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St. Thomas More Society of Orange County


To Be Catholic Is To Be Pro-Life

10/24/2016 4:08 PM | James Doan (Administrator)

What do the Governor of California, the Vice President of the United States and the 2016 Democratic Vice Presidential candidate all have in common? They each claim to be Catholic, yet at the same time tout a "moderate pro-choice" position on abortion.

Similarly, numerous "Catholic" senators voted against the ban on Partial Birth Abortion and opposed defunding Planned Parenthood (notwithstanding irrefutable documentary evidence of its complicity in trafficking in baby organs). Moreover, the Platforms of the State and National Democratic Parties, voted upon by teams of ostensible Catholics, establish as a bedrock principle a woman's unfettered "right" to terminate a pregnancy, never mentioning the spiritual elephant in the room; the unborn child.

The point of the story is that Governor Jerry Brown, Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine, numerous U.S. senators and large segments of an entire political party, consider themselves "Catholic" and yet preach and act contrary to Church teaching and Church doctrine.

Let there be no mistake, misunderstanding, or even polite legal sophistry on the issue of abortion: If you are "Catholic,” you are by definition against all procured abortion...

(the death of an unborn when attempting to save the life of a mother is not an abortion exception, but rather has never been defined as an abortion). The Church has been unwavering and crystal clear on the issue of abortion since the first century. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, hereafter "CCC,” § 2270, et seq)

"Since the First Century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.  Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law….” (CCC § 2271)

"The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and political authority.  These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person  took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being's right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death."

"The moment the positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law…" (CCC § 2273)

You cannot be Catholic and support abortion as either lawful or just.  Such positions are irreconcilable, like being Catholic and anti-Eucharist. A person is either Catholic and opposed to abortion, or in favor of "abortion rights" and not Catholic. On the issue of abortion, you can't have it both ways - we have for too long allowed such confusion to erode the consciences of the faithful. The propriety of procured abortion is simply not debatable within the context of communion with the Catholic Church.

 


"The deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of his life is always morally evil and can never be licit either as an end in itself or as a means to a good end… Nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being, whether fetus or embryo, an infant or adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease…" (Saint John Paul II - Evangelium Vitae §57).


The merits of abortion as birth control, population control, sex selection, economic efficiency, and myriad of other "societal goals" is certainly debatable.  However, such debate must be outside the moral constraints incumbent upon us who profess a radical commitment to the Good News, both Cross and Empty Tomb.  It is our very identity as Catholic Christians which is under assault when the "Pro-Choice Catholic" nonsense is promulgated.  Every person should note that with respect to one's eternal destiny there is no First Amendment right to deny Christ and still be with Him in Paradise. But alas there is the awful truth that each of us do have the free will to be "pro choice".  

Critics will argue that such position is outside the openness encouraged by Vatican II, simply not "Big Tent" Catholicism, or just plain unchristian. Neither the author nor the Church seeks to make the Church some exclusive club (I'm in and you can't join).  The Catholic Church is the most  non-exclusive club in the world, all of mankind is joyfully invited but not on our terms but HIS -- alas still the narrow gate.

Other critics argue that on the issue of abortion the Church is improperly impinging on our right to follow our conscience. Without belaboring this point, one may support and defend abortion on grounds of conscience, but in light of  the inherent barbarity of abortion and the crystalline nature of Church teaching regarding abortion, it is difficult to conceive of a well formed conscience taking such a stand - be my guest but be prepared for very warm weather.

Joe Parishioner: "I know that the Catechism is absolutely clear, the Magisterium is absolutely clear, and every canonized Saint has been absolutely clear on the issue, but Father McGillicuddy (our very intellectual “I-know-the-principle-of-double-effect and took-moral-theology parish priest) implied in his homily last week that I can vote for the pro choice candidate because abortion is only one of many social issues."

Respectfully, horse manure!  The Church recognizes that we cannot love the jailed, the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger/immigrant, the naked or the sick if they have already been brutally and selfishly dismembered. Life is the quintessential FIRST RIGHT.

Our response as Catholics to abortion proponents must be the most simple yet profound available: Jesus would never harm these little harmless innocents. 

Yes, Our Blessed Lord will/does forgive post-abortive women. Yes, Our Lord will take the aborted little ones to His bosom. Yes, an integrated Catholicism demands us to full Matthew 25 and love and care of all our brothers and sisters (BTW I note with no irony the simple observation that pro life people are also the most active in loving the weak, poor and oppressed. I don’t see many Planned Parenthood supporters at our food banks, in our prison ministries etc... hmmm?).  Our Lord's  Church has for 2,000 years stood as a bulwark against the exploitation of the helpless, innocent and oppressed and such position will not change to conform to a quite dubious 1973 U.S. Supreme Court opinion and its silly progeny.

The American Catholic bishops in their statement "Living The Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics," wholeheartedly adopted their pastoral responsibility under Evangelium Vitae.  "As chief teachers in the Church, we must therefore explain, persuade, correct and admonish those in leadership positions who contradict the Gospel of Life through their actions and policies.  Catholic public officials who disregard Church teaching on the inviolability of the human person directly collude in the taking of innocent life….they do not do this [open their hearts] by unthinking adherence to public opinion polls or by repeating empty pro choice slogans, but by educating and sensitizing themselves and their constituents to the humanity of the unborn child."  (Section 29)

For those public officials, judges and lawyers reading these remarks who are troubled by their oath to support and defend the Roe v. Wade Constitution - be troubled.  It is a clear teaching of the Church and also our founding fathers that a positive law which conflicts with the natural law need not be complied with, and indeed should be opposed.  

"Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize.  There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection.” (Evangelium Vitae §73)  

So much for our "personally opposed, but…" politicians.   

Hmmm, a "grave and clear obligation to oppose {such laws}".  Like St Thomas More, who was saddened to see his young protege betray his integrity  "for Wales" {perjury in exchange for an appointment as Attorney General of Wales}", the Church is wounded to watch political leaders exchange the eternal for some petty political office. Blasé Pascal, the author of the "great wager" would certainly speculate that such politicians wager unwisely.

But lest we forget, the actions of these "pro-choice" Catholic opinion leaders and politicians result in the brutal deaths of millions of innocents. They  are morally complicit in these crimes against humanity, man's war on himself, as are we who sit idly by like German civilians during the Holocaust.   

In the words of Our Lord, "It does a man no good to gain the whole world and lose his soul". As we continue to test the infinite mercy and tremendous love of our Heavenly Father, may He grant each of us the courage and wisdom to speak out for the weak, helpless and oppressed, especially the unborn in their time of brutal persecution. 

Taking the Church by Storm... See Why This Brave Priest's Homily on Catholic Voting Has Gone Viral!


Gregory Weiler is a pro-life activist/author, married father of four grown children and two grandchildren, a founding member and former president of the St. Thomas More Society of Orange County, and a member of the Irvine law firm of Palmieri, Tyler, Wiener, Wilhelm & Waldron.




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