Thursday, October 25, 2012

Abortion and Catholic Politics: Continued Claims, Counter-Claims

A not-to-miss article: Betty Clermont's recent essay at Open Tabernacle noting the U.S. Catholic bishops' "deafening silence" about Mitt Romney's support for abortion and contraception.  (Well, at least the support that one etched sketch of Mr. Romney has recently offered for abortion and contraception . . . . )  Betty frames her essay as follows:

As if anyone needed any further proof that the U.S. Catholic bishops are political hacks for the GOP, their collective silence this past week after a Romney ad stated the candidate thinks “abortion should be an option in cases of rape, incest or to save a mother’s life” and “doesn’t oppose contraception at all” should end the discussion.

And, in light of Mr. Romney's ad, with its claim that "abortion should be an option in cases of rape, incest or to save a mother's life" and its statement that Romney doesn't oppose contraception at all, what is one to make, I wonder, about Archbishop Chaput's latest political salvo, in which he states, 

[Abortion] is a very serious issue that requires absolute adherence on the part of Catholics, and if we don’t stand united on this issue we’re bound to failure—not only in the area of protecting unborn human life but in maintaining our religious freedom.

Is this a pro-Romney or an anti-Romney statement?  

Perhaps Archbishop Chaput is signaling that he agrees with Douglas Kmiec, who served in the Office of Legal Counsel of both Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and who has just told the Los Angeles Times he supports President Obama in this election as he did in 2008 because

[t]here is a tradition we trace back to Joseph Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago, of the seamless garment -- all life issues are interrelated: abortion, capital punishment, war, a family wage, the environment. You can't take these things apart. More and more Catholics understand that, but some very important Catholics are resistant. . . . The president promotes social justice as if he were a Catholic.

But somehow I rather seriously doubt this is the point His Excellency Archbishop Chaput wanted to make--or the political conclusion he wishes us to draw when he says that we must "absolutely" adhere to his understanding of abortion.

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