Cardinal Lashes out at Pro-Lifers, Soft-Pedals Criticism of Kennedy Abortion Support

Editorial by John-Henry Westen

BOSTON, September 3, 2009 ( - In an entry on his blog last night, Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley defended his participation in the grandiose funeral for Senator Ted Kennedy.  "There are those who objected, in some cases vociferously, to the Church's providing a Catholic funeral for the Senator.   In the strongest terms I disagree with that position," he wrote.

The problem with that of course is that the leaders of the largest and most significant Catholic pro-life groups in the United States never criticized having a funeral per se, just a public one which would be made into a mass-media extravaganza.

Fr. Tom Euteneuer, of Human Life International, the largest pro-life organization in the world issued a statement prior to the funeral noting: "Senator Kennedy needs to be sent to the afterlife with a private, family-only funeral and the prayers of the Church for the salvation of his immortal soul."

Dr. Monica Miller, director of the pro-life group Citizens for a Pro-Life Society (CPLS) also called on Americans to respectfully urge Cardinal O'Malley not to allow the passing of the notorious abortion advocate to be honored with a public Catholic funeral.

Once the public funeral was announced with forthcoming eulogy by President Obama, American Life League President Judie Brown wrote the Cardinal begging him to "stop the travesty."  Brown also noted that at the very least, if the rumors of Kennedy's repentance were true it should be made known. 

"If we are led to assume Kennedy was remorseful of his pro-abortion past and repented, Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley should make this known to the Catholic faithful clearly - before the media and pro-abortion politicians turn Kennedy's death and Mass honoring his memory into yet another victory," said Brown. "If this remains unclear, what will millions of Catholic Americans be led to believe as Obama canonizes Kennedy's pro-abortion legacy on live television?"

EWTN's Raymond Arroyo also expressed dismay about the funeral extravaganza. On his blog he wrote, "The prayer intercessions at the funeral mass, the endless eulogies, the image of the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston reading prayers, and finally Cardinal McCarrick interring the remains sent an uncontested message: One may defy Church teaching, publicly lead others astray, deprive innocent lives of their rights, and still be seen a good Catholic, even an exemplary one."

With the public funeral done and the worst fears of Catholic pro-life leaders realized, Cardinal O'Malley has now mounted a vigorous defense of his actions.

"I wish to address our Catholic faithful who have voiced both support and disappointment at my having presided at the Senator's funeral Mass," he wrote.  "Needless to say, the Senator's wake and Catholic funeral were controversial because of the fact that he did not publically support Catholic teaching and advocacy on behalf of the unborn."  No mention was made of the Senator's vigorous work to dismantle the traditional definition of marriage.

"As Archbishop of Boston, I considered it appropriate to represent the Church at this liturgy out of respect for the Senator, his family, those who attended the Mass and all those who were praying for the Senator and his family at this difficult time," he said.

In his remarks the Cardinal had much praise for Kennedy, his work for social justice and especially for his family.  Addressing Kennedy's working against the life of the unborn, the Cardinal called it only a "great disappointment".  He said: "there is a tragic sense of lost opportunity in his lack of support for the unborn."

The Cardinal reserved his harshest criticisms for pro-lifers who complained to him.  "At times, even in the Church, zeal can lead people to issue harsh judgments and impute the worst motives to one another.  These attitudes and practices do irreparable damage to the communion of the Church," he wrote.  "If any cause is motivated by judgment, anger or vindictiveness, it will be doomed to marginalization and failure."

First off, if anyone did send angry or vindictive comments to Cardinal O'Malley, while they may have been understandable given the perception of betrayal, they were - as are most such communications - unhelpful at best and likely harmful.  You may even want to issue an apology, and review our suggestions for writing effective communications.

Unfortunately in this case, those angry communications may have given Cardinal O'Malley an excuse for his false compassion regarding Kennedy.  I don't mean to insult the good Cardinal - and I do mean good. 

I had a personal encounter with Cardinal O'Malley years ago, just after he came to Boston.  We had a conversation marked by sincerity and open love of faith.  He is a good man.  He also has a very soft heart.  He is a man of great compassion.

