but a comprehensive catechesis. I think some very well meaning Catholics would be very surprised to learn how far outside of Catholic teaching they are and how understanding of this teaching lays a foundation for a rich spiritual life.

    The second thought I have is a question regarding whether Obama is a Christian. I heard Dr. Christine Muggeridge state the other day in an interview that he is not a Christian, but a secular humanist. In the following speech on faith, Obama made on 7/1/08, it is ironic that he states:

    “Now, make no mistake, as someone who used to teach constitutional law, I believe deeply in the separation of church and state, but I don’t believe this partnership will endanger that idea – so long as we follow a few basic principles. First, if you get a federal grant, you can’t use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can’t discriminate against them – or against the people you hire – on the basis of their religion.”

    I wonder why the conscious rule wouldn’t fit as an issue of religious discrimination? The entire text of the speech is here

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/01/us/politics/01obama-text.html?_r=1&ref=politics&pagewanted=print

  21. Rancher says:

    ED2
    I’m sure many of us have thought about moving out of the country. First of all, given the secularism running rampant throughout the world, I’m not sure where we would be much better off. Second, and perhaps more important, would moving not constitute running from the obligation we all have to at least try and right this wrong? There will be difficut times ahead and, IMO, true Catholics may be in for serious persecution. But has that not happened to Christians throughout history? Better to stay and fight, and suffer the consequences. Perhaps it may decrease our time in Purgatory later on.

    As someone once said Evil (and Obama is clearly evil IMO) will prosper if good people do nothing. Moving out is doing nothing. Staying and doing all we can legitimately do to oppose Obama is being a good person.

  22. 95cents says:

    I thought people who payed for an abortion got excommunicated–is that still the case? Either way, is it a mortal sin to fund an abortion? If tax dollars are paying for abortions, can we refuse to pay a portion of our taxes? Kind of like being a conscientious objector? Its a wierd thought, pro-lifers and anarchists on the same side of the fence, refusing to pay taxes…

  23. Rancher says:

    95 cents

    You can refuse to pay—that’s what I intend to do–but we will pay the consequences. If someone had the $$$ for legal counsel they could probably mount a good (but not necessarily winning) argument that paying “X” portion of taxes interferes with their religious beliefs. Don’t know, but will find out next tax year what the consequences are.

  24. ED2 says:

    I don’t see how paying 95% of your taxes would mean that you’re not funding abortions. If 5% of tax money went to funding abortions and you only paid 95% of your taxes, then wouldn’t 5% of that 95% be used to fund abortions?

  25. taximom says:

    At my son’s “Catholic school” they took the entire student body out of their classrooms for an hour, so that they could watch the Presidential Inauguration. Parents were not notified ahead of time, and the majority of the liberal staff was so excited, many wearing Obama T-Shirts. The same ‘teachable moment’ was not deemed necessary four years ago, when President Bush was elected. Now the school is introducing an ‘educational tool’ called ‘Small Steps to Tolerance’, which will target students from Pre-Kindergarten through 3rd grade. The booklet and the DVD will cover topics such as being tolerant and receptive to transgender students, among other things, and to same-sex parents. The devil is most insidious when is masked in sheep’s clothes. Needless to say, my son will not attend Catholic school next year or any of the following years. We should have learned our lesson with our daughter, who attended a disappointing Catholic High School, but in our endless naiveite we sent her to a Jesuit University, where the disappointment has reached unparalleled highs. She can’t wait to get out of that noble institution of liberal professors, who use the classroom as their ‘Church’ to spread their liberal doctrine. With this president, America will learn a lesson long overdue, and well deserved.

  26. cato_the_younger says:

    Look at this gem from the AP (notice the quotes and the “so-called”:

    A senior Vatican official on Saturday attacked US President Barack Obama for “arrogance” for overturning a ban on state funding for family-planning groups that carry out or facilitate abortions overseas.

    It is “the arrogance of someone who believes they are right, in signing a decree which will open the door to abortion and thus to the destruction of human life,” Archbishop Rino Fisichella was quoted as saying by the Corriere della Sera daily.

    Fisichella is president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, one of a number of so-called pontifical academies which are formed by or under the direction of the Holy See.

    “What is important is to know how to listen… without locking oneself into ideological visions with the arrogance of a person who, having the power, thinks they can decide on life and death,” he added.

    Obama signed the executive order cancelling the eight-year-old restrictions on Friday, the third full day of his presidency.

    The so-called “global gag rule” cut off US funding to overseas family planning clinics which provide any abortion services whatsoever, from the operation itself to counselling, referrals or post-abortion services.

    “If this is one of the first acts of President Obama, with all due respect, it seems to me that the path towards disappointment will have been very short,” Fisichella said.

    “I do not believe that those who voted for him took into consideration ethical themes, which were astutely left aside during the election debate. The majority of the American population does not take the same position as the president and his team,” he added.

    The order won Obama praise from Democratic lawmakers, family planning and women’s rights groups but drew angry condemnation from pro-life organisations and Republicans.

    More than 250 health and human rights organisations from around the world sent Obama a letter, thanking him for ending a policy “which has contributed to the deaths and injuries of countless women and girls.”

