Praying the Post
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Not only can we say "both/and," it's our moral imperative
As a Roman Catholic, I am disheartened to see the communications coordinator of a national Catholic social justice lobby miscommunicate Catholic doctrine on the single most important social justice issue of our time.
Stephanie Niedringhaus of NETWORK writes, in a letter to the Washington Post:
People of all political persuasions can agree on basic moral principles while disagreeing in good conscience about how to apply them. Catholic teachings about the dignity of every human life and the tragedy of abortion are clear. Some of us would address abortion by outlawing it. Others believe that a more realistic response is to ensure that all pregnant women have access to affordable health care and other support systems that encourage them to carry their babies to term.Bad timing for Ms. Niedringhaus, as just two days ago Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Murphy released a joint statement saying:
Some argue that we should not focus on policies that provide help for pregnant women, but just focus on the essential task of establishing legal protections for children in the womb. Others argue that providing lifeaffirming support for pregnant women should be our only focus and this should take the place of efforts to establish legal protections for unborn children. We want to be clear that neither argument is consistent with Catholic teaching. Our faith requires us to oppose abortion on demand and to provide help to mothers facing challenging pregnancies.This is not Compton scattering in a non-homogeneous fluid, people. This is not that complicated. Why can't people who do this for a living get it right?
Let me also draw attention to the first sentence I quoted from Ms. Niedringhaus's letter. I would be thrilled if people of all political persuasions actually did agree on basic moral principles. But they don't. Obama, Biden, and the Democratic Party do not agree with the basic moral principle that you cannot intentionally kill innocent life. Vote for them if you like, but do so in the clear understanding of what they believe.