15 Catholic Senators voted against Nelson Amendment

With my emphases and comments From CNA:

Fifteen Catholic Senators voted against Nelson Amendment

Washington D.C., Dec 11, 2009 / 06:29 am (CNA).- A total of fifteen self-described Catholic Senators voted to table the Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment, which would have significantly restricted abortion funding from the Senate health care bill.

The Amendment failed by a 54-45 vote on Tuesday. It was co-sponsored by Democrats Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania, who were joined by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah. Senator Nelson is a Methodist, Sen. Hatch is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Sen. Casey is a Catholic.

Besides Sen. Casey, Sen. Ted Kaufman of Delaware was the only other Catholic Democrat to vote against tabling the Nelson Amendment. Sen. Kaufman replaced Sen. Joseph Biden when he became the Vice-President of the United States.

The Catholic Democratic Senators who voted against the Nelson Amendment were Patrick Leahy of Vermont, John Kerry and Paul Kirk of Massachusetts, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Richard Durbin of Illinois, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray of Washington state, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Mark Begich of Alaska.

Sen. Kirk, appointed to replace Sen. Edward Kennedy, is the great-nephew of Archbishop of Boston William Henry Cardinal O’Connell.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was the only Catholic Republican to vote to table the Nelson Amendment.

In a Dec. 7 statement, Sen. Mikulski argued that the Nelson Amendment went “too far” and claimed the unamended bill is pro-life[Get that?  The unamended bill… is …. pro-life.  Sounds like the Kmiec Catholic approach.]

Making it a debate about abortion is misguided and wrong,” she said.

In her view, the bill’s aims of providing universal access to health care, ending the denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions and strengthening Medicare are “pro-life principles.”  [Never mind that pesky issue of having to be born first.]

She claimed that the Nelson Amendment’s allowance of a woman to buy an “abortion rider” to specially cover abortions was “like putting a scarlet ‘A’ on a woman’s forehead.”  [?]

“No woman or family will buy such a plan – because no woman expects or intends to have an abortion,” Sen. Mikulski said.

Jason Jones, founder of IAmWholeLife.com, said Sen. Mikulski’s statement showed a “fundamental misunderstanding.”

There is no social justice when the life of an innocent child is taken by abortion[A point we have made here at WDTPRS for a long time.  When did abortion stop being a social justice issue?  Why isn’t it more often treated under the rubric of social justice?] abortion destroys a whole life and protects no one,” Jones continued. “The greatest threat to human dignity in the United States is the destruction of human life in the womb, not a lack of ‘health care reform.”

Jones urged Sen. Mikulski to take a pledge recognizing that all human rights are based on a respect for all human life, “especially at its earliest stages in the womb.”  [Yah… that’s going to happen.  The better approach might be to vote into office someone who has a healthier view.]

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  1. Josephus Muris Saliensis says:

    The last insertion in your fisk is defeatist, anyone can change:

    See this fellow!

  2. DisturbedMary says:

    Catholic education comin’ home to roost

  3. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    “Nobody expects or intends to have an abortion”

    Clearly the senator has forgotten that the entire purpose of health care is to cover things that “nobody expects or intends to have” happen. Emergency room visits, x-rays, etc. I don’t plan on staying in the ER, but I have health insurance because I realize it might be a possibility.

    Then again, her statement points out a bigger issue with abortion, which is nobody (well, at least most people) likes abortion, until it makes their life easier. It is done as a convenience operation.

    I don’t understand why health care would cover abortion, but not other elective surgeries.

  4. TNCath says:

    Fasten your seatbelts, folks. We are in for some major persecution in the years ahead. This is just one example.

  5. These “Catholic” Senators voted down this amendment, which simply kept the status quo (no government funded abortion on demand, which is favored by the vast majority of Americans) on one of the biggest Marian Feast Days in the Church calendar, the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States.

  6. brianwalden says:

    “She claimed that the Nelson Amendment’s allowance of a woman to buy an “abortion rider” to specially cover abortions was “like putting a scarlet ‘A’ on a woman’s forehead.”

