Vatican official attacks U.S. Democrats as “party of death”

By Reuters Staff
October 1, 2008

Senator Joe Biden with Catholic priest Zhang Depu near Beijing, 10 Aug 2001/poolVatican officials seldom single out political leaders who differ with the Church on issues like abortion rights or embryonic stem cell research. But now that the Vatican’s highest court is led by an American, the former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, we can expect things to get more explicit in Vatican City — at least when when it comes to U.S. politics.

Burke, who was named prefect of the Vatican’s Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature in June, told the Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire that the U.S. Democratic Party risked “transforming itself definitively into a party of death for its decisions on bioethical issues.” He then attacked two of the party’s most high profile Catholics — vice presidential candidate Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — for misrepresenting Church teaching on abortion.

He said Biden and Pelosi, “while presenting themselves as good Catholics, have presented Church doctrine on abortion in a false and tendentious way.”

Nancy Pelosi kisses Pope Benedict’s ring during his U.S. visit, 16 April 2008/Larry DowningPelosi drew U.S. bishops’ scorn for saying in a television interview last month that the Church itself had long debated when human life begins. Biden is a practicing Catholic who also supports abortion rights and analysts have said he could help woo wavering Catholics into Obama’s fold. Both argue that they cannot impose their religious views on others.

Burke said pro-life Democrats were “rare” and that it saddened him that the party that helped “our immigrant parents and grandparents” prosper in America had changed so much over the years.

Burke made headlines as archbishop of St. Louis for his public attacks on public figures who strayed from Catholic teaching. He suggested during the 2004 presidential campaign that Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, a Catholic, should be denied communion because of his views on abortion. Several bishops said at the time they would not give him communion and the media staked out churches where he attended Mass to see if he received it.

“Lately, I’ve noticed that other bishops are coming to this position,” Burke told Avvenire, which is owned by the Italian bishops’ conference.

Archbishop Raymond Burke/Archdiocese of St. LouisCardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, wrote a letter in 2004 to American bishops restating the Church position that a priest must refuse to distribute communion to a Catholic politician who supported abortion rights. But Burke lamented that the letter was never distributed.

Burke’s criticism isn’t limited to Democrats. Last year, he accused singer Sheryl Crow of being “a high profile proponent of the destruction of innocent lives” for defending a woman’s right to have an abortion and for being a proponent of stem cell research. He resigned as head of a children’s medical charity that featured the singer for a benefit concert.

Pope Benedict has been encouraging Catholic bishops to speak out more openly on public policy issues to make the Church’s voice heard. Any bets on when we’ll hear from Burke next?

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Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and John Kerry joined the church and remain in the church of their own free will. If they don’t believe in the church teachings they should leave the church.

Posted by Carol Johnson | Report as abusive

I have to laugh at some of these comments from liberals and Democrats. I also have to ask, especially you liberal, Democrat parents, to take a look into your son’s or daughter’s eyes, hold their faces close, then tell the world that child was not a human being at conception.

Archbishop Burk could not have stated it any clearer. We are taliking about the unborn Human life. Who is their voice? Have you ever noticed everyone who supports abortion is living!

As far as war goes this is not a one party issue, Democrats have voted to support every war this country has engaged in. We have never engaged in a war where every single Democrat pulled their supported.

Posted by Ron | Report as abusive

FOR ABORTION?? TAKE A LOOK AT THE PICTURES OF ONE AND YOU’LL CHANGE YOUR MIND IF YOU HAVE ANY HEART AT ALL…
THANKS FOR BEING A GREAT SHEPHERD TO THE FLOCK ENTRUSTED TO YOU BISHOP BURKE. TRUTH IS TRUTH AND YOU HAVE STATED IT.

After reading posts to this article, one thing is clear. Hardly anyone has any command of facts. What a bunch of Moonbats and hypocrites.

ISN’T IT RIDICULOUS THAT ‘WOMEN’S RIGHTS’ HAVE COME TO MEAN THE EXTERMINATION OF WOMEN IN THE WOMB? THE FIRST FEMINISTS WERE DEAD SET AGAINST ABORTION. ABORTION IS A SATANIC SACRAMENT…EXTERMINATING THE VERY FRUIT OF LIFE.

MOTHER TERESA WARNED THAT THE FRUIT OF ABORTION WOULD BE NUCLEAR WAR. SO DID ARCHBISHOP FULTON SHEEHAN. DISRESPECT FOR LIFE JUST MAY BRING THE ULTIMATE DISREPECT FOR LIFE…then it will be to late to repent of this modern day atrocity.

