Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Abortion Debate in the USA

It is very heartening to note that Bishops and Archbishops in the United States are not afraid to contradict and reprimand important political figures on matters of faith and morals, even in delicate times and situations as in the lead up to a General Election.

What Does The Prayer Really Say? has for the past few days been keeping a running commentary on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi`s comments on a TV programme regarding the rights and wrongs of abortion. She has made clear that she is Catholic. However she has also made clear that she is "pro-Choice" and sought to defend her views by wrongly citing Catholic theology and in particular Saint Augustine.

Abp. Chaput of Denver, Abp. Wuerl of Washington DC and Cardinal Egan of New York have all issued very strong criticisms of the House Speaker`s comments even although there is a Democratic Convention taking place.

It seems that in the United States, politicians have sought out the Catholic vote by declaring their "Catholicity" yet also wish to keep "the women`s vote" by declaring their credentials as "pro Choice".

Until now, no politician has sought to justify such a stance by reference to what they deem Catholic principles or theology. It gladdens one to see the Hierarchy slap down publicly a politician who has sought to cross an important line.

Lay politicians,in this age are not, no matter how eminent,experts on Catholic theology. And Pelosi is no William Ewart Gladstone. If she wants to win votes, she should not use false religious arguments which have no foundation. Catholic theological debates should not be held in the public secular space.

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