Monday, May 10, 2004

TO BE WITH US YOU'VE GOT TO REALLY HATE THE ROMANS

  • It's not enough to recognize abortion as a moral evil.
  • It's not enough to favor laws that would outlaw most abortions.
  • It's not enough to favor laws that would outlaw all abortions.
  • It's not enough to oppose medical research that destroys embryos.
  • It's not enough to consider abortion the most important issue when determining to vote for.
  • It's not enough to believe that pro-choice public figures should not be invited to speak at or be honored by Catholic institutions.
  • It's not enough to think that pro-choice politicians should not present themselves for communion.
  • It's not enough to believe that denying communion to pro-choice politicians is a valid pastoral response.

No, in order to be a real pro-life Catholic, you must believe that all bishops and cardinals must deny the Eucharist to pro-choice politicians, or else they are disloyal to Rome.

And this is where I get off the bus.

It's a shame. Technology and experience are turning more and more people to the pro-life point of view. And what do they find there? Stupid internal bickering like this. We could be growing, and instead we're turning on each other.

Meanwhile, 3,000 unborn children are killed every day.

But we sure told Cardinal McCarrick, didn't we?

Ooh, yessir. He'll think twice now. I keep wondering what all this is supposed to accomplish.

"Well, we'll get McCarrick and all the bishops to stand up for the faith, and deny communion to Kerry and other 'pro-aborts' ."
"And what will that accomplish?"

"Well, the Church will be sending a clear message that the pro-choice viewpoint won't be tolerated!"

"And what will that accomplish?"

"Well, then no Catholic could believe that 'pro-choice Catholic' is a consistent position."

"And what will that accomplish?"

"Well,I'll have a good trump card in my comment war debates, and I guess I won't have to be bothered about whether the Iraq war is just or if the death penalty is OK or if we're taking care of the poor enough when I go to vote for Dubya in November, since nobody's being denied the Eucharist over those issues!"

"Oh, great, and what about the 3,000 unborn children killed everyday?"

I'm not sure it's a coincidence that this is coming to a head the same week abuses in prisons were found in the war pursued by our "pro-life" president.

I know this is the clich├Ęd "soft" Catholic Gospel reference (and I'm sure I'll hear about Jesus driving the money changers out of the Temple in response), but I can't help but think of the Pharisees stoning the prostitute. Here we stand, rocks in hand saying, "Please, bishop, can we please throw them at Kerry!?" And some of the bishops, without excusing the sin, say, "Not so fast." And then we leave grumbling.

Last week there was some controversy over the bishops issuing statements opposing the Missouri legislature's cutting of Medicaid. Now, imagine there was some Catholic advocacy group for the poor. They took $500,000 and used it not to actually help poor people, not to work to pass legislation to help the poor, but to shame bishops into denying the Eucharist to legislatures who had voted to cut the funding.

Now I ask you, if an advocacy group did this, how seriously would you take their concern for the poor?

Do these people have any idea how all this bickering looks to those outside the pro-life movement?

It's all such a tremendous waste of time money and effort.

Meanwhile 3,000 babies will be killed.

But we sure told McCarrick a thing or two, didn't we?

UPDATE: I know, I know -- people fighting to deny the Eucharist to legislators who voted for Medicaid cuts would be on much shakier theological ground than those pushing to deny it to pro-choice politicians. My point is what would we think of a movement claiming to serve the poor that went about its goal by trying to shame bishops into denying the Eucharist to politicians it opposed.
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