Over the past week, there has been a lot of media hub-bub regarding politics, the sanctity of human life, and the Catholic Church. On Sunday, Representative Nancy Pelosi erroneously represented the Catholic Church and its position on abortion. An excerpt of her statement reads:
“as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition . . . St. Augustine said at three months. We don't know. The point is, is that it shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to choose.”
In the past 48 hours, the archbishops of Denver, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. and other bishops have made formal statements regarding those of Nancy Pelosi. One of the most ardent was that of Edward Cardinal Egan. Directly from the Archdiocese of New York website:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 26, 2008
STATEMENT OF EDWARD CARDINAL EGAN CONCERNING REMARKS MADE BY THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
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
Cardinal Egan is an outspoken champion for the unborn and the integrity of the Catholic Church's teaching on this abortion. In April, Kevin and I had the opportunity to attend a mass celebrated by Cardinal Egan during Catholic Public Policy Day in Albany. His homily centered on this very issue and was just as strong and poignant as the statement above. In the end, who are Catholics and the American pubblic going to believe? A misinformed politician claiming skills in moral theology, or a faithful, learned man of the church who gives his life for defense of the truth?