Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi once again resorted to name-calling and answer-dodging tactics when asked to define the moral difference between killing a premature infant and abortion, but Priests for Life’s Fr. Frank Pavone is not letting her get away with it.
The back-and-forth between Fr. Frank Pavone and Rep. Nancy Pelosi has reached a new level of intensity this week. It began a week ago when Pelosi fumbled in response to a reporter who asked her to explain the moral difference between killing a premature infant and abortion.
She proved unable to answer the question and then followed up her stammering remarks with this whopper: “As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics.”
Incensed by the remark, Fr. Pavone responded by writing an open letter demanding that she renounce the faith that she so persistently misrepresents to the public. The letter acquired thousands of signatures from people across the country.
“With this statement, you make a mockery of the Catholic faith and of the tens of millions of Americans who consider themselves “practicing and respectful Catholics” and who find the killing of children — whether inside or outside the womb — reprehensible,” the letter says, then goes on to demand that she either “exercise your duties as a public servant and a Catholic, or have the honesty to formally renounce them.”
“My faith is very deep and has been my whole life. I love my faith and my faith has nothing to do with whoever he is. The arrogance of it all! It’s like something ancient, medieval….Whether this priest thinks his judgment should be another woman’s judgment is absolutely ridiculous to me. But nonetheless it’s what they say. I grant the Church where they are on abortion. That’s where they are, that’s where they have to be. But my faith isn’t about what their position is. My faith is about, Christ is my savior, the church is his church, and has nothing to do with Priests for Life…I wouldn’t even dignify whatever it is they said. It was a highly emotional statement that they made. If it were more intellectual I might have paid attention to it. He was acting hysterically.”
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
In response, Priests for Life released the following:
Rather than answer the simple question as to what is the moral difference between killing a baby outside the womb or inside the womb, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has criticized Priests for Life, and its National Director, Fr. Frank Pavone, for raising the issue in an open letter, calling them arrogant, medieval, hysterical, and disconnected from the Church.
Fr. Pavone said: “I would like to know if Mrs. Pelosi, in her charges that we are arrogant, medieval, and hysterical, intends to include the more than 14,000 people (and counting) who signed onto my open letter to her in just the past few days. Rather than resorting to name-calling, she should answer the question all of us have raised. In refusing to answer this question, and instead choosing to criticize the messenger and then assert her own version of Catholicism, Mrs. Pelosi repeats the same display of avoidance and inconsistency as she exhibited at the June 13 press briefing that prompted my letter in the first place. Continuing to support dismemberment abortion, and refusing to explain its distinction from murder, she has disconnected herself from both faith and reason. Priests for Life will not allow this to go unchallenged.
As for her assertion that she might pay attention to a more intellectual letter, Fr. Pavone responded: “The beginning of an intellectual approach to this discussion is to answer the simple question that started the discussion. Mrs. Pelosi refuses to take that first step.”
Fr. Pavone’s open letter, at LetterToNancy.com, continues to receive thousands of adherents each day from across the country.
In her interview with ThinkProgress earlier this week, Mrs. Pelosi said, “I grant the Church where they are on abortion. That’s where they are, that’s where they have to be. But my faith isn’t about what their position is.”
Fr. Pavone responded: “The beautiful thing about Catholic Faith is that it is not some kind of mysterious knowledge available only to elites or to the person holding it. Rather, it can be plainly understood by prince and pauper, young and old, educated and illiterate. We can all recognize when it is embraced and when it is rejected. Mrs. Pelosi has clearly rejected it, stating again that her faith is not what the Church teaches.
“We don’t need to consult the Catechism to know that terrorism is wrong – reason makes this plain,” added Fr. Pavone. “And yet, those who flew airplanes into our buildings were, all the while, professing their faith. You also don’t need to know theology or be a priest to conclude that tearing a baby apart limb by limb is wrong – reason likewise makes this clear. Yet, Nancy Pelosi has done it again – she’s trying to use faith talk to escape what both reason and Catholicism teach about abortion, and to escape answering the simple question, ‘What is the moral difference between killing a premature newborn and aborting a baby?'”
Should Ms. Pelosi choose to respond to this latest challenge, we will keep you advised.
© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace® http://www.womenofgrace.com