The Immaculate Heart of Mary sisters of Michigan have donated $200 to a pro-abortion-rights political action committee that works to get like-minded women elected to office.

The donation to Emily’s List, says the nuns’ vice president, was simply meant to help women in the political process.

“We weren’t making a political statement in terms” of abortion, Sister Mary Katherine Hamilton told the Detroit Free Press.

The Roman Catholic Church is staunchly opposed to abortion and leaders have called for the censure of Catholic politicians who support the procedure.

The donation, made in August 2003, may get the sisters in hot water. The Archdiocese of Detroit spokesman said officials were puzzled by the action and that Cardinal Adam Maida, who has repeatedly spoken about “the moral evil of abortion,” would be “prepared, if necessary, to address what happened with the appropriate pastoral response,” according to the Detroit paper.

“Supporting legitimate causes for the advancement of women is one thing,” McGrath told the Free Press. “Support for Emily’s List, with its defining litmus test for abortion rights, is quite something else.”

The sisters’ order is known for its social activism, donating about $25,000 annually to various causes, including the League of Conservation Voters and Common Cause.

Hamiliton told the paper the order donated to Emily’s List because many of the candidates the PAC supports share the IHM’s positions on issues such as human rights, the environment, the economy, children and education.

According to the report, Paul Long, executive director of the Michigan Catholic Conference, denounced the donation to Emily’s List, saying there are other ways to suppport women in politics, without “contributing to an organization that solely promotes the destruction of human life.”

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