Archive for the ‘Abortion’ Category

Is the Pope Pro-Life?
May 17, 2009

pope in israelThat used to be as redundant as asking if the Pope was Catholic. Unfortunately, over the past 40 years since the Vatican II Revolution, many faithful Catholics have been asking themselves precisely those two questions. Of course, being Catholic and being pro-life used to be redundant. At the risk of enraging those Catholics who think the Pope can do no wrong, the Holy Father’s actions (or lack thereof) with regard to Notre Dame and Gaza leave many wondering just how pro-life Pope Benedict XVI really is.

It’s bad enough that His Holiness just gave a papal imprimatur to Israeli war criminals flush from dropping white phosphorus on Palestinian children; but the silence coming from Rome over the controversy at Notre Dame is truly deafening. I’m sorry papalolotors, but the buck stops at the top. The president of the University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame means “Our Lady”) serves at the Pope’s pleasure, as do all the bishops around the world. One stroke of the pen and they’re removed from their posts and off to a monastery. So the fact that Father John Jenkins is gloatingly snubbing his nose at Rome and pro-lifers across the country by inviting the King of Abortion, President Barack Obama, to Notre Dame must meet with the Pope’s tacit approval. The Pope has near absolute power in the Church. So if he doesn’t use it, it must be because he doesn’t want to. If there’s another way of looking at it, please enlighten me.

When even the liberal Washington Post and Time Magazine criticize the Pope for his contradictory behavior in allowing pro-abortion policiticans to receive communion, you know we’ve got a problem. He did the same thing last year when he came to the United States and allowed pro-abortion “Catholic” politicans to receive communion at his papal Masses. I’m sure we all remember that great photo-op he gave the hideous Nancy Pelosi when she was snapped kissing his ring, as he beamed at her. She recently had a private audience with the Pope (no photos allowed – at least he learned that lesson), and lo and behold, she remains un-excommunicated. Then His Holiness failed to mention abortion in his speech to the United Nations (that purveyer of third world abortion) which even John Paul II did not fail to do. I never thought I’d find myself longing for the days of John Paul II, who despite his hostility to Tradition, was at least staunchly and vociferously pro-life.

Of course, those same liberal rags mentioned above, along with the rest of the anti-Catholic media, just had a field day picking apart the Pope’s words and actions in Israel. He apparently didn’t bow low enough before his Zionist masters. He used the word “killed” instead of “murdered.” And worst of all, the Pope didn’t impute collective blame to the German people as a whole or on the Catholic Church for the Holocaust. And last but not least, we were reminded ad nauseum that he was in the dreaded “Hitler Youth” as a child. [It’s interesting that Jews (rightly) reject collective blame for the Crucifixion, yet every German man, woman, and child, even those born after World War II, is somehow collectively responsible for the Holocaust.] That old photo of the young Joseph Ratzinger in his Hilter Youth uniform was dusted off and rubbed in all our faces over the past week; but to me, that photo just makes them look weak and vindictive. The Pope looked like he was about 8 years old in that photo, and the expression on his face shows that he wasn’t exactly thrilled. But anyway, how many of these liberal hacks (or their parents) were card-carrying Commies whose first pair of diapers were red? Did I mention that Communists were responsible for the Holocaust of tens of millions of Christians in the Soviet Union? Ah, but some Holocausts are more equal than others. Hypocritically, the Holocaust of unborn babies isn’t a crime to them.