In reference to:

“You must be informed that taking the life of an INNOCENT human being directly from the womb is far different than wars, the death penalty, nukes, etc.” by Tommy

NO IT ISN’T!! According to the Mageserium and the teachings of the Catholic Church, including the views expressed by Pope Joh Paul II in St. Louis in 1999, the view of the Catholic Church is that all heman life is equal, and that executing a person is as grave a sin as abortion. He said that “All executions are cruel and unusual punishment in all cases and without exception”. He also said that any taking of human life except for direct self protection or under St. Augustine’s direction of a “just war” is sin. And the church in 2003, 2005, and 2006 issued statements that the war in Iraq “clearly, and in no case” falls under either or these directions. Please get your facts straight before you try to argue.

Posted by Kirk | Report as abusive

Ultimately, if we do not legislate someone’s beliefs, what exactely are we legislating? If not, why isn’t the Biden principal a universal? I believe abortion is wrong, but I do not want to impose that on others. I believe murder is wrong, but I don’t want to impose that on others. I believe stealing is wrong, but I don’t want to impose that on others. I believe fraud is wrong, but I don’t want to impose that on others…. Either abortion is wrong, or it is good…period.

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

okay, Let’s take this one by one.
1. If we go by how we feel or man’s standards of correct or prudent conduct, that conduct or standard is changeable, because the human heart is wicked above all things. It seeks it’s own level. Right and Wrong as decided by cultural mores have caused the most damage. The khmer rouge, hitler and his eugenics movement(lead by american eugenisists such as Margeret sanger, rabid bigot and founder of planned parenthood, as a means of eliminating blacks and so called undesirables) If there is no objective truth, we end up with humanities subjective truth. We see how that works out. Murder by numbers.

Often misquoted by the misguided, thou shalt not kill….well no, that is not what it says…it says, thou shalt not do murder. If God did not believe in war for a righteous cause, he never would have told the Isrealites to take the land from it’s inhabitants, nor would he have made David King of Isreal after slaying Goliath. Abortion is murder, because it is the taking of innocent life. The death penalty is allowed in Genesis. If any man sheds the blood of another man (plainly meaning cold blooded murder when read within context) then by man shall his blood be shed. Murderers are not innocent. They have taken it into their own hands to sow destruction, and in doing so, have sowed the seeds of their own destruction.

And before someone attempts the red herring of old testament laws in leviticus, the new testament put ceremonial law to rest with the crucifiction of Christ, his blood the recompense for our sins,has made us whole through grace by faith, not works. Paul stated in romans (not a direct quote here…’one man esteems one day above another, one man will only eat vegetables, let each do his own will’. Does that mean we continue to sin? By no means. As Christ said, it is not what we eat that defiles us, it’s what resides in the heart. For we are freed from sin by the indwelling spirit of Christ, when we accept his redemptive offering we are freed from the law, but not from seeking to become closer to Christ or more christlike. His attributes are found in his words, not the least of which is the sermon on the mount, BUT dont forget, he also drove the money changers out of the temple with a WHIP in a righteous rage, he was no soft pacifist, when it counted, when truth counted, Jesus fought. Therefore we put off our old selves and pick up the cross of Christ and seek to be his representatives in this world.

Last but certainly not least…Just because we are imperfect and sinful does not mean we cannot speak out about the evil of abortion. Speaking about one evil does not prohibit speaking about poverty, Nor does it negate the argument that abortion is the taking of a human life. All the human sin in the world does not negate the evil of abortion, one sin no matter how grotesque, does not negate another lesser sin, nor does the lesser sin dim the more henious one. One evil (the pedophilia of a few priests) does not mean that another priest who has not been implicated in such things can not speak about sin. Just because people sometimes do not live up to ideals and standards DOES NOT MEAN THERE SHOULD BE NO STANDARDS. Without standards, we are mere animals without dignity or humanity. Anything becomes acceptable in the name of tolerance, (which is really just lazy apathy) and even morally equal. When that happens, the collapse of civilization cannot be far behind.
cm.oursler

Posted by cmoursler | Report as abusive

Get the facts straight–Burke’s objection to Crow was about embryonic stem cell research. The Church supports adult stem cell research.

Posted by Johns | Report as abusive

I love my catholic church.

THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE PARTY OF DEATH
IT IS WHAT IT IS.

Long live our Pope.

Posted by bruno | Report as abusive

I wonder if Burke regrets the tacit approval given by church and Pius XII to Hitler, and look forward to hearing his opinion on it?

Posted by Herb Siegel | Report as abusive

It’s about time the Catholic Church spoke out about abortion and the party that thinks it’s ok.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

Bravo to Archbishop Burke!!

Prayer and reparation will win the day. The Democrat party will once again be a party that supports human dignity. In the meantime, instructing the ignorant remains the crucial spiritual work of mercy.

+Jesus, Mary and Joseph, save souls!+

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive

As an American Republican, I must admit mixed feelings about the Democrat embrace of Extinction Life Style. The famous article, The Empty Cradle Will Rock published by the WSJ a few years ago, pointed out that there are now about six million missing Democrats at the polls. This is one reason Democrats lose elections despite many advantages such as having the establishment media in their hip pocket.

I think we already have a workable compromise. We Republicans should continue loving and cherishing children and Democrats should continue terminating theirs. Over time this will also improve the American gene pool.

Posted by Bob | Report as abusive

When the bishops and priests were screwing the kids where were you?

Why have you npot condemned them? Hipocrite !!!!!!

Posted by Sreve | Report as abusive

I’m very concerned, as a Catholic, that the church has defined life strictly in terms of abortion. In America, the church has become solely defined as the anti-abortion church. We are more than that

The United States is engaged in an unjust war, the country condones the death penalty, we have ignored the least amongst us on a daily basis. Yet as a church, we do not care. Our sole interest is in abortion and telling people who disagree with us they have no place in our church. We do not care if they agree -that abortion is morally wrong. Instead we expect that they agree totally on how we end the problem of abortion. Do you really think outlawing abortion will end abortion? No it will not. It will only close the door to confused people. It will tell Catholic women that the church door is not open to them for advice and forgiveness.

Posted by Cindy | Report as abusive

The Catholic Church is entitled to have her own rules.If you filled there are to rigid for you, you don’t have to be part of it.But Nancy Pelosi, Biden and the rest of them, start to Pontify from the Halls of Congress what means a to be a good catholic .So Bishop Burke has to may clear (for us CatholIcs) the Church position with respects to the babies in the mother’s womb.

Posted by Martha | Report as abusive

Abortion IS a HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE! Without LIFE there can be no LIBERTY! ROE v WADE is the most illegal and baseless law ever perpetrated on the American people. We Catholics need to team up with our Protestant brothers and sisters to further the culture of life!

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive

Herb: The Roman Catholic Church has already apologized for any help Pius XII may have given the Nazis. Isn’t it about time that you got over your anti-Catholic bigotry?

Posted by Cyrus | Report as abusive

Dave and like-minded people say:

“Some people believe life begins the very moment of conception, some like myself feel that true life doesn’t begin until you are born into the world.”

So Dave would agree that there is a chance that life begins at conception. Wouldn’t you rather err on the side that it does indeed begin at conception rather than risk killing a human being?

We are not like the hoofed creatures of the Serengeti. We still cannot take care of ourselves the moment we leave the womb. If you really want to side with someone who shares your view and feels even newborns don’t deserve to live, then you need to cast a vote for Barack Obama.

Stop taking the “I feel this way and other people feel another way” stance – and choose. Is it a human being or not? Give valid reasons why or why not – that ultimately is the question that everyone drawn to this blog needs to answer.

Posted by Mikey | Report as abusive

Sreve: He ALREADY HAS apologized for priest pedophilia. When are you going to get over your anti-Catholic bigotry?

Posted by Cyrus | Report as abusive

As typical, the internet crowd rears it’s ugly head with all sorts of vitriol against what is good and right.

Abortion on demand kills innocent babies.

A just war kills murderous dictators like Saddam who operate rape rooms and torture chambers.

Liberals frequently confuse good and evil for some reason, I’d like to find out why.

Posted by Scott | Report as abusive

Abortion = Murder

Good for the Catholic church to finally stand up and condemn these pro-”choice” “Catholics.”

