Can antiabortion Catholics support Obama? Some do.
Several conservative bishops counter that candidates’ stands on abortion should be the litmus test.
(Page 2 of 3)
While disagreeing with the Democrat’s abortion-rights position, he sees the candidate as sharing the broader worldview of Catholic social teaching. Kmiec once worked on briefs seeking to overturn Roe v. Wade, but he argues that the commitment to programs that reduce abortions will be more effective than continuing to try to reverse Roe. Even if a reversal were achievable, it would only throw the decision back to the states and abortion would continue, he says.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
“It’s an argument that will make sense to Catholics who are pragmatists,” says Father Reese.
Kmiec’s comments immediately got him into trouble. A local priest attacked him in a sermon and refused to give him Communion. (Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles, later called that action indefensible.) Church leaders insist that efforts to overturn Roe continue as well as programs to reduce abortions.
A few conservative bishops have attacked the efforts to broaden the agenda and support abortion-rights candidates. A former St. Louis archbishop, now working in Rome, charged that Democrats risked becoming “a party of death.”
Bishop Joseph Martino of the Scranton Diocese interrupted a church forum to say that abortion was the only issue of concern and that his teaching as the local bishop superseded the US bishops’ guidance. He also threatened to refuse Communion to vice presidential candidate Joseph Biden if he came to Scranton, Pa., where he grew up.