Giuliani’s Views on Abortion Upset Roman Catholic Leaders

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From the NY Times:

One American bishop, Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, R.I., recently wrote a caustic column for his Catholic newspaper calling Mr. Giuliani’s position “pathetic,” “confusing” and “hypocritical.” Other bishops said that they would not criticize a candidate by name but would not hesitate to declare Mr. Giuliani’s stance contrary to Catholic teaching.

Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark said: “I think he’s being illogical, as are all of those who take the stand that ‘I’m personally opposed to abortion but this is my public responsibility to permit it.’ To violate human life is always and everywhere wrong. In fact, we don’t think it’s a matter of church teaching, but a matter of the way God made the world, and it applies to everyone.”

The presidential campaign of John Kerry, a Democrat, suffered in 2004 when about a dozen of the nation’s more than 200 bishops declared that they would deny him communion because of his abortion stance. A debate ensued among the bishops over whether it was right to enforce doctrine at the communion rail and whether the church had ventured too far into partisan politics.

But some American bishops who favored denying communion said that recent comments by the pope would bolster their approach. Pope Benedict XVI told reporters last month that Catholic legislators in Mexico who had recently voted to allow abortion had effectively excommunicated themselves from the church. A Vatican spokesman immediately issued a clarifying statement saying that politicians who voted for abortion rights should “exclude themselves from communion.”

Bishop Robert J. Baker of Charleston, S.C., said of the pope, “The general thrust of his statement was, it’s within the bishop’s right to take a strong stand in this regard.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsUS Presidential Election 2008

Posted June 25, 2007 at 5:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. bob carlton wrote:

3 marriages, one to his cousin, also seems suspect

then again, at least he has not flip-flopped like fred thompson & mitt romney

the gop - family values, huh ?

June 25, 6:28 pm | [comment link]
2. Words Matter wrote:

Actually, it’s closer to 300, not 200 bishops.  Wow, all of a dozen picked on Kerry! 

It has been said that the collapse of Catholicism in the U.S. proceeded from the failure of the heirarchy to respond to the open dissent from Humanae Vitae by Catholic theologians and clergy.  The scandal of self-identified Catholic protecting the murder of unborn babies follows closely, raising the question of how bad things are going to get before serious reform comes about.

June 25, 7:43 pm | [comment link]
3. Bernini wrote:

Bob, not everyone can soil the dress of young girl the same age as one’s daughter and emerge a conquering hero to his adoring fans.

June 25, 8:25 pm | [comment link]
4. bob carlton wrote:


1. you make a typical conservative pivot - rather than address a candidate’s weakness, attack bill clinton

2.  personally, I am not a fan of clinton (either one) either for his policies or his personal behavior - that said, at least his indiscretions did not lead us into a debacle like Iraq

3.  not everyone can hypocritically prosecute clinton while carrying on his own affair (a la Gingrich)

June 25, 8:36 pm | [comment link]
5. NewTrollObserver wrote:

Republicans acting like Democrats? Who woulda thunk? Must be global warming. grin

June 25, 10:01 pm | [comment link]
6. Chris Molter wrote:

“at least his indiscretions did not lead us into a debacle like Iraq”
Nope, just Bosnia and Somalia.

June 26, 9:05 am | [comment link]
7. Katherine wrote:

Wow, this thread went off-topic with the very first comment and charged ahead into the wilderness.

I think the most important comment in the article is the one from Bishop Myers of Newark, who points out that the “personally opposed” view is illogical.  Could we be “personally opposed” to the murder of people who have been born, but allow individuals to make their own decisions about eliminating others they find inconvenient to themselves?

June 26, 9:57 am | [comment link]
8. Bernini wrote:

And Bob, you engage in typical liberal pivots. Find a conservative candidate who doesn’t match up square with conservative issues and bandy them about as though you’ve discovered the source of all hypocrisy in American politics.

Naturally, once you have been engaged, you proceed to offer up further talking points. So I’ll bite. Iraq is no debacle. It was not unnecessary, nor is it unjust. If you cannot recognize that we are engaged in THE monumental struggle of good v. evil of our age, then I seriously question where your values lie. Do I like bombing people? Do I like killing people? Do I like the thought of Americans and Iraqis dying everyday? No, no and no. But if we do not do this, if we do not establish this democracy and help Iraq stand on its own two feet, then Iran steps in, Al Queda wins, and our way of life changes for the next 100 years. If you cannot recognize this fundamental truth, Bob, then we really don’t have much to discuss.

Clinton was not impeached for having an affair. He was impeached for lying under oath, suborning perjury and obstruction of justice. The fact that we found out he was banging a girl old enough to be his daughter along the way was unfortunate and unseemly. Don’t blame the messenger, Bob.

Given that you cannot fully discern the fundamental issues surrounding the Iraq war, it does not surprise me that you cannot give an honest accounting of Clinton’s impeachment. You promote the same liberal talking points we hear everywhere else, which are in every single instance either flat out wrong or a distortion and misstatement of fact. Given that you are a lone voice of provocation on these boards, I can only assume that you enjoy this kind of rhetorical masturbation for it’s own sake. That, or you really, really, really need to get a job.

