Pastor’s Message November 11th, 2018

The misnamed “’Catholics’ for Choice” pro-abortion group nastily attacked Pope Francis as a “villain” in an open letter signed by fifty abortion providers over his comparison of abortion to “contract killing.”

The group published the letter last week in response to an address that Pope Francis delivered last month in St. Peter’s Square (on October 10th), in which he said abortion is as unfair as hiring a hitman to do a killing. The group expressed “shock” that the leader of the Catholic Church, who has compared abortion to Nazi eugenics, would disparage abortion, and called his comments “a disappointment to abortion providers.” Their letter said that the villains here are not those who support abortion rights, “those who you chose to malign with your thoughtless comments. The ones who put women’s lives in danger are those who deny women access to these rights, blatantly ignoring the impact on their health and their lives.” The letter also repeatedly accuses Pope Francis of demonstrating neglect toward women’s safety and a blind-spot to “women’s rights” and needs, implying that “Catholics for Choice” includes Francis among those they consider “villains” for opposing abortion.  They said that he claims a devotion to the world’s poorest people, but he failed to show compassion or understanding about the impact that unsafe abortion has on the poorest women globally. My question to them is, “Is there such a thing as a “safe” abortion, in particular to the unborn child in the womb?”

While Pope Francis’ latest condemnation of abortion was his most unequivocal to date, the comments really shouldn’t come as any kind of real surprise. The teaching of the Catholic Church clearly states the Church’s opposition to abortion, given its belief in the sanctity of all human life beginning with conception. Pope Francis has also condemned abortion prior to his October 2018 address and, in one case, compared aborting babies that have any deformities to the Nazi’s methods of racial purification. He has been preceded by all of the last popes of this and the last century.

It’s amazing that these hypocrites chose to criticize this pope in particular, but it shouldn’t surprise us that their audacity to blatantly dismiss defined teaching of the Catholic Church and praise abortion as a human “right” speaks volumes of their false use of the word “Catholic” and their phony appeal to issues of “health and safety.”

The abortion providers’ objection to the Catholic Church’s stance on abortion is par for the course, but “’Catholics’ for Choice” raises a distinct point of confusion, given the fact that they directly contradict the Church’s teachings while claiming to be Catholic. According to the New Catechism of the Catholic Church, Catholics involved with this group are actually considered heretical, and their wayward leadership endangers the faith of many who struggle to deal with such serious matters of human life.

The group “is not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way. It has no membership, and clearly does not speak for the faithful. It is funded by powerful private foundations to promote abortion as a method of population control.” Years ago, the U.S. bishops said the group, formerly called Catholics for a Free Choice, had “no affiliation, formal or otherwise, with the Catholic Church.” The use of the name ‘Catholic’ as a platform to promote the taking of innocent human life is offensive not only to Catholics, but to all who expect honesty and forthrightness in public discourse.

As Pope Francis also said, “Life must always be welcomed and protected.… from conception to natural death. All of us are called to respect life and care for it.” If there is a desire to help a woman in need who is facing an unplanned pregnancy, the solution, as a society, is to get her the resources and support she needs to care for her child – not help her dispose of it.

The CFC group has no members and no grass-roots work. Unlike the Catholic Church and other pro-life activists, Catholics for Choice provides no help for pregnant women or post-aborted women or children. It makes no effort to ground its claims in any authoritative source of the Catholic faith, which is rooted in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and is proclaimed by the Church. It fails to do so because the actual teachings of the Catholic faith embrace a consistent ethic of life from conception to natural death, and categorically condemn abortion as an act of violence against the most innocent and defenseless among us.