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 mothers, 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 worthy of the name.
Edward Cardinal Egan
Archbishop of New York
August 26, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
In the course of a “Meet the Press” interview on abortion and other public issues on August 24, 2008, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi misrepresented the history and nature of the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church against abortion.
The Church has always taught that human life deserves respect from its very beginning and that procured abortion is a grave moral evil. In the Middle Ages, uninformed and inadequate theories about embryology led some theologians to speculate that specifically human life capable of receiving an immortal soul may not exist until a few weeks into pregnancy. While in canon law these theories led to a distinction in penalties between very early and later abortions, the Church’s moral teaching never justified or permitted abortion at any stage of development.
These mistaken biological theories became obsolete over 150 years ago when scientists discovered that a new human individual comes into being from the union of sperm and egg at fertilization. In keeping with this modern understanding, the Church has long taught that from the time of conception (fertilization), each member of the human species must be given the full respect due to a human person, beginning with respect for the fundamental right to life.
- Statement on Responsibilities of Catholics in Public Life
- “Happy Are Those Who Are Called to His Supper”: On Preparing to Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist
Monday, August 25, 2008
On Meet the Press this past Sunday, August 23, 2008, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made statements regarding the teaching of the Catholic Church, human life and abortion that were incorrect.
Speaker Pelosi responded to a question on when life begins by mentioning she was Catholic. She went on to say, “And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition...” After Mr. Tom Brokaw, the interviewer, pointed out that the Catholic Church feels strongly that life begins at conception, she replied, “I understand. And this is like maybe 50 years or something like that. So again, over the history of the church, this is an issue of controversy.” We respect the right of elected officials such as Speaker Pelosi to address matters of public policy that are before them, but the interpretation of Catholic faith has rightfully been entrusted to the Catholic bishops. Given this responsibility to teach, it is important to make this correction for the record.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear: the current teaching of the Catholic Church on human life and abortion is the same teaching as it was 2,000 years ago. The Catechism reads:
“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception…Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.” (Catechism, 2270-2271)
The Catechism goes on to quote the Didache, a treatise that dates to the first century: “’You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.’”
From the beginning, the Catholic Church has respected the dignity of all human life from the moment of conception to natural death.
Denver, Aug 25, 2008 / 03:27 pm (CNA).- In a statement eloquently titled “On the Separation of Sense and State,” the Archbishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., and his Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley harshly criticized Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for giving a confusing view of the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion, during a Sunday interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“Catholic public leaders inconvenienced by the abortion debate” –says the statement- “tend to take a hard line in talking about the ‘separation of Church and state.’ But their idea of separation often seems to work one way.”
“In fact, some officials also seem comfortable in the role of theologian. And that warrants some interest, not as a ‘political’ issue, but as a matter of accuracy and justice.”
Archbishop Chaput’s statement recognizes Pelosi as “a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills” but adds that “regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them.”
SOURCE: Denver archbishop slams Pelosi on Church teachings and abortion Catholic News Agency August 25, 2008.
Full statement by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput: “On the Separation of Sense and State: A Clarification for the People of the Church of Northern Colorado" PDF format.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
MINNEAPOLIS - ST. PAUL, Minnesota, June 24, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The new Catholic archbishop for the Twin Cities has told a parish that it can no longer hold prayer services celebrating the homosexual lifestyle and that parishioners ought to pray for peace instead if they want to remain in conformity with Catholic teaching.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, led by its new administrator, Archbishop John Nienstedt, informed parish staff members of St. Joan of Arc church that their annual homosexual pride prayer service planned for Wednesday - an event that has been held for several years in conjunction with the annual Twin Cities Pride Celebration - must come to a permanent end.
Dennis McGrath, a spokesman for the archdiocese, told Pioneer Press that the archdiocese had suggested to the parish that they hold a "peace" service instead. The diocese insisted that the parish cannot advocate special rights to legitimize the "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender" lifestyle because it is a rejection of Catholic moral teaching.
"That descriptor (LGBT) was not possible on church property. We suggested they shift it, change the nature of it a little bit, and they did," said McGrath.
"The reason is quite simply because it was a LGBT pride prayer service, and that is really inimical to the teachings of the Catholic Church."
SOURCE: Twin Cities Catholic Archbishop Nixes Gay Pride Service June 24, 2008.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
TOPEKA, Kansas, May 10, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann has directed Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to refrain from presenting herself for Holy Communion until she takes "the necessary steps for amendment of her life which would include a public repudiation of her previous efforts and actions in support of laws and policies sanctioning abortion."SOURCE: Archbishop Publicly Tells Pro-Abortion Kansas Governor Not to Receive Communion LifeSiteNews.com May 10, 2008.