    How can any Catholic say that if abortion is legal it shouldn’t have a social stigma attached to it? It’s being legal in this country only makes the necessity for negative societal influence against it even greater. I can see how a Catholic who thinks abortion is evil might follow convoluted reasoning to the conclusion it should nonetheless be legal. But I can’t see how any Catholic can claim to faithful while believing abortion should be legal and government funded and stigma free.

    “No woman or family will buy such a plan – because no woman expects or intends to have an abortion,” Sen. Mikulski said.”

    So Sen. Mikulski, I don’t expect or intend to get into a car accident. Does that mean I shouldn’t buy car insurance? Of course I should. Just because I don’t expect to get into a car accident, that doesn’t mean I can’t forsee a possible situation where an accident may happen – so I buy car insurance. Let the people who have no scruples about killing their children scheme by themselves for the possibility of such a situation rather than making us pay for their murderous deeds.

  7. EXCHIEF says:

    Real pro life voters need to vote these people out of office at the first opportunity. That is the only solution because it is obvious they are not listening and responding to the teachings of the Church to which they supposedly respond.

    There are a host of reasons, most of them related to morality, why the majority of Congressmen and Senators need to be voted out. I am just optimistic enough to believe that we will see that happen in the midterm elections next year.

  8. MikeM says:

    Senator Mikulski’s position about no one expecting to have an abortion I think has a second implicit component… that elective abortion is, by nature, not necessary. People aren’t going to buy the plan because, unlike getting into a car accident, an abortion would have to be their Choice™.

  9. FrCharles says:

    My own suspicion, based on my experience as a Catholic thus far, is that abortion is excluded (in some places and discourse) from “social justice” because many of those who take up the cause of the Church’s social teaching conflate it with the glittering leftist doctrines of the world.

  10. james says:

    From Life Site News:

    On November 25th, Spain’s Catholic bishops warned that those politicians who vote in favor of the law will have excommunicated themselves, having put themselves in an “objective state of sin.” The bishops wrote that “while the situation lasts,” politicians who vote in favor of the law “may not be admitted to Holy Communion.”

    Perhaps a response similar could come from the US Catholic

  11. Re: Blognic

    I would not be opposed, but I am not in a position to be the organizer.

  12. Bryan says:

    don’t hold your breath. At least for most of of the USCCB…that wouldn’t be ‘pastoral’ (whatever that means….).

    As an aside, to see where this is going…


    Soon…it won’t be a so-called ‘choice’, but an imperative forced upon you
    by our government guards.

    The numbers are staggering. Follow the logic: if mankind causes global warming, the logical alternative (in their alternative liberal universe of thinking…), then if we reduce (either through oppressive taxation of more than the recommended number of babies we can have, forced sterilization of those deemed ‘unworthy’ to be parents, or mandatory abortion, or some other ghettoization of people who won’t go along with the program) the population, it will be better all around. The birds will be singing in the trees, gentle waves of weeds growing along unused highways, and the beautiful people are all relaxing by their hot tubs.

    Someone asked me, last night, if I had ever met a truly evil person. I said no, but, then, I haven’t personally met someone who has ever openly espoused such a position. That doesn’t mean they’re not out there, though.

    Sorry for rambling. Too many loose ends that, taken out of context, don’t seem to tie together. But, when you step back a bit…the whole picture starts to come into focus.

  13. Melania says:

    What’s a “blognic?” It seems to be a contraction of “blog” and “picnic.”

    Regarding the article, our current situtation is certainly dangerous. These “Catholics” do need to be voted out. All people of good wiil must be active.

