Wednesday, August 20, 2014

When Pro-Abortion Catholics Are Not Disciplined

The National Catholic Register has a book review of  Good Catholics: The Battle Over Abortion in the Catholic Church. It's basically the history of Catholics for Choice.


It was only when the bishops worked strenuously to conform public policy to official Catholic teaching -- first for abortion, but later regarding contraception as well -- that Catholic men and women formed Catholics for a Free Choice.

The organization never materialized into a broad-scale social movement. Early efforts to sign up dues-paying members never attracted more than a few thousand people, and the leaders then decided to stop recruiting grassroots support entirely. Rather, the organization found its place by entering the public discourse to assert two big points: that Catholics might tenably be pro-choice, and that the bishops did not represent lay Catholic opinion in public policy debates about abortion.

Miller argues that the organization's efforts allowed pro-choice Catholics to stay in the church and enabled holders of public office to support policies, such as the distribution of condoms to fight AIDS, that would have otherwise been seen as too politically risky. By insisting that ordinary Catholics -- voting Catholics -- would not necessarily follow their bishops' lead on public policy questions, Catholics for Choice enabled political leaders to overcome fears of voter backlash.

Dear Bishops, as long as anti-fetal-rights Catholics are not disciplined for opposing fetal rights in the public square, the laity will not understand the seriousness of denying the equality of unborn children.