Thursday, October 21, 2004
It's About Free Choice
I have known that many Catholics, for years in this country, differed with the Vatican(The Pope) about birth control. I have watched this schism with interest, never hearing any threat to these people for not toeing the line. So it was interesting to me to see someone talk about heresy and excommunication in conjunction with abortion. I thought a Catholic could say, "personally, I oppose abortion and believe life begins at conception, but I defend your right choose. I will, also, defend your right to a partial-birth abortion." I thought a Catholic could say these things, and still be a Catholic and run no risk of reprisal from the Church. However, some Bishops started speaking out saying you forfeit your right to communion if you believe in a right to choose. Now, we have the latest information that Mark Balestrieri, received an unusual, indirect communication from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding the pro-abortion stance.
That communication provides a basis, he said, to declare that any Catholic politician who says he is "personally opposed to abortion, but supports a woman's right to choose," incurs automatic excommunication.
Today, Robert Novak SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
writes about a loosely connected national network that is worried about Kerry endangering the Catholic position on abortion.
In a largely unpublished interview with the New York Times, (Charles J. Chaput), Roman Catholic archbishop of Denver, said: ''If the church challenges a President Kerry on 'destruction of unborn children through embryonic stem cell research,' it will appear to be interfering. If the church remains silent, it will appear cowardly.
Yesterday, I reported that
Father Augustine Di Noia, third-ranking official in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's doctrinal office, told Reuters that Balestrieri had hoodwinked the Church by misrepresenting himself.
"I thought I was advising a student who was working on a project. I referred him to a reliable theologian on the matter. I was acting in my capacity as a theologian trying to be helpful to a young person," he told Reuters.
I suspect the church has developed a backbone without appearing to interfere.