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A Leaven In The World… The March For Life Is Not Enough

January 29, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

Republicans and presidents are using pro-life support to get elected. President Trump even addressed the Washington, D.C., March for Life this year via live feed from the Rose Garden. Wonderful.
But it wasn’t enough.
It was a beautiful day in Washington for the March this year not only because the weather cooperated with unseasonably warm temperatures and sunshine but also because the movement continues to promise continued strength for many years to come due to its large and growing component of youth.
But this is not enough.
Peaceful, prayerful protesters continue to picket abortion clinics and even block access to them, risking arrest.
But this is not enough.
None of these efforts are enough because unborn children continue to be killed in this nation under the protection of law. We have it in our power to save their lives and yet children continue to die by the millions, 58.5 million since 1973.
One sign visible at the March this year made the important point:
“Is Communion for pro-abortion politicians preventing the overturning of Roe v. Wade?”
The real battle over the issue of abortion is already won among the millions of faithful who march and protest, pray and witness not just at the Marches in major cities, but all year, wherever they live, work, and worship. These faithful in the trenches are pro-life in word and action. They deserve our support and they are not getting it.
Why? We are losing the battle for which they fight at the altar rail every time a pro-abortion politician is observed using the Eucharist as a political tool by receiving our Lord thus present. Why a tool? That’s all such a use could be when they receive no grace by doing so because such reception is useless and sacrilegious.
Catholics and others who witness such sinful sacrilege are demoralized when they work, witness, and pray for the unborn while our priests and bishops bless those who support it with a betrayal of our Lord. Before returning to reception of the Eucharist, through the privacy of the confessional, the Pelosis and the Kaines and their fellow travelers must publicly renounce their sinful support of abortion. Until then, every priest has a right to refuse participation in sacrilege by denying them the Eucharist when they come forward erroneously demanding it. There is no unjust judgment involved.
Real leadership on the issue of the sanctity of life must come from the Church. Our bishops have spoken on the issue collectively most recently in June 2004 in Catholics in Political Life. They stated:
“It is the teaching of the Catholic Church from the very beginning, founded on her understanding of her Lord’s own witness to the sacredness of human life, that the killing of an unborn child is always intrinsically evil and can never be justified. If those who perform an abortion and those who cooperate willingly in the action are fully aware of the objective evil of what they do, they are guilty of grave sin and thereby separate themselves from God’s grace. This is the constant and received teaching of the Church. It is, as well, the conviction of many other people of good will.”
The bishops include a teaching on the Eucharist, no doubt as a result of the fact that they have been implored for years to take action by legions of faithful Catholics who have repeatedly witnessed the scandal of pro-abortion politicians receiving Communion, usually on special occasions which are frequently livestreamed events, compounding the scandal:
“The Eucharist is the source and summit of Catholic life. Therefore, like every Catholic generation before us, we must be guided by the words of St. Paul, ‘Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord’ (1 Cor. 11:27). This means that all must examine their consciences as to their worthiness to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord. This examination includes fidelity to the moral teaching of the Church in personal and public life…
“The question has been raised as to whether the denial of Holy Communion to some Catholics in political life is necessary because of their public support for abortion on demand. Given the wide range of circumstances involved in arriving at a prudential judgment on a matter of this seriousness, we recognize that such decisions rest with the individual bishop in accord with the established canonical and pastoral principles. Bishops can legitimately make different judgments on the most prudent course of pastoral action. Nevertheless, we all share an unequivocal commitment to protect human life and dignity and to preach the Gospel in difficult times.”
The document suffers from internal incoherence when it states:
“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors, or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”
Is not the Eucharist more important than any “awards, honors, or platforms”? And yet these same people regularly receive the Eucharist? And the bishops will not act. Some only speak out to make clear that they will continue to allow the scandal to continue because they will not refuse the Eucharist to anyone. Years ago a priest denied the Eucharist to a woman at a funeral who had made clear to him prior to the Mass that she was living in sin. The resulting response made it appear he was being punished.
The Church must continue to fight injustice wherever it afflicts the human person. The overall effect today, however, is that we seem to do more for illegal immigrants and death-row prisoners than for the weakest and most defenseless among us.
A welter of social justice issues without distinction induces a lingering intellectual fog among Catholics, generally as a result of the popularization of the “seamless garment” notion, which was promoted as a consistent ethic in favor of human life. This lie promoted by the Bernardin machine at the helm of the USCCB for many years dulled the Church’s pro-life witness by mixing apples and oranges. Burying the abominable crime of abortion among a plethora of other social justice issues certainly did not serve clarity of Catholic teaching.
Moral equivalence between the intentional taking of human life before birth, which is always a great moral evil and grave sin, and the execution by means of capital punishment for the guilty, for example, is dishonest.
The March for Life is not enough. Here we are 44 years later and still marching while babies are dying. What we are not doing is denying the Eucharist to ferocious proponents of abortion like former vice-presidential candidate and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine. He recently attended the installation, an admission by ticket only event, of his new ordinary Bishop Knestout in Richmond and came forward fully expecting to receive the Holy Eucharist. He, unfortunately, was not disappointed.
No, we are not doing enough until our bishops rewrite and reissue Catholics in Political Life, calling upon all of our ordinaries to formally notify pro-abortion politicians under their jurisdiction that they must no longer approach the priest at Holy Mass for the Eucharist and that to do so is to bring judgment upon themselves according to the teaching of St. Paul: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:27)
We are guilty of sinning by lack of charity as long as we fail to deny the Eucharist to pro-abortion politicians who are uselessly and sacrilegiously profaning our Lord truly present, thereby compounding their sin. And we delay the day of justice for every unborn child.

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