Category Archives: Pro Life

Carl Anderson: The Abortion Albatross

Abortion has been an albatross around the Democratic Party’s neck since at least 1980,
Carl Anderson.jpghelping to keep it out of the White House for all but eight of the last 28 years.


Will 2008 be any different?


Once again, the Democrats have tied their fortunes to abortion rights, hoping to compensate with a historic outreach effort to Catholic voters. But this may simply lend empirical support to Einstein’s adage that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.


Let’s start at the end of the 1970s, when the abortion lobby’s influence over the Democratic Party grew quickly in the decade following Roe v. Wade. That influence doomed the candidacy of a strongly pro-life Sargent Shriver in 1976, and produced a platform plank that year that opposed any effort to overturn Roe.


When it became clear that pro-life candidates would lose financial support and even become targets in Democratic primaries unless they switched sides, most of them did. But the party paid a heavy price.


Catholics, once among the most reliable members of the Democratic coalition, took a hike in 1980 and gave Jimmy Carter only 42 percent of their votes. Putting pro-choice Catholic Geraldine Ferraro on the 1984 ticket only accelerated the erosion, leaving Democrats with just 39 percent of Catholics.


By 1988, Joe Biden and Dick Gephardt became the last of the big-name Catholics in the party to flip to pro-choice. Over the intervening two decades, the party has held fast to an uncompromising stance in favor of abortion rights, and only once – in 1996 – has the Democratic presidential candidate’s share of the Catholic vote exceeded 50 percent.


Bill Clinton, who understood Americans’ discomfort with abortion better than most in his party, engineered the inclusion of a platform plank stating that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare,” a departure from the abortion-as-a-public-good posture of abortion rights advocates. Clinton connected just enough with Catholic Democrats to bring them briefly back to the fold.


But it didn’t last.


Putting John Kerry, a pro-choice Catholic, at the top of the ticket in 2004 actually made matters worse, since it gave the abortion issue a higher profile during the campaign.


Now Barack Obama, the most uncompromising supporter of abortion rights since Michael Dukakis, has picked a pro-choice Catholic as his running mate. Upon arriving in Denver for the nominating convention, Joe Biden quickly discovered that the city’s archbishop had declared him persona non grata in the Communion line at Sunday Mass.


When Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mangled Catholic teaching on abortion on “Meet the Press” they earned a swift and public rebuke from America’s bishops. And so the Obama-Biden ticket will carry the same burden as every Democratic ticket of the past three decades.

Polling data seem to indicate on-again, off-again support for Obama among Catholics – pollster John Zogby tracked his support among Catholics at 47 percent in July, then down to 36 percent in August, and now back up to 45 percent as of Monday (Oct. 6), just 2 points behind John McCain.


The 2008 party platform is not exactly designed to win over pro-life Catholics: “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”


Pro-life apologists for the party, led by “God’s Politics” author Jim Wallis and joined lately by Catholic law professors Doug Kmeic and Nicholas Cafardi, have tried to portray the abortion plank as a “reaching out” to pro-lifers, based on a sentence saying the party “recognizes” that social policies can help “reduce the need for abortions.” Many serious Catholics would argue there’s never a “need” for any abortion.


Kmeic conceded that the Democratic plank “still falls short of the Catholic ideal,” a remarkable understatement. The fiercely pro-abortion Catholic Frances Kissling more accurately called the plank “a slap in the face to Kmeic’s Catholic ideal.”


For Catholic Democrats, there’s a line in Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” that sums it up nicely:


“Instead of the cross, the Albatross

About my neck was hung.”


(Carl Anderson is the supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization.)

Copyright (c.) 2008 Religion News Service

Keeping Informed on Life Issues

Tom Grenchik, the Executive Director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities at the
Pro Life.JPGUnited States Catholic Conference, and his staff, have a resourceful website.  His office ably assists those who want to be informed and involved.


October is Respect Life Month (as well as Breast Cancer Awareness month) and there are 3 weeks until the Presidential election. I therefore, think it’s important to review some fundamental teachings about the human person, the right to life, and our Catholic faith.


Justin Cardinal Rigali’s October letter for Respect Life Month


The consistent, clear teaching of the Church on life


On the Fundamental Right to Life


The Gospel of Life, Pope John Paul IIs 1995 encyclical offering us what the Church has consistently taught with regard to life issues.


The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s 1974 Declaration on Procured Abortion


Read the Life Insight newsletter


Get involved


The Knights of Columbus have a number pro life activities through the year so make a connection with them to see how you can be of service.


Also, The National Catholic Bioethics Center 


The Catholic Information Service has XX booklets that explore some of these pertinent life issues. The text of the booklets are given here in pdf format but you can also get a hardcopy of the booklet by emailing Michele at


Catholic Sexual Ethics


Understanding Stem Cell Research


The Child: Begotten not Manmade



Sisters Of Life2.JPGThere is an order of Catholic sisters whose vocation is work on life issues. The Sisters of Life founded by Cardinal John O’Connor in 1991 in NYC is a vibrant community dedicated to “the protection and enhancement of the sacredness of every human life. Like all religious communities, [they] take the three traditional vows of poverty, chastity and obedience … [and] also are consecrated under a special, fourth vow to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life.




