Monday, September 08, 2008

Archbishop Chaput Corrects Senator Biden on Abortion

From the Archdiocese of Denver (via CatholicOnline):
DENVER (Catholic Online) - On September 7, 2008, the nominee of the Democratic party for the Vice Presidency of the United States, Senator Joseph Biden, was interviewed on "Meet the Press by Tom Brokaw. Biden is a professed, practicing Catholic. He, like Speaker Nancy Pelosi before him,responded to the questions concerning his position on the Right to Life by making inaccurate and confusing comments concerning Catholic teaching on the Right to Life life.

He also demonstrated his lack of understanding of biology, the Natural Law, the separation of Church and State, authentic pluralism and the proper role of Catholic elected officials.Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. and Bishop James D. Conley of Denver issued a response to the Catholics of their Diocese. Catholic Online presents it below in its entirety:


Public Servants and Moral Reasoning: A notice to the Catholic community in northern Colorado

To Catholics of the Archdiocese of Denver:

When Catholics serve on the national stage, their actions and words impact the faith of Catholics around the country. As a result, they open themselves to legitimate scrutiny by local Catholics and local bishops on matters of Catholic belief.

In 2008, although NBC probably didn't intend it, Meet the Press has become a national window on the flawed moral reasoning of some Catholic public servants.On August 24, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, describing herself as an ardent, practicing Catholic, misrepresented the overwhelming body of Catholic teaching against abortion to the show's nationwide audience, while defending her "pro-choice" abortion views. On September 7, Sen. Joseph Biden compounded the problem to the same Meet the Press audience.

Sen. Biden is a man of distinguished public service. That doesn't excuse poor logic or bad facts.Asked when life begins, Sen. Biden said that, "it's a personal and private issue." But in reality, modern biology knows exactly when human life begins: at the moment of conception. Religion has nothing to do with it. People might argue when human "personhood" begins - though that leads public policy in very dangerous directions - but no one can any longer claim that the beginning of life is a matter of religious opinion.

***
Abortion is a foundational issue; it is not an issue like housing policy or the price of foreign oil. It always involves the intentional killing of an innocent life, and it is always, grievously wrong. If, as Sen. Biden said, "I'm prepared as a matter of faith [emphasis added] to accept that life begins at the moment of conception," then he is not merely wrong about the science of new life; he also fails to defend the innocent life he already knows is there.

***
... his strong support for the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade and the false "right" to abortion it enshrines, can't be excused by any serious Catholic. Support for Roe and the "right to choose" an abortion simply masks what abortion is, and what abortion does.

***
American Catholics have allowed themselves to be bullied into accepting the destruction of more than a million developing unborn children a year. Other people have imposed their "pro-choice" beliefs on American society without any remorse for decades.If we claim to be Catholic, then American Catholics, including public officials who describe themselves as Catholic, need to act accordingly. We need to put an end to Roe and the industry of permissive abortion it enables. Otherwise all of us - from senators and members of Congress, to Catholic laypeople in the pews - fail not only as believers and disciples, but also as citizens.


[Read the whole thing]

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