Stating he could not speak to the exact details of Pelosi’s Catholic education, Bishop Morlino said “I have to believe that she was taught that abortion was always wrong.”
After the Second Vatican Council, Bishop Morlino said, “certain theologians and some priests and some bishops” started to allow the kind of teaching Rep. Pelosi received, and “allowed her to be confused.”
“She doesn’t know church history, doesn’t know the theology of the Church Fathers about abortion at this moment,” he said.
If she knew it at one time, Bishop Morlino asserted, “she doesn’t know it now.”
Turning his remarks to Sen. Biden, Bishop Morlino said he and the senator shared as their hometown Scranton, Pennsylvania.
“I am positive of what Sen. Biden was taught in Scranton. And it’s the same thing that I was taught,” he declared.
While Rep. Pelosi may be confused, he said, he claimed Sen. Biden doesn’t understand the difference between “religious faith and natural law.”
“Any human being -- regardless of his faith, his religious practice or having no faith -- any human being can reason to the fact that human life from conception unto natural death is sacred,” he argued. “Biology -- not faith, not philosophy, not any kind of theology -- Biology tells us, science [says], that at the moment of conception there exists a unique individual of the human species.”
“It's not a matter of what I might believe. What my faith might teach me,” he said.
“Sen. Biden has an obligation to know that. And he doesn’t know it.”
Charging that some theologians, priests, and bishops also allowed Biden to become confused, Bishop Morlino then criticized politicians for confusing the Catholic faithful.
“They're supposed to believe in separation of church and state. They're violating the separation of church and state by confusing people about what I have an obligation to teach,” he charged, though he did not hold them culpable.
“They themselves were confused after the Council and I don't blame them for that. Bishops allowed it, theologians did it, some priests did it, and in Canada even some bishops did it.”
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Again insisting he wasn’t speaking about Democrats or even pro-life issues, he said his focus was upon the “awareness of faith, the catechesis that every Catholic should have.” He asked his listeners to make sure they themselves really understand what the Catholic faith teaches, through the Pope and the bishops.
“Prominent Catholics should not be violating the separation of church and state” by “teaching the wrong thing.” Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Biden, he said, are “doing precisely that.”
“If Republican candidates were doing precisely that, I would speak out with exactly the same determination,” he countered.
Nearing the end of his homily, Bishop Morlino said Catholics must tell people who need to be corrected “with love,” because otherwise “we will be lost too.”
Archbishop of Denver Charles J. Chaput and Denver’s auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley voiced their own criticisms of Sen. Biden in a Monday statement, saying that Catholics who serve on the national stage open themselves to “legitimate scrutiny” by local Catholics and local bishops concerning Catholic belief.
“In 2008, although NBC probably didn’t intend it, Meet the Press has become a national window on the flawed moral reasoning of some Catholic public servants,” their letter said.