Skip to comments.Why you shouldn’t blame the clergy that a majority of Catholics support abortion
Posted on 07/27/2013 6:09:40 AM PDT by NYer
LifeSiteNews recently reported the unsurprising findings of a poll commissioned by The Washington Post and ABC stating that a majority of American Catholics are in favor of abortion in “all or most cases.” Coincidentally or providentially, LifeSiteNews published this article on the same day as the Catholic Church celebrated the 45th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s momentous encyclical Humanae Vitae. I suppose it was the latter, and I thank them for doing so.
The findings of the poll were disheartening. As a sinful, aspiring Catholic, this article provided me with a great lesson in humility and self-examination, and this is why.
As I read through the unsurprising, but equally devastating, results my anger grew stronger. What is wrong with all these Catholics? Where did the Church go wrong? Where did the pro-life movement go wrong? How is this possible and why don’t they just get it?
Within seconds, my mind began to play the blame game, and naturally, my first target was the clerics of the church: Priests, bishops, and religious. “This is all their fault,” I thought. Over the years, they have completely abandoned their flock. They stopped preaching the truth from the pulpit and with their own lives. They are to blame for this drastic dissent among Catholics.
Luckily, I quickly sobered up. I took a deep breath, and began to reflect more personally.
In reality, we are all to blame. How pro-life is my family? My relationship with others? Do I always stand on the side of life in conversations with my relatives and peers? How is my relationship with my wife? My husband? My children? My parents? My relationship with my pastor? And yes, this is supposed to sound like an examination of conscience.
Instead of blaming the usual suspects, we need to look at our own lives. Clergy have an immense responsibility in the Church and they should be held accountable – but not any more accountable than husbands ought to be to their wives (and vice-versa), parents to their children, etc.
If I want more Catholics to truly believe that the right to life is above all other rights, that the inherent dignity of every human being – born and preborn – must be protected and defended at all costs and that to be Christian is to be pro-life, then I need to start with me and my immediate family. Devout and faithful priests (and there are many) definitely help, but the immediate family is the nucleus of our society, and everything starts there. This is usually the hardest place to start, but it is fundamental.
On this 45th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, we should all take the time to sit down with our family, after dinner, and read through this amazing document that was given to us by an amazing pope. We should discuss it, ask questions, seek answers, clear up misunderstandings, and relate with each other honestly by surrendering ourselves to the graces of the Holy Spirit. Afterwards, pray together for all priests and bishops and for a culture of life to be restored in our nation and around the world.
The Church and the pro-life movement have a lot of work to do and these poll results are a sobering reminder. But rather than blaming others, as I initially did, these results should motivate us to take an active role in the new evangelization and to make sure that when the next poll comes around, members of our own families will fall into the category of those who oppose abortion in all cases, not the other way around.
There are practicing Catholics and there’s the rest of ‘em. The ones that frequent church are usually pro life.
Most of the sheep go where the shepherd leads them. If the shepherd stops doing his job and lets them wander away, then they will wander away.
Considering that far too many self-professed “Christians”, regardless of denomination, are too lazy study and actually APPLY God’s Word, they need their religious leadership (aka clergy/pastors/preachers) to tell them the truth.
Too many of the aforementioned leaders won’t touch abortion - and indeed run from even the mention of it because it is “decisive”.
Hello - why is it divisive? Because we haven’t spoken up the truth. I can speak to this because I am a pastor. I know the anxiety that comes when the Lord leads me to speak on those “divisive” issues. But the truth is the truth, and when we avoid an issue simply because it is “divisive”, its no wonder that 50+% of self-identified “Catholics” support unrestricted abortion. And it is no wonder that many in other lines of Christianity also are weak on abortion.
So - if you couldn’t tell - I don’t necessarily buy into the article linked.
The Catholic Church and it faithful member have been at the forefront in the battle to preserve life. I thank them for their efforts. Without them our nation would be far worse off.
Amen! You nailed it Pastor.
