Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Bishops and the Democrats

Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William E. Lori, chairman, U.S. Bishops Committee on Doctrine recently criticized Nancy Pelosi and Joseph Biden for failing to recognize that from the moment of conception all human being have a right not to be killed. The Bishops maintained that this recognition has legal and political consequences

 I am left to mull a number of questions. Is it the position of the Bishops that the Constitution should properly be read to embrace a constitutional right of the unborn not to be killed? If not, is it the Bishops’ position that the Constitution should be so amended? Is it the position of these Bishops that because the unborn are like every other human being, the homicide laws should apply without modification to women seeking abortions and to doctors administering them? To what extent is the question of whether laws should be passed against abortion a prudential question? If there are serious prudential issues, to what extent do the Bishops have expertise? Finally, perhaps wrongly, I see a pattern of specific criticism against Catholic Democratic politicians. I would appreciate direction to places where the American Bishops have specifically criticized Republican politicians on abortion or other issues.


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