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"We have to work with the legislators we have, not the ones we wish we had”

.- Pro-abortion and pro-euthanasia legislators have been invited to participate in a conference on poverty at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco.  The event is co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of San Francisco in a gathering to spotlight the UN Millennium Development Goals and to press for the U.S. to commit 0.7% of its gross national product to the global eradication of “the poverty that kills.”

Among those invited to this “Point Seven Conference” are Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and U.S. Reps. Tom Lantos, Anna Eschoo and Lynn Woolsey --- well-known supporters of population-control, abortion, and same-sex marriage, and thus adversaries of the Catholic vision of human dignity and social justice. All of the invited legislators are Democrats, and all have received a 100% approval rating from NARAL-Pro-Choice America, a pro-abortion national lobbying group, and from Planned Parenthood.

What are these Millennium Development Goals? Are they compatible with the Catholic Church’s view of the common good? And is St. Mary’s Cathedral providing a platform for pro-abortion politicians who are opponents of Catholic principles?

Austin Ruse, president of C-FAM (the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute), says that the Millennium Development Goals are “largely non-controversial and commonsensical.”

Ruse, a key opponent of the pro-abortion, gay, and gender activists in the UN, told California Catholic Daily in a telephone interview that the Millennium Development Goals, supported by the Vatican delegation to the UN, focus on lifesaving projects that are both “desperately needed and actually do-able:” promoting primary education among the very poor, combating malaria, increasing access to clean water, and the like.

“Some agencies are pushing for a new ‘millennial goal’ on reproductive health, which in UN-speak means contraception, sterilization and abortion,” says Ruse, “but it came to a vote in 2005 and they lost. ‘Reproductive health’ in this sense is not a Millennial Goal, and isn’t likely to become one because this could only be changed by a vote of the UN General Assembly.”

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ statement “Catholics in Political Life” mandates that Catholic institutions should not give “those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” awards, honors or platforms “which would suggest support for their actions.”

California Catholic asked Ruse what he thought of dissenters like Pelosi, Boxer and Feinstein being invited to the Cathedral conference. Said Ruse, “That depends. Are they the speakers, or the spoken-to?”

That’s the question California Catholic Daily posed to George Wesolek, director of public policy for the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the main coordinator of the Point Seven Conference.

“We’re bringing in anti-poverty people from Africa and Asia such as Bridget Chisenga, HIV/AIDS specialist for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Zambia, and Marc D'Silva, CRS Country Representative for India,” said Wesolek.

But what about pro-abortion figures like Pelosi, Boxer, and Feinstein? “They’ve been invited to attend our ‘Town Hall.’ We want to speak to our legislators and challenge them on the eradication of extreme poverty,” said Wesolek. “We take the same position with U.S. politicians as the Vatican takes at UN: we are supportive of the MDGs, and we challenge as well as cooperate with those who partially share our vision. The political figures, in this case, are not being invited to expound to us, but to hear us out.”

Said Wesolek of what the politicians can expect at the conference, "We'll have clergy and laypeople goading them, I'm sure, on their consistency in upholding human dignity."

Wesolek said working with political figures who “partially share our vision” is challenging, “But we have to work with the legislators we have, not the ones we wish we had.”

The original story can be found at California Catholic Daily


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