Posts filed under pro-life

I Bet You One Unplanned Pregnancy... {That Love Shows Up}

It happens regularly. I'll be in the middle of a discussion with a pro-choice person about abortion and the conversation takes a turn from productive dialogue to slogan slinging. It makes sense. We all want a way to powerfully communicate our passionate views in 10 words or less and these slogans are clever and are reasonable to us in the context of our beliefs and our lives. They may have a place on a protest sign (maybe), but regardless of what side of the issue you're on, they're a dialogue killer when there is a real soul on the other side of the conversation.

"I'll bet you one unplanned pregnancy that you're secretly pro-choice."

I'll bet you nine that I'm not.

And the slogan slinging works both ways. I've done it many times...

"In a crisis pregnancy, we need to get rid of the crisis, not the child."

But the eyes that look back (and my own experience) have taught me... you can't always get rid of the crisis. Sometimes life is excruciatingly painful, whether or not we have a great slogan to apply or not. The hardest part of motherhood is not the single yes that we give in moments of courage but every individual suffering minute that we must walk through after that. The person who helps us through that first frightening yes will most likely not be there during the long days and nights that challenge to the depths of mind, body, and soul.

This particular truth hits me hard every time I am pregnant with one of my own beloved children. Sometimes, there is no way to remove the suffering that accompanies a yes to life... when even the most pro-life heart finds itself on it's knees begging the Lord to ease the pain.

"You're a white middle class woman with a husband. You don't know what crisis is."

Or maybe my crisis is just different. The unrelenting sickness and fatigue... like a perpetual flu... that requires all of my attention for months. That physically keeps me from even the Eucharist. That drives me to my miserable knees and turns my waking thought into an endless prayer... "Please Jesus, have mercy. Help me, Jesus, help me. Please Lord, please, please, please..." 

Non-hispanic white women account for 36% of abortions.
28% of women seeking abortions identify as Catholic.

(source)

I know my blessings well. I'm not sure how I would get by if I didn't have a husband to support me and the grace of being able to stay home and cling to my couch. This knowledge has brought me very close to a real understanding of what drives a loving, thinking, compassionate woman to bring her child to the instruments of an abortionist. It is not in her nature nor even necessarily in her desire... but often, it is the unrelenting pain, similar to the experience of many people who stand on the verge of suicide. Most do not really want to die... they really just want to stop the excruciating pain. 

I have asked God many times to take away the suffering of pregnancy, and it always occurs to me that the most obvious vehicle of relief would be the removal of the pregnancy itself. For a person without support, without full knowledge of what abortion is and does, that line is easy enough to cross. 

One of the single most influential pieces of fiction I have read is G. K. Chesterton's "The Secret of Fr. Brown." The entire series captivates me but nothing so much as Fr. Brown's explanation of how it was that he was such an extraordinary success at capturing criminals. He explains...

 "I thought and thought about how a man might come to be like that, until I realized that I really was like that, in everything except actual final consent to the action. It was once suggested to me by a friend of mine, as a sort of religious exercise..."
"No man’s really any good till he knows how bad he is, or might be; till he’s realized exactly how much right he has to all this snobbery, and sneering, and talking about ‘criminals,’ as if they were apes in a forest ten thousand miles away; till he’s got rid of all the dirty self - deception of talking about low types and deficient skulls; till he’s squeezed out of his soul the last drop of the oil of the Pharisees; till his only hope is somehow or other to have captured one criminal, and kept him safe and sane under his own hat." (Read the entire short story here)

We can be outraged by the injustice of abortion and the cold evil which often accompanies the industry and participants... but we must be primarily motivated by great love and informed by truth and a good examination of conscience.

"You're not pro-life... You're pro-birth."

This slogan always leaves me dumbfounded. It's unjust in almost all cases. However... it strikes at a very important truth that must be acknowledged and lived: Saving the life of the child is only the first step. If our pro-life community does not have a comprehensive plan for loving families through every stage of pregnancy, birth, and beyond, then it is deficient, perhaps fatally so. Even if a woman gives birth to this child, her experience of suffering, isolation, and lack of care may convince her... never again.

