Let’s be civil; it’s just another ‘issue’

Just when you think you are going to have a nice Friday, some inane news item crosses your desk, and it just irks you. At least that is what happened to me.

A statement entitled “A Catholic call to observe civility in political debate” was issued by a group of “prominent” Catholics who really do not want the discussion of why Canon 915 should be enforced to muddy their political waters. Why else would a group of intelligent people who call themselves Catholic decry as “partisan politics” an effort to protect Christ from sacrilege?

The statement is quite lengthy but the following excerpt will give a flavor for the latest in moral relativism courtesy of civil Catholics:


As Americans we acknowledge deep divisions over some policy issues; and recognize that some, who are active in political life and who differ with the Church’s teachings on certain issues, such as, abortion, stem cell research, the death penalty, and the justification for war, air their differences in public and criticize the Church for these teachings. Others, for political and even ecclesiastical reasons, seek the public embarrassment of politicians whose public positions differ with Church teachings through the public refusal of the sacrament of Holy Communion or public admonition by the bishops.

Pray tell, since when is the act of abortion, which results in the death of an innocent human being, a mere issue about which civil people can choose to disagree? And since when would that ever apply to Catholics in public life, or in private life for that  matter, when the Church teaches that abortion is an intrinsically evil act, an offense against God and, by the way, a mortal sin?

While the signers of the statement attribute some sort of political agenda, or partisan preferences, to those of us who continue to ask the bishops to enforce Church law, they do not discuss the reality of Christ who is truly present in Eucharist nor do they address why it is NOT a sacrilege to receive the sacrament while publicly and persistently supporting the act of abortion. Quite to the contrary, the statement tells its readers that “As lay Catholics we should not pass judgment, and should avoid public statements that undermine the authority of the Church’s leaders.”

Excuse me? Since when is it passing judgment to examine the public record of a public figure who claims to be Catholic and come to the conclusion that the person in question supports the act of abortion and therefore has no problem with the murder of the preborn? Objective facts are not subjective concepts upon which someone might pass judgment. 

Further the effort to enlist the action of bishops to enforce the very Church laws which it is their obligation to enforce is not undermining their authority. What it is is our effort to encourage them to use their authority in a way that will, we pray, bring wayward souls back into the Church and thus end the scandal which is created by the sacrilege of pro-abortion public figures who claim to be Catholic receiving the body and blood of Christ.

Moral relativism may feel good for some, but abortion never feels good for a preborn baby. Catholics have a right to defend the faith, to defend the truth and to prevent, to the best of our ability, the scandal that is caused by those who water down Church teaching to suit their idea of civility.