Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More about Pelosi

I have previously reported on the widely different press releases made by both the Holy See press office, on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI, and that released by Nancy Pelosi. The issue continues to draw attention and some of the recent commentaries are worth noting.

Comparing the two releases, Catholic commentator and author George Weigel responded saying that the statement from the office of Pelosi makes it obvious that there is more to the story: “that Pelosi, who shamelessly trumpets her ‘ardent’ Catholicism while leading congressional Democrats in a continuing assault on what the Catholic Church regards as the inalienable human rights of the unborn, was trying to recruit Benedict XVI to Team Nancy.”

In contrast Professor Douglas Kmiec, attacked Pope Benedict. (CNA Report) Professor Kmiec, who during the US Presidential election provided a justification for allowing Catholics to vote for Barack Obama, despite the president's consistent pro-abortion track record, wrote last week on Time Magazine's website that Pope Benedict XVI's words to Nancy Pelosi were "intrusive" in legal matters, because they put the whole judicial system in an impossible moral dilemma.

Professor Kmiec according to the article, implied that the Pope exaggerated or at least did not measure the consequences of his words when he told Nancy Pelosi that "jurists," in addition to legislators, must work "in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development." According to Kmiec, such a statement “has the potential, at least theoretically, to empty the U.S. Supreme Court of all five of its Catholic jurists, and perhaps all other Catholics who sit on the bench in the lower federal and state courts.”

Needless to say Kmiec’s viewpoint is not widely shared by others. Edward Whelan, President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and director of its program on The Constitution, the Courts, and the Culture, questioned "whether Kmiec’s reading (of the Vatican statement) is actually a careful one." "For starters, Kmiec assumes that the term 'jurists' is equivalent to 'judges'," Whelan explains, when actually the terms applies to "any person who possesses a degree in law."

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver commenting on the incident said "Every Catholic, whether you're famous or anonymous ... has a responsibility to be faithful to what our Church believes about human life, and we believe human life is sacred and precious from the moment of conception," He also said he was happy that the Pope "took the occasion to remind her of something very important."

During this interview which took place on Fox News(reported by Lifesite News) Interviewer Neil Cavuto then asked Archbishop Chaput: "Would you grant her [Pelosi] Communion in your church?" Archbishop Chaput responded,
"I would like to talk to her if she were coming to a church in the Archdiocese of Denver. I would say to her what I would say to anyone: again, if you don't accept what the Church teaches, you shouldn't present yourself for Communion, because Communion means you're in agreement with what the Church teaches".

I suspect this is not the final word on the affair.