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Illinois governor, bishops differ sharply after discussion on abortion advocacy

December 19, 2011

After meeting with a group of Catholic bishops on December 17, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn told reporters that the discussion had been friendly and the prelates had spoken “only a little bit” about the Catholic political leader’s support for legal abortion. But the Illinois bishops quick responded with a statement taking issue with that report.

Governor Quinn reported that he had spent most of his time with the bishops talking about “how we could work together to fight poverty.” The bishops, while commending Quinn’s concern for the poor, said that the meeting was “between pastors and a member of the Church to discuss the principles of faith, not the works of faith.”

“As Catholic pastors, we wanted to remind the Governor that conscience, while always free, is properly formed in harmony with the tradition of the Church,” the bishops stated. Noting that Quinn has claimed that his support for legal abortion is prompted by his Catholic faith, the bishops continued:

A personal conscience that is not consistent with authentic Catholic teaching is not a Catholic conscience. The Catholic faith cannot be used to justify positions contrary to the faith itself.


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  • Posted by: williiam ronner - Dec. 20, 2011 4:09 PM ET USA

    As an act of mercy and concern for the Governor, the Bishop should explain to the Governor that supporting the death and destruction of innocent human life is a grave sin. Without Confession, he is not properly prepared to receive Holy Communion and thus should be denied the Body of Christ. To do anything other than this shows a disregard for the Governor's spiritual well being

  • Posted by: unum - Dec. 20, 2011 10:12 AM ET USA

    Christ said, "I have come to call sinners." How does that translate into cutting people off from His Church? Arguments for cutting people off from the sacraments do not reflect the message of Christ. Moral error and scandal should be publicly and loudly denounced, as opposed to the bishops "stealth" pronouncements on the actions of our "Catholic" politicians. But, the doors of Christ's Church should be open to everyone.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 19, 2011 10:39 PM ET USA

    Do we need bishops who hold "nice" meetings or do we need bishops who, to use the words of Pope John Paul II, will call evil by its name?

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Dec. 19, 2011 9:31 PM ET USA

    Persons adopting "bona fide" conscience exceptions to Catholic teaching do not thereby forfeit salvation but do forfeit their status as Catholics. Depending on the extent of their deviation of belief, they may become Protestants, such as Lutherans or Episcopalians, or just non-Catholics of no specific denomination. Remember that there are not Liberal Catholics versus Conservative Catholics but only Authentic Catholics versus Dissenters.

  • Posted by: phineas - Dec. 19, 2011 6:45 PM ET USA

    How much more scandal will be permitted? When will the appeasement stop? When will the directive go forth: "You, sir, for the good of your immortal soul, are hereby prohibited from reception of Holy Eucharist in the Dioceses of the State of Illinois." Where is the concern for his soul, and those who are influenced by him? etal, etal, etal