Facing President-elect Barak Obama’s pledge to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would bar legal restrictions on abortion at the state and federal level, Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco today said that the Catholic church needs to make the case against the measure “early and often, both with members of congress and with the new administration.”So, what will they do?
Speaking with reporters during the Nov. 10-13 meeting of the U.S. bishops in Baltimore, Niederauer suggested that it would be a mistake to interpret Obama’s victory as an expression of popular support for the Freedom of Choice Act, known as FOCA.
Niederauer heads the communications committee for the U.S. bishops’ conference.
Asked what the church should do about Catholic legislators who support FOCA, Niederauer said that the bishops agree on the diagnosis – that such a vote amounts to cooperation in evil – but may not be able to reach a common policy on the hot-button question of whether to deny communion to pro-choice politicians.*grinds teeth* The primacy of conscience reigns. Hail! Meanwhile, the body count rises. And Jesus is received unworthily. Immortal souls are at risk. At what point will it finally become intolerable that the bishops will rise to the occasion and be worthy successors to the Martyr Apostles and defend the honor of Christ? It's this kind of wiggling that abets the continuing picking and choosing of doctrines to believe. It's why we got the number of Catholics who voted the way they voted. Why didn't they hear about FOCA? Is it not the office of the bishop that compels them to warn against an impeding doom?
“We have a very strong statement made in 2004,” he said. “It’s still in place. It says we should not give a platform [to pro-choice politicians], we shouldn’t give them awards or feature them. But with regard to Holy Communion, it is left up to the pastoral sensitivity and responsibility of individual bishops to interact with those office-holders in their own diocese.”
“As person differs from person,” Niederauer said, “perhaps the best approach may be one thing for one person, another for another.”
St. Michael, defend us in battle!