What a kick in the teeth Pope Benedict’s silence is to the many pro-lifers who are right now being arrested at Notre Dame and will now have criminal records. Including an 80 year old priest who was arrested, roughed up, and dragged away by police like a sack of potatoes. They walk the walk, while the Pope talks the talk. Actually, he barely even does that. I’m sure my fellow Catholics want to crucify me right now for daring to criticize the Pope, but ask yourselves: am I lying? You know I’m not. St. Paul loved the Pope (St. Peter) and the Truth enough to admonish him for the sake of souls. I love the Pope enough to demand that he protect his flock. Who really cares more about the Pope: Those who insist that he do his job and punish those who promote what the Church considers an instrinic evil? Or those who enable him to shirk his responsibility? The Holy Father will be judged more harshly than any of the rest of us when he meets his maker. To whom more is given, more is expected. And as it stands now, he’ll have a lot to answer for in terms of sins of omission.

gaza25While in Israel the Pope dutifully mentioned the Shoah at every turn, and lamented Jewish suffering under Hitler’s regime. Fine. It is a valid point. Jews were singled out and died in massive numbers and that was a crime against humanity. Regardless of the controversy over how many Jews actually died during World War II, there is no doubt that the insanity of Hitler’s pagan (not Catholic) ideology of racial supremacism really was an atrocity and no decent person denies that. Granted. But what about the Shoah the Israelis have been perpetrating against the Palestinians for the past 60 years? How does the fact that they were victims of the Nazis justify them turning Nazi on the Palestinians? Does the Pope not notice this double standard? It’s not enough that the Pope visited a Palestinian refugee camp and stated that they deserved their own homeland, if he doesn’t mention how they came to be refuguees in the first place. They had their own homeland. It was called Palestine. It’s now called Israel. How did that come to be? The fact that the Pope also failed to mention the recent Israeli excursion into Gaza which killed at least 1,400 civilians, mostly women and children, does make one question his pro-life bona fides. What would Jesus say?

gaza45If the Pope really is pro-life, and I’m sure in his heart of hearts he is, it’s time for him to speak out unequivocally. It’s time for him to use his unlimited power to restore order in the Church, and he can begin by sacking Father Jenkins. If it costs him his life for speaking out against abortion and Israeli atrocities, then so be it. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. But so far, he’s been allowing his most vulnerable sheep to be slaughtered, and giving a free pass to their butchers. That doesn’t bode well for him on Judgment Day. In fact, taking a bullet for his sheep may be the only way he earns a ticket to heaven if he continues at this rate. 

I love the Holy Father. I appreciate his gestures toward Tradition, and I believe that he means well and loves his Church.

But I’m sorry, that’s just not good enough. The souls of aborted babies and incinerated Palestinian children cry out to heaven for justice. And they will be heard.

Dorothy Day: My Kind of Saint
January 12, 2009

 

dorothy-day-with-cigAlthough she is famous for saying “Don’t call me a saint,” many consider Dorothy Day the kind of saint that sinners like us can relate to.

Dorothy Day was born in New York City in 1897 and died there in 1980, having lived the kind of full and amazing life that  most of us could only dream of. She accomplished more in her life than almost anyone else in the 20th Century, comparable only to Mother Teresa herself (who, by the way, was an admirer of Dorothy Day, too!). But very much unlike Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day was a woman with a past. I think that’s why so many of us can relate to her in a way that we can’t with Mother Teresa. Everyone admires Mother Teresa, including non-Catholics and even atheists, but we all know that we could never reach her heights. But with Dorothy, it’s different. She makes us feel like we could do what she did, even with our own pasts.

Before she became a Catholic in 1927, she had been a Suffragette, a writer, a common-law wife, a single mother, an anarchist, friend of Eugene O’Neill, anti-war protester (for which she spent time in jail), and yes, truth be told, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party.  No boring layabout, she.

Mind you, that was before she became a Catholic. Dorothy Day was, of course, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement  (along with Peter Maurin), which sounds eerily similar to the movement in which she first started out, but was, in fact, a rejection of that anti-Christ movement. But like many young, well-intentioned intellectuals in Depression-era New York, she was attracted to the social justice platforms of the Communist Party. But later she came to realize that Marx’s philosophy amounted to a different kind of exploitation of the worker. She rejected Marx’s rejection of Christianity and his calls for violent revolution, becoming completely committed to peaceful, non-violent activism, although she always remained an anarchist. (She later became an ardent supporter of Distributism.) She started a newspaper called, of course, The Catholic Worker, which sold for one penny and – believe it or not – still sells for one penny today.

