SPRINGFIELD, November 4, 2011 ( – Responding to criticism from Illinois bishops, Gov. Pat Quinn has said that his decision to present an award at a pro-abortion event is “the proper Christian thing to do.”

The Roman Catholic Governor came under fire from the state’s Conference of Bishops when he accepted an invitation to present an award at a November 17th lunch held by Personal PAC, a group dedicated to supporting pro-abortion candidates for political office.

According to a Chicago Sun-Times report, the group contributed $500,000 in cash and in-kind services to Quinn’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign, helping him defeat pro-life candidate state Sen. Bill Brady.


A statement released by the Conference this week called Quinn’s pro-abortion stance “irreconcilable with any honest profession of the Catholic faith.”

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The statement was signed by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Bishop Thomas Doran of Rockford, Bishop Edward Braxton of Belleville, and Bishop Daniel Conlon of Joliet.

“With this action, Governor Quinn has gone beyond a political alignment with those supporting the legal right to kill children in their mother’s wombs to rewarding those deemed most successful in this terrible work,” the bishops wrote.

They also added that “those acting in the manner of the governor should not be given special recognition on church property or at functions held in support of church ministry.”

Echoing comments he had made when signing a gay civil unions bill into law, the Governor claimed that he was following his conscience by presenting the award.

“I’m going to the event to present an award to a woman who is a victim of rape, and who is a very strong advocate of helping rape victims all over our state and country, so I really think that’s a proper Christian thing to do, to honor someone who’s doing something that helps the community at large,” he said.

Personal PAC President Terry Cosgrove charged the bishops with “accusing women of killing their children,” in comments to the Sun-Times, which he called “a new low in public discourse, even for them.”