June 26, 10:32 am | [comment link]
9. bob carlton wrote:

thanks for the concern for my employment, bernini

The battle with radical Islam is vital to the world - that is something that unites all aspects of the American spectrum.  What is sad is how the Bush Regime has used this battle for their own objectives.  Leaving the Afghan war, nor securing Pakistan, leaving Saudi Arabia w/o any reprecussions, not securing the homeland - these are mistakes that have set us back in this battle.

The war with Iraq has been poorly executed, the occupation mis-managed and the coalition a veritable joke.  When someone like Dick Lugar signals the need for truth & accountability, then it’s time to turn off Fox and actually engage your brain.

Clinton, much like Scooter Libby, lied under oath.  I wish that a jury would have held him more accountable for this than the loss of his ability to practice law.

T1:9 is filled with provocations, differing POVs, even what some may see as distortions and misstatements of fact.  I am thankful for this site, just as I am thankful for the freedom of speech that

June 26, 11:47 am | [comment link]
10. Katherine wrote:

Bob, #9, you say:  “The battle with radical Islam is vital to the world - that is something that unites all aspects of the American spectrum.”  I’m not sure this is true.  There are numerous people on the left who don’t even believe that Islamist extremists flew those planes into the towers in New York.  There are numerous people on the left who are so blinded by their hate for Bush that they cannot see the dangers posed to civilization by radical Islam.  I’m not saying you are one of them, because your comments indicate you have criticisms about how the efforts against radical Islam have been managed.  Fair enough, but surely you can see in the news and on blogs every day that there are many people who think Western civilization is the problem.  They fail to see that radical Islamist regimes would be far worse than any current American failings.

June 27, 2:03 pm | [comment link]
11. Words Matter wrote:

More on Rudy:,barrett,77041,6.html/1

June 27, 2:50 pm | [comment link]
12. bob carlton wrote:

katherine, there are people on fringes of both parties who see 9/11 within their own worldview & do not view radical Islam as a challenge.  That said, the Bush Regime has spent millions of $$$ and a lot of their energy labeling people who see the response to this challenge in a way that is not their brand of swagger & pre-emptive war.

That said, I do want to be clear that I see Western civilization as part of the problem here.  The gluttonous consumption has created a dependence on fossil fuels that makes the Middle East act like an adolescent on steroids.  The way in which we sensationalize lifestyle & politics - from Fox to the tabloids to Michael Moore - debases the liberties we enjoy.

I can not compare failings - I have never lived in Southern Asia or Africa.  What I believe is that if we sacrifice freedom, honesty & honor in the battle here, we have lost the war & our souls in the process.

June 27, 6:13 pm | [comment link]
13. Katherine wrote:

I am in disagreement with you, bob, on the war, but I do respect disagreement which does not label war supporters as inhuman monsters.  I’ve been doing a great deal of reading and learning about Islam since 9/11; I was almost totally ignorant before.  Conquest has been part of Islam since its beginning, and the treatment of Jewish and Christian minorities in Muslim countries was tolerant by medieval standards and certainly more tolerant than was the treatment of minorities in medieval Christian Europe.  However, Christian and nominally-Christian standards have changed, thank God, while Islamic standards have not changed, and what was “tolerant” in medieval terms is grossly intolerant in modern terms.  The new-old Islam has been growing since the early 1800s, and I do not see historically that either ignoring it or temporizing with it, as we did from 1979 to 2001, were successful strategies.

I am home on vacation from India, and will soon be living in Egypt.  I do believe that cultures can be compared and some can be found “better” than others in many important respects.  This does not mean that everything about south Asian or Muslim cultures is bad, or that everything about western culture is good.  Historically, Muslim cultures have been declining for centuries.  The Ottomans fell from dry rot from within.  The high medieval focus on knowledge has passed away, and it has not been replaced with cultural habits that allow success in modern terms—for example, look at what all that oil money has done.  It has funded hyper-wealthy elite families and has not produced the broader productive and educated societies which are needed to compete globally (with a few exceptions).  And speaking from the woman’s point of view, the situation of women in Hindu and Muslim cultures is inferior to what western women expect.  My view is that the focus on the failings of western civilization, and I do see some, of course, blinds us to the real dangers coming from outside.

June 27, 6:33 pm | [comment link]
14. bob carlton wrote:

thanks so much for the honesty & personal revelation behind your response, katherine.  my prayers are with you as you move to Egypt

i do not consider supporters of the iraq war monster or inhuman - i wish that energy had not been spent branding those who see a different path as pacifist or appeasers

June 27, 6:54 pm | [comment link]
15. Bernini wrote:

Bob, it’s an “Administration,” not a “Regime.” Last time I checked, your vote was counted fairly, and nobody put a gun to my head to pull the lever for the President. To suggest otherwise is to engage in overzealous rhetoric that seeks to frame the discussion in a context that is false and inappropriate. I reject the use of that phrase in no uncertain terms.

