Matt C. Abbott
April 21, 2010
The media appreciate dissident Catholics, just not the Church
By Matt C. Abbott

Leave it to most in the leftist secular media to make themselves the Catholic Church's public enemy number one. Not the enemy of all Catholics, mind you Catholic Democrats (or perhaps I should say "Democrat-Catholics") in Congress and their Catholic supporters are the only Catholics most in the leftist secular media seem to appreciate just the Magisterium of the Church.

In a recent interview, Deal Hudson asked Catholic League president Bill Donohue, "Why do media like The New York Times and The Washington Post hate the Catholic Church and the pope? What's the source of the animus?"

Donohue replied: "... [I]t stems from three issues: abortion, gay marriage, and women's ordination. So, when they can nail the Church on promiscuity, they love it. The goal is to weaken the moral authority of the Church so it won't be as persuasive on issues like health care."

I think Donohue is essentially correct, although I would say it a bit differently and expand on it some. Catholic teaching on abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, contraception and women's ordination is, I submit, the main reason for the leftist secular media's animus toward the Church.

Abortion. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law."

Leftist secular journalists reject said teaching.

Homosexuality. The Catechism teaches: "Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved."

Leftist secular journalists reject and even despise said teaching.

Euthanasia. The Catechism teaches: "Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable. Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded."

Leftist secular journalists reject said teaching.

Contraception. The Catechism teaches: "Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, 'every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible' is intrinsically evil: Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. . . . The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality."

Leftist secular journalists reject said teaching.

Women's ordination. The Catechism teaches: "The Lord Jesus chose men to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry. The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ's return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible."

Leftist secular journalists reject this teaching.

It's sadly true that many Catholics leftist, dissident Catholics reject the aforementioned teachings as well. And it's precisely those Catholics who have, wittingly or unwittingly, supported a leftist secular agenda and media that persecute the Church to which they claim to belong. In fact, I would assert that they belong to a different church entirely.

It's also true that, with regard to the clergy abuse crisis, the Church has given the leftist secular media far, far too much ammunition to use against her. Corruption in the Church is a sad reality, and I've covered a lot of that corruption in this column these past several years. The proverbial house still needs cleaning, no doubt. But let's face it: Most in the leftist secular media care more about advancing a libertine agenda than they do about "protecting the children." There, I said it.

So will the leftist secular media and the Church ever be "friends"? That's the million-dollar question and I think you know the answer.

P.S. Lest I be accused of defending "conservative" Catholics no matter what, I should point out that I was one of the relatively few orthodox Catholic writers who covered the grotesque allegations against, and criticisms of, the late disgraced Marcial Maciel and his Legion of Christ before all the s hit the fan in the last couple of years.

P.P.S. Although I've been disappointed in Cardinal George's style of governance, I would still take him over his predecessor any day.

P.P.P.S. God bless Pope Benedict!

© Matt C. Abbott

 

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.


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