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“Abortion is Murder”

September 23, 2021 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

“Be a pastor, don’t go condemning.” was the Pope’s answer to a question from a reporter on the return flight from his recent apostolic journey to Slovakia and Hungary. The context was a question posed: “What must the pastor do?” in reference to pro-abortion politicians. On the subject of abortion, the Pope repeated the Church teaching that procuring such a procedure is “murder.”
Defining what it means to “condemn” over against what is “pastoral,” however, is a subject about which one could write a book and more. In short, Our Lord is the example of a Good Shepherd over against which the ministry of every priest is critiqued.
As the upcoming annual November meeting of the U.S. bishops approaches, the subject of the proposed statement on Eucharistic coherence is again coming to the fore. The opposition of some bishops against making such a statement was overridden by a majority within the conference at a virtual meeting last spring. The committee charged with crafting such a statement has been working since then and one would think should have a document for the members of the conference to consider and possibly vote on at that time.
I don’t recall any bishops condemning Biden, Pelosi, or any of the great number of additional elected officials who aggressively support the legalized murder of pre-born boys and girls, who have even gone so far as to remove protections against federal funding for abortion or exporting abortion overseas.
What condemns souls who both give Communion to pro-abortion pols as well as those who receive Our Lord in the state of sin it entails, because it deepens the already grave state of mortal sin in which they languish. Omitting to speak the truth condemns souls, not the opposite.
Truth saves. The Lord is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Giving the Lord in the teaching and in the sacraments, both, is the pastoral approach. Bishops and the priests who collaborate with them in the Church have the first and greatest responsibility for preaching the truth. The truth itself condemns those who reject it, not pastors who enunciate truth.
Obfuscation of the issue of human life in the womb, whether describing it as “a woman’s right to choose” or “women’s reproductive health,” about which men who are bishops should have nothing to say, is in fact an intimidation tactic by those with bad will.
Papal comments on the plane about U.S. bishops and abortion have reignited a press maelstrom. What should be addressed in this scenario is that the only reason bishops have to involve themselves in politics is because politicians are involving themselves in religion.
Politicians have no business involving themselves in matters of human life by supporting legal child murder, or by involving themselves in marriage by redefining it as two men or two women or by legislating that a man can have an operation and become a woman or a woman can mutilate her body and become a man.
These are matters legislated by God in which man, elected or constituent, bishop or lay, has no power for manipulation or dissimulation. When politicians stay in their lane bishops can stop involving themselves in politics.
Elected officials don’t have special protection against the truth, for either hearing it or following it. Saving a politician’s soul is not conditioned upon whether he or she happens to hold office at a particular time. Being a pastor means never shrinking from sin or the mention of it, regardless of political conditions, negative consequences for himself or human respect. Salvation of souls demands a confrontation first with sin, that which most endangers souls.
We can safely state that a pastor is one who speaks of sin, confronts and seeks to defeat it. Each and every procured abortion is murder of the most innocent and defenseless human beings among us. None of us on the side of Heaven should rest until every pre-born human being is protected to the fullest extent of the law. Every pastor is fully entitled to discuss this in any situation in which he finds himself.
With every discussion of abortion should be mention of the consequences of those who choose it. This, too, is pastoral. Souls in sin sometimes respond first to fear of Hell and, only later, learn to desire Heaven and live each day in a state of grace and joyful anticipation of eternal life. This truly is the fullness of Catholic Christian life and the goal of every good shepherd who in charity tends to the members of his flock.
Does a pastor speak about Heaven? Certainly he does. But he is of no use to sinners unless he explains and aids them in getting there. One way of doing this is to warn the faithful about Hell. The Lord Himself mentioned the place of final damnation over 70 times. He was no less pastoral for having done so, never ceasing to be Himself Divine love incarnate as He did so.
But the Lord also spoke often of the Father, of His love for the Father and for His holy will.
The pastor, himself a sinner, must not shrink from mentioning Hell for the reason that he himself is also a sinner. His role as pastor demands his good example, lest he himself be condemned. At the same time, however, no matter how much a sinner in the past, he must think first of his flock and their needs. Their right to the truth should never be conditioned by his personal weaknesses and failings.
Perceptions are key. The context in which Hell is mentioned will determine whether it is perceived as a condemnation or no. Mentioning Heaven as the goal of life on earth at the same time can certainly help set the proper tone.
The full Magisterium includes the Commandments and “Thou shall not kill” is particularly relevant when it comes to considering the absolute innocence of every boy and girl in the womb. Christ Himself made clear, not only do the Commandments still stand but also that they cannot be either altered or violated in any way.
“Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till Heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matt. 5, 17 ff)
Pastors, then, to meet the high standard which Christ sets, must omit absolutely nothing from the Decalogue, lest he be himself condemned. The Pope stated the truth, “Abortion is murder.” Every good pastor does the same, disinterestedly feeding the flock with the truth and nurturing a bond with Christ, the Good Shepherd and Savior of their souls.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.
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