November 14, 1989
If there was any doubt that abortion is a potent political issue, it should have been dispelled last week when a pro-choice position brought victory to several candidates. At precisely the same time, America's Catholic bishops were issuing not-so- veiled threats to Catholic politicians. Meeting in Baltimore, the bishops said that even if Catholic officeholders personally accept the church's ban on abortion, they may not "responsibly" affirm others' right to choose it. The bishops couldn't be pinned down on possible sanctions, but they did leave open the possibility of penalizing Catholic politicans who espouse "pro-choice" abortion-rights positions.
July 11, 1990 |
Philadelphia Archbishop Anthony J. Bevilacqua and Camden Bishop James T. McHugh sharply criticized The Inquirer yesterday for publishing a commentary that the prelates described as insulting to Catholics. The commentary by David Boldt, The Inquirer's editorial page editor, said that the church hierarchy did not use democratic methods in making pronouncements on such issues as abortion and the status of women. Boldt's signed opinion called the Roman Catholic Church "un-American.
November 25, 1998
Bishops and their warning to Catholic politicians I am thrilled that the National Conference of Catholic Bishops wants to proudly assert the truths of the church among its members (Inquirer, Nov. 19). I feel blessed to belong to a church started by Jesus Christ, a church with 2,000 years of steadfast teachings, which does not bend to the social principles of any given age, especially this age. In a time when what is wrong and what is right can become so unclear, especially to our children, I am thankful that I have this "rock" that withstands the constant storms that batter it. Janice Buck West Chester The American Catholic bishops fail to understand our constitutional right to the separation of church and state (Inquirer, Nov. 19)
November 8, 2007 |
Abortion has again become a prickly issue for another Roman Catholic seeking to be our next president. Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis sparked a contentious debate over the role of faith, politics and conscience three years ago when he publicly stated that Sen. John Kerry, a pro-choice Catholic, was unfit to receive Communion. Now, the archbishop has entered the 2008 campaign fray by asserting that he would deny Communion to the leading Republican nominee, Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, who says he personally opposes abortion, but recognizes a woman's "constitutional right" to choose.
May 9, 2004 |
Why abortion? Why now? With bishops vowing to deny Communion to Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, abortion has reemerged as a litmus test for Catholic politicians. In the face of complaints that they are unfairly targeting Democrats, church leaders last week said they were right to spotlight abortion because the issue has always been foremost on their public agenda. Camden Bishop Joseph A. Galante, who said last month that he would not give McGreevey Communion, recently described abortion as an "absolute wrong" that gives it paramount status among Catholic life issues.
June 4, 1990
THE PUBLIC KNOWS TOO LITTLE TO VOTE ON JUDGES The Pennsylvania legislature is considering a constitutional amendment to choose judges of the Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Courts by appointment based on merit rather than by popular election. Judges of the Court of Common Pleas and lower courts would continue to be elected, unless a majority of the voters in a judicial district choose an appointive system. I support merit selection. Election of judges forces me to make decisions I do not feel qualified to make.
April 20, 2005
Benedict means blessed. It's both an assertion - that "the man with this name has been blessed" - and a cry of hope - that the blessings will continue. May both meanings fit the election yesterday of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to succeed John Paul II as pope. Cardinal Ratzinger chose Benedict XVI as his papal name. May his papacy indeed be a blessing - and may the blessings continue. Ratzinger is an insider's insider, a networker, and a strong-willed politician, so it's unlikely great changes are in the offing in the Roman Catholic Church.
June 29, 2000 |
Just in time for the National Republican Convention in Philadelphia, a group of Catholic priests is planning newspaper, radio and TV ads blasting Catholic politicians such as Gov. Ridge who support abortion rights. Ridge might be named in the ads. The GOP convention starts July 31. The newspaper ads are set to run just before the convention. Ridge is considered a top contender for the vice presidential nomination and this can't be seen as good news for his chances. Production of broadcast ads is targeted for the same time, with initial airing set for July and August.
July 5, 2000 |
Does anyone have a clue who Al Gore's running mate will be? Does anyone really care? George W. Bush gets asked about his vice presidential selection process almost every day. For Gore, the question rarely comes up. If Gore gets elected and then develops health problems, we'll care a whole lot about whom he picked to be his number two. But for now, when we're talking about "running mates" rather than "a heartbeat away," there are good reasons...
August 25, 2004 |
In an election season suffused with religious references, a nationwide poll released yesterday found that while most respondents say "moral values" are important to their vote, an increasing number have grown tired of politicians' talk of faith and prayer. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press said its finding "marks a clear shift" in sentiment from a year ago. Whereas 41 percent of respondents in 2003 said politicians discussed their faith too little, only 31 percent felt that way in the latest survey - and the number who said there was too much rose from 21 percent to 27 percent.