  14. MargaretMN says:

    Fr Z, you ask a very good question “When did abortion stop being a social justice issue?.” I look to my mom for the answer. She probably voted Democrat until the pre-Roe v. Wade state initiatives for abortion turned her into a pro-life activist. She complained bitterly that the Democrats had betrayed women on these issues. What ought to have been a liberal issue (providing for the welfare of all, including the most vulnerable) became a “rights” issue that only engaged some Republicans for the rights of the unborn. In fact, the Republican party in our state (MI) was run by establishment Republicans (the republican first lady was an ardent supporter of planned parenthood and pro-abortion). Barry Goldwater, one of the leading lights of the right was also aggressively pro-abortion and planned parenthood supporter. Remember that Betty Ford was famously pro-choice too, despite the conservative character of the Grand Rapids Area her husband represented. At some point, the Democrats became the party of libertines rather than social justice and support for abortion was an obvious choice after that. It wasn’t until the Reagan revolution that Republicans took up the pro-life cause and it didn’t take long for some “Rockefeller Republicans” to try to mount a come back as soon as the presidential election was over. They are not helped by the fact that most libertarians (with whom they have tried to make common cause) are pro-life, as is Ron Paul.

  15. john 654 says:

    Whether the US Bishops say anything or not the Canonical Rules still apply in this situation. The “pastoral” thing would be to let politicians and the public know the rules publically in a clear concise way just like the Spanish Bishops did and then enforce the rules. To do anything else is to cause scandal. This is not a Democrat/Republican this is a saving of souls thing.

  16. DMT says:

    Actually, I disagree with those who say that Catholic politicians should have voted for the Nelson amendment. Those who voted against it were right to do so.

    The amendment was unjust and immoral since it explicitly consented to funding the murder of babies conceived in rape, incest, and for risk to the life of the mother. These babies are human beings, too, right? In accordance with Evangelium Vitae and the CDF document “Doctrinal Note On Some Questions Regarding The Participation of Catholics in Political Life” a Catholic should not have supported or voted for the Stupak or the Nelson amendment since they both explicitly consented to fund the murder of some babies. Would the same people who support these amendments have supported it if it funded the murder of Jewish or Black babies? I doubt it, so why the discrimation against babies conceived in rape, incest of for risk to the life of the mother?

    What kind of Christian can consent to pay for murder in order to pass any amendment or law, no matter what perceived good can come of it?

    Many saints died rather than agree to anything evil and offend God, I guess they didn’t know they could have compromised and agreed to evil in order to achieve a perceived good like those Catholics who supported amendments that explicitly pay for murder. Did they die in vain?

  17. JonM says:

    Cardinal Arinze’s twelve Swiss guards have some work to do.

  18. MichaelJ says:


    You make a good point, but somehow I doubt if these “catholic” polititians voted against the ammendment for the reasons you cited.

  19. DMT,

    This is incorrect. Such a vote is not a participation in evil. Rather it is a just act to eliminate evil. As Evangelium Vitae states:

    “[W]hen it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality. This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects.”

    Politicians are certainly free (I would say morally obligated) to vote for laws that will reduce the evil of abortion, even if that same law still allows for some abortion.

    By your logic, all pro-life politicians should move to repeal the Hyde Amendment as well since it contains exceptions.

  20. SimonDodd says:

    I find ExChief’s comment above puzzling. “Real pro life voters need to vote these people out of office at the first opportunity”—are we to suppose that there is a large corpus of real or merely soi-disant pro-life voters in Maryland that have hitherto supported Mikulski? The difficulty with the “vote ’em out” prescription is that it isn’t a realistic remedy. Except in cases of wet-behind-the-ears officeholders who have only recently shown their hand, it would seem to me that any voter who is likely to respond to such a call will have long voted against that officeholder. Is it really conceivable that there are 721,637 (Mikulski’s margin in her last election) pro-life marylanders who did not hitherto know that Mikulski is pro-choice? (Or, apparently, that she’s as dumb as a box of rocks, a conclusion suggested by her remarks in the article to which Fr. Z linked.)

    As to the ballot box being “the only solution because it is obvious they are not listening and responding to the teachings of the Church,” my question is more one of “where are the Bishops?” We know that Bp. Tobin wrote to one of his lost sheep. The sheep answered him from the wilderness: “get lost! I prefer being lost!” When will his excellency take the next step? Has Archbp. O’Brien taken a similar first step vis-à-vis Sen. Mikulski? If so, she has given him the same answer that Rep. Kennedy tendered to Bp. Tobin; when will the next step be taken in Baltimore?

