Friday, June 7, 2019

How much has politics changed? Madigan used to be anti-abortion ally

Michael Madigan, the head Democrat for Illinois (although not Chicago) and long-time Illinois House speaker, has formally been informed he can no longer accept Communion when he goes to church.
MADIGAN: Can no longer take communion

Strictly speaking, officials in charge of the Roman Catholic church in Springfield, Ill., have excommunicated him. Which must be tragic, of sorts to the one-time graduate of St. Adrian’s Elementary and St. Ignatius College prep schools in Chicago, along with the holiest of holy Catholic universities – Notre Dame.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT CAME down as a result of Bishop Thomas Paprocki, who is in charge of the Springfield, Ill., diocese. Paprocki is so peeved that the General Assembly debated (and approved) the Reproductive Health Act.

That’s the measure that ensures even if the anti-abortion ideologues manage to get the Supreme Court of the United States to act in ways meant to eliminate on a national scale the right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy, it will not impact Illinois.

The “Land of Lincoln” will remain a place where abortion will be regarded as a legitimate medical procedure.

Madigan said Thursday he had been contacted by Paprocki prior to the Legislature acting last month on the bill in question, and knew that Paprocki would be likely to act with grave disapproval. Yet he went ahead and used his political influence to allow the issue to come up – where it passed overwhelmingly.
PAPROCKI: Taking a stand on abortion

AS MADIGAN PUT it, “After much deliberation and reflection, I made the decision to allow debate and a vote on the legislation.”

Then, he made the statement that I’m sure the religious ideologues will claim confirms his place in Hell for all eternity.

“I believe it is more important to protect a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, including women who become pregnant as a result of rape or incest,” said Mr. Speaker,

Yes, I write that knowing full well there are those who will screech and scream about “God’s law” being supreme above all else, and who are more than willing to overlook any suffering in this lifetime because, theoretically, the life eternal is special enough to overcome the miseries of this existence here.
CULLERTON: Also dragged into battle

SO MADIGAN, STATE Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, and for all I know, maybe all Catholic members of the General Assembly, are now excommunicated. To suffer eternal punishment for thinking a woman’s health and physical well-being is her own business.

Which is ironic because I remember back a couple of decades when anti-abortion activists considered Mike Madigan himself to be about as sympathetic to their cause as any politico could be.

His Catholic upbringing meant he wasn’t particularly sympathetic to that portion of Democrats who wanted the political party to be allied with women on this issue. I remember anti-abortion types saying Madigan was good for them because he’d allow their bills meant to restrict abortion in various ways to come up with debate. Some of them would even pass.

As opposed to playing political “boss” and cutting off any discussion on the issue.

OF COURSE, THE reason their larger stance never passed was because the majority was sympathetic on abortion, which ultimately drove Madigan into the abortion rights camp on the issue.
CUPICH: Shaking his head at donnybrook that has arisen?

And which now has him condemned by Paprocki. He won’t be able to take Communion – at least not as far as at any Catholic church in Springfield. Although Paprocki later told the Chicago Tribune he’ll restore Madigan if he makes an apologetic statement, then introduce a bill repealing what the Legislature just did.

As to whether Cardinal Blasé Cupich of the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago would feel compelled to get involved, that remains to be seen. Considering that Paprocki is the bishop who, a few years ago, stirred up a national stink when he held an exorcism at his church in response to the Illinois General Assembly making it legal for same-gender couples to legitimately marry, he may be reinforcing a reputation amongst Catholic as to everything that is wrong with their religious faith.

Cupich himself may want to steer clear of this affair. While Madigan himself joins the ranks of many Catholics who step aside during Mass to let others take Communion, while wondering if this is further evidence their church has lost touch with the daily realities of life.


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