Statement by Bishop Blase Cupich read at masses in the Diocese
of Rapid City during the weekend of
November 2-3, 2002
This Thursday, October 31, I learned that Senator Tom Daschle wrote a
letter encouraging financial contributions to the National Abortion and
Reproductive Rights Action League, NARAL, specifically as a means of helping it
support the election of candidates with pro-abortion positions. In reading the
letter carefully, it is clear that the senator has not only aligned himself with
the strident position of NARAL, but he has also made abortion THE issue of this
year’s campaign. Those who have known the senator for years consider this very
public action a major shift in his moral position on this important issue. The
senator regrettably has crossed the line and I cannot let it go unanswered.
My brother bishops and I have encouraged our people and all voters to form
their consciences by taking into consideration all the issues that promote the
dignity of the human person: bringing human life safely into the world and
protecting it until natural death; educating and forming children; ensuring the
rights of all to dignified labor, especially the immigrant and the marginalized;
caring for the sick and elderly; respecting the prisoner and the stranger;
protecting human life in our streets; and, most importantly, in the womb.
However, since Senator Daschle has now decided to frame this year’s election
uniquely as a referendum on abortion, he should know that there are citizens of
good will in both parties who reject this extreme position and who cannot let it
Catholic people are not single issue voters. We do care about the sick and
the elderly, the homeless, the poor, education, security and world peace. But if
the senator, as the leader of his party, wants to make abortion the single issue
in this year’s election, then we are ready to let him and those who support him
know this week and in the months and years to come where we stand.
I urge all eligible voters to go to the polls this Tuesday, November 5th.
Peace be with you!
Most Rev. Blase J. Cupich
Bishop of Rapid City
************** [the text of the Daschle-NARAL letter follows]
We know you are receiving many e-mails from NARAL during this election
season. That’s because pro-choice leadership of the Senate hangs in the balance.
We appreciate your patience and support.
Date: October 29, 2002
From: Tom Daschle, U.S. Senate Majority Leader
Rarely has so much been at stake for a woman’s right to choose in a U.S.
Senate Election. If you and thousands of other pro-choice Americans like you
don’t act today by giving to NARAL’s Save the Senate Campaign, the U.S. Senate
could fall into anti-choice hands on November 6th - the first day
after the election.
Anti-choice forces are organizing and mobilizing right now to defeat
champions of reproductive rights, champions like Missouri Senator Jean Carnahan.
The U.S. Senate’s pro-choice leadership cannot afford to lose an ally like
Senator Carnahan. Please help now by making a donation to NARAL.
Maureen, right now, this - and several other key elections for pro-choice
candidates - is too close to call, and pollsters say there is a strong chance we
won’t know who will retain Senate leadership until late on Election Night.
I’ve seen the difference NARAL can make, and I believe you and countless
others can help Senator Carnahan and other pro-choice candidates facing tough
races. If you make an urgent donation to NARAL’s Save the Senate Campaign today,
it will make an important difference for these candidates. Just click here to
make an immediate impact.
The Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate has said they plan to call for
the immediate swearing-in of staunchly anti-choice Jim Talent ® if he defeats
Senator Carnahan (D) - even if Democrats maintain their majority after the
election. So, we must succeed in getting out the pro-choice vote in this and
other key states where pro-choice leadership could be lost.
Because Jean Carnahan is serving as an appointed Senator in place of her late
husband, Mel Carnahan, Missouri’s current governor could be forced to
immediately swear in Jim Talent, a strongly anti-choice conservative. This
blatantly political maneuver would end our ability to protect a woman’s right to
choose from harmful legislation.
As the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate, I’ve stood up for a woman’s right
to choose, and the pro-choice leadership of the Senate has made a difference by
safeguarding women’s rights from the anti-choice agenda of the Bush
administration. Please give to NARAL today, so NARAL can mobilize the resources
to get out the pro-choice vote on Election Day.
In 2000, NARAL helped defeat John Ashcroft in his bid for re-election to the
U.S. Senate thus putting Jean Carnahan in the Senate, and NARAL is even more
committed to maintaining pro-choice leadership of the Senate this year. But none
of us can do it without your help. Please click here now to give to NARAL.
And, if you haven’t already, please tell your friends and colleagues how they
can help keep pro-choice leadership in the Senate - click here.
Senator Tom Daschle
Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday, November 5th!