The Bishops’ Fateful Decision Respecting the Unborn

In 1973 the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion. It was projected that the decision would not just replace illegal abortions with legal ones, but that the total number of abortions would dramatically increase (it turned out by approximately a million a year). It was clear that there were only two remedies: the Supreme Court reversing it; or a constitutional amendment proposed by Congress and ratified by the states to overturn it. This required the election of presidents who would nominate Supreme Court justices not interested in creating constitutional rights to legal abortion, and the election of pro-life members of Congress to confirm the justices, and to propose a constitutional amendment. Elections were the key. How were the bishops to proceed?

The bishops’ conference staff provided two conflicting recommendations. As their pro-life lobbyist, I recommended that the bishops conduct a major campaign to educate and correctly form the consciences of American Catholics to their responsibility to elect candidates who support the Common Good, which is protecting the human life and respecting the human dignity of every person created by God (including the unborn). And those candidates who refused to support the Common Good would be morally unacceptable for public office. The laity’s responsibility included being involved in their political party so that Common Good candidates would be recruited and nominated for office.

The Social Development and World Peace staff at the bishops’ conference disagreed with this approach. They dealt with the economy, poverty, food policy, housing, human rights, military expenditures, and U.S. foreign policy, and felt their goals and prudential judgments were more reflected by the Democrats in Congress. I was told sometime later of their concern that Roe v. Wade would cause Catholics to seek the protection of the unborn by voting for Republicans (most were pro-life [90+ percent]) instead of Democrats (about 2/3rds were pro-abortion then [94 percent now]). This shift in the Catholic vote would necessarily hurt their legislative agenda. So a campaign should be undertaken to convince Catholics that there was justification to vote for pro-abortion candidates. Their view prevailed and they pursued with the relevant bishops’ committees the first-ever Catholic voters guide published in 1976, called the “Political Responsibility Statement” (now called Faithful Citizenship). It would be the primary tool to achieve their objective. The document:

(1) Did not call upon Catholics to vote against a candidate who opposed the Common Good by supporting abortion. It cited no intrinsic evil that if supported would render a legislator morally unacceptable for office. And It did not include relevant Catholic moral theology: (a) that the constant teaching of the Church is that there are “certain choices that are always intrinsically evil” (i.e. abortion: … if one could eliminate all poverty in America at the cost of permitting the killing of one innocent person, that cost was too high and morally wrong); and (b) the applicability of proportionalism. According to one authoritative source, it holds that “the moral quality of an action is determined by whether the evils brought about by proposed action are proportionate to the goods the action effects. If the goods effected by the action are not in proportion to the evils caused, then the action is evil, but if they are, then the action is morally good.” First, there are no proportionate goods achieved by the killing of a million unborn each year. Second, voting American Catholics are not faced with any moral evils equivalent to abortion that might warrant voting for a pro-abortion candidate. Voters have never been faced with the dilemma of choosing between a pro-abortion candidate and, for example, a rival candidate that would permit the killing annually of a million citizens through starvation or freezing. Or, by way of another example, Catholic voters do not have to choose between a pro-abortion candidate and a candidate advocating an unjust war that would involve a first-strike nuclear attack on millions of innocent persons. Voting for pro-abortion candidates in America has never been, and still cannot, be justified under the principle of proportionality.

(2) Listed everything they hoped a legislator would support (at least a dozen). This marginalized protecting human life by making it just one of many important issues. The candidate who supported abortion could say (and routinely did), that they supported 90-95 percent of the bishops legislative agenda.

(3) The current voter guide explicitly permits Catholics to vote for candidates who support intrinsic moral evils. It says, “A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil” like abortion, “if the voter’s intent is to support that position.” But what if a voter supports a pro-abortion candidate for some other reason? “There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons.” The moral reasons must be “truly grave,” yet as I have argued, there are no grave moral reasons that trump protecting the unborn. Also would it really be far fetched to imagine that a Catholic voter, following the guide’s exception, might support a pro-abortion candidate because, for example, his position on “climate change” echoes that of the bishops who have said that saving the planet by reducing carbon emissions was a moral obligation?

In addition to this voters’ guide, the national Social Development and World Peace staff, as well as their diocesan counterparts, informed Catholics that there was justification to vote for pro-abortion candidates. This education campaign included workshops to persuade the laity that it was better to use their vote to achieve a good (helping the poor) rather than to oppose an evil (abortion).

A final step that helped pro-abortion Catholic candidates was the bishops giving them, or permitting them to receive, Communion. Many laity concluded that these legislators’ votes for abortion were morally acceptable, and that Catholics could vote for them in good conscience. Regular reception of Communion in the Catholic Church conveys that the person is a practicing Catholic, in the state of grace, in good standing, in communion with the Church.

All of these actions decreased the number of churchgoing Catholics voting pro-life, and this prevented (and still prevents) achieving sufficient votes to legally protect the unborn.

From a political science perspective the division of the Catholic vote (those voting for pro-life candidates and those voting for pro-abortion candidates) has severely limited if not completely neutralized the effect of the Catholic vote for good. If a significant majority of Catholics were united in only supporting Common Good candidates, as the Jewish community is largely united in only supporting candidates who support the State of Israel, then Catholics would legislatively achieve protection for the unborn and many other goals. When a group can decide the outcome of elections on one issue, then it will command serious consideration of whatever it pursues. The divided Catholic vote has prevented this.

The bishops have continued on their failed course for forty years, with fateful, disastrous results. If the bishops would change course, the legal killing, now at 56 million, could be stopped. The bishops need to teach that: (a) Legislators have the compelling moral responsibility to pursue the Common Good, protecting the human life and respecting the human dignity of every person created by God, born and unborn. And those who do not, are morally unfit for office; (b) “Catholic” legislators who support abortion are not in communion with the Church and they will not be given Communion until they are; and (c) Catholic citizens cannot in good conscience elect legislators who support the killing of the unborn (for there are no proportionate reasons to justify it).

(Photo credit: REUTERS/Jim Bourg)

Mark Gallagher

By

Mark Gallagher worked with the Government Liaison Office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Washington from 1974 to 2007. He was mainly responsible for lobbying Congress on abortion and programs for the poor. A graduate of LaSalle College and Bryn Mawr College, Mr. Gallagher was ordained a deacon in 1996.

  • jakeslaw

    Those were very frustrating times for us. The cowardice then has reaped a bitter harvest over these last 40 plus years.

  • Objectivetruth

    Excellent article, Mark.

    “This shift in Catholic vote would necessarily hurt their legislative agenda.”

    The USCCB needs to be careful they are not committing the sin of scandal. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    “2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense. (2847)

    2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”86 Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing.87 (1903)”

  • lifeknight

    Interesting article. Thank you.

    One thing that is a small, but important note: Abortion can never be “legalized.” It can not be legal to intentionally murder an innocent person. In 1973 it was simply decriminalized.

    Forgive me for getting personal, but I noticed your time spent with the bishops. Since their agenda was (is) one of a politically expedient nature, why the heck did you stay employed by them? I don’t argue that their motives lack Catholic teaching. That is obvious. But how does a man who knows they are wrong continue to be aligned with them?

    If you knew how many thousands of pro lifers lost jobs, endured persecution, or spent hours on the street trying to undo the harm of murder of the innocents, then why did you stay with those who willingly cooperated?

  • FernieV

    Amazing analysis explaining the puzzling fact that so many “progressive” (mostly) Democrat Catholic politicians are elected again and again. Clearly we need to pray… Thank you for the article.

    • jacobhalo

      Democrat politicians are elected again and again, because a large majority of Catholics are democrats, always have been. Polls say that a majority of Catholics are pro-choice. Now, I saw a poll that said 55% of Catholic support gay marriage. How do we change that? I haven’t the slightest idea.

      • St JD George

        Many people question the “Jewish Vote” to which I usually say “you mean of Jewish Heritage” as I see reformed Jews so far removed from their religion that they’ve taken on a humanist form. Maybe the same applies here too, led not by the Pope (oops) but by the church’s new anti-bishops Biden, Pelosi, Sebelius, Cuomo, Kennedy’s, etc. Love the Eucharist, but don’t tell me what I don’t want to hear.

