Poughkeepsie Journal from Poughkeepsie, New York on June 24, 1990 · Page 4A
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Poughkeepsie Journal from Poughkeepsie, New York · Page 4A

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Location:
Poughkeepsie, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 24, 1990
Page:
Page 4A
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AttTWUr . j Nation 'uW MteBifeB)JklaBw9 JkMi' e MIMMHMRIre.TlI9llHlK9 lJ&$tiHNHHBHHHIIfcL . , i1LLLLLLEJlVA i i1 sH v JH' 5 sr rssi H "A" - - , - 1 i k - - " i IRflCTMCKb iWtaf' - ",y . V,Sk;iei raawranuiffl o n e i? I lr MJtil' "" ftsanaaaaanWi. r . 'saannaw 7 With one or By RONALD BROWNSTEIN LM Anoslts Tlrties At tb crossroads of private faith and public Judgment, a itorm U brewing to the Roman Catholic Church with potentially profound lm - v plications tor ue wrencmng national debate over abortion. When New York Cardinal John J. O'Connor suggested last week that Catholic politicians who support abortion rights may ultimately face excommunication, he dramatically underscored the rising tension between the church and some of its most famous members over the dlvl - srr issue. At the same time, some analysts maintain, be may have Inadvertently relgnlted questions about the Catholic Church's role In politics that appeared to have been settled forever by John F Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1960 Kennedy dispelled the lingering fear that Catholic politicians owed their ultimate loyalty to the church by declaring that he would neither "I do not speak for my church on public matters and the church does not speak for me." Formar President John F. Kennedy, during a campaign stop seek nor accept direction from church leaders on public policy "I do not speak for my church on public matters," Kennedy told a group of Houston Protestants during the campaign's most dramatic appearance, "and the church does not speak for me " But now, as part of an intensified campaign against abortion, some members of the Catholic hierarchy Itself are aggressively challenging politicians who echo Kennedy's Insistence that church doctrine cannot be their sole guide on such sensitive policy questions. 4 "It is not of the nature of Catholicism for Catholics to be able to 'pick and choose' which substantive teachings they accept or reject," O'Connor declared in his statement last week. O'Connor quickly backed away from bis warning about excommunication, and other bishops have indicated dear discomfort at attempting to control politicians through church leaching! Nevertheless, recent months have seen persistent church pressure against a number of Catholic officeholders who have voted in support of abortion rights. The pressure has ranged from mild public confrontation, to condemnations, to the withdrawing of honors and affiliations Last November, Catholic state Senate candidate Lucy Klllea, a supporter of abortion rights, was denied communion in San Diego In Pennsylvania this past winter, Rosemary McAvoy, a Catholic state legislative candidate who fa vored legalized abortion, was stripped of her position as president of the parochial school board by local church officials. In New York, an auxiliary bishop declared earlier this year that Oov. Mario M. Cuomo was In "serious risk of going to hell" for supporting legal abortion. In New Jersey, Gov James J Florto recently resigned from the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization, after a local bishop declared that politicians who support abortion rights could no longer speak at church events or serve In church offices. This pattern of confrontation date to last November, when the bishops as a croup formally declared abortion to be the nation's "fundamental human rights Issue." But conflicts between church leaders and Catholic politicians over the tnwsUon have flared Intermittently through the decade. In ISM, O'Connor and other Catholic leaders criticised Democratic vice ddential nominee Geraldlne A. , a Catholic, for her support MBDoruonngnts. J Although tome skirmishing persisted,' an uneasy truce seemed to Wile is after Cuomo argued in "a 1M speech et the University of i Dame that Catholic publio of - Wtoie accepting church doc - i aialnst abortion in their own pma, eoaw not, justifiably impose their personal morality on a plural - Bcseeiety.'. , i v Now, though, the tmce has dear ly Jbeea sundered., With ' number of OthoHf officeholders uslni Cuomo'. JonaclstJoo te Justify their convey, I... ,H.i - i - - 1 'Ji "'"V . v . - ',." 