Politicians need to be challenged on abortion stands


To the Editor:

I must admit to being amazed and chagrined at why Rhode Island Catholic and the Catholic News Service saw fit to print the article “The incredible shrinking field of Catholic presidential candidates,” in the form in which it appeared in your Jan. 24, 2008 issue.

The article references six current, former or possible Democratic presidential candidates as being Catholics, and six current, former or potential Republican presidential candidates as being Catholic.

My understanding of Richardson’s, Kucinich’s, Biden’s, Dodd’s, Vilsack’s, and Clark’s positions on abortion is that, without exception, they move in lockstep with the great majority of the Democratic Party and support abortion on demand under the so-called woman’s right to choose. In some cases they rationalize their positions with statements to the effect “…that while I do not personally support abortion, I support the right to choose…”, or some such nonsense.

The only Republican that I believe supports abortion, and the woman’s right to choose, is Giuliani.

These individuals, and many others, throughout their political careers have made a practice of securing votes by trading on their assertions that they are Catholics.

But are they? I am not qualified to answer that question except that my experience with the Catholic Church, and trying to comport to its teachings, is that abortion is a most serious sin and that a Catholic, in good standing, cannot believe in or do anything to further the cause of sinful behavior.

If our Catholic prelates do not lead the way, if our Catholic newspapers allow for readers to see confirmation that numerous politicians are not held to the Church’s teachings but rather are held up as examples of Catholics striving for the highest office in this country, then what is to become of The Church?

The quote attributed to Fr. John Putka, a teacher at a Catholic college, is symptomatic of what is wrong with Catholic education today. Fr. Putka says Giuliani “cuts against the mainstream of the Republican Party” on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.”

May I be so bold as to suggest that the good Father should have said “cuts against the mainstream of the Republican Party, and the teachings of the Catholic Faith, which he purports to uphold”? We have Eagle Scouts right here in Rhode Island that have the strength of character, the moral fortitude, and the proper Cath-olic and Christian upbringing, which allows them to refuse to invite so-called Catholic politicians to their Eagle Scout induction ceremonies. Why cannot our Church leaders and newspapers show the same strength and fortitude?

Lon Jamison

North Kingstown