The fight against radical Islam is hardly something that unites all aspects of the American spectrum. Harry Reid has unilaterally declared the war to be lost. Nancy Pelosi engages in extra-Constitutional diplomacy. There is no “solution” to Islamic Terror from the Left, just capitulation. The labels of “pacifists” and “appeasers” are well earned, and well deserved.

Scooter Libby did not “lie” like Bill Clinton lied. Bill Clinton violated his oath of office and sought to deny an American citizen her constitutional right to a fair trial. The name you want, Bob, is Richard Armitage. Armitage’s name was already known to Fitzgerald before Libby’s trial began. Fitzgerald knew it was Armitage who leaked Valerie Plame’s name to Bob Novak. So if the Libby trial was about getting to the Plame leaker’s name, and the Plame leaker’s name was known before the trial began, what lie, exactly, got Libby convicted? To equate Clinton’s lie to Libby’s “lie” is a disingenuous distortion and improper comparison. It’s flat out wrong.

My brain is fully engaged, Bob, thank you very much.

June 27, 11:49 pm | [comment link]
16. bob carlton wrote:


a regime is defined as government who changed their countries’ systems radically in a relatively recent window of time

it seems fitting to use that term in the context of Mr. Bush, much the same way that this site refers to faithful people of God as re-appraisers or re-asserters

Yep, that Sen. Warner (R-VA) and Luger (R-IN) - they are some kind of “pacifists” and “appeasers”, huh ?

Scooter lied about his leaking - Armitage told the truth.  You are right about the inquality of Scooter’s lie with Clinton’s - Clinton lied about a relationship with a page the age of Clinton’s daughter, Scooter, Armitage & Rove leaked the name of a CIA

June 28, 12:37 am | [comment link]
17. Bernini wrote:

Your use of the word “regime” is inaccurate and inappropriate. The American system of governance has undergone no such radical change. I unequivocably reject the premise of your reasoning. If you wish to be taken seriously, then stop arguing like this is The Daily Kos.

One can be a “re-appraiser” and “re-asserter” and still be a faithful person of God. They cannot, however, be an Anglican as defined by historical and theological tradition. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, it’s not the Orthodox who have left the Episcopal Church behind, it’s the Episcopal Church who has left behind the Orthodox.

In this instance, yes, Warner and Lugar are wrong. They join the ranks of pacifists and appeasers that include Akaka, Baucus, Bayh, Biden, Bingaman, Boxer, Brown, Byrd, Cantwell, Cardin, Carper, Casey, Clinton, Conrad, Dodd, Dorgan, Durbin, Feingold, Feinstein, Harkin, Inouye, Johnson, Kennedy, Kerry, Klobuchar, Kohl, Landrieu, Lautenberg, Leahy, Levin, Lincoln, McCaskill, Menendez, Mikulski, Murray, Nelson, Nelson, Obama, Pryor, Reed, Reid, Rockefeller, Salazar, Schumer, Stabenow, Tester, Webb, Whitehouse, and Wyden. Pacifists and appeasers who would rather stick their heads in the sand than face the difficult job of winning the central battle of our age. If this seems a bit extreme, ask Joe Lieberman what he thinks.

Again, you are wrong about Scooter Libby, Bob. The central issue with Clinton’s lie was not the age of the intern; it was his obstruction of justice in his attempt to deny Paula Jones her fair day in court. Scooter Libby should never have been prosecuted because Fitzgerald already knew the answer to the question of who leaked Plame’s name. Libby’s “lie” was a failure of memory that had no impact on the case whatsoever. Again, it is a misrepresentation to even come close to equating the two examples. Your mischaracterization of the central issue of each example demonstrates not only a lack of serious thought, but reveals an underlying bias that goes hand in hand with a dangerous intellectual disingenuousness.

June 28, 11:00 am | [comment link]
18. bob carlton wrote:

scooter failed to remember - that’s been going around a lot in the Bush Regime

June 28, 11:45 am | [comment link]
19. Bernini wrote:

Oh, please, Kos. Argue like an adult.

June 28, 12:05 pm | [comment link]
20. libraryjim wrote:

Hey, Bob, remember all those missing e-mails from the Clinton hearings? Sounds like many administrations have a problem with memory, but for some reason, memory is short with Democrats who only want to ascribe dishonesty to the Bush administration alone.  IMO, it’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

June 28, 7:11 pm | [comment link]
21. bob carlton wrote:

During the year and a half of George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign, I must have heard his stump speech 100 times. The lines changed little over the months, and the ending almost never changed—Bush would raise his hand, as if taking an oath, and promise to restore honor and dignity to the White House.

He also vowed to restore civility to the poisonous atmosphere of the nation’s capital, declaring at a GOP fundraiser in April 2000 that “it’s time to clean up the toxic environment in Washington, D.C.”

A few months later, Bush told voters at a campaign event in Pittsburgh that his administration would “ask not only what is legal but what is right, not what the lawyers allow but what the public deserves.”

Now, you are left to plead - hey, the clintons did it, too ?

June 28, 7:40 pm | [comment link]
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