The Archbishop made the directive public by writing about his actions in his archdiocesan newspaper The Leaven. "Having made every effort to inform and to persuade Governor Sebelius and after consultation with Bishop Ron Gilmore (Dodge City), Bishop Paul Coakley (Salina) and Bishop Michael Jackels (Wichita), I wrote the governor last August requesting that she refrain from presenting herself for reception of the Eucharist until she had acknowledged the error of her past positions, made a worthy sacramental confession and taken the necessary steps for amendment of her life which would include a public repudiation of her previous efforts and actions in support of laws and policies sanctioning abortion," he wrote.
He explains his reason for making the directive public as Sebelius went against his directive not to receive Communion. "Recently, it came to my attention that the governor had received holy Communion at one of our parishes," he wrote. "I have written to her again, asking her to respect my previous request and not require from me any additional pastoral actions."
Sebelius is known as an aggressive supporter of radical abortion rights and has vetoed a number of pieces of common-sense legislation over the years that would have reigned in an out-of-control abortion industry in Kansas.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
As Archbishop of St. Louis, it is my responsibility to safeguard the unity of the Catholic Church and protect the souls of the faithful.
I have communicated with Ms. Fresen, Ms. Hudson, and Ms. McGrath, and informed them that if they participated in an attempted female ordination, they would be excommunicating themselves from the Catholic Church. In the apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, Pope John Paul II reaffirmed that the Catholic Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women. This teaching is to be held definitively by all the faithful as belonging to the deposit of faith. Because they participated in the attempted ordination, Church law requires me to publicly declare the excommunication.
The situation is sad for the whole Church. It is cause of great concern for me as archbishop. Please join me in praying that both will be reconciled with the Church and that the great harm which has been caused to the Church, with the help of God's grace, will be healed.
Monday, February 18, 2008
CNSNews.com) - A statement by the Archbishop of San Antonio, Texas, criticizing Hillary Clinton's speech and rally on a Catholic college campus because of her pro-abortion stance is being cheered by some Catholics and dismissed by others.SOURCE: Catholics Can't Support 'Pro-Choicers,' Church Leaders Say, By Penny Starr. CyberCast News Service. February 18, 2008.
In a Feb. 12 statement about Clinton's campaign stop at St. Mary's University, Archbishop Jose Gomez, said: "The Catholic bishops of the United States, in their 2004 document Catholics in Political Life, affirmed that when dealing with political candidates and public office holders, 'The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.'"
"Our Catholic institutions must promote the clear understanding of our deep moral convictions on an issue like abortion, an act that the church calls 'an unspeakable crime' and a non-negotiable issue," Gomez said.
"I think Archbishop Gomez is a courageous shepherd," the Rev. Terence Henry, president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, told Cybercast News Service.
Henry said Catholics must support politicians based on what the politician believes.
"Clearly, promoting abortion is contrary to Catholic teaching," Henry said. "A Catholic must order their values according to a hierarchy of values and at the top of that hierarchy is the dignity of human life."
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
ST. LOUIS, January 23, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On Tuesday, Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis, Missouri, urged St. Louis University to discipline its basketball coach for public statements in support of abortion and embryonic stem cell research.
"I'm confident (the university) will deal with the question of a public representative making declarations that are inconsistent with the Catholic faith," Burke told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "When you take a position in a Catholic university, you don't have to embrace everything the Catholic Church teaches. But you can't make statements which call into question that identity and mission of the Catholic Church."
Coach Rick Majerus attended Tuesday's St. Louis rally for presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton and told television reporters that he advocates abortion and embryonic stem cell research.
St. Louis University president Rev. Lawrence Biondi, S.J., has shied away from reporters, but a university spokesman has said that Majerus was voicing personal views, and he would not confirm that any disciplinary action will be taken.
"We are grateful to Archbishop Burke for his example and leadership," said Patrick J. Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. "His call for disciplinary action is entirely consistent with Vatican principles for Catholic universities. Sadly, St. Louis University has repeatedly violated those principles."
Source: Archbishop Burke Calls on Catholic University to Discipline Pro-Abortion Coach January 23, 2008.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
PATERSON, New Jersey, June 19, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pro-choice Catholics, not just Catholic politicians, must not receive Communion if they knowingly support legalized abortion says an American Catholic bishop.Source: American Bishop: Pro-Choice Equals No Communion For Catholics June 19, 2007.
"By steadfastly choosing to be pro-choice, a Catholic -- politician or not -- excludes himself or herself from communion," wrote Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli in the June 7 edition of the Beacon, the Paterson diocese newspaper.
In his column Serratelli rebuked "pro-choice" Catholic politicians and those who "arrogantly insist that the Church does not have the right to her own teaching" and who claim a right to Communion at the same time. In particular Serratelli went after the 18 Democratic Congressmen who lashed out at Pope Benedict XVI for stating that supporting abortion is "incompatible with receiving communion"
Saturday, May 05, 2007
ST. LOUIS: Archbishop Raymond Burke approved a letter that criticized a charity for supporting Planned Parenthood and stem cell research just weeks before he resigned from the board of a second charity for similar reasons, the Archdiocese of St. Louis confirmed Friday.