        • jacobhalo

          you are correct. I was on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and the tour guide said that only 15% of the Jews there practice the faith. Most Jews are liberals, even though my Jewish friends, 4 of them, are conservatives.

          • St JD George

            Wow, you know all of them, that’s amazing (ha).

            • jacobhalo

              LOL!!

  • Elaine Steffek

    And still, good bishops like Raymond Cardinal Burke are repeatedly not supported (or in his case, sent packing from the Signatura) in his pleas to apply Canon 915. The damage has been done.
    Prayer and sacrifice for the New Evangelization is what is needed. Many bishops also need to be evangelized.
    Pray for us, Sts John Vianney and Catherine of Siena.

  • Tim Danaher

    My simple opinion is to follow the money. Forty-plus years of “social justice”, bad catechisis, and ambiguous preaching on sin have lead to one of the greatest mass exoduses in church history along with their weekly contributions. So what does any cash starved organization do, but find new streams of revenue. So they partner with local, state, and federal governments to administer social welfare programs; tolerate scandalous catholic politians; while paying lip service to authentic Catholic positions and doctrines. This may be a simple and cynical view of modern Catholic social teaching and practices, but one that is not to far off the mark. Pray for our bishops and for the church.

    • DE-173

      Serious students of social policy understand that the best prophylaxis against poverty is to marry and stay married. It not only allows the sharing of expenses and can provide a cushion of a second income, but being married alters one’s purchasing habits (especially if children are involved or awaited).

      Yet the likes of Stephen Blaire, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, who leads the BANKRUPT Diocese of Stockton, with no discernable education, experience or aptitude in matters of the political economy insists in vacant and vainglorious statements that federal budgets must be constructed according to criteria that like “protecting human dignity”, as if the encouragement of intergenerational dependency and illegitimacy is dignified.

      No where in his rants do we find concerns for the capacity of taxpayers to bear the costs he would glibly impose upon them, the effect of an ever increasing federal debt on the present economy or the rights of future taxpayers.

      And did I mention he’s also an expert on guns?

      • ken

        You mean The Most Reverend Stephen Blaire, ordinary of The Church of Stockton and a successor of The Apostles? Perhaps a little more charity and a little less contempt would make all of our prayers a little more successful?

        • publiusnj

          Until Oct. 12, 2014 (the date of the infamous interim “Relatio post disceptationem”), I had always been an ultramontane and respectful of any bishop appointed by the Pope of Rome. It used to be that the question “is the Pope Catholic?” was a joke line equivalent to “of course.” Now, though, the question has to be asked seriously.

          The Pope and the bishops therefore would be well advised to act like unquestionable Catholics. At a minimum that means they should not be calling into question the Indissolubility of Marriage or the objective disordered nature of homosexual sex or the values of Marriage and Life.

          To the degree they do call those values into issue, why should any Catholic treat them with any particular respect? If Church discipline means anything, it means Popes should sound Catholic and speak Catholic and otherwise “uphold and teach the Catholic Faith that comes to us from the Apostles.”

          Or to put it in a way that Francis might find simpatico: “who is any of us to judge DE-173 for calling out Sua Eccelenza Stephen Blaire, if DE-173 is seeking God?”

          • Lucretius

            “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.” (Matthew 23:2-3)
            Replace “chair of Moses” with “chair of Peter”, and you will understand how Christ asks us to deal with corruption in the Sacred Priesthood.
            Christi pax,
            Lucretius

        • GG

          Who are you to judge? Clericalism.

        • DE-173

          Charity is a presumption in the absence of facts, not ignoring the facts.

          If you are prepared to dispute what I’ve wriiten with facts; have at it.

          If all you have is visceral indignation, tough.

          Bishops should not be above contempt. I reserve enourmous contempt for Tudor era Bishops that meekly submitted to their libidinous “king”.

          • Augustus

            While I agree with you about Blaire, I would not be too harsh toward the Tudor bishops. They did everything they could to stop Henry short of martyrdom. Henry was able to bribe or intimidate enough lay members of parliament to get his way. (He had to go to parliament three times to persuade them.) The bishops in the House of Lords voted against him as a block but were too few to ultimately succeed. Whig historians like to say that there was little opposition to Henry’s program but revisionist historians are now saying that there was much more opposition than previously reported. We admire John Fisher for his sacrifice, but martyrdom was not his intention. Henry made an example of him to intimidate into silence his brother bishops. Once parliament made Henry’s wishes legal, there was no means of opposition short of martyrdom. And it’s unclear whether the imprisonment and execution of “traitorous” bishops would have altered Henry’s plans.

            • DE-173

              Then if we are to conclude that the circumstances of the times are exculpative of the Tudor Bishops -who were rolled over by an all powerful state that was essentially putty in the hands of imperious and murderous monarch; then the lesson for the present day is to beware of the concentration of centralized power-something that doesn’t ever seem to concern Bishops like Blaire.

              • Augustus

                Yes, concentration of centralized power is a very dangerous thing which bishops like Blaire don’t appreciate.

            • Marie

              “Short of martyrdom” aye, there’s the rub. Did Christ say “take up your cross and follow me – unless it means death”? No, I don’t remember any qualifiers on His statement.

              • Augustus

                True. But my point was that they did more to block Henry than they have been given credit for by earlier historians. They won’t be canonized. But they should not be disparaged either. Refusal to take the oath of supremacy would have likely meant death. It is understandable why few would see the value in throwing their life away. Even More tried to avoid execution by not openly confronting the king until it was too late.

      • Sophia

        I was in Bishop Blaire’s diocese. When my pastor who told his flock that if they voted for a pro choice candidate they should consider confession, Blaire pressured him to recant. The diocese is not just financially bankrupt, Bishop Blaire is morally bankrupt.

    • publiusnj

      I don’t know what qualifications you have as a mind reader. I see little reason to try to read other people’s minds. There are a lot of other reasons the bishops might have been doing what they did (see, e.g., my own story below), and I think it better to look at consequences than at motives. Yet whatever those reasons, I agree that their policy has harmed both the Catholic Church and the cause of Life. Bishops who try to play with the Democrats need to understand that they are playing with vicious politicians who will grin all the while they would betray anyone who tries to treat with them.

      I understand, though, the ancestral pull of the Democrat Party. It is the way most Catholics were born and raised, and I wouldn’t be surprised that that is the reason some bishops still–stupidly–flirt with the Democrat Party. I was born and raised a Democrat (Irish Catholics in New York City tended strongly Democrat up until the 1980s, btw). I myself struggled for 20 years after Roe v Wade with the question: how could I ever vote Republican? Finally, after seeing Cuomo’s speech at Notre Dame in 1984 plus what evil men Dukakis and Clinton were, I realized I had to hold my nose and vote Republican. I have never looked back since. I will not vote Democrat until they wear sack cloth and ashes and beg for forgiveness for the grave harm they have done on the issue of Abortion specifically.

      • Vinny

        The majority of Republicans aren’t any different.

        • jacobhalo

          As George Wallace once said, there is no a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties.

        • DE-173

          Then support the ones that are different.

          • VInny

            I’m in Massachusetts. Enough said.

            • jacobhalo

              My condolences!

            • JohnnyCuredents

              I feel your pain. I watch each weekend as thousands trapped in that hellhole escape north to places of relative sanity. It is sad to see them have to trundle back to Kennedyland Sunday afternoons.

        • jacobhalo

          You got that right.

        • Alex

          All the Republicans have done is appoint Pro-life Supreme Court justices.

          • chris

            Nonsense. For 6 years, the Republicans held majority control of every branch- White House, House, Senate and had put 7 of the 9 SC judges in place. The last two judges they put in place put far more importance on upholding federal power than stopping the American holocaust.
            One (Roberts) even publicly said that he isn’t interested in looking at Roe, since it’s “settled”

            And they’ve had repeated opportunities to take the matter away from the SC. Not only did they fail to take any of them, they demonized and ridiculed the authors.

            No the R’s are hardly concerned with abortion in any sense but an election year hammer.

            • Rob B.

