Pelosi and bishops spar over church's teaching on abortion
Speaker of the House cites Augustine
Sep 23, 2008
A spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has struck back against criticism from prominent Catholic prelates who accused the California representative of misrepresenting church teachings about abortion.
“While Catholic teaching is clear that life begins at conception, many Catholics do not ascribe to that view,” said Pelosi spokesperson Brendan Daly.
Pelosi, the nation’s highest-ranking Catholic elected official, said on NBC’s Meet the Press that the question of when life begins has been “an issue of controversy” throughout the history of the church.
Pelosi’s comments came in defense of her party’s presidential nominee, Barack Obama. The Illinois senator told megachurch pastor Rick Warren in an August 16 civil forum at his Saddleback Church in California that the theological or medical question of when life begins is “above my pay grade.”
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).