The Pope’s Pro-Life Declaration “in Context”

Vatican_Pope (Andrew Medichini:AP)

Do you remember all the chatter about the Pope’s first  “hundred days”? There was a lot of talk, then as now, about the Pope’s huge pastoral effectiveness; and at the same time a certain amount of discontent in some quarters about his apparent reluctance to speak out on particular issues, almost amounting, some said, to a conscious policy to avoid taking on the secular world.

John Allen was all in favor of this policy. “Perhaps the key to resolving the conflict [i.e. that between those who liked Francis’s pastoral effectiveness and those who thought the pope’s main job is to speak out on the issues] boils down to this: Francis seems determined to function as a pastor, at least as much as a primate or politician, so the right model may not be the one used to assess chief executives. Rather, it’s how Catholics tend to think about a parish priest. Their basic question usually isn’t what his policy positions are, but whether he inspires. Perhaps the root lesson of Francis’s first 100 days is that when it comes to spiritual leadership, sometimes style really is substance.”

My own comment on that at the time was that spiritual leadership, like any other kind of leadership, sometimes has to include firm guidance about what one should believe and what one should not do. Sandro Magister thought there were dangers in the Pope’s popularity precisely because, he thought, it was causally connected with his failure as a matter of policy to speak out on the issues: this he, believed, “explains better than any other [reason] the benevolence of worldwide secular public opinion toward Francis… — his silence in the political camp, especially on the minefield that sees the greatest opposition between the Catholic Church and the dominant culture. Abortion, euthanasia, homosexual marriage are terms that the preaching of Francis has so far deliberately avoided pronouncing.”

I now quote with some relief what I then went on to say, because it has now been borne out. To Magister’s comment about the pope’s “deliberate” refusal to speak on these issues I commented “But that can’t continue indefinitely, can it? And I’m sure it won’t. Pope Francis is taking his time to ease himself into his papal functions, and I’m sure he’s wise to do so. It’s early days. I’m personally of a more impatient temperament, I want to see things happening. Of course, it’s pleasant to see our Pope so universally popular. But in the end, the honeymoon with the secular world will have to come to an end. It’s all about what Catholicism actually is, about its real vocation in the world. We are all of us (and above all the pope, whoever he is), in Pope John Paul II’s indispensable words, ‘signs of contradiction’—for if we are not, we are nothing.”

Well, now the Pope HAS spoken out, has indeed been a sign of contradiction: and on the most contentious secular question of all, abortion: so he wasn’t avoiding the big moral issues as a matter of conscious policy. That was what some thought he was still doing, in a long interview published September 19, which seemed to confirm Sandro Magister’s analysis. In case you missed reports of the interview, here’s part of it:

We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the Church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the Church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

The dogmatic and moral teachings of the Church are not all equivalent. The Church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus.

We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the Church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.

It really does sound from this, doesn’t it, as though accusations that he’s been evasive over issues like abortion, gay marriage and artificial contraception, as a matter of settled policy, were justified? I was about to write a blog saying that we all got it about the gospel being radiant, but that had moral consequences too, and these needed spelling out in terms of the issues, when just in time to save me from making a fool of myself he did indeed speak out on the most anger-fueled issue of all, abortion: and furthermore, he did it without sounding (dread word) “judgmental.” “We have to talk about [certain issues] in a context,” the Pope says in the interview I have just quoted: now he has found the right context for one of the most important of them, in a speech to a conference of gynecologists: he has made a major declaration on abortion and human life.  The timing was exactly right: and the pastoral touch absolutely pitch-perfect. The fact is, that Francis’s incumbency has sometimes seemed confusing; and it’s sometimes been a bumpy ride. But it turns out, after all, that Pope Francis actually does know what he is doing: it simply has now to be said that this pontificate is proving to be a class act. I quote an extract from Edward Pentin’s translation (you should read it all) of the full text in the National Catholic Register  (I think the only place so far to have published an English text in full):

A widespread utilitarian mentality, the “culture of waste,” which now enslaves the hearts and minds of many, has a very high cost: it requires the elimination of human beings, especially if they are physically or socially weaker. Our response to this mentality is a categorical and unhesitant “yes” to life. “The first right of the human person is his life. He has other goods and some are more precious, but this one is fundamental—the condition of all the others.” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Procured Abortion, November 18, 1974, 11). Things have a price and are sold, but people have a dignity, worth more than things and they don’t have a price. Many times we find ourselves in situations where we see that which costs less is life. Because of this, attention to human life in its totality has become a real priority of the Magisterium of the Church in recent years, particularly to the most defenseless, that is, the disabled, the sick, the unborn child, the child, the elderly who are life’s most defenseless.