              Got it in one, Chris! For a Catholic, there are two choices on Election Day: The Party of Mammon and the Party of Moloch…

    • M

      It doesn’t make sense to play party politics with this issue. Why assume that Republicans do more to reduce abortions than Democrats? Abortion rates peaked in 1981 under President Ronald Reagan. Since then, they have steadily dropped except for the period 2005 to 2008, when the decline stalled under President George W. Bush. Abortion rates began to decline again under President Obama, have dropped by 13% during his pregnancy, and are at their lowest levels in decades. This is good news, along with the declining rates of teen pregnancy. The cause appears to be better and more widely available healthcare, along with the improved efficacy of contraceptives. To reduce abortion rates, I advocate excellent, universal healthcare that provides effective contraception, comprehensive sex education, mandated maternity leave, and support for mothers in poverty. Abortion rates are higher in Latin America, Africa, and Asia than they are in Europe and North America, which reinforces my argument.

      • jacobhalo

        It was Clinton who caused unwed pregnancy to decline. He said he never had sex with that woman. We find out that it was a BJ and the young people then considered a BJ not sex.

      • GG

        The usual propaganda. It is not that Republicans are the salvation, it is that Democrats promote the culture of death.

      • DE-173

        “The cause appears to be better and more widely available healthcare”.
        Are you a paid shill or under the influence of a controlled substance?
        No sane, sober, rational person would write that. Haven’t you gotten the message that you are the last person swooning in Grant Park with your cigarette lighter held aloft?
        Healthcare restores function, it doesn’t defeat it, so what you “advocate” is diverting premium dollars to injure those who contracept.

        • M

          Are you a “paid shill”? I doubt anyone would pay you since you have nothing of substance to offer and mostly waste time sputtering insults like a third grader. In fact, I doubt anyone here is paid (I don’t know if the editors even get paid.) In your imbalanced world, someone who supports certain Democratic positions (the Catholic Church advocates for many of these as part of its social justice mandate) must be a “paid shill” while those who support Republican positions are not. You clearly have absolutely zero logic. And healthcare and social programs go beyond contraception (which insurance companies generally prefer to offer pro gratis as it’s a lot cheaper than the alternative.) Prenatal care, postnatal care, well child visits, cost of hospitalization while delivering a baby, paid maternity and paternity leave, etc. — all these factors figure into reducing abortion. And countries that provide universal healthcare generally have lower abortion rates, longer life expectancies, and lower infant mortality rates than we have here in the US. But whether you like contraception or not, scientific studies show that providing sex education and free contraceptives very significantly reduces abortion rates, as this New England Journal of Medicine shows: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1400506
          So … how serious are we all about reducing abortion? Do we want policies that actually work or do we just want to berate people for having sex.

          • DE-173

            No, I actually have experience in healthcare finance, and I can think for myself.

            Contraception is not a Catholic position, unless you are a clone of that dreadful walking corpse Pelosi or a fellow traveler.

            • M

              “Contraception is not a Catholic position”

              Maybe so, but we can’t make that choice for everyone — not even for other Catholics. I notice your focus is only on contraception and that you failed to comment on any of the other advantages of universal healthcare. If you’re interested in Catholic positions, Pope Benedict XVI says it is the “moral responsibility of nations to guarantee access to health care for all of their citizens, regardless of social and economic status or their ability to pay.”

      • JayAnderson

        “Abortion rates peaked in 1981 under President Ronald Reagan. Since then, they have steadily dropped …”

        You do realize that 1981 was the year President Reagan was inaugurated, right? His first year in office? And, by your own admission, the rates of abortion have steadily dropped since 1981 – since the year the first vocally pro-life President took office, abortion rates have dropped (as if the two things might not be related). And you think this proves your point about Republicans not being better than Democrats on the issue of abortion?

        • DE-173

          M is a monomaniacal poster whose only concern is promoting socialized healthcare and abortion, of course after three posts, you realize she “needs” contraceptives as much as a fish needs a bicycle.

          In a just world, it would be the activists whose plugs were pulled first when the bureaucrats decide to “contain aggregate spending”.

          • M

            Since you misrepresent, amongst other things, my position on abortion, you clearly have no credibility whatsoever. I suggest you inform yourself of the RCC’s position on access to health care for all.

      • Marie

        With the advent of abortifacient drugs, abortions have become less measurable. The official counts generally only include surgical abortions. And even surgical abortions have been shown to be grossly underrreported in many states. There are other confounding factors as well.

  • Vinny

    Voila! The birth of “liberal” and “conservative” Catholics. Homosexual lobby? Guess there’s an abortion lobby too.

  • publiusnj

    Before the Catholic Church gets more effective in its opposition to Abortion, it has to end the disastrous path it is currently on to destroy itself. Right now, nobody needs to take the Catholic Church’s opposition seriously because our own pope is not taking its other moral strictures seriously.

    Instead of standing up for the Faith handed down from the Apostles, he’s tossing off sound bites (“who am I to judge?”) and using the VIS spin machine to render impotent the substantial body of bishops opposing his Family Synod agenda. I know he is saying he has not made up his mind, but his support for Kasper has been clear in things such as his nominations to the editorial committee that launched the first version of the Relatio. Since the revolt on Saturday against the second version of the Relatio, Cardinals Kasper and Nichols of Westminster have “come out” to assure people that change was a comin’.

    So, even if one could get the USCCB to change its “on the one hand, on the other” position and courageously oppose Abortion, US liberals would dismiss it thusly: “outdated moralism. Even the Catholic Church is waking up to the Modern era, however belatedly. Their Holy Father wil take a much more understanding position on Abortion, and even if he doesn’t, the next pope will.”

    So, the Catholic Church is going away as any kind of moral force that can stand athwart the flood of amoral “values” the 21st Century is bringing unless we stop the Liberal effort to hijack the Synod and make the Mother of Western Civilization support Homosexual Conduct and unlimited Divorce.

    • jay

      I think the “who am I to judge” card is over-played. You forgot – and millions of others have as well, that he mentioned “Who am i to judge, if someone is seeking God?” I’m not a big fan of Pope Francis but I haven’t been duped into despair like others. Really, what is wrong with this statement?

      • GG

        The statement has to be parsed carefully for it to be consistent with Catholic teaching. It was a terribly unfortunate statement to make. To dismiss it as perfectly wonderful is really just spin.

      • publiusnj

        Were that the only statement, I wouldn’t be so alarmed. In fact, I wasn’t so alarmed when that first statement was made. I accepted the Vatican’s efforts to clean up the mess he made.

        Since then, though, he has made more “inopportune” remarks about Kasper’s proposal (repeatedly) and the Vatican Information Service’s spin has clearly favored people like Kasper, Nichols, and Marx,who have been pushing the Gay Agenda and the Remarried Communicant Agenda as well. Then there was the leak regarding the remarried woman in Argentina. So, I do not give Francis the benefit of the doubt any more.

        And don’t give me any stuff about the need to fall in line with the Bishop of Rome. I have been there all my life….at least until he said he wouldn’t judge and was at a minimum intrigued by Kasper’s Remarried Communicant proposal. Well, if he is not going to judge such a clear issue and would contemplate such a break with the discipline of the Church on the indissolubility of Marriage, then he certainly should permit me to go off on far more minor transgressions such as protesting his inopportune remarks.

      • jacobhalo

        He should had said that the practice of homosexuality is against church teachings. This pope does not teach church teachings.

  • St JD George

    Good and interesting article. I think a lot more can be said. it’s quite easy to rage at those who know better and view pregnancy as an inconvenience to be treated by destruction. It’s another to look into the eyes of one who has been raped, incapable and afraid. Thankfully that is small minority in this country, but when I read recently about the Christian woman in northern Iraq who taken prisoner and brutally raped by the IS savages I feel Christ must have great tenderness for the ordeal of these women, and any heart wrenching decisions they might make to separate themselves from that horror.
    Many politicians don’t really want to discuss because it is a deeply personal and certainly galvanizing issue for many. I was blessed to be in a church with a pastor who had strong pro-life views and I saw many who rolled their eyes, or even got up and left during those homilies which I found curious.
    However, we have one today who is not afraid at all to walk into a planned parenthood (oxymoron) convention of abortion providers and have the gall to say God bless you for all that you do. Knowing what this organization stands for, and it’s long evil history traced to the ideals of Margaret Stanger, still makes me … well, quite mad. Or support the after birth murder of a perfectly viable and healthy child carried to term. How do you begin to trust anybody who is that openly supportive of perhaps the most evil enterprise in the world. The simple answer is, you don’t.

