Just in case any other politician decides to repeat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Aug. 24 “Meet the Press” interview on abortion and the Catholic Church, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has come out with a two-page fact sheet: “Respect for Unborn Human Life: The Church’s Constant Teaching.” Notice the emphasis on the word “constant.” One of Mrs. Pelosi’s points was that Roman Catholicism has been back-and-forth on this question and only really opposed abortion around the time birth control pills kicked in.
Notice also the document discusses Saint Augustine’s interpretation of a tricky Old Testament passage that some have taken to allow abortion at the earlier stages of pregnancy. Augustine’s problem, it says, was that he was reading a Greek translation of the Old Testament instead of the verses in the original Hebrew.
For those of you not aware of Mrs. Pelosi’s tangles with the Catholic hierarchy, no less than six bishops came out last week with statements condemning her insistence that church history is on her side. One factoid that went unnoticed in all the ruckus was that Aug. 28, when the furor over the Speaker’s remarks were still causing waves, is St. Augustine’s feast day.
— Julia Duin, assistant national editor/religion, The Washington Times