Enough is enough. Catholic politicians have used the line for decades that they are “personally opposed to abortion” while voting for abortion on demand. And one Catholic bishop has had it.
Rhode Island Congressman James Langevin used to be a reliable pro-life Democrat. But as the party has become more extremist pro-abortion, he’s moved to the left right along with radicals like Nancy Pelosi and AOC.
“Although I remain personally opposed to abortion, as a matter of public policy, my position has evolved,” he wrote in an opinion piece in The Providence Journal recently.
Then, last month, Langevin and every other Democrat except one voted for the most radical pro-abortion bill ever passed in the House of Representatives. The bill would force states to legalize the killing of unborn babies in abortions without limits up to birth nation-wide.
Pro-life leaders said the Abortion Without Limits Up to Birth Act is a more accurate name for the bill. The legislation would erase basically all restrictions on abortion and prevent states from enacting even modest protections for unborn babies. Limits on late-term abortions and bans on sex-selection abortions would be gone.
And for Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin, it was the last straw.
“We are so tired of hearing Catholic politicians say, as Jim Langevin does, ‘Although I remain personally opposed to abortion…’ and then go on to support abortion,” he said in a statement. “That pathetic excuse doesn’t fly anymore.”
Here is Bishop Tobin’s full statement:
Although Congressman Langevin had previously attempted to nuance his pro-life position, his new statement on behalf of the “Women’s Health Protection Act” removes any doubt about where he stands and is terribly disappointing. “I have reconsidered my position on reproductive rights,” the Congressman writes, and in so doing he joins the partisan pro-abortion bandwagon.
We are so tired of hearing Catholic politicians say, as Jim Langevin does, “Although I remain personally opposed to abortion . . .” and then go on to support abortion. That pathetic excuse doesn’t fly anymore. Jim Langevin claims to be a “practicing Catholic,” but practicing Catholics do not promote the legalization of abortion which the Church clearly teaches is an “abominable crime.”
Setting aside the partisan rhetoric, we are obliged to speak the truth: that every time an abortion takes place, a child dies. Sadly, that reality will now be on the heart and soul and conscience of Jim Langevin.
Langevin dismissed Tobin’s concerns, according to the Boston Globe,by misusing Pope Francis’ recent remarks.
Langevin responded this week, saying he has “deep respect” for the bishop and that church teachings are “important in my personal life.” But, he said, “In my public life, I am guided primarily by the Constitution. I represent people of all different faiths, and those with no faith at all. And for that reason, the Constitution has to be my my guide.”
Langevin said, “The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has said himself that bishops and priests — as I recall, I’m paraphrasing — need to be guides and shepherds and not disciplinarians. And so, I try and look to the wisdom of Pope Francis, and hopefully all of our theologians and priests and bishops throughout the church will hear that message.”
That’s not accurate.
Pope Francis said that Communion is reserved for those who are “in the community” of the Catholic Church and indicated that pro-abortion politicians like Joe Biden are “outside of the community.”
The head of the Catholic Church condemned abortion in no uncertain terms — calling it “murder” and saying that human life begins at conception.
But he also commented extensively on the issue of communion for pro-abortion politicians. He told the story of a time when he inadvertently gave Communion to a Jewish woman at a retirement home who had approached the sacrament in ignorance.
He stressed that Catholic leaders should be pastors trying to get people to get back on a Godly path and focus on condemnation verses excommunication.
“What should the pastor do? Be a shepherd, do not go around condemning … but be a pastor. But is he also a pastor of the excommunicated? Yes, he is the pastor and … he must be a shepherd with God’s style. And God’s style is closeness, compassion, and tenderness,” the pope said.
And how should Catholic Church leaders shepherd? With condemnation he said — exactly what Bishop Tobin has done.
“But always condemnation, condemnation, enough with excommunication. Please let us not place any more excommunications,” the pope said.
If Langevin really wants to reflect the teachings of the Catholic Church he should follow Pope Francis’ lead and regard abortion as murder.