Posted by ElCapitan | Report as abusive

45,000,000 Americans have been murdered since Roe vs Wade. The Democrats, more than any other party, have made it their mission to keep abortions happening. NARAL and Planned Parenthood kickback millions to the Democratic Party. Just like the Nazis who pulled the gold teeth out of their victims mouths, the Democrat party profits from the murder of the innocent unborn. If these Americans had not been murdered, maybe we wouldn’t need to bring in 20 million Mexicans to fill US jobs. Maybe they would have been hard working taxpayers that could have contributed to the solvency of Social Security for future retirees. If just 10% of them were geniuses, then abortionists have murdered 4,500,000 Americans that could possibly have found solutions to the critical problems faced by our nation and the world. Those who defend abortion rights are evil.

Posted by Alan | Report as abusive

The wages you earn for sin is death (Romans 6:23) Sin is breaking any one of Yahweh’s 613 Laws found in the first five books of your Bible called The Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.(1 John 3:4) If you read Revelation Chapter 17 you’ll read of a “whore” who sits on 7 hills who is teaching the world to commit fornication and abominations. Check any reliable encyclopedia and you’ll find that ROME is the city of seven hills. This is where the Pope resides, in the Vatican which sits on one of those hills. He has taught this world to worship a GOD named Jesus (also known as ZEUS THE GREEK SKY GOD)who is nothing more than a false savior who is powerless to do anything for anyone.Yahshua Messiah is the true Savior sent by Yahweh to bless us by turning us away from all of our iniquites.(Acts 3:26) Iniquity is “doing away with” Yahweh’s Laws as you can read for yourself in Strongs Concordance. This is what the Pope of Rome (the Holy Roman Empire) has accomplished. They have taught all of us in the inhabited world to commit fornication and partake of all abominations, i.e., eating pork and rodents, like the Capybara the Pope approved the South Americans to eat during Lent declaring this rodent a “fish” to justify this abominable practice. Read Isaiah 65 and 66 and see what Yahweh thinks of eating unclean creatures. Recently this deceiver on the seven hills of Rome mandated that Yahweh’s Name be taken out of all catholic literature and songs and must not be used during mass as it is “too holy to pronounce”. Google this for yourself and you’ll see its true. Notice it is Yahweh whom he is against, not GOD or Jesus or Jehovah or Buddah or Allah or any GOD of this world…only the Heavenly Father Yahweh Whom is not a God nor ever claimed to be. In fact He told us not to be worshipping (serving) Gods!
The reason the Pope does not Yahweh’s Name in the literature is you might get wise to who ther Creator truly is and you might start calling on Him (Yahweh) and be delivered from the destruction, diseases and nuclear war that is soon to come. (Joel 2:32) The whole world is deceived. Revelation 12:9 The Pope’s time to deceive the world is alost over. COME OUT OF HER (THE CATHOLIC CHURCH) MY PEOPLE SO YOU DO NOT PARTAKE OF HER SINS AND SO YOU DO NOT RECEIVE OF HER PLAGUES. Rev. 18:4 Go TO YAHWEH.COM AND BE ENLIGHTENED.

Kirk said, <>

John Paul may well have said that, but he was NOT speaking ‘ex Cathedra’. No pope has ever asserted that opposition to capital punishment is binding on the faithful. In fact, the Catechism actually specifies the conditions under which capital punishment is allowable. All American states adhere to that or more rigid standard.

Consider your ignorance relieved a little.

Posted by Cyrus | Report as abusive

Let us look at two similar human rights situations:

1854 Dred Scott decision: some human beings, because of the color of their skin, are labled “chattel” and not recognized as human persons. This dehumanizing of the African American person was fundamentally immoral and yet upheld by law in mamy States. Dred Scott, who had sued for his freedom, was given the decision that, not only did he have no right to sue for his freedom, he had no right to be a free individual, the Supreme Court having usurped a God-given right (as defined in the Declaration of Independence -”endowed by the Creator”)
A civil war came to be fought over States’ rights and whether or not this great nation should divide over the slavery issue or not, if slavery should be abolished or not.
President Abraham Lincoln, midwestern, self-educated (not Harvard educated) lawyer chooses war (as a last resort) to defend the Union and the humanity of enslaved blacks.
Outcome: the Union was preserved and blacks were declared emancipated – free persons and granted citizenship with all its rights (even if it took time for this to be fully accepted in some places).
Lincoln was a Republican. Democrats favored slavery or were, at least, “pro-choice”, to let Southern landowners decide whether or not to own slaves (perhaps out of respect to the “right to privacy”?). The South voted solidly Democratic until the late 1970′s. Many opted out of the party of their parents and grandparents because it no longer reflected their values, as per the 2nd case.

