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 Giuliani, the Pope, and Aristotle 

May 11, 2007 
Rudy Giuliani indentHow the mighty are fallen! Or falling, anyway. Tony Blair is finished. George W. Bush is being deserted by the party he has wrecked, the submerging Republican majority. And Rudy Giuliani, only recently the front-runner for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, looks like a goner. Thanks to Pope Benedict, he probably has no hope of capturing the White House now.

Today's column is "Giuliani, the Pope, and Aristotle" -- Read Joe's columns the day he writes them.Rudy Giuliani indentBush, of course, is the central figure in this contagion of ruin. Blair’s loyalty to Bush — he warned his fellow Englishmen that Saddam Hussein’s fearsome arsenal might strike them within 45 minutes — destroyed the plausibility of everything else he said. And Giuliani, a rodent who lacks the sense to desert the sinking ship, is now paying the price for his nakedly cynical betrayal of the Catholic faith.

Rudy Giuliani indent“I hate abortion,” he has said lately; and everyone knows this is a naked lie. For nearly two decades his words and deeds have been emphatically proclaiming the precise opposite. No observer in his right mind would even suggest that Rudy Giuliani had the faintest moral qualms about feticide.

Rudy Giuliani indentHe has eagerly courted pro-abortion groups, called abortion “a constitutional right,” opposed restrictions on gruesome late-term killings of unborn children, applauded President Clinton’s veto of such restrictions, advocated forcing taxpayers to subsidize abortion, and more. His record couldn’t be more unequivocal.

Rudy Giuliani indentNeedless to say, he adds to all this the standard hypocrisy of modern abortion advocates: he has studiously avoided describing abortion with such plain Anglo-Saxon words as kill, death, and blood.

Rudy Giuliani indentHere it’s instructive to read Book VII of the Politics of the great pagan philosopher Aristotle, who frankly recommends both abortion and infanticide in certain situations; refreshingly free of modern cant, he says simply that as a matter of good government, crippled infants should not be raised. Don’t expect such candor from a Giuliani.

Rudy Giuliani indentEnter the Pope. Speaking in Brazil, without mentioning Giuliani by name, he made it clear that “the killing of an innocent child is incompatible with being in communion with the body of Christ” — a pointed reminder that a politician who promotes abortion has excommunicated himself.

[Breaker quote for Giuliani, the Pope, and Aristotle: Defining Catholics]Rudy Giuliani indentThis won’t stop the much-married Giuliani from continuing to gobble the sacraments of the Church — he evidently cares more about staying in favor with the New York Yankees than about fidelity to his professed religion — but it will certainly stop many Republicans, especially the Catholics he has lately been trying to woo, from voting for him in the party primaries.

Rudy Giuliani indentIn fact, Giuliani attacked Pope John Paul II in 1996 for condemning Clinton’s veto of the late-term abortion ban. Now he says his own positions on abortion — public positions, mind you — “are between me and my confessor.” So why make them public at all? Why not keep them private, in the intimacy of the confessional?

Rudy Giuliani indentYou have to wonder how often Giuliani visits that confessional, anyway. What does he think he needs to confess? Lukewarm support of Bush? He doesn’t appear to be a man who lets his religion cause him much inconvenience. His idea of charity is “public funding for abortions for poor women.”

Rudy Giuliani indentWell, each of us has to apply the Sermon on the Mount in his own way. And nobody can say the abortion-hating Giuliani hasn’t found a way that is both original and unique.

Rudy Giuliani indentLiberals accuse the Catholic Church and the popes of failing to speak out against evil, especially Nazism. Their favorite target is Pope Pius XII, whom the Nazi press in fact called “a mouthpiece for the Jews.” But of course they are not always delighted when the Church does speak out; then they accuse it of butting into politics and violating the separation of church and state.

Rudy Giuliani indentGiuliani, a liberal who wants to be taken for a conservative, assures us that he won’t be taking orders from the Pope (just in case you were worried). Here’s hoping he won’t let that confessor push him around, either. We can only hope — and of course pray — that it’s not the same confessor who gives Nancy Pelosi her marching orders.

Rudy Giuliani indentI wonder how Aristotle would define a Catholic these days. We can only guess, but I think he’d agree that papist is usually a misnomer.

Joseph Sobran

Copyright © 2007 by the Griffin Internet Syndicate,
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