Oregon Bishop Vlanzy Criticizes Kulongoski for Hosting Pro-Abortion Dinner
by Steven Ertelt
September 30, 2008
Portland, OR (LifeNews.com) — Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, a Catholic, is coming under fire from the leading Catholic official in the state for hosting a dinner for a prominent pro-abortion group. Archbishop John Vlazny says the governor is wrong to support the group and is violating the pro-life teachings of the church in doing so.
The archbishop also says Kulongoski’s participation is a slap in the face as the NARAL dinner comes just two days before a pro-life Catholic event.
Kulongoski will be hosting a NARAL political gala two days before the Respect Life mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland.
"This is a source of embarrassment for our church and a scandal for the Catholic community," the Catholic leader said in a statement LifeNews.com received. "For a Catholic governor to host an event of this sort seems a deliberate dissent from the teachings of the Church."
Archbishop Vlazny explained: "As I wrote in the Catholic Sentinel in August, ‘the very core of all Catholic moral and social teaching is respect for the dignity of everyone. Ours is a rich heritage of social teaching which forms the basis of what it means to be a faithful citizen as a Catholic.’"
Vlanzy is giving the community an alternative to the NARAL dinner by inviting Catholics to mass at another local church this Friday evening.
"While the grave evil of abortion continues to be promoted as a legitimate moral choice by Governor Kulongoski and NARAL, I invite Catholics to attend holy Mass at St. Marys Cathedral," he said.
Vlanzy is also asking for pro-life Catholics to contact the governor and express their dissent.
"I call upon our Catholic people to express their displeasure to the governor and to remind him of the demands of personal integrity as a member of our faith community in the exercise of his office and public activities, 503-378-4582," he said.
Kulongoski spokeswoman Anna Richter Taylor responded to the criticism in comments to the Associated Press.
Taylor says the governor has "respect and admiration" for the Catholic leader, but the two "obviously disagree" on abortion.
This isn’t the first time Kulongoski has clashed with the Catholic Church.
In July 2003, the Baker Diocese in Bend, Oregon refused to allow him to use a church for a private political speech because of his position on abortion.
Kulongoski was scheduled to speak before a fundraising dinner of the Truman Club at the Holy Trinity church in Sunriver. The event was rescheduled at a private home.
"His beliefs don’t square with Catholic teaching and certainly made an appearance at a Catholic church very problematic," Father James Logan, chancellor of the Diocese of Baker, told the Bend Bulletin.
ACTION: You can contact the governor at https://governor.oregon.gov/Gov/contact_us.shtml.
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