Sunday, October 19, 2008

Many Catholics Still At Odds With Obama-Biden Abortion Policies

Archbishop criticizes Obama, Catholic allies

DENVER (AP) - Denver Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput labeled Barack Obama the "most committed" abortion candidate from a major party in 35 years while accusing a Catholic Obama ally and other Democratic-friendly Catholic groups of doing a "disservice to the church."

Chaput, one of the nation's most politically outspoken Catholic prelates, delivered the remarks Friday night at a dinner of a Catholic women's group.

His comments were among the sharpest in a debate over abortion and Catholic political responsibility in a campaign in which Catholics represent a key swing vote.

Chaput, without getting into much detail, called Obama the "most committed" abortion-rights major-party presidential candidate since the landmark Roe v. Wade decision on abortion in 1973.

"To suggest - as some Catholics do - that Senator Obama is this year's 'real' pro-life candidate requires a peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse," Chaput said according to his prepared remarks, titled "Little Murders."

Chaput said "activism for Senator Barack Obama, and the work of Democratic-friendly groups like Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, have done a disservice to the church, confused the natural priorities of Catholic social teaching, undermined the progress pro-lifers have made, and provided an excuse for some Catholics to abandon the abortion issue instead of fighting within their parties and at the ballot box to protect the unborn."

Pro-Obama Catholics "seek to contextualize, demote and then counterbalance the evil of abortion with other important but less foundational social issues," said Chaput, who wrote a book this year, "Render Unto Caesar," about Catholics and politics.

Chaput emphasized he was speaking as a private citizen and not as a representative of the Denver archdiocese. Chaput already has said that Obama running mate Joe Biden, a Catholic, "should not present himself for Communion" because of his (Biden's) pro-abortion position

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