Obviously perplexed and upset at their demonstrable lack of influence during the presidential election, the one-issue United States Catholic Bishops are determined to confront President-elect Barack Obama on the issue of abortion.
Several bishops issued statements before the election expressing their belief that “Catholics could not in good conscience vote for a candidate who favored abortion rights after Obama pledged to pass legislation that would overturn state’s restrictions on abortion such as late-term abortion bans and requirements of parental consent,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
The problem, of course, is that the bishops, as a whole, view the abortion isolated from all other life issues, including, but not limited to, sex education, contraception, welfare, health care, etc.
Here’s the news from the Chicago Tribune:
In a direct challenge to President-elect Barack Obama, America’s Roman Catholic bishops vowed on Tuesday to accept no compromise for the sake of national unity until there is legal protection for the unborn.
About 300 bishops, gathered in Baltimore for their national meeting, adopted a formal blessing for a child in the womb and advised Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George, president of the conference, as he began drafting a statement from the bishops to the incoming Obama administration. That document will call on the administration and Catholics who supported Obama to work to outlaw abortion.
This is going nowhere. The bishops have a problem here. Obama won the Catholic vote.
More than half of U.S. Catholics voted Tuesday for a presidential candidate at odds with the Church’s stance on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage, despite the urging of more than 50 heads of dioceses to support pro-life candidates.
Brian Burch, co-founder and president of the Catholic-based think-tank Fidelis, spoke with ZENIT about the results of the election, and why he thinks a majority of Catholics voted for Democratic candidate Barack Obama, an admitted supportor of abortion rights.
The majority of Catholics get what the bishops are missing: life is bigger than one issue.
There was a time when the Catholic Church defined the beginning of life differently. St. Augustine, for example, taught that human life began when an infant draws its first breath. Augustine did not object to terminating a pregnancy.
Listen, I don’t favor abortion at all. Frankly, I don’t know anyone who does. No one wants to see unwanted pregnancies, and I know no one who actually wants to see more abortions. But when the bishops insist that the only solution to life issues in this world is a law forbidding abortion, they are naive.
How do we build a society where there are fewer unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, and how do we support those who do become pregnant in these situations? How do we create a world where there are fewer rapes, where there is less violence against women, where there is no incest? Do we do this by passing laws that turn every pregnant woman and her doctor into criminals?
Absolutely not. While that is an easy solution, it will not stop abortion, nor will it ensure that our society has “respect” for life.
The Catholic bishops have lived long without women in their lives. This was not always the case. There was a time when bishops and popes married happily and had families.
That was a long, long time ago, and they are out of touch on this one.