Each one of us is invited to recognize in the fragile human being the face of the Lord, who, in his human flesh, experienced the indifference and loneliness to which we often condemn the poorest, either in the developing nations, or in the developed societies. Each child who is unborn, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who, even before he was born, and then as soon as he was born, experienced the rejection of the world. And also each old person—I spoke of the child, let us also speak of the elderly, another point!—each old person, even if infirm or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the “culture of waste” proposes! They cannot be discarded!

That is moving for several reasons, not least that it is so passionately felt. It is moving, most importantly of all, because its origins are so palpably in a personal faith which is essentially joyful and overflowing with the love of God: the faith which Pope Francis has for the last six months so convincingly conveyed to so many.

He ends (and so shall I) with the following strongly felt words:

Do not ever neglect to pray to the Lord and the Virgin Mary for having the strength to do your job well and bear witness with courage—with courage! Today it takes courage—the courageous witness of the “Gospel of life”!

Editor’s note: This column first appeared September 25, 2013 in the Catholic Herald of London and is reprinted with permission. (Photo credit: Andrew Medichini / AP)

Dr. William Oddie

By

Dr. William Oddie is a leading English Catholic writer and broadcaster. He edited The Catholic Herald from 1998 to 2004 and is the author of The Roman Option and Chesterton and the Romance of Orthodoxy.

  • Jennie

    It is with great peace that I type this. As many faithful I often came away shaking my head, after reading the latest post of what Pope Francis had recently said. Defending the teachings of my Catholic faith, especially on life and marriage had become a daily occurrence for me due to his latest interview. “What was he thinking” was the seed of my new benevolence towards him as I longed for the days of our former pope! But, Praise God, the Holy Spirit is alive and well in this new Pope after all, as Francis so eloquently yet, precisely laid out the foundation of each and everyone of us….our right to LIFE in this talk to a group who is in such need of a “new evangelization”, that is, doctors and not just any doctor but Gynecologists! Can’t wait to evangelize on this one.

    • makalu

      Did you not read his 2nd interview? He apparently has no understanding of the concept that we are responsible for the formation of our conscience and that we can’t just live to the dictates of conscience alone= moral chaos. This Pope is a man of Vatican II if there ever was one.

      • Steve Frank

        I was also taken aback by the Pope’s comment that “proselytizing is nonsense”. Christ sent his apostles out to PROSELYTIZE. That may be a dirty word in our modern pluralistic society. But that doesn’t change what actually happened. In the great Commission, Christ did not command his apostles to go out and dialogue with people. He didn’t tell them to go out and do nice things so everybody would love the Church. He didn’t tell them to go out and encourage people to follow their conscience. He told them to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey all things Christ has commanded (Matt 28:18-20).

        The apostles were sent out on an urgent mission to teach, preach and proclaim the gospel to an unbelieving world. And most of them met martyrs deaths for doing so (first century people weren’t big fans of proselytizers either). These apostles and martyrs weren’t engaging in “nonsense”.

        I’m not arguing that we shouldn’t dialogue with people. But dialoguing and proclaiming are not either/or propositions. Dialogue is fine but people also need to hear the Christian message with clarity.

        “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God”. (2 Cor 5:20)

        Did that interviewer walk away from the Pope with any understanding of his need to follow and obey Christ as the apostle Paul certainly would have made sure? If I were that interviewer and I was an unbeliever, I would have walked away thinking that all God expects of me is that I follow my own conscience.

