Friday, January 30, 2009

Academy of Holy Angels Decides not to Honor Pro-abortion Politician

This should not be news. A Catholic institution acting Catholic ought not be particularly noteworthy. Of course, it never should have gotten that far in the first place.

In a story I alluded to last week, the Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield was set to induct State Rep. and gubernatorial candidate, Paul Thissen (D-Minneapolis), into its Activities Hall of Fame, until the school was faced with the fact that Mr. Thissen has an impeccable legislative record on abortion, to the point of earning a rating of "zero" from Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life heading into last fall's election.

The administration explained its decision in an e-mail to some of its financial supporters prior to the story appearing in the media:
As you may know, Paul Thissen, Academy of Holy Angels (AHA) class of 1985, was nominated for induction into the AHA Activities Hall of Fame this year. ...

[T]he nominating committee was not aware of Mr. Thissen’s voting record in the Minnesota Legislature regarding pro-abortion issues. As a result of Mr. Thissen's public position to actively suport [sic] pro-abortion issues, AHA has chosen not to include him among this year’s inductees to the AHA Activities Hall of Fame. We have done so, not because we do not appreciate his past achievements, but because we cannot endorse his legislative actions relating to abortion. Mr. Thissen’s legislative voting record is in conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church, as explained by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in their Statement on Catholics in Political Life.

The Statement says of those in political office, "The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."
As an AHA alumnus, donor, and parent of two current and five future students, I am relieved by the school's action, but there is no cause for joy here.

Paul and I are old friends, going back to first grade. When he was earning all-conference honors as a receiver our senior year, I was the quarterback. For all his gifts, I was surprised and disappointed when he first ran for office to find him opposite science, natural law, and the teaching of the Church in which we grew up together.

Now that he offers the standard Cafeteria Catholic fare as his defense, I am having a hard time hearing anything other than a smarmy politician:
I had imagined that the high school I attended -- the institution that taught me the importance of social justice in Minnesota -- would have valued and been honored by that work. ...

When I heard about this, I really was disappointed, not so much because of the award, but because the award was for something that had nothing to with my position on giving women the choice of what to do during a pregnancy.
Well, there is always Reason for Hope #5: For God, all things are possible.


  1. Unfortunately, Paul is seeking recognition from the wrong institution. If he thinks he's disappointed, he ought to try and imagine how God must feel.

  2. "Choice of what to do during a pregnancy" is just empty abortionist drivel. He means that he supports allowing unlimited killing of his fellow human beings. You can certainly do anything you want during a pregnancy (as long as it is not detrimental to the child's wellbeing).

    It is amazing to me the intellectual dishonesty and lack of conviction on the part of politicians who oppose unborn human rights, the complete inability to talk about killing human beings (what they really support) and the insistence on hiding behind empty rhetoric such as "choice" and "choose".

    It is critically important for the Catholic Church not only to refuse to honor abortionist politicians, but to excommunicate them forthwith for promoting crimes against humanity.

  3. Unfortunately, Paul has forsaken his faith to support an intrinsic evil to further his political ambitions.

  4. The Rep Paul Thissen story is an interesting one. The Catholic Church has a list of 5 public policy issues that are "non-negotiable." They are abortion, euthanasia/assisted suicide, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and homosexual marriage. The Church teaches that they are never to be tolerated by faithful Catholics. Those who do are deemed to be consorting with a great evil and committing grave sin.

    Catholic Thissen is certainly on the wrong side of at least 3 of these issues according to the Church and his voting record. Thissen, however, is not alone. I count at least 13 other self-professed Catholics in the MN House of Representative whose voting records are similar.

    While supportive of AHA's withdrawl of the honor that was to be bestowed to him, I believe that Paul Thissen can be excused for being "frustrated and disappointed" by the decision. After all, when was the last time the Church or church entity confronted him about his support of these issues. My guess would be seldom, if ever.

    Truth be told (and I am Catholic) the Church in Minnesota merely pays lip service to the non-negotiables. They have bigger fish to fry, namely their social justice agenda, which trumps all else.

    So with a wink and a nod the Church has given Thissen and his Catholic pro-choice colleagues a pass. I'm quite sure that the archdiocese is a bit miffed that Holy Angels had the gall to bring it up.

    Duke Powell



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