Father Roger J. Landry concludes here that the strategy of the Church to privately persuade Catholic pro-abort pols of the errors of their ways has been a flat failure.
“Let us take an honest look at the numbers. When we survey the long list of pro-choice Catholic politicians from both parties — Kennedy, Kerry, Giuliani, Schwarzenegger, Daschle, Dodd, Durbin, Leahy, Mikulski, Pelosi, Delahunt, Capuano, Markey, McGovern, Meehan, Granholm, Sebelius, Pataki, Richardson, Cellucci, Cuomo, and Biden to name just a handful — is it possible to say that the strategy has worked with any of them? Over the last three and a half decades, can we point to even one success story?
Another way to assess the results of the education-alone strategy is to measure the direction that pro-choice Catholic politicians have moved over the years. Even if they haven’t experienced a total conversion, have they moved closer toward limiting abortions or toward making abortions easier to access? The facts show that the vast majority of personally opposed, publicly pro-choice Catholic legislators have become far less personally opposed and far more publicly in favor over the duration of the strategy.
In the initial years after Roe versus Wade, publicly pro-choice Catholic legislators generally whispered their support for abortion. They displayed a palpable sense of shame, letting their abortion position out just enough so that it wouldn’t cost them the votes of abortion supporters. That discomfort began to dissipate after Governor Mario Cuomo’s 1984 pro-choice defense at Notre Dame. We’ve now come to a situation when pro-choice Catholic legislators vigorously curry the favor of Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Emily’s List; scores of Catholics in Congress have the chutzpah to co-sponsor the Freedom of Choice Act, which would eliminate almost every abortion restriction ever passed at the federal or state level; and 16 out of 25 Catholic Senators vote against conscience protections to prevent their fellow Catholics in the medical field from being forced to participate in abortions and sterilizations.”
Father Landry ends by suggesting a new approach, perhaps we might call it the “more than hot air” approach:
“Jesus spoke of a different way in the Gospel (Mt 18:15-18). It involves not merely general educational statements that we hope offenders will apply to themselves in conscience, but the type of one-on-one instruction traditionally called fraternal correction. If that fails, and fails repeatedly, Jesus enjoined us to regard the offender as someone who no longer belongs to the community, who is no longer a member in good standing. This may seem harsh, but we should remember that Jesus always seeks nothing but the best for his Church and for individual sinners, even obstinate sinners. Implied in Jesus’ strategy is that education involves not just information, but formation, and that you can’t form disciples without discipline. This is a lesson that, after four decades of the undeniable failure of another approach, we need to consider anew.”
Hattip to my friend the ever vigilant Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia, and please go here to read his comments on Father Landry’s argument.
I recently posted a link to a short essay I wrote explaining why I reject leftism. It was rather broad in scope and abstract in content, but now I have a more particular and concrete example to reinforce what I originally wrote. It pertains to news of Hillary Clinton’s recently declared opposition to “sex selective abortion” – that is, abortion that specifically targets the female unborn.
The moral confusion that reigns on the secular left and even significant parts of the pro-choice religious left never ceases to amaze me, though by now, it really ought to. For decades the overwhelming majority of secular liberals have supported abortion rights in the name of women and their “liberation”, their social advancement. As it turns out, however, in countries such as China, India, and even the United States, the majority of aborted “fetuses” are female. There are both practical economic and cultural reasons for sex selective abortion, but those aren’t really relevant here.
The glaringly obvious point is that there is a terrible contradiction at the heart of modern feminism, between unconditional support for abortion rights and a desire to stop the extinction of women through female abortion and infanticide. In the irony of ironies, a “woman’s right to choose” more often than not means a choice not to bear a girl that will become a woman. The social consequences of sex selective abortions in countries such as China will be devastating as the male population vastly out-numbers the female population, reducing the pool of potential wives and increasing the number of alienated and frustrated bachelors.
As has been pointed out, Senator Kennedy was pro-life at least until late 1971. Like Jesse Jackson, Al Gore and other prominent figures on the left, his stance changed as “abortion rights” became a major plank on the Democrat Party platform.
What happened? Continue reading
“On the right to choose abortion, he was fully pro-choice. He supported the right of women who got their medical care from the government whether they were federal employees, in the military or on Medicaid to the same right of conscience that women with their own money or private insurance have. And, on every other issue related to reproductive health and rights, he voted for women.
Here is a blog I wrote for fladems4life.org- this is the website for Florida Democrats for Life organization- If you are a Democrat and pro-life you should seriously consider joining the National and State chapters for Democrats for Life. There is a lot of freedom for you to bring your ideals and ideas into these growing organizations. I believe it is mostly a waste of time trying to turn Democrats into Republicans or vice versa- there is a philosophy of governance that pulls deeper than individual issues- even big issues like abortion.
