John McCain Meets Pro-Life Catholic Leaders, Pledges to Oppose Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
June 13, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Presidential candidate John McCain met with pro-life Catholic leaders in Philadelphia Wednesday, according to Catholic columnist Deal Hudson. The meeting also included a private time McCain had with Priests for Life director, Father Frank Pavone, who said McCain pledge to carry the pro-life mantle.
The meeting with Catholic leaders and lay members was held at the venerable Union League.
Hudson explains in a new column that the meeting is one McCain will hold with Catholic and pro-life leaders in other parts of the nation as he seeks to build support for his candidacy within the pro-life community.
Sen. Sam Brownback, Gov. Frank Keating, and former Vatican ambassador Jim Nicholson also appeared at the meeting, with Nicholson introducing the candidate to the Catholic leaders.
"Before his remarks, McCain met privately with Rev. Frank Pavone," Hudson said.
In his prayer before McCain spoke, Father Pavone prayed that the "Lord would let all Christians know they are still His sons and daughters when they are in the voting booth," Hudson explained.
"The first issue addressed by McCain was abortion," Hudson wrote.
McCain said the "noblest words ever written" were "the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." He said he believes those words "apply to the unborn."
McCain "reminded the Philadelphia Catholics of his pro-life voting record, adding that he would ‘maintain that commitment’ if elected president," Hudson wrote.
Hudson said McCain discussed the "stark contrast" between himself and pro-abortion Sen. Barack Obama on pro-life issues.
As evidence, McCain cited Obama’s opposition to the ban on partial-birth abortion and his opposition, as a state senator, to legal protection for babies born during an abortion procedure.
Obama has also supported taxpayer funding of abortions, pledged to only appoint judges who will keep abortion legal another 35 years, and says his first action as president will be signing a comprehensive pro-abortion bill overturning pro-life laws in all 50 states.
Nicholson introduced McCain and said that the need for outreach to Catholic voters was apparent.
In Pennsylvania, 30 percent of the voters are Catholic, he said, and argued that "McCain would attract Catholic voters because his beliefs line up squarely with them on issue like protecting unborn life, defending marriage between a man and a woman, and the all-important appointment of judges."
According to Hudson, Nicholson, the former Vatican ambassador, "told the group that McCain was qualified for the presidency based upon his years of experience and his judgment in times of challenge and adversity."
"His opponent is young, untested, inexperienced, green, and liberal — not a bad man, but unqualified," Nicholson.
The difference between McCain and Obama on abortion is evidenced in the nature of the endorsements the two have received.
McCain has the backing of National Right to Life and numerous pro-life leaders across the nation. On the other side, Obama has the support of top pro-abortion groups Emily’s List and NARAL and Planned Parenthood is soon prepared to issue its endorsement and has already attacked McCain and started organizing for Obama.