Today there are more than 185 Catholic Worker communities around the world whose motto remains:

We are committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, prayer, and hospitality for the homeless, exiled, hungry, and foresaken. Catholic Workers continue to protest injustice, war, racism, and violence of all forms.

I’ve been thinking so much about her lately because of the horrible violence in Gaza, and I’ve been wondering what she would say. I needn’t have wondered long. I found the website of the Washington, DC Catholic Worker Movement, and I should have guessed that they’d be right on top of it. Their website screams in capital letters: GAZA EMERGENCY, STOP THE KILLING NOW! Ol’ Dorothy would be proud. 

But it would be a mistake to consider her a liberal with the connotation that word carries today. We have all, even Catholics, become brainwashed into thinking that there are only two political points of view, liberal and conservative, and that we must fit ourselves neatly into one category or the other. But that is not correct – and that is definitely not Catholic. Before the 1970s, most Catholics were loyal Democrats, since the Catholic Church teaches us to care for the poor, the downtrodden, the marginalized and the victim. In other words, we have not been infected with Calvinism, which teaches that Jesus came so that we could have financial blessings (in contradiction to the Sermon on the Mount). By that vision, the poor are obviously not beloved of God and have obviously done something to deserve their fate. But that is not what Jesus taught. Dorothy herself wrote that she became attracted to the Catholic Church precisely because it was “the Church of the poor and the immigrant.” But when the Democrat party embraced the Culture of Death, Catholics headed to the Right. But only for the “life issues,” not for the vulture capitalism. Dorothy herself never belonged to a political party (other than the Communist Party, but we already talked about that!).

And there is no doubt that Dorothy Day was opposed to abortion, and not only because that’s the Church’s position. She learned the hard way that abortion is evil because before she eventually had her daughter, she had an abortion herself. Until the day she died, she always described the abortion as “the great tragedy of my life.” Unfortunately, people who are opposed to war, violence, racism, exploitation of the poor, the greed of the rich, capitalistic medicine, and other social evils are considered liberals or leftists, and it is assumed that they must be pro-abortion.  But Christians can never consider abortion a form of social justice because the unborn child is the most vulnerable and deserving of civil rights. After all, if you don’t have the right to life, all other civil rights are moot. Abortion isn’t liberal, it’s evil, and Dorothy never failed to speak out against it.

Dorothy also had mixed feelings about Vatican II. She liked the emphasis on “the preferential option for the poor,” but she lamented the changes in the liturgy.  So the idea that Catholics who fight for social justice are also big fans of the “clown Mass” is completely erroneous, too. Dorothy Day was a traditionalist, especially when it came to the liturgy. And that’s why Dorothy Day is my role model; because she appreciated tradition but also the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. The two are actually supposed to go together! Too many Traditional Catholics today care only for the Latin Mass, no meat on Fridays, and women wearing veils, but have forgotten about those works of mercy. But those works of mercy are as Catholic as the Latin Mass.

Dorothy Day is a saint for us sinners because she herself had made the big mistakes. She also graduated from the school of hard knocks. She even attempted suicide. Anything we could have done, she’s already been there and done that. But she pulled herself together, found the Catholic faith, and the rest is, as they say, history. Dorothy Day still lives on in the Catholic Workers around the world, in her several autobiographies (she was a writer, after all!), and even in the movie made about her life. The movie is called Entertaining Angels from 1996, and the title is apropos for her. It comes from the book of Hebrews 13:1-2:

Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Mother Teresa: Abortion Is the Greatest Destroyer of Peace
August 25, 2008

 

mother_teresa“I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today in the world is abortion, because it is a war against the child – a direct killing of the innocent child – murder by the mother herself. And if we can accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we must remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to us. So the mother who is thinking of abortion should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.” – Mother Teresa of Calcutta