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Response to rug (Reply #112)

Sat Jan 30, 2016, 07:08 PM

114. My focus is the Church's war on women and guess who's leading the charge?:

How Pope Francis is perpetuating the Catholic Church's radical anti-abortion position
Another week, another flood of stories about Liberal Pope Francis.

This week they focused on the Vatican's declaration that during the Jubilee year that runs from Dec. 8, 2015, to Nov. 20, 2016, the pope will be empowering priests around the world to grant absolution for the sin of abortion. In what has become a recurring pattern, the media has greeted this announcement with barely contained excitement. Oh, there goes the reformist pope yet again, opening wide the doors of the church to the modern world, offering a healing message of mercy instead of a harsh hand of judgment and rebuke!

Informed commentators have noted that the comparatively conservative Pope John Paul II did the same thing during a Jubilee year of his own pontificate. But with Francis, every expression of empathy, however miniscule, gets interpreted as a sign that the church is moving in a new, more progressive direction.

In this case, at least, such hopes are woefully misplaced. The fact is that the church's position on abortion is breathtakingly, stunningly radical — more radical, even, than the mainstream pro-life movement. Viewed in the context of this radicalism, Francis' proposal of temporary pastoral leniency is hardly something worth applauding. On the contrary, it's an act so small that it deserves to be denounced as a woefully inadequate response to a fundamental injustice at the heart of the church.

No one would be surprised to learn that the Vatican considers abortion to be an act of murder. In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable." (Par. 2271) When fair-minded lay Catholics (like Ross Douthat of The New York Times) argue about abortion as a matter of public policy, they see no conflict between upholding this moral teaching and proposing that those who procure abortions be legally punished with less severity than those who engage in other forms of lethal violence. That's because these commentators recognize that abortion differs from all other kinds of murder: In no other form of homicide does the victim reside within the body of the perpetrator.

But then why does the Catholic Church officially lean in the opposite direction, treating abortion as worse than other forms of homicide and deserving of more severe punishment?

According to the church, if I commit adultery, my priest can hear my confession and absolve my sin. If I murder my wife, my priest can hear my confession and absolve my sin. Heck, if I engage in an act of genocide, my priest can hear my confession and absolve my sin.

But if my wife procures an abortion, she incurs an automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication, meaning she instantly falls out of communion with the Catholic Church. That precludes her from partaking in the sacraments, including the sacrament of reconciliation, which is the means by which a priest can hear a confession and absolve sins.

That makes abortion worse than every other form of murder, including mass murder.

http://theweek.com/articles/575293/how-pope-francis-perpetuating-catholic-churchs-radical-antiabortion-position

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LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineReply My focus is the Church's war on women and guess who's leading the charge?:
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