WASHINGTON, DC, February 2, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) – At the Vigil Mass for the recent March for Life in Washington, DC, LifeSiteNews.com spoke with Cardinal Francis George of Chicago. Asked about the American and Canadian experiences of Catholic politicians having for years been prominent in pro-abortion legislative efforts, the Cardinal noted that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was discussing that very topic and considering strategies.
“It’s not a question of separation between church and state institutionally, that’s taken for granted,” said Cardinal George. “It’s a question of the relationship between life and faith, so you have to work with peoples’ conscience and try to inform their conscience so that they understand the obligations of their faith that apply to their life no matter what form of life they are in, be it political life or economic life or the entertainment arts.”
The Cardinal continued, “once you bring that home they have a conscience problem and they have to work it out.” He noted that “the usual platitudes” such as ‘I am personally pro-life but…’ or ‘I can’t enforce my morality.’ “simply aren’t enough” to excuse such behavior.
But as to what the bishops should do he said, “that’s a question we’re still working on.”
He did, however, remind Catholics of their obligation to vote pro-life. “I’d like to say that both Canada and the United States are more or less functioning democracies and finally it’s the people who elect those office holders and the people have to take that obligation to heart when they vote.” Not only politicians and bishops, but all the faithful must make their faith evident in their lives, said the Chicago Archbishop. “Sometimes people get all excited and say why don’t the bishops do something, but who elected them, the bishops didn’t. So it goes all the way up and down the line – this obligation to put together life and faith.”