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.
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.")
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.