Cardinal Says Catholic Support for Pro-Abortion Democrats "Scandalous"

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 15, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Cardinal Says Catholic Support for Pro-Abortion Democrats "Scandalous" Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 15,

Washington, DC ( — A leading Catholic cardinal says Catholic voters who continue to support the Democratic Party despite its pro-abortion stance are doing the Church a disservice. He says the party has been openly hostile to pro-life advocates and Catholic support for pro-abortion Democratic candidates "borders on scandal."

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston says he has policy differences with the Republican party but he is more concerned about the Democratic Party because abortion is an overriding issue more important than others.

O’Malley, the head of the Boston archdiocese, made the statements to the Boston Globe in an interview published Thursday.

"I think the Democratic Party, which has been in many parts of the country traditionally the party which Catholics have supported, has been extremely insensitive to the church’s position, on the gospel of life in particular, and on other moral issues," O’Malley said.

Regarding the fact that Catholic voters in his home state of Massachusetts frequently support pro-abortion Democrats for elected office, he told the newspaper, "I think that, at times, it borders on scandal as far as I’m concerned."

"However, when I challenge people about this, they say, ‘Well, bishop, we’re not supporting [abortion rights],’ " he told the Globe. "I think there’s a need for people to very actively dissociate themselves from those unacceptable positions, and I think if they did that, then the party would have to change."

O’Malley said he wants the Democratic Party to be more open to pro-life lawmakers.

"My plea with Democratic leaders is always that they make space for pro-life politicians, and I have many pro-life Democrats come to me and say that they’re not making space for them," he said. "I think that that is a very serious problem, particularly in a state like Massachusetts, where it is so heavily Democrat."

The Globe contacted Democratic National Committee spokesman Damien LaVera for comment and he defended the party saying that there are 104 Catholic Democrats in Congress. However, most of them strongly support abortion.

LaVera cited Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey Jr. and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan as examples of two pro-life Democrats, but both have come under fire from pro-life groups for supporting abortion.

In September, Casey was criticized for voting to overturn a pro-life policy that prevents sending taxpayer funds to groups that perform or promote abortions overseas.

Ryan was castigated by Democrats for Life when he modified a bill he had been working with the group on to send federal funds to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business.