U.S. Catholic bishop calls Mandela’s support of abortion ‘shameful’, black leaders concur


While much of the world, including many religious leaders, are praising the late Nelson Mandela without reserve, at least one U.S. bishop has tempered his praise by calling to mind the former South African leader’s record on abortion.

“There is part of President Mandela’s legacy, however, that is not at all praiseworthy, namely his shameful promotion of abortion in South Africa,” said Providence, RI Bishop Thomas Tobin in a statement published yesterday. Tobin observes that “there is much to admire in Mandela’s long life and public service, particularly his personal courage and his stalwart defense of human rights.” However, the Rhode Island bishop notes that, “In 1996 Mandela promoted and signed into law the ‘Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Bill’ that, according to the New York Times, ‘replaced one of the world’s toughest abortion laws with one of the most liberal.’”“While we pray for the peaceful repose of President Mandela’s immortal soul and the forgiveness of his sins, we can only regret that his noble defense of human dignity did not include the youngest members of our human family, unborn children,” said Tobin.

Glad Bishop Tobin said this, good for him.

I’m a little surprised at the timing of this, but the Truth is the Truth.

Apartheid, like black slavery in America, like Jim Crow laws, was such a profound injustice that the temptation to mythologize the person most responsible for the breaking of the Apartheid state is great.

At the passing of Nelson Mandela into the next life, first and foremost we need to remember what was great and good and magnanimous about the man.
And there was much to be admired.

Because of our propensity to mythologise men such as these, because we in fact teach future generations with these myths, even if it is gauche to speak ill of the dead in their time of passing, it is important to remember what about him is not epic, that is not worthy to be immortalized and passed on to those who come after.

Abortion was not a sin unique to Mandela. He is very much a product of our times too, in which the cost-benefit analysis that is applied to children is deemed to be that children are too great a cost to the individual, too much work, a punishment to the mother even.

Nelson Mandela was a great person who led a great life, and who slew a monster, and who was magnanimous enough not to drag the rotting corpse of that dragon through the street in some victory march. He reached out to those who did him harm in a gesture of forgiveness and reconciliation that marks one of those transcendant moments in our all too human history of endless cycles of retribution and vengeance.

That however is where the myth of Mandela must end. There is no time like the present to make sure that that is where it does end.

Usually, when offering condolences upon the death of our loved ones, friends, acquaintances, or anyone, we don’t bring up their failings but remember the good that they have done. John-Henry Westen, in the LifeSiteNews article about Bishop Tobin praising the good Mandela has done while also offering a bit of caution reminding us that there is a bit of Mandela’s history that is not praiseworthy-( his record on abortion), has taken this as an opportunity to insult our Holy Father and Archbishop Dolan by saying,* “Tobin’s remarks come in the wake of statements offering unqualified praise for Mandela in statements from Pope Francis and New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan.” *
I have learned that I need to be cautious about anything coming from LifeSiteNews.

Not as big an injustice as abortion.

God Bless

Indeed. No need to pit bishop against bishop (and pope). One bishop chose to temper his praise while another chose to focus on the positive at the moment of a historic figure’s passing. I can understand both approaches. Issuing polite statements upon the news of a public figure’s death that acknowledge the great good they did is not the same thing as canonizing them as sinless.

What is false in the Lifesite story?

Bishop Tobin as quoted in the article: "“There is part of President Mandela’s legacy, however, that is not at all praiseworthy, namely his shameful promotion of abortion in South Africa,” said Providence, RI Bishop Thomas Tobin in a statement published yesterday. "

Then down further in the article, John-Henry Westen writes: *"Tobin’s remarks come in the wake of statements offering unqualified praise for Mandela in statements from Pope Francis and New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan. " *

The difference is that Bishop Tobin’s statement refers to some of Mandela’s actions as not being praiseworthy while John-Henry Westen’s remark is aimed at our Holy Father and Cardinal Dolan as having offered “unqualified praise”.

I still am not following what you think is false in the article.

Apartheid was a grave evil, and it was unique to South Africa.

Abortion is pretty much a leftist value. It is no surprise then that Mandela supported it because he is a man from the left. Even leftist Catholics support the abortion candidate, as long as he is a liberal like them.

In this tiny little world of this tiny little forum, people who understand that the killing of 50 million unborn in just America alone is the greatest travesty against life itself that has happened in human history, have found themselves a niche where we can feel at home.

In the world of the left however, which has gained dominance in all secular countries, abortion is sincerely believed to be a good thing.

Nelson Mandela was a part of that world, because he was a man of the left. That makes the apartheid that he fought against no less evil, and his truth and reconciliation process of embracing his former enemies no less remarkable.

Criticism of recently dead popular figures is considered unacceptable by a great many Americans. It is usually better to let the dead rest in peace for awhile before launching attacks.

What’s your point here? Sure the leftists think abortion is great, but that doesn’t make it so.

Millions of innocent deaths is far worse than Apartheid. Just because the Left doesn’t acknowledge that, doesn’t stop it from being true.

Mandela may have done some good or even great things, but he wasn’t a good man.

God Bless

I don’t know what you are driving at, but the statement from the LifeSiteNews article aimed at Pope Francis and Cardinal Dolan as having offered “unqualified praise” comes across as more of a slant.

It’s not that they issue a lot of false statements per se, but I frequently find myself cringing at the way they choose to frame the facts of a story. In other words, it’s not so much the facts as it is the conclusions they choose to draw from them.

To report on Bishop Tobin’s remarks is one thing. But to paint in contrast to Cardinal Dolan and Pope Francis as though the latter two offered “unqualified praise” is overstating things, I think. And it invites people to think poorly of them by comparison – which is unfair.

Public figures often issue public statements upon the death of other public figures. Simply because they stuck to positive points does not constitute “unqualified praise” in my book.

Why not as big as abortion? Were the unborn immune to the degradation? Do you have stats on the maternal and infant mortality rates of the various groups in S.A. under apartheid?

Even a cursory glance through Scripture will be sufficient to ensure us that there are many, many paths which exclude man from God’s kingdom - not just one.

Many have said this before you, but to little avail. When I was a child I was taught my catechism and the 10 commandments and to “do unto others as I would have done unto me”. Now it seems that abortion is the sole-measuring stick to be applied in any situation and to any person. Thankfully, there is no version 2.0 to the words of the Gospel and the original still holds true today.

That’s because abortion is murder but has become common place all over the world and called a “right”. It is a sin that cries to God for justice. There is nothing in this world that is more evil than the murder of an innocent baby. How can people have compassion for anyone if they think that killing babies is no big deal?

My point is that I do not single out Mandela for the immoral stance on abortion that is not unique to him, but is a value of the entire left.

I am willing to commend him for his role in bringing down a great evil, and doing so with a magnanimity that is lacking in most people. I would not want to see the good that he does forgotten because he has also bought into the lie against life that the left as a whole has perpetrated on our societies.

His battle that has earned him praise is Apartheid, and in that his action merit praise and emulation.
The Catholic battle for life continues. My point is not to bury the good that he has done in the evil shared by secular leftist societies as a whole, but to ensure that that example lives on.

And the Gospel version 1.0 still stands. We have monotheistic religions in this world - not mono-sin ones. Perhaps that is for a reason.

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