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the nadir campaign

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 07, 2008

Which American bishop delivered the best single message on Catholic voters' responsibilities? Archbishop Chaput would be a contender, certainly. And Bishop Finn. And the Dallas duo. Actually it's a tough call. Thank God for that.

Now which bishop delivered the single worst message? That's an easier choice. Journalist Matt Abbott has obtained a copy of a letter from Bishop Edward Clark, a Los Angeles auxiliary, to a concerned parishioner. The argument-- in which the bishop laboriously explains that a "pro-choice" politician is not necessarily a "pro-abortion" politician, and defends the logic of the "pro-choice" stance-- is so very bad, you find yourself hoping that Abbott has been fooled by a clever forger. Let's hope.

A pro-choice politician, the bishop explains, is one who believes that abortion "may be acceptable under certain circumstances and should not, therefore, be punishable under the law. Regarding this last point, the bishops would concur that, while opposing abortion in all instances, we are not approving the punishment of women who undergo an abortion. Hence the dilemma of articulating an absolutist position."

Do you find, in those sentences, any indication that the Church does not accept the "pro-choice" position? Neither do I. On the contrary you find a clear suggestion that the Church opposes the "absolutist position"-- which is, one presumes, the position that abortion should be punishable by law. Bishop Clark compounds his perfidy by presuming to speak for "the bishops" in dismissing that position.

There's more.

If you listen to the two sides in this very serious moral debate, ...

thus implying that both sides have compelling moral arguments-- on one hand, for saving unborn babies, on the other, for crushing their skulls with forceps... can easily sense that some are arguing from the perspective of the fetus (anti-abortion)...

the fetus? as opposed to the baby? anti-abortion, as opposed to pro-life? Whose language is the bishop using here?

while others are arguing from the viewpoint of the mother (pro-choice, or even pro-abortion).

So the pro-lifers who spend hours talking to pregnant women on the sidewalks outside abortion clinics, and offering help at crisis-pregnancy centers, aren't seeing things from the woman's viewpoint? And by the way, how has this woman become a "mother?" Is it because she's had a "fetus?"


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