Catholic House Democrats
“A group of 18 Catholic House Democrats publicly disputed Pope Benedict XVI’s recent condemnation of politicians who support abortion rights, saying that ‘such notions offend the very nature of the American experiment,’ ” the Religion News Service reports:
On his flight to Brazil Wednesday (May 9), Benedict said Catholic politicians in Mexico City who recently voted to legalize abortion could consider themselves excommunicated from the church. The Vatican later said the pope was merely restating church policy, which calls for Catholics who participate in abortions to exclude themselves from taking Holy Communion.
On Monday (May 14), Catholic House Democrats said Benedict’s comments “do a great disservice to the centuries of good work the church has done.”
“The fact is that religious sanction in the political arena directly conflicts with our fundamental beliefs about the role and responsibility of democratic representatives in a pluralistic America–it also clashes with freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution,” a statement from the 18 lawmakers said.
What these members of Congress are saying is they are liberals first and Catholics second.
Pluralism allows for a variety of views on abortion and other subjects, and American politicians are free to follow or reject the teachings of their church, as they see fit. What they are really doing is defying the pope’s authority, as leader of the Catholic Church, to make and enforce pronouncements about the obligations of a Catholic.
Privately and within their religion should these politicians ask for the Pope’s blessing? The Pope thinks not.
Here is a list of the House Catholic Democrats disputing the Pope’s statements on abortion as it relates to them:
- Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut
- Joe Baca of California
- Joe Courtney of Connecticut
- Anna Eshoo of California
- Maurice Hinchey of New York
- Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island
- James Langevin of Rhode Island
- John Larson of Connecticut
- Carolyn McCarthy of New York
- Betty McCollum of Minnesota
- Jim Moran of Virginia
- Bill Pascrell of New Jersey
- Tim Ryan of Ohio
- Linda Sanchez of California
- José Serrano of New York
- Hilda Solis of California
- Mike Thompson of California
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