  21. JonM says:


    This is an issue many of us have tried to point out. Current government policy IS to fund abortions. The cases are rape, incest, and that elastic ‘life of the mother’ (the implication being for the allowance of a medical procedure in a rare and terrible situation – and of course it really means to allow abortion to prevent depression or ‘hardship’).

    It is a demonstration of faithlessness when Catholics vote against a prevention of expanded abortion funding. This problem will only be solved in one manner (and it ain’t ‘changing hearts and minds through pastoral education and fuzziness).

    PS: Still waiting for government health care supporters to explain how it squares with the subsidiarity doctrine…

  22. DMT says:


    Your interpretation of JPII’s quote in EV is incorrect. It permits a law that would lessen an evil, yes, however, the CDF clarified that exact quote which makes it clear that the law while lessening evil must not contain anything within it which is contrary to faith and morals. Obviously, funding the murder of some babies is contrary to faith and morals. Here’s the quote from the CDF clarification: “Doctrinal Note On Some Questions Regarding The Participation of Catholics in Political Life”

    “In this context, it must be noted also that a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals.”

    For example, if the amendment stated “No funding for abortions within the first trimester of pregnancy” with nothing else stated in it, then that is one a Catholic could vote for since there is nothing contrary to faith and morals within it. However, if it stated “No funding for abortions within the first trimester, except for Jewish and Black fetuses” then a Catholic could not vote for it since it contains consent to fund murder of some babies which is contrary to faith and morals.

  23. mpm says:

    Those who wish to take the “hard line” and quote the CDF as proof that anybody else is committing a grave sin, need to remember that these principles of traditional Catholic moral theology were not invented to solve the abortion problem. They go way back in Catholic tradition.

    Now, prior to Roe v. Wade, all the states, based on common law inherited from the United Kingdom, made abortion punishable by law as homicide, EXCEPT for the three cases specified. Those were the laws which Roe v. Wade struck down as unconstitutional.

    Catholics were born in this country, and lived their entire lives in it, under those laws, which the Church taught did not go far enough, but very few Catholics ever sought to get abortions. Catholics who studied moral theology in high school and college were taught that those exceptions were not valid in Catholic theology, but that the Church didn’t fight to eliminate them since a) there were very few abortions being done in any case, and b) Protestants (such as the Lutherans) felt that they were justifiable exceptions, and the Protestants had more votes.

    What the Hyde Amendment strove to do, was to restore the status quo ante Roe v. Wade with respect to the use of Federal funds (proceeds of taxpayers) for paying for abortions. Hyde et al. could not get a whole loaf, so they strove for the loaf they could get, IN ORDER TO prevent greater harm.

    So the Hyde Amendment was morally permissible because it sought to affect a LESSER EVIL, period.

    The Stupak Amendment was intended to effect the same result as the Hyde Amendment, for the same reasons, and with even tougher opposition. I would say that made it at least morally neutral in the sense that it was not “liberalizing” (in principle) the frequency of abortion.

    I’m not sure what the “hard-liners” would have us do (as a society). Hold out for the perfect, and let the good, or “lesser evil” pass us by? Catholic moral theology shares little or nothing with Kantian “categorical imperatives”. Frankly, IMO, “hard-liners”, while they may affect a holier-than-thou posture, are quick to absolve themselves from both complicity and dereliction of duty, simply by quoting Papal documents (often, out of context).

  24. DMT says:

    Quotes from Evangelium Vitae and the Doctrinal Note for Participation of Catholics in Politics, which make it clear that it is immoral for a Catholic to support amendments and laws which explicitly permit abortions, and deny the right to life of human beings:

    “John Paul II, continuing the constant teaching of the Church, has reiterated many times that those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a «grave and clear obligation to oppose» any law that attacks human life. For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them.” (CDF #4)

    “In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to “take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law, or vote for it” (EV #73)

    “Christians must recognize that what is at stake is the essence of the moral law, which concerns the integral good of the human person. This is the case with laws concerning abortion and euthanasia (not to be confused with the decision to forgo extraordinary treatments, which is morally legitimate). Such laws must defend the basic right to life from conception to natural death.” (EV #73)

