Deal W. Hudson
December 12, 2008
Lisa Correnti is a San Diego mother of seven children. But like many other Catholic mothers, she has engaged in politics in order to defend the basic values of her faith. For several years she has quietly built her Web site, www.onenationundergod.org, into a goldmine of up-to-date information on the performance of Catholic politicians.
In the midst of compiling information on political donations, Correnti noticed large amounts of money being regularly accepted by Catholic politicians from the pro-abortion lobby. She decided to uncover the total amount of campaign donations given to Catholic members of Congress by organizations such as Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, NOW, and NARAL Pro-Choice America.
In the end, Correnti found that a number of the 162 Catholics currently in Congress have taken money from pro-abortion groups – to the tune of more than $9 million.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accepted nearly a quarter-million dollars – $244,113, to be exact; Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), $205,768; the “pro-life” Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA), $327,914; Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), $1.04 million; Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who assumed office only in January 2007, has accepted $986,619. (For a complete list of donations to Catholic members of Congress since 1990, click here.)
Correnti was alarmed by her discovery and called me. She knew that I directed a program, called the Catholic Advocate, that sought to encourage authentic Catholic involvement in politics. We discussed what could be done and decided to bring the situation to the attention of the bishops by sponsoring a petition drive among the concerned laity.
Thus, Correnti and I have joined forces to gather at least 100,000 signatures on a petition to be sent to the president of the USCCB, Francis Cardinal George, to call upon all Catholic politicians to no longer accept campaign donations from pro-abortion groups. (To read and sign the online petition, click here.)
Correnti’s reason for her effort, presented on her Web site, is straightforward:
With 54 percent of self-identified Catholics supporting a presidential candidate with an extreme abortion record, it became evident that Catholics are not clear on their responsibility to safeguard life through just public policy and electing moral leaders to public office.
She expressed confidence that a joint effort with Catholic Advocate would make the petition drive more effective. “Catholic Advocate has been holding these ‘Catholic’ politicians accountable by giving national exposure to their hypocrisies. Working together with our bishops, we can create the necessary awareness among Catholic citizens to stop the acceptance of abortion money.”
Our petition quotes Pope John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae, where he says that “abortion and euthanasia are crimes that no human law can claim to justify,” and that for lawmakers “it is therefore never licit to obey it or to take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it.”
Cardinal George has already made a powerful public statement warning Catholic politicians of possible excommunication if they support FOCA. Why shouldn’t this warning apply to politicians who call themselves Catholic but accept money from organizations whose professed mission is to spread as far as possible what the Church calls an “intrinsic evil”?
The most recent, and most outrageous, example comes from Planned Parenthood of Indiana, presently marketing a program of gift certificates to “give an abortion for Christmas.” How could any Catholic politician accept a donation from such a group?
It should come as no surprise that the vast majority of Catholics in Congress have abysmal voting records on the life issues. When a Catholic accepts a campaign contribution from NARAL or Planned Parenthood, he or she is declaring an intention to support their pro-abortion policies. With the Freedom of Choice Act looming on the horizon, you can bet these groups are looking for a return on their investment.
Please take a moment to read our petition and consider signing it.