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Bernardin vs. Obama

05/31/2009 Comment

At Notre Dame, Obama referred to Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.

“That must have had Cardinal Bernardin turning over in his grave,” writes Elizabeth Lev.

Then, she finds an extraordinary quote from the cardinal himself ... and in the Register, no less.

Obama “cleverly backed up his pro-choice arguments by quoting the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s ‘seamless garment’ project,” wrote Lev, “which many have manipulated to bury abortion among many other issues, as if killing hundreds of thousands of innocent children were somehow morally equivalent to welfare reform and immigration law.”

Said Obama of Bernardin:

“He stood as both a lighthouse and a crossroads — unafraid to speak his mind on moral issues ranging from poverty, AIDS and abortion to the death penalty and nuclear war. And yet, he was congenial and gentle in his persuasion, always trying to bring people together; always trying to find common ground.”

But Cardinal Joseph Bernardin in a front-page interview in the June 12, 1988, National Catholic Register, said:

“I don’t see how you can subscribe to the consistent ethic and then vote for someone who feels that abortion is a ‘basic right’ of the individual.” He went on to say, “I know that some people on the left, if I may use that label, have used the consistent ethic to give the impression that the abortion issue is not all that important anymore, that you should be against abortion in a general way but that there are more important issues, so don’t hold anybody’s feet to the fire just on abortion. That’s a misuse of the consistent ethic, and I deplore it.”

Filed under notre dame, obama, weekend commentary

About Guest Blogger/Tom Hoopes

Tom  Hoopes
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Tom Hoopes is Vice President of College Relations and writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has written for the Register for more than 20 years and was its executive editor for 10. His writing has appeared in First Things’ First Thoughts, National Review Online, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside Catholic and Columbia. He has served as press secretary for the Chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. He and his wife, April, were editorial co-directors of Faith & Family magazine for 5 years. They have nine children.