        • John O’Neill

          This pope makes more and more faithful Catholics nervous; he seems preoccupied with carping at practices of those who struggle and have struggled to keep alive the light of faith in an increasingly secular and Americanized world. He seems to favor those media moments where he surrounds himself with the “poor” and then lambasts those who are not giving enough to the poor as if no one until Francis arrived has ever done anything to alleviate the sufferings of the poor. Maybe he has become too proud in his humility.

  • lifeknight

    I am glad someone is at peace with these interviews!

  • FernieV

    Thank you for this wonderful article. The Pope Francis is absolutely consistent with his role as a Teacher and Pastor since day 1. The problem is that we allow our opinions to be shaped by the liberal press which is obsessed with the usual topics that make the Church “controversial” (no need to list the issues, well known to everyone). But if we read what the Pope Francis, as well as the previous Popes, said, you find that they are 100% faithful to the perennial Magisterium of our Mother Church. It can’t be otherwise. What changes is the style, more pastoral in the present Pope, more doctrinal in the previous one. But the Pope, whoever he is, is always Peter.

    • Sygurd Jonfski
      • FernieV

        Christ prayed for Peter to be strong against the attacks of the devil. We should also imitate Him by praying for the Pope, the vice-Christ on Earth, that he may be faithful to Christ in all he does and takes care of the sheep entrusted to him.

  • NormChouinard

    I do not believe that we are seeing an opening act and then a return to B16. There is nothing lacking clarity in Francis message. He is putting first things first and it is as challenging to the pro life pro family activist as to the moral relativist. We are all sinners and our salvation is in God’s love manifest in Jesus. We start there in every encounter and everything else can then flow from that.
    I consider myself 100% behind the faithful culture warriors. However, it is good for all of us to hear the idea that God’s love comes first, now and always. It is enormously tempting to forget that when in the debate, but if I do, I am putting my own will above God’s.

    • Sygurd Jonfski

      “There is nothing lacking clarity in Francis message.” Really? Then how do you explain a hurricane of activity among the Catholic bloggers trying to explain the pope’s remarks almost every single time he speaks in public?

      • NormChouinard

        Mainly because the MSM can’t get it right and write their own story and say Francis will say what they want him to say. The media said that B16 accepted homosexuality when all he said was that the avoidance of transmitting STDs might be the beginning of morality. Nothing new here.

        • Sygurd Jonfski

          Blaming only the MSM ignores the obvious fact that the pope’s public pronouncements clearly contain very questionable ideas. Stop blaming the messenger (however blameworthy it is) and keeping your head in the sand and look at the facts!

          • NormChouinard

            Just ask yourself, would we be having this conversation if all the information about these interviews were coming from CNS? If yes, state your grievance with his words, not with what others write about him.

            • Sygurd Jonfski

              You should do your own homework – which is actually very easy, finding “his own words” is instantaneous – but here are some hints: http://www.lifesitenews.com/blog/another-pope-francis-off-the-cuff-interview-explosion and http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350615?eng=y

            • Tradmeister

              Very well, Norm, here are the words from the pope himself – no media or anybody else. I’ll help out with some commentary on the problematic features of these verbatim quotes.

              Many of you are Muslims, of other religions, and have come from different countries, from different situations. We must not be afraid of the differences! Fraternity makes us discover that they are a treasure, a gift for everyone! We live in fraternity!
              [we’re not supposed to celebrate the differences that sinful, false religions have with us]

              Do you need to convince the other to become Catholic? No, no, no! Go out and meet him, he is your brother. This is enough. Go out and help him and Jesus will do the rest.
              [we’re not just supposed to help others and set a good example to be admired and emulated, but we are to actively seek to preach and present the Gospel and convince others of its truth and greatness]

              Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us.
              [we’re suppose to actively seek converts, not trun Catholicism and its mission into some kind of interpersonal encounter session or support group.]

              During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of
              the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person
              [true Catholic religion does not express an opinion. It proclaims objective divine truth. We don’t just offer suggestions or refrain from pointing out sinful conduct.]

              The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules.
              [the Holy See does not enact small minded rules, even if some of them may outlive their usefulness.]

              Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.
              [the Pope should champion object divine and natural truthes, not sound like an untutored college freshman relativistic philosophy student.]

