Bishops say Pelosi misrepresents church teaching on abortion

The following was released tonight by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

WASHINGTON–Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William E. Lori, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, have issued the following statement:

In the course of a “Meet the Press” interview on abortion and other public issues on August 24, 2008, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi misrepresented the history and nature of the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church against abortion.

In fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.” (No. 2271)

In the Middle Ages, uninformed and inadequate theories about embryology led some theologians to speculate that specifically human life capable of receiving an immortal soul may not exist until a few weeks into pregnancy. While in canon law these theories led to a distinction in penalties between very early and later abortions, the Church’s moral teaching never justified or permitted abortion at any stage of development.

These mistaken biological theories became obsolete over 150 years ago when scientists discovered that a new human individual comes into being from the union of sperm and egg at fertilization. In keeping with this modern understanding, the Church teaches that from the time of conception (fertilization), each member of the human species must be given the full respect due to a human person, beginning with respect for the fundamental right to life.

We’ll have a story in the morning for our client editors and on our home page, catholicnews.com.

UPDATE: Bishops say Pelosi misrepresented abortion teaching in TV interview

From 1908 to 2008: Denver gets its second convention in 100 years

(Editor’s Note: Julie Asher, CNS national editor, is perhaps the only journalist in Denver NOT covering this week’s convention. She’s a Denver native whose vacation at home this year coincides with convention week.)

DENVER — No one could argue that technology is not almost as much front and center at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver as the delegates, the Democratic Party leaders — local, state and national — and, of course, the the Democrats’ presumptive nominee, Sen. Barack Obama.

The Denver Post reported that for more than a year, tech workers have been preparing the Pepsi Center convention site. There are hundreds of cameras and lights on the convention floor and there are high-speed Internet connections, high-definition video streams, and phone and data lines galore. Workers installed whatever was needed beyond the technology already in place for the two teams that call the Pepsi Center home — the Denver Nuggets basketball team and the Colorado Avalanche hockey team.

But 100 years ago, the site for the Dems’ national convention was cutting edge in its own way — the Denver Municipal Auditorium had just been built. And the party’s nominee that year — William Jennings Bryan — used the technology of the day to keep up with the convention happenings through the telegraph and telephone; he delivered his acceptance speech with a telegraphed message from his home in Lincoln, Neb.

Today the convention officially gets under way, but various demonstrations have not yet heated up, though various protest groups are already forming in downtown Denver — ranging from Code Pink to Re-Create ’68 to the Raelian Movement. Wonder what groups the Dems heard from in 1908?

The pursuit of perfection

When Angel Macias pitched a perfect game in the 1957 Little League World Series championship game, it was the first time such a feat had taken place at Little League’s Williamsport, Pa., headquarters.

It became a noteworthy climax for the Monterrey, Mexico, team that won the World Series. It also became the focus of the book “The Perfect Game,” written by W. William Winokur, and the subject of this CNS story.

Winokur has already been on the promotional circuit for the book, and the tour took him to Williamsport Aug. 17.

“One of the final 16 teams (in the tournament) was a team from Mexico, so I got invited down to their dugout for a pep talk before their game against Italy,” he recalls. “I tell the kids this incredible story about their predecessors from Monterrey 40 years ago … and all they overcame to get to Williamsport. And I said, `I don’t want to pressure you, but in the final game, this kid, Angel Macias, pitched a perfect game.’

“And this one boy, Jesus Aceda, said, `Senor, I’m the pitcher, and if we have a perfect game, will you write about us, too?’ And I said, `Sure, why not?’”

Two hours later, Winokur was in a meeting when someone came into the meeting looking for him. The message: “That kid, Jesus, he pitched a perfect game.”

“It’s like only the fourth perfect game in all of Williamsport (Little League) history,” Winokur said.

Aceda’s Matamoros team beat Venezuela in an international championship semifinal game Aug. 20, so Winokur said he was returning to Williamsport from a vacation at Fire Island, N.Y., “to be their good luck charm.” he said. Matamoros prevailed against the Japanese entry from Tokyo, 5-4, in the Aug. 23 game to become Little League international champions. In the Little League World Series the following day, however, they lost to the Waipahu, Hawaii team, representing the U.S. West, 12-3.

No word if Winokur’s shopping a book deal for the Matamoros boys just yet.

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