61% of women seeking abortions already have children. 

It is difficult to imagine enduring the severe physical illness of pregnancy without my full support system. How would I work? How would I perform basic functions? How would I get sufficient rest and nutrition? How would I navigate the emotional and mental strain of meeting unrelenting illness in most waking moments for months? I have had the better part of 20 years to try every remedy under the sun. I have overhauled my diet, soaked in magnesium, taken medication, read a million articles, heard all the advice. Kind words help but do not take it away. Sacrament and Scripture console but do not take it away. Prayer is my lifeline... and my family become the hands and feet of Christ... but I am still not relieved of the cross.

Pro-lifers know anxiety and depression. They know relationship drama. They know abuse. They know loss and tragedy. They know how hard it can be to get out of bed in the morning and brush their teeth and meet the world. They have simply decided that these sufferings do not ever justify the extermination of an innocent human being. But they cannot pretend that the following three words in the midst of any of these trials could not send any of us to a desperate place:

You. Are. Pregnant. 

Our dialogue and outreach should always reflect our understanding of that place and the acknowledgment that we can't fix everything. The Crucifix is not an exception... it is the way. And we can not erase the very real sufferings of humanity with a dialogue of slogans. 

Please understand... we DO have the authority to stand on behalf of the unborn and fight for their right to dignity and life, even if we can't personally fill every need of every person. My hope and plea is that each pro-life community will also commit itself to finding local hands and feet to love families through the crisis... and into the arms of safety and joy. Not by going around the Cross, but by leaning into it. Love is messy. Let's show up and love anyway. And then we can say with confidence: "I bet you one unplanned pregnancy... that love shows up." Thanks be to God!

Below are two local level organizations which need immediate assistance. If you or someone you know can possibly fill a need, please prayerfully consider doing so...

Maggie's Place

Maggie’s Place is a community that provides houses of hospitality for pregnant and parenting women in need who are living in the greater Phoenix, AZ and Cleveland, OH area. All houses have ongoing financial needs, current house needs lists, and a current need for MissionCorps members to commit to one year of service at a house. I know that in Cleveland, we have a need for two MissionCorps members to start in January. Is God calling you?

 

Stanton Health Care Charlotte Center for Women

The Stanton Vision...

"We believe in the fundamental truth that human rights begin in the womb. Every woman has an inherent right to embrace motherhood regardless of income, race, ethnicity, or place of residence. 

We believe in practical, caring solutions which uphold the dignity of both mother and child. We provide life-affirming options to abortion-vulnerable women and provide hope to those struggling from the pain of a past abortion. 

We believe sexual and reproductive integrity is vital to the health of each individual, every family, and by extension, society as a whole.

Stanton International seeks to replace abortion businesses around the world because we believe that women and their families are entitled to quality, coercion-free care and compassionate alternatives to abortion."

Click on the image below for more information on how to help...

Posted on October 14, 2015 and filed under pregnancy, pro-life, culture.

How Boycotting Can Change the World

Shortly after the Planned Parenthood videos started appearing on social media, a public cry was raised to boycott all corporate Planned Parenthood supporters. It made sense: Stop funding evil!  But some on Christian internet responded with arguments opposing boycotting, citing various arguments against charity and efficacy. I read the objections (nothing new) and remained confused as to why a pro-life person would object to boycotts. Even if there is little chance for small boycotts to alter practices of big business, there is only good that can come of following through with the promptings of informed conscience and withholding funds from evil. We live in a (first) world of options. No one is going to starve if they put down the soda (or whatever). We can incorporate those small acts into our prayerful fasting. Without judging the choices of others, we can still change the world by changing our habits and cultivating a greater focus on little things that build and support a culture of life. 

Boycotting is not necessarily a solution; it is, quite simply, a protest. It says, "Hey, if you're going to send money to help people murder unborn children, I'm not going to buy a candy bar from you. I'm not going to advertise your name on my sleeve. I'm not going to vacation at your resort. Until you stop."

While I don't think that abstaining from a general boycott is necessarily immoral, I'd like to take a look at a few ways that boycotts can (and do) change the culture and the soul...

