Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Denver archbishop slams Pelosi on Church teachings and abortion
CNA ^ | August 25, 2008

Posted on 08/25/2008 1:51:53 PM PDT by NYer

Rep. Nancy Pelosi / Archbishop Chaput

Denver, Aug 25, 2008 / 03:27 pm (CNA).- In a statement eloquently titled “On the Separation of Sense and State,” the Archbishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., and his Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley harshly criticized Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for giving a confusing view of the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion, during a Sunday interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“Catholic public leaders inconvenienced by the abortion debate” –says the statement- “tend to take a hard line in talking about the ‘separation of Church and state.’  But their idea of separation often seems to work one way.” 

“In fact, some officials also seem comfortable in the role of theologian.  And that warrants some interest, not as a ‘political’ issue, but as a matter of accuracy and justice.”

Archbishop Chaput’s statement recognizes Pelosi as “a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills” but adds that “regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them.”

During the Meet the Press interview on August 24, Pelosi responded to a question about when human life begins by saying that “as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time.  And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition . . . St. Augustine said at three months.  We don't know. The point is, is that it shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to choose.”

The Archdiocese of Denver argues that since Speaker Pelosi claims to have studied the issue “for a long time,” “she must know very well one of the premier works on the subject, Jesuit John Connery’s Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective (Loyola, 1977).

The statement recall’s Connery’s conclusion: “The Christian tradition from the earliest days reveals a firm antiabortion attitude . . . The condemnation of abortion did not depend on and was not limited in any way by theories regarding the time of fetal animation.  Even during the many centuries when Church penal and penitential practice was based on the theory of delayed animation, the condemnation of abortion was never affected by it.  Whatever one would want to hold about the time of animation, or when the fetus became a human being in the strict sense of the term, abortion from the time of conception was considered wrong, and the time of animation was never looked on as a moral dividing line between permissible and impermissible abortion.”

The Archdiocese’s statement also quotes “the blunter words of the great Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer.”

Bonhoeffer, a strong critic and later victim of the Nazi regime in his native Germany wrote that “the destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed on this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.”

Archbishop Chaput’s statement continues, explaining that, “ardent, practicing Catholics will quickly learn from the historical record that from apostolic times, the Christian tradition overwhelmingly held that abortion was grievously evil.  In the absence of modern medical knowledge, some of the Early Fathers held that abortion was homicide; others that it was tantamount to homicide; and various scholars theorized about when and how the unborn child might be animated or ‘ensouled.’  But none diminished the unique evil of abortion as an attack on life itself, and the early Church closely associated abortion with infanticide.  In short, from the beginning, the believing Christian community held that abortion was always, gravely wrong.”

Archbishop Chaput also highlighted that “we now know with biological certainty exactly when human life begins.  Thus, today’s religious alibis for abortion and a so-called ‘right to choose’ are nothing more than that – alibis that break radically with historic Christian and Catholic belief.”

“Abortion kills an unborn, developing human life.  It is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions employed to justify it.  Catholics who make excuses for it – whether they’re famous or not – fool only themselves and abuse the fidelity of those Catholics who do sincerely seek to follow the Gospel and live their Catholic faith,” the statement adds.

Finally Archbishop Chaput recalls that “the duty of the state and its officials is to serve the common good, which is always rooted in moral truth.  A proper understanding of the ‘separation of Church and state’ does not imply a separation of faith from political life.  But of course, it’s always important to know what our faith actually teaches.”

Read the full statement at:

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 110th; abortion; bonhoeffer; catholicpoliticians; chaput; deathpanels; lutheran; obamacare; pelosi; zerocare
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-71 next last
To: NYer
“we now know with biological certainty exactly when human life begins.

And even if we didn't, as Peggy Noonan pointed out,

Anyone who's ever bought a pack of condoms knows when life begins.

21 posted on 08/25/2008 2:46:04 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (when you're bot, you're pwn3d)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: big'ol_freeper
God bless Archbishop Chaput!!

Bless him and send us 50 more like him!

22 posted on 08/25/2008 2:47:28 PM PDT by pgkdan (Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions - G.K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: NYer

I fully agree with the Bishop Chaput’s stand here—and the Roman Church’s position on life in general. Particularly with the scientific knowledge we have today, no Christian can claim the name and not be fully pro-life.

Though not a part of the Church of Rome, and well aware of the “latia sentia” practice (of silent, private, implied excommunication), for the life of me, I don’t know why the Roman Church does not have formal public excommunication procedures for public figures such as Polosi—a big part of whose political appeal is no doubt that they claim to be Roman Catholic.

There should be no doubt at all to EVERYONE that she is NOT an “an ardent, practicing Catholic” and PUBLIC excommunication alone would make that clear.

Putting a few of these folks “under the ban” would do a lot to tell average Roman Catholic laity—and the world at large—that no, these folk are not Roman Catholic, and yes, they are apostate.

23 posted on 08/25/2008 2:56:04 PM PDT by AnalogReigns
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: pgkdan

Bravo to the Archbishop but he left one thing out:

“...and if Speaker Pelosi does not correct her views and the record, I would recommend that she not be allowed to receive Holy Communion and that she herself practice some Catholic discipline and refrain from attempting to recieve Holy Communion because she is not in communion with her church.”

24 posted on 08/25/2008 2:56:08 PM PDT by johnnycap (I would really like the model of Civil Forum that Warren has created to be repeated across the count)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Nancy Pelosi’s nontheological statements were designed to provide cover for Barack Obama. Both Barack and his wife Michele Obama are followers of Peter Singer, a professor at Princeton, who has no problem putting down children born with defects or elderly people who are unable to care for themselves, and apparently wants to allow parents to abort children up through their fourth birthday for any reason or no reason at all.

25 posted on 08/25/2008 3:08:44 PM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

God bless Archbishop Chaput for smacking this right back at her-fast!

26 posted on 08/25/2008 3:15:35 PM PDT by fetal heart beats by 21st day (Defending human life is not a federalist issue. It is the business of all of humanity.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Archbishop Chaput bump!

27 posted on 08/25/2008 3:20:07 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
The Uninvited Guest

The Democrats' uninvited guest Posted Aug. 19, 2008 11:53 AM || by Phil Lawler || category Commentary

When the leaders of the Democratic Party gather in Denver for their nominating convention, they'll hear from a number of prominent religious leaders. They'll hear from several prominent Catholics, too. But they won't hear from the Archbishop of Denver, points out Julia Duin of theWashington Times.

Archbishop Charles Chaput would be a very, very interesting convention speaker. He's intelligent, witty, modest, and thoughtful. He has taken a special interest in the relationship between religion and politics, as demonstrated by his new book, Render Unto Caesar.

But if you were a Democratic leader… if you were a supporter of Senator Obama… would you want to hand Archbishop Chaput the microphone? Nope. His message would not be congenial to the "pro-choice" crowd.

Ray Flynn, former Boston mayor and later US ambassador to the Vatican, tells the Washington Times that the failure to include Archbishop Chaput is "a serious oversight" on the part of Democratic Party leaders. Serious, yes. Oversight, no.