Loading
Santorum defends mourning loss of newborn son
Senator Rick Santorum, and his wife Karen Santorum at the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa. Credit: Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Senator Rick Santorum, and his wife Karen Santorum at the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa. Credit: Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

.- Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said that only those who “don’t recognize the dignity of all human life” might think that he is “somehow weird” for how he dealt with the loss of his son in 1996.

To those who think a baby is merely “a blob of tissue that should be discarded and disposed of,” recognition of a dead baby’s humanity is something that “should be subject to ridicule,” the former Pennsylvania senator said at a campaign event in Iowa on Jan. 2.

Santorum was recently criticized by political commentators for his actions following the death of his premature son Gabriel, who died just two hours after he was born.

In a Fox News interview, Santorum explained that he and his wife, Karen, decided to take their son home “to have a funeral at home and then to bury him later that day.”

They also showed the child to his siblings, so they could get a chance to see their baby brother.

Santorum said that it was “a tremendously healing experience for all of us” and that it helped “recognize the dignity” of his son’s life and “affirm that memory” for his whole family.

On a Fox News segment on Jan. 2, political commentator Alan Colmes criticized Santorum for “some of the crazy things he’s said and done, like taking his two-hour-old baby who died right after childbirth home and played with it for a couple hours, so his other children would know the child was real.”

In a Jan. 5 interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson also ridiculed Santorum and his wife for taking their son home “to kind of sleep with it, introduce it to the rest of the family.”

“He’s not a little weird,” said Robinson, “he’s really weird.”

But Robinson and Colmes were “speaking out of a seemingly bottomless well of ignorance,” according to Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

In a Jan. 5 article in Commentary magazine, he pointed out that health experts often suggest spending time with a stillborn child as a means of grieving.

The American Pregnancy Association advises parents of stillborn children that they “can find comfort in looking at, touching, and talking to your baby,” and that they may wish to allow their other children to see the baby as well.

Making memories can also be a natural part of the grieving process, the association said on its website, explaining that this can be done by bathing and clothing the baby, or even reading or singing to the child.

Wehner decried the “particular delight and glee” with which the political commentators showed a “casual cruelty” towards Santorum.

“Robinson seems completely comfortable lampooning a man and his wife who had experienced the worst possible nightmare for parents: the death of their child,” he said.

Wehner said the incidents showed how “ideology and partisan politics” can “disfigure” some people’s minds and hearts, making them vicious in political disagreements.

Santorum said Colmes later called to apologize. Colmes tweeted that he had spoken to Santorum and his wife and that they had “graciously accepted my apology for a hurtful comment.”

For his part, Robinson stopped short of an apology when questioned by Joe Scarborough on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Jan. 6.

Although he said he wished that he “hadn’t said it that way,” Robinson also reiterated his belief that Santorum’s views are “extreme” and said he feels that he has an obligation as a columnist to voice his opinions.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Aug
21

Liturgical Calendar

August 21, 2014

Saint Pius X, Pope

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 19:23-30

Gospel
Date
08/19/14
08/18/14
08/17/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ezek 36: 23-28
Gospel:: Mt 22: 1-14

Saint of the Day

Pope St. Pius X »

Saint
Date
08/19/14
08/17/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 19:23-30

Homily
Date
08/19/14
08/18/14
08/17/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: