Bishop of Orlando, Most Rev. Thomas Wenski has responded to an “inaccurate” article in the Orlando Sentinel which claims that Catholic and evangelical leaders “hailed new language for the Democratic Party's platform that calls for reducing abortion” to create “common ground” with Republican voters.
In the disputed article, “Evangelical: We Can Back Dems, Obama,” the Orlando Sentinel quoted one evangelical pastor, Rev. Joel Hunter, who praised the new wording. “From my perspective as a conservative evangelical, Barack Obama's campaign and the Democratic Party have taken a historic and courageous step toward empowering women for an expanded range of choices and saving babies' lives.”
Bishop Wenski wrote to the editor in a letter published on August 16 clarifying that Catholic leaders are not in agreement with Rev. Hunter’s position.
In his letter, Bishop Wenski wrote that the Sentinel article, “inaccurately implied that Catholic leaders shared the positive assessment the Rev. Joel Hunter gave the ‘abortion plank’ of the Democratic Party's platform.”
The bishop continued explaining that “The bishops have gone on record stating just the opposite. And they are the ones who speak as the leaders of the Catholic Church in the United States -- and not political operatives for one party or another who happen to be Catholic.”
“In ‘Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,’ the bishops wrote that ‘opposing intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions’ and warned against a ‘moral equivalence’ that would make no ethical distinctions between different kinds of issues involving human life and dignity.”
Bishop Wenski concluded his letter by quoting Faithful Citizenship. “The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed."