From the "Very Pleasantly Surprised, Nay, Even Shocked" department, this curt statement from Archbishop John G. Vlazny of the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon (in which I reside) about Governor Ted Kulongoski—a Catholic—hosting a NARAL event:
It has come to my attention that Governor Ted Kulongoski will be hosting a NARAL Pro-Choice political gala two days before our Respect Life Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. This is a source of embarrassment for our church and a scandal for the Catholic community. For a Catholic governor to host an event of this sort seems a deliberate dissent from the teachings of the Church. As I wrote in the Catholic Sentinel in August “the very core of all Catholic moral and social teaching is respect for the dignity of everyone. Ours is a rich heritage of social teaching which forms the basis of what it means to be a faithful citizen as a Catholic.”
While the grave evil of abortion continues to be promoted as a legitimate moral choice by Governor Kulongoski and NARAL, I invite Catholics to attend holy Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral at 5:30 p.m. the evening of this event, Friday, October 3. I also invite Catholics to attend the Respect Life Mass on Sunday, October 5, at 11:00 a.m. at the Cathedral.
I call upon our Catholic people to express their displeasure to the governor and to remind him of the demands of personal integrity as a member of our faith community in the exercise of his office and public activities, 503-378-4582.
The Oregonian reports further:
Kulongoski is a longtime supporter of a woman's right to choose an abortion.
"The archbishop is the governor's pastor, and he has only respect and admiration for the archbishop," Kulongoski spokeswoman Anna Richter Taylor said. "They obviously disagree on the issue of choice."
Kulongoski and his wife, Mary Oberst, are the honorary hosts of Friday night's fundraising dinner for NARAL Pro Choice Oregon. U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is among those scheduled to speak. The event is to be held at a Portland hotel.
Kulongoski has attended various fundraising events for the group over the years.
Gotta like the statement from Taylor, as if this were a mild disagreement over highway funds or who will win the annual Ducks-Beavers football game, not a blatant disregard for the clear teaching of the Catholic Church that abortion is a "moral evil" and a "criminal practice gravely contrary to the moral law" (CCC 2271-72, 2322).
But Kulongoski's actions aren't surprising; his actions as governor have made it clear that for him political power and expediency always trump love of truth and loyality to Church teaching. In 2006, for example, he stated, "As Governor of Oregon I am ready to be the last line of defense for a woman’s right to choose, but I certainly hope it never comes down to that.” How sad to consider that he was raised, from the age of 4 until adulthood, by nuns in a Catholic orphanage. Kudos to Archbishop Vlazny for finally calling him on his deadly hypocrisy. Better late than never.