Catholic Bishop: American Politicians Confused on Abortion, Faith

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 22, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Bishop: American Politicians Confused on Abortion, Faith Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 22, 2005

Washington, DC ( — An American bishop speaking at an international event for Catholic leaders says most politicians in the United States who claim to be Catholic support abortion and misunderstand the role of their faith in public policy.

Speaking at the International Congress on Churches, Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio said most Catholic politicians have developed "a distorted understanding of what their faith is."

According to a Catholic World News report, Archbishop Gomez noted that "today 70% of politicians who claim to be Catholic in Congress and the Senate support abortion, and that figure reaches almost 90 percent in traditional Catholic states such as Massachusetts or New York."

The problem, Archbishop Gomez explained, is that Catholic politicians believe some liberal Catholic teachers who say all teachings of the Catholic Church are equally important.

"They respect ‘a large part’ of that doctrine, especially in social matters, but they disagree on issues such as abortion [and] euthanasia," he said, according to the CWR news story. "According to them, they adhere to a ‘large part’ and say they are adhering to it all."

That understanding, Archbishop Gomez explained, led one pro-abortion Catholic member of the Senate to issue the results of an in-house "survey" showing abortion advocates more closely in line with Church teaching on their votes than pro-life lawmakers.

Because of what’s been happening, Gomez says bishops and priests need to be more vocal about what teachings are most important and to urge Catholics to voice their opinions to their elected officials.

"The Church teaches that abortion is a grave sin and that not all moral issues have the same weight as the interruption of the life of the unborn or euthanasia," the archbishop continued.

"If some candidate campaigns for and supports laws that allow abortion and euthanasia, his pastor should meet with him, instruct him in the teachings of the Church and inform him that he should not present himself for Communion until he puts an end to the state of sin in which he finds himself," he explained.