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Archbishop Chaput says abortion is an issue that requires of Catholics a “loyalty to the Church prior to their political party”

by | Oct 24, 2012

 By Dave Andrusko

Yesterday we wrote about Archbishop Charles Chaput’s most recent column in which he discussed “Public Witness and Catholic Citizenship.”   Thanks to National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez, I know that the Philadelphia archbishop gave a new interview with the Catholic News Service.

In that interview (portions of which can be seen at Archbishop Chaput emphasizes the centrality of the abortion issue—a “really big issue today”—an issue that requires of Catholics” a “loyalty to the Church prior to their political party.”


The video begins with a clip from the vice presidential debate where pro-life Paul Ryan and pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden explain their contrasting positions on abortion, followed by a video clip of young people at a March for Life rally. That sets the stage for Archbishop Chaput’s trenchant observations.

For us old-timers, his beginning remarks are bitterly ironic. In the early days of the abortion debate “If people had to guess which party would have embraced abortion and which one wouldn’t,” they would have guessed that the Democrats never would. (Now, of course, they are THE party of abortion, headed by the most pro-abortion President in our history, running on an abortion plank that calls for unlimited abortion paid for with your tax dollars.)

Abortion, Archbishop Chaput says, “is a very serious issue that requires absolute adherence on the part of Catholics,” Chaput explains. At that juncture he makes a key connection: “And if we don’t stand united on this issue, we’re bound to failure — not only in the area of protecting unborn human life but in maintaining our religious freedom.”

This, of course, is a reference to the mandate from Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services which employed one provision of the Obamacare law to issue a new mandate that most employer-sponsored health plans must pay for all FDA-approved methods of birth control, including both drugs and sterilization procedures. Biden in that same debate completely misrepresented the mandate. He said

“With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.”

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops immediately responded. The USCCB said “This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain ‘religious employers.’ That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to ‘Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,’ or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.”

Take a few minutes out of your busy day and watch/listen to Archbishop Chaput at

Categories: Religious