Archbishop Charles Chaput says Catholic legal scholar Douglas Kmiec "couldn't be more mistaken" in comparing his own moral reasoning regarding the 2008 presidential election to that of the archbishop.Archbishop Chaput said this tonight at a dinner sponsored by ENDOW (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women). The talk, which he said reflects his own opinion as a private citizen, is titled "Little Murders."The prelate spoke at length of Douglas Kmiec’s book "Can a Catholic Support Him? Asking the Big Question about Barack Obama," in which the Pepperdine law professor argues why Catholics should cast their vote in November's presidential election for Senator Barack Obama.Kmiec publicly endorsed the Democratic candidate earlier this year, stating in an article for Slate that Obama is a "natural" for Catholic voters.Archbishop Chaput noted that his own book, "Render Unto Caesar," was heavily cited by Kmiec in his defense of Obama: "In fact, he suggests that his reasoning and mine are 'not far distant on the moral inquiry necessary in the election of 2008.'""Unfortunately, he either misunderstands or misuses my words, and he couldn’t be more mistaken," said the archbishop.
Any comments from those who may have read both Kmiec's book and Chaput's? Sounds like a good discussion to me. Sadly, I've read neither. Chaput's comments can be found at greater length here. They are without a doubt strong, and he sees no wiggling room for the Catholic likes of Kmiec. He concludes:
"I think that people who claim that the abortion struggle is 'lost' as a matter of law, or that supporting an outspoken defender of legal abortion is somehow 'pro-life,' are not just wrong; they’re betraying the witness of every person who continues the work of defending the unborn child."And I hope they know how to explain that, because someday they’ll be required to."
Nathan O'Halloran, SJ