Archbishop Chaput: Catholic Bishops Must Address Abortion, Election Issues

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 3, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Archbishop Chaput: Catholic Bishops Must Address Abortion, Election Issues

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 3
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — The nation’s Catholic bishops need to take a clearer and stronger stance when it comes to abortion and instructions for Catholic voters on how to handle pro-abortion candidates. That’s the view of Archbishop Charles Chaput, who talks about several controversial topics in a new interview.

Some pro-life Catholics have criticized the nation’s bishops for not taking a stronger line on urging Catholics to not vote for pro-abortion candidates like Barack Obama.

Others are upset how supposedly pro-life Catholics like Douglas Kmiec have been able to twist the words of the "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" document to make it appear voting for someone like Obama is justified.

In the interview with the blog American Papist, a conservative Catholic web site, Chaput says the "bishops are aware" of the problem and that "a quieter approach to these things has not been effective."

Chaput, who has already taken Kmiec to task, may be one of the top bishops seeking a stronger stance when the nation’s bishops meet in Baltimore next week, saying "we have to be stronger in what we say. We’ve just had it."

On the Faithful Citizenship document, Chaput says he believes it is "not very clear" when it comes to how Catholics shouldn’t support pro-abortion candidates — adding, "We either ought to get rid of it, or say things much clearer."

Chaput also told the blog that it is upsetting to see people like Kmiec and others describe Obama as pro-life even though his position can’t be further from it.

"It would be foolish to say that someone who … runs on a party platform that has no regret at all about abortion … to call that position pro-life is really strange," he says in the interview.

"Senator Obama is the most active pro-abortion politician to run for the Presidency since Roe v. Wade. He has committed himself to do things the Church would resist," Chaput told American Papist.

The Catholic leader also talked about the recent intimidation tactics of Catholics United — which feuded with Priests for Life and said it would dispatch pro-Obama supporters to make sure pro-life advocates didn’t distribute pro-life voting materials outside Catholic churches last weekend.

"It’s simply bullying. It shouldn’t stop us from talking about the important issues of our time," Chaput said of the dustup.

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