18 May 2007

Abortion Backlash

Canada.com reports:

TORONTO - Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty insisted Tuesday that his duty to voters trumps his obligations to the Catholic church and Pope Benedict XVI, who has suggested that politicians who support abortion rights should be excommunicated.

"There are very few political leaders who would allow all of their actions to be informed exclusively by dictates of the church," McGuinty, who is both Catholic and pro-choice, told reporters when asked about the Pope's remarks.

"I have a different constituency than does the Pope. I am responsible for representing all kinds of people from all kinds of different backgrounds, different faiths, different cultures, different traditions."

"There's one particular aspect of myself that is in common with the Pope and (that is) I happen to be Catholic. But I have other responsibilities as well."

Catholic Online reports that a group of US House Democrats have issued a criticism of B16's abortion-excommunication statement:
“We are concerned with the pope’s recent statement warning Catholic elected officials that they risk excommunication and would not receive communion for their pro-choice views,” said the lawmakers, that included Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Joe Baca (Calif.), Patrick Kennedy (R.I.) and Carolyn McCarthy (N.Y.).

“Advancing respect for life and for the dignity of every human being is, as our church has taught us, our own life’s mission,” the House Democrats said.

"The fact is that religious sanction in the political arena directly conflicts with our fundamental beliefs about the role and responsibility of democratic representatives in a pluralistic America – it also clashes with freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution," a statement said.

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