In the same week that Pope Benedict XVI urged Nancy Pelosi to recognize the “dignity of human life,” a California priest who publicly donated to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has been elevated to the rank of monsignor.

You think the Church is sending mixed messages to the faithful? Is it any surprise that over 50% of Catholics voted for the most pro-abortion presidential candidate in history.

According to California Catholic Daily

Fr. Arthur Holquin, pastor of Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano, gave $250 to the Obama campaign on July 7, 2008, according to Federal Election Commission records. Fr. Holquin has been pastor of the San Juan Capistrano Mission for six years and, in May, will celebrate his 35th anniversary as a priest.

Now, this priest might be a great pastor to his flock in many ways but doesn’t this send a seriously mixed message if a congresswoman from California is chided for her pro-choice stances while this California priest is made Monsignor?

There are many many reasons that people couldn’t wrap their minds around voting for either McCain or Obama and just sat it out. But this priest not only supported Barack “I don’t want her punished with a baby” Obama but donated money to him knowing the information would be made public. He wrote “Roman Catholic Priest” for the FEC disclosure.

So many Catholics are unclear on their responsibility when it comes to life. Promotions like this only serve to further muddy the water.

Fr. Holquin, in a public letter, explained his support for Obama at the time by saying:

“While I vigorously oppose Mr. Obama’s pro-choice voting record, his clear opposition to the War in Iraq which is indeed a life issue, his strong and vocal stance against the use of torture, which is a life issue, his commitment to a responsible universal Health Care system in our land particularly for those who are on the margins, which is a life issue, as well as his very reasoned approach to addressing the present economic crisis that we face have brought me to this personal decision of support…Our Lord Jesus spent much of his ministry trying to heal the sick and thus I support candidates who seek to ensure that everyone’s health needs in this country are met, especially those of our young children.

You’ve just got to love that he could write without irony “the health needs…especially those of our young children.”

And we must always remember – free health care trumps the right to life. This is a difficult thing to bear, especially now, after President Obama signed off on changing the Mexico City policy almost immediately upon getting into office and has promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act if Congress should pass it.

This promotion is harmful to all those pro-life Catholics who daily promote the culture of life, pray the Rosary outside of abortion clinics, and volunteer time at women’s pregnancy centers.