Bp. Tobin on Nelson Mandela’s “shameful promotion of abortion”

This is from NBC10 in Providence:

Tobin: Mandela’s support for abortion ‘shameful’

PROVIDENCE - The Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence weighed in on Nelson Mandela’s death by calling his support for abortion “shameful.”

Bishop Thomas Tobin, in a statement posted Sunday on the diocesan website, said that while there is much to admire in Mandela’s life and public service, there’s a part of his legacy that is “not at all praiseworthy, namely his shameful promotion of abortion in South Africa.”

Tobin’s comments stand in contrast to those of Pope Francis, who in a telegram to South African President Jacob Zuma last week praised Mandela’s steadfast commitment to “promoting the human dignity of all (his) nation’s citizens.”

The bishop in his statement took issue with Mandela’s decision in 1996 to sign legislation liberalizing South Africa’s abortion laws.

“While we pray for the peaceful repose of President Mandela’s immortal soul and the forgiveness of his sins, we can only regret that his noble defense of human dignity did not include the youngest members of our human family, unborn children,” Tobin wrote.

Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and anti-apartheid icon, died last week at age 95. His funeral is scheduled for Tuesday and is expected to draw nearly 100 world leaders and tens of thousands of mourners.

Tobin has frequently taken on public figures over abortion, including elected officials, and even Pope Francis. The bishop in September said he was “a little bit disappointed” the pope had not addressed the topic of abortion during his first six months as pope. He also asked then-Rep. Patrick Kennedy not to take Holy Communion because of his support for abortion rights, and withdrew two hospitals sponsored by the diocese from membership in a Catholic hospital group that supported health care reform because of fears it would allow for public funding of abortion.

In his telegram, Pope Francis focused on Mandela’s work to forge a South Africa “built on the firm foundations of non-violence, reconciliation and truth.”

“I pray that the late president’s example will inspire generations of South Africans to put justice and the common good at the forefront of their political aspirations,” Francis wrote.

But… Mandela promoted abortion, big time.  That is not praiseworthy.

Fr Z kudos to Bp. Tobin.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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15 Responses to Bp. Tobin on Nelson Mandela’s “shameful promotion of abortion”

  1. iPadre says:

    Not only did he promote the most liberal abortion laws. Mandela also helped destroy traditional marriage. He signed “same-sex marriage” into law in 2006. In the same your, his new constitution gave “sexual orientation” the same status as race and religion and legal grounds for discrimination. Mandela was a member of the South African Communist Party. The evils he promoted do not negate the good, but at the same time, the good doesn’t negate the evil.

  2. Fr. Bryan says:

    This must not be forgotten, lest the world’s praise become an implicit endorsement of it.

  3. Mike says:

    I find the adulation of this man very disturbing. Of course, let’s pray for his soul. But making him into an icon of justice and mercy is wrong.

  4. mamajen says:

    Ugh…I understand Pope Francis had to say something, but those particular words? What about the dignity of the unborn?

  5. tcreek says:

    South Africa stats from the CIA Factbook
    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sf.html

    22.7 % unemployment
    50% youth unemployment
    32% below the poverty line
    18% have aids
    63 on the Gini index for inequality of income distribution, 2nd highest in the world

    Facts seem to be of no importance to those who praise Mandela. His pro-abortion, socialist agenda trumps all.

  6. Supertradmum says:

    I had noted this information of the cult of personality and the false canonization of secular leaders on both some blogs and twitter and was criticized. We must stop pretending people are great when they are not. He also aligned with that group of “wise men” who wanted global control of population.

    When we idolize a person, we stop praying for that person’s soul. That is a dangerous thing to do.

    May God have mercy on us, on the soul of Nelson Mandela and on all who still support abortion in South Africa.

  7. Sword40 says:

    I agree with the above posters. But let us not forget that Mandela was a full blown ANC terrorist, causing the deaths of many men, women and children through a bombing campaign. He was on the terrorist watch list until 2008.

  8. Eugene says:

    Long have I admired Bishop Tobin public stance on issues. He is a shepherd with guts. He doesn’t coddle politicians who go against the church’s teachings. He doesn’t mince words like many senior shepherds of the American episcopate. There isn’t a man more deserving of a promotion to a larger diocese or archdiocese. But will his truthful talk and actions allow him in to the old boys’ club.
    With regards to the pope’s words; very disappointing. I am hoping he was personally ignorant of Mandela’s legalization of abortion. But wait aren’t there a whole of people in the Vatican who should have known. Back to being dismayed which seems to be a perennial state with me these days.
    God help us.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    PS. Let us all remember to pray for Bishop Tobin. I bet he is under great spiritual attack.

  10. wmeyer says:

    May God have mercy on us, on the soul of Nelson Mandela and on all who still support abortion in South Africa.

    Or anywhere! And yes, Bp. Tobin will surely need our prayers.

  11. Priam1184 says:

    @iPadre Nelson Mandela was no longer president of South Africa in 2006; are you thinking of his successor Thabo Mbeki?

    Thank you Bishop Tobin for praying for Nelson Mandela’s soul (he needs it as do we all) while the rest of the world deifies the poor man. I have a lot of trouble with the Vatican’s political correctness and eagerness to join with the crowd on occasions like this. When will Peter start being Peter again?

  12. SKAY says:

    Mandela was in jail because of his acts of public violence. He would not renounce terrorism.

    “Nelson Mandela was the head of UmKhonto we Sizwe, (MK), the terrorist wing of the ANC and South African Communist Party. At his trial, he had pleaded guilty to 156 acts of public violence including mobilising terrorist bombing campaigns, which planted bombs in public places, including the Johannesburg railway station. Many innocent people, including women and children, were killed by Nelson Mandela’s MK terrorists.”

  13. Lin says:

    It is unfortunate that a former terrorist is now endorsed as a hero. History books are being rewritten as I post this comment. The pope needs better writers. Thank GOD for Bishop Tobin and all our priests and religious who stand up for the TRUTH. We must pray for all of them as they are under daily attack. Thank you Father Z for this post and this blog.

  14. Minnesotan from Florida says:

    I am glad to learn from the previous posters facts about Mr. Mandela that are counterweights to the general adulation. It has seemed to me, however, that Mr. Mandela is justly admired for his insistence on reconciliation, rather than retaliation and vengeance, after the cessation of the white-controlled apartheid system. If in this too he is not as admirable as is commonly supposed, I hope that appropriate posts will inform us. In any event, as many have prayed, requiescat in pace.

  15. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    As far as I know, ” Mr. Mandela is justly admired for his insistence on reconciliation, rather than retaliation and vengeance,” as Minnesotan from Florida expresses it, but it also seems that even his best efforts in this have have failed to have sufficient effect either within the ANC or much of the rest of South Aftican society.