1) BOYCOTTS CAN WORK

I didn't say they always work, I said they CAN work. Just like the people of the United States of America CAN rise up and end the depravity of abortion but haven't done it. We have consistently passed over that opportunity for at least 50 years... but we could have done it. We just chose not to. We choose not to. To stay silent when we ought to speak. To waste money when we should be using it purposefully. To hold on to it when we should be giving it...

Our money, time, talent, voices... not our own. It all belongs to the Lord and it is to Him that is should be returned. In a free market first world nation, we can make it work. And perhaps we are obligated to try.

2) BOYCOTTS DO WORK

It is easy to make a boycott work. And it is difficult to make a boycott work. The reason both are true is because we live in a free market system in which the consumer ultimately dictates the rules. If we sometimes feel that the opposite is true - that it is the industry which drives the consumer - it is only because we have given away our control in the service of our pleasures.

Can one person have an impact on a gigantic corporation? Of course they can! It depends how many people that one person can reach and if those people can be convinced to act and spread the word. It is a matter of percentages. And the history of American boycotts tells us that when organizations see their bottom line affected, they usually respond.

The difficulty with holding a boycott in contemporary America is that the cultural impetus has shifted against Christian principles. So most consumer values are not going to reflect yours and mine. In order to cut into a company's bottom line, we have to work together. Can it be done? Absolutely. 

Check out the Life Decisions International web site for more information on why and how to boycott... and examples of how it can and does work. Fight Planned Parenthood

N.B. When considering a boycott, please make sure you do the following:

- Check updated boycott lists. Companies do pay attention and will often respond to public outcry, ending their contributions. 
- Determine whether the contributions are being made personally (i.e. CEO) or by the corporation. And then determine whether this makes a difference in your decision to boycott the company. 

3) BOYCOTTING AS FASTING

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that there's no way a boycott of Disney (for example) will impact the way they give to Planned Parenthood. This is a great example, by the way, because Christians have been boycotting Disney for at least 20 years, and frankly, Disney doesn't seem to care. We haven't been loud enough... because we like Disney. We aren't willing to forgo the latest princess movie to make a statement. So we know that Disney has not been impacted by boycotts. But that doesn't mean that the Church and individual hearts have been unchanged by the act of boycotting.

When we forgo earthly pleasures for a higher purpose (prayer, witness, generosity, sacrifice), we participate in a form of fasting. Nobody cares when I keep my kids home from the latest Disney flick. Disney certainly doesn't care. But I'm making a quiet choice based on an informed conscience and my love for Christ and His people. Your fasting will not look exactly like mine but ideally, the cultural fasting of Christians should start to become more uniform. For Christians, boycotting is not primarily about punishing others... but about being good stewards and bringing our spending into line with our principles.

Why do we fast? We fast in order to strengthen our will. To offer a sacrifice in prayer to the Lord. To identify our attachments and root them out. We fast to clarify our love and to simplify our distractions in pursuit of greater love. So when we take up a boycott list, we hold a list of potential... How can I simplify my consumption for a purpose? How can I pursue a greater love?

4) DISCIPLINING OUR APPETITES

Boycotting for most of us means forgoing our privilege and our preference, not really giving up something of substance. We are a wealthy nation with an abundance of options. It may occasionally be a challenge to find a suitable replacement for the item/s that we are boycotting, but it's almost always a non-essential. Reviewing the current Planned Parenthood supporter list, we'll find many things that we know we can do without...

expensive specialty coffee
soda pop
theme park vacation
movies
restaurants
software
banks
snack bar
name brand clothing
colleges
hotels
alcohol
airlines
credit cards
television stations
supermarkets
dance studios

There is a large percentage of the world that is struggling to provide the basics for their families. That doesn't mean that we should not enjoy our material blessings but we must not lose perspective. We often inappropriately elevate luxury items to need status. And we don't have to live that way.

Is it impossible to live in American culture and boycott all services and goods that support evil? For most of us, it probably is. I am not suggesting that we can do that, only that it would benefit our culture and our souls to choose to do without at least some of them.

