Cardinal O'Connor: Abortion Advocates Politicized Slepian Murder

From the pulpit yesterday, John Cardinal O'Connor, the Archbishop of New York, denounced abortion supporters for making political hay from the murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian.

He noted assertions made by some pro-abortion groups that pro-life leaders "bore some responsibility for anti-abortion violence by their followers," and said, "[T]he more I thought about my being accused of being the man behind the man who killed the abortion doctor, I wondered if this accusation was really aimed at me, or at those public officeholders and those campaigning for public office who are pro-life."

He said, "Was this, is this, a ploy, immediately before elections all over the United States, to make a pro-life public officeholder, or a pro-life contender for public office, appear to be a threat to freedom and to human life, instead of a defender of life?"

Cardinal O'Connor took pains not to recommend any candidate; the New York Times reports that he "gave no less than seven disclaimers" that his sermon should not be taken as an endorsement. However, pro-abortion groups accused the archbishop of giving a "transparant[ly]" political message three days before voters choose either pro-life Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY) or pro-abortion Rep. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as their senator. (Halbfinger, New York Times, 11/2).

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