Cardinal Egan of New York issued the following statement in response to Pelosi:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 26, 2008
STATEMENT OF HIS EMINENCE, EDWARD CARDINAL EGAN CONCERNING REMARKS MADE BY THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Like many other citizens of this nation, I was shocked to learn that the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States of America would make the kind of statements that were made to Mr. Tom Brokaw of NBC-TV on Sunday, August 24, 2008. What the Speaker had to say about theologians and their positions regarding abortion was not only misinformed; it was also, and especially, utterly incredible in this day and age.
We are blessed in the 21st century with crystal-clear photographs and action films of the living realities within their pregnant mothers. No one with the slightest measure of integrity or honor could fail to know what these marvelous beings manifestly, clearly, and obviously are, as they smile and wave into the world outside the womb. In simplest terms, they are human beings with an inalienable right to live, a right that the Speaker of the House of Representatives is bound to defend at all costs for the most basic of ethical reasons. They are not parts of their mothers, and what they are depends not at all upon the opinions of theologians of any faith. Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being “chooses” to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name.
Edward Cardinal Egan
Archbishop of New York
August 26, 2008
Statement by Bishop David A. Zubik on“Meet the Press” comments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
On Sunday, August 24, on “Meet the Press,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stepped out of her political role and completely misrepresented the teaching of the Catholic Church in regard to abortion. She said that Church teaching condemning procured abortion is somehow new and therefore unsettled. She could not have been more wrong.
Jesus proclaimed the sacredness of human life throughout his teaching and ministry. In a Roman world where abortion was commonplace, the Church proclaimed its intrinsic moral evil. The Didache, perhaps the earliest known Christian manual of moral teaching dating from the first century, rejected abortion. Early Church councils considered it one of the most serious crimes.
That teaching has remained constant and unaltered for two millennia.
As the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith re-stated in 1974, “The first right of the human person is his life. … It does not belong to society, nor does it belong to public authority in any form to recognize this right for some and not others. … From the time the ovum is fertilized, a life is begun which is neither that of the father nor of the mother; it is rather the life of a new human being.”
The teaching of the Church on abortion is settled. And as old as the Gospels.
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