Cardinal George Speaking Frankly on Abortion And Presidential Politics. And Older But Significant Video.

The video below, though an older video, is circulating of late on sites like Cardinal Francis George has some very frank things to say about abortion and the intersection with politics. He also addresses critics of the Bishops in these matters.

I have little doubt that there are some who will view this video who will not be satisfied with anything less than a public excommunication of all pro-abortion politicians, or at least a command that they refrain from Holy Communion. I further understand that some would like clear denunciations of anyone who voted for the current President. But the Cardinal stops short of these sorts of things.

However, what I would ask is that all of us listen carefully to His Eminence. He is not only the Archbishop of Chicago, but has led the Bishops as the head of the USCCB. As such he articulates the views of many bishops and we owe him, in justice, a careful listening.

The bishops themselves do not march in lock step when it comes to prudential decisions about how to handle the difficult intersection of abortion and politics. Hence, while some of who read here regularly will wish for more punitive and/or exclusionary measures, a careful assessment of the Cardinal George’s remarks may prove helpful in understanding a different point of view.

Cardinal George is no theological outlier. He is a solid theologian, and one who has been most helpful in matters such as the new translation of the Mass and other matters important to Church discipline and theological concerns.

Clearly the matters of which he speaks are “powder-keg” issues and they may elicit strong feelings, one way or the other. And, while you are most encouraged to comment here, I ask you to be careful. Bishops are our shepherds who deserve respect. And if you wish to express an wish that he or other bishops act or think differently, I ask that you do in the spirit of charity and the respect due to one of our appointed leaders. There is a reason you and I are not bishops, so a little humility is also helpful in such discussions.

With that in mind, here are the remarks of Cardinal George who is quite frank in his remarks and frames the issues quite well. Though the remarks given here were from 2009, they have received very few hits at YouTube. I had never seen them before, and perhaps you have not either. Remember too, his Eminence is speaking in the moment, not from a prepared text. This makes his comments engaging on the one hand, but also quick and to the point. Carefully prepared remarks may admit of more distinctions etc., but these are live, in the moment reflections, remember that context.