A “Statement of Principles” was recently released by 55 Catholic Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives. It was an attempt to say that one can be a good Catholic and an abortion-rights enthusiast at the same time. It failed miserably.

These House Catholic Democrats say they agree with the Church about the “undesirability of abortion,” adding that “we do not celebrate its practice.” What gives them pause is not explained, but one thing is certain: there is not a word in the statement that commits these Catholics to work towards a change in the Democratic Party’s Platform on abortion. Thus, even the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion is not so undesirable that it must be opposed.

Even before the statement was released to the public, it was greeted with joy by liberal Catholic columnist E.J. Dionne, Jr.; his Democratic friends obviously leaked him a copy. Dionne heralded it as “a remarkable document,” one that represented “an unprecedented attempt by a large number of elected officials to explain the relationship between their religious faith and their public commitments.”

Well, tell that to the bishops. They weren’t fooled by this lame attempt to justify a pro-abortion position in Catholic dress. Cardinal William Keeler, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio diplomatically welcomed the statement and then unloaded by reminding these Catholics of “the Catholic Church’s constant teaching that abortion is a grave violation of the most fundamental human right—the right to life that is inherent in all human beings, and that grounds every other right we possess.” In other words, the right of unborn babies to be born is more important than the minimum wage. Startling news for some, no doubt.

The Catholic League response, naturally, pulled no punches. “The statement,” we told the media, “is driven by fear.” We were referring to the fear that an Abortion Albatross is literally strangling these House Catholic Democrats from getting their message out.

Recall that in 2004, 48 Catholic members of Congress—all Democrats—signed a letter to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington warning him that if some bishops were to deny Communion to abortion-rights advocates it would “revive latent anti-Catholic prejudice, which so many of us have worked so hard to overcome.”

Funny thing is, we never recall one of them joining with the Catholic League to denounce the incestuous relationship that existed for years between the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Catholics for a Free Choice, the notoriously anti-Catholic front group: a link with the bigoted group was posted on the DNC’s website for years.

Perhaps the most convincing evidence that this statement is a sham is the fact that Rep. Rosa DeLauro is the point person for this effort. There has never been an abortion she couldn’t justify, including the killing of an innocent child who is 80 percent born. Indeed, she previously served as the executive director of EMILY’s List, the richest pro-abortion organization in the country.

So with DeLauro at the helm, we said in our news release, “the ‘Statement of Principle’ is nothing more than a ‘Statement of Politics.'” Thus, the Abortion Albatross remains securely in place.

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