1973 Roe v Wade: some human beings, because of their age and vulnerability, are labled with words like “products of conception”, “blob of tissue”. The result left those not yet born, but on the way, to no protection by the US government. Any reason could be given to abort under the “life of the ‘mother’” clause, even up to the day of birth. This dehumanizing of human beings who happened to be one day old or one month old or five weeks or six months led to the desensitization of our people and those who worked for this decision have also seen fit to ensconce it in the psyche the nation by ensuring its indoctrination in our children in school, our youth in universities (those born the year of the decision are at least 35 years old). It has opened the door for the hubris of the scientific community to manipulate very young human beings for the sake of “research”, to strip them of their stem cells, for example, even though all credible studies have shown that adult stem cells have actually cured diseases and embyonic stem cells not only have never cured any diseases, they have caused cancer in many cases when tried. Those who want to keep the unborn child, whether embryo, fetus or zygote, in its current state of “slave” to the will of the adults who called it into being and/or wish to manipulate or destroy it at will include NARAL, Planned Parenthood Federation, and, since the last 35 years or so, the Democratic Party. Infiltrated by disgruntled leftists who could not make it on their own (socialists, communists), they have succeeded in highjacking the party and refashioning it according to leftist ideologies in the name of a self-defined “progress”. The result has been a regress of our people. Since Roe v Wade, “Roe” (Norma McCorvey) has since become staunchly pro life; so also have women who have had abortions who are “Silent No More” and abortion doctors, such as Dr. Bernard Nathanson, one of the founding members of NARAL who once operated the largest abortion clinic in NYC.
The experimentation on very young humans resembles the horrible experiments carried on by the Nazi scientists on human beings, including children, during WWII.
Just as slavery did not make us a better nation, so, too, abortion on demand has not made us a better nation.
Women are more easily preyed upon by men who exploit them and then refuse to help them or, worse, encourage them to abort. Economics has become an excuse (just as it was for the slavery of the 19th century). As Nobel prize winner Mother Teresa of Calcutta once observed when questioned by an American journalist her views on abortion: “America is such a poor country. In India, we are poor, but we feed our children. But in America you are so poor you have to kill them.” Again, she brought up the “A” word at a White House Prayer Breakfast during the Clinton administration: “Abortion is the greatest challenge to peace in our times. If a nation permits the child in the womb to be killed, what is to stop me or anyone from killing any other person?” Abortion has forced health care workers, called to heal and “do no harm”, to become workers in the “killing fields” of the abortion industry. And, make no mistake about it, it is a multi-million dollar industry. Were that not so, groups like Planned Parenthood would not be so tenacious about maintaining it.
I have faith that Roe v Wade will be overturned. As more and more people are coming to discover the truth about the life of the unborn -new ultra sounds have also helped to bring this reality home to many people- more and more are finding the whole abortion thing so very distasteful and immoral, and the Roe v Wade decision for the sham that it was/is. It is the Republican party, the party of Lincoln which freed the slaves, which has stood more consistently on the side of the unborn child -and the elderly, the sick, the average traditional family, working people and so on. The Democrats have so removed themselves from these groups; the few pro-life Democrats have been silenced, if not exploited. They may have to do what Ronald Reagan, once a Democrat did -leave the party since, “it isn’t they who left the party, it’s the party which left them”. It is no longer the party of FDR and JFK, both of whom would be appalled by what it has morphed into.
Moreover, the media has, by and large, taken sides -the side of the neo-liberal Democrats (neo-liberal because they are not liberal in the classic sense of being open to the viewpoints of others). It was enough to see the way Charles Gibson and Katie Couric condescendingly interviewed Governor Palin.
I believe in the common sense of most of our citizens who have been seeing through the web of lies spun by the media, spun by the Democrats, spun by the Obama camp, and they will rise to the occasion and make the right choice on November 4. When they do, we will begin to see, at long last, the emancipation of the unborn child and the end of the exploitation of unborn children.

Posted by therese | Report as abusive

um hello we haven’t waged nuclear war on iran… wake up

Posted by Bob Georgeson | Report as abusive

It’s way past time that the Catholic Church puts its money where its mouth is and stand up for the unborn. Abortion is a barbaric procedure any way you look at it and if the Catholic Church doesn’t defend these innocent babies who will? There is no wiggle room when it comes to defending the unborn and these so-called “catholic” politicians must be held to account for their evil stand on abortion by the leaders of the Catholic Church. Like I said it’s way past time for the clergy to put these politicians in their place.