Most of these “catholics” who support abortion aren’t Catholic but had parents who were and left the Church a long time ago.
I disagree with you. There are many “Catholics” who don’t attend church and do what they want. It’s impossible for the clergy to reach them.
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:6-7
How do you explain bishops who continue to allow pro-abortion candidates to receive communion then? Or the fact that the USCCB continues to help support pro-abortion agencies?
Actions speak louder than words.
Abortion approval is just the end of the line that starts with shacking up and hooking up. Preaching just can’t start and end with abortion.
I disagree. If there is any justice the lack of public discipline for public Catholics who support and promote abortion publicly will be looked back at as a scandal that dwarfs the homosexualist priest scandal.
Any sane 1st grade teacher knows you can’t teach without actual public discipline. Look back at the last 40-50 years. Have the bishops taught that abortion is really a big deal like they say it is or have they given the impression that despite what they say it must not be too big a deal when you get right down to it?
Freegards, thanks for all the pings
"But he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. And unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required: and to whom they have committed much, of him they will demand the more." Luke 12:48
Why exactly do we trust ABC + the WA Post?
I don’t particularly agree with this author.
I think he would do well to review some of the writings of previous popes, such as Pascendi Dominici Gregis and Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae.
In the former, St Pius X speaks of how modernism reduced faith down to feelings: “vital immanence”. In the latter, Leo XIII warned the American bishops about compromising the faith to better “fit in” the culture. Both of those things have had disastrous results in the past centuries.
While I think of it, the author should also consider Gregory XVI’s Mirari Vos, where he speaks of the danger of religious indifferentism.
While it is true that it would be unjust to lay all of the blame on the hierarchy for not preaching constantly about moral depravity, there are plenty of areas where they are far from innocent.
For example, in Singulari Quadam, Pope St Pius X warned the bishops that it is their job to ensure that the Faithful are not led astray by labor movements that espouse positions contrary to Church teaching. This was re-emphasized by Pius XI in Quadragesimo Anno and, more recently, was hammered on by Pope Bl. John Paul II in Laborem Exercens (in the latter, the Holy Father explicitly warned about labor unions getting in bed with political parties).
But, yet, when in the past 100 years, has there ever been a warning from an American bishop about activities about labor unions (especially the radically pro-homosexual, pro-abortion NEA)? Hmmmmmm???
We know from the Scriptures (and, yes, my Protestant Friends, the Church does believe in Sacred Scripture), we know that we are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. We know that a little leaven corrupts the whole lump...
But yet we have things like Catholic Charities...which, for all the good they do, have allowed themselves to become an arm of the Democratic Party. We have CRS, which, for all the good it does, gets in bed with pro-contraception and pro-abortion secular relief agencies. We have CCHD...which is nothing but Saul Alinsky community organizing.
And when members of the laity ask for change...the American hierarchy goes into full defense mode.
So even if the hierarchy manages, occasionally, to preach the right words, those words are betrayed by their actions.
These dissenters are responsible for their own actions, don’t get me wrong, but to attempt to cover up the role (in both word and deed) that the hierarchy played in these folks’ improper formation...that just is laughable.
Shhhhhh! That’s one of the mainstream media’s best kept secrets. Liberal reporters often quote lapsed or practically-lapsed Catholics to prove that the “ultra-conservative” Pope or bishops are “out of touch” with their flock. The media loves CINOs.
The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops. St. Athanasius
The road to hell is paved with the skulls of erring priests, with bishops as their signposts. St. John Chrysostom
I'm going to disagree with the portions not stricken. The Catholic church has constantly and consistently behaved as though it doesn't have authority (in my lifetime), specifically with respect to disciplining people in political leadership positions: Nancy Pelosi, a huge number of the Kennedys , and more. Yet what has the Catholic church done to punish these political elite? Nothing. Certainly nothing that would cause them *gasp* discomfort.
I'm one of those people; I love the religion but I hate the church. It comes from a childhood of observing parish priests who acted like they were the people that Jesus chased from the temple with a scourge.