Carl Anderson writes to Senator Biden: abortion is the modern American slavery

Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, wrote an open letter to Senator
Anderson.jpgJoseph Biden, 2008 VP candidate, regarding his remarks on abortion and the teaching of the Catholic Church. The appeal Anderson makes is one Catholic to another. The invitation is personal to discuss Catholic teaching and the importance of true faith.

Biden makes the claim to be a faithful Catholic and his known to attend Sunday Mass among other things. Biden also claims to hold what the Church teaches regarding abortion, “the unspeakable crime,” and yet he is a pro-choice senator. The public record of Senator Biden shows no affection (i.e., he’s not obedient to the Lord and His sacrament the Church) for the Catholic he purports to be convicted by and to sustain him unto salvation. He’s afflicted with the Mario Como disease which says “personally I am opposed to abortion but I am not going to impose my views on others.”

Carl Anderson’s letter to Joseph Biden can be read here. The letter outlines the issues at hand: the misleading statements Biden has made regarding Catholic teaching and reserving Catholic moral teaching from the legislative process and voting.

Instead of writing Biden off from a fruitful conversation, which many would do, Anderson is doing the noble thing by inviting Biden to the table to discuss his statements –Biden’s wrong thinking– regarding what Catholic faith teaches about life and why one can’t claim to be a faithful Catholic and hold that abortion is acceptable, even to the point of voting for legislation securing abortion rights.

Senator Biden has a choice: either accept the Church’s clear, consistent teaching about the value of human life by accepting and working for the uborn or risk salvation.

Abortion violates natural law, the 6th Commandment, New Testament truth, the teaching of the fathers of the Church, the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and love.

Fordham honors pro-abortion Justice Breyer

One would think that intelligent people at Catholic institutions of higher education would know the difference between being pro-life and not. Fordham University, a “Catholic” and a “Jesuit” university has announced that it will give the Fordham-Stein Ethics Prize to Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer. The honor “recognizes one individual each year whose work, according to
Fordham University.jpgthe prize’s charter, ‘exemplifies outstanding standards of professional conduct, promotes the advancement of justice, and brings credit to the profession by emphasizing in the public mind the contributions of lawyers to our society and to our democratic system of government.'”

Breyer’s award dinner is scheduled for October 29, 2008.

I wonder how Fordham’s round heads justify this act of dissent and claim to assent to Catholic teaching. I certainly don’t recognize this bestowal of honor on a pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice as consistent with Catholic teaching. How is giving a prize for ethics congruent with the Justice’s pro-choice record? Explain this to me Father McShane? Are we now beginning to say argue that Fordham is coming out as a non-Catholic university?

Fordham’s announcement and the article.

Speaker Pelosi & Senator Biden got it wrong: being faithful means assenting to Truth!

Chaput1.jpgLet’s start where Archbishop Charles Chaput concludes his letter to Colorado Catholics: “the duty of the state and its officials is to serve the common good, which is always rooted in moral truth.  A proper understanding of the ‘separation of Church and state’ does not imply a separation of faith from political life.  But of course, it’s always important to know what our faith actually teaches.”


There seems to be a few people who, shall we say, are ignorant about what the Church teaches about abortion; some people seem invincibly ignorant when it comes to reasonable thinking on life issues and basic human rights as they think it is a matter of personal opinion and that the Church has never really and consistently that human life begins at conception. Listening to Madame Speaker Pelosi on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” and in other places Senators Obama and Biden in their political rhetoric, one knows pretty quickly that what they offer is thin gruel. Those who dissent from Catholic teaching ought to be honest and state that they in fact dissent from teaching rather than claim they are “good Catholics.”  Contrary to Pelosi, the Church is not still making up her mind on matters pertaining to life. The fact is that Speaker Pelosi and Senator Biden, as Catholics, have not embraced the teaching and discipline of the Church. Their position, political and religious, is to publically dissent from the Church’s teaching on matters of life and therefore they ought to refrain from the reception of Holy Communion until they repent. Would that the Diocesan Ordinaries of these politicians who claim to be Catholic would do their job and teach and correct error! The salvation of souls is at stake.


According to science and faith (two legitimate ways of knowing), abortion is killing an
conception2.jpgunborn human being is not a matter which is left to one’s mere opinion. In the face of evidence, it is doubtful that anyone can say with conviction that abortion doesn’t kill. Clearly the act of abortion revolves less around the choice of a woman to make decisions about “her” body than the fundamental idea which posits the possibility to abort a pregnancy so that a woman to be relieved of a problem or a mistake. There seems to be no reasonable way to argue with people who advocate for abortion until they see/hear the heart beat or feel the kick. The evidence, that is, the biological activity in a woman demonstrates the existence of life at conception.  Just wait a month or later in a pregnancy and you will see confirmation that human existence is a fact. AND that fact is defined as a person, not a thing, nor a problem, nor a mistake.


So the Church has been correct for two millennia when she teaches that “Abortion kills an unborn,
ab_coat.gifdeveloping human life.  It is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions employed to justify it.  Catholics who make excuses for it – whether they’re famous or not – fool only themselves and abuse the fidelity of those Catholics who do sincerely seek to follow the Gospel and live their Catholic faith.”


Read what Archbishop Chaput teaches his people and apply it to your circumstance. The teaching is correct and objective, faithful and brilliant.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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