Dear Editor:With respect to Father O’Brien’s recent controversial sermon, some theological context is evidently in order. In contrast to other urgent moral questions such as the death penalty or the ongoing war in Iraq, abortion is not an issue upon which faithful Christian believers may in good conscience disagree. Simply put, the taking of innocent human life is always evil, and cannot be justified by any means.It is, then, both ironic and unfortunate to see charges of hypocrisy leveled against a priest for simply and steadfastly reminding people of the church’s teaching on abortion. This teaching is not some novel political ploy; rather, it is grounded firmly in natural law, holy scripture, and in the church’s long tradition of moral reflection.As I see it, the hypocrisy comes not from priests or bishops, but from politicians who claim to be Catholic, yet knowingly, consistently, and intentionally reject or subvert the church’s witness on this crucial issue.My message to the John Kerrys of this world is simple: If you truly believe in what the Church teaches, fine. Go live it out in the public eye. Call yourself a Catholic. Let your faith inform and inspire you to serve your country. But if you don’t really believe it, if you don’t buy it, if you don’t think that 20 centuries of univocal Christian witness on the issue of abortion carries more weight than your own private opinion, please have the decency to refrain from calling yourself a Catholic. Call yourself something else and go about your business.For those of us who are neither lawmakers nor judges the issue is somewhat different. Whether the egregious duplicity of pseudo-Catholic politicians was sufficient cause to sway your vote or mine – well, this is a prudential judgment, and each of us must decide; the church does not presume to make the decision for us.Bo HelmichGlenwood Springs
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