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September 19, 2008

Catholic Bishops Assail Pelosi's Pro-Abortion Stance

Self-described "ardent and practicing Catholic" Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) apparently has no clue what the Catholic Church teaches regarding the fundamental right to life because, in truth, she is an ardent and practicing pro-abortion legislator who has a consistent anti-life record.

In a well publicized August 24 interview on "Meet the Press" Pelosi, responding to moderator Tom Brokaw, in which he recounted Barack Obama's answer to the question on when life begins, that it is "above my pay grade," said, "I don't think anybody can tell you when life begins." She said, "As an ardent and practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition . . . St. Augustine said at three months. We don't know. The point is, it shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to choose."

This is a woman who has served in the United States Congress for 11 terms. She was smart enough to get elected as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. We can only conclude that her apparent ignorance, both of the Catholic faith she professes and of science and medicine, is willful. Quoting St. Augustine, who lived from 354 to 430 A.D. and had no technological means to make a determination on when life begins, denies 1600 years of advancements in human knowledge and history.

The fact that human life begins when sperm unites with ovum at the moment of conception/fertilization is a long-held scientific fact. Nancy Pelosi should have learned that at least in sophomore-year high school biology class.

The fact that the Catholic Church has, throughout history, condemned deliberate procured abortion as a great moral evil and is an unchangeable teaching should escape no one who claims to be an "ardent and practicing" Catholic.

Since the interview, the Bishops of the United States individually and collectively through the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (UCCB) have issued numerous statements pointing out that, "Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law." "Given the scientific fact that a human life begins at conception, the only moral norm needed to understand the Church's opposition to abortion is the principle that each and every human life has inherent dignity, and thus must be treated with the respect due to a human person. This is the foundation of the Church's social doctrine. . . ." "Conversely, to claim that some live human beings do not deserve respect or should not be treated as 'persons' is to deny the very idea of inherent human rights."

Dozens of American Catholic Bishops have chastised Pelosi for her misrepresentation of Catholic teaching, but we think the statement that best hits the mark came from His Eminence, Edward Cardinal Egan of New York, issued on August 26, 2008:


Like many other citizens of this nation, I was shocked to learn that the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States of America would make the kind of statements that were made to Mr. Tom Brokaw of NBC-TV on Sunday, August 24, 2008. What the Speaker had to say about theologians and their positions regarding abortion was not only misinformed; it was also, and especially, utterly incredible in this day and age.

We are blessed in the 21st century with crystal-clear photographs and action films of the living realities within their pregnant mothers. No one with the slightest measure of integrity or honor could fail to know what these marvelous beings manifestly, clearly, and obviously are, as they smile and wave into the world outside the womb. In simplest terms, they are human beings with an inalienable right to live, a right that the Speaker of the House of Representatives is bound to defend at all costs for the most basic of ethical reasons. They are not parts of their mother, and what they are depends not at all upon the opinions of theologians of any faith. Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being "chooses" to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worth of the name.

Edward Cardinal Egan
Archbishop of New York

Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi is not alone among lawmakers who claim to be faithful Catholics. With some notable exceptions, many of the 155 Members of the House and Senate who list themselves as "Catholic," Senator Joe Biden included, hold the same positions on life issues as Nancy Pelosi. It is way past time that they be called to account by the Church hierarchy.

In the case of Nancy Pelosi, World Net Daily (9/8/08) reports that the "Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco is scheduling a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who represents the city in Congress, to talk about statements she's made about abortion, statements that he already has described as in 'serious conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church'."

According to a report in The Hill (9/8/08), Archbishop Niederauer concluded that, based on Catholic Church statements, it is up to him as Pelosi's pastor to address whether she may continue to receive communion. "Accordingly, as her pastor, I am writing to invite her into a conversation with me about these matters. It is my obligation to teach forthrightly and to shepherd caringly, and that is my intent," he said.

Pelosi has accepted the invitation.

On The Matter of Abstinence-Until-Marriage

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." The old adage comes to mind whenever we hear people complain that abstinence education "doesn't work." Well, it won't work if it isn't practiced.

There is no countering the fact that abstinence from sexual activity prior to marriage to another who has also abstained, absolutely prevents unintended pregnancy and development of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS. Simply because some people choose to ignore the message does not mean the message is wrong or should be changed. Our job as parents, educators, counselors and the like is to tell our young people the truth and issue appropriate warnings for their protection. Abstinence until marriage works.

Never forget that YOU were once an embryo.

Republican National
Coalition for Life

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