The fallout of the Pelosi/Biden statements on abortion, and the Bishop's response, continues.
On September 15, the San Francisco Chronicle printed a column by Mr. Jon O'Brien, of "Catholics for Choice" a dissident group that supported Nancy Pelosi against our Catholic Bishop's. Fr. Malloy responded with a letter (unprinted) below. Today Mrs. Vicki Evans, the Respect Life coordinator of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, took Mr. O'Brien to school. This column appeared in today's issue of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Catholic bishops have last say on abortion teachings
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- Thursday, September 18, 2008If you were a member of an environmental group and Big Oil tried to dictate to you what environmentalism really meant, what would your reaction be? Outrage at the audacity and arrogance of Big Oil? Disbelief that anyone would actually take seriously the apostasy presented?
This was the reaction of faithful Catholics who read Jon O'Brien's op-ed in The Chronicle ("Pelosi views on abortion in synch with most Catholics," Sept. 15).
Jon O'Brien is the president of Catholics for Choice, an organization that has been condemned by the Catholic Church for its heretical views on abortion. Its board of directors includes some of the most ardently pro-abortion individuals in the country, like Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL, and Frances Kissling, former president of the National Abortion Federation. Are these the people to whom we should listen for a clarification of Catholic teaching? Or are these the organizations that stand to profit from unlimited abortion on demand?
Would a high-profile Democratic leader who says they are Catholic, such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, like to follow Catholic teaching? Sure, all things being equal. But all things are not equal. Abortion-rights activists are fundamental pillars of the Democratic Party, providing tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions and enormous grass-roots energy.
So instead of admitting they are simply in the pocket of the abortion lobby, Catholic politicians like Speaker Pelosi come up with self-serving arguments to support their pro-abortion positions to try to convince America that the Catholic Church is run by polls.
The reality is that those who support unlimited abortion, for any reason at any time, represent the fringe position. A June 2007 poll by the New York Times, CBS News and MTV found that 62 percent of young adults disagree with abortion on demand.
Last October, a CBS poll asked Americans about their "personal feeling" on abortion. Two out of three supported greater restrictions on abortion, with 34 percent saying it should be permitted only in cases such as rape, incest or to save the mother's life. A mere 26 percent said it "should be permitted in all cases."
And yet, Catholics for Choice has the audacity to challenge the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the church's teaching related to abortion. O'Brien's final line states that "the bishops would better serve American Catholics by acknowledging their true priorities."
It is the responsibility of Catholic bishops to teach clearly what Christ in his church teaches about faith and morals, and to oppose erroneous, misleading and confusing positions when they are advanced. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. 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, willed either as an end or a means, is grossly contrary to the moral law."
In matters of faith and morals - proclaimed either "fallibly" or "infallibly" by the Catholic Church - the bishops have an authoritative role as teacher. The faithful have the responsibility of accepting the teaching and adhering to it with a religious assent. The reason for this is eternal salvation. The idea that politicians can usurp this teaching authority is ridiculous.
Posted by Gibbons