Catholic House Democrats Stand Up for their Religious Beliefs
House Democrats are finally sick of it too. -IFK Editor
The House's Catholic Democrats Detail Role Religion Plays
Still reeling from the attacks on Sen. John F. Kerry's brand of Roman Catholicism during the 2004 presidential race, 55 House Democrats issued a joint statement yesterday on the central role that the Catholic faith plays in their public lives.
The signers said they were fed up with being labeled "good Catholics" or "bad Catholics" based on one issue -- abortion. They said their religion infuses their positions on many issues: poverty, war, health care and education.
"Some of us are pro-choice and some of us are pro-life," said Rep. William J. Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.). "But we respect each other and we're going to defend each other, because we're all operating in good conscience."
The statement stressed that all of the Catholic Democrats share the goal of reducing the incidence of abortion.
"We envision a world in which every child belongs to a loving family and agree with the Catholic Church about the value of human life and the undesirability of abortion -- we do not celebrate its practice," the statement said. "Each of us is committed to reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies and creating an environment with policies that encourage pregnancies to be carried to term."
The statement also said that though the Catholic Democrats "seek the Church's guidance and assistance," they "accept the tension that comes with being in disagreement with the Church in some areas."
Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) said the Catholic Democrats "have decided to stop letting others define us."