5) CONFORMING OUR HABITS TO CHRIST

When I boycott, it is generally a private decision to withhold money from an organization that directly funds or promotes evil. I am not consistent but I think those small decisions make a difference; if not in the larger corporate context, at least in the development of my own conscience. It is similar to periodic fasting. If I want a soda and have the opportunity to buy one when no one else is around to see me do it, I can offer up that sacrifice for the victims of abortion. At the same time, I also withhold my measly buck from the company that made the soda. Is it effective to boycott that way? I don't suppose it is if one means that it will change the direction of the company. But as consumers, we shouldn't separate our moral lives from our purchases. 

I compromise all the time to satisfy my tastes and preferences. But a list is a kick in the pants. It reminds me that "Yeah, it's a pretty darn big deal that anyone at all donates money to the cesspool that is Planned Parenthood. And I don't want to be a part of it in any way." The world doesn't care about those little sacrifices but I imagine that Jesus does if they are offered with pure intentions and a spirit of reparation. 

One can of soda pop isn't going to change the way the company does business. Even if you added up all the cans of pop you've ever purchased, it still won't make a dent. But... it can change you...

And that is how culture's change... one person at a time.

I'm not going to have that soda today. I'm going to make a small sacrifice and offer it up for the unborn babies and mothers who are desperate enough to consider abortion. Maybe I'll have a water and an apple instead and break my unhealthy habit while I'm at it. And then... maybe I'll drop a quick email to the company and let them know what I did. 

That's what boycotts look like. They change us before they change the culture. Instead of remaining a "boycott," it becomes a pattern of awareness in our lives wherein we practice dying to our preferences, our desires, and our unhealthy habits. 

6) BOYCOTTING IS NOT ABOUT EVANGELIZATION

Boycotting is not primarily about evangelization but about effecting cultural change. We gotta be salt and light. Got to. We evangelize the people within the organizations, but we boycott to change policy, customer service, product line-up, etc. by voting with the dollars that we spend or withhold. Evangelizing a CEO by representing Christ with charity and virtue is one thing. But sometimes, we just pray for his soul while we do what we need to do to STOP HIS COMPANY FROM FUNDING THE MURDER OF CHILDREN.

It has been said that pro-life boycotting is unjust because it attempts to take the livelihood away from another person, which is untrue. The intent is not to rob someone of their livelihood but to stop the funding of the horror of child murder. The hierarchy of values places the right to life above the right to make money. If that causes someone to lose income, then perhaps they will change their actions. And that is the point. 

Conversion is the slow work of faithful, plodding love. While we must do that necessary work of love (generally in the environment and context in which God places us), we must seek immediate protection for the unborn. Christians must have ZERO tolerance for abortion. Even if it makes people feel unhappy. Even if it makes them hate us. It's Christianity 101. 

6) YOU CAN'T DO IT ALL {But you CAN do a little}

Most people who undertake to boycott an entire list all at once quickly become overwhelmed. It seems like the same 5 companies own the whole world and a shopping trip can become incredibly complex. Can we boycott the whole list? Modern American culture makes that almost impossible but that doesn't mean we shouldn't boycott anything

Start small. If you only choose one company, service, or product to eliminate, it is one more thing than you were doing before. If you can drop a note to the company telling them what you did, even better. If you are still struggling with a feeling of helplessness - feeling that what you are doing doesn't make a difference, do this:

Try using the word "fasting" instead of "boycotting"... and it won't take you long to understand how one can of can of soda can change the culture and bring the light of Christ to the world.

Posted on August 25, 2015 and filed under pro-life, culture.

Laudato Si' {And Why You Don't Have to Love It}

I've finally decided to tackle the divisive topic of Laudato si', the encyclical that many of us want to love but can't. I am not writing to foment division but rather to explain my concerns within the context of a great love for the Holy Father and the Catholic Church. After first reading the document, I was not planning on writing in spite of concerns that I had. At that point, most of the internet world hadn't read it yet and I felt that my points would not be understood in context. (In other words, I was sensitive to the possibility that you all might think I was nutty as a squirrel.) Now that others are finishing the document, community thoughts are steadily splashing onto my screen. I'm seeing a lot of anger and a lot more confusion. It's not necessary that people hear my thoughts, but I would like to join the conversation. My aim is not to be right, but to seek Truth. Onward...

