Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

11/8/2009 (6 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Saturday night in two historic votes the importance of faithful Catholics in both major political parties became crystal clear.

Prior to the Stupak/Pitts Amendment, the funding of abortion would have occurred through both the so called 'Public Option' and through what are called 'affordability credits' which are to be given to certain health care consumers in order to purchase insurance. It was, as many including this writer pointed out, a 'shell game'.

Prior to the Stupak/Pitts Amendment, the funding of abortion would have occurred through both the so called 'Public Option' and through what are called 'affordability credits' which are to be given to certain health care consumers in order to purchase insurance. It was, as many including this writer pointed out, a 'shell game'.


By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (

11/8/2009 (6 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Washington, D.C. (Catholic Online) - In a November 19, 2008 article in his always interesting "Inside Catholic", my friend Deal Hudson, Ph.D., properly praised then candidate Joseph Cao who was running for the 2d District Congressional seat in Louisiana. The article was entitled "The Jesuits Produce a Great Political Candidate" and it noted: "Joseph Cao is a Catholic lawyer and former Jesuit scholastic from New Orleans... Few candidates for public office are as forthright as Cao when asked about their position on abortion. "I am very anti-abortion," he told me without hesitation. Cao would like to overturn Roe, but in the meantime, "We have to find a way to defeat Roe without having to overturn it." His solid pro-life credentials are attested to by the endorsement of the FRC Action PAC, among others."

Saturday night, in two historic votes, the importance of faithful Catholics in both major political parties became crystal clear. I am sure my friend Deal Hudson is surprised at now Congressman Cao's decision to break ranks and become the only Republican to support the passage of the House version of "Health Care Reform". This occurred only AFTER the Bill was amended to remove what Was contained within its scheme, a clear authorization of Federal Funds to kill children in the womb through Abortion. I am not surprised. I may not agree with him because I have other concerns about the legislation, but I understand and respect his decision. After all, in the very same interview cited above, then candidate Cao gave Dr. Hudson an indication of his views concerning how he would approach his public service in these words: "I went all over the world to work with the poor and experienced a crisis of faith in Mexico over human suffering and God. I asked my spiritual director, 'What is God doing about all this suffering?' He told me that 'God sends people to help.' That was when I began to realize my calling was politics."

First, let there be no more wrangling about the facts. The Bill as proposed by Nancy Pelosi - an unfaithful Catholic who should be ashamed and strongly opposed in her next campaign while we all pray for her return to the truth - promoted the intrinsic evil of abortion. It would have funded the feticide of our first neighbors in the womb. End of discussion. All of those folks who tried to argue that all of us who sounded the alarm over this evil were wrong have been exposed as frauds. The phony compromises and fake amendments were a subterfuge.

Before the determined and courageous efforts of Congressman Bart Stupak, a Pro-Life Catholic Democrat whose name along with Republican Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania of the 16th District of Pennsylvania is on the now historic amendment, the legislation would have funded more abortions with tax dollars. The "Health Care Reform" legislation which passed last night as HR 3962 - by a vote in the House of Representatives by a vote of 220 - 215 - would have had a lethal effect, resulting in the intentional killing of potentially millions more of our first neighbors. Thank God for the courage and perseverance of faithful Catholic Democrat Bart Stupak!

The Stupak/Pitts Amendment was strongly supported by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops who worked with admirable persistence and courageous clarity in order to force its passage. It actually was passed earlier in the evening by an historic vote of 240 to 194.Some cowardly members did not vote at all. This amendment stripped abortion funding from the otherwise anti-life Legislation. Prior to the amendment, the funding would have occurred through both the so called "Public Option" and through what are called "affordability credits" which are to be given to certain health care consumers in order to purchase insurance. It was, as many including this writer pointed out, a "shell game". It would have resulted in the spilling of more of the blood of the innocents in our Nation. Congressman Bart Stupak, Pro-Life Democrat, is the hero of the hour.

Congressman Bart Stupak is a faithful Catholic and a Democrat from the first Congressional District of Michigan who Co-Chairs the Bi-Partisan Pro-Life Caucus with another faithful Catholic, Republican Congressman Chris Smith. Stupak is one of a strong and vocal contingent of Pro-Life Democrats who carry on the legacy of the late, great Governor of Pennsylvania Bob Casey. They hear the cry of all the poor, including children in the first home of the whole human race, their mother's womb. They recognize the truth that these dear children whom Mother Teresa rightly called the "poorest of the poor" have no voice but ours. These fellow Americans living in the womb are our first neighbors. It is men and women like Bart Stupak and Chris Smith who are the models of public service for all Catholics and other Christians.Stupak is a Democrat, Smith is a Republican.