But in this case, the Cardinal's compassion is misguided.  In fact, it can easily be argued that while it may seem charitable, giving Kennedy such a funeral was an act of cruelty for him and for the Church rather than one of compassion.  

The funeral itself seemed to canonize Kennedy rather than have people beg for God's mercy on his soul.  It set a bad example for Catholics, particularly Catholic politicians, it gave a false impression that the Church does not take seriously its teachings on life and family etc, etc.

It would have been hard for the Cardinal to deny Kennedy a public funeral.  He would have received the ire of the world's elite.  He would have been called mean and uncharitable, horribly lacking in compassion.  Very much like the reaction he would have received by denying the Senator Holy Communion.

However, as a father of seven children I can assure you that discipline, while hard to carry out, is an act of love.  Yes it gets complaints, but it is done out of love and for the good of the child and the rest of the family by the loving parent.  It is far easier to ignore bad behavior than to correct it, but in doing so parents harm their children, sometimes causing 'irreparable damage' by their omission.

Especially given Cardinal O'Malley's caring heart, denying the Senator Communion while he lived would have been an act of heroic charity.  It would have been the strongest call to Kennedy to come back to fullness of faith, and away from spiritual harm.

And while as an earthly father I am protecting my little ones from physical harm, the bishop is guarding his spiritual sons from the Eternal version.

As the Archbishop of Ottawa explained to me once in an interview: "The Church's concern is for anyone who persists in grave sin, hoping that medicinal measures may draw them away from the wrong path to the truth of our faith." He said that "medicinal" remedies such as "denial of communion" are employed to "draw them back to the way of Christ, Our Lord, the Way, the Truth and the Life."

In the final analysis, Cardinal O'Malley's answer to those requesting no funeral is an answer to a straw man.  Another answer must be given to those who wrote him charitably begging the good Cardinal to avoid the scandal of a grandiose public funeral.

In the words of Phil Lawler the editor of Catholic World News: "A week after the death of Ted Kennedy, the relevant question is not whether the Massachusetts Senator deserved a Catholic funeral, but whether he deserved a ceremony of public acclamation so grand and sweeping that it might, to the untutored observer, have seemed more like an informal canonization."

See Cardinal O'Malley's full blogpost

See related coverage:

Reflections on the Kennedy Funeral

ALL President on Kennedy Funeral: "Beyond Anything I have Witnessed in 65 Years"

Priest: Imagine the Funeral if Kennedy was an Anti-Semite Rather Than Pro-Abortion

HLI Priest-President Re: Kennedy Funeral Scandal: "Private funeral, family only - period"

EWTN's Arroyo Takes Cardinal McCarrick to Task over Kennedy & Pope Letters

The Kennedy Funeral - A Golden Opportunity or Capitulation for the Catholic Church

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Pelosi asked: Is unborn baby with human heart a ‘human being’? Responds: ‘I am a devout Catholic’

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By Dustin Siggins

Tell Nancy Pelosi: No, supporting abortion and gay 'marriage' is not Catholic. Sign the petition. Click here.

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 2, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Top Democrat Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, won't say whether an unborn child with a “human heart” and a “human liver” is a human being.

Pelosi, who is the Minority Leader in the House, was asked a question about the issue by CNS News at a press conference last week. The conservative news outlet asked, "In reference to funding for Planned Parenthood: Is an unborn baby with a human heart and a human liver a human being?”

Pelosi stumbled over her answer, saying, “Why don't you take your ideological questions--I don't, I don't have—”

CNS then asked her, "If it's not a human being, what species is it?”

It was then that Pelosi got back on stride, swatting aside the question with her accustomed reference to her “devout” Catholic faith.

“No, listen, I want to say something to you,” she said. “I don't know who you are and you're welcome to be here, freedom of this press. I am a devout practicing Catholic, a mother of five children. When my baby was born, my fifth child, my oldest child was six years old. I think I know more about this subject than you, with all due respect.”

“So it's not a human being, then?” pressed CNS, to which Pelosi said, “And I do not intend to respond to your questions, which have no basis in what public policy is that we do here.”

