Catholic Bishop Says Democrats Becoming "Party of Death" Over Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 29, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Bishop Says Democrats Becoming "Party of Death" Over Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 29
, 2008

The Vatican ( — A leading Catholic bishop at the Vatican says the Democratic Party is coming dangerously close to becoming the "party of death" because of its unlimited support for abortion. The party renewed its pro-abortion views in its platform in August, which calls for making taxpayers fund abortions.

U.S. Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Vatican’s highest court, says the party "risks transforming itself definitively into a ‘party of death.’"

Burke made the comments in an interview with Avvenire, a daily Catholic newspaper the Italy Catholic Conference sponsors.

The former St. Louis archbishop added: "At this point the Democratic Party risks transforming itself definitely into a ‘party of death’ because of its choices on bioethical questions as Ramesh Ponnuru wrote in his book, ‘The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts and the Disregard for Human Life.’"

Burke said the new Democratic Party isn’t the same as the one supported by generations past.

He told the paper it was once "the party that helped our immigrant parents and grandparents better integrate and prosper in American society. But it is not the same anymore.

Burke also lamented that pro-life Democratic leaders are "rare, unfortunately."

The Catholic News Service also indicates Burke talked with the newspaper about the abortion-communion debate within the Catholic Church and said he wasn’t an isolated position.

"It was shared by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver, by Bishop Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte and by others," he said.

"But it is true that the bishops’ conference has not taken this position, leaving each bishop free to act as he believes best. For my part, I always have maintained that there must be a united position in order to demonstrate the unity of the church in facing this serious question," he added.

Burke said other Catholic leaders are coming to the position that pro-abortion Catholic politicians shouldn’t receive communion and noted that the presence of Joe Biden on Barack Obama’s ticket has contributed to that sentiment.

The Democratic platform backs unlimited abortions paid for at taxpayer expense but also tries to moderate the party’s image with support for childbirth and birth control.l

The party platform is supposed to mirror the principles and policies of the nominee, in this case pro-abortion candidate Barack Obama.

The proposed platform does just that, by promoting unqualified support for abortion and the Roe v. Wade case that ushered in 50 million abortions.

It also includes a short phrase about a woman’s ability to pay for an abortion — meant to tout support for making taxpayers fund abortions.

"The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right," the proposal says.

The final aspect of the language hearkens to Obama’s pledge to Planned Parenthood in a July 2007 speech saying his first action as president would be signing the so-called Freedom of Choice Act. That’s a Congressional bill that would overturn every abortion limit nationwide from a ban on partial-birth abortions to parental notification laws.

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