Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Rudy Giuliani Faces More Criticism From Catholic Leaders on Abortion

Rudy Giuliani is facing more criticism from Catholic leaders over his position in favor of abortion.

The Republican presidential candidate is at odds with the church and the new criticism comes just weeks after a top bishop called his pro-abortion stance “pathetic,” “confusing” and “hypocritical.”

Earlier this month, Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island took Giuliani to task for his "personally opposed but" position.

"Rudy's explanation is a classic expression of the position on abortion we have heard from weak-kneed politicians so frequently in recent years: 'I'm personally opposed to but don't want to impose my views on other people.'

The incongruity of that position has been exposed many times now," Tobin wrote in an editorial.

"[His] public proclamations on abortion are pathetic and confusing. Even worse, they're hypocritical," he concluded.

Tobin also went so far as to say that he would "never support a candidate who supports legalized abortion."

In an interview with the New York Times published on Monday, Archbishop John Myers of Newark said he agreed with Tobin's assessment of the former New York mayor.

“I think he's being illogical, as are all of those who take the stand that ‘I'm personally opposed to abortion but this is my public responsibility to permit it,'" Myers said.

"To violate human life is always and everywhere wrong. In fact, we don't think it's a matter of church teaching, but a matter of the way God made the world, and it applies to everyone," he added.

Meanwhile, Bishop Robert Baker of Charleston, South Carolina, told the newspaper how recent comments by Pope Benedict XVI could play a role in the 2008 election.

The pontiff told reporters before a trip to Brazil several weeks ago that lawmakers who had voted for a bill to legalize abortions in Mexico City had automatically excommunicated themselves and should be excluded from communion.

“The general thrust of his statement was, it's within the bishop's right to take a strong stand in this regard," Baker said.

He pointed out to the newspaper that the U.S. Catholic bishops had previously adopted language calling abortion a “grave moral evil.”

"I can't understand personally how a person could fudge it if they were holding that perspective and the Catholic bishops had made that an official statement," he concluded.

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