Not the time to focus on abortion

Published11/24/2008 12:15 AM

The Catholic Church is exercising bad timing in creating conflict over our recent, history making election that swept President-elect Barack Obama into the White House clearly reflecting the people's choice for a qualified leader who happens to be African-American.

Oblivious to the hopeful mood of the American people as we look to the future with renewed mutual respect and shared spirituality, domestically and internationally, the church is raining on our parade before our new president even takes his first official step into the Oval Office.


First, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago recently commended the United States for respecting human rights as evidenced by electing an African American President, despite our history of enshrining slavery. Yet in the same address at the annual fall meeting of the nation's Catholic bishops of which George is president, he condemns the Obama administration for their support of human rights as pertains to abortion.

Secondly, a Roman Catholic priest is denying Holy Communion to any parishioner of his church in South Carolina if they voted for Obama because this priest concludes Obama's support of human rights regarding choice "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil."

The church's initial abortion mandate started out targeting public servants, whose position is publicly revealed during the course of a campaign. However, the slippery slope now finds the church intruding upon the privacy of the secret ballot of all its lay people. The credibility of the church's argument is weakened because it is presented with crude, often obscene language emanating from a sophomoric viewpoint.

The Christian message would be far better served if those fanatically fostering an intense focus on the unborn equally embraced the unwanted, unloved, unfed, unhealthy, uninsured, uneducated and unsheltered in keeping with this Church's traditional social justice mission.

Jean Rodgers


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