  • djc

    I agree with most of the premises of the article but it cannot be stated enough that the Catholic bishops, to my knowledge, are the only large organization that continually advocates for the life of the unborn. The USCCB is certainly nor perfect but overall, considering the culture we live in, they have been pretty good.

    • lifeknight

      “Pretty good” ain’t good enough. Life is an all or nothing proposition. To categorize abortion with any other Catholic concern, such as poverty, is not acceptable. That is what the “Seamless Garment” approach has done for us……..

      • Objectivetruth

        Agreed. Every other issue is a distant second. Abortion is “intrinsically evil”, evil unto itself. Things such as gay marriage, etc. are important, but slaughtering over 1 million babies a year in the security of their mother’s womb is a holocaust. Nothing comes close to its level of evil.

        • DE-173

          Unfortunately, we’re going to have to walk and chew gum at the same time.

        • djc

          I agree with the reply’s to my comments; they are true and spoken from the heart. I just don’t think the bishops, for the most part, have the power, politically speaking, to end abortion.

          They have succeeded, in my opinion, in greatly reducing, if not totally eliminating this ever so evil practice in this most radically secular of countries.

      • DE-173

        I think that garment is pretty stained and tattered. It needs to be burned.

    • DE-173

      The USSCB is a useless bureaucracy. It needs to be dissolved and have its assets distributed to the poor-the real poor, the lonely people in nursing homes, who will endure Christmas alone, and for whom it will be the Birth of Christ, not big sales, office parties and a day off, the mentally ill, the blind, the lame- not those who insist on eating, imbibing, procreating and texting without working and who are quite rich when you consider the amount of free time they have.

  • Mike

    Anybody who thinks Republicans or any polititians will do anything to end abortion is misguided. This can be evidenced by periods when they controled both houses, the senate and the supreme court and did nothing.

    This is because they know very well that ending abortion would ruin the economy without radical economic reforms. Imagine our country in the ecomomic state it’s in with 55 million more people (the number of children murdered since Roe v Wade) As long as woman can not afford to provide for children, abortion will continue. Belive me, Republicans are more loyal to the global financial system then the “family value conservatives” they dupe into voting for them.

    Republicans care about “family values” about as much as Obama cares about the poor. Also, where is the call to excommunicate polititans who support usury (all of them) according to the directives of Lateran II?

    • BPS

      Mike wrote “Imagine our country in the ecomomic state it’s in with 55 million more people (the number of children murdered since Roe v Wade) As long as woman can not afford to provide for children, abortion will continue.” That views people the same way the abortionist (and their supporters) do. If you view people as mouths to be filled and a**holes to be wiped, you’ll get people who expect government, society, the Church, etc to meet their needs and clean up their messes. But if you view people as pairs of hands, minds, hearts and souls those 55 million become powers which control and shape the world.

      • DE-173

        The late Julian Simon, who did battle with frauds like Paul Erlich and the rest of the misanthropes in the NPG/ZPG crowd was fond of pointing out an old African proverb that pointed out that people had one mouth but two hands to fill it.

      • jacobhalo

        What if Mozart or Bach, Edison, Marconi, were aborted? or any great talented person. I can’t think of the blind Italian tenor of today. The doctors told his mother she should consider an abortion.

        • LarryCicero

          Andre Bocelli

          • jacobhalo

            Thank you.

        • R. K. Ich

          With the death of authentic culture from the culture of death, I can’t imagine the great composers would be missed (after all, aren’t they just holdovers from a Eurocentric, patriarchal bygone era?)

          Besides, I wouldn’t be surprised the neanderthal leftists will have their way with sanitizing the great compositions (Bach’s St. John’s Passion would be in their sites no doubt).

      • Mike

        Yes, but the money power views these people as “usless eaters” as they are not nessessary to carry out the economic objectives of the world elite. I completely agree with you, I am just explaining WHY things are they way they are. Only once we know WHY and WHO the enemy is can we begin to combat the culture of death.

    • lifeknight

      I submit that the financial stats would prove that NOT having the 55 million is why Social Security, Medicare, and the like are going broke. Imagine if all those souls lived to work and contribute to the world and to the oldsters!

      • Mike

        Except the fact that there is far more people then our economy needs to function. Just look at the unemployment rate now. How are we supposed to provide jobs for 55 million more people? Of course, this would be possible in a decentralized Christian economy with plentiful money where people didn’t owe 90% of their livelihood to the banks, but thats not the way the money power monopolists that run our world look at it. They look at more people as unnecessary eaters. The “invisible hand” of the market in action.

        Medicare and Social Security are inherently unstable financial scams designed to make people more reliant on the system.

        • TerryC

          “We” don’t provide jobs to people. nor are “we” required to. In a healthy economy most people provide jobs for themselves. the majority of people should either be self-employed or employed by small businesses.
          As for the present unemployment rate much of that is caused by peopel who either refuse to work, because it is beneath them or will not leave an area of the country, such as Detroit, for an area where there are jobs, such as Texas. Somehow all or most of the illegal immigrants who enter the U.S. find jobs.
          People don’t magically end up owing 90% of their livelihood to a bank. They owe 90% for their livelihood to a bank because they’ve borrowed too much from a bank to support a lifestyle above their means. There are always some unlucky people who get sick or lose their business due to bad luck, but the majority of in debt Americans are in debt because they over borrow.
          Not counting house mortgage I carry less than an 18% debt load. Even with my mortgage I’ probably well below 40%. That didn’t happen by accident. It happen because I worked hard to master a valuable skill and exercise self control when it comes to buying stuff. I’ve raised 4 kids, three who have college degrees and all who have jobs.

          • Mike

            The question is is there enough money in the economy for everyone to be self-employed. How are small businesses supposed to survive and compete against the transnationals? Expecially when there is a severe lack of consumer purchasing power, as everyone is in heaps of debt? 

            As I said, there are exceptions to the rule, but what you are saying amounts to pure fantasy, and you have no clue how to create a society where this is possible on a large scale.  You also expect people to leave their families and communities in”hope” of a better life. Some “family values” conservative you are. 

            What you are expecting is for people to work 3 jobs at minimum wage to barely provide for themselves, let alone a family. Or go to the fraud known as “college “, and get into debt to the banks in order for a “chance” at a better job. AND you expect them to raise a large family on top of this? Is there even enough minimum wage jobs that this is possible? 

            Yes, some people do over borrow  (egged on by a controlled media of course), but you still have to be able to pay for rent, food, “healthcare” (personally, I would avoid it) and according to what you are suggesting, college, and bogus taxes. 

            The question you should ask is what the bank has done to deserve 3 times the amount on a house? Press a few buttons? And don’t give me the “inflation” nonsense, as “inflation” is due to usury and bank manupliation. 

            I am curious to know what you do for a living. Essentially all the emerging jobs are in providing for the money powers unjust wars, the fraud of a healthcare system, the growing government  bureaucracy or scams such as banks or insurance, all of which will send you on a direct path to hell. (thank god that he is merciful) . Then there is soul sucking menial labor that will cripple you,  but those jobs are quickly disappearing and pay a third of what they used to. Other then that, your regulated to the service sector, or pheraps working for a small buisness for an unlivable wage.  The only way out is becoming a self-sufficient farmer, the trades, teacher/firefighter/local official, or small businessman, but the later is becoming harder to come by in this age of money power monopolization and lack of consumer purchasing power.  

            If you haven’t realized everything profitable is based on mortal sin. As long as satanists rule the world through usury, this will be the case. As long as everyone is in debt, there is no purchasing power, which means no economy. 

            If you don’t understand that our economy is run by the devil, is totally planned, and the idea is to intentionally make people slaves, you are lost. It doesn’t matter if it’s a communist state, or the “invisible hand” of the “free” market. The same people are in control. 

            I will not take any “conservative” Catholic seriously until they quit their job, cancel their investments, move to an island and live like the Amish. 

    • GG

      Typical pro abortion propaganda.

      • jacobhalo

        gg, I am a pro-life, conservative, Latin mass going Catholic. Have you ever heard a Republican candidate say that he or she would try to repeal the abortion laws?