Posted by Ray | Report as abusive

um we haven’t waged nuclear war on iran… wake up!

I am not Catholic, but I so agree with the archbishop and POPE, if you can not defend LIFE

Posted by Cathy | Report as abusive

OK… First, for all you talking about separation of church and state… there is no state sponsorship of the catholic church whatsoever, so this point is not relevant.

Second, for those of you who know this but understand the 501(c)3 status of churches and the requirement that 501(c)3′s not endorse any particular candidate or party, there is are reasons there is no problem here.

1. First and foremost, this is not an endorsement, its a criticism of a political policy of a particular party and most specifically of politicians who are uneducated in certain aspects of their moral philosophy and the faith which they claim to represent. Non-profits do not lose their right to support or criticize POLICIES of any particular party or politician. (Lets not forget the Pope’s vocal opposition to the Bush doctrine of pre-emption and the war in Iraq, not to mention the death penalty during his visit to the US.)

2. The comment comes from the Vatican i.e. a sovereign nation according to international law.

3. Now, those of you who talk about “The Catholic Church” having tax exempt status, I invite you to pause and reflect and think about if you really honestly think the Vatican in Rome files a U.S. Tax Return… I hope you’ve quickly concluded that’s ridiculous.

The Church, like all other international non-profit organizations is incorporated in each place separately from the Vatican. Dioceses are each incorporated as their own entity in the U.S. and in some states parishes are only partially incorporated into the diocese sort of like franchises. Each individual parish could in theory break with the diocese or dioceses could break with Rome, although it would require a rogue Bishop because of the way the articles of incorporation are written. Each diocese or parish files its own tax exempt forms with the IRS (and state if necessary).

SO, if one parish priest in Wyoming endorses a candidate or party he endangers his parish’s tax exempt status for that year, but not the entire Catholic Church throughout the nation… which I think all would agree is reasonable. Now with regard to the pedophilia cases, federal courts have decided to “pierce the corporate veil” in those cases due to managerial negligence. That is to say that while a parish may be incorporated separately from the diocese the separation between the diocese and the parish level is non-existent when the Bishop is the one moving people around. But that rule would not apply unless it could be proven that the diocese knew what was going on at the parish level.

Thus, even IF the archbishop was representing his diocese when making those comments, any tax exempt status could theoretically only be stripped from his diocese (of course assuming he was breeching the 501(c)3 stipulations – which he was not). Tax exempt status cannot be stripped from “The Catholic Church” because according to the law there is no such think as the universal catholic church as we imagine it in our heads, only dioceses incorporated in each state.

3. Now on a Constitutional note, truly the last thing the federal government (the President, Congress, and Supreme Court) want is a Supreme Court case between The Catholic Archdiocese of (x) and The United States of America. Talk about political suicide and culture wars. Not to mention there is no established constitutional authority for the 501(c)3 restriction on churches. The first amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or respecting the free exercise thereof.” The supreme court has primarily held two different standards, one being that government could support religious organizations so long as it did not discriminate between them, and then there is the more recent “wall of separation” doctrine. The problem for those who are against religion in the public square is that they would like to apply the “wall of separation” when it comes to government GIVING money to religious affiliated institutions however they often have no problem with taxing the churches. This view is blatantly, although often not intentionally, hypocritical. If one believes in a strict wall of separation then the wall must apply both ways. However, if you follow the school that says government can fund religiously affiliated institutions under certain circumstances then you must leave open the possibility that funding or other privileges may be withheld based on certain conditions.

You can’t have it both ways, and so it is not entirely certain that the the “secularists” would win this Constitutional battle. In the end the Supreme Court could enshrine a church’s right to not be taxed as part of the free exercise clause and then speech be protected under freedom of speech and priests and bishops could endorse parties and candidates outright and without penalty from the government. Instead I think we should be content to not have the culture wars explode on the federal level and remain content with the current comfortable, although vague, truce between the churches and state.

