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.