Ryan Norrell, Grand Forks, letter: No skirting Catholic view about abortion
GRAND FORKS -- As this year's election approaches, we as a people need to make sure we are well-informed. We also need to make sure that our politicians are well-informed of the issues and values that voters take into account. This is especially ...
GRAND FORKS -- As this year's election approaches, we as a people need to make sure we are well-informed. We also need to make sure that our politicians are well-informed of the issues and values that voters take into account. This is especially true of voters who, like me, are Catholic and look for candidates who can meet the criteria we should consider.
The Catholic vote gets even harder when political leaders begin twisting Church teaching to their own political ends. In the past few months, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and vice presidential nominee Sen. Joe Biden have done just that. They've each tried to use the words of two of the greatest philosophers and theologians in Western history to justify their political stances on abortion -- stances that are fully inconsistent with Catholic teaching.
Pelosi used St. Augustine on Aug. 24 to justify her stance on abortion, and Biden used Thomas Aquinas twice, first back in April and then again mere weeks after Pelosi did. They each used their respective theologian's outlook on the development of the human embryo to justify their stance on abortion and to proclaim that the church is undecided on when life begins.
But both failed to point out that Augustine and Aquinas each held that in light of the shaky biology of their day, abortion was still a grave sin -- and that since the first century, the Catholic Church has opposed abortion.
Though biology has evolved, the Catholic Church has always held abortion is wrong. The discovery of the human ovum in the 1820s enabled modern science to prove that at the moment of conception, a live separate being, distinct from mother and father, does come into existence. This reaffirmed the Church's consistent teaching on abortion though the centuries.
While the media waits for Sarah Palin's next gaffe to prove she is uniformed and unqualified for leadership, Pelosi and Biden are deliberately misleading Catholics, showing their own lack of knowledge and qualification for leadership.