I have had it with the debate over the language used to describe abortion.
The argument that the language of the pro-life movement is responsible for the death of George Tiller is preposterous nonsense. It reduces us to nothing but objects pushed about by the forces of propaganda.
The truth is that one does not need propaganda to become outraged to the point of homicide; one can simply look up the details of what the procedure of abortion involves, particularly the partial-birth abortions performed by Tiller. The cold hard facts, regardless of any political spin or the additional words of any commentator, is quite sufficient.
For consideration: an excerpt from President Barack Obama’s commencement speech at Notre Dame:
The soldier and the lawyer may both love this country with equal passion, and yet reach very different conclusions on the specific steps needed to protect us from harm. The gay activist and the evangelical pastor may both deplore the ravages of HIV/AIDS, but find themselves unable to bridge the cultural divide that might unite their efforts. Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in an admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son’s or daughter’s hardships can be relieved.
The question, then — the question then is how do we work through these conflicts? Is it possible for us to join hands in common effort? As citizens of a vibrant and varied democracy, how do we engage in vigorous debate? How does each of us remain firm in our principles, and fight for what we consider right, without, as Father John said, demonizing those with just as strongly held convictions on the other side?
I am not easily shocked after participating in the struggle against abortion since 1973, but this article did shock me. Taking pride in the deaths of millions of innocents each year? Jesus wept. The fight against abortion is the preeminent moral struggle of our time, first to save the lives of the most innocent among us, but second because of the damage that legal abortion does to our moral sense. If we take pride in abortion, is there any crime that we cannot, and will not, take pride in?
Today the Washington Times is reporting that the Vatican has rejected at least three candidates for ambassador. Could one of those candidates been Doug Kmiec? Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago? Caroline Kennedy?
The Headline Bistro is reporting that Senator John Kerry is pushing for Caroline Kennedy for the position. A left-leaning Italian daily, Panorama, is speculating of the ‘glamorous’ benefits of having Miss Kennedy as the Holy See’s ambassador.
Caroline Kennedy? You’ve got to be kidding me! What is interesting to note is the sheer lack of understanding on behalf President Obama of what the Catholic Church stands for. It is not a political entity, but Christ’s church on earth. Abortion is not one of a myriad of policy differences that can be pushed under the rug when it comes to appointing a U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.
The U.S. has a right to appoint whomever they want, but the Pope has the right to reject any ambassador that will not “improve relations” with the Vatican. If President Obama appoints a pro-choice (pro-abortion) candidate, one who promotes the death of innocent children, how can this candidate improve relations with the Holy See that defends the rights the most vulnerable among us? Logic and reasoning seem to be lacking in finding a candidate from the Obama administration.
The issue of Abortion was not the compelling concern for a majority of Americans in the last elections, but it is still a powerfully divisive legal/moral contest that pits Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, in a heated competition for hearts and minds. It is tough to find common ground or fresh areas for public debate, but as a pro-life Democrat I am accustomed to thinking outside the pack.
Most Pro-Choice political leaders are quick to say that they are not pro-Abortion, they are interested in abortion reduction without outlawing the procedures. Many pro-life leaders similarly claim that they are also committed to reducing the numbers of abortion even as they seek a final legal solution of defining the right to life. There are a couple of bills coming back for consideration in Congress that will test the truthfulness of these politicians’ claims.
Salvete AC readers!
Here we have today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:
1. I discovered today that Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas was the only obstacle that would have prevented the nomination of Pro-Abortion Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to be nominated for Secretary of Health and Human Services. President Barack Obama did not want to nominate Governor Sebelius without the support of Senator Brownback. President Obama made a personal phone call to Senator Brownback last week to ensure his support, which would have pre-empted any problems with Governor Sebelius nomination in the Senate. So Senator Brownback had the opportunity to strike a blow for the Pro-Life movement, but instead succumbed to worldly praise of his president. Senator Brownback you have advanced Satan’s agenda of the increase in the murder of innocent children, shame on you!
Here is the link:
2. Late last night His Excellency Most Reverend Joseph Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City was quoted by the archdiocesan blog, The Catholic Key Blog, that he is “concerned personally” for Pro-Abortion Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius. He has also said that “she is a very bright and gifted leader“. Archbishop Naumann has called her nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services “particularly troubling”. He further goes on explaining the problems associated with her public stance by quoting the great film A Man for All Season, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul, but for Wales?”.