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.
It needs to be something more than just receiving communion: say excommunication & social shunning.
Actions speak louder than words.
The DLEMM - Dominant Liberal Establishment Mass Media - aka fourth estate is overwhelmingly leftist. Leftists aren't mainstream. There's no such thing as a "mainstream media".
I’m sorry that you had bad experiences. I had an opposite experience growing up. You could always try going back and see if it’s different now. Of course it’s totally up to you.
Since I believe the Bible, it will continue to be a major issue and the lack of true spiritual leadership will get worse - God has spoken about the cesspool the world will become before He makes it right. Maybe we should welcome the decline that leads to His return and just focus on reaching souls that might be saved for His glory. When Jesus told us to "resist not evil" He was not talking about physical abuse being something to endure, He was saying that there are those who will throw insults, slurs, and other evil ideas into the mix and we should not worry about stopping them from it - we should let them have at it and concentrate on carrying the Word of His glorious Love. Evil will not be silenced by any human efforts - He will defeat it, not us.
When those like Nancy Pelosi stand before one and all as a proud catholic championing abortion, among other things, and isn't publicly called out by "official" Catholics in leadership positions for her and our correction and education (isn't that one of their responsibilities?), I'll stop assigning to them their blame.
I think I'm ready to ready Fr. Malachi Martin's books now.
I have to question that poll. I’ve never seen any poll finding that most people are in favor of abortion “in all or most” circumstances. I can’t imagine that Catholics would be any different as a group.
If I, lost and ignorant, come seeking the Truth, yet find that those who claim to be the Truth's teachers act as though they themselves do not believe it, why should I?
Of all the responsibilities to take on, then not live up to, this is the worst one to be a slacker about. Epic fail. Don't be that guy.
Satan smiles about how much pain these "shepherds" cause Jesus.
Some see abortion as a political issue rather than a spiritual issue. It's not the effect on souls involved that is the focus, but the effect on politics.
Abortion is wrong....but remaining dogmatic on the issue of birth control within the catholic church lends itself to the issue of abortion.
A lil off topic, but to the same point. Clergy allowed to marry and have a family might reduce clergy sex abuse cases. They are human and have physiological reasons that lead to sexual temptation.
I dunno, I may be off base, but sure seems to make sense to me. Paul wrote, (paraphrase) “if you cannot control your desires then marry.”
I've always been drawn to catholic style of worship, but some of the ideology and theology doesn't really line up with scripture or not supported in scripture...IMO.
I am 100% pro-life. I have worked at a CPC, voted only for pro-life candidates, attended "marches for life"... I even lost a teaching job for refusing to take down a pro-life bulletin board (no graphic pics) and quoted Jer 20:9 as my defense: "Then I said, 'I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.' But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not."
However I have been to churches where abortion is never mentioned, in fact it took me years of fussing at my pastor before he dared to briefly say "abortion is murder" from the pulpit. I am amazed by the number of church-going Christians who do not know how their elected officials stand on abortion! Yes, I blame the churches for not educating the people.
BTW, earlier this week I found myself at a convenience store and someone made a comment about my pro-life shirt. Before I knew what happened I found myself preaching to a small group and when I was about to mention Democrats I realized I was the only white person there! LOL! I took a deep breath and continued, explained that Democratic politicians are pro-abortion and anybody who votes for one of them is complicit in the murder of millions of innocents. A woman argued that "some girls get pregnant and need help" and I just couldn't stop myself. It was deathly quiet when I left the store. My husband wanted to know what took so long to pay for the gas, but when he saw my shaking hands he knew!
**But the truth is the truth**
Why is it that when a woman wants a baby it is a baby. But when she doesn’t want a baby — it is something else?
But they are still Catholic because of their baptism. Just not active Catholics. We call them CINOs.
That is because sheep can't think for themselves. Do you consider yourself a sheep?