Pelosi has long used her self-proclaimed status as a “devout” practicing Catholic to promote abortion.

In response to a reporter’s question a proposed ban on late-term abortion in 2013, Pelosi said that the issue of late-term abortion is "sacred ground" for her.

"As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this," Pelosi said. "This shouldn't have anything to do with politics."

In 2008, she was asked by then-Meet the Press host David Gregory about when life begins. Pelosi said that "as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue I have studied for a long time. And what I know is that over the centuries, the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition....We don't know."

The Church has always taught that unborn human life is to be protected, and that such life is created at the moment of conception.

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New video: Planned Parenthood abortionist jokes about harvesting baby’s brains, getting ‘intact’ head

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By Ben Johnson

I interviewed my friend, David Daleiden, about his important work exposing Planned Parenthood's baby body parts trade on the Glenn Beck Program. David urged Congress to hold Planned Parenthood accountable and to demand the full truth. He also released never-before-seen footage showing a Planned Parenthood abortionist callously discussing how to obtain an intact brain from aborted babies.

Posted by Lila Rose on Monday, October 5, 2015


Sign the petition to defund Planned Parenthood here

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 5, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - In the newest video footage released by the Center for Medical Progress, a Planned Parenthood abortionist laughs as she discusses her hope of removing the intact "calvarium," or skull, of an unborn baby while preserving both lobes of the brain.

She also describes how she first dismembers babies up to twenty weeks gestation, including two twenty-week babies she said she aborted the week before.

Dr. Amna Dermish, an abortionist with Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, told undercover investigators she had never been able to remove the calivarium (skull) of an aborted child "intact," but she hopes to.

"Maybe next time," the investigator said.

"I know, right?" Dr. Dermish replied. "Well, this'll give me something to strive for."

Dermish, who performs abortions up to the 20-week legal limit in Austin, then described the method she used to collect fetal brain and skull specimens.

"If it’s a breech presentation [in which the baby is born feet first] I will remove the extremities first - the lower extremities - and then go for the spine," she began.

She then slides the baby down the birth canal until she can snip the spinal cord.

The buyer noted that intact organs fetch higher prices from potential buyers, who seek them for experimentation.

"I always try to keep the trunk intact," she said.

"I don't routinely convert to breech, but I will if I have to," she added.

Converting a child to the breech position is the first step of the partial birth abortion procedure. The procedure has been illegal since President Bush signed legislation in 2003 making it a federal felony punishable by two years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

According to CMP lead investigator David Daleiden, who debuted the video footage during an interview with Lila Rose on The Blaze TV, Dr. Dermish was trained by Planned Parenthood's senior director of medical services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola.

Dr. Nucatola was caught on the first CMP undercover video, discussing the side industry while eating a salad and drinking red wine during a business luncheon.

Between sips, she described an abortion process that legal experts believe is a partial birth abortion, violating federal law.

“The federal abortion ban is a law, and laws are up to interpretation,” Dr. Nucatola said on the undercover footage. “So, if I say on day one that I don't intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn't matter.”

Daleiden told Rose he hoped that Congressional investigators would continue to pressure the organization about whether the abortion technique it uses violates federal law, as well as the $60-per-specimen fee the national organization has admitted some of its affiliates receive.

Trafficking in human body parts for "valuable consideration" is also a federal felony carrying a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

"That would be enough to construct a criminal case against Planned Parenthood," Daleiden said.

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Nancy Flanders


He used to be an abortionist; now, he fights to save the lives of the preborn

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By Nancy Flanders

October 5, 2015 (LiveActionNews) -- In 1976, Dr. Anthony Levatino, an OB/GYN, graduated from medical school and was, without a doubt, pro-abortion. He strongly supported abortion “rights” and believed abortion was a decision to be made between a woman and her doctor.

“A lot of people identify themselves as pro-life or pro-choice, but for so many people, it doesn’t really touch them personally; it doesn’t impact their lives in the way that I wish it would. If nothing more than in the voting booth, if nowhere else,” said Levatino in a speech for the Pro-Life Action League. “But when you’re an obstetrician / gynecologist and you say I’m pro-choice – well, that becomes rather a more personal thing because you’re the one who does the abortions and you have to make the decision of whether you’ll do that or not.”