  27. Central Valley Catholic says:

    Taximon,
    Homeschool. Last year my wife and I had a simialr experience at a catholic? school in the diocese of Fresno. They were inviting pro abortion, pro gay marriage speakers to talk to junior high kids. Sadly the church is run by a religous order, female order has the school, oblates of St. Joseph have the parish. I would propose some type of loyalty oath for catholic school teachers. Sit in on a typical class in a typical catholic school in the united states you you will be shocked at the disobedience being tought to the children

  28. Make me a Spark says:

    Taximom, I would notify your Bishop about this. Even if he does not care it is on his conscience then, and God will deal with Him. Remember for evil to prosper good men just do nothing.

    Join your local parish rosaries for life-or the national one. Donate to Right to Life. Donate to Crisis Pregnancy centers and put in time there as you can and tell your friends and family how committed you are to life. They need your light to shine on them.

    Being angry accomplishes nothing. Praying can accomplish a lot, but do not let that be your only action, act so that others are encouraged to act too.

  29. A Random Friar says:

    Yes, paying taxes can falls within “cooperation with evil,” but so are most things we do in daily life a cooperation with evil, because there is a lot of evil in the world. There is no space here for a full moral theology course, but there is a difference between proximate and remote cooperation, and formal and material cooperation. “Proximate and remote” describe the degrees to which you’re directly cooperating with evil. I.e., if you’re buying cookies at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser, it’s a lot more proximate than purchasing some cookies from your supermarket, and said owner uses part of his salary to support a lobbying group, that among other things, favors pro-abortion legislation.

    “Formal and material” refer to the kind of cooperation. If you’re a meter reader, and one of the meters you read happens to be at Planned Parenthood, that’s material, not formal cooperation. There is no positive intent or endorsement, even if you’re acting on or with the agent doing an evil act.

    Now, this is a very hot and sensitive issue, partly because there’s often a lot left to prudence and judgment in individuals. There are many factors to take into consideration when we’re not at either extreme of being too remote or too close or too formal or too material. The danger is always in trying to fool ourselves that we’re more remote from cooperation than we actually are. IMHO, you can choose not to pay taxes, but I think that it’s remote and non-formal enough to not warrant the results.

    I will leave it at that, and ask those who have other questions to consult a good, orthodox moral theology manual. This kind of discussion can very quickly go down a rabbit hole of a titanic “What if” Venn diagram of moral questions.

  30. techno_aesthete says:

    a good, orthodox moral theology manual

    Can anyone recommend any texts?

  31. Amy P. says:

    Then someone informed me that the pro-abortion folks had taken out a full-page ad in the local press boasting that they no longer needed to appear at pro-life demonstrations because now they had a President who was going to do all the things they wanted.

    This unmitigated arrogance will be their downfall. That, and the fact that the future belongs to those who are fruitful and multiply.

    The next 4-8 years will be rough, no doubt. But Obama’s got two terms. That’s it. And NOTHING he, or Congress, may pass in those terms is permanent. It is without a doubt undesireable and we need to pray, fast, and do penance for our pro-death culture and President, but it is not over by a long shot.

    We will be victorious in the end, and we will bring to our cause more than the pro-death people in this nation.

    Keep the faith. We can never fail when Truth is on our side.

  32. A Random Friar says:

    techno_aesthete: Morality: The Catholic View by Servais Pinkcaers, O.P. is a good beginner manual. Josef Pieper and Ralph McInerny also put out some good books, although you might see them filed under “ethics,” they nevertheless cover good ground.

  33. A Random Friar says:

    And Dr. Janet Smith is also a solid source, esp. for sexual morality.

  34. Karen says:

    This was in the St. Edward’s Church bulletin, in Bloomington, MN on Sunday, January 25, 2009. The Ardiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul celebrated The Conversion of St. Paul on Sunday. There was no mention of this in the bulletin written by Father Mike Tegeder. That parish celebrated the Third Sunday of Ordinary time. This is the priest who wrote a letter to the editor at the Minneapolis Star and Tribune about how ridiculous he thought sending postcards to our government representatives asking them to not support the FOCA bill. The following is another one of Fr. Tegeder’s little slams at the Archbishop, at least that is how I interpreted it.

    MINNESOTA’S INAUGURAL PRAYER CONNECTION

    Prior to President Roosevelt’s second inauguration in 1937, there were no inaugural prayers. The only manifestation of religion in the ceremony was the use of a Bible for the swearing in accompanied by the traditional (but not constitutionally mandated) phrase “so help me God.” Often the new president would kiss the Bible which Hoover did in 1929. Roosevelt did not. But in 1937, Roosevelt did add the invocation and the benediction prayers. He chose Msgr. John A. Ryan to give the closing benediction.

    Ryan was a priest of our Archdiocese and was the foremost proponent of social welfare policies in the American Catholic Church. He was such a national supporter of Roosevelt’s policies that he became known as the “Right Reverend New Dealer.” Ryan battled Father Charles Coughlin, the notorious Detroit priest whose increasingly anti-Roosevelt, anti-New Deal, and anti-Semitic rants were broadcast coast-to-coast on CBS radio. As a side note, our new Archbishop also comes from Detroit.

    Can’t the Archbishop fire this guy!