By Hilary White
NEW YORK, January 26, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Edward Cardinal Egan, as archbishop of New York city, arguably one of the two most important Catholic prelates in the United States, indicated in a January 5 interview on NBC, that he had little problem with politicians, even Catholic politicians, who repudiate moral principles on such issues as abortion, euthanasia and marriage.
The NBC interviewer, David Ushery, asked for the Cardinal’s response to the pro-abortion stance of three of the most prominent politicians in New York, presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Rudolph Giuliani, and ex-governor of New York George Pataki.
Cardinal Egan responded, “They’re all friends of mine.”
“Governor Pataki’s a friend of mine, Mayor Giuliani’s a friend of mine, Senator Clinton is a friend of mine and whomever else you want to name.”
The Cardinal added, “I think I’m a good friend of all three of these people, whom you’ve mentioned or whom I’ve mentioned. And I wish them all the best, and they’ve been very good to us. And I will vote, I assure you, right here in the New York, and that will be one vote. I won’t ask you to vote the way I think you ought to vote.”
Commenting on the interview, Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, editor of the respected Catholic magazine First Things, noted that the politicians Egan referred to were not “struggling with the moral questions involved or trying to reconcile their position with the Church’s teaching.”
Neuhaus writes that Egan “was making a statement of momentous political consequence” in which “he seemed to be saying, as far as he is concerned, that the Church has no problem with pro-abortion politicians.”
Cardinal Egan’s statement coupled with the refusal of Washington’s Archbishop Wuerl to respond to the same issue, Neuhaus says, indicates that there is “no suggestion by the bishops that [the politicians’] longstanding and adamant support for the unlimited abortion license should be a matter of concern.”
Neuhaus’ comments reflect the increasingly vocal frustration of lay Catholics, in dozens of online news forums and popular weblogs. They condemn what they see as the inaction of their prelates who regularly stage once-a-year pro-life events or statements but maintain an equivocal position in the political sphere.
A Catholic who maintains a popular weblog from Los Angeles under the name “Quintero,” often focuses on the apparent complicity of some Catholic leaders in what he calls the “abortion establishment.”
He writes in response to Cardinal Egan’s interview, that Catholic priests and bishops need to “sever ties with their buddies in the abortion establishment,” or risk losing all credibility with their flock.
Quintero succinctly sums up the tone of hundreds of comments recorded all over the Catholic internet world: “When people see Cardinals, bishops and priests helping pro-abortion politicians, will they take that as a pro-life message or a pro-abortion message? …[T]he bishops need to excommunicate the Catholic pro-aborts, not mingle with them!”
Read a transcript of the NBC interview:
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
First Things’ Fr. Neuhaus Criticizes Archbishop Wuerl on Pro-Abortion Politicians Fiasco