    “Nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being, whether a fetus or an embryo, an infant or an adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease, or a person who is dying. Furthermore, no one is permitted to ask for this act of killing, either for himself or herself or for another person entrusted to his or her care, nor can he or she consent to it, either explicitly or implicitly. Nor can any authority legitimately recommend or permit such an action”. (EV #57)

  25. DMT says:


    You obviously, have not done your homework. The Hyde amendment as originally passed did NOT have exceptions for rape, incest, or for risk to life of the mother, it banned all funding of all abortions, no exceptions. It was a year later that the pro-aborts whined and cried loud enough that the exceptions were added. Please look it up before climbing on your high horse and calling others “holier than thou” and other such nonsense childish name-calling.

    Did you know 10 000 babies conceived in rape, incest, and for risk to life of the mother are murdered every year in the US? Hardly, “very few”. Unless, you think murdering 10 000 innocent human beings is no big deal or a “lesser evil”.

    Try considering the moral principle of the ends do not justify the means, which is in accord with Catholic teaching. Do you think it is ever acceptable to agree to evil in order to get a perceived good result? If so, then you would surely think it acceptable to kill abortionists in order to save babies. It’s the “lesser evil” right? Murder human beings to save more human beings, that is the philosophy you subscribe to apparently. Certainly, not a Catholic philosophy, it’s called: Utilitarian philosophy.

  26. DMT says:

    A question for those who supported the Stupak and Nelson amendments: Would you have supported them if they funded the murder of Jewish and Black babies?

    If yes, then at least you are consistent. Incorrect and immoral, but consistent.

    If no, then why would you support amendments that fund the murder of babies conceived in rape, incest, or for risk to the life of the mother? Isn’t that discrimination?

    For those who admire Sarah Palin, do you think she would support an amendment that funds the murder of Down’s Syndrome babies?

    I’m simply trying to find out what’s going on with people who support an evil and think there’s nothing wrong with that. It seems often there’s more to it, perhaps discrimination against some babies who are thought to be worthless?

  27. yatzer says:

    DMT, please, where did you get the statistic on 10,000 aborted per year in the US on the basis of rape,inces, and risk to life of the mother? That sounds high.

  28. Where are their bishops and parish priests?

  29. mpm says:


    Since I am not a Senator or a Congressman, I don’t get to debate or vote on legislation directly, do you?

    Do you think it is ever acceptable to agree to evil in order to get a perceived good result? If so, then you would surely think it acceptable to kill abortionists in order to save babies. It’s the “lesser evil” right?

    No, and the proposition you present is not the “lesser evil”: murder is always intrinsically evil, so I would not murder an abortionist.

    What the Hyde Amendment regulates is not abortion, but Federal funding of abortion. As I see it, voting to fund fewer abortions rather than more abortions is a “proportionate” reason for voting for the Hyde Amendment. It is proportionate because “funding more” vs. “funding less” of the same thing is commensurate, not because it is utilitarian.

    Patrick Thornton’s response to you was the correct one, like it or not.

    Another thing which your line of reasoning fails to take into consideration is that thanks to Roe v. Wade, there is no opportunity for politicians in the United States to sponsor legislation outlawing abortions. It is out of the legislative domain as long as Roe stands.

    Anything that politicians do to limit the evil impact of abortion is, presumably, a good thing. As I read the CDF quotes they are addressing the situation of non-US countries, where legislation regarding abortion remains in the legislative arena.

    And DMT, before you get personal you ought to know the person you are addressing. You don’t know me, and for your information, I have a doctorate in Catholic moral theology, which I earned in 1981. How about you?

  30. DMT says:


    Statistics in the US show that at least 1% of abortions are of babies conceived in rape, incest, or for risk to health/life of the mother. That means at least 10 000 of these babies are murdered every year in the US and unfortunately most people, even many who are so-called ‘pro-life’, support their murder to the extent that they even consent to pay for them to be murdered with government funds. It’s awful and cruel when people throw around things like “oh well, there aren’t many of those babies anyway, so what’s the big deal?” These are real human beings created in the image and likeness of God we’re talking about here, and they deserve dignity, respect, and protection like every baby does.