Congressman Stupak told a reporter before the vote, "We're asking members to maintain current law and oppose federal funding on abortion." He affirmed that he did not somehow barter his vote for the legislation in exchange for the allowing of the vote on his amendment. He actually supports the notion of Reform which is offered in the legislation but would never, ever, ever compromise on the fundamental human right to life and the first freedom, the freedom to be born. Now, other Catholics can and do disagree with him on many other aspects of this legislation. In fact, I do - and I have written concerning my disagreements as it relates to the principle of subsidiarity and whether such a concentration of power on the Federal level is prudent. However, Congressman Stupak is an example of how a faithful Catholic can be - indeed must be - morally and politically consistent and never compromise of the inviolable dignity of every human life.

Promoters of the tax funded killing of children in the womb such as Colorado Democratic Rep. Diana Degette, formed a chorus of opposition to the Stupak/Pitts amendment. Among her specious arguments, she tried to compare the funding of abortion (the intentional killing of a child) with cancer treatment! Think about what this reveals, she views the child as a disease to be eradicated? However, Congressman Stupak and his allies did not back down! Congressman Chris Smith noted on the floor the recent account of a former Planned Parenthood director who resigned after watching an ultrasound of an abortion killing a baby and stated "Abortion not only kills children, it harms women physically and psychologically and risks significant subsequent harm for future children... If we truly want to see fewer abortions and want to reduce them, then don't fund it.... Millions of people are alive today because of the Hyde amendment." God Bless faithful Catholic Republican Congressman Chris Smith!

Other courageous Pro-Life voices who spoke out in support of the Stupak/Pitts amendment were Democratic Reps. Kathy Dahlkemper of Pennsylvania, Brad Ellsworth of Indiana, Dan Lipinski of Illinois, Marcy Kaptur of Ohio and Republican Reps. Mike Pence of Indiana, Cathy Rodgers of Washington, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota, Louis Gohmert of Texas, and Fortenberry of Nebraska. The Anti-Life voices were the Democratic lawmakers who supported the funding of the continued killing of children in the womb with tax dollars included Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Lois Capps of California, Nita Lowey of New York, Barney Frank of Massachusetts, Mike Quickley of Illinois, Barbara Lee of California, Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, and Louise Slaughter and Maloney of New York.

I know that my friend Deal Hudson is concerned that the fight over securing this protection for life in the womb is far from over as this Legislation moves to the Senate. I share that concern. I also know he has other concerns over other many aspects of the legislation. I share some of those as well. However, where we have some disagreement is over the long term solution to the bigger problems faced in our Nation and the best political approach to be taken by Catholic citizens. I believe it is time for a "New Catholic Action" which brings together Catholics who are Democrats, Republicans, Independents - and any and all other permutations of political labels - who will work together in accordance with a hierarchy of issues and values which are first informed by Catholic Social Doctrine, rightly understood.

I maintain that our Nation would be better served if both major political parties began with the clear foundational understanding of what constitutes authentic justice, which must of necessity begin with the recognition of the dignity of every human person, at every age and stage of the continuum of life up to and including natural death. In other words, if both major parties were Pro-Life, we could then have a debate over so many other issues concerning the best way to continue in extraordinary American experiment in self governance. I know many like my friend Deal Hudson may see that as a bit unrealistic. And, I must acknowledge, that the Platforms of the two major Parties are clearly divergent on this matter of the fundamental Right to Life. But, soon to be 55 yrs old, I have never lost my idealism and refuse to begin to do so now.

What occurred last night with the heroic Pro-Life courage of an authentically Catholic Democrat named Bart Stupak and his pro-life colleagues on both sides of the aisle only further confirms my conviction of the need for a new model of Catholic activism which moves away from the stale labels of "conservative", "liberal", neo-conservative" (which may be what used to be called neo-liberal?), "Republican", Democrat", "left", "right".... And moves into the heart of what our Church offers the entire world in the truths and principles offered in what is called her Social Teaching. A "New Catholic Action" would focus only on the issues which matter most and apply a hierarchy of principles leading to effective political participation and Catholic action. Once again I maintain, "Catholic" must always be the "Noun". It must be what defines us before any adjectival political description is added on.

It must also become the ground from which we move into the broader culture acting to to renew it from within through our participation as leaven in the loaf. The Social Teaching of the Catholic Church, properly understood must become the framework through which we inform all of our political and policy positions. It should also become the material with which we build a new model of political participation and a better society for all serving the true common good.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2016
Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.


