I've received a notification that Jim Dobbin MP, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group (APPPLG), has withdrawn his signature from a pro-Obama parliamentary motion (I blogged about this last week, pointing out the President-elect's extreme pro-abortion/anti-life political record and intentions). I'm very grateful to Mr Dobbin for withdrawing his signature.
I note with disappointment, however, that APPPLG vice-chairmen Claire Curtis-Thomas MP and Dr John Pugh MP, have signed a different pro-Obama motion, the wording of which is flawed.
Of course, it's perfectly normal and diplomatically desirable for politicians, Governments - and even for the Pope - to send messages of congratulation to new heads of state, not least the new head of state in the US. But it matters a lot what the message actually says.
Pope Benedict's message is personal and the full text is not available. CNS news reports that the Holy Father assured the President-elect of his prayers that God would help him with his high responsibilities for his country and for the international community - and I've no doubt we all say "Amen" to that.
However, the Early Day Motion signed by Claire Curtis-Thomas and John Pugh says, among other things:
"That this House [of Commons]... notes that even a few years ago it would have been unimaginable for an African-American man to run for President let alone win; [and] identifies [Mr Obama] as a shining example of how far America has come in respect of integration and equality".
What about the integration and equality of unborn children, both black and white, who will be killed in greater numbers under President Obama? Or are some human beings more equal than others, according to British MPs?
Anthony Ozimic, back from last week's MaterCare workshop in Rome, reports a particularly apposite comment made by Nicholas Nikas (pictured), a leading pro-life lawyer from the United States. Mr Nikas said:
"The world sees the first black man as president, which is a wonderful thing: but at what price? Martin Luther King Jnr had a dream, a nation where people will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. What is the content of the character that does not see partial birth-abortion as a problem?"
Anthony reports another similarly apposite comment, made by Fr Thomas Williams of the Regina Apostolorum university. Fr Williams said that abortion was the central issue of social injustice of our time, by which individuals are oppressed in their most fundamental right; and that in the light of the American election results, Catholics may be considered unfit to work in certain areas or in certain jobs, because they hold pro-life and pro-family beliefs (as a result of the Freedom of Choice Act which Barack Obama has promised to sign as the first act of his presidency).
How do Mrs Curtis-Thomas and Dr Pugh (both Catholics) square that danger of segregation and discrimination with the "integration and equality" they claim Mr Obama's election represents?