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.
Except, apparently, when it comes to reprimanding and punishing the political elite.
Then why doesn’t the leadership of the Catholic Church make responses to these folks a mandatory, universal response? As long as it allows certain bishops to choose when scandal and sacrilege is okay, I most certainly do blame it. As long as these folks are able to receive communion at a papal mass for crying out loud, I most certainly blame it.
Something’s broken and it needs a-fixing.
Given all of that, that doesn’t mean we, as laity, aren’t partly to blame too.
I think “mainstream media” refers to the main stream of journalism, not the nation. And yes, journalism is overwhelmingly leftist.
I am Catholic as well as everyone in my family. I know a lot of people in my Parish and from previous Parishes I attended and I have yet to meet a Pro-Choice Catholic”.
Or if a leader speaks up, but it is clear that he is simply toeing the authoritative line, rather than expressing a position that has been well thought out, people won’t buy into it.
" . . . a poll commissioned by The Washington Post and ABC . . ."
First, it's a bogus poll.
If you're talking about "Catholics" who were baptized as infants and at best show up for Mass at Christmas and Easter, the poll would be the same as one that reflects the population as a whole and the population as a whole don't support abortion "in most if not all" cases.
People who do show up for Mass on a regular basis have been the backbone of the pro-life movement ever since Roe. They're responsible for keeping the issue in front of the public for so long that we finally have a majority who agree that abortion has to be regulated and limited to some extent and faithful Catholics are still the backbone of the pro-life movement.
I blame people who go along to get along for their own actions. What the parish priest or the bishop does isn't a major concern to such folks. Whether they claim to be Catholic or they claim to be something else, their real religion is American culture. Whatever becomes the majority view most folks find a way to adjust their "Christian" faith to accommodate the changes.
Going along to get along is such a powerful meme that even supposedly conservative "Bible believing" Evangelicals have reversed what they teach about divorce and contraception and now accept both. Once you embrace infanticide as no worse than speeding, embracing everything else is easy. The majority of people who claim to be Catholic accept contraception just like the majority of other folks who claim to be Christian and if a priest or pastor preaches that something they accept is wrong they'll just go elsewhere.
The only difference between Catholics and other Christians is that someone who claims to be Catholic is measured against the standards of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church Jesus Christ Himself established. Non-Catholic folks, on the other hand, measure themselves by the standards of whichever of the tens of thousands of groups they claim to agree with at the moment. Those who claim they're not a part of any organized church only be compare themselves to their Self Alone because the only standard they have is their Most High and Holy Self, the least demanding standard of all.
As for Bishops and Priests, there has never been a shortage of "shepherds", Catholic or anything else, who test the wind and then give the people in the pews exactly what they want to hear. That's how clergy who want to go along to get along behave. If the parents of the people in the pews had made sure their children knew the One True Faith there's a good chance the majority would demand that their priests and bishops stick to the high standards of the One True Church.
People in leadership roles who are actually leaders have always been scarce in most fields. Among clergy they're probably even more scarce than elsewhere and without leaders who stand their ground very few folks will. When real leaders who stand their ground rise to the top, more lower ranks will stand their ground rather than going with the herd. Until then, most Catholic parishes will be just like most non-Catholic congregations and have priests who give the congregation exactly what the majority want.
Two Years ago our parish had what we called dinner for 8. Four couples took turns hosting dinner for the other three. On our last evening the topic of abortion came up and two couples were pro-choice and two of us we anti-abortion. I told my wife that it would good that this happened on the last night because we would no longer be participating.
I have felt that this goes back to 1929-1930 Lambeth conference when the Church of England decided to accept artificial contraception. The minute you see life as an inconvenience you open the door for a myriad of sins.
American churches fell all over each lining up with the same CoE they disagreed with on everything else.
There were Fundamentalists who held out up into the fifties, but even they caved in the late fifties by just broadening the things they called "justifiable reasons" to use contraception.
I guess even Fundamentalists could see that people who stayed home to watch Disney on Sunday night rather than going to Sunday night service would leave the fold sooner or later if they resisted American culture and the push for abortion disguised as contraception. Now the consensus seems to be that as long as you use chemicals instead of a "tacky" one that requires assistance even the "morning after pill" everyone knows is an abortion in a capsule is Ok.
Because denial isn’t a river in Egypt. Rhode Island is over 60% Catholic, yet constantly elects pro-abortion politicians. Ditto every other heavily Catholic state in the union. I tend to find that converts tend to be delusional about reality.
“Ditto every other heavily Catholic state in the union. I tend to find that converts tend to be delusional about reality.”
Umm, you are aware that the majority of Catholic support for Obama comes from California alone? Excluding California, Romney won the Catholic vote.
Please do not post to me.
I completely disagree, NYer, and I doubt seriously if youll be able to fool any genuine Catholic with the falsities that you have written. Intentionally or not, you are defending the modernist bishops and priests who would allow the faithful to determine what is right and wrong by themselves without having the benefit of being taught by the Church. You have focused, singularly, on abortion, but there are so many other issues that are also important that would fall under your same twisted reasoning.
You must know that it is the responsibility of the bishop and the priests that they train to teach all mankind the truths of the Catholic Church; the one and only true Church that was created by Jesus Christ, for the purpose of leading all men to salvation. Simply because Vatican II confused these bishops (and many others including you) with their heresies, does not give them a pass. When the blind lead the blind, they both fall into the pit. The modernist bishops would have us believe that collectively feeding the poor (whether through a government or a Church-sponsored program) will take us to heaven. The bishops have a duty to abandon their blind pursuit of these humanistic goals that greatly please the secular press, and to speak out against the sins that are leading so many people astray.
Had the bishops spoken out in a timely fashion since the vatican II as they should have on the great moral issues of out day, things might have been different. But they were virtually silent, not only on abortion, but on the countless other examples of the moral decadence of our day like birth control, homosexuality, living together without the benefit of marriage, pornography, masturbation, fidelity to all Church teachings, to name just a few. But they didnt say a word and we are now witnessing the carnage of human, embryonic life, and the loss of so many souls. It is absolutely the fault of the bishops, along with the those lesser clerics who refuse to help others know and understand the true teachings of the Church that were well defined before the modernists of the heretical Second Vatican Council set their confusion in motion.
You would be wise, NYer, to read some of the many traditional Catholic publications that continue to teach the truth for those Catholics that would care to learn. The Catholic Family News and the Remnant would be an excellent start.