Can You be a Catholic and “Pro-Choice”?

It is a known fact that Catholics are no different from the general population when it comes to who is pro-life or “pro-choice.”  The question I want to address here is can you be a good Catholic and be “pro-choice”?  Go to most Catholic churches and you will find that 40 to 60% will probably be liberal Catholics, meaning that they follow the secular culture more closely than they follow the church.  Let’s start with one example, the abortion issue.  The Catholic Church is clearly pro-life.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church  can’t be more clear on the subject:

2271 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: You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish (74).  God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.(75)

2272 Formal co-operation in an abortion constitutes a grave offence. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. ‘A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication lataesententiae‘ (76) ‘by the very commission of the offence’, (77) and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law . (78) The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

Liberal Catholics ignore this requirement with impunity.  No one I know, or have heard of, has ever been excommunicated for being pro-abortion, or supporting pro-abortion legislation or politicians, not even people who defy the church publicly such as Catholic politicians such as John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sibelius and countless more.  So the question arises can you be a Catholic and ignore essential Church teaching?  I will argue that you cannot.   Let me put it simply:  If you do not follow what the Church teaches 100% of the time, you cannot call yourself  Catholic; you’re an apostate Catholic.  What is an apostate?  The dictionary defines “apostate” as one who is not faithful to religion or party or cause.  If you’re not all in, you’re all out.  In Revelation 3:15-16 the Lord says this:

15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

In Luke 13 Jesus is asked about who will be saved; in Luke 13:24-27 He responds this way:

24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’  26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’   27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

You may think that this is too narrow and that a loving God would not punish someone who thinks that he/she can ignore with impunity what His Church teaches.  If this was the case, that you could decide what to follow and what not to follow, why do you need a church?  You can decide these things for yourself.  You would not need a church.  The ultimate question is  who is the final authority?  Is it you or is it God and or the Church.  Right and wrong is based on a universal standard such as the Bible or the Church.  If the standard is you, why follow the Bible or the Church, you believe that you can decide the best.

Let’s use an example from our daily lives.  Can you be faithful to your wife or husband, for example, if you are not 100% faithful?  If you determine that in some situations you can be unfaithful are you really faithful?  NO.  You’re 100% faithful or you’re not.  If you’re Catholic and support legislation that promotes abortion or a political candidate that supports abortion, you’re not faithful to the church; you’re an apostate, pure and simple, re-read the definition of apostate as mentioned earlier.


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