The churches that really benefit most from this arrangement are the baptists and evangelicals. The catholic and mainline protestant churches are organized into hierarchical structures (dioceses) and largely based in major population centers with parishioners encompassing a wide range of the political spectrum. They therefore are more easily exposed and make easy targets for a theoretical lawsuit. Therefore, they are careful not to breach the 501(c)3 restrictions. Evangelical churches however use a truly American strategy to gain their political sway and that is celebrity status of a select few evangelical pastors. Because they do not actually speak for an organized church at all they are impossible to penalize for endorsing one candidate or the other. Even if pastors in the large rural congregations did breech the 501(c)3 status, the government would not only have to prove it, but also have to try each individual 100 seat church separately in court rather than entire dioceses. As you can see the law favors the political power of churches that are decentralized, rual, and often radical – so long as they don’t put anything in writing. So when pundits talk about the powerful Evangelical conservative vote and the near irrelevance of the Catholic vote, remember what you read here, and what you know of American history, 501c3 status is just another tool of southern white protestants to maintain their control of the country.

Posted by primusinterpares | Report as abusive

Obama gave the typical “pro-choice” interpretation when he said if one of his daughters made a mistake, he didn’t want them “punished” with a baby. “PUNISHED”. So, in the pro-choice mind…….having a child is “punishment” and the “mistake” should be terminated for convenience. 95% of all baby murders are murders of “convenience”. Dress it up or try to rationalize it any way you want. They are abortions of convenience……….period ! ! !

Posted by bill brady | Report as abusive

With regards to abortion and the Democratic party’s stance:

There appears to be a very strong motive for their wanting to “protect” a woman’s right to choose … selfishness.

1) A woman wants to have sex and does so, without concern in becoming pregnant.
2) The woman decides she doesn’t want the child growing within her.
3) The woman has an abortion.

For some reason, the Democratic party doesn’t want us procreating. Their rationale is very clear as they want it to otherwise look like they’re “protecting” a woman’s right to choose, while the entire time they’re encouraging them to NOT reproduce.

Interesting thought, is it not?

I just wish people would hold the sanctity for life and the sacred act of procreating in higher regard. We need to return to being a more responsible society.

Posted by Larry | Report as abusive

I’m not a Catholic, but I totally agree with the church official. Plain and simple, the Democrats are a “party of death.” It was the logical step for them to get the most liberal senator to run for president, and one who has voted against the unborn time after time. NARAL, NOW, and all the liberal feminist groups support Obama.
And no wonder, their sacred cow, “convenience killing,” is at stake in this race.

Are you proud dems? To be linked to the holocaust of our times in the name of convenience and “equal rights” for women? What a joke. You have the blood of millions of innocents on your hands. The unborn are the most vulnerable of Americans. No one can hear their cries of anguish as they’re sucked, scraped, skulls crushed, or they’re torn apart in the womb. I’ve held three kids and nine grandkids as newborns, and I can’t imagine anyone of them to have someone party to having their innocent little lives snuffed out. I know the hard cases. Almost 98% of abortions are for convenience, and not a health, incest, or rape issue. Democrats=the party of death.

Posted by Katrina | Report as abusive

this article makes me want to go and have an abortion

Posted by appone | Report as abusive

Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden need to find a church that aligns more with their way of thinking. They should not be a member of a church if they can’t support the belief system of that organization. Religion is a choice not a birthright.

Posted by Mary | Report as abusive

Why does everyone seem to forget that it was a Republican appointed judge, Blackmun who made abortion legal, with Roe vs. Wade. The majority of Republicans were for abortion, even Ronald Reagan who appointed Judge Scalia, who is Catholic and said on 60 minutes show that he would not make abortion illegal and that he didnt believe a fetus was covered by the constitution. How come he is not denied communion? I dont believe democrats should be called the party of death. But the hypocritical Republicans. Out of their mouths they say they are against abortion. But didnt change laws when they could have with Bush, who didnt keep his promises.This is the example of wolves in sheep clothing.

Posted by Candy | Report as abusive

According to science, life begins at conception.

According to Obama, fatherhood does not end at conception, so one can assume it must start at conception.

Do we want to want to help those who are most in need?

Posted by Walter Funk | Report as abusive

Wow.
I left the Church a few years ago because I was disappointed about several things.
This comment about the Democrats, which I totally agree with, may steer me back to the Church.
Thanks for standing for something in this day of whimps.

Posted by Julie | Report as abusive

Micheal, your argument is so ridiculous you should never be allowed to post on the internet ever again. No U.S. politician has ever threatened to use nuclear weapons anywhere in the Middle East. The U.N. is actually trying to stop the Middle East from getting nuclear weapons so they don’t blow Israel off the map. Or do you actually think Iran wouldn’t love to do just that. If so you truly are ignorant and should be banned from the internet and all intellectual venues.

