In my new book The Future of Catholicism (Signal Books/Random House) I devote the longest chapter to the issue of same-sex marriage, and other chapters to abortion, euthanasia, and contraception. But, some critics have argued, why spend so much time on these issues when the book is about the future of the Catholic Church? Simple. Because this is precisely the future of the Church. I discuss at some length why the future Church cannot and will not change its position on Papal authority, the ordination of women, and so many other issues; also how the future Church can and may change the way it communicates, evangelizes, and deals with media, other religions, and even its own clergy. I also ask some fundamental questions about style and language of worship. But the central moral themes of life and sexuality are at the core of Catholic thought, and these are gloriously immutable.
The Church can no more embrace same-sex marriage or the slaughter of the unborn than it could suddenly deny that Jesus is the Son of God or Mary His mother. As I explain in the book, these are not incidental or accidental afterthoughts but inevitable and iron consequences of genuine Christian belief. In fact I go further, arguing in a full chapter why the future Church may, and should, be firmer in denying the Sacraments to politicians who allow and encourage abortion in particular but also encourage or allow other anti-Catholic policies. Pope Francis certainly advocated this when he was an Archbishop in Argentina. No politician has to be Catholic, but every politician claiming to be a Catholic has to be. It’s really pretty simple, if you think about it.
Refusing Communion to politicians who vote for abortion, for example, is not a way to punish them but actually an attempt to save them. A good bishop, a good priest, is a shepherd, helping souls to Heaven. If a politician claiming to be Catholic supports baby-killing and then receives the Eucharist he is putting his very soul in danger. For a priest to ignore this is terribly irresponsible; it’s not being conciliatory or forgiving but actually being rather cruel. Yes I realize that there will be consequences to such an action, but as I write in the book, we are Catholics not to be loved but to love.
These same politicians try to pretend that they can combine faithful Catholicism with fierce anti-Catholic policies because – they argue – they are elected to serve all the people, not just the Catholic people. It’s a lie of course. Even if the majority of their constituents were pro-life, these politicians would still find ways to deny truth. There are specific examples of the same MPs who vote for abortion voting against the death penalty even though the majority of the riding disagrees with them. Fine. But why the inconsistency when it comes to abortion? Because, as we know, they’re not pro-life, and they’re not real Catholics.
I address issues of population control in the book and explain why the world is not over-populated. I describe the reality of euthanasia and how it is not only wrong in itself but will open the door to a mansion of pain and suffering. With a financially pressurized medical system and increasing disregard for the elderly and disabled, any acceptance of euthanasia will lead inevitably to a new front in the culture of death.
I also write of Pope Francis and his commitment to life issues and moral orthodoxy. In spite of what media and anti-life zealots want to believe, the Pope is not soft or timid on pro-life issues. He speaks about these subjects frequently, but many in media choose not to mention this. The day after he was accused of telling Catholics not to “obsess” about abortion and same-sex marriage he met with a group of Catholic doctors and reminded them that they had to oppose abortion and stop the horrific consequences of the “throw away society.”
The future of Catholicism. Very much like the past really, and very much a story of serious believers giving their all to defend the most vulnerable, the unborn, the disabled, the old; defending life, marriage, and family. Buy the book, buy lots of copies of the book. As I always say to my most abusive and insulting critics, burn the thing for all I care – I still get the royalties.
Michael Coren’s new book is The Future of Catholicism (Signal Books). His website is www.michaelcoren.com.