Levatino learned how to do first and second trimester abortions. Thirty to forty years ago, second trimester abortions were done by saline injection, which was dangerous.

"For the first time in my life, after all those years, all those abortions, I really looked, I mean I really looked at that pile of goo on the side of the table that used to be somebody’s son or daughter and that’s all I could see."

At that same time, Levatino and his wife were struggling with fertility problems and were considering adoption. They knew however, how difficult it was to adopt a newborn.

“It was the first time that I had any doubts about what I was doing because I knew very well that part of the reason why it’s difficult to find children to adopt were that doctors like me were killing them in abortions,” said Levatino.

Finally, in 1978, the couple adopted their daughter, Heather. Right after the adoption, they discovered they were expecting a baby, and their son was born just 10 months later.

Levatino describes a “perfectly happy” life at this time and says that despite those first qualms about abortion, he went right back to work performing them.

In 1981, after graduating from his residency, Levatino joined an OB/GYN practice which also offered abortions as a service. Saline infusion was the most common method for second trimester abortions at the time, but it ran the risk of babies born alive. The procedures were also expensive, difficult, and required the mother to go through labor. Levatino and his partners trained themselves to perform the D&E abortion procedure, which is used today.

In his speech, he describes what it’s like to perform the now routine procedure:

You take an instrument like this called a sopher clamp and you basically – the surgery is that you literally tear a child to pieces. The suction is only for the fluid. The rest of it is literally dismembering a child piece by piece with an abortion instrument […] absolutely gut-wrenching procedure.

Over the next four years, Levatino would perform 1,200 abortions, over 100 of them D&E, second trimester abortions.

But then everything changed. On a beautiful day in June of 1984, the family was at home enjoying time with friends when Levatino heard tires squeal. The children were in the street and Heather had been hit by a car.

“She was a mess,” he explained. “And we did everything we possibly could. But she ultimately died, literally in our arms, on the way to the hospital that evening.”

After a while, Levatino had to return to work. And one day, his first D&E since the accident was on his schedule. He wasn’t really thinking about it or concerned. To him, it was going to be a routine procedure he had done many times before. Only it wasn’t.

“I started that abortion and I took that sopher clamp and I literally ripped out an arm or a leg and I just stared at it in the clamp. And I got sick,” he explained. “But you know something, when you start an abortion you can’t stop. If you don’t get all the pieces – and you literally stack them up on the side of the table […] your patient is going to come back infected, bleeding or dead. So I soldiered on and I finished that abortion.”

But by the time the abortion was complete, Levatino was beginning to feel a change of heart:

For the first time in my life, after all those years, all those abortions, I really looked, I mean I really looked at that pile of goo on the side of the table that used to be somebody’s son or daughter and that’s all I could see. I couldn’t see what a great doctor I was being. I didn’t see how I helped this woman in her crisis. I didn’t see the 600 dollars cash I had just made in 15 minutes. All I could see was somebody’s son or daughter. And after losing my daughter this was looking very, very different to me.

Levatino stopped performing second trimester abortions but continued to provide first trimester abortions for the next few months.

“Everybody puts doctors on a pedestal and we’re all supposed to be so smart but we’re no different than anybody else,” he said.

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He realized that killing a baby at 20 weeks gestation was exactly the same as killing one at nine weeks gestation or even two weeks gestation. He understood that it doesn’t matter how big or small the baby is, it’s a human life. He has not done an abortion since February 1985 and says there is no chance he will ever perform one again.

Adamant that he would never join the pro-life movement because of the media’s portrayal of pro-lifers as crazy, he was eventually invited to a pro-life potluck dinner where he met people who he realized were intelligent volunteers who spent their time defending preborn humans.

After that, Levatino began speaking out against abortion specifically with young people, graphically describing for them what an abortion really is.

Levatino has also testified before Congress, asking our government to end legal abortion.

Reprinted with permission from Live Action News

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