Abortion as an Elections 2008 Catholic Issue

Editor's Note: In an email exchange, I shared with my friend Alan this article by Pat Buchanan, "A Catholic Case against Obama."

Alan responded with the following email. My response to him is below. Please feel free to share your thoughts with us regarding this exchange.

This is where the line is drawn. I personally doesn't condone late term abortion, but I am also for separation of church and state. I believe that government should not based its legislation from the bible or koran or from the book of Mormons, this is a thin line to theocracy and democracy. Because if we do, we might as well ban divorce, ban sex unless its purpose was for pro creation only, and maybe make it mandatory for all Christian to attend the weekly services and legalized work on Saturday and Sundays (depending on which Christian denomination). The list is long but if we need to be consistent to the teaching of the church, we will do it all the way, and not just be selective.

Here's my response to Alan


Even Jesus said we should give unto Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. The Catholic Church is not for a theocracy. God, through our Catholic Church, tells his people to live their lives according to His will. We know His laws, we know His love for all of us. He also gave us individual free choice to do what we want. And we will have to reckon with Him at the end for the choices we make.

That being said, Catholics should strive to live their lives the way they are expected to do so by God. But we're not perfect and we all falter. We become weak many times and sin against God. Or we become totally insidious to God's love and refuse to admit that something we want is against His will. And in the end, it's still always our choice.

The teachings of Jesus are clear. The Church has never wavered in preaching what God wants his faithful to do. The Catholic Church – the bride of Jesus on earth – will not compromise despite pressure from individuals who want the Church to change based on their personal whim and convenience. That is not the way of God. He is a loving God but He is God, not us. Many people have chosen to leave the Catholic Church in their search for the faith that they think is convenient for their personal beliefs. That is their personal choice to walk away from God and His church. God gave them that choice.

The world challenges our faith everyday as Catholics and these 2008 presidential elections are no different. America will never be a theocracy as you fear even if Catholics are in charge 100%. Jesus' teachings on that are very clear. The Church's teaching on this is best summarized by Cardinal Mahony in the quote I place below:

"While we acknowledge the right and the need for our government to enforce the law, we must remind our fellow Americans that man-made law does not permit the violation of God's law. And by repairing the law, we are better able to enforce it in a humane manner."

That is the Catholic position. It is a position of Love according to God's will, not man's nor any individual's. We can choose to ignore Him and do our own will. We can choose to ignore Him and find another Church. But that does not change the fact that He is God and our Catholic Church is his vessel on earth.

As the Archbishop of San Fernando in the Philippines said, this week, "If you are Catholic, you should behave like a Catholic. Otherwise you are not what you profess."

It is a challenge not just to me and you but to all Catholics. It's a personal discussion you will have to have with our God. We all have choices to make. And God is not in the way. But He would like to help us make it to Him in every way possible.

Food for thought, my friend. Our ParishWorld theology editor keeps reminding me that our faith is not an intellectual exercise. It's a matter of faith, Alan, and where you stand with regards to our faith. I choose to believe.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

1 comment:

Paul said...

Good one. As a matter of fact, governments are gifts of God. They are the way that we humans make it easier for us to live by providing tools for harmony in the community. We humans need both virtue and law. Making the two go hand in hand is never easy. Most especially difficult is providing an environemt of equal access the highest of human and supernatural values. This one of the greatest challenges that we have in a pluralistic society.