Matt C. Abbott
June 21, 2014
Pope is not pro-pot; Two bold bishops; 'I'm mad at both'
By Matt C. Abbott

Pope Francis has spoken out – in his usual blunt manner – about the evil of illicit drug use:
    Let me state this in the clearest terms possible: the problem of drug use is not solved with drugs! Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise. To think that harm can be reduced by permitting drug addicts to use narcotics in no way resolves the problem. Attempts, however limited, to legalize so-called recreational drugs, are not only highly questionable from a legislative standpoint, but they fail to produce the desired effects. Substitute drugs are not an adequate therapy but rather a veiled means of surrendering to the phenomenon.... (Source)
Readers of this column might recall the excellent moral analysis of Father John Trigilio Jr. on the subject. Click here to refresh your memories.



At Thursday's March for Marriage, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone told the marchers (excerpted; click here for the archbishop's speech in its entirety):
    Love is the answer. But love in the truth. The truth is that every child comes from a mother and a father, and to deliberately deprive a child of knowing and being loved by his or her mother and father is an outright injustice. That is our very nature, and no law can change it. Those with temporal power over us might choose to change the definition of marriage in the law even against all that we have accomplished through very generous participation in the democratic process, but our nature does not change. If the law does not correspond to our nature, such that there is a conflict between the law and nature, guess which will prevail? And people will figure it out.

    We can take heart from what we see happening now in the pro-life movement. Back in the early 1970s, just before the court issued its infamous Roe vs. Wade ruling, public support for abortion was growing rapidly. And as with marriage redefinition today, a generation gap opened up in the polls, leading many to predict that opposition to abortion would literally die off. That was the future; before long, it would not even be an issue.

    Instead, something unexpected happened. A relatively small band of faithful believers held the line on the sanctity of human life in the womb, and today, two generations later, the pro-life movement is flourishing like never before. We now have the most pro-life generation of young adults since the infamous Roe decision. People have figured out that it is a human life that is within the mother's womb, and that abortion, yes, really does harm women; they've figured out that it's good to cherish that human life and surround the mother with love and support so a truly happy choice can be made, the choice for life.

    People, too, will figure out that a child comes from a father and a mother, and it's good for the child to be connected to his or her father and mother. These truths may seem obvious to us, but they aren't to everyone while in the heat of controversy. They will figure out this truth about marriage, though, because it, too, is in our nature, and it is a key to individual and societal flourishing....
And in a somewhat related story:
    [Marquette, Michigan's] Catholic bishop, John Doerfler, is standing behind St. Michael's Catholic Church after it disallowed an openly homosexual man to serve at liturgies and exercise a leadership role.

    Last Saturday, Bob Brown participated in a 'commitment ceremony' with his partner of 31 years. The next day, he was told that he would not be allowed to serve at the Mass in any of several roles he had previously fulfilled, nor could he sit on the pastoral council. He has been part of the church for eight years....
Click here to read the rest of the story at LifeSiteNews.com.

Bravo to Archbishop Cordileone and Bishop Doerfler!



Judie Brown, president of American Life League, is not one to pull punches. In a recent e-letter, she wrote (slightly edited):
    Dear Friend of Life,

    Pro-abortion 'Catholic' politicians like Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and Andrew Cuomo ought to be ashamed of themselves. So should their do-nothing bishops – Cardinal Wuerl of Washington, DC, Cardinal O'Malley of Boston and Cardinal Dolan of New York.

    How dare these politicians vote for abortion and Planned Parenthood time after time after time! And how dare their bishops not discipline them, thereby scandalizing and demoralizing good Catholics!

    You bet I'm mad at both. I'm angry for all the babies who die while 'Catholic' politicians and bishops hobnob and dine and issue statements about peace and justice all the while the holocaust of the unborn goes on, directly aided and abetted by their action and inaction....

    This isn't that hard, really. Earlier in my own life, abortion was illegal. And Catholics who wanted to go into public life as politicians, or those called to the priesthood and were elevated to becoming bishops, knew that abortion was always and everywhere wrong and anyone who voted for it or participated in this crime would be excommunicated, denied Communion, and denied all of the sacraments until they repented of their evil ways. This is in fact the most merciful way to help sinners change, so that they don't burn in the fires of hell.

    At American Life League, we have been fighting every day since 1979 to end abortion. We are scandalized that the American bishops of the Catholic Church are not doing their job! It is within my rights as a Catholic to first ask, and then demand that our shepherds, our bishops take action now!

    For decades we complained about Mario Cuomo and Teddy Kennedy, as two of the earliest prominent pro-abortion 'Catholic' politicians. Their horrible track records of voting for abortion and for Planned Parenthood's filthy and evil ways were a matter of public record. Despite that, they were celebrated by their bishops and were ultimately buried with full honors in the Catholic Church, with their respective cardinals watching on.

    And since they weren't corrected, admonished, shunned and excommunicated, their sinful support of abortion and Planned Parenthood is now touted and expanded by their own kids and family members!

    A whole new generation of Cuomos and Kennedy 'Catholics' are in public life right now voting for and advocating for abortion and Planned Parenthood. Had only Ted Kennedy and Andrew Cuomo's bishops acted then, maybe their progeny – and millions more American Catholics – would have said 'I don't want to be embarrassed and excommunicated like Mario Cuomo and Ted Kennedy. There must be something seriously wrong with supporting abortion and Planned Parenthood. I'll find out more, and do more, and I'll be pro-life.'

    But that didn't happen. What a shame! What a wasted opportunity of saving so many souls! How many Catholics were led astray, putting their own immortal souls in jeopardy!

    Don't tell me it didn't matter then, or doesn't matter now. In fact, today, if you ask 'sweet, Church-going little old ladies' from Ted Kennedy's home state of Massachusetts about him, they'll tell you what a wonderful man he was. And good-hearted New York Catholics still say what a fine man Mario Cuomo was, so why not vote for his son Andrew?

    I love my fellow Americans and my fellow Catholics too much to let these sins that cry out to heaven for justice go on any longer. I have followed biblical precepts of approaching pro-abortion 'Catholic' politicians and do-nothing bishops quietly and privately first, and then returning with others to persuade and point out the error of their ways.

    But they're not listening! So now, we must do like the bible says, and expose them for what they are until they change or get out of the way of righteousness! As Christ Himself counseled us to do:

    If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. – Matthew 18:15-17

    In short, all Catholic politicians must vote against abortion and against Planned Parenthood funding, and if they don't, Catholic bishops must act swiftly and publicly to explain why what they are doing is wrong and declare them excommunicated, to save all other Catholics from being led astray.

    And if neither are willing to change, then it is up to us to hold them accountable, and to defend the babies and the faith, regardless of the discomfort we feel....
Strong words, yes – but hard to disagree with!

© 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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