Who started 40 Days for Life? The Catholic Church
Who issued Humanae Vitae? The Catholic Church
Which church has constantly stood against abortion throughout the ages? The Catholic Church
The Differences the Pill has Made
Pastors Preach Against Contraception From Pulpit
Catholics and Contraception: Boston, 1965
Abortion, Contraception and the Church Fathers (Catholic teaching unchanged for 2000 yrs)
Contraception and Catholicism (What the Roman Catholic Church really teaches)
6 Reasons Why Contraception is Sinful and Contrary to God's Will
Time To Admit It: The Church Has Always Been Right On Birth Control
Paul VI: danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities ...
The Truth about The Church's Teaching about Contraception.
Letter from Archbishop John G. Vlazny on the matter of freedom of conscience and decisions by HHS
Bishop Olmsted's Letter to Catholics [Catholic Caucus]
Liberty for the Amish & Quakers but not Catholics. . .
Contraception mandate prompts Peoria bishop to instate St. Michael Prayer (Catholic Caucus)
Phoenix bishop (Olmstead): defy feds on birth control
A letter from Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr concerning HHS edict
Speak honestly: abortion is the killing of tiny human beings in the womb Denver bishop
Bishop [Daniel Jenky] Blasts Secularist Intolerance, Calls For Assertive Action to Defend Church
(Pittsburgh Bishop Zubik comments:) HHS delays rule on contraceptive coverage
Dolan: Natural law, not religious preference, dictates all life sacred
Religious leaders blast HHS over contraception mandate
Mandated Contraception, Sterilization: Caesar Demands Church Violate Conscience
OBAMAS CONTEMPT FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY (mandates coverage of sterilization & contraception)
Obama Admin Decides to Require Religious Institutions to Cover Free Contraception
Jews and Evangelicals stand with Church against contraception mandate
Obama Supporters Worried He May Grant Contraception Exemptions to Catholic Hospitals
Catholic college sues HHS over contraception mandate
Children of the Reformation: A Short & Surprising History of Protestantism & Contraception
Implications of Obama Admin move to force Cath hospitals to provide contraception and sterilizations
Catholic doctors group launches petition against contraception mandate
Contraception mandate tramples religious freedom, US bishops say
Planned Parenthood Cuts Contraception, Not Abortion After De-Funding
Contraception underlying cause of breakdown of family, sexual morality, says expert
Contraception: The Reason Catholics Have Abandoned Confession
U.S. Bishops Publication Urges Priests to Preach on Contraception, Sterilization, IVF
Contraception: The Bitter Pill
Catholic Bishops Warn of Civil Disobedience Over Contraceptives [Philippines]
Relationships Market After 50 Years of The Pill
Contraception: The Bacteria Devouring Americas Soul
Christians examine morality of birth control [Ecumenical/Orthodox Presbyterian]
The Cost of Contraception: Women's Health - Response to CNN
The Connection between Contraception and Abortion
Baby Bust: The Demographics of Global Depression
The Surest Sign of a Decadent Culture
Protestants and Birth Control
The Protest of a Protestant Minister Against Birth Control
Contraception: Why Not?
The Bible & Birth Control
Our Gravest Moral Responsibility: Convert the Contraception Mentality
Contraception and Conversion
Evangelical Leaders are Ok with Contraception
The pill and 50 years of misery [the pill kills!]
The dawn of demonic deception [the birth control pill]
Researcher finds strong link between contraception and HIV
The Birth-Control Riddle
Social Science Proves Humanae Vitae
"Contraception Is Wrong. Now Here's How You Use It . . ."
Suit claims birth control warning not enough
Natural and Unnatural (father of 5 shocks mother of 1)
Planned Parenthood Uses Teens to Distribute Injectable Birth Control in Rural Ecuador
Study: Low-Dose Birth Control Pills Decrease Bone Density in Young Women
Spanish drug agency confirms grave effects of morning-after pill
Another Woman Dies of Hormonal Contraceptive in Switzerland
Study Finds Half of Women on "Birth Control Shot" Suffer Bone Problems
The Re-Birth of Population Control: Human Life Seen as a Carbon roblem
Radio Replies First Volume - Birth Control
Abortion, birth control pill linked to breast cancer, surgeon says
God before contraception (Australia)
Fighting the 'contraceptive mentality'
Birth control pill creator regrets population decline
Polluted Water, Polluted Culture (one more consequence from contraception)
Abortifacients -- The Other Forbidden Grief
NFP and Contraception: Whats the Difference?
