A common criticism is that the Catholic Church’s teachings on contraception and abortion are somehow responsible for Third World poverty. In a Stockton, California newspaper,The Record, columnist Joseph Guzzardi II wrote a particularly unfair piece maligning the Holy Father. League president William Donohue fired back with the following response.

“In his tirade against the Catholic Church (‘If the pope were more moderate in his rhetoric’), Joseph Guzzardi slams the Pope for not caring about Third World poverty. He then pleas with the Pope to allow women to have an abortion and asks him to condemn those who have killed abortionists.

“To begin with, the Pope has openly denounced those who take the life of abortionists. In addition, the Pope has often addressed the subject of poverty and has implored affluent individuals and nations to do more to alleviate the suffering of the needy. But he does not believe that the way to stop poverty is to start by killing the poor. Abortion kills and there is no way to deny it.

“Third World nations that practice socialism, as in Africa, breed poverty, while once poor nations that adopt market economies, as in Southeast Asia, breed wealth. So if Guzzardi is really concerned about the plight of the needy, it is entirely possible for him to at once reject both socialism and abortion. The Pope does, and that is why Catholics turn to him as a moral resource, and not to those bent on distorting his record.”

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