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July 3, 2004
There's No One Here To Take Your Call Right Now

Kathryn Jean Lopez at the Corner links to an article on the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute that seems to be an object lesson in pointlessness. The Friday Fax reports that "radical feminists" in the pro-abortion group Catholics for Free Choice prayed to the Virgin Mary for legalized abortion:

Many participants at the meeting now taking place in Puerto Rico, called the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Ad Hoc Committee on Population and Development, were stunned on Monday when "Catholics" for a Free Choice (CFFC) and its Latin American counterpart, "Catolicas" por el Derecho a Decidir, released a prayer card of the Virgin Mary, with the words "The love of God and of Mary of Guadalupe is greater..For women's lives, safe and legal abortion" superimposed over the image of the Virgin Mary. The back of the card says, "Dear Mary of Guadalupe, we thank you because your love is greater, because you listen to us without judging, because you know our heart and you respect the intimacy of our decisions."

One observer told the Friday Fax "how insulting it is that CFFC, a rich American pro-abortion group, would attempt to use the Latin American people's strong devotion to the Virgin Mary to impose their abortion agenda here."

At the same press conference, CFFC released polling data that purports to show that Latin American Catholics overwhelmingly accept a broad reproductive rights agenda.

Using polling data underscores the hypocrisy of the CFFC, and truly demonstrates the sort of apostasy in which their members engaged. For those who aren't Catholic, what "pray to Mary" means to Catholics is the equivalent of asking your friends or family to pray for you, as we believe that in Christ, there is no death. What the CFFC did was to ask Mary to pray to God to provide legalized abortion, and then put that prayer on a card associating the Virgin Mother with baby-killing. On top of that, to justify themselves, they use polls to argue for the legitimacy of their policy on abortion, as if Jesus founded a democracy.

Let's take this from the top. Mary of Nazareth was a poor, young, single pregnant girl in a society where that status didn't just bring scorn, it could bring the death penalty for adultery; stoning women who engaged in sex outside of marriage (as would have been the natural conclusion of the elders in this case) was not uncommon, as later Scripture shows. Instead of running away or aborting the child, she gave birth to the Messiah, in our faith tradition.

How, exactly, does the CFFC (which professes belief in the above) expect Mary to somehow be sympathetic to women aborting their babies for the sake of convenience and/or economics? They don't answer that, except to say that Mary will "respect the intimacy of our decisions," a meaningless statement that could cover any range of human activity. They instead point to the (supposed) popularity of abortion among Latin American Catholics.

However, nothing in the Bible, in either Testament, shows God, Jesus, or anyone taking polls to determine laws and rules. God did not say unto Moses, "Go forth from this place and question 5% of the tribes of Israel to determine the level of support for honoring thy mother and thy father." Jesus didn't hold a plebescite in order to decide whether to eject the moneychangers from the temple. The Holy Spirit did not descend upon the Apostles at Pentecost in order to send them out into the world to conduct focus-group testing. Core matters of faith do not depend on popularity, and the Catholic Church has been solidly consistent for 2,000 years on the question of abortion: it considers abortion to be the equivalent of murder. If the CFFC thinks that the Catholic Church so badly misrepresents the experience of the Virgin Mary, why aren't they looking for a church that agrees with their viewpoint instead?

Catholicism, it should be remembered, is a voluntary association, just like any other religion. No one is forcing the people in the CFFC to remain Catholic, and for that matter, no one is forcing them out, either. But it continues to strike me as extremely odd that people who value abortion more than their church remain Catholic at all. Faith calls for sacrifice, and if the CFFC is so preoccupied with convenience and popularity, it seems that they have lost the message a long time ago.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 3, 2004 3:35 PM

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