Wisconsin requiring Catholic institutions to provide contraceptives coverage
Contraception: The history you may have missed and would rather not know
Why does Pope Benedict talk about Humanae vitae in the new encyclical? [Catholic Caucus]
New Evangelical Documentary Exposes Abortifacient Qualities of the Birth Control Pill, Promotes NFP
In Quiverfull Movement, Birth Control Is Shunned
Press in a Dither Again over Popes Reaffirmation of Catholic Teaching
How Birth Control Changed America for the Worst
If You Are Contracepting, You Are Part of A Very Big Problem
Vatican and Italian government criticize sale of RU 486 in Italy
New Condom Ads Target Catholics, Latinos
St. Padre Pio, Humanae Vitae, and Mandatory Abortion
Responsible Parenthood in a Birth Control Culture, Part Two [Open]
Responsible Parenthood in a Birth Control Culture, Part One [Open]
Humanae Vitae and True Sexual Freedom Part 6 of 6 [Open]
Contraception v. Natural Family Planning Part 5 of 6 [Open]
Sex Speaks: True and False Prophets Part 4 of 6 [Open]
Contraception and the Language of the Body Part 3 of 6 [Open]
Does Contraception Foster Love? Part 2 of 6 [Open]
Contraception and Cultural Chaos Part 1 of 6 [Open]
Priests still suffering from effects of Humanae Vitae dissenters, Vatican cardinal says (Must read!)
"Provoking reflection" (Contrasting views on Humanae Vitae)
Humanae Vitae The Year of the Peirasmòs - 1968
Catholics to Pope: Lift the Birth Control Ban
[OPEN] The Vindication of Humanae Vitae
Catholic Clergy Challenge Colleagues to Reacquaint Themselves and Their People with Humanae Vitae
White House proposes wide "conscience clause" on abortion, contraception
THE EX CATHEDRA STATUS OF THE ENCYCLICAL "HUMANAE VITAE" [Catholic Caucus]
A degrading poison that withers life
Australia Study: 70 Percent of Women Seeking Abortions Used Contraception
[Fr. Thomas Euteneuer] In Persona Christi: The Priest and Contraception
A Challenging Truth, Part Two: The Day the Birth Control Died
A Challenging Truth, Part One: How Birth Control Works
Ten Challenges for the Pro-Life Movement in 2008
The concept of the "intrinsically evil"
Pope Tells Pharmacists Not to Dispense Drugs With 'Immoral urposes'
Massive Study Finds the Pill Significantly Increases Cancer Risk if Used more than Eight Years
Birth Control Pill Creates Blood Clot Causing Death of Irish Woman
Seminarians Bring Churchs Teaching on Contraception, Sexuality to YouTube
Abortion and Contraception: Old Lies
History of Catholic teaching on Contraception
Pope: Legislation "Supporting Contraception and Abortion is Threatening the Future of Peoples"
Contraception: Why It's Wrong
On Fox News Fearless HLI Priest Takes on Sean Hannity (may be indebted for saving his soul)
VIDEO - SEAN HANNITY vs REV. THOMAS EUTENEUER (must see!)
The Early Church Fathers on Contraception - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Pope on divine love vs. erotic love
Conjugal Love and Procreation: God's Design
Being fruitful [Evangelicals and contraception]
I don't and you don't but the individual who authored this article used those stats as an example of how, too often, people play the blame game rather than taking a more introspective approach. I think that is the gist of this post; the stats served as an example.
Yet what has the Catholic church done to punish these political elite? Nothing.
Correction: Yet what have some Bishops done to punish these political elite? In some cases nothing.
