Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

the news you won't read today

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Mar 10, 2011

Just a few quick thoughts today, on stories that you won’t be reading in your local newspaper.

  • Governor Pat Quinn revealed that he consulted the Bible and the writings of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin before finally deciding to sign a bill that abolished the death penalty in Illinois. Perhaps you have heard about Quinn’s reference to the religious basis for his decision. What you have not heard, I’ll wager, is a complaint that it was inappropriate for the governor to allow his religious beliefs to color his public-policy decision. Such complaints seem to arise only when the tug of religious conviction works against conventional liberal views.
  • The Catholic bishops of Illinois welcomed the governor’s decision, saying: “No longer will there be a risk in Illinois that an innocent person will be convicted and sentenced to death.” (You might have seen the bishops’ reaction here.) Inexplicably, the Illinois bishops missed a golden opportunity to point out that innocent people can still be sentenced to death without a trial-- indeed without any charge of having committed a crime-- provided that they are still living in their mothers’ wombs. So you did not read the statement that the bishops should have made, announcing that they will take no comfort in the abolition of the death penalty as long as thousands of babies are denied the right to life.

On a happier note, let me call special attention to today’s CWN story on the latest statement by the Vatican representative at the UN. Archbishop Francis Chullikatt reminded world leaders that economic growth is not the only component of human welfare, citing Pope Benedict’s call for an approach to economic development that includes the poor and respects future generations. The statement itself is not surprising, but it falls into line with a pattern of recent statements from the Holy See’s mission to the UN.

The Vatican representative has not been haranguing the UN members, but neither has he been content with vague generalities. Archbishop Chullikatt has been consistently urging his fellow UN delegates to recognize the inherent dignity of the human person. Already this year the Vatican mission to the UN has issued several statements decrying constant pressure for acceptance of legal abortion, the assumption that developing nations should promote contraception, and the insidious pressure to accept “gender” ideology. In other words the Vatican’s representative is—for the first time—showing a clear awareness of the radical bias that has long dominated UN discussions of economics and social welfare, and a determination to call UN officials to account for any bias in that direction.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: - Apr. 16, 2011 4:42 PM ET USA

    Gov. Quinn and the bishops (no surprise) are wrong again. There is no comparison between the abortion of an innocent baby and serial murderers. (The latest murderer here in IL. admits he checked to make sure there was no capital punishment here before he murdered his victim.) With the political orientation of our bishops is it any wonder 53% of Catholics voted for ultra leftwing Obama? The bishops' position is not only wrong but truly immoral. Not another penny to CCHD -- or to Cath. Charities!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 12, 2011 1:04 PM ET USA

    Absolutely right on Pat Quinn and the Bishop's reaction to his death penalty dictat. Thanks