The Roman Catholic Church is pro-life from conception to natural death. However, the church rarely defends this position with any enthusiasm. A few examples: (1) Cardinal Roger Mahoney, the Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for 26 years, never had a problem being highly vocal on immigration issues, but he never, publicly spoke out on pro-life issues. The few times he mentioned anything close to a pro-life position, it was very weak and measured (as if not to offend anyone). Immigration, on the other hand, was treated more as a moral issue than a political one. Whereas the problem is illegal immigration, not immigration itself, the word “illegal” was never used with this issue. After his retirement earlier this year, Mahoney decided to dedicate his work to immigration issues. (2) The Bishop of San Francisco refuses to do anything about Nancy Pelosi, the most pro-abortion Catholic in the U.S. House of Representatives; he simply invited her to a conversation, followed by no action. (3) The Catholic University of Notre Dame gleefully invited President Obama to speak there even though he is the most pro-abortion, and anti-family President in U.S. history. One of Obama’s stated goals as a candidate was to pass the Freedom of Choice Act, a law which would wipe out any laws restricting any abortion for any reason, including partial birth abortion. (4) The Bishop of Amarillo Texas, without good cause, muzzled Fr. Frank Pavone, the best voice for the unborn in America. I could go on and on.
For Catholics who follow church teaching one of the biggest frustration is how inactive the church is in defending the unborn. In most churches, the pastors never, preach a pro-life message. Many of my friends from other Catholic Churches tell me the same thing. Just this past week, a very disturbing thing happened in the pro-life cause: The Bishop of Amarillo, Texas, Patrick Zurek, recalled Father Frank Pavone home and confined him there; effectively stopping his pro-life work. Bishop Zurek did not accuse Fr. Pavone of any wrongdoing and we still do not know why he has taken this action.
Father Frank Pavone is the head of Priest for Life and is one of the most eloquent defenders of the unborn in the United States, if not the world. The fact that the bishop of Amarillo, his superior, has ordered Fr. Pavone to cease his work is most alarming. Here is another example of the Catholic Church, not only not promoting the pro-life position, but, as this case shows, stifling the pro-life cause. If you’re a regular churchgoer, as I am, you’ve seen, first hand how the church has been co-opted by our culture. Most priests, Fr. Pavone excepted, will not engage their parishioners in pro-life arguments. They simply shy away from it, as if it was a political hot potato. Most seem unprepared or unwilling to bring up the issue.
The moral relativistic culture of our day has conquered the church. Hollywood has won over the church. The church was not conquered by force, but by co-optation and by moral weakness. Most churches walk a fine line of not offending anyone; they opt for the easy road and do not take a stand. Money is more important than moral values or church teaching. If you go to any church in Southern California you will find that about 50 to 60% of the parishioners are liberal or what can be described as “cafeteria Catholics.” This is also no problem to the church. Apparently popularity and cash is more important than principles.
Some examples of church inaction: Recently, Vice President Joe Biden, a Roman Catholic, made a well publicized statement on TV while in China, stating that he “understood” the Chinese position on forced abortion. Now if you don’t know, China has a one-child policy; any more than one child and Chinese women are forced to have an abortion. Women are routinely monitored for possible pregnancy, as well as their menstrual cycle, to detect if they’re required to have an abortion. Did you hear any Catholic bishop rebuke Joe Biden for this? No. Total silence. Prior to the passing of Obamacare, a Catholic nun, Sister Carol Keehan, endorsed Obamacare in defiance of the Catholic Bishops. The Obama Administration referred to her as if they had Catholic support for the plan. Did anything happen to a subordinate who publicly defies her superiors? No. Silence. In the military, insubordination will get you a Court Martial, in private or public business, insubordination is grounds for being fired; in the Catholic Church, as we’ve seen with Joe Biden and Sister Carol Keehan, you just get a pass.