Wednesday, August 28, 2002

I know this is getting boring, but I think it's worth exploring. My commets an Amy's site led me to this site which catalogues Granholm's pro-choice statements.

It's apparent to even the most biased observer that this site is taking Granholm's views to extremes she doesn't share. In fact, in examining her views, it strikes me that Granholm is likely privately opposed to abortion, but had adopted a pro-choice position out of political expediency. She thinks it unlikely she could advance far in the Democratic Party as a pro-lifer (and Bob Casey's experience at the 1992 Democratic convention would confirm those thoughts). She seems to talk as little about the subject as possible, and her opponents seem to be trying to paint here as a "closet pro-lifer." She may have struck a bargain to abandon her beliefs about abortion to accomplish "all the good she could do" as governor.

So, this points to the conclusion that her position is cowardly, rather than contemptuous of the Church. Nevertheless, she has welcomed the endorsements of abortion lobbyist groups, and the roots of her position don't make it any less wrong.

I am satisfied that such a position is inconsistent with faithful Catholicism. But what should our response be?

I'm concerned that many people' first response is to lobby for her excommunication. What will this accomplish? She will be cut off from the grace of the sacraments, and it seems unlikely she would ever reconsider her position. Indeed, I think it's likely that it would only serve to strengthen her position, and those who share it.

Wouldn't it be better to publicly say why this belief is inconsistent, and try to bring her and those who share her views back into the fold for Reconciliation? I know it's hard, and I know it's tiresome to keep saying the same things, but it's what Jesus calls us to. We have the Holy Spirit on our side, we should at least be giving it a try.

Imagine the good it would do to the Church and the pro-life movement if a public figure like Granholm were to publicly renounce her pro-choice position to embrace the pro-life view, and become an ardent defender of the unborn. Wouldn't this be a preferable outcome to driving her away, both for her and for the Church?

I understand why excommunication is attractive. Publicly visible pro-choice Catholics feed the notion that the Church's teachings are "out of touch" with the Catholic faithful, and it undermines all the Church's teachings. So, excommunication is a tool we should reserve the right to use. But it shouldn't be our first option.

Reconcilitation (and by this I don't mean the Church changing its views to suit the dissenters) must be our goal, and we should be very slow to settle for the less desirable outcomes of excommunication. If we're really in the business of savinf soles, I don't see how it can be otherwise.
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