1r Cardinal Joseph Bernardln, archbishop of Chlcaao, left, and Cardi nal John J. O'Connor, talk at a meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops On the abortion Issue. Bernardln has been morecon - dilatory than O'Connor sion to the abortion rights cause, O'Connor and other conservative bishops are redoubling their criticism of the governor's argument as inconsistent with church doctrine. "I simply cannot find anything In authentic Catholic teaching that can support a 'personally opposed but' position," O'Connor wrote last week Some Catholics active in the anti - abortion movement have welcomed these steps and the threat of more serious sanctions raised In O'Connor's message on abortion. It Is hypocritical, they argue, for politicians like Cuomo to claim full standing in the church when they refuse to Join In the anti abortion cause "I'm glad the battle has been joined," said Rep. Robert K. Doman, R - Calif, a Catholic and a staunch abortion opponent "What I think it is, is a very late attempt at ending phonlness and hypocrisy The bishops are trying to prevent public officials from lying in public from saying, 'I am a good Catholic,' when they vote in favor of abortion." But other Catholics warn that 0 Connor's comments could rekindle the prejudice that confronted Kennedy three decades ago "If these (confrontational) policies were generally adopted across the U S , practicing Catholics could not run for office ... because many non - Catholics would assume they could not be independent public servants," said Richard P. McBrlen, a priest and the chairman of the theology department at the University of Notre Dame "This is a suicidal approach.'' Sensitive to that argument, not all Catholic leaders have embraced confrontational tactics. "There are disagreements among the bishops about the wisdom of this approach," acknowledged Richard Doerfllnger, associate director for policy development at the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' office of anti - abortion activities Already, Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert G Weakland has called on church leaders to open "a dialogue on abortion" with parishioners and to "allow our politicians as much latitude as reason permits." Similarly Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardln of Chicago, although enjoining Catholic officeholders to oppose abortion, recently declared "that the church can be most effecfve In the public debate on abortion through moral persuasion, not punitive measures " Some bishops, Doerfllnger noted, fear that "the whole debate about public officials has the danger of diverting the debate from the victim of abortion to another class of self proclaimed victims " Although Catholic gubernatorial candidates In Massachusetts and Ohio recently switched from opposition to support of legal abortion, for example, neither has faced sanctions from the local clergy Similarly, during the recent gubernatorial primary In California, Archbishop Roger M. Mabony who last year told Catholic politicians that they had "a positive moral obligation" to work against abortion did not publicly pressure state Attorney Oeneral John K. Van de Kamp, who said that he was personally opposed to abortion but did not wish to restrict It Mabony privately discussed the Issue with the attorney general, and "It was always civil disagreeing, but understated," Van de Kamp recalled. "It was not an all - or - nothing situation with (him) on the Issue. I was not being condemned to beO. " Catholics on both sides of the dispute agree that the conservative bishops' principal purpose In this new offensive is less to change election results than the behavior and attitudes of their own parishioners. Over the last two decades, church leader have faced rising dissensloa over Catholic doctrine on many matters relating to sex Despite strong church teachings to the contrary, polls show that most Catholics, like other Americans, accept birth control, premarital sex and, legalized abortion. : Looking at those trends, rather Andrew M, Greeley, a sociologist as well as a novelist and priest, concluded la his new book, "The Catholic Myth,' that "In sexual matters, the church has lost Its ability to demand effectively different attitudes and behavior from Its members.' Catholics don't like the Cardinal's threats of excommunication, a poll says. Story, Page 6B . ' ,'i tW. r ' : W jm. WBBHiaBSBSv'sslHl.W.lSk r I''ifV'n1;" - - - Ai V ci - "";,. - ... o - r u i ,i uii. ' ariJi SALEEM CHOUDHRY, M.D, P.G F.A.C.9 Is pleasoa to announxo a - 'heart attaclccind stroke preyentidn rograimt i n n s on ce tu iv oauiopoa wiin inu iaiwi ioi.iiiiwlWy.r j - t,"v' ' vJH&Jt - ',' - tJtlUMmliiiuett" ino re5ui's,vYii',uoj3YaHaJw v"r" Thpfrgranl'ls oS&lafy$)griVd for tny.aJql Wl more of the following risk factorss ; ' 1 Family histbry of heart disease or stroke 2. High cholesterol ' 3. High blood pressure ,, 4. High blood sugar 5. History of smoking 6. Overweight 7. HIGH PRESSURES AND UFESTYiE DIAGNOSTIC FACILITIES Blood tests including cholesterol Treadmill stress test Ultrasound of the heart Doppler flow studies Holter monitoring Transtelephonic heart monitoring Tuesday Evening hours available by 0PPo,n,men. Saleem Choudhry, M.D. P.C. F.A.C.C. Rshkill Medical Center, 333 Rt. 52, Fishkill, N.Y. 1 2524 914 - 897 - 4350 IMEANADDmd 25 OFF' AH MISSES' AND JUNIORS' DRESSES ALL SUMMER SHORTS ALL MEN'S AND BOYS' SWBvIWEAR SIMMY - 1HRII WEDNESDAY JUNE24 - JUNE27 TJ ITICBfC The maxx for the minimum: Morajayaagday, 9 - .30AM - 9:30PM, Sunday, 12 - CPM r 3X1 ZJMux stores coast to mat MiddtoownifXnFarniShcppiTgttrsabcDWOrarFlazj rw - pBteiSoudiHffls Mall. Roue 9 and hssar Road C1490TI - MKX. ( y fW

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