Rudy Giuliani has made it clear that he doesn’t “get into debates with the pope.”
The Roman Catholic Church, however, is already debating what to do with the likes of Mr. Giuliani.
Pope Benedict XVI and the bishops who run the Catholic Church have a longstanding practice of not directly commenting on the political candidates of any single country. But when presented with Mr. Giuliani’s position on abortion, American Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka, the president emeritus of the governatorate of Vatican City State, was clear.
“That’s not very acceptable to us,” said Cardinal Szoka in a phone interview with The Observer. “Because if he says, ‘Well, I’m personally opposed but I believe a woman should have a right to choose,’ well then, how can you be personally opposed? It’s a contradiction.”
Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and a top Vatican official who is generally considered to have a more liberal outlook, also said in a separate interview that a Catholic politician holding positions like those of Mr. Giuliani—the former Mayor says that he is morally opposed to abortion but supports abortion rights—created a “contradiction.”
“To be pro-choice is directly against the fundamental Catholic position, and I don’t see how it could be possible,” said Cardinal Kasper, who is a member of the Roman Curia, the body that enforces the pope’s policies, shapes the doctrine and runs the government of the Holy See.
“It’s complicated,” he said. “Questions of conscience are always complicated. But if somebody wants to be in public life, as a Catholic, he should also state Catholic positions.”