I'm going to work hard at simplicity and thereby hope to avoid misunderstandings. Giving only a basic framework for my thoughts means that many other thoughts will go unwritten. With that, here is a brief overview of my position:

There are points of beauty and Truth in Laudato si' to which I can happily give my assent as a faithful daughter of the Church. There are also elements with which I cannot agree, nor am I required to since they do not fall under the category of "faith and morals" and the teaching authority of the Holy Father. I give him my attention and deference in all things but, at the end of the day, I am obliged to follow my properly formed Catholic conscience.

THE GOOD

The Catholic internet has done a marvelous job of highlighting all that is beautiful and worthy of attention in this document. I don't see a need to restate the core of that, particularly since it is immediately accessible in the document itself. We are obligated to give our assent to the truth concerning spiritual connection between all of creation and God. And what believing Catholic wouldn't? This is not new teaching, but only a reiteration of what the Church (including popes of recent memory) has always taught. In fact, you might say that the need for an environmental encyclical was already met by Pope Benedict XVI (sometimes referred to as "the green pope") in 2009 when he published Caritas in Veritate and in multiple other writings and speeches. Many readers of Laudate si' have the mistaken notion that Pope Francis has done something earth shatteringly new (no pun intended). This is not necessarily the case if we're only looking at the elements that are binding on the faithful. For example...

“The Church has a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere. In doing so, she must defend not only the earth, water and air as gifts of creation that belong to everyone. She must above all defend mankind from self-destruction. There is a need for what might be called a human ecology, correctly understood. The deterioration of nature is in fact closely connected to the culture that shapes human coexistence: when ‘human ecology’ is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits (#51).
— Pope Benedict XVI {Caritas in Veritate}

So we know these are not new themes. But there is something new in Pope Francis' encyclical which is causing concern...

THE PROBLEM

The real stumbling block of Laudato si' for me (and for many others) is not the beautiful and good truths contained within but the elements which depart from the deposit of faith and step into dubious scientific and political theories. This is where things can get confusing for faithful Catholics who are not accustomed to finding non-binding and controversial secular elements in a papal encyclical. Our identity is wrapped up in Holy Mother Church and it is a wretched feeling to think we might somehow be at odds with her. Can we disagree with certain assertions contained in an encyclical and still be good Catholics? Yes, we can, but it is certainly an uncomfortable position to be in and we must be extraordinarily careful.

There is an idea making the rounds (perhaps to help people come to terms with that internal conflict) that being made uncomfortable by a work is a proof positive indication that it is of the Holy Spirit. While the Truth is almost certain to make us uncomfortable, it is also true that an intelligent and faithful Catholic can correctly feel "uncomfortable" by ideas which are at odds with Truth and beauty. I'll discuss a couple of these problematic ideas later in the article. 

THE PROPER RESPONSE

Whether or not you agree with all of the Holy Father's views in Laudate si', the fact is that good Catholics are finding themselves with a problem of conscience. The simple (but not simplistic) solution to this problem was summed up well by my friend Michael Hichborn, who has researched this document (and it's context) thoroughly. He wrote:

“The pope said in the encyclical that Catholics are not bound by the highly contentious science regarding global warming. Unfortunately, he built most of the encyclical around this non-binding principle, which means that all that follows from it is likewise not binding. What he said regarding faith and morals and the spiritual connections between man, nature and God are those matters to which we must give assent. But once he put in a caveat not binding us to a first principle, all those matters flowing from the non-binding principle are likewise non-binding.”

So we are free to disagree on those matters. But what's the big deal? Why would anyone want to disagree with anything in a papal encyclical? 

