Skip to comments.Editorial: Daschle and the Catholic Church
Posted on 04/18/2003 1:26:29 PM PDT by Polycarp
HAUGEN INTERNET SPECIAL: Daschle and the Catholic Church
By: Mark Haugen April 17, 2003
Wow. Talk about having a bad six months. First he was kicked out of his majority leader's seat by the American electorate. Now, Tom Daschle's all but been kicked out of the Catholic Church.
According to the Weekly Standard Web site, Daschle was sent a letter by Sioux Falls Bishop Robert Carlson, directing him to remove from his congressional biography and campaign documents all references to his standing as a member of the Catholic Church.
Getting semantically booted from an entire religion is kind of a big deal. I was kicked out of a bar in Sioux Falls once when I was 20, but other than that I don't think I've ever been banned from anything, much less a world-wide religion, which whole-heartedly accepts sinners of most any stripe.
Bishop Carlson and Daschle have had an adversarial relationship for a long time, probably highlighted by their spat in 1997 when Daschle resorted to his usual name-calling and even took to the Senate floor and denounced his own bishop for being "more identified with the radical right than with thoughtful religious leadership."
I guess I kind of expect Daschle to spit his partisan venom at people like John Ashcroft, Dick Cheney or President Bush, but gosh, attacking a person of Bishop Carlson's stature is pretty low, even in my book.
It sounds like the final straw that broke the Catholic's back was not just Daschle's support for abortion, but for taking an active role in raising funds for NARAL, the National Abortion Rights Action League. That's really flaunting your animous to the Church's belief.
Especially considering that during his 1978 House campaign, Daschle claimed to be pro-life. In a letter to constituents, he wrote: "I am opposed to abortion. I do not support it. I have never supported it. It is an abhorrent practice. As a citizen and as a lifelong member of the Catholic faith, I will do everything in my power to persuade others that abortion is wrong because I am firmly convinced that persuasion, not legal action, is the only proper, and the only truly effective way to limit abortion."
He continued: "I know there are some who disagree with my feelings against abortion and I respect their views. But I feel everyone, whether for or against my opinion, has the right to know how I stand."
Evidently, Daschle didn't hold that stand for long, as he's now raising blood-money for NARAL.
But at that time he even managed to persuade eight Presentation College Sisters to come to his defense, as some people thought Daschle's temporary pro-life stance was just a political ploy to get elected (which, as it turns out, they were correct).
The Sisters' letter to him, on his behalf, said: "Dear Tom: We have followed your career since you left us with growing admiration. Personal character and honesty matter. Humility before our Lord matters. We saw and continue seeing these things in you.
"Those who would tear you down, those who spread untruths about you, surely cannot know you. Their actions speak sadly about themselves, but not at all about you.
"We have heard your convictions against abortion, and seen them in the press. We know and we tell those with whom we speak of your abhorrence for abortion - and of your commitment to life. We see in your forthright campaign, and in your own life, a testament to fairness and honesty that speaks so much more loudly of a respect for human beings than the charges of your opponents.
"We hope you can forgive those whose words are spoken in ignorance against you and send our prayers for them, and a special prayer for you in the days ahead."
Well, you can fool some of the Catholics some of the time, but not all of the Catholics all of the time.
And Bishop Carlson is not the first Bishop in America to finally tell allegedly Catholic politicians to stop their hypocrisy. Sacramento Bishop William Weigand has told California Gov. Gray Davis to renounce his support of abortion or stop taking Holy Communion.
I've always respected people who stand for what they believe, whether I agree with them or not. But people have to know that standing by your principles often has consequences. So if it's more important to Daschle to be pro-abortion than to be a practicing Catholic, that's his prerogative. If you know the rules when you join a group, don't act surprised when they limit your involvement in it for flagrantly violating them. It's not like the Catholic Church recently changed their policy and became pro-life.
Even when I was a Lutheran, I greatly admired Bishop Carlson, and loved listening to him speak. He's a man of great intestinal fortitude and glory. He's one of my all-time favorite persons I've never actually talked to. I hope to get that chance someday.
Now, as a Catholic, I hope to soon have the opportunity to receive Holy Communion from him. I guess now the line will be one person shorter. I don't take any glee in that fact; I am actually saddened by it. But we all make our choices. In that respect, and in that respect only, we're all pro-choice.
The Tea & Harrisburg Champion is a weekly newspaper devoted to covering the news, opinions and schools of northern Lincoln County, SD.
SIOUX FALLS, SD, April 17, 2003 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Weekly Standard has reported that Tom Daschle has been ordered by his Bishop to remove from his congressional biography and campaign documents all references to his standing as a member of the Catholic Church. Daschle, who is one of the foremost promoters of abortion in the U.S. Senate, has nonetheless continued to refer to himself as a Catholic.
According to the paper, Sioux Falls' Bishop Robert Carlson issued the order in a recent letter. LifeSite contacted the diocese for confirmation and was told that officials were currently discussing the matter and a press release was to be issued shortly.
See the Weekly Standard coverage:
See related LifeSite coverage:
DASCHLE EXPOSES HIMSELF AS SINGLE-ISSUE, PRO-ABORTION ACTIVIST POLITICIAN
Can you tell me more about Bishop Carlson? I don't think I've ever heard of him before.
One bishop had already responded to the letter. Rev. Robert Carlson, bishop of Sioux Falls replied to Brown's concerns as they relate to Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. "[W]hile Senator Thomas Daschle lists himself as a Catholic, it is my understanding that he neither attends church nor receives Holy Communion on the rare occasions when he is in church," Carlson wrote. "I have documented this, and again would be interested if you have information to the contrary."
He seems to have removed it.
Bishop Carlson 1, Little Tommy Daschle 0.
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It may be other promotional materials he hands out at rallies, etc.
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