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The Mansour & Kosnik Cases

VATICAN WATCH

By James Hitchcock | September 1983

Under John Cardinal Dearden, the Archdio­cese of Detroit was one of the most famously “lib­eral” dioceses in the U.S., a center of dissent from official Catholic teaching. This past spring, the Vat­ican (which had appointed a new archbishop three years ago) started reining in on some of the most blatant abuses.

Sister Agnes Mary Mansour was a nun who ran unsuccessfully for Congress (favoring legalized and publicly funded abortions), then was named director of social services for the state of Michigan. The latter post requires her to administer state funding of abortions.

Sr. Agnes went through the ritual motion of insisting that, “Personally I am opposed to abor­tion, but….” However, she apparently sees no contradiction between her stated moral position and the fact that she is now responsible for paying for the deaths of numerous unborn children every year. (In doing so she is also, arguably, thwarting the will of the people of Michigan. The legislature has cut off this funding several times, only to be vetoed by the governor.)

Archbishop Edmund Szoka of Detroit at first seemed to minimize the importance of the contro­versy, but then told Sr. Agnes she would have to make clear her own opposition to abortion fund­ing. When she failed to do this, he ordered her to resign her post, and she refused.

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