Liberal Catholics, the Church and Abortion


As I was driving down the street  in Southern California today, I saw a car with a bumper sticker that read:  “I’m Catholic and pro-life.”  I thought to myself, well, that is about the same as saying “I’m a member of society and I’m pro-life.”  Being a Catholic and being pro-life have nothing to do with each other, unfortunately.  The percentage of pro-life Catholics is about the same as for the general population; so it makes no sense to say that one is Catholic and pro-life, necessarily.  Here is a study by a Rhode Island group on what Catholics believe about abortion.  Click here.

Being a liberal, by definition, means that you are basically marching to your own tune, and only following church teaching when you agree with it.  This is commonly referred to in Catholic circles as being a “cafeteria Catholic.”  As I see it, you cannot be a liberal Catholic and be true to church teaching – it’s a contradiction.  Think about it!  The dictionary defines “liberal” as “open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.”  How can you be true to the church and be a liberal?

The liberal Catholic will pick and choose what suits him/her.  Let’s take abortion for an example.  In my church, which is one of the largest Catholic churches in Southern California, about 60% of the “faithful” are pro-abortion, in my estimate – they would call themselves “pro-choice.”  Now, since logic is important in this blog, let’s examine this.  What makes you a Catholic?  If you only follow 95% of church teaching are you a Catholic?  If you only follow 60% of church teaching are you a Catholic?  Now, let’s make a comparison.  If I’m only faithful to my wife 95% of the time, am I faithful?  What about if I’m only faithful only 60% of the time?  Would I call myself a faithful husband?  Then why do liberal Catholics call themselves Catholics if they do not follow 100% of church teaching? Being a “liberal Catholic” is a contradiction in logic.

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