Roman Catholic Church leaders are blasting Illinois’ Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn for his plans to present a leadership award from a pro-choice group to a woman who was raped and has become a leading advocate for victims of the crime, according to the Chicago Sun-Times
The Sun-Times said the attack on Quinn came Wednesday in a statement from the Catholic Conference of Illinois, which accused the governor of rewarding those “supporting the legal right to kill children in their mothers’ wombs.” It was signed by Cardinal Francis George and Roman Catholic bishops from throughout the state.
Quinn, a Catholic who supports abortion rights, plans to present the award at a Nov. 17 event sponsored by Personal PAC, a political fundraising organization that was a huge contributor to Quinn’s 2010 run for governor.
In a harshly worded statement, the bishops said, “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, Gov. 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,” the statement said.
In response, Quinn’s office stressed that the governor was simply presenting an award “to a woman who is a rape survivor.”
But Personal PAC president Terry Cosgrove went further, saying the attack on Quinn and the bishops’ statement “accusing women of killing their children is a new low in public discourse, even for them.”
Cosgrove told the Sun-Times church leaders are still angry about Republican state Sen. Bill Brady, an abortion opponent, losing to Quinn in last year’s gubernatorial race.
“They’re getting bent out of shape because of the whole Brady thing,” Cosgrove said. “Everyone is still resentful that Personal PAC played a big role in getting Pat Quinn elected.”
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