Burke made headlines Wednesday when he announced his resignation as chairman of the board of directors for the Cardinal Glennon Children's Foundation, saying he could not tolerate the foundation's decision to let abortion rights advocate Sheryl Crow headline a benefit concert Saturday night. . . .READ MORE
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
LifeSiteNews.com reported yesterday that on Sunday, March 25th, a Liberal Party meeting to nominate Michael Ignatieff was held at the Christ the Good Shepherd Parish St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Etobicoke. Ignatieff, whose stands in favour of abortion and same-sex 'marriage' are well known had his nomination seconded by the pastor of the church Fr. Terry Lozynsky.
In a press release today, sent to LifeSiteNews.com, Bishop Stephen Chmilar, Ukrainian Bishop of Toronto and Eastern Canada acknowledged the incident and noted that "As a direct result of Fr. Terry's actions, numerous e-mails regarding the propriety of that action came to our office."
The release notes that "Fr. Terry was called into our office to explain his actions and we pointed out to him that based on Canon Law, at no time is any of our clergy to be part of, or deemed to be associated with, any political party except in the judgement of the Eparchial Bishop, if a particular law so states the need to protect the rights of the church or to promote the common good requires it."
Moreover, the Bishop Chmilar writes: "It was also acknowledged that by promoting Mr. Ignatieff, that indirectly he was promoting the political stance on abortion and gay rights legislation that the candidate has."
"As a direct result of this breach," said Bishop Chmilar, "Fr. Terry has been reprimanded and a letter to all clergy informing them of the current statutes and regulations regarding involvement in any political process will be sent and reinforced."
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Citing conflict with Church teaching, the local Catholic Diocese has for the second time in six months rescinded an invitation—made by one of it own Catholic clergy members—to a local interfaith group to meet in one of its churches. Father Patrick Kibby invited a group hosting a four-week discussion about the intersection of religion and politics, jointly sponsored by the Interfaith Alliance of Middle Tennessee and the Tennessee Alliance for Progress, to use facilities at the Cathedral of the Incarnation for this week’s meeting. Instead, the group—whose series is titled “Doing Justly: Integrating Our Deepest Spiritual Beliefs Into Our Professional Lives”—received word late last week that Diocesan Bishop David Choby objected to the positions of the Interfaith Alliance on abortion and same-sex marriage and that, therefore, the group would not be allowed to gather on church grounds. It will meet instead at Belmont United Methodist Church. . . .Source: NashvilleScene.com (Liz Garrigan). October 19, 2006.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
A Hamilton bishop wants Catholics to stay away from a Kitchener fundraiser starring former U.S. president Bill Clinton.Source: Boycott Clinton: bishop The Hamilton Spectator August 24, 2006.
Clinton will speak Nov. 8 at a fundraising luncheon for the Catholic Family Counselling Centre.
The appearance was widely seen as a coup for the agency. But Clinton's support for abortion, his marital infidelity and his promotion of condom use for AIDS prevention in Africa have angered some Catholics.
"We felt it wasn't appropriate to have Mr. Clinton as a speaker, based on the fact that they were a Catholic counselling centre," said Most Rev. Gerard Bergie, the auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Hamilton.
Monday, August 21, 2006
The United States, with its vast abortion industry, will soon rival the Nazis, who were responsible for about 50 million deaths during the Second World War, said Bishop Thomas Doran of Rockford, last week.Source: Americans to ‘outstrip’ Nazis in taking human life, says bishop Catholic News Agency. August 21, 206.
Americans are appalled by the Nazi regime, “and yet in our country we have, for the most part, allowed the party of death and the court system it has produced to eliminate, since 1973, upwards of 40 million of our fellow citizens without allowing them to see the light of day,” the bishop wrote in the diocesan newspaper.
“No doubt, we shall soon outstrip the Nazis in doing human beings to death,” he stated.
In his Aug. 10 column, the bishop said the “seven sacraments” of secular culture—abortion, buggery, contraception, divorce, euthanasia, feminism of the radical type, and genetic experimentation and mutilation—are “a clear and present danger to our survival as a nation.”
Meet Bishop Doran [Diocese Website].
Monday, August 14, 2006
Rev. Rouville Fisher, a priest of the Diocese of St. Augustine, has been formally excommunicated by Bishop Victor Galeone. Father Fisher was excommunicated because he has publicly joined the “Rent a Priest” organization and is offering his priestly services outside of, and apart from the Diocese of St. Augustine, and in violation of the directives of the Bishop. The faithful are advised that any knowing support of or participation in the schismatic ministry of Father Fisher is gravely sinful.Bishop Victor Galeone [memo in the August 6, 2006 bulletin of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, Palm Coast, FL]
See also: Bishop excommunicates defiant priest The Associated Press. August 22, 2006.
