Archbishop Chaput of Denver recounts his early days when in seminary he thought politicians could be changed to support life issues. He brings out a critical observation: No politician who is "personally opposed to abortion, but..." politician has really done anything at all to help these babies. I never quite thought of it that way. It's one thing to be personally opposed, but why not go after solutions that would save at least some babies. Rather, these politicians either do nothing, or get involved in legistation that actually protects the butchery of the unborn.
Denver Prelate Addresses Obama's Catholic Fans
Says Voters Need to Be Ready to Meet Abortion Victims in Next Life
DENVER, Colorado, MAY 20, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Denver is wishing the group "Roman Catholics for Obama" good luck in their endeavors to change their presidential candidate's position on abortion. He says they'll need it.
Archbishop Charles Chaput dedicated Monday's column in the Denver Catholic Register to "Thoughts on 'Roman Catholics for Obama.'"
He began his reflection noting his own change in attitude regarding pro-abortion politicians.
"Forty years ago this month Bobby Kennedy was still alive and running for the Democratic Party's 1968 presidential nomination," Archbishop Chaput recalled. "I was a seminarian in Washington, D.C. I was also an active volunteer on Kennedy's campaign. […] After RFK [was assassinated], the meaning of the 1968 election seemed to evaporate. I lost interest in politics.
"I didn't get involved again until the rise of Jimmy Carter. Carter fascinated me because he seemed like an untypical politician. He was plain-spoken, honest, a serious Christian and a Washington outsider. So I supported him during his 1976 campaign when I was a young priest working in Pennsylvania. […] Carter had one serious strike against him. […] I knew Carter was wrong in his views about Roe v. Wade and soft toward permissive abortion.
"But even as a priest, I justified working for him because he wasn't aggressively 'pro-choice.' True, he held a bad position on a vital issue, but I believed he was right on so many more of the 'Catholic' issues than his opponent seemed to be. The moral calculus looked easy. I thought we could remedy the abortion problem after Carter was safely returned to office."
Archbishop Chaput recounted how his outlook on the abortion issue in politics began to change.
"Carter lost his bid for re-election, but even with an avowedly pro-life Ronald Reagan as president, the belligerence, dishonesty and inflexibility of the 'pro-choice' lobby has stymied almost every effort to protect unborn human life since," he noted. "In the years after the Carter loss I began to notice that very few of the people, including Catholics, who claimed to be 'personally opposed' to abortion really did anything about it. Nor did they intend to.
"For most, their personal opposition was little more than pious hand wringing and a convenient excuse -- exactly as it is today. In fact, I can't name any 'pro-choice' Catholic politician who has been active, in a sustained public way, in trying to discourage abortion and to protect unborn human life -- not one.
Continue reading Archbishop Chaput on "Catholics for Obama" at Zenit....
- Archbishop Chaput's Diocesan Column on "Catholics for Obama"
- Archbishop Chaput's column at First Things
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