No Big Deal
Thomas A. Droleskey
[Author's note: This article, which was published in January of 1998, will be among one hundred fifty or so articles that will be included in Volmes 2 and 3 of Restoring Christ as the King of All Nations. Want to help out this apostolate? Please order multiple copies of Volume 1 today.And remember that the second edition of G.I.R.M. Warfare is also available and should be put into the hands of as many Novus Ordo priests as possible.]
Imagine this scenario: it's January 20, 2001. President-elect Patrick J. Buchanan is about to be sworn in as William Jefferson Blyth Clinton's successor. The Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, D.C., Roger Mahony (having been transferred from Los Angeles), has broken with tradition and denied the use of the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for a solemn Mass prior to his inauguration. Mahony cited Buchanan's support for curbs on immigration and for the death penalty as reasons for denying the first Catholic President since John F. Kennedy a Mass as he was about to start his term of office.
Unlikely? Not really. Cardinal Mahony permitted a scathing attack on Buchanan to be run in Tidings, his archdiocesan newspaper, two years ago. The article cited a number of areas where Buchanan's positions were "incompatible" with Catholic teaching, almost dismissing his strong no-exceptions stand against abortion as being "just one issue" among many of concern to Catholics. It is entirely reasonable to think that Mahony would deny Buchanan a Mass in honor of his presidency if the former were Archbishop of Washington and the latter the President-elect of the United States.
What's actually happening, however, is far worse than this imaginary scenario. Militant pro-abortion politicians are being permitted to use Catholic cathedrals and churches for prayer services prior their inaugurations to public office. This has happened in Sacramento, California, when pro-abort Republican Pete Wilson attended a prayer service in his honor in 1995. And it happened in San Francisco, California, when all-around wild-man Willie Brown was sworn in as Mayor. Our ecclesiastical apparatchiks do not care that such prayer services telegraph ordinary Catholics that the Church is not serious about opposing abortion in public life, that there is nothing that a liberal American politician can do to earn the opprobrium of the bishops. Regardless of the intent of those who organize such events, that's the clear signal that is sent to the ordinary Catholic, especially those practicing Catholics who vote for pro-abortion candidates as a matter of routine. After all, there are other issues, right?
Newark, New Jersey, Archbishop Theodore McCarrick is the latest to send such a signal. He is letting Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark, soon to be elevated to the rank of a minor basilica, be used for a prayer service on January 20, 1998, prior to the re-inauguration of New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman. As is well known, Whitman is shamelessly pro-abortion. She militantly supports the “right to choose,” and believes that the Republican Party should be “tolerant” of those within its ranks who support this "fundamental" constitutional right.
It matters little to me that Whitman supports partial-birth abortion. A lot of pro-life advocates want the prayer-service to be canceled because she opposed a bill in the New Jersey legislature that became law over her veto which outlawed partial-birth abortions. As bad as partial-birth abortion is, every abortion kills a living child. The fact that Whitman supports abortion at all, no matter whether late-term or early-term, is the reason to deny her any special honors or recognition from the Catholic Church. Period. Why is this simple fact so hard for our bishops to comprehend? Pro-aborts in public life need the Church's censure, not her de facto approval.
Some might protest that we should pray for the likes of Whitman and Wilson and Brown, et. al. By all means. We must. But we do not make our churches, which contain the Real Presence of Christ within them, available to them to do so. We do not give scandal to the vast majority of poorly-catechized Catholics who accept uncritically the prevailing slogans of the day about democracy and pluralism and tolerance and nonjudgmentalness. It is a major affront to the sanctity of innocent human life, to say nothing of the blasphemy committed against Our Lord Himself, to honor advocates of abortion and sodomy in this way. The Whitman prayer service is a patent example of Americanist indifferentism at its worst.
It is bad enough that pro-abortion Catholics in public life (the litany of which is well-known) have not been excommunicated, thereby receiving Holy Communion with impunity. Do we really have to endure the scandal of non-Catholic pro-aborts, who are outside of the Church's canonical jurisdiction, being treated as though their support for abortion does not disqualify them from holding office?
Indeed, what Archbishop McCarrick ought to say to a person like Whitman is as follows: “Madame Governor, I will pray for you as you are sworn in for a second term. I will pray for your conversion to the Catholic Church, the one, true Church founded by Christ upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. I will pray that such a conversion will help you to accept contraception and abortion as grave evils which offend both God and man. However, I cannot and I will not pretend that you are qualified to be governor. For no person who supports these evils is qualified to hold any position of public trust in any country at any time. May God have mercy on you if you persist in your rejection of the truth. And may Our Lady, the Mother of Life Himself, pray for you to have the humility to recognize the crimes you are committing in your public life.”
What's so difficult about saying something like this? That is, unless abortion is no big deal.