Thank Illinois’ Catholic Bishops for Admonishing Gov. Quinn
Thank Illinois’ Catholic Bishops for Admonishing Gov. Quinn
Written By David E. Smith   |   11.03.11
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Bishops of the Illinois Catholic Conference recently released a strong, but appropriate statement admonishing Governor Pat Quinn for his decision to present an abortion-rights leadership award at an upcoming luncheon. This luncheon will raise funds for Personal PAC — the state’s largest political action committee whose main goal is electing pro-abortion candidates to state and local office in Illinois.

Personal PAC’s President and CEO is Terry Cosgrove, the same Terry Cosgrove who sits on the Illinois Human Rights Commission. Cosgrove was nominated to sit on this commission by Governor Quinn. (Read more about this HERE.)

Personal PAC ran ads, sent out mailers and made phone calls on behalf of Quinn’s campaign. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, they “contributed close to $500,000 in cash and in-kind services to the governor’s 2010 campaign.”

In response to this outrage, Francis Cardinal GeorgeBishop Thomas Doran (Rockford), Bishop Daniel Jenky (Peoria), Bishop Edward Braxton (Belleville), Bishop Thomas Paprocki (Springfield), Bishop Daniel Conlon (Joliet) and the Catholic Conference of Illinois sent a statement to the media and others admonishing Governor Quinn’s involvement with Personal PAC’s Pro-Choice Leadership Award.

Here is the text of their statement in its entirety:

We have recently been made aware of Governor Quinn’s decision to present a Pro-Choice Leadership Award at an upcoming event for a political organization known as Personal PAC. This organization describes itself as a “political action committee (PAC) dedicated to electing pro-choice candidates to state and local office in Illinois.” Personal PAC has raised and spent millions of dollars in this effort and supports the lobbying efforts of Planned Parenthood in Springfield.

We deeply regret the Governor’s decision to present this award, which so closely associates him with a political action group whose purpose is contrary to the common good. With this action, Governor Quinn has gone beyond a political alignment with those supporting the legal right to kill children in their mother’s wombs to rewarding those deemed most successful in this terrible work.

Pope John Paul II asked in his Letter to Families (1994), “How can one morally accept laws that permit the killing of a human being not yet born, but already alive in the mother’s womb?” Governor Quinn not only accepts these laws, he promotes them and publicly presents awards to their advocates. This approach is irreconcilable with any honest profession of the Catholic faith. While we deeply regret and oppose his actions, we continue to pray for his conversion and the protection of unborn human life.

To our Catholic institutions statewide, we reaffirm our desire and policies that those acting in the manner of the Governor should not be given special recognition on Church property or at functions held in support of Church ministry.

Earlier today, Quinn responded to this statement by saying “I am going to the event to present an award to a woman who was a victim of rape and who is a very strong advocate of helping rape victims all over our state [and] our country. I really feel that’s a proper, Christian thing to do to honor someone who’s doing someone [sic] that helps the community at large.”

The Catholic Conference of Illinois was quick to respond. “Governor Quinn’s statement today that he is recognizing a rape victim for her advocacy work dodges the issue. Our hearts go out to any victim of rape, one of the most personally violent crimes against women,” said Mary Massingale, director of communications.

“He is presenting an award – titled the Pro-Choice Leadership Award – at an event hosted by Personal PAC, an organization that describes itself as a ‘political action committee (PAC) dedicated to electing pro-choice candidates to state and local office in Illinois.’ This action is irreconcilable with any honest profession of the Catholic faith, and it is what prompted the Bishops’ statement.”

Take ACTION: Send a “thank you” to Cardinal George and the Catholic Conference of Illinois for their strong but appropriate statement in defense of unborn human life.  You can also call the Catholic Confrence’s office at (312) 534-8230.

David  E. Smith
Dave Smith is the executive director of Illinois Family Institute (501c3) and Illinois Family Action (501c4). David has 30 years of experience in public policy and grass-roots activism that includes...
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