Catholic bishops warn Obama they'll fight on abortion
BALTIMORE - The nation's Catholic bishops decided yesterday to fire an opening salvo at the incoming Obama administration, pledging to work with the new president on issues such as immigration and healthcare but also warning that the Catholic Church will do everything it can to oppose his support for abortion rights.
Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Chicago warned that Catholic hospitals might have to close if, as he and other bishops fear based on legislation considered by Congress this year, a Democratic Congress and a sympathetic Obama administration decide to eliminate the right of doctors to refuse to perform abortions.
Paprocki said he sees "increasingly militant and virulent threats to preborn life." Another bishop, Jaime Soto of Sacramento, said, "There really is plenty of choice for women in this culture" and warned that legislative changes supported by Obama would create "a culture of coercion for women."
"We have lost perhaps 50 times as many children in the last 35 years as we have lost soldiers in all the wars since the Revolution, and that is a horrible, horrible thing to answer to," said Bishop Robert J. Hermann, administrator of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
"I think any bishop here would consider it a privilege to die tomorrow to bring about the end of abortion," he said. "If we're willing to die tomorrow to bring about the end of abortion, then we should be willing to spend the end of our lives dedicated, to take whatever criticism, to bring about the end to this genocide."
Also yesterday, the bishops for the first time approved a new "blessing of a child in the womb," which could be said by priests for pregnant women. The blessing was in the works for several years, but took on new significance in light of the bishops' heightened concern about abortion, given the election results.
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville called the blessing "a very tangible way of us to witness, pastorally and sacramentally, the life of the unborn child," and Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli, of Paterson, N.J., said, "It is important to reaffirm and focus our attention on the life of the unborn."
George said the statement would offer cooperation with the new administration in areas of agreement but strongly spell out the church's commitment to "opposing evil," meaning abortion.
Finally, the statement would address Catholics in political life, many of whom support abortion rights. George said the statement would say something like, "We again express our desire that all Catholics in public life be fully committed to public good."
Catholic hospitals closing? Blessing unborn foetuses? What does this do for the public good?
Wouldn't it be better for these eminently "good" men, who wish to work for the public good to cocentrate their efforts on the real evils of the world? Like poverty, hunger, malnutrtion, war, child labour, sexual slavery, bigotry, racism, sexism ... the list goes on. Would any of them be prepared to die to bring about the end of these ills?
Children die every day of preventable diseases which would cost a dollar or less to cure, while they live like princes in comparison. It's pathetic that they are more worried about what is insubstantial, unknown and unverifiable (i.e. souls of the unborn, living and dead) than on real tangible problem with known solutions.