  31. DMT says:


    Correction. The 1% of babies murdered are conceived in rape and incest is 10 000, and 30 000 (3%) babies are murdered for being a risk to the life of the mother. Therefore, those who support funding abortions for babies conceived in rape, incest, or for risk to the life of the mother, support funding the murder of 40 000 babies each year in the U.S. 40 000!

  32. Penguins Fan says:

    Anyone who thinks Mikulski will change her tune on abortion is crazy. I know it’s painful to see someone who is allegedly a Polish Catholic be such a strident abortion supporter but Mikulski represents a left wing state – Maryland.

    Look at the states that have a high Catholic population and then look at their loyalty to the Democrats….New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, California..and where does the strongest support for abortion come from?

    Pope Paul VI said the smoke of Satan is within the Church. He was right, not just in the USA, but elsewhere. Pierre Trudeau was an alleged Catholic, too.

  33. wanda says:

    I am profoundly ashamed that Sen. Mikulski is my state Senator. She is absolutely intransigent on this issue of abortion. She has been in office for I don’t know how long. (Way too long.) Thousands of us have written, called emailed her & the answer has never changed. She doesn’t listen to her constituents at all. She is Catholic & I have seen the pictures of her as a child in her 1st Holy Communion outfit. I could cry.

    I have been talking to everyone I can to please vote her out come re-election time. (I’m not registered as a Democrat anymore, I changed that after our Presidential election.

  34. RichardT says:

    This is shocking.

    The politicians might have been able to run an argument that they were voting for the healthcare bill because overall it saved more innocent lives than it killed (not an argument I would accept, but it’s just about rational).

    But I cannot see any way that voting against a direct amendment to block abortion funding can be reconciled with the Church’s teaching.

    (Yes, I’m ignoring DMT’s argument, because I don’t think it is one that is being used by the politicians in question)

  35. JimGB says:

    I agree with the observation by Father Charles that many Catholics who promote social justice programs and causes adopt the trendy leftist populist causes and conveniently avoid the greatest social justice there is: the right to life as a member God’s kingdom. Thus,the Sinsinawa Dominicans can be concerned with faux causes such as “eco-feminism” while a member of that congregation, openly and notoriously,escorts women to abortion clinics.

  36. DMT says:


    You say that committing an intrinsically evil act is not a consideration to bring about a decrease in abortions, yet, you also state that “Anything that politicians do to limit the evil impact of abortion is, presumably, a good thing. There is the contradiction in your argument right there.

    If one can do “anything” “to limit the evil impact of abortion”, including consenting to pay for murdering some babies (like the Stupak/Nelson amendments do), then, can’t one also pay a hitman to murder abortionists? That would reduce abortions, too. What’s the difference?

    I’m simply following your logic here. Obviously, consenting to pay for murder is always evil and never justifiable, no matter how many lives would be saved by consenting to it. The ends do not justify the means. The lesser evil would come about by refusing to vote in favour of an unjust law that is contrary to faith and morals, while the greater evil would be to consent to fund an intrinsically evil act of the murder of some babies in order to save other babies. We cannot sin in order to stop other people’s sins. We cannot vote for funding even one murder in order to stop others from funding even more murders.

    The reasons why a Catholic would vote against the health care bill are the same reasons a Catholic should not support/vote for such amendments like the Nelson and Stupak: they all require a Catholic to consent to fund murder, an instrinsic evil, which is never justifiable, and always evil no matter how many lives may be saved as a result. It’s the consent to pay for murder within them that makes them all immoral.

  37. DMT says:

    JPII’s quote from Evangelium Vitae #73 is often misunderstood and misapplied to justify voting for laws/proposals that explicitly consent to murdering, or funding the murder of, some babies, this is precisely why the CDF clarification needs to be consulted. The CDF document is intended for every country in the world, even countries where abortion is legalized; a reading of it makes that quite clear.

