Arizona Catholic Diocese Bans Politicians Who Support Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 4, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Arizona Catholic Diocese Bans Politicians Who Support Abortion

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 4, 2005

Phoenix, AZ ( — If you’re an elected official or political candidate in Arizona who backs abortion, don’t look for a speaking engagement at a Catholic church in Phoenix. The diocese there has decided to disallow giving a platform to any political figure who supports abortion, which is contrary to church teachings.

Thus far, Gov. Janet Napolitano is the only one who has been affected by Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted’s decision.

Last year, Napolitano was forbidden from speaking at a Catholic church in Scottsdale about a state ballot measure unrelated to abortion. Church officials moved the event elsewhere.

Olmsted, in a letter to parish priests in December, said churches may not invite any pro-abortion politicians to speak at churches within the diocese.

An invitation "would provide them with a platform which would suggest support for their actions," Olmsted wrote.

Napolitano, a Methodist, told the Associated Press she was not aware of the ban but had heard about the letter.

Omsted’s decision is in line with a document approved by the U.S. Catholic bishops last summer that also calls on Catholic colleges and universities not to give a platform to elected officials who back abortion.

"Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles," the bishops said. "They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

The statement, which also calls on pro-abortion Catholics to refrain on their own from taking communion, was adopted by a vote of 183-6 last summer.

In July, the Vatican produced a new document for bishops across the world to examine that says Catholics who support legalized abortion should refrain from taking communion because they are out of step with church teachings.

Related web sites:
Catholic Bishop’s statement on withholding communion and pro-abortion speakers –