More Politics & Policy

No matter what, Donald Trump won the third debate -- bigly Watch

Image of The third presidential debate resulted in a Trump victory as the Republican nominee soft-launched his own television network.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The third and final presidential debate between Clinton and Trump was surprising because it stuck mostly to the issues. However, there were some cringeworthy moments from both candidates. Snap polls following the debate hand the win to Trump, but pundits say Clinton is ... continue reading

Trump Catholic Advisory Group Demands Vice President Biden Denounce Anti-Catholic Bigotry and Call Cardinals Dolan and O'Malley to Apologize

Image of The Catholic Advisory Board to the Trump Pence campaign includes our own Editor-in-Chief, Deacon Keith Fournier.

By Catholic Advisory Group to Donald Trump.

The Catholic Advisory Board to the Donald Trump/Pence campaign has issued a statement regarding the absolute lack of apology for the anti-Catholic bigotry in the Clinton camp exposed by WikiLeaks. At this point, any Catholic who casts a ballot for Clinton is also ... continue reading

Ken Blackwell:Trumped Up. Time to Focus on the Real Issues

Image of Election 2016

By Ken Blackwell

The essential question this year is not who is the more congenial personality, but who is more likely to address the range of pressing issues facing America? Under whom are Americans likely to be safer? More prosperous? Better educated? Allowed to practice their ... continue reading

FATE OF A NATION: Catholics called to prayer as election looms Watch

Image of The Rosary is a powerful tool in the fight against evil.


The Trump/Pence campaign has asked for prayers as the nation moves closer to the election. A lot is at stake. Hillary Clinton and her team have promised to destroy the Catholic Church in America, describing Catholics as 'backwards.' Catholics need to unite in prayer to ... continue reading

RIGGED ELECTION? If Clinton is willing to 'destroy the Catholic Church' to get her way, then what will she do to democracy? Watch

Image of Praying to destroy the Church perhaps?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

As WikiLeaks reveals the corruption of the Clinton camp and the DNC, Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump has expressed concerns that he could be running in a rigged election. The idea of a rigged election is catching on with Americans who are becoming ... continue reading

NEW WIKILEAKS: Guess who has disturbing ties to Putin? HINT: it isn't Trump Watch

Image of Via Podesta, the Clinton camp is remarkably close to Putin, something they accuse Trump of being.


Much has been made of Donald Trump's statements about Russia and Vladimir Putin. However, leaked emails suggest the Clinton camp may also be cozy with the Russians. New information reveals that Clinton chair John Podesta has a lot of shares in a Putin-linked company. ... continue reading

Here's the top reasons to choose Trump or Clinton - YOU decide? Watch

Image of Trump's platform is far more consistent with Catholic faith than Clinton's.


We are often asked why we're discussing politics on a Catholic website. That's because it is a Satanic Lie that our politics and our faith should be separated. This is how we get politicians like Tim Kaine, who claim to be Catholic but support abortion. Do you believe ... continue reading

Hysteria aside, here's why Trump would actually be a pretty darn good president Watch

Image of Trump may be a very effective president given his business experience.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The current presidential election antics have disgusted everyone. We are being asked to vote against a candidate rather than to vote for one on the basis of merit. We are instead playing a game of "would you rather." Yet we must consider which candidate would truly ... continue reading

Do you know about the third political party inspired by Catholic teaching? Watch

Image of What is the third party?

By (CNA)

In a country long entrenched in a two-party political system, Mike Maturen faces an uphill battle. Washington D.C. (CNA) - He's the 2016 presidential candidate for the little-known American Solidarity Party, which holds views rooted in Catholic social thought.But while ... continue reading

Evangelical and Catholic Leaders Join Together to Oppose Anti-Christian Bigotry in Clinton Campaign Watch

Image of Hillary Clinton (now the Democratic nominee) and John Podesta

By Catholic Online

The WikiLeaks emails reveal a contempt for all traditional Christians, and we are - Catholic and Evangelical - united in our outrage and united in our call for Mrs. Clinton to immediately apologize for the Christophobic behavior of her associates.  Los ... continue reading

All Politics & Policy News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:1-6
1 I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you therefore to lead a life worthy ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all it contains, the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:54-59
54 He said again to the crowds, 'When you see a cloud looming up in the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 21st, 2016 Image

St. Hilarion
October 21: Abbot and disciple of St. Anthony the Great, ... Read More