    Here’s the full quote from the CDF document clarifying JPII’s quote from EV:

    “As John Paul II has taught in his Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae regarding the situation in which it is not possible to overturn or completely repeal a law allowing abortion which is already in force or coming up for a vote, «an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality».

    In this context, it must be noted also that a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals.</ab”
    Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding Catholics in political life</a

  38. We have abortion in this Country because the Government wanted it and many Church leaders allowed it. They argued that it was the lesser of two evils. What was the greater evil? WHATEVER YOU WANT IT TO BE. Every lawyer I have listened to has said that Roe V. Wade was “bad law”. Excuse me. Do I hear Holocaust from anyone? What the hey! we are only talking 50 million Americans.
    Judge Robert Bork once referred to the American Catholic hierarchy as “the Democratic Party in robes”. It is obvious to anyone but a fool that abortion is the sine qua non of the Democratic Party.
    Remember Bishop Tobin’s advise to young Kennedy: If your job puts your eternal salvation in jeopardy, QUIT YOUR JOB.

  39. isabella says:

    I don’t get Mikulski’s argument that requiring women to buy an abortion rider would be like stamping a scarlet “A” on their foreheads. Don’t they have the courage of their convictions?

    Or is it that they see the intrinsic evil of abortion, but won’t admit to it publicly? The same for Mikulski, for that matter. If they think abortion is such a good thing, then why be ashamed to admit they’d be willing to have one? I’d still oppose them, but could at least sort of respect them for logical consistency.

    And as far as the analogy to ER coverage or coverage for a car accident, that doesn’t fly. I carry insurance against those because there is no evil involved. No, I don’t *expect* to have to use it, but it is not something I would be ashamed to admit having, either. I’m all for having a broken leg set after an accident. But killing an inconvenient baby? Wouldn’t do it, so why have the insurance to pay for it “just in case”?

    The very fact that she made that comment implies she sees the intrinsic evil, but doesn’t want to expose women who are willing to murder if “necessary”, to public scrutiny because it would shame them. It should.

  40. haleype says:

    [Yah… that’s going to happen. The better approach might be to vote into office someone who has a healthier view.]

    Exactly. Catholic voters in the upcoming elections in 2010 and 2012 have the opportunity to throw these impostors out of office and to make it clear that Catholics in Name Only will not be allowed to parade their infamy in the public square. At the same time Catholic Bishops have to make it clear that Communion will not be offered to unrepentant public sinners regardless of political party. The Right to Life is pre-eminent among all others as it comes from God Himself.

  41. mpm says:


    mpm, You say that committing an intrinsically evil act is not a consideration to bring about a decrease in abortions…

    Actually, I could not even formulate that clause in my mind, so would you mind sharing where I actually said what you say I said, please? I think you owe me that much, since you then go on to conclude that I thereby contradict myself.

    BTW, in small words: (1) Supreme Court has made “having an abortion” a consitutional right; (2) Congress therefore cannot outlaw “abortive acts”; (3) Congress can legislate around the edges of “abortive acts” to limit the immoral damages ; (4) I applaud those Congressmen who attempt to do so.

    How on earth do you conclude that thereby I (or Congressmen) would approve of hiring “hit men”?

    Truly, you seem to be a person with debilitated logical faculties.

    The reasons why a Catholic would vote against the health care bill are the same reasons a Catholic should not support/vote for such amendments like the Nelson and Stupak.

    Here’s a flash for you. If I were a Senator or Congressman, with the right to debate and vote on the Health Care bill, I would vote against it regardless of of whether Stupak or Nelson amendments were allowed. BECAUSE I do not think the Federal government has a good track record on managing anything, much less 1/6 of the economy.

    I really hesitated in making this response, because as the Grande Dame once said, “Don’t applaud [answer him], dear, it only encourages him.”

  42. mpm says:


    I wonder if it might not also be appropriate to ask you to opine about the following propostion:

    It is entirely moral within the Catholic Tradition of Moral Theology, and in accordance with the dignity of the human person, to misquote others and misrepresent their views and opinions in public discourse, as long as a greater good is intended (for example, the rescue of the smallest of human beings).

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