Monday, September 20, 2004
"Rome has made it clear. ... It's intrinsically evil to take innocent human life," he said, adding that the abortion issue "is singular and it does have priority" over issues like the minimum wage, capital punishment or the war in Iraq.
Among the U.S. bishops "the center has moved dramatically," he said."The issue now is not whether this will be publicly addressed," he explained, but how to address it and to make policy decisions "in the case of persistent, unrepentant, public and scandalous defiance of the church's teaching that will range from urging the person not to present himself or herself for Communion to publicly refusing Communion (to that person). That is a great move on the part of the bishops. That is the range of discussion. That was not true a year ago."He said he has "great sympathy for the politicians and other public figures who are asking the question, 'Why, all of a sudden, is it a big deal?'"
"The answer, of course, is that it was always a big deal. But the bishops were negligent, and in some cases timorous and in some cases, perhaps it is not unkind to say, cowardly," he said.