PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, JUNE 5, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Bishop Thomas Tobin blasted Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani in the Rhode Island Catholic newspaper, calling the former New York mayor’s position on abortion “pathetic and confusing” and “hypocritical.”
In a column published Thursday, Bishop Tobin spoke out against the candidate’s positions, citing a speech Giuliani gave at Houston Baptist College.
Giuliani said he believes abortion is morally wrong but that the viewpoints of those who think it is right must be respected.
Bishop Tobin wrote: “Rudy’s explanation is a classic expression of the position on abortion we’ve heard from weak-kneed politicians so frequently in recent years:
“‘I’m personally opposed to it but don’t want to impose my views on other people.’ The incongruity of that position has been exposed many times now. As I’ve asked previously, would we let any politician get away with the same pathetic cop-out on other issues: ‘I’m personally opposed to … racial discrimination, sexual abuse, prostitution, drug abuse, polygamy, incest … but don’t want to impose my beliefs on others?'”
The Providence bishop recalled that Catholics are “required to be pro-life” and said that “Rudy’s preposterous position is compounded by the fact that he professes to be a Catholic. […] As a leader, as a public official, Rudy Giuliani has a special obligation in that regard.”
The 59-year-old prelate cited a U.S. bishops’ document, which says that “if a Catholic in his or her personal or professional life were knowingly and obstinately to repudiate (the Church’s) definitive teaching on moral issues, he or she would seriously diminish his or her communion with the Church.”
The bishop recalled that Giuliani is not the only Catholic politician who strays from Church teaching.
“Rudy’s defection from the Catholic faith on this moral issue is not unique, of course,” Bishop Tobin lamented. “Catholic politicians of both parties, nationwide, have followed a similar path in abandoning the faith for the sake of political expediency: Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Pat Leahy, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden come quickly to mind. And on a local level, of course, Congressman Patrick Kennedy and Senator Jack Reed.
“How these intelligent men and women will someday stand before the judgment seat of God and explain why they legitimized the death of countless innocent children in the sin of abortion is beyond me.”