Head of Catholic Bishops Says Opposing Abortion Similar to Opposing Racism

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 10, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Head of Catholic Bishops Says Opposing Abortion Similar to Opposing Racism

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 10
, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The nation’s Catholic bishop are meeting in Baltimore this week and the head of the national bishops’ conference delivered a morning keynote address saying Catholics should oppose abortion in the same way they oppose racism. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago made the impassioned plea, which received a very positive response.

Cardinal George said Americans should "rejoice" that the nation elected its first African-American president, but he immediately issued a challenge to the nation and to incoming leader Barack Obama.

“If the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision, that African Americans were other people’s property and somehow less than persons, were still settled constitutional law, Mr. Obama would not be President of the United States,” George said.

But the Catholic leader said the courts still have a long way to go and suggested that Catholic elected officials also have to come full circle on all Catholic teachings — referring to abortion.

“The common good can never be adequately incarnated in any society when those waiting to be born can be legally killed at choice,” Cardinal George explained.

“We are perhaps at a moment when, with the grace of God, all races are safely within the American consensus,” George said. “We are not at the point, however, when Catholics, especially in public life, can be considered full partners in the American experience unless they are willing to put aside some fundamental Catholic teachings on a just moral and political order.”

He explained that opposition to racism is a "pillar" of Catholic teaching, but so is opposition to abortion — a comment that received a standing ovation from his colleagues.

Regarding Catholic politicians — a topic that may be addressed during Tuesday’s meeting — Cardinal George appeared to refer to some, such as incoming Vice President Joe Biden — who adhere to the Catholic faith but fail to uphold its pro-life teachings.

The bishops’ conference head did not address Obama and Biden directly in the speech to the bishops but he said in a news conference afterwards that they are preparing to lobby the Obama administration not to promote abortion.

George prayed that “the Catholic faith will shape your decisions so that our communion may be full.”

He also appeared to tell his fellow bishops that they should be bold when it comes to matters of the faith, though he didn’t indicate whether they should deny communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

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