Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Rep. Betty McCollum joins 17 Catholic House of Representatives Democrats in Opposing Pope's Excommunication Comments

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Catholic Members of Congress Express Concern

Over Church Sanctions

Washington, D.C. – Catholic members of the U.S. House of Representative, including Representatives Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-3), Joe Baca (CA-43), Tim Bishop (NY-1), Joe Courtney (CT-2), Anna Eshoo (CA-14), Maurice Hinchey, (NY-22), Patrick Kennedy (RI-1), James Langevin (RI-2), John Larson (CT-1), Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4), Betty McCollum (MN-4), Jim Moran (VA-8), Bill Pascrell (NJ-8), Tim Ryan (OH-17), Linda Sanchez (CA-39), José Serrano (NY -16), Hilda Solis (CA-32), and Mike Thompson (CA-1) issued the following statement in response to Pope Benedict’s warning that Catholic elected officials risked excommunication from the Church and should not receive communion for their pro-choice views. The majority of these Members also supported the Statement of Principles issued on February 28, 2006, that expresses the signers’ commitment to the dignity of life and their belief that government has moral purpose.

“We are concerned with the Pope's statement warning Catholic elected officials that they risk excommunication and would not receive communion for their pro-choice views.

“Advancing respect for life and for the dignity of every human being is, as our church has taught us, our own life’s mission. As we said in our Statement of Principles, ‘We envision a world in which every child belongs to a loving family and agree with the Catholic Church about the value of human life and the undesirability of abortion – we do not celebrate its practice. Each of us is committed to reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies and creating an environment with policies that encourage pregnancies to be carried to term.’ That is precisely what some of us are doing with our initiative ‘The Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act’ – which includes policies that promote alternatives to abortion, such as adoption, improve access to children’s healthcare and child care, as well as encourage paternal and maternal responsibility.

“The fact is that religious sanction in the political arena directly conflicts with our fundamental beliefs about the role and responsibility of democratic representatives in a pluralistic America – it also clashes with freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution. Such notions offend the very nature of the American experiment and do a great disservice to the centuries of good work the church has done.”

U.S. House of Representatives Press Release


It is interesting that none of the news agencies that published this press release listed the names of the Representatives. I had to go to Rosa DeLauro's web page to find the news release.


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