by Steven Ertelt
May 18, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Two leading pro-life groups are calling on a group of 18 pro-abortion Catholic politicians to resign after they released a statement blasting Pope Benedict XVI. They took issue with his comments that pro-abortion elected officials have automatically excommunicated themselves and shouldn’t receive communion.
The Pope made the comments during an in-flight meeting with news reports on his way to Brazil last week.
Led by pro-abortion Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat, the eighteen members of the House said the penalty of excommunication "offend(s) the very nature of the American experiment and do(es) a great disservice to the centuries of good work the church has done."
DeLauro and the pro-abortion lawmakers suggested that even though the Catholic church is pro-life that it’s a personal mission rather than a mission accomplished through public policy.
But Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life told LifeNews.com that "Faithful Catholics, as well as those in the pro-life movement from every denomination, have had enough of this double-talk."
"It is not possible to advance ‘respect for life and for the dignity of every human being’ while tolerating the dismemberment and decapitation of the human beings still in their mothers’ wombs," he said.
"If they cannot muster the will to protect defenseless children, they should resign," he said. "We don’t need public servants who can’t tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public."
Meanwhile, Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, the president of Human Life International, said that the members proved they are "ignorant" of the details of their own Catholic faith by making the comments they did.
He said the Pope answers to a higher power than Representative DeLauro and her supporters.
"The truth is nothing threatens the American experiment more than the legal but unjust killing of human beings by abortion," he said.
"Excommunication is a pastoral and medicinal penalty, not a political one," he explained.
"This is what the Catholic Church teaches and what Catholics believe," he told LifeNews.com in a statement. "If [they] believe otherwise, honesty and integrity requires they find another church that tells them what they want to hear."
Pavone added that Priests for Life will deliver to the offices of these legislators detailed medical descriptions of the abortion procedures and will challenge them to publicly acknowledge that when they say "abortion," they are talking about the same thing described in those medical texts.
The group also plans to send this information to every pro-life state legislator in the country.