ERIE, PA, July 13 ( – The pro-abortion stance of Governor Tom Ridge, a likely candidate for US Vice President on the Bush ticket, is being challenged by his bishop, Bishop Donald Trautman. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Bishop Trautman quoted a 1998 US Catholic Bishop’s document admonishing elected Catholics “to reflect on the grave contradiction of assuming public roles and presenting themselves as credible Catholics when their actions on fundamental issues of human life are not in agreement with Church teaching.”

The paper reports that Deal Hudson, publisher of the conservative Catholic magazine Crisis and head of a Catholic advisory group to the Bush campaign, says of Mr. Ridge, “His relationship to his bishop makes him an untenable choice” as a running mate. Mr. Hudson predicts that should Mr. Bush announce Mr. Ridge as his choice, “it would very likely bring the national bishops themselves into some sort of play.”

For Catholics, a pro-abortion “Catholic” politician is worse than a pro-abortion non-Catholic, since the latter does not cause scandal to the faith. A Catholic supporting abortion rights “is a contradiction,” Bishop Trautman says. Responding to those “Catholics” who would criticize his stance, Bishop Trautman says, “They mean well, but they’re mixing in thoughts about local pride with issues that are much more important, which is the meaning of life. We have to call them back to that truth.”

(Wall Street Journal July 13, 2000)