              The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old

              [as much as these are genuine issues, it should be beyond dispute that the ongoing slaughter of the unborn, debasement of marriage, and proliferation of uncalculable forms of disbelief and heresy are more serious.]

              • NormChouinard

                Thanks I am not familiar with some of these. I will get back to you. Keep fighting the good fight.

              • NormChouinard

                Thanks for the opportunity to review this. I must tell you, I feel more blessed and Catholic whenever dialogue like this implores me to review the New Testament and doctrinal documents like Lumen Gentium.

                This forum and my family obligations do not allow a proper response but please allow me to make a brief one and I will grant you the last word.

                Catholic doctrine clearly favors Francis (and B16 and JP2 and P6 and J23) when it comes to relations with Muslims and other religions. Robert Spencer may have useful insights, but you can’t call Jihad Watch Catholic Doctrine because it just ain’t so. Lumen Gentium 1.16 is Catholic Doctrine. Arguments to the contrary separate the arguer from the Church, not Francis.

                Concerning the new interview with Scalfari, you impress me when you write: “we’re not just supposed to help others and set a good example to be admired and emulated, but we are to actively seek to preach and present the Gospel and convince others of its truth and greatness”.

                And I see nothing there that Francis would disagree with. What Francis does is lead with agape love. He loves the other as other. That always comes first. And in doing so he opens the door to Jesus, to St. Paul, to Augustine, Benedict, Thomas, Ignatius and his namesake Francis. Our Francis offers a clear and grace filled encounter between the Body of Christ and Scalfari that would not have happened with most other approaches. This is Church as Mission as P6 said. We are not a “little chapel” for the morally perfect.
                Fr. Barron uses an apt baseball analogy with Francis. When you introduce a child to baseball you start with the beauty and grace and athleticism of the game, not with the infield fly rule. Francis is the same way. He leads with an encounter with Christ and Grace because that is primary. Everything else flows from that. His words on the culture of waste above are proof of that.
                God Bless.

                • steve5656546346

                  The Church, and the Bible, have always spoken directly about the very real possibility of hell, and the very real problems with other religions. To hold to that view–to believe that Christ spoke properly–does not separate one from the Church.

              • fredx2

                You need to repeat over and over: It’s just an interview, there are problems with translations, the reporter did not record the meeting at all, etc etc.

                We are all perhaps reading too much into this. For example, the Pope said “The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules”
                Just before his election, he had some trouble with priests in Argentina that refused to baptize babies if they were illegitimate. I think the Pope was thinking of things like that. He is not American, he does not fully understand the situation in the American church.. He is thinking of things that happened to him in Argentina. He was most certainly not thinking about abortion, gay marriage, etc. He spoke on abortion the very next day and he opposed gay marriage. THE MEDIA wants you to think that he was talking about abortion, gay marriage, etc, but he was not.

            • steve5656546346

              He does not appear to be interested in interviews with CNS and such.

  • Tradmeister

    One Protestant observer hit one of the proverbial nails on the head when he stated that the problem with Pope Francis is his incessant references to God’s love without any mention of God’s holiness and the demands that holiness make on Christians in particular and all of humanity in general.

    • slainte

      Pastoral considerations must be ordered by Catholic Dogma lest Love and Mercy be interpreted as license to do what one wants, rather than what one ought.

    • publiusnj

      I suppose Pope Francis ought to take his script from all those incredibly courageous Protestant voices that have stood like bulwarks against Abortion and Gay Marriage. Oh yeah, Protestants don’t do that.

      • Tradmeister

        No, kudos belong to a Protestant heretic when he happens to hold onto the truth in a particular matter. And Pope Francis should be taking his script from the complete, balanced fullness of Catholic Tradition.

  • JERD

    Those who criticize Francis are missing, I think, his point.

    In speaking to a secular world, you have to START somewhere. You can’t begin to evangelize a non-believer by reciting moral precepts, then commanding obedience. You need to speak to the audience. The audience is a secular, sinful, terribly damaged world. They need to see the love and joy of the Catholic community first, the rest comes later. Jesus said, “Come and see.” That is exactly what Francis is inviting this world to do.

