Updated: Illinois Bishops to Meet with Gov. Pat Quinn in One Month

Recently the Illinois bishops, led by Francis Cardinal George, sent a letter to Gov. Quinn after he agreed to appear at a fundraiser and give out an award for the largest pro-abortion political group in the state – Personal PAC. Unsurprisingly, Personal PAC was influential in helping get Gov. Quinn elected in the first place.

The bishops also used their letter as an opportunity to re-state their condemnation of the governor’s positions on abortion, same-sex civil unions and their resulting impact on religious liberty.

Now they are taking the next logical step – asking to speak with him face-to-face, as the Chicago Tribune reports:

Gov. Pat Quinn’s ongoing dispute with the Catholic Church is showing no signs of stopping after Cardinal Francis George sent him a letter this week requesting a face-to-face meeting to discuss his support of abortion rights and civil unions for same-sex couples.

Quinn received the letter from the state’s six Roman Catholic bishops on Wednesday, which asked for a meeting with the practicing Catholic to talk about a number of topics, “the first being your personal approval of laws permitting the killing of unborn children.”

That’s quite a topic to open with. The Tribune quotes more from the bishops’ letter to Gov. Quinn:

“We would like to discuss with you, both as fellow citizens and as pastors of your Church, how you and we should position ourselves publicly on this issue so you may be true to your responsibility as Governor as we may remain true to ours as bishops,” the letter said.

I believe the meeting will take place in mid-December.

Here’s how Quinn is trying to frame what’s going to happen (he revealed the correspondence to the press):

Quinn said he looks forward to a “robust dialogue” with the bishops, but said that he will continue to “follow his conscience” when it comes to making decisions in the governor’s office.

Quinn sided with the church when he abolished the death penalty earlier this year, but he has found himself at odds with Catholic teachings over abortion and his approval of civil unions for same-sex couples. Quinn said he has not been denied communion despite the public criticism.

Gov. Quinn’s approval of same-sex civil unions, I might add, has led to Catholic charities across the state ceasing to provide foster care to hundreds of kids. So this is not just an issue of private disagreement, it’s a fundamental disagreement with very public consequences.

I think this is a very significant action that is taking place here. And I’ll be providing more comment in the time between now and when the meeting is scheduled to take place.

In the meantime, please join me in praying for the conversion of Governor Quinn, and for the Catholic bishops and faithful of Illinois.

UPDATE: Governor Quinn gave the award to a victim of rape (Jennie Goodman) who has since become an outspoken advocate for abortion. The woman went so far as to create an ad for Personal PAC which attacked Quinn’s Republican challenger in the last election.

Now, a post-rape Illinois mother who actually became pregnant through the assault and who chose to give her baby up for adoption rather than kill it is speaking out:

Higgins ultimately chose life for her unborn daughter, and placed her for adoption. “It was the best choice I ever made,” she said. Higgins said she is offended that Goodman would use the story of her rape to defend aborting children like her daughter.

“Jennie Goodman defends her pro-choice position by remarking that she never had a choice about becoming a victim of rape,” Higgins says, responding to Goodman’s remarks in the media. “But she is forgetting about all the unborn children who never have any choice about becoming victims of abortion.” [LifeSiteNews]



  • patrick leary

    I’d suggest following the plan Bishop William Carlson (of the Sioux Falls diocese) used in dealing with Sen. Tom Daschle, then-majority leader. Bishop Carlson respectfully requested that Daschle quit masquerading as a Catholic; the voters of South Dakota prematurely retired the senator who came from a devout family and was a product of the parochial schools. Daschle quit passing himself off as a faithful Catholic. We never would have beat him without the help of Evangelical Christians; many Catholics stayed in their lifelong habit of voting Democratic.

    It’s useless to threaten or present pro-abortion politicians with an ultimatum. Power is like an aphrodisiac to them; they’ll choose power (and advancing in the Democratic Party) every time.

    The nature of weekend Masses and utilization of lay Eucharistic ministers make denial of communion privileges impractical.

  • Micha Elyi

    I hope Gov. Quinn sees the error of his ways.

    If after this upcoming meeting with these bishops the governor fails to publicly repent his most public sins, I anticipate that the next action of the bishops will be something stronger than quietly closing another Catholic charitable activity. Maybe even an excommunication.

  • Rick DeLano

    “………..how you and we should position ourselves publicly on this issue so you may be true to your responsibility as Governor as we may remain true to ours as bishops……”


    Athanasius must be so proud of such forthright and courageous defense of Catholic Truth.

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