        • GG

          I am not a Democrat or Republican. The issue is that the poster used faulty logic.

          Republicans are not our friends, Democrats are our enemies.

          • jacobhalo

            Agreed.

        • DE-173

          On the other hand, they didn’t author legislation that had a regulatory back door to pay for it, all the while lying about their objectives.

        • LarryCicero

          Some have signed onto “Personhood Amendments” that would in effect repeal the abortion laws. See personhoodusa

          • Rob B.

            If they survive challenges in the Supreme Court, which is doubtful at best…

      • Romulus

        No; it’s the truth. Republicans as a party will never lift a finger to end abortion. First because they love having the issue alive to rally the base. Second, because it is deep in the DNA of the party and the cultural and social elite in this country.

        Never forget that it was Nixon who appointed Blackmun the the Supreme Court. It was Nixon who created the EPA to make a cosy home for propagators of the “overpopulation” myth. It was Nixon whose National Security Advisor Kissinger produced the infamous National Security Study Memorandum 200 (you can look it up) that declared abortion “vital” to American interests. It was the Bush family that had deep and long-standing relationships with eugenicists and Planned Parenthood. In over 40 years since legal abortion has taken over 50 million lives in this country, a Republican president has never once appeared at a March for Life.

        • GG

          My point is, among other things, that the nonsense that poverty causes abortion is just that, nonsense.

          • Mike

            So how are poor supposed to provide for all the extra children then? With the scarcity of money caused by the mortal sin of usury, providing for large families is next to impossible (and those that can are usually guilty of this sin)

            No, this does not mean that we should allow abortion. What it means is that we should create a Christian economy that would make providing for large families possible, where having children is an economic benifit rather then a burden. This calls for getting rid of the banks, and redistributing (yes redistributing) all the STOLEN wealth, that they have made by FRAUD. (not by taxing the innocent middle class) and banning usury for all time so people don’t have to work their entire life to pay back the banks for the phony debts they create out of nothing.

            • TerryC

              We already have an economic structure that provides for children. it’s called marriage. When combined with hard work and realistic economic expectations it provides for large families.
              Basically it requires young people to attend to their education work hard and abstain from immoral acts, so as to not create children until they are married.
              Through the responsible actions of working in school to master a skill that has economic value the young person places themselves in a position to earn an actual living wage. When combined with the rejection of the instant gratification culture, which promotes the accumulation of debt, it allows for the accumulation of savings instead. It does require self discipline and the rejection of the consumer mentality.
              Amazingly it is a lifestyle which is practiced by a growing number of people, many of whom have large families and are not in debt.

              • Mike

                This is idealistic nonsence, based on the belief that we have been indoctrinated with since birth, that “hard work” and “following the rules” (and not manupliation and fraud) is how you make it in America. Pheraps there is some exceptions to the rule, but explain to me how this is supposed to happen on a large scale, in this age of feminism and a controlled media and education system that is brainwashing our kids 24/7 with liberal propaganda along with scarce purchacing power and a lack of jobs?

                I would like to know what these people with large families do for work, and I would also like to know where their money is invested.

        • DE-173

          Government will find it extremely hard to resist the temptation to “ration” (trans. : deny) health care to the elderly who’ll be net consumers of resources. Legal euthanasia will certainly become universal in such an environment.

          When they called Obamacare the “affordable” care act; the dolts never said “affordable to who”?

          There is already an indifference to the elderly. When my 95+ year old grandmother went to the nursing home after a fall and her dementia accelerated; she began exhibiting the common symptom of not eating and that, plus being bed ridden caused her to lose almost thirrty pounds in a matter of weeks. (153-126).

          Since I lived almost 100 miles away, her weight loss was extremely noticeable to me, in a way less obvious to her daily visitors. When I asked the nurse what they planned to do-she responded-that a feeding tube would merely “postpone the end”. I realized my vigilance and aggression was all that stood between my grandmother and an unnatural end.

          The death panels, the ratios, the limits are all designed to put in the mechanisms to make the denial of care possible.

          Do you really think the Warren Buffetts of the world don’t despise the money and resources spent on the elderly?

          • DE-173

            I note with some alarm the attention being lavish on the young woman in Oregon with terminal cancer.

            The moral cretins are taking the normal course with using a truly hard-luck case as a prop in infusing us with their depravity; assisted suicide had graduated from opprobrium to oddity, now they are promoting it to “option”. In a few years, the call will be to make it obligatory.

        • Mike

          The money power wants illegal immagration to drive the cost of American labor down. However in the long run, the amount of people needed to keep the economy going will be fewer and fewer, with the rise of robots and such, with the rest amounting to “usless eaters”. For now they give them welfare benifits, as a means to keep them from rioting, and they get to take from the middle class to do so through taxes. (even though these are really not nessessary to provide such programs as we produce way more then we have the money to pay for, however they figure they might as well steal from the middle class in the process) Either way this is why the money power works to promote population control both covertly and overtly.

    • DE-173

      Belive me, Republicans are more loyal to the global financial system then the “family value conservatives” they dupe into voting for them.
      And the Democrats have no connection to Wall Street, except
      Robert Rubin (Democrat)
      Jon Corzine (Democrat, thief, and speed demon)
      Henry Paulson (Democrat, who said his mother cried when he told her he was going to Work for the RINO Bush)
      So I don’t belive anything you wrote.

      • jacobhalo

        DE, you are correct. Voting for a 3rd party is a wasted vote. I haven’t voted for a presidential candidate since Reagan. Since then, I’ve been voting against presidential candidates.

      • Vinny

        I pi** into the wind. How do you think the Republican party got to where it is today? By people voting for their hollow promises or “hoping” they’ll vote prolife once they get in. NOT!

        • DE-173

          Well good for you. Just don’t complain about the splashback.

          • Vinny

            I won’t complain. I consider the U.S. dead and gone. I vote my Catholicism.

            • DE-173

              Which third party do you think is Catholic? Libertarians? Greens?

      • Mike

        Whoa where did I say that the Democrats were not controlled by international finance? The reality is that all our polititians are owned by the global financial beast, and as long as the money powerwants abortion, abortion will continue in this country, regardless of who is in charge. Therefore the priority of Catholics should be defeating the global financial beast, not voting in meaningless elections that will solve nothing.

        Abortion, the decline of the family, and all the unjust wars we fight (to a certian degree) are part of a massive world population control agenda by the world elite, as Rolmus mentioned. This is inevitable as long as you base an economic system on the lie of “scarcity”. The blame for this depopulation agenda can be squarely laid on the fact that our society allows for interest on loans.

        • Watosh

          So I am not alone. Thanks Mike.

        • Magdalen

          spot on

    • Will B

      The Republicans very much have their problems too, but American politics would look very different indeed if Catholics never supported pro-abortion politicans, which almost always (dare I say always?) means never supporting Democrats.

    • Mike

      Also, all these supposed “faithful” to church teaching Catholics are silent when I say that usury has been condemed by the church as a mortal sin equivalent to at best theft and at worst murder and worthy of excommunication . They are all about combating abortion based on church doctrine, why not combat usury too, expecially since it’s behind every single problem in the modern world (including abortion). And where is the voice of the bishops in all of this?

  • Watosh

    Yes in voting we must consider the common good. Unquestionably abortion does not promote the common good. But the trouble is there are only two parties, and each has programs which do not promote the common good. Abortion is such a flagrant violation of the common good, all attention has been focused on this one issue. There ARE other issues.

    You say voters have never been faced with the dilemma of choosing between a pro-abortion candidate and a candidate that would willingly permit the freezing or starvation of a million citizens. Yet the U.N. estimates that our sanctions against Iraq caused the death by starvation of 5 million Iraqi children (I know this may be high, but there were still millions of children who died of starvation.) Now this bothers me. And I know this was not as direct murder, but it still bothers me. I have had children. and I know there are those who dismiss culpability by saying that the starvation was caused by Saddam’s actions, and that we leveled sanctions in order to get Saddam to comply with our demands, and he didn’t. That may salve a lot of people’s consciences but this action was unnecessary. It is a little like when the Nazis executed all the men in the village of lidicd, they said they were not responsible for shooting these men because they had warned that if any German soldiers were killed they would conduct executions. So when some German soldiers were killed, those doing the killing were responsible for the executions.