    • Martigny

      Thats ok if what he says is theologically correct. Read his recent 2nd interview which is loaded w/ questionable ideas.

      • Coffie

        With great concern, I noticed at least one paragraph( in the interview w/ atheist) seemed riddled with words echoing some version of gnosticism and new age universal salvation. At the least, there is certainly confusion, and I seem to recall the words from Scripture “God is not the author of confusion” and Jesus mandate to clarity when he said, “Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no.”

        • fredx2

          If I recall correctly, he specifically rejected ‘gnosticism in one of the interviews.

    • Steve Frank

      The apostles Paul and Barnabas had no problem commanding conversion from non-believers:

      “Which, when the apostles Barnabas and Paul had heard, rending their clothes, they leaped out among the people, crying, and saying: Ye men, why do ye these things? We also are mortals, men like unto you, preaching to you to be converted from these vain things, to the living God, who made the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them” (Acts 14:13-14)

      St. Barnabas and St. Paul didn’t tell the pagans of Lystra to sit back and observe the love and joy of the apostolic community, then later if and when they decide they like what they see they can start talking about conversion. I’m sorry I just don’t understand why “Come and see” and “you need to be converted” are mutually exclusive messages. We can say both of these things at the same time to people. There is a moral urgency about conversion that is missing from most modern evangelism, particularly among Catholics I’m afraid. If all we say to people is “come and see” without declaring the necessity of conversion, then people are not going to do much coming and seeing because they won’t understand the urgency of the whole matter.

      • Bob

        One has to visualize John the Baptist crying out in the dessert: “REPENT…..REPENNNNT, OH ISRAEL!! PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD!” Not soft, fuzzy, squishy words at all. The humility to hear the message that Christ does love you, but your sins are an affront to His perfect love and His will for us. Christ did harshly rebuke Peter (“Get behind me, Satan!”) for going against Christ’s will. Peter did not walk away in a huff with hurt feelings. He took the stroke from the Shepherd’s staff with humbleness.

        So lets all put on our big boy and girl Catholic pants and skirts on and accept the love and charity of our brethren when, based upon the doctrinal teaching of the Catholic Church, they tell us we need to change our sinful lifestyles that saddens the God that loves us. The stakes are high…..my eternal happiness depends on someone giving the wake up call I need when I’m in serious sin. Let’s work daily on removing the beam out of our eyes, so we can see clearly and in love help our brothers and sisters remove the splinters from theirs.

  • Carol Leeda Crawford

    I read the bible everyday. In the Old Testament, God is constantly reprimanding His flock for their immorality and worship of false Gods. We are now killing our children out of convenience, and the return of Sodom is widespread. Not everyone is Sodom was doing the actions. Yet, God also punishes those who supported or ignore the grave immorality. How we are taught by the Shepherd’s is important, yet the truth must be presented as St. Paul said in season and out of season. As a worker for the pro-life movement and a teacher of Religious education, I attest most of the youth in Catholic Schools are being taught Social Justice as rights and freedom for choice and sexual diversity as normal and in need of protection. We will all be held accountable. God knows our thoughts and hearts, He will hold all accountable especially the Shepherd’s and their head.

  • Gord

    ” I was about to write a blog saying that we all got it about the gospel being radiant, …”
    What many who are unsettled by the style/words of Pope Fancis miss is that they might “get it” about the gospel being radiant, but most of those who are driving the anti-life/family train don’t get it, even if they call themselves Catholic.
    The engineers of that train have to get it before that train can be derailed.
    I believe that has been Francis’ message all along, and a message that has been missed, either intentionally or unintentionally.
    I pray for the success of Fancis’ mission. I am on his train.

  • catholic in exile

    Wouldn’t it be better if every time the Pope opened his mouth he didn’t open the door to those who easily misinterpret what he says? Wouldn’t it be better if he spoke for himself instead of apologists like Dr. Oddie?

  • George Albinson

    But if the Pope is fully in touch with present realities, it is hard to understand why he says:

    “Jesuits were and still are the leavening – not the only one but
    perhaps the most effective – of Catholicism: culture, teaching,
    missionary work, loyalty to the Pope.”

