Your Eminence, What's There to Study?
Patrick J. Buchanan
July 7 2004
"I oppose abortion personally. ... I believe life
does begin at conception." So said John Kerry last week in Iowa.
Remarkable. If Kerry believes life begins at conception, he must concede that
each time he has voted to fund abortions, he has voted to fund the killing of
human beings. And voting to uphold Clinton's veto of the partial-birth abortion
ban, Kerry voted against sparing tiny human beings from an excruciating form of
How does John Kerry reconcile this?
"I can't take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a
Protestant or a Jew or an atheist," says Kerry.
But Kerry is not being asked to vote to force Jews or atheists to attend church
on Sunday or recite the Apostles' Creed. He is only being asked to vote "no" to
the spending of tax dollars to finance the destruction of what he himself says
is human life.
Kerry protests that he does not want to impose his religious beliefs on
nonbelievers. Yet, legislators have voted to outlaw prostitution, to punish
those who use and/or sell drugs, and to ban child pornography. Each time they
voted to criminalize such conduct, they sought to impose their moral beliefs
Civil-rights laws do the same thing. When John Kerry votes to outlaw
discrimination against blacks, women and gays, he votes to impose his idea of
what is right behavior on those who think they should be free not to serve, not
to rent to and not to hire people they don't want to serve, rent to or hire.
But with abortion, we are not talking about black folks being insulted by not
being served at Denny's. If Kerry is right, we are talking about killing.
And if Kerry is truly "personally opposed to abortion," why does he not declare
this strong personal belief from the podium at the feminist rallies to which he
is invited? Why does he not speak up and say: "While I cannot stop abortion, you
can. You should stop destroying human life." That would be moral courage – and
the end of Kerry in a Democratic Party in which abortion is fast becoming a
Yet, if the disconnect between Kerry's beliefs and actions is stark and
inexplicable, what are we to say of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church?
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has set up, under Cardinal Theodore
McCarrick of Washington, a seven-member task force to study what the sanction
should be for Catholic politicians who vote to fund abortions and vote against
judges who believe the unborn have a right to life.
But what is there to study, Your Eminence?
The Church has always taught that abortion is the killing of the innocent and
intrinsically evil. When some of us were growing up, men in organized crime were
denied burial in sacred ground. What are these abortion clinics other than
Catholicism used to produce a different kind of prelate. In 1953, Archbishop
Joseph Rummel of New Orleans issued a pastoral letter: "(L)et there be no
further discrimination or segregation in the pews, at the Communion rail, at the
confessional and in parish meetings, just as there will be no segregation in the
kingdom of heaven."
Resistance to integration of the parochial schools was fierce. The battle went
on for a decade. Catholics appealed to the Vatican. Pius XII backed up the
archbishop. In the Louisiana Legislature, bills were introduced forbidding
integration of the Catholic schools, bills supported by Catholic legislators.
The archbishop's response was to threaten the Catholic lawmakers with
When the rabid segregationist Leander Perez of Plaquemine Parish persisted,
Archbishop Rummel excommunicated him and the head of the Citizens Council of
Louisiana for "continuing to provoke the devoted people of this venerable
archdiocese to disobedience or rebellion in the matter of opening our schools to
all Catholic children."
Now, there was an archbishop.
Yet, serious as segregation was, it does not compare in evil with 40 million
abortions since Roe v. Wade, many of which have been funded through federal
programs voted for by Catholic legislators.
Forty-eight Catholic members of Congress have written to Cardinal McCarrick,
warning of "great harm" to the Church and a backlash against Catholics should
bishops begin denying the Holy Eucharist to congressmen who vote to support and
Cardinal McCarrick should take this as a challenge – and ask himself how St.
Thomas More would have reacted to this threat. Then, go forth and do likewise,
© 2004 Creators
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