Friday, March 17, 2006
An appearance by Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton of Detroit has been moved from an atrium attached to Milwaukee's cathedral to another site, reportedly because Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan did not want it to appear that the archdiocese endorsed the agendas of the Catholic reform group that is holding the event. . . .
Lois Ahlhauser, a past president of Call to Action Wisconsin, and her husband, John, said they had arranged with Father Carl Last, rector of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, for their group to hold its annual meeting from 9 a.m. to noon April 8, with Gumbleton as one of the speakers.
The Ahlhausers said that on March 6, after publicity for the meeting went out, Last told them that Dolan had informed him that the event could not be held in the cathedral, which serves as the archbishop's parish, because Call to Action is a dissident group.
Source: Dolan booted event from cathedral, couple say, by Tom Heinen. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel March 17, 2006.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
We live in an age which places a very strong emphasis on tolerance, mutuality, and acceptance. I have heard repeatedly over the years that “Jesus never judged, condemned or excluded anyone.” I wonder if Peter would agree as the words of Jesus, “Get behind me you Satan,” rang in his ears. I wonder if the Scribes and the Pharisees would agree as they rankled at being called whitened sepulchers or broods of vipers. I wonder if those who heard Jesus say, “Whoever leads one of these little ones astray, it would be better if he had a millstone tied around his neck and be cast into the sea,” nodded approval and said, “He is so tolerant and accepting.” . . .
In our “compromising age” we are loath to name something too strongly. If we do, we are accused of harshness, judgmentalism, perhaps arrogance, certainly intolerance and possibly pharisaism. While it is always necessary to speak the truth with love, the Church also believes and teaches that it is also necessary to speak the truth with strength. It is necessary to defend truth and not be too quick to rationalize, justify or excuse misleading teachings or teachers. There is a point at which passive “tolerance” allows misleading teachings to be spread and propagated, thus confusing or even misleading the faithful about the truths of the Church. There is a very strong word, which still exists in our Church, which most of us are too “gentle” to use. The word is “heresy.” We perhaps think that heresy is a thing of the past. We think perhaps of the Arian heresy or the Pelagian heresy or the Manichaen heresy. We might even maintain that there are no longer any heretics because that conjures up images of inquisitions and burnings at the stake. I do not, in any way, seek to validate or justify any kind of “vigilante” theology, but we do need strong words to combat erroneous and fallacious teaching. . . .
There is some question, for instance, about whether those who openly profess to be “pro-choice” are, in fact, holding to a heretical position. The teaching of the Church in the area of life is clear and unequivocal. Human life must be respected and protected from conception to natural death. Those who maintain that any and all decisions about the disposition of pre-born human beings are exclusively the right of the mother or the parents, at least implicitly, reject the clear and consistent teaching of the Church.
Friday, February 03, 2006
The Rev. Thomas J. Quinlan Jr. famously loves to jar congregations with bluntly worded homilies, but he went too far when he mentioned the Virgin Mary's birth canal during a Christmas Eve service – a Catholic bishop has banned him from performing any priestly function in public.
"Your shock content was crude, offensive and disturbing," particularly to families, youth and visitors, Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of the Richmond Diocese told Quinlan in a Jan. 17 letter. The bishop cited a sermon that Quinlan, known as "TQ," gave at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Virginia Beach.
DiLorenzo said Quinlan's record of similar behavior "engenders such anxiety and emotional upset that it interferes with the pursuit of the individual's religious experience." . . . READ MORE
Source: Retired priest reprimanded after ''offensive'' sermon, by Steven G. Vegh. The Virginian-Pilot Feb. 3, 2006.
Catholic blogger Bill Cork has more on Thomas J. Quinlan.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
What first began as a parish property dispute in northwest St. Louis has led to excommunication for the six members of the board of directors of the civil corporation of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish and the diocesan priest whom they hired. In a column written in the December 16 issue of the archdiocesan newspaper, St. Louis Review, Archbishop Raymond Burke declared that the board and the suspended priest were in schism and therefore incurred the penalty of excommunication.
The battle began long before Archbishop Burke was appointed. Archbishop Burke inherited the crisis after his installation in January, 2004. The conflict arises from an 1891 agreement that deeded the church property to the parish board. Prior to Archbishop Burke’s appointment, then-Archbishop Justin Rigali made attempts to have St. Stanislaus conform with universal Church law by bringing the parish under the archdiocese’s auspices. In response, the St. Stanislaus board of directors altered their by-laws, eliminating any recognition of the authority of the archbishop and pastor. . . . READ MORE
Source: Excommunication in St. Louis, by Tim Drake. CatholicExchange.com. January 28, 2006.