CNS columnists urge attention to abortion issue

Few people — except editors at our client publications — know that Catholic News Service has a fairly robust columns package. You may even have read some of our columnists in your local Catholic newspaper and not known where they came from.

Theresa Bock prepares to ship boxes of pro-life literature and postcards at the office of the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment in Washington Jan. 26. Staff in the office were shipping boxes of literature and postcards to dioceses and others as part of a national campaign against the Freedom of Choice Act. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Theresa Bock prepares to ship boxes of pro-life literature and postcards at the office of the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment in Washington Jan. 26. Staff in the office were shipping boxes of literature and postcards to dioceses and others as part of a national campaign against the Freedom of Choice Act. (CNS/Paul Haring)

With the change in administrations here in Washington, several of the columnists have been writing about the need for Catholics to remind President Obama that they don’t agree with his position on abortion.

For instance, one columnist, Tony Magliano, who writes on social justice issues, reported on this year’s March for Life in Washington but also recalled how Obama noted the anniversary:

On Jan. 22, President Barack Obama issued a very disheartening pro-abortion statement which read in part that government “should not intrude on our most private family matters.”

However, government does intervene in private family matters when it detects child abuse. Yet, it illogically and immorally refuses to protect unborn children against the most brutal form of child abuse: abortion.

Adding insult to injury, on Jan. 23 Obama reversed the ban on federal funds to organizations that promote abortion in developing countries. Now millions of tax dollars will be available to groups like the International Planned Parenthood Federation to help them perform their deadly deeds.

But worst of all, Obama has made it clear that he hopes to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. If it becomes law, FOCA would overturn virtually every federal and state limitation on abortion.

He went on to say that participating in the U.S. bishops’  current postcard campaign to oppose FOCA would be a good place for Catholics to start.

Another of our columnists, Stephen Kent, also devotes his column this week to abortion and the new administration:

It is more important than ever that the case for the culture of life be based on the firm belief in the dignity of the human person.

Politicians can count. Postelection polls said 54 percent of the Catholic electorate voted for Obama.

“Many Catholics voted for Obama despite his position on abortion, and they have an obligation to say ‘this is not why I voted for you,’ said Richard Doerflinger of the bishops’ pro-life office. One way to tell him is through a postcard.

Kent too points to the postcard campaign as a way to remind politicians that the first priority of Catholic teaching is the dignity of the human person.

Magliano also wrote a column for early December saying that many of the president-elect’s positions “reflect Catholic social doctrine and deserve our support.” But he also called Obama’s abortion position “very troubling” and urged readers to let him know their opposition to the Freedom of Choice Act. He concluded:

Now is the best time to help President-elect Obama understand the moral concerns of America’s Catholic community!

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6 Responses to CNS columnists urge attention to abortion issue

  1. Lisa Zebrun says:

    It is interesting that your column comments on reading your columnists in local Catholic publications, because that is exactly how I landed on this website.

    I just read a column from Father Robert Kinast regarding Christian Duty to the Poor (Indiana, The Message). He begins his article with a barbed insult aimed at conservatives, implying that conservatives do not believe in helping the poor and will actually argue against it. I came here seeking an avenue to comment on his writing.

    With all due respect to Fr. Kinast, I believe he seriously needs to both find new friends and brush up on his facts. As a conservative, I am both conscious of and sympathetic to the plight of the poor. My ultra-conservative hubby and I give generously to our local food bank and St. Vincent DePaul throughout the year. We participate in Coats for Kids and reach out at Christmas to several poor families by purchasing Christmas gifts for children who otherwise would not receive any. Food for the Poor is our favorite charity, second only to the CFCA. I proudly show the photo of my sponsored child at every opportunity to encourage others to join in supporting this amazing charity, and I write her and her family regularly. I can’t think of anything I enjoy more than receiving a letter from her.

    Statistics consistently prove that, while liberals talk about it, conservatives routinely GIVE a considerably larger portion of their incomes to charities, including those which support the poor.

    Certainly you will hear me grumble about those who take advantage as well as air my opinions regarding the role of government as a charitable organization. Just because I don’t believe it is the government’s job to provide handouts to anyone sly enough to hold out their hand in no way demonstrates that I believe that the poor will always be with us and that is ok.

    I sincerely hope that Fr. will reconsider his comments.

  2. Jim Schwarz says:

    One could legitimatey question why CNS has not been promoting the postcard campaign up-front. Why during the past 2 months when entering the CNS homepage did I not find a promotion of the postcard campaign? Instead what has been most prominent have been stories mimimizing the probability that FOCA will pass. Now we are facing a real possibility of a 60 vote majority in the senate by the Democrats because a Republican senator may be appointed to a cabinet post and the Democratic governor is likely to appoint a Democrat to the seat. This would be a filibuster-proof majority. Only one Democrat joined the Republicans in opposing President Obama’s trashing of the Mexico city policy. Tell me there is no possibility of FOCA or an equivalent passing!!! Here in MN a Democratic state senator has introduced the “Reproductive Privacy Act” which is a clone of FOCA.

