Bishop Bruskewitz to Fellow Bishops on Obama: No Compromise on “Vile Intrinsic Evil Such as Abortion
By John-Henry Westen
BALTIMORE, November 12, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - US Catholic Bishops meeting at their Fall conference yesterday had a drawn out discussion, mostly in private, about abortion and politics, specifically dealing with the new Obama Administration. Several of the bishops issued some of the strongest statements on the issue to date, noting that on abortion there can be no compromise, and that steps must be taken to deal with self-professed “Catholic” politicians who are nevertheless deeply “anti-life.”
Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska said on the issue: "One cannot compromise between the fire and the fire department, the fly and the fly swatter. There are things that don’t admit of compromise - and vile … intrinsic evil such as abortion do not admit us any such compromise."
Bishop Joseph F. Martino of Scranton, PA tackled the problem of pro-abortion Catholic politicians head-on. "We are going to have to speak as firmly as possible to Catholic politicians who are not merely reluctant to vote pro-life, but are stridently anti-life," he said.
He also spoke of "canonical measures" such as excommunication, noting, "We have to have something like that. I cannot have the vice president-elect coming to Scranton saying he learned his values there, when his values, at least in the area of abortion, are utterly against the teachings of the Catholic Church."
Bishop Robert Conlon of Steubenville, Ohio agreed. "Some people may think it’s time for a truce, but we’re dealing with a moral absolute. There’s nothing here that allows for common ground. We’re talking about a human being whose life cannot be compromised."
Auxiliary Bishop Robert Hermann observed that the bishops should not be afraid of mere criticism for defending Catholic teaching on the sanctity of life, when any of them would be willing to give up their life to end abortion. "Any bishop here would be willing, would consider it a privilege, to die tomorrow if it meant ending abortion,” he said. “We should dedicate the rest of our lives to taking any kind of criticism, whatever it is, to stop this horrible genocide."
Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Chicago said that were Catholic hospitals forced to participate in abortion they would be closed down. "It could mean discontinuing obstetrics in our hospitals, and we may need to consider taking the drastic step of closing our catholic hospitals entirely. It would not be sufficient to withdraw our sponsorship or to sell them to someone who would perform abortions. That would be a morally unacceptable cooperation in evil. I do not think I’m being alarmist in considering such drastic steps. We need to respond in a morally appropriate, responsible fashion."
(with files from John Allen of National Catholic Reporter, NPR, and AP)