To the editor:
Father Jim Hewes’ letter to the editor (June 2: “Candidates’ positions disappointing”) says he cannot support either President Bush or Senator Kerry in the Presidential election in November. His reason for not supporting Mr. Bush is his war policy and his reason for not supporting Mr. Kerry is his stance on abortion. His challenge to Mr. Kerry is quite appropriate. But I don’t expect him to rise to the challenge.
I suggest to you and to Father Hewes that Mr. Bush’s opinions regarding abortion are also not in agreement with the Catholic Church’s teaching. It is well-known that he believes in abortion on the three grounds of rape, incest and the health of the mother. He has never repudiated this position. So, in reality, he is pro-choice. Some American bishops seem to have overlooked that in their attacks on Mr. Kerry’s Catholicism. They should also comment on Mr. Bush’s depth of commitment to Christian principles.
Let me go further. Senator Rick Santorum, Republican of Pennsylvania, is regarded by many in the Catholic pro-life movement as a model politician who follows Catholic teaching on abortion. Yet this is really a disingenuous position by Mr. Santorum. In the recent primary in his state he campaigned vigorously for his pro-abortion Senate colleague, Mr. Arlen Specter, against a staunch pro-life challenger. Mr. Santorum put party above principle. In other words, he promoted a man whose vote in the Senate will cancel out his vote on the confirmation of the next Supreme Court Justice and on the next bill that attempts to restrict abortions. Mr. Santorum is a committed ally of Mr. Bush. He chose the easy way. He can continue to say how pro-life he is, knowing that his colleague will vote the other way.
Keep all this in mind when you vote in November.