    And ou say that voters were not having to choose between a pro-abortion candidate and a candidate who wanted to launch an unjust war with a first strike nuclear attack that would kill millions of civilians. That choice is constructed to give the reader no choice. In reality we did launch an unjust, totally unnecessary war against Iraq, that resulted in the deaths of millions of Iraqi’s and the millions were made refugees. Oh yes, I hear those sanctimoniously disclaim responsibility by saying the major it of those killed were killed by the Iraqis. Does anyone believe that the Iraqis would have killed millions of their fellow citizens had we not invaded their country and set faction against faction.

    I think while abortion is a terrible and grave sin, the devil has used it to blind Catholics of the existence of other grave sins. Mr. Gallagher certainly exhibits this blindness, in implying that Catholics never had to face such choices. Many Republicans such as presidential candidate John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham and others are constantly pushing for us to bomb and even use nuclear weapons against other nations that resist our including them in our Empire.

    If as Mr. Gallagher states, that permitting the killing of one innocent citizen is morally wrong even if it results in the elimination of poverty, what about the many, many innocent civilians throughout the world that have been killed by our military.

    Ah but I can hear the chorus of Americans that register shock at my lack of patriotism and my disregard of the safety of American citizens. All right but I think war is a terrible, terrible outrage, and generally avoidable. Yes there are cases when a country is invaded by another country gone mad, but most wars have been terribly destructive. WWI was a slaughter, for four years a terrible slaughter, and all it did was to lay the foundation for WWII. Yes abortion is terrible, but I will not close my eyes to the war that we have entered. I can’t just denounce abortion, there are other very grave sins. I will not be trapped into voting for any evil just because that is all I can choose from. I don’t vote for evil, period. I have had enough of these false choices. and it isn’t like we have dented abortion when the Republicans were in power. I think abortion has blinde those good people who have campaigned against it. I marched in the annual respect for life march, I have picketed at abortion centers. I am absolutely against abortion, but it has not blinded me to other grave evils, I will not fall into the devilishly clever trap fashioned by Satan to support any of his evils.

    • St JD George

      I personally don’t know of anybody who doesn’t have distress at the thought of sending our (or anybodies) young men and women to war. Not only may they lose their lives in battle, they ones that return have been forever changed whether a loss of limb, innocence, or ability to cope in society again with the memories of the horror. I pray for those in position of power who have to wrestle with that decision, it is one nobody ever takes likely. Our Pope recognizes the inherently evil of IS and has called for nations to destroy the ideology that supports these monstrous ideals and save the innocents being slaughtered and enslaved. I believe every war can be debated on it’s merits, and many obviously have been unjust. However, to just say I hate war is irrational and immoral and to deny that evil exists in this world. Is it really better to not defend against a regime who is hell bent on slaughtering people knowing that there will be casualties? I wrestle with the wisdom of our ventures into Iraq and Afghanistan, but I deplore those who ridicule. Others in the Gulf should have done more, but do think we should have let Saddam overtake Kuwait. Do you think Bush should have just stood there after 9/11 as say “oh well, I guess we had it coming” like our current occupier is prone to do? After all the blood and treasure left behind in the sand, and the attempt to prop up a sovereign state, do you really believe that we were there to steal their oil? I hope not. I know there was a strategic interest in trying to maintain stability in the region and it’s certainly debatable how effective we were, especially after withdrawing before the mission was accomplished. The church does teach that there are just wars, and prays that there may never be circumstances to justify one. Evil is “in this world” and passivity is not always the best way to approach it.

      • Joseph Michelli

        problem is people dont understnd the difference between a life issue and a standard of living issue, no life no standard

        • DE-173

          The reason is the left is consumed with materialism. How many times have you heard them justify abortion with the idea that its too horrible to be born in poverty.

          • jacobhalo

            Murder is never justified.

            • DE-173

              Well then we’ll just call it “choice”.

              • St JD George

                Or in the parlance of big Al, an inconvenient birth.

      • Watosh

        I believe you suffer from some misinformation. For example you ask “Do you think Bush should have just stood there after 9.11 [and] say “oh well we had it coming.” First of all you present only one alternative, and that is obviously a ridiculous response. It is not the only other response available. Secondly do you realize that Bush was given adequate warnings before 9/11 and went on vacation instead. With all the money we spend on intelligence gathering and defense the 9/11 attack should never have been successful. But that is beside the main point, but I raise it because the investigation was a whitewash. There are questions as to whether we invited the attack in order to further the well stated prior claims of the neocon cabal that had taken control of the defense department. Serious questions that suggest we might not just have simply been innocent victims.

        But be that as it may, let us review the facts. the 9/11 attacks involved hijackers of which 15 out of 19 came from Saudi Arabia and was financed by a Saudi National Osama bin Laden., who happened to be residing in a remote area of Afghanistan as a result of his participation in the attack on the Russian military in Afghanistan, which we encouraged with money and supplies. So what did we do? We invaded Iraq. None of the hi-jackers was from Iraq, Saddam Hussein was an enemy of al-qaeda, and would not allow them in Iraq. He had nothing whatsoever to do with the 9/11 attacks even though Americans like dick cheney lied when they claimed that he was connected to the attacks. This was flat untrue, yet at the time of our invasion of Iraq around 70% of Americans who supposedly are told what is taking place in the world by a free and independent press dedicated to disseminating the truth. You ask if I expected Bush to stand around and do nothing? I ask if you feel invading a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 was the correct response? And of course we bombed Afghanistan and our invasion there killed over three thousand Afghans who really had no active role in the 9/11 attacks, and were you aware that after the 9/11 attacks the Taliban offered to turn Osama Bin Laden over if we would provide them with the evidence that he engineered the 9/11 attacks, but we never responded. Now are you aware that the actual planning of the 9/11 attacks took place in Germany and Florida? But we bombed Afghanistan. And are you aware of the time not too long ago when the IRA, an Irish terrorist group was planting bombs in London and other places in England. Did England react by bombing Ireland. They treated this as a tsp for their police to find and arrest the criminals responsible, and now there are no bombings by the IRA. Charles Lewis, a onetime producer of segments for 60 minutes has written a book “935 Lies,” in which he details and documents a number of lies that our government has successfully told the public. There it is. But Americans trust their government because it is their government and e are the best people that ever existed, the indispensable nation. You have been fed that, and of course you like to believe that is true. I recall racing of an interview with a German SS Officer after Germany had surrendered, and the American asked the German “How could the German people support a government of crooks like the Nazis? The Officer thought and then answer that for may years in the past German the government had been exemplar and trustworthy to the point where the Germans trusted their government to much.”

        There is so much misinformation and lies being told and our media, our corporate controlled media simply repeats whatever the government officials say. Golly you should never believe anything until it is officially denied you know. Once my son-in-law listening to some North Korean news spouting some propaganda said, I am glad I don’t live there and depend on the government for news.” I thought yes, but the North Korean citizens have one advantage over us, they know that the news they get is government propaganda, we don’t realize that our media is giving out clever propaganda too.

        • St JD George

          Sorry, but you lost me when you said something about trusting government and media, I thought you might have been talking to somebody else. Somebody in another article recently made the comment about it being the lesser of evils (my preference, the better of imperfect choices) to which I say – I’d much rather be here than anyplace else, and I’ve been to quite a few. After my time is up “in this world” I’ll be ready to go to someplace “other-worldly”.

          I get your points on our presence there, and false simple choices. I’m not a huge fan of Bush’s policies though I think at the core he is a decent and more thoughtful man than most people give him credit for. I do chaff at the gross hypocrisy displayed by his critics who are silent or defend the failings of our current buffoon, but he too will pass the torch eventually. They’ve been killing each other in that part of the world for so long I don’t think anybody can ever untangle the knots, and any outsider who tries becomes the momentary target to distract from continuing to kill each other. Given all the investment in blood and treasure, it seemed wise to keep a force there to protect our investment rather than a knee jerk for the base. Maybe not, but we’ll never know now.

          We’ve gone to far astray from Mark’s topic, how did we let ourselves get here.

