To my regret, I jumped back into the Catholic blogs this week, to all too predictably find, in a week when it was exposed that American soldiers were torturing Iraqi prisoners, some people still think the greatest crisis facing us is that some bishops don't think denying John Kerry and other pro-choice Catholic politicians communion is such a great idea.
I'm going to engage in some speculation, here. I simply don't think the best use of our time and effort in defending the unborn is to pester the bishops to deny politicians communion. And I'm not sure it matters to these advocates, since it doesn't seem to be what it's about, anyway.
Take this for example(via Mark Shea's blog). There's a, how do I put this?, glee there that seems a tad out of place in the service of confronting one spiritual fathers for insufficiently defending children's lives in a way similar to attitudes that contributed to the Holocaust, as in this passage:
McCarrickInnitzer met privately with KerryHitler in mid-April. He said the encounter lasted nearly an hour and was "a good meeting, a meeting where we discussed many things." He declined to elaborate, saying that when he meets someone "as a priest" he does not think it appropriate to give details. "In present circumstances it is necessary to emphasise that the duty of the Church is the cure of souls— through worship, the sacraments, and preaching. She must remain aloof from all else," Innitzer said.
These advocates are fond of saying how serious an issue abortion is, and how there is no room for compromise. It seems strange that a moral failure on this would be an occasion for guffaws.
And I don't think it helps the pro-life cause at all to compare someone who favors keeping abortion legal to someone who institued the systemized exterminiation of 6 million Jews and started a bloody world war. That's how we start losing credibility.
I'm going to get in trouble for saying this, but I have a real hard time believing that the "deny Kerry communion" movement is really all about defending unborn children. It seems to be a lot about power, and getting to be "right."
I wonder if all these people have considered the opportunity Kerry's candidacy presents. What if Kerry were to change his views on abortion, as the Democratic candidate for president? Wouldn't that completely change the dynamics of the debate? Wouldn't that be a flood of rain in a parched land? Isn't it possible that McCarrick and others recognize this opportunity?
You might say it's unlikely this would happen, but it's even less likely if the bishops excommunicate him or all deny him communion.
But this conversion isn't what many of these folks want. They want to be able to go into the voting booth, vote Republican, and leave the booth believing they've contributed to bringing about a Culture of Life. If the pro-choice stranglehold on the Democratic party were to be loosened, life wouldn't be quite so easy, would it? I think there's a lot of folks out there who fear, rather than welcome this development.
Plus, there's also the joy many Catholics seem to take in declaring themselves more orthodox, and better than the bishops. Take a look at this thread and see how people are willing to bend over backwards in order to translate and interpret a bishop's comments in order to criticize him.
I think I'll go back to my Easter "fast."