ALBANY, N. Y. (ChurchMilitant.com) - On Monday, February 13, the bishop of Albany, New York offered a strong response to Planned Parenthood supporters and condemned Catholic politicians who protested on the abortion giant's behalf.
Bishop Edward Scharfenberger noted that while Planned Parenthood does offer some "unobjectionable services," it is not unlike saying "that a man who beats his wife sometimes gives her flowers."
Attending the the counterprotest in Albany were three Catholic politicians who spoke on behalf of the abortion conglomerate: Mayor Kathy Sheehan, U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy. While Bp. Scharfenberger did not name names, he did say:
Three Catholic politicians — one federal, one state and one local — not only participated but spoke passionately on behalf of maintaining such funding. And while any judgment of these individuals' hearts or souls is left only to God, I am entrusted with the solemn duty of reminding them of the unambiguous teaching of our faith on the matter of abortion, informing them that it is inappropriate and confusing to the faithful to hold yourself out publicly as a Catholic while also promoting abortion.
In response to the comments, Fahy complained to reporters, "It was unfortunate. I was a little taken aback by the comments and the tone."
Despite receiving $450 million in taxpayer funds, an undercover video released in January 2017 by the pro-life group Live Action reveals that only five PP facilities out of 97 provide prenatal care — in spite of the fact that the abortion giant's CEO and other spokeswomen disingenuously tout its "prenatal" services.
In another video posted earlier this month by Live Action, former PP workers admit that management rewards clinics for meeting abortion quotas, including throwing pizza parties and coffee with top brass.
Bishop Scharfenberger added, "When individuals, particularly those in political office, gloss over or ignore the core issue of whether or not taxpayers should be funding the world's largest abortion business by citing Planned Parenthood's other services, they are engaging in obfuscation that is, at best, confused and, at worst, dishonest."
Bishop Scharfenberger is known to be a faithful prelate who inherited a failing diocese. Before being appointed to the Albany diocese in 2014 by Pope Francis, statistics show there was a 40-percent decline in parishes, a 75-percent decline in priests and a 91-percent decrease in Catholic school students.
On becoming bishop, he also reportedly "ruffled a few feathers" in an interfaith meeting where he told leaders, "We have heard of a God of love and forgiveness and mercy. But what about God's justice? What about the need to right the world's wrongs or at least to contain if not penalize them?"