          • Watosh

            Actually one of Mark’s points was that abortion was the preeminent position by which we should base our voting for. I have come to believe that has obscured other very important Catholic positions. I know Fr. Brian Harrison, who is a good faithful priest, conservative, intelligent and someone I once spent an evening with in a small group discussion. I have great respect for him. But in a letter to the editor he strongly disagreed with an article that said the Iraq war was unjustified. Since I knew he was honest and intelligent, I wrote a letter in which I thought I very specifically countered the points he raised in his letter. Fr. Harrison replied and thanked me for my comments except he said he felt the points I made were not “ad rem.” I realized that rational people still have a capacity to be irrational, and there is nothing I can say that will dent their protective shield.

            But back to Mark. I have come to the conclusion that while abortion is a very serious crime, what has happened is that it has become a smokescreen that hides other evils, and Mark’s comments demonstrated this. In so pointing this out I feel like in an old About and Costello movie when they were in a haunted house, a ghost would appear before Costello, but when he tried to get Abbot’s attention, the ghost would disappear and Abbott would say scornfully, “What are you taking about, there is nothing there.” I sort of can sympathize with Costello’s plight.

            Oh yes this is a good country to live in, we can bomb other countries but they seldom can bomb us. It is good to live in an upscale neighborhood too, so one does not get shot at while walking don the street. But over time we are getting increasingly uncivil and savage. I have seen this develop in my lifetime. The thing is that in Nazi Germany before WWII broke out, a non-Jewish German who minded his own business and did not buck the government had a rather decent existence, probably nicer than in a lot of countries. Now the way things are going though I wouldn’t be surprised to see the persecutions begin. Some bakeries and flower shops have already been hit with huge penalties for not catering to certain groups. I definitely am getting long winded.

            • St JD George

              So how do we put the civility genie back into the bottle, or curb man’s instinct for conquest (rhetorical). If you solve that I’ll nominate you for a Noble Peace Prize, though you’d be in the rogues gallery of Yasser Arafat, Al Bore, and the anointed one. We’re all fairly intelligent here it seems and are aware that we can’t write war and peace in our responses or the moderator will cut us off. I know abortion and SSM are the big elephants in the room that suck out most of the air, sadly. It’s one thing to be silently complicit, but it’s a whole other thing to stand in front of a crowd of murderers and accomplices and say God bless you for all that you do killing children. I guess I can give a compliment for being forthright and honest rather than beating around the bushes as many are prone to do. I’m not really a single issue kind of guy, but I have no faith or trust in anyone who can do that and when that is lost then every motive and behavior is suspect.

              • Watosh

                All any Catholic can do is to try and abide by the teaching of Christ. As Sigrid Undset, the Norwegian who won a Nobel prize for literature in her magnificent trilogy about Kristin Lavrinsdatter that she wrote before she converted to Catholicism, said on her conversion, “When one becomes a Catholic one does not merely change their religion, one changes their whole lifestyle. we need to really practice the beatitudes and forgive our enemies and repent.

                • St JD George

                  Amen, Sigrid.

          • kilbirt42

            I think the leaders of both parties are libertarian.

            One group places primary emphasis on economic matters, the other on the moral issues, such as the so-called same-sex marriage and abortion. But make no mistake they are each more alike than different. They largely agree with each other as they toast each other in Washington.

            They all live in gated communities and are indifferent to life as lived by the middle and lower classes to the economic and social factors destroying the family.
            The gentry of the Democratic party have no shortage of cash for the Obama agenda. The Libertarian right, the Wall street cadre of the GOP are constantly urging conservatives to give up on the social issues.

            Face it, our politics are downstream from our consumer
            culture.

            I do think that the Church was too unassertive in dealing with “Catholic” pro choice politicians. I do think that in many cases they were bought off. Silence and you will lease our vacant schools, okay? Done! It’s a deal!

            The Church’s position on open borders created a footstool for a very radical social agenda by liberals of the Democratic
            Party, but a Karl Rove Republican could care less, and besides he would believe that we need an ever increasing supply of cheap labor.

            I believe it was Peter Kreeft who said that the church’s position on abortion would be better represented in the Congress if every Catholic there were replaced by a Mormon or a Muslim. I would add an Orthodox Jew to that mix.

            I am troubled when I read the requirements for Communion in the missal at Church. Baptized Christians who support Catholic teaching on marriage and life cannot receive, but Joe Biden to pick a random “Catholic” politician can do so.

            We are all familiar with Catholic politicians appearing at Mass in late October each year during the octave of Realpolitik. The sad fact is that the horse is out of the barn. There was a time when it could have been addressed, but, alas, it wasn’t.

            Now I suppose we can only cast lots for the “seamless garment,” but unlike the Roman Soldiers, no one will be able to say of those responsible, “they know not what they do.”

            • St JD George

              Amen

    • DE-173

      Oh baloney. There are tons of Catholics who “oppose war”, thoughtlessly and reflexively, the recently depicted Berrigans being just one example. They aren’t pacificists-they are something else, fools who confuse the absence of armed conflict with peace.

      • jacobhalo

        I, as a Catholic, am totally against war. This country has been a war mongering country well over 100 years, beginning with the Spanish-American War. The military’s job is to protect the national security of this country, not foreign countries. Geo. Washington said in his farewell speech, do not get involved in foreign entanglements.
        Our national security was never in jeopardy by Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

        • St JD George

          More is expected from those who have more. I think each and all can be debated on their merits, and many can be concluded as being unjust and feeding others perceptions of imperialism (though we haven’t conquered any countries). The use of “totally” is naive about facing evil in the world though. Too often war doesn’t settle objectives and drives resentment underground only to surface later. I for one believe that IS is a real threat to the world and should be dealt with, and I believe our Pope does too.

          • jacobhalo

            The USA is not abiding by the constitution. We have troops in over 100 countries. They should be on the Mexican and Canadian border doing their job of protecting the American people. We wouldn’t need to put up a wall.

            • St JD George

              I tend to agree. There was a time when it sort of made sense because of our alliances to protect and stabilize regions of the globe, yes often with strategic interests at stake. Since we are now in an era where I don’t believe our allies feel they can really count on us anymore because of our inaction and ineptness, maybe we should, make it a fait accompli.

            • DE-173

              And here’s the problem: saying we should have never went there doesn’t translate to we can just leave. Departure creates voids; and in politics and nature, vaccuums don’t last.

              See Iraq, ISIS and the glib assurances of the golfer-in-chief.

              • jacobhalo

                De, I agree. We should have never gone there to begin with. If we would just keep our nose other of other countries’ business, we would never been in the situation that we are in. But, as you say, we just can’t pull out.

        • DE-173

          Interesting. Now you are quoting a Mason Founder.

  • Harry

    According to the abortion industry’s own statistics on how far along women are when they abort, late abortions are a small percentage of the total. Applying that percentage to the total number of abortions since Roe reveals that roughly three quarters of a million children have been murdered who were as old or older than the patients routinely cared for in modern newborn intensive care units.

    Deliberately taking the life of any innocent human being, from the moment of its conception onwards, is intrinsically evil. Yet one can at least understand why some people mistakenly believe that somehow a fertilized egg, or a “mass of tissue,” to use the intentionally dehumanizing language of the child-killing industry, just doesn’t count.

    That said, consider what has happened to a society that has allowed three quarters of a million human beings to be murdered, human beings who anybody and everybody can recognize as children. (Nobody has ever gone into a neonatal care unit and asked why that “mass of tissue” had all that medical equipment attached to it.)

    Do we really think that a nation that looks the other way while innocent children are being murdered is ever going to achieve social justice? What makes anyone think that politicians who resist any effort to protect these children are going to work for justice? Or have any genuine compassion for the poor and downtrodden?

    For that matter, why even bother with social justice? Why is it important, anyway? Why should anyone care about social justice if they are doing all right themselves?

    We should care because any and every human being is of inestimable value. That is why we should work for social justice. To relegate to secondary status the murder, in our very midst, of 750,000 children and then claim to be working for social justice is absolutely ridiculous. If one’s actions loudly shout “humanity is nothing special; it’s just a herd for us godless social engineers to manage,” their sanctimonious speech about social justice is completely empty. One has to wonder what (and who) is really motivating them.

