Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Cardinal Speaks Pro-life, Catholic Scholars Support Obama

Two prominent Catholic legal scholars, both of them antiabortion and both former law school deans, have endorsed Senator Barack Obama and are publicly making the case for opponents of abortion to vote for the abortion-rights-supporting Democrat.

-- From "Church pressing abortion fight" by Michael Paulson, Boston Globe Staff 10/6/08

As Catholic bishops ratchet up their antiabortion arguments on the eve of the presidential election, Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley told hundreds of people gathered on Boston Common yesterday that Trig Palin, the child with Down syndrome whom Governor Sarah Palin chose not to abort, was the "star" of the political conventions this year.

O'Malley's reference to the 5-month-old child comes in a political season in which the role of the abortion issue for Catholic voters has become more contested than ever.

The Catholic bishops, meanwhile, have been quick to denounce two prominent abortion- rights-supporting Catholics, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Senator Joseph Biden, for their comments about the abortion issue.

One of the highest-ranking American bishops at the Vatican, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, last week warned that the Democratic Party risks becoming the "party of death," and the bishops have added "the practical and pastoral implications of political support for abortion" issue to the agenda for their fall meeting. It is set to take place a week after the election.

Fall River Bishop George W. Coleman said in an interview at the rally that he does not believe the bishops have intensified their comments about abortion, but that "a rapid response was very appropriate and very necessary" and that "it is necessary to make statements and to bring the evil of abortion to the people of our country, not only at election time, but as long as the law exists."

"One of the challenges facing us as Catholics is how we communicate to our own people and to the larger community that the question of abortion and the immorality of abortion is not simply a matter of the Church trying to impose Church doctrine on other people in a pluralistic society," O'Malley wrote. "Rather, it is our firm conviction that abortion, like murder or racism, is a crime against humanity and a violation of the Natural Law."

This year, two anti-abortion Catholic legal scholars, Nicholas P. Cafardi of Duquesne University School of Law and Douglas W. Kmiec of Pepperdine University, have endorsed Obama. Kmiec was the dean of the law school at Catholic University of America, and Cafardi was not only the dean of the Duquesne law school, but was previously the general counsel for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

. . . the emcee, former Boston Herald columnist Don Feder, told the crowd that his son had proposed a bumper sticker reading, "Palin: Raising babies, killing taxes. Obama: Killing babies, raising taxes."

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