DENVER, September 23, 2004 ( – Archbishop Charles Chaput’s latest column in the diocesan newspaper, has chronicled the history of the modern Catholic politician’s “personally opposed but…” compromise.

The Archbishop of Denver says it started with Kennedy’s capitulation to anti-Catholic public sentiment in the 1960 election when he said that he would not put the “national interest” above “religious pressures or dictates.” At the time, Chaput writes, the compromise looked relatively innocuous when the issues were divorce, federal aid to Catholic schools or diplomatic relations with the Vatican. However, the essential conflict created by this capitulation, that morality and the secular world must never intersect, finally spiraled down to our current position.  Chaput writes, “In 1973, by legalizing abortion on demand, the U.S. Supreme Court changed everything. The reason is simple: Abortion is different. Abortion kills.” His comments do not spare politicians who try to make the “personally opposed but…” dodge: “They could either work to change or at least mitigate permissive abortion laws, while at the same time trying to repopulate the courts with pro-life judges. Or they could abandon the unborn and look for a way to morally sanitize their decision…Twenty years ago this month (Sept. 13, 1984), then-New York Governor Mario Cuomo…argued: ‘legal interdicting of abortion by either the federal government or the individual states is not a plausible possibility, and even if it could be obtained, it wouldn’t work.’”  The Archbishop reiterated one of his favorite themes, that the argument against abortion has nothing to do with Catholic religion. “Resistance to abortion cuts across all religions. It’s not a “Catholic” issue. In fact, it’s finally not a religious issue at all, but a matter of human rights, reinforced by the irrefutable scientific fact that life begins at conception.”  He sums up the current political climate, “In brief, it’s OK to be Catholic in public service as long as you’re willing to jettison what’s inconveniently ‘Catholic.’” Chaput concludes with uncompromising gravity, “That’s not a compromise. That’s a deal with the devil, and it has a balloon payment no nation, no public servant and no voter can afford.”  To read the full editorial:



Commenting Guidelines

LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.