Now he [Governor Quinn] is in fairly hot water with the Catholic Church. Quinn, who purports to be Catholic, has agreed to speak and present awards at a pro-abortion group dinner; the group donated considerably to his election campaign.
This generated a letter, signed by every archbishop in Illinois (we believe), reminding him that as a Catholic, he cannot endorse, promote, or do anything short of condemn a group advocating abortion. The letter was strongly worded, but is presently not available on the Catholic Conference of Illinois website.
Liberals are firing back, saying that the dinner was to honor a rape victim, and repeatedly saying that only the Catholic Church could be so heartless and cruel as to condemn a rape victim.*
No, that has nothing to do with it. In fact, the Church was right to leave her completely out of this and focus on the abortion group’s primary motivation: abortion.
The days of the Kennedys are long over, in which the Church will look the other way when its doctrines are thoroughly ignored in public by its professed members. The letter reflects this and reminds the govenor that Quinn cannot call himself a Catholic while ignoring such a major moral conviction. When Quinn’s own pastor defended the governor, the Church sharply reprimanded the pastor and had him apologize to the faithful for deviating from Church teaching.
The bottom line is this: the Church condemns abortion in the strongest possible terms. If Quinn wishes to remain in the Church, or at least nomically call himself a Catholic, he has to drop his tolerance for abortion. That’s all there is to this. And the Church was right to tell him it’s decision-time for his faith. And that can be tough for a guy who made a career out of a lack of conviction.
I saw this story in yesterday’s Sun-Times (how could I miss it — the Sun-Times decided it was front page material!) and I did indeed want to blog about the story for a variety of reasons. The first reason you already explained and said it twice as eloquently as I could have — it is past time for the Church to give Cathlic politicians a pass on publically supporting immoral public policy and facing no consequences for doing so. The second reason is that I know that Cardinal George doesn’t want to be seen as “attacking” a rape victim, but it should be noted that Ms. Goodman was the one who decided to enter the public debate over abortion by filming the campaign commercial for Quinn in support of abortion rights — it seems like as soon as she made that decision she becomes a fair target for criticism. Obviously, you want to treat her with respect and consideration — but you want to do the same for a sitting Illinois Governor — the bottom line is both of these individuals are advocating a public policy that is deeply immoral and goes against not just Cathloc teaching but what us Catholics would consider basic moral natural law. So I’m sorry Ms. Goodman if you get indignant (“And how dare you tell me what choice to make when I didn’t have a choice when I was raped”) when those of us who insist that killing unborn babies is immoral and shouldn’t be done — there is an old saying that two wrongs don’t make a right and tragic situations don’t make good public policy. God forbid if one of my daughters ever got pregnant due to rape but if they did I know I wouldn’t want them to make a bad situation worse by killing the life growing inside them.