  • jacobhalo

    According to 95% of the posts are pro-life, anti-gay marriage, anti-synod on all of the Catholic sites that I’ve been on. Where are the majority of Catholics that are pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-synod? They haven’t been voicing their opinions on any of these sites.

    • DE-173

      Where are the majority of Catholics that are pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-synod?

      Slate, MSNBC, Dail Kos, Huffington Post…..

      • St JD George

        Self absorbed and asleep at the wheel.

      • Objectivetruth

        For the most part, not at Sunday Mass.

        • DE-173

          Definitely not.

      • jacobhalo

        Good point. But, most Catholics are demos and they follow the party line. These Catholics, probably, are long time demos and the demos 50 years ago were more conservative than the republicans today. I have a good friend who is a democrat but he agrees with my political views, which are conservative. He baffles me. I was talking about Pat Buchanan and my friend says to me, Oh, I like him. I said to him, you like him and you voted for Obama?

  • St JD George

    Some people are dissing on the republican party and I’m not sure why in terms of policies. I don’t even really know anymore what they stand for, can somebody educate me? Last time I checked they were the party of “pandering light”. Grant you, running away from the Goliath on the Potomac is good for one’s health, but they are there to fight the good fight. Sadly, among other things they are (mostly) cowards on abortion and SSM afraid of being tarred with the phony mantra of warriors in the war on women, and civil rights. Truthfully neither would I, but capitulation clearly leads to disorder, and truth is the ultimate shield. Clearly neither party has a lock on morality, and so as Christian soldiers we must do our best to defend the faith and tend to the fallen and lost. It is better to tone down the rhetoric while being ever cognizant that evil lurks in this world.

  • ve6

    Roe v Wade was 1973 and we have endured this and lost some 56 million lives? Where is the outrage? the anger? the fire?

    • DE-173

      Principally here.

  • Dan Grimm

    Stop everything! How did I miss Obama’s pregnancy?

  • Elizabeth Levesque

    No wonder they are in the toilet these days. And getting worse.

  • JohnnyCuredents

    Yes, these were also many of the same bishops who sat on their hands while homosexual perverts in Roman collars preyed on our children. They have a great deal to answer for; I suppose the road to Hell will have plenty of material here for its pavement as they pass away. And now we have to contend with a pope who, to my knowledge, has never done anything to rein in the General Secretary of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Galantino, who gratuitously insulted pro-life witnesses a few months ago. With friends like these, the innocent victims of murder by abortion really don’t need enemies, do they?

  • Maggie Sullivan

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ The Bishops want Federal $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • Raymond

    This was a very informative blog. I am a convert and the behavior of many Catholics I meet towards the unborn child should prevent them from entering Heaven or at least from receiving Christ in the Eucharist. Thank you for this information. We parish at our own risk. We have the power to change the Democratic party back to what is right and just or to put the Republican party back in control.

  • disqus_pTJdz0o3E0

    Many Catholics voted for Adolf Hitler. Now, if they knew of his goal to liquidate all the Jews, and still voted for him anyway, should they have received communion without confession first?
    One of our previous pastors had escaped Germany just in time, and when we asked why the German people accepted Hitler, he said, it was the economy. Hitler was good for the economy.
    That struck me as the Portland, OR Catholic Sentinel in editorials previous to elections said – “It’s the economy, stupid!” – (not things like abortion).
    Humm.
    Looks like history is repeating itself – except I don’t think the Jews voted for Hitler – especially after they were being persecuted. As we have our hospitals and schools closed down we Catholics keep voting for the scoundrels that promise to do just that.
    Rick R

    • kilbirt42

      I think the voting history of the Weimar Republic would show that the Catholic Center party was certainly not pro-Nazi, and that it received the bulk of Catholic votes. The republic was however in much turmoil. The opposition to the emerging Hitlerite majority was diverse and ideologically uncomfortable with each other; think Commies and Catholics.

      • disqus_pTJdz0o3E0

        So the Catholics in Germany knew better than to vote for the person who was would kill more of them than Jews.
        Still, look what happened to them.
        If that happened in the green wood, what will happen in the dry where we vote and support those who promise to murder us in the womb, or in old age.
        Wonder why we Catholics have such a hard time recognizing that?
        Seems like praying our Rosary, and repenting and sacramentally confessing now and then – (everything Holy Mother Church warns us about) is a small price to pay for the peace the BVM promises.
        Rick R.

  • Tom Coffey

    Seems you are a little late .

  • Guy McClung

    Here is how I like the question to be posited for discussion: Leter to Editor, Brownsville Herald Paper [you can download my document VIRTUOUS CITIZENSHIP 2014]:

    “Voting Democrat called mortal sin

    Posted: Thursday, October 9, 2014 10:11 pm

    Editor:

    Imagine 11 million more Hispanic voters in America. Imagine 1 million more Hispanic voters in Texas. The reason this is mere imagination and not reality is because
    of the racist eugenic abortion program of the Democrats and their
    president.

    Obama and the Democrats have made it clear that
    they will use all their power to promote abortion; to fund abortions
    with taxpayer money and outlaw any restrictions on the court-created
    right to abortion, even those concerned with the health and safety of a
    mother.
    The Democrats and their president have advocated
    for, enacted and enforced racial eugenic targeted abortion (Reason
    Enough to Act) funded with tax dollars, which has resulted in the death
    of millions of minority babies, primarily black and Hispanic children.
    Of 56 million dead babies since the Supreme Court invented the right to
    abortion, an inordinate percentage are black and Hispanic babies, almost
    60 percent — although their mothers account for less than a third of
    the population.

    What the KKK failed to do, Planned Parenthood has
    achieved far beyond its founder Margaret Sanger’s dreams of ridding the
    USA of what she called human undergrowth.
    Echoing Archbishop Raymond Burke: The Democratic Party is now the party of death.

    No other issues morally trump issues of intrinsic
    evil such as racism and abortion — not immigration, poverty or war.
    Today a Catholic voter who has learned the facts about the Party of
    Death, and who votes for any Democrat, necessarily has the intent to
    support abortion and RETA, and formally cooperates in grave evil,
    committing a mortal sin.

    This is detailed in the document Virtuous Citizenship 2014 available at http://www.sinvotedemocrat.com or http://www.pecadovotardemocrata.com.

    Guy McClung
    San Antonio

  • Holy smokes

    When Catholic public officials who support and defend the unnatural “freedom” to murder through abortion receive communion, the Catholic Church is scandalized because abortion is an intrinsic evil, and never justified. Besides that, the individual who advocates or condones this mortal sin and receives communion is in a precarious spiritual position. I recall something about a millstone… (Matt 18:6)

  • James

    The parties weren’t set in stone on the abortion issue when Roe came down. Gov. Reagan had already signed a bill legalizing abortion in California, while Ted Kennedy opposed abortion. In 1976, neither candidate opposed abortion, however, Ford fully supported Roe and even vetoed the Hyde Amendment, while Carter was ambivalent toward Roe and supported Hyde.

    In most countries, including the UK and Canada, abortion is not a partisan issue. Perhaps a stronger stance on abortion would have kept more Democrats pro-life?

  • James

    American Catholics split their vote evenly between the two parties. White Catholics split about 60/40 GOP, while Latino Catholics are overwhelmingly Democratic. Yet surveys show that Latino Catholics are more likely to believe abortion is wrong than white Catholics. They are theologically conservative, but politically liberal.

    Why?

    First, Republicans have done an extremely effective job at running off non-Cuban Latinos. (Ted Cruz is of Cuban descent.) Democrats score few points with Latino voters, but Republicans have given them a lot of own-goals.

    Second, abortion is generally illegal in Latin America but the law is not well enforced. Abortion seems to be seen as more of an issue of personal morality than one of politics. This also seems to be the view of Pope Francis, an Argentinian.

  • susanwho

    This articles reinforces the reasons I have been ashamed to be Caholic for many years. I have had conversations with a Catholic nun who, when I asked how she could support the most pro-abortion president this country has ever seen, she said ‘its not only about abortion, its about ‘social justice’. Made me sick to my stomach. Hypocrites all, those who support Democrats.

  • Magdalen

    Social Justice begins in the womb!

  • Gads

    There is no greater Social Justice than defending the unborn. Period.

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