Catholics United Responds to Allegations Made by Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput

Posted October 18, 2008

Catholics United executive director Chris Korzen issued the following statement today in response to Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput’s accusation that Catholics United has “done a disservice to the Church, confused the natural priorities of Catholic social teaching, undermined the progress pro-lifers have made, and provided an excuse for some Catholics to abandon the abortion issue instead of fightingin their parties and at the ballot box to protect the unborn.” The archbishop’s comments were delivered at an Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women dinner in Denver on October 17, 2008.

“Catholics United welcomes an open, honest, and productive dialogue about how best to represent the values of the our faith in public life. We recognize that Catholics can differ in good conscience about which policies will achieve the most effective results, even on issues as important as abortion. We are concerned that Archbishop Chaput’s comments – even those made in his personal capacity – will have a chilling effect on this dialogue. It is also profoundly unfortunate that Archbishop Chaput has chosen to make personal attacks on lay Catholics acting in good faith to promote Catholic values in the public square.”

“During the past eight years we have watched a president rise to power on a ‘pro-life’ platform only to pursue other priorities: perpetrating an unjust war, opposing expanded health care coverage for pregnant women and children, promoting the intrinsic evil of torture, deregulating the financial markets, and mortgaging the future of America’s hard-working families on tax cuts for the rich and powerful. Scant, if any, progress was made toward ending or reducing abortions – quite the contrary, we fear that the looming economic crisis will impel more women to have abortions as people lose their jobs and their homes. This experience serves as poignant reminder of the need for Catholics and other pro-life Americans to look beyond campaign rhetoric and elect candidates who will deliver real results on the issues that matter most.”

“With due respect to Archbishop Chaput, we believe that by pursuing efforts to de-polarize the abortion debate and bring Americans of varying ideological backgrounds to the table to find common ground solutions, organizations like Catholics United are doing at least as much to promote Church teaching on human life as those who have insisted on the same ineffective strategies of the past 35 years.”