Skip to content

Archbishop Chaput Corrects Senator Biden on Abortion

By
9/9/2008 (8 years ago)
Archdiocese of Denver (www.archden.org/)

"Abortion is a foundational issue; it is not an issue like housing policy or the price of foreign oil. It always involves the intentional killing of an innocent life, and it is always, grievously wrong."

In this important election campaign, Archbishop Charles Chaput has shown consistency, courage and the heart of a true teaching Bishop. He faithfully defends the truth and shows pastoral concern for all who err, including Catholics in public life.

In this important election campaign, Archbishop Charles Chaput has shown consistency, courage and the heart of a true teaching Bishop. He faithfully defends the truth and shows pastoral concern for all who err, including Catholics in public life.

Highlights

By
Archdiocese of Denver (www.archden.org/)
9/9/2008 (8 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy


DENVER (Catholic Online) - On September 7, 2008, the nominee of the Democratic party for the Vice Presidency of the United States, Senator Joseph Biden, was interviewed on "Meet the Press by Tom Brokaw. Biden is a professed, practicing Catholic. He, like Speaker Nancy Pelosi before him,responded to the questions concerning his position on the Right to Life by making inaccurate and confusing comments concerning Catholic teaching on the Right to Life life.

He also demonstrated his lack of understanding of biology, the Natural Law, the separation of Church and State, authentic pluralism and the proper role of Catholic elected officials.Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. and Bishop James D. Conley of Denver issued a response to the Catholics of their Diocese. Catholic Online presents it below in its entirety:

Public Servants and Moral Reasoning:A notice to the Catholic community in northern Colorado

To Catholics of the Archdiocese of Denver:

When Catholics serve on the national stage, their actions and words impact the faith of Catholics around the country. As a result, they open themselves to legitimate scrutiny by local Catholics and local bishops on matters of Catholic belief.

In 2008, although NBC probably didn't intend it, Meet the Press has become a national window on the flawed moral reasoning of some Catholic public servants.On August 24, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, describing herself as an ardent, practicing Catholic, misrepresented the overwhelming body of Catholic teaching against abortion to the show's nationwide audience, while defending her "pro-choice" abortion views. On September 7, Sen. Joseph Biden compounded the problem to the same Meet the Press audience.

Sen. Biden is a man of distinguished public service. That doesn't excuse poor logic or bad facts.Asked when life begins, Sen. Biden said that, "it's a personal and private issue." But in reality, modern biology knows exactly when human life begins: at the moment of conception. Religion has nothing to do with it. People might argue when human "personhood" begins - though that leads public policy in very dangerous directions - but no one can any longer claim that the beginning of life is a matter of religious opinion.

Sen. Biden also confused the nature of pluralism. Real pluralism thrives on healthy, non-violent disagreement; it requires an environment where people of conviction will struggle respectfully but vigorously to advance their beliefs. In his interview, the senator observed that other people with strong religious views disagree with the Catholic approach to abortion. It's certainly true that we need to acknowledge the views of other people and compromise whenever possible - but not at the expense of a developing child's right to life.

Abortion is a foundational issue; it is not an issue like housing policy or the price of foreign oil. It always involves the intentional killing of an innocent life, and it is always, grievously wrong. If, as Sen. Biden said, "I'm prepared as a matter of faith [emphasis added] to accept that life begins at the moment of conception," then he is not merely wrong about the science of new life; he also fails to defend the innocent life he already knows is there.

As the senator said in his interview, he has opposed public funding for abortions. To his great credit,he also backed a successful ban on partial-birth abortions. But his strong support for the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade and the false "right" to abortion it enshrines, can't be excused by any serious Catholic. Support for Roe and the "right to choose" an abortion simply masks what abortion is, and what abortion does.

Roe is bad law. As long as it stands, it prevents returning the abortion issue to the states where it belongs, so that the American people can decide its future through fair debate and legislation.In his Meet the Press interview, Sen. Biden used a morally exhausted argument that American Catholics have been hearing for 40 years: i.e., that Catholics can't "impose" their religiously based views on the rest of the country. But resistance to abortion is a matter of human rights, not religious opinion. And the senator knows very well as a lawmaker that all law involves the imposition of some people's convictions on everyone else. That is the nature of the law.

American Catholics have allowed themselves to be bullied into accepting the destruction of more than a million developing unborn children a year. Other people have imposed their "pro-choice" beliefs on American society without any remorse for decades.If we claim to be Catholic, then American Catholics, including public officials who describe themselves as Catholic, need to act accordingly. We need to put an end to Roe and the industry of permissive abortion it enables. Otherwise all of us - from senators and members of Congress, to Catholic laypeople in the pews - fail not only as believers and disciples, but also as citizens.

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Denver

+James D. Conley
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver


Comments


More Politics & Policy

House rolls back Obama-era abortion rule, paves way for states to DEFUND abortion mills! Watch

Image of Pro-life advocates have worked hard for the opportunity to end Planned Parenthood's reign of terror over unborn children.

The House has voted to overturn an Obama rule that stops states from defunding Planned Parenthood. The rule change now means that state tax ... continue reading


Ashton Kutcher gives powerful and emotional speech against sex-trafficking before Senate Watch

Image of Ashton Kutcher spoke on behalf of sex-trafficking victims and other innocents.

Ashton Kutcher, known for his roles in "That 70s Show" and "Punk'd," is more than just an actor. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Archbishop questions Trump's administration in face of leaked religious freedom draft Watch

Image of Will Trump honor the religious freedom executive order he claimed he would sign?

A leaked executive order draft seems to offer religious organizations the right to practice their morality without legal backlash - but one ... continue reading


Trump drops Obama administration's transgender bathroom policy Watch

Image of Trump has dropped Obama's call for schools to allow transgendered students to use the restroom of their choice.

President Donald Trump's administration will stop fighting in court to implement the Obama administration's transgender bathroom policy, ... continue reading


Tom Price appointed as new HHS Secretary - Here's why this is a major victory for PRO-LIFE! Watch

Image of Tom Price is our new HHS Secretary, which is a major win for Pro-Life efforts.

In a victory for life, the Senate confirmed Tom Price (R-GA), early Friday morning as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Price is ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.