Bishop Calls on Catholic Obama Supporters to Ask Him to Oppose Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 20, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Bishop Calls on Catholic Obama Supporters to Ask Him to Oppose Abortion

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 20
, 2008

Denver, CO ( — In the latest development of the saga over a group of Catholics who are supporting Barack Obama for president despite his pro-abortion position, Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput is weighing in. Chaput says the Catholics should following the church’s pro-life teaching and get Obama to do so as well.

As reported previously, leading Catholic pro-life advocates have dueled with the members of a group Obama’s campaign put together for Catholics who back him.

Now, Chaput says the pro-Obama Catholics should work on convincing the pro-abortion Illinois senator to support the pro-life position instead of overlooking it to support him based on less important issues.

Chaput made the comments in a column titled, “Thoughts on ‘Roman Catholics for Obama’,” written in the archdiocesan newspaper.

“In the United States in 2008, abortion is an acceptable form of homicide," he wrote. That will only change when “Catholics force their political parties and elected officials to act differently.”

He urged Catholics who support candidates like Obama to "keep lobbying their party and their representatives to change their pro-abortion views and protect the unborn."

While Obama claims to personally oppose abortion, Chaput says he doesn’t see him or other pro-abortion politicians doing much to reduce the 1.3 million abortions that occur annually in the United States.

“In fact, I can’t name any ‘pro-choice’ Catholic politician who has been active, in a sustained public way, in trying to discourage abortion and to protect unborn human life — not one," he said.

Ultimately, Chaput said he can’t support candidates who are pro-abortion and he urged Catholics not to do so either.

"So can a Catholic in good conscience vote for a pro-choice candidate? The answer is: I can’t, and I won’t," he wrote. "But I do know some serious Catholics — people whom I admire — who may. I think their reasoning is mistaken."

Some Catholics who back Obama say they do so because he takes stands on other issues such as war, poverty or the death penalty that impact people’s lives. But Chaput doesn’t buy it, especially given the enormous loss of life and injuries to people like women and unborn children victimized by abortion.

Catholics who back pro-abortion candidates "also need a compelling proportionate reason to justify it," he wrote.

"What is a ‘proportionate’ reason when it comes to the abortion issue? It’s the kind of reason we will be able to explain, with a clean heart, to the victims of abortion when we meet them face to face in the next life — which we most certainly will. If we’re confident that these victims will accept our motives as something more than an alibi, then we can proceed," he wrote.

Chaput concludes that pro-Obama Catholics wrongly "have arrived at the conclusion that Senator Obama is the candidate whose views are most compatible with the Catholic outlook."

“Changing the views of ‘pro-choice’ candidates takes a lot more than verbal gymnastics, good alibis and pious talk about ‘personal opposition’ to killing unborn children," he wrote.