If you're consistent, you blame the 63,298,164 who cast ballots for someone other than Soetoro in 2012 for his being in the oval office.
The poll is very vague and it’s vague for a reason. Rather than ask the question, “do you believe that human life begins at conception”, which would be a much more reliable indicator as to precisely the support for what the Catholic church teaches.
Instead we get a push poll. Why is it getting pushed? This admin is trying to push Catholics into irrelevancy and open up wedges. They aren’t dumb. Why are we?
Much depends on the diocese in which you reside. I grew up in a solidly orthodox rc diocese but found myself in one of the most progressive, after I relocated here 20 years ago. After battling liturgical abuse in one parish, I asked our Lord in prayer to guide me to "a holy priest, a reverent liturgy and a community where, whatever my God-given talents might be, could be of service to them". Thanks to another freeper, the list I compiled included 2 eastern Catholic Churches. Each Sunday, I visited a parish on the list, repeating that prayer. When I arrived at the Maronite Catholic Church (in full communion with the Chair of Peter), I knew I was home. Over the past 10 years, they have asked me to help with the women's society, serve on the Parish Council, establish a Religious Education program for the children, write 2 grants and now serve as editor for the parish bulletin (which is 8 pages long).
Our Lord tells us to "ask and you will receive". Give it a shot! And, if there are any Eastern Catholic parishes within a certain radius of home, add them to your list. They have smaller communities that look out for each other. Their pastors and bishops are quite devout and their liturgies are absolutely beautiful. Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to freepmail me.
God bless you.
>>That is because sheep can’t think for themselves. Do you consider yourself a sheep?
No, I don’t. But, I am not Roman Catholic either. I do not believe that a priest or pastor is above me in my relationship with Christ. I believe in the priesthood of all believers so an Earthly shepherd cannot lead me astray. If I was stranded on a desert island with no church or clergy, I’d still be in the exact same place with regards to God and Christ.
Try and pay attention even though that would be an impediment to your emoting.
**That is because sheep cant think for themselves**
So to what denomination do you belong? LOL!
Ping for later
>>The gift of free will doesn’t mean you can pass the buck for your own mistakes.
Where did you get that idea from my post?? I said that if the shepherd leads them astray, they will go astray. If the shepherd stops leading them, they will wander off to wherever they want to go.
What I meant was that, in many cases, the priesthood of the RCC has led them astray with liberation theology and such. In other cases, the shepherds have let the people just wander off because he doesn’t want to round them up anymore.
So, if you are in a denomination where your free will steers you, then wandering off is entirely your own fault. But, if you are in a strongly hierarchical church like the RCC, then that hierarchy has some responsibility in your wandering.
So, Bernard, you do not go to church although you love the church because of some priests who gave a bad example??? Have you considered that you also are giving a bad example?
I understand your need to direct your frustrations at me and I appreciate your showing all some of the higher level responses to her, yet the truth of Nancy and public belief regarding the catholic church's official positions remain firm in our national perception.
Given Catholics' support for abortion, is support or tolerance for most things gay also as widely supported? To what end?
She makes herself an example. How is it someone like Pelosi can continue so vocally?
What are the consequences to her personally as a Catholic and/or to her public reputation? Where does she attend Mass? Who is directly responsible for her?
Thank you, but the key word is faithful. I have several relatives whom are C&E W&F catholics, not even cafeteria catholics (Yes intentionally lower case.) My oldest niece and nephew went to Catholic schools. They see nothing wrong with abortion.
What? that makes no sense.
> Yet what has the Catholic church done to punish these political elite? Nothing.
Correction: Yet what have some Bishops done to punish these political elite? In some cases nothing.
No, it's more than just bishops: hell, Pelosi went to the Pope (regarding abortion, IIRC) and did he excommunicate her? No.
What about these Bishops's own superiors: shouldn't they reprimand them?
As far as I can see there's no real consequence for being pro-abortion in the Catholic church. (Not that there aren't a lot of similar problems in Protestant churches; but this thread is about "a majority of Catholics support[ing] abortion.")