In an address delivered to the Witherspoon Institute on October 17, in Denver Colorado Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has made an historic political address. His newly famous "Little Murders" speech is resetting the Catholic social agenda in America. I have pulled together some of the highlights.
Speaking for myself, I do not know any proportionate reason that could outweigh more than
40 million unborn children killed by abortionand the many millions of women deeply wounded by the loss and regret abortion creates.......... Arguments advanced in favor of Senator Obama are new. They've been around, in one form or another, for more than 25 years.
All of them seek to ''get beyond'' abortion, or economically reduce the number of abortions, or create a better society where abortion won't be necessary. All of them involve a misuse of the seamless garment imagery in Catholic social teaching. And all of them, in practice, seek to contextualize, demote and then counterbalance the evil of abortion with other important but less foundational social issues.This is a great sadness. As Chicago's Cardinal Francis George said recently, too many Americans have
''no recognition of the fact that children continue to be killed [by abortion], and we live therefore, in a country drenched in blood........Meanwhile, the basic human rights violation at the heart of abortion - the intentional destruction of an innocent, developing human life - is wordsmithed away as a terrible crime that just can't be fixed by the law. I don't believe that. I think that argument is a fraud. And I don't think any serious believer can accept that argument without damaging his or her credibility.
We still have more than a million abortions a year, and we can't blame them all on Republican social policies. After all, it was a Democratic president, not a Republican, who vetoed the partial birth abortion ban - twice.The truth is that for some Catholics, the abortion issue has never been a comfortable cause. It's embarrassing. It's not the kind of social justice they like to talk about.
It interferes with their natural political alliances. And because the homicides involved in abortion are ''little murders'' - the kind of private, legally protected murders that kill conveniently unseen lives - it's easy to look the other way.The abortion lobby has fought every compromise and every legal restriction on abortion, every step of the way. Apparently they believe in their convictions more than some of us Catholics believe in ours. And I think that's an indictment of an entire generation of American Catholic leadership.