Bishop says he won't break 'pastoral relationship' with Daschle or anyone else

Posted: Friday, April 25, 2003

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) Roman Catholic Bishop Robert Carlson said he would never break off dialogue or a pastoral relationship with anyone,'' after an article implied a breach had developed between the prelate and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle over abortion.

The bishop responded to a report in the conservative Weekly Standard magazine that the Sioux Falls Diocese wrote Daschle, requesting that the Democratic senator omit references to his Catholic faith from his congressional biography and campaign documents.

Daschle issued this statement: I have had the benefit of Bishop Carlson's guidance on many public and private issues, and that relationship will continue.''

I have been a Catholic all my life and I will remain one,'' he said.

Asked about a letter from the diocese, a Daschle spokesman said the senator's statement speaks for itself, and church officials did not say whether such a letter was sent.

Carlson said he and Daschle have had several discussions about abortion, and that he encouraged Daschle to reconsider his support for abortion rights. But, the bishop said, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to discuss my pastoral relationship with the senator or anyone else.''

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