  3. Holly says:

    Ive been watching the rhetoric about the history more or less of Abortion.
    Ive still to see concrete evidence as to how this evolved and why it evolved.
    Yes I have seen the Manifestos over at priests for life.
    What I want to know is who instigated them and why.
    I also see that there are different reasons other than Roe v. Wade as to why abortion was instituted.
    One thing that is being said is that anyone who has more than 2.5 children is that your irresponsible because of the Carbon thing.
    Another is the overpopulation.
    Another is that Norma McKorvey was being used and that the lawyer who represented her state that she regretted using her now. Now whats that all about?
    We have all this so called evidence that we should contracept and abort but no one person is sound in there thinking on this issue.
    I am for Natural Family Planning.
    I sacrificed not having children so others could so Im not expert in children but I have 2 nieces and 2 nephews and I feel that I had a small hand in there up-bringing.
    Now its coming to light that there is some shakey ground here and I want to know why because I to pay taxes and I dont relish them going overseas unless its to feed, clothe and educate the poor.
    I also want to see a study done as to why we have teenage pregnancy.
    I used to be Pro-Choice but thanks to Father Frank Pavone, The valuable people of EWTN and other Catholic sources (this one in particular) and Ms. Alveda King Ive since changed my stance because I was ignorant.
    Now Im seeing cracks as to why we need abortion and misuse and enviromental problems of chemical abortifacients. Particularly and irritant to men.
    Look we live in a less than perfect world but why are people fighting the people on the Pro-life side if they have some interesting and scientific data to support this is improper to society?
    Why are Pro-Choice people so rabid to hold on to this barbaric practice of abortion and why havent we come up with some cash from this stimulus to do some hard core research for the side of Pro-Life to see if it may benefit society and the next generations on this planet better than what we have seen in the Contraceptive/Abortion mentality and society?
    Respectfully and peacefully I sight these observations and questions because something isnt right in Kansas folks.
    I dont see violence and war coming down as Harry Kissingers proposal and answer to the crisis of war.
    Bring the population down and all.
    We now have a geriatric problem and social security crisis because we dont have enought people and industry. Thats one thing I see.
    So why does a senator want to make more problems by introducing a secretive “Reproductive Privacy Act” who is this guy?
    So keep the conspiracies going huh so the American people can be left in the dark until something tragic happens when we could have had good people resolve some of it?
    “Well that all folks”!


    We need not waste time and resources to “remind” Pres. Obama of his differences with Catholic teaching nor try to “realign” his thinking. He is carrying out the promises he made during his campaign. He has been very consistent in his support of abortion and has or will institutionalize a pro abortion aggenda & staff/appointees. All are actions which were promised and were predictatble for us as voters. We should expect to see the lifting of all federal stem cell research & use restrictions soon as well-all promised by the candidate.

    We as Catholics provided overwelming support and the Catholic Church was all but silent or at least ambivalent during the campaign. We seem to have placed our economic troubles well ahead of our professed support for the unborn. We can only expect it will take several decades to regain the limited progress which had been made in appointments and minor abortion restrictions.

    We should be prepared to support wholesale elinination of Catholic medical instituions upon passage of the FOCA. We. That may well be the catalyst for the change of heart needed to institute a new post abortion age in our country.

    Mike Popiel

  5. Mara says:

    Among many conservatives and of course our own Archbishop Burke view CNS as an outreach of the Democratic Party and the liberal wing of the Catholic Church. I found that to be true when last years your reporters would refer to us as anti-abortion activists, not pro-lifers, something that the National Catholic Reporter does.

    The church is not monolithic and CNS needs to understand that its primary job is to present Catholic teachings clearly. You are, after all, the offical news communication of our bishops, and sometimes the political ideologies of your editors tend to take precedent over offical church teachings.

    CNS reporting is also making many of us very angry. We find it slanted and bias against conservative Catholics and against Republicans in general. We resent these negative stereotypes. Whatever happened to “just report the facts.”

    More so, CNS does not cover stories that might give a negative image of liberal leaders but they certainly will cover stories that project conservative leaders in a bad light.

    For example, why haven’t there been in depth stories about the new communities or about the number of young people joining the seminaries or about how the extraordinary rite is taking root in the United States?

  6. George Vogt says:

    CNS article seems to question need for FOCA Postcard Campaign but our Bishops are unanimous in support

    see article at:

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