Edited 4:41 pm EST 11.9.2011

SPRINGFIELD, November 8, 2011 ( – Cardinal Francis George of Chicago slightly softened his criticism of Catholic Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn for agreeing to present a pro-abortion political group’s award, after learning that the award was presented to a rape victim.

Cardinal George, who had condemned Quinn’s decision to “publicly [present] awards to … advocates” of pro-abortion legislation, indicated remorse over the weekend after learning that the recipient of the award was rape victim and advocate Jennie Goodman.


“That Ms. Goodman would feel attacked, I regret that very much,” George said on Sunday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

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However, the cardinal emphasized that he and the five other Illinois bishops who joined the criticism did not regret chastising the governor for his pro-abortion advocacy.

“The statement is not about her, it is about Gov. Quinn, who on one hand identifies himself as a member of the Catholic Church and on the other hand is identifying himself strongly with a group that supports the killing of unborn children in their mothers’ wombs,” he said.

Quinn presented the award on behalf of Personal PAC, a group dedicated to supporting pro-abortion candidates for political office.

The governor, a Catholic politician known for espousing pro-abortion policy, complained that George had not communicated with him prior to issuing the critical statement.

“I always feel that when you have an issue that you’re concerned about, the best thing to do is pick up the phone, set up a time, an appointment, and come on in and have a face-to-face dialogue,” said Quinn in another Tribune article Tuesday.

Quinn had initially responded to the criticism by saying that honoring Goodman was “a proper Christian thing to do.”

Terry Cosgrove, president of Personal PAC and former advisor to NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and NOW, said that George had reached a “new low” by “accusing women of killing their children,” and said Catholic Church leaders were merely angry that Quinn had triumphed over a pro-life opponent in the last gubernatorial race thanks in part to Personal PAC’s involvement.