Saturday, May 5, 2007

Pro-abortion Sen. Hillary Clinton to Speak at Chicago Catholic Charity

Cardinal George disussed situation but has not asked that invitation be withdrawn as per USCCB policy By John-Henry Westen and Gudrun SchultzCHICAGO, Illinois, May 3, 2007 ( - Sen. Hillary Clinton has been scheduled to appear as the keynote speaker at a Catholic charity event in Chicago, despite objections from pro-life groups over her vociferous support for abortion and homosexual activism.The Mercy Home Graduates Luncheon is an annual fundraiser to support the Mercy Home Catholic children's charity. Mercy Home for Boys & Girls is a long-term residential home for young people ages 11 to 21, administered by Catholic priests. Fr. Scott Donahue is the current president of the organization. Mercy Home spokesman Mark Schmeltzer told that Fr. Donohue was approached by Chicago Cardinal Francis George about the upcoming Clinton fundraiser. "The Cardinal had some very understandable misgivings but he just wanted to be assured this was not a political stop," Schmeltzer told also said that the Catholic home was "happy to have someone of that high profile," speaking at their event.Asked if Mercy Home was concerned, as a Catholic institution, that such a staunch advocate of abortion was coming to keynote its fundraiser, Schmeltzer said that Clinton was coming to speak about education. "We're making it clear that it's not an endorsement of any kind," he said. "We're not taking a stand on the Senator's (Presidential) candidacy.""Mercy Home adheres to all the principles of the Catholic Church and the church's teaching of the right to life," said Schmeltzer. "We are in complete endorsement of the Catholic Church and the church's teaching as an entity of the Catholic Church."However, when asked about a 2004 US Conference of Bishops document which forbade Catholic institutions from permitting pro-abortion speakers, Schmeltzer replied, "I'm not familiar with whether or not that document was discussed."In 2004, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a policy document calling on Catholic institutions not to have pro-abortion politicians put on a pedestal due to the scandal it would cause. In their document, Catholics in Political Life, the Bishops' Conference states: "The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honour those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honours or platforms which would suggest support for their actions." (see coverage: Joseph Scheidler, national director of the Pro-Life Action League has organized a demonstration against Senator Clinton's appearance in Chicago. He told that her appearance would set a precedent for pro-abortion speakers at other Catholic events."They'll use that, Hillary can then say, well, I spoke at Mercy Boys in Chicago," he said.Asked if Mercy Home would object to a politician speaking who rather than supporting abortion, supported racism, Schmeltzer replied, "I couldn't speak on hypotheticals . . . but I imagine that we would." To politely express concerns contact: Cardinal Francis George Archdiocese of Chicago 155 E. Superior Street Chicago, IL 60611 312-751-8230 Press 4 312-751-5307 - Fax or Mercy Home Email: Call: (312) 738-7560

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