ABORTION, GLOBAL POLITICS, SHADY SCIENCE

I knew going into the encyclical that the Pope would touch on abortion and that he would say good things. What I hadn't heard from anyone was that he would also repeatedly and positively refer to international environmental efforts and organizations which are anti-life, anti-family, anti-Christian, and pro-abortion to the core. My pro-life sensibilities went into shock as I tried to reconcile a papal encyclical with what I saw as outright scandal. I cannot adequately address here the depth of moral decay within the organizations that the Pope mentioned with such enthusiasm. I will instead leave you with a couple names and brief comments. Please, research these on your own... 

1992 Earth Summit in Rio - Hosted by the UN (United Nations), the "Planned Parenthood" of the international community. Whatever it's laudable origins or periodic good works, it is now taking the lead in the promotion of population control, anti-family, anti-freedom efforts around the globe. Consider that the UN has formally cooperated with China's forced one-child policy and you will have some idea of how distressing this connection is. 

The Earth Charter - There's family planning language right in the document. It doesn't say "kill all the babies" but "family planning" to these secular entities does not mean NFP... it means contraception, abortion, sex education, and often even encouragement of deviant lifestyle. 

 Those are just two examples. Let's keep going...

GLOBAL AUTHORITY

The encyclical is overflowing with language promoting global authority equipped with the power to enforce laws and penalize countries. In an ideal Christ-centered world, this could be a productive pursuit. However, a governing world body based on Christian principles is a practical impossibility at this historical juncture and we are left instead with the Holy Father's rather alarming suggestions for positive long term global guidance. In a papal encyclical of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, we are giving a glowing account of...

The Basel Convention (U.N.)
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio (U.N.)
The Earth Charter
The Stockholm Declaration (U.N.)
The Vienna Convention (U.N.)
The Montreal Protocol (U.N.)
The Conference of the United Nations on Sustainable Development, "Rio+20" (2012)

All of these agreements have fatal flaws and, without a doubt, would be used by corrupt political entities to inflict great harm upon innocent people. Why is that important to know? As faithful Catholics, we need to know that we are not bound to the Pope's opinions on these matters, even if he writes it in an encyclical. And we are NOT morally obligated to work with corrupt global organizations in order to be good stewards of the natural world.

Pope Francis takes a strong stand for cooperation with global authority regarding environmental concerns. In fact, in a recent speech to international NGO's, he said that the environmental protection issue is "perhaps the most important facing us today." More HERE. I strongly (but respectfully) disagree that these specific efforts bring us closer to a sustainable, life-giving, God-honoring worldview and solution. On the contrary, direct evidence shows that they would purposefully lead us in the opposite direction. Working with the U.N. to build a Christian worldview is like working with Planned Parenthood to stop abortion. They will ultimately only use and abuse your good will in the service of evil.

SHADY SCIENCE & SCANDAL

Of all the sections of this post, this is the one I am most loathe to tap out. It is larger than a blog post and it is disturbing because it highlights the reality of crisis at all levels in the Church. We know corruption and human error plague us. Pope Benedict strongly referred to it. Pope Francis has also referred to it. But how are we to respond to that reality? That is the question that has been occupying me since I read the encyclical and was the reason I finally decided to hit "publish" on this post. What are we supposed to do when ecclesial authority uses the holy office to promote fallible (and erroneous) opinion?

As you read the following details, please continue to keep in mind that we are not obligated to give assent to the elements of the encyclical that are non-binding and violate our properly-formed consciences. We do not have to cooperate with evil people or their organizations. We don't have to conform ourselves to the Holy Father's political leanings or those of his advisors or collaborators. We are followers of Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church and not the shenanigans of men. The following details are individual pieces that apply to the larger context but are important enough to include here because they all have bearing either on the creation or implementation of the goals of Laudato si'.

COLLABORATORS

Although the encyclical is a product of Pope Francis' study and opinions, the document itself was the result of a much larger collaborative effort. There were many who were invited to prepare the way for, help write, and also to promote the encyclical. Within that context, there have appeared some alarming names...

Cardinal Peter Turkson and a team of advisors wrote the first draft of the encyclical.  The Cardinal has been a high ranking Vatican official for a long time (predating Francis) and his views favoring a U.N. collaboration and a one world banking and environmental system are well known.

