You are unlikely to ever come upon a group called Mohammedans for Polytheism or Environmentalists for Seal Slaughter. A Muslim who espouses a multiplicity of deities has, ipso facto, placed himself outside the Muslim confession. Polytheism is not an Islamic thing. An environmentalist who patronizes anti-ecological activities is not an environmentalist at all, but a subversive. This is because the monikers “Muslim” and “environmentalist” mean something; they carry with them a series of necessary consequences. Certain terms — like “Muslim” and “polytheism” — simply can’t be squared, and combining them is nonsensical.
The recent ecclesiastical backlash to Nancy Pelosi’s unfortunate remarks on Meet the Press should have surprised no one, least of all Speaker Pelosi herself. Her attempts to squeeze abortion rights into Catholic moral teaching were no more credible than trying to pass apartheid off as a legitimate goal of the civil rights movement. The bishops — some seven have weighed in on the matter so far — had no choice but to speak out ...
Some people think that when Catholics compare abortion to slavery or to Nazi anti-Semitism they are engaging in hyperbole. They couldn’t be more wrong. Abortion is not only the greatest social injustice of our century; it is arguably the greatest social injustice of all time. Abortion circumscribes an entire class of human beings (the unborn) as non-citizens, excluded from the basic rights and protections accorded to all other human beings. In this way abortion mimics the great moral tragedies of all time, which always began with the denigration of an entire class of people as unworthy of life or freedom.The evil of abortion is compounded by the magnitude of the problem. Though completely reliable statistics are unavailable, conservative estimates place the number of legal abortions performed worldwide each year at 25-30 million, a figure that alone makes abortion a social problem of staggering proportions. “Humanity today offers us a truly alarming spectacle,” wrote Pope John Paul in his 1995 encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae, “if we consider not only how extensively attacks on life are spreading but also their unheard of numerical proportion.” The legal, systematic elimination of the most vulnerable members of society is the most heinous crime known to man. To fail to oppose it is to make oneself complicit in it.
The most disturbing element of Speaker Pelosi’s comments, however, was not her historical fudging, her disingenuous misrepresentation of Catholic moral teaching or her implicit adoption of cafeteria Catholicism. It was her insouciant dismissal of the moral significance of abortion. She said that in the end, it didn’t matter when life begins anyway. Her exact words were: “The point is, is that it [when life begins] shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.” No matter when human life begins, a mother’s right trumps a baby’s, and that right includes the choice to destroy the child. This is irreconcilable not only with Catholic morality, but with the most basic natural ethics.
Read all of Don’t Blame the Bishops – Catholic means pro-life [h/t: New Advent]
Sunday, August 31, 2008
No PickNPay Catholic Moral Theology
Father Thomas D. Williams expresses powerfully and unequivocally the reasons why - and for how long - the moral teaching of the Catholic Church has been pro-life and anti-abortion: