This week, the U.S. Senate is considering bills to ban abortions after 20 weeks; to defund Planned Parenthood; and to hold abortion providers criminally liable for failing to provide medical care to babies born alive. Despite this, Pope Francis reportedly will focus his comments during his U.S. visit on climate change, not life issues. Oklahoma Senator James Lankford finds this sad and puzzling.
Lankford, a cosponsor of the bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, spoke with me Monday about the pope's visit. He also addressed the pending pro-life legislation and the battle over defunding Planned Parenthood, which could lead to a government shutdown.
"I would be surprised if he came in and talked about climate change, which is not a biblical issue, but didn't talk about abortion, which clearly is a biblical issue," Lankford said. "The life issue is clearly one of those things that comes up over and over again in Scripture — the value of each human being. While there are many issues to talk about dealing with poverty, dealing with justice, dealing with protection under the law, certainly we can find common ground to be able to talk about the life issues. ... That should be a central part of the conversation." more >>
A number of Republican politicians have warned Pope Francis against "lecturing" them on issues such as climate change and capitalism ahead of the pontiff's major address at a joint session of Congress on Thursday.
"I think it's totally inappropriate that the Pope is weighing in on all the real sensitive, far-left issues," said Oklahoma Republican Senator James Inhofe in an interview with CNN. "I'm not a Catholic, but my Catholic friends in Oklahoma are not real pleased with it."
Rep. Paul Gosar, a Catholic Republican from Arizona, added: more >>
Vice President Joe Biden, a Roman Catholic, said that while he accepts the Church's position that life begins at conception, he will not share his position with others who do not have the same beliefs.
"I'm prepared to accept that at the moment of conception there's human life and being, but I'm not prepared to say that to other God-fearing, non-God fearing people that have a different view," Biden told Father Matt Malone, S.J., editor in chief of America magazine, in an interview published on Monday.
Biden admitted that it has been hard to reconcile the Democratic Party's support for abortion rights with Catholic doctrine, but explained that he cannot impose a "precise view" stemming from his own faith on others. more >>
A representative of the Vatican said that the Roman Catholic Church is not concerned with the controversy over the White House inviting pro-gay and pro-choice individuals to meet Pope Francis when he visits the nation's capital.
Father Thomas Rosica, a Vatican adviser and spokesman, was asked by Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday about the recent guest list controversy.
"The administration has reportedly invited some transgender activists, the first openly gay episcopal bishop to come to the meeting, but so far there's no word that he — that they have invited some of the leaders of the pro-life movement to the welcoming ceremony," noted Wallace. more >>
The Washington Post editorial board has criticized President Obama for inviting transgender activists, an openly gay bishop and supporters of abortion to an event to welcome Pope Francis on Wednesday, saying the White House is more considerate of dictators and oppressors, such as the Chinese president, who is arriving in the U.S. next week, than the pope.
The editorial board says they are struck by "the contrast between the administration's apparent decision to risk a bit of rudeness in the case of the pope and its overwhelming deference to foreign dictators when similar issues arise."
Those invited to the event at the White House's South Lawn to welcome the pope on his first full day in the U.S. on Wednesday include Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a "Catholic social justice lobby" which allegedly supports abortion and euthanasia; Bishop Gene Robinson, former Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire who is the first openly gay Episcopal bishop in the country; Mateo Williamson, a former co-head of the transgender caucus of Dignity USA; and also activists from the LGBT group GLAAD. more >>
On September 23, 24, and 25, Pope Francis will meet with President Barack Obama at the White House, speak to a joint session of Congress, and address the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. A major thrust of his message will be to urge action to reduce manmade global warming — something to which President Obama is already committed.
We offer a dissenting opinion.
This is a huge and incredibly complex topic that we can only begin to unpack here. We and other scholars have discussed it at length in five major papers by the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, the latest of which is A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor 2014: The Case against Harmful Climate Policies Gets Stronger (all at http://www.cornwallalliance.org/landmark-documents/), which provide more details, plus documentation for many of the facts we state here. more >>