The team of experts consulted also included Hans Joachim Schnellhuber, the founder and head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change, and staunch advocate of a one world government. His presence has caused some alarm among good people. Learn more about him HEREHERE, HERE

In September of 2015, Pope Francis hosted a Vatican summit on climate change in Rome. All things being, well, Catholic... this should not have been a problem. But there were some disconcerting elements. Among those elements were hosts, presenters, and attendees whose life work lies in direct contradiction to the Catholic faith. For example...

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was invited to lead the summit. In other words, the leader of the one of the most aggressive population-control, anti-family, anti-Christian organizations in the world was invited to lead a Vatican summit on pressing moral issues. The U.N. announced it's support of Laudato si' in 2014, well before most Catholics were aware that it would be written. This knowledge has caused significant concern among pro-life and pro-family activists.

Then there's Jeffrey Sachs who moderated and co-hosted the event. He is an outspoken proponent of legalized abortion to control population. (more here

Naomi Klein is another scandalous addition. She is an anti-capitalist/environmental activist who wrote: "For these right-wingers, opposition to climate change has become as central to their belief system as low taxes, gun ownership and opposition to abortion." There's abortion again. 

I'm providing a snapshot here, not a complete story. My awareness of many of these things comes, not because I am some kind of Vatican watchdog, but because I am a pro-life Catholic who has a Gospel mandate to build a culture of life.  Within my vocation, I have been able to keep up a little with the 'who's who' among the enemies of life; hoping to recognize them when they try to posture as sheep in my community and country. I am not foolish enough to believe that they are actually in the Church as united family; they have simply walked through the open door and are preparing to dismantle it like the Trojan horse guests that they are. To recognize their mission and to own a blog and stay quiet feels irresponsible.  The Holy Father wishes to publicly collaborate with such people on projects of such magnitude, and I believe I am obliged to publicly question these decisions.

FORMAL AND MATERIAL COOPERATION

At the risk of stepping into a theological rabbit hole, I must touch on the important distinction between formal and material cooperation with evil; because support of the global Sustainable Development Goals mentioned in Laudato si' and encouraged by the Vatican, appears to at least be flirting with material cooperation, if not fully engaged. (If you are not familiar with the theological distinction in cooperation with evil, you can brush up HERE.)

This can easily turn into a complex discussion but I'll break it down (for my own benefit as well as yours)...

The Vatican fully supports the global environmental objectives of the U.N. which DO include population control initiatives (i.e. contraception and abortion). Don't believe me? Read more HERE

Work that moral equation out for yourselves but remember: These are papal opinions and assertions that are non-binding on the faithful. But in order to justify material cooperation with those who promote intrinsically evil acts, there needs to be a proportionally grave reason. The reason we are given in Laudato si' is the highly controversial idea of man-made climate change. Personally, I think that anthropogenic climate change is junk science. Regardless of whether I am right or wrong about this, nobody is bound to believe or support such speculative scientific theories.

As Catholics, we are already taught to be good stewards, to be honest and generous and self-giving; we are taught to look upon God's creation with reverence and act accordingly; we know that it is wrong to destroy healthy environments and to abuse technology to the detriment of community, family, and personal dignity. We know all this. 

I encourage you to click on the links throughout this post and to do your own research, but I have to warn you... You will find a lot of what looks like scandal. To do in depth research into the weakness and wickedness of mankind we must also go armed heavily with prayer, Scripture, spiritual reading, and foundational teachings of the Church. If we know who we are in the Body of Christ and know the promises at our Lord makes to His Church, we will not be depressed by revelations of difficulty, but strengthened by Hope and grace.  

I love Pope Francis and I always will. I am his spiritual daughter and I take joy in his holy office as Father and shepherd. But in the tradition of he Church, I am also his spiritual mother and am charged with the care of his soul. I accept his authority and at the same time, exhort him to separate himself from association with those who seek to destroy the Church. Walking with and smelling like the sheep does not also mean allowing the wolves to invade the fold.

Posted on July 22, 2015 and filed under culture, Faith, pro-life.