A Catholic politician’s perspective

I was born and raised in a Catholic family and have always been a practicing Catholic. I have served my country in elective office for over 20 years. Upon election and re-election, I swore on the Bible that I would uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States of America. I support the social justice issues of the church. I do not support efforts to criminalize abortion.

Our Constitution calls for freedom of religion. I have sworn to uphold that right. Our bishops defended this freedom when our government tried to require them to pay for birth control for their employees. This would violate their conscience. I agree with them. We must respect sincerely held religious beliefs.

As a Catholic politician, I do agree with the U.S. bishops’ teaching on the immorality of abortion but I do disagree with their solution to the problem. They have a right and obligation to teach what they believe but I have an obligation to defend the First Amendment. It saddens me to think some of them believe I should be denied holy Communion because I am following my conscience in upholding our rights.

Deacon Art Donart
Thomson, Illinois

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