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

The responses her are stunning. Like the one who argues that we need to keep killing innocent babies until we end all wars, because only then will we realise the sanctity of life. Can you truly be foolish enough to believe your own twisted logic?

And those who argue that Biden is right to argue for abortion, because while his beliefs which states that life begins at conception should not imposed on others. Basic science states that life begins at conception. Look at the definition of “Life”. You may want to argue wether it in intelligent life, but to argue it is not life shows a lack of understanding of basic biology.

So if Biden believes that life begins at conception he has no more moral standing justifying abortion than he would attempting to justtify murder of full grownn adults. What next argue that we should let infants die post birth if the mother decides she does not want the baby. Only Obama could support such a sick resolution (BAIPA).

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

Bush met with the Pope in the medieval tower a few months ago… As you all probably know, the pope was a Hitler Nazi youth during WWII. It is the republicans that started a oil/pipeline war on behalf of Israel in the middle east and Afganistan… and the democrats are the party of death?

I know, I know, the conservatives flip reality so that their idiot class supporters will believe it, but then these poor suckers will believe anything.

Who cares what the vatican thinks? I think billions of dollars payed out to settle child molestation claims is what they need to focus on and the current pope was the person responsible for shipping those priests elsewhere and covering these crimes up.

Posted by Ray | Report as abusive

Typical. Secular Americans have a problem with the Catholic Church, therefore the Church MUST be wrong (and we wonder why the rest of the world believes we are ignorant). Simply put, the Roman Catholic Church is NOT a pluralist Democratic institution. It is patriarchal with a singular authority figure at the top (which is not you). At no point does the Catholic Church require or even need your input. Would you insist upon using your hands in a soccer game because you dont like the rule “feet only”? NO ONE has the right to be Catholic. If you disagree with the Orthodoxy, go somewhere else. The expectation that one can be a pro-abortion Democrat (or Republican) and then insist they are Catholic speaks to the immaturity of that individual (not to mention the almost manic selfishness) and NOT the Roman Catholic Church. Nothing more.

Posted by curious | Report as abusive

The only reason for abortion is to rob American of its nationality. Once the legal and illegals fill the labor force and political posts then the borders will disappear and we will become the great North American Union nanny state with our own Euro and sing kumbya to our glorious leader, Obama.

Posted by Whitey Right | Report as abusive

If the question of when life begins is so open to interpretation, then can we extend the pre-life period to, say, up to two years old? That would give us plenty of time to really decide if we want to keep this thing that we haven’t labeled a child yet. This “in the womb, out of the womb” distinction just doesn’t fly. I mean one second it’s a “fetus”, and the next moment, with a push or the slice of a scalpel, and ta da, we have life? Head still in the birth canal? Just a fetus. Full delivery? Hmm, well, if you can’t put the head back in (to perform the abortion) then we have to call it a life. Kids aren’t really human anyway until after the terrible twos. So would any pro-choice proponents disagree with my choice to have a post birth abortion, so long as I do it before this post born fetus turns 2?

Posted by Bustyn | Report as abusive

Any Catholic who participates in, is a party to or is an enabler of abortion stands excommunicated from the Church and will spend eternity as a damed soul in the hands of Satan for all eternity in incomprehensible torment. They have exercised their free will to choose death over everlasting life. Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Thurgood Marshall and all the others who are soaked in the blood of millions of the innocents are pathetic damned souls whose departure from this life will take them straight into hell and a torment that they have lied to themselves and lied to the weak fools who kill babies. God himself said that it would be better that a millstone were hung about your neck and you were cast into the sea rather than to face his judgement with the blood of children on your hands. So, Joe, Nancy, John, Ted, Thurgood and the rest… good luck with that!

Posted by Joseph Barack O'biden | Report as abusive

If the Vatican is using derogatory name calling and thinks the Democratic party is the “Party of death”, then I suppose one could respond by saying the Vatican is, “The home of child molesters.” The Vatican needs to stay out of politics and clean up it’s own house. Btw, I used to be a Catholic. I am now 100% atheist. I add that in case some religious whacko, and this country has more than it’s share, responds with, “You must be a Jew or a muslim.” It never ceases to amaze me, in this age, that people still think there is a god or believe in that comic book without pictures called the bible. Note the small “g”.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

So when people know that a murder is happening they are just supposed to let it happen? I don’t think so.

Posted by mulligan | Report as abusive