Cardinal George calls meeting with Quinn 'friendly'

December 16, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Among the topics of discussion were the governor's Catholic faith and his recent public support for a pro-choice function where a rape victim was honored.

Both Cardinal George and the bishops have criticized Gov. Quinn for his pro-choice position. Quinn is a practicing Catholic.

"It was a nice meeting, the bishops of Illinois talking to the governor, who is a member of our church, but it was a pastoral meeting," George said after the encounter. "We shared some concerns on both sides. It was a friendly and an open meeting. But it was pastoral, so it was on faith and conscience and the way in which the Church engages in public life for the common good." According to the cardinal, the governor asked to meet with him and other Catholic leaders.

Gov. Quinn did not comment.

Earlier in the week, Cardinal George spoke to ABC7 about the issue.

"If you are Catholic, you believe God has revealed something through his son and the son has created a church that teaches what God has revealed. And so that's our faith. So you can say sometimes we can't go along with it for various reasons, public figures particularly. But you can't say, I'm against it in the name of my Catholic faith. That's a contradiction in terms," Cardinal George told ABC7's Alan Krashesky.

In November, Quinn attended a luncheon for the Personal PAC, a pro-choice group, and presented an award. Cardinal George and the bishops of Illinois criticized Quinn for presenting an award at the abortion-rights event because of Quinn's faith and the church's stance against abortion. At the time, Quinn said it was the Christian thing to do.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Illinois said in a statement, which said in part that Quinn had "gone beyond a political alignment with those supporting the legal right to kill children in their mothers' wombs to rewarding those deemed most successful in this terrible work." Cardinal said he deeply regretted the tone of the statement after learning that the award recipient was a rape survivor.

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