Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Pro Choice" Pols (Our Sunday Visitor, 1/3/10)

In "Bishop Revives Debate Over pro-Choice Politicians" (Our Sunday Visitor, 12/20/09), Russell Shaw opens by recalling how John F. Kennedy assured Protestant clergy in 1960, that he would be immune from the influence of the Catholic Church were he elected. Mr. Shaw briefly touches upon Mario Cuomo's 1984 speech at Notre Dame, while fast forwarding to our current day and JFK nephew Patrick Kennedy's defiance of Church teaching on the sanctity of human life.

As it's often cited as the intellectual linchpin of the "Catholic" politician's "I'm Personally Opposed, But" approach, it's unfortunate that more attention is not given to Cuomo's speech. Throughout, Cuomo ignored the Natural Law and intimated that issues of human life and marriage/family were mere Catholic peccadillos. He also showed utter ignorance of fetology by referring to preborn children as "potentially human." He mixes concern for the absolute sanctity of human life with strategies for promoting the common good on which Catholics may rightfully differ.

Kudos to Mr. Shaw for hitting the nail squarely on the head in his final two sentences, regarding the reception of Holy Communion by so-called pro-choice Catholic politicians: "what's at stake is preserving the integrity of the Church by making clear who is and who isn't within its fold. Bishops who say - as some do - that it's wrong to embroil the Eucharist in a political dispute about abortion are confusing the issue, not shedding light on it."

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