At a recent Mass I attended, the deacon indicated in his homily that we are most like Jesus when we fight against social injustices. The examples he gave? That of students participating in the climate strike, those calling for proper preparations for natural disasters, etc. I nearly keeled over the pew right then, because I’m so tired of a) the hysteria over our “dying” earth, b) the Church’s fondness for promoting uncontroversial causes over controversial ones, and c) not hearing anything about abortion at church. We are killing children – real, live children, right at this moment. A church is almost useless if it’s not raising alarm over this practice of child sacrifice.
I regularly confront pro-choicers on the streets, cowardly politicians, and even fellow lay Catholics who are very misguided, and at the risk of sounding overconfident, I think I have near-endless energy to deal with their stupidity/cruelty. When I go to church, however, I’m seeking refuge and it kills me that the Church I rely on for leadership is failing me. I write this column because it’s the most I can do. Though we should be trying to educate and encourage our pastors directly, I personally cannot, because it is too draining. It’s a battle I cannot fight.
To every Christian church: Ask not what the pro-life movement can do for you, but what you can do for the pro-life movement. I phrase it this way because the movement is already serving God and building up His Kingdom; by our commitment to defending the least of our brothers and sisters, we’re sharing the Gospel tangibly, and churches everywhere should be bending over backwards to help us.
Lend us your basements and halls for free; you don’t need the meager funds of the pro-life movement. Regularly take up collections for pro-life organizations. Distribute our literature. Feature our events in your bulletins and attend them. Invite us to your conferences. Host pro-life speakers. Come to us and ask how you can assist instead of vice versa. Watch that any of your criticism of the movement’s methods doesn’t become an excuse to stay uninvolved. Let us focus our attention on the secular world instead of constantly having to drag Christian churches onside.
Speak. It is appalling that I can’t recall hearing about abortion once from my church pulpit. Absolutely no one is served by avoiding the topic. If a significant number of your congregants thinks killing babies is okay, you shouldn’t be preaching about homelessness.
The Catholic Church, by the way, ought to get back in the business of excommunication. While the Archdiocese of Toronto election debate went better than I expected, the Liberal representative Francesco Sorbara “proudly” declared himself a member of the Knights of Columbus, and later in the debate asserted: “I personally support a woman’s right to choose.” There, as Cardinal Collins watched, Sorbara caused great scandal to the Church by misleading hundreds of the faithful into thinking it might be licit to break the sixth commandment.
Of course, if the Church isn’t going to formally excommunicate Justin Trudeau, it certainly isn’t going to excommunicate Sorbara. Let me point out the obvious, though: These politicians are not in communion with the Catholic Church; they’re persecuting not only the preborn, but Catholics who actually dare to stand up for Church teaching. All the Church is doing by pretending that Trudeau and company are still in communion is making themselves complicit in the continuation of abortion in Canada.
I have not even spoken of failures in other areas like the family. Kingston Archbishop Michael Mulhall’s censure of Father Robert Chisholm of Picton, Ont., for simply reminding his parishioners that they ought not to participate in Pride events makes my blood boil.
Also, none of this is new, I understand. (Recall the Winnipeg Statement and bishops’ refusal to hear the pro-life movement’s concerns over the Charter). Still, the more I learn, the angrier I become, and I very much think it’s a righteous anger.
Bless those pastors and church communities who don’t need this message as they’re already wholly committed to life and family. Overall, however, most are simply not doing enough, and the most gracious thing I can do is call them out for it.
Am I being greedy? Vindictive? Too harsh? No. Because I ask this all not for myself, but for the preborn, who die in the thousands – sometimes just blocks away from Houses of God prominently displaying crucifixes. If that symbol is to mean anything at all, it better be a reminder to us not to let the innocent be led away to slaughter without our objections.