  • DonnaRuth

    This morning I went through TBI- II for the second time. I allowed that perhaps I had been too critical the first time through. And having re-read it, I now find myself even more stunned with the content. Can learned folk like many conservative-right apologists not see what is there, and what is not there? Some unwashed laity out here feel like the little boy in a crowd pointing out the obvious in a famous fairy tale. Perhaps it is just too horrendous to acknowledge: Houston, we have a problem.

    • Tradmeister

      Good for you DonnaRuth. No, you’re not going crazy. You see clearly. All too clearly. And too clearly for the comfort of others. In recent years, I have learned never to underestimate the ability of those who wish to deny the truth.

      For 5 pontificates, from John XXIII through Benedict XVI, we have had disturbing departures from Tradition that non-traditionalist ‘conservatives’ have artfully dodged, evaded, denied and sought to explain away. One possible blessing with Pope Francis will be that perhaps at least a handful of that crowd will not be able to sustain their denial any longer in the face of what is so flagrant.

      Louis Verrecchio has an interesting interpretation. He, in effect, says that these 5 popes were the early forerunners of the revolution. With Pope Francis, we now have, he says, the long-awaited generalissimo of the humanist revolution.

    • John200

      What is TBI-II?

  • steve5656546346

    He gave a very long interview on the airplane. He gave a very long interview to Jesuit publications. He gave a very short talk to pro-lifers. He gave a very long interview to a left/atheistic magazine.

    So, which do you think got the notice? Are you surprised?

    • Sygurd Jonfski

      The problem is not with the chosen audience – after all, Jesus also talked to sinners and tax collectors because they needed His message more than the “choir” of His disciples – but with the content which often hovers on the edge of the Magisterium and occasionally even dangerously leans over it.

  • malkmindav

    One liberal-minded Catholic told me recently that she believes Pope Francis is ushering in a more progressive age for the Church. She based this on his “who am I to judge?” response to his view on homosexuality. Whether there is a misunderstanding on my friend’s part or a misinterpretation by the media, I think many of the pope’s remarks are at least ambiguous enough to make some of us wonder what he is truly trying to accomplish. Love without truth can be misguided. Truth without love can be unforgiving.

  • GaudeteMan

    “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods…. The teaching of the Church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the Church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”
    The problem with the pope’s view on this is that it is completely out of touch with reality. The average Catholic in the pews, who is fighting on the front lines to live and defend his faith in Christ, simply does NOT hear about these issues. The reason that this is so painfully obvious is that there is no insistence by priests on the local level. I can count on one hand sermons (in the last forty years!!!) that preached, in no uncertain terms, what our Holy Church teaches with respect to contraception. And I have NEVER HEARD in 40 years, a sermon which called sodomy what it is. There are occasional words that preach against abortion, yes. But, all in all, the pope is so far from the mark that it is frightening. Please tell me, fellow Catholics and Christians, where in the hells bells are priests and/or bishops outspoken with respect to homosexuality and contraception?? If you want priests and bishops that are deft at preaching about poverty or bigotry or the rights of immigrants there are oodles of them. The tragic irony is that the topics this pope is talking about are precisely those which are all we’ve heard the past few decades! Good Lord, please help this supreme shepherd and come to the aid of his lost sheep!

    • John O’Neill

      Amen; you are absolutely right, all that we have heard since the 1960s is one declaration after another from the USCCB that points out our social justice duties and not one that refers to the evil of abortion or the destruction of holy matrimony. Even Dolan cavorts with the democrats and Obama in New York city while Obama is passing a law to force all Catholic institutions to pay for abortions, sex changes etc. Vae te,

    • William

      Fr. Lee Kaylor was and is very outspoken on these issues. He was the only Priest I knew in my life that was consistent in calling out the evil. He has suffered greatly for his words.

  • Maureen L Boyle

    Another problem with such interviews is they get the attention of the secular press and the his talk before Catholic ob/gyn’s only garners the attention of a few and the Catholic press, hence the perception becomes he never speaks of abortion, etc.

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  • Horatio

    Two months down the road from this, and frankly I’m still not convinced that this pope is against abortion, same-sex marriage, and divorce.

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