Flash: "Bishops respond to House Speaker Pelosi’s misrepresentation of Church teaching against abortion"
Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William E. Lori, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, have issued the following statement:
In the course of a “Meet the Press” interview on abortion and other public issues on August 24, 2008, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi misrepresented the history and nature of the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church against abortion.
The Church has always taught that human life deserves respect from its very beginning and that procured abortion is a grave moral evil. In the Middle Ages, uninformed and inadequate theories about embryology led some theologians to speculate that specifically human life capable of receiving an immortal soul may not exist until a few weeks into pregnancy. While in canon law these theories led to a distinction in penalties between very early and later abortions, the Church’s moral teaching never justified or permitted abortion at any stage of development.
These mistaken biological theories became obsolete over 150 years ago when scientists discovered that a new human individual comes into being from the union of sperm and egg at fertilization. In keeping with this modern understanding, the Church has long taught that from the time of conception (fertilization), each member of the human species must be given the full respect due to a human person, beginning with respect for the fundamental right to life.
I'd give anything to see the looks on countless people's faces as they were busying themselves writing editorials about how Archbishop Chaput overstepped his bounds today (yadda, yadda) ... only to read this statement from the USCCB in the evening.
In other words, criticism of Pelosi's obfuscation is no longer a minority position (and thank God!).
Props to the bishops for quickly responding to this public scandal. There, wasn't that straightforward?
update: as some readers have already noted - that's an interesting third link choice in the statement...