Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, finally responded to a direct question about President Joe Biden’s and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s ongoing support for taxpayer funded abortion on demand despite being self-proclaimed Catholics. His answer was disappointing to the faithful – and I include myself in those numbers. But to understand the controversy, let’s provide some context.
On January 22, 1973, the United States Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade declared that any state or federal law barring or restricting abortion violated the “penumbra of rights” of women. (For those of you forced to endure a teachers union led education in the Portland public schools a penumbra is an ephemeral image surrounding an actual thing – you’re on your own to figure out what ephemeral means.) In the context of the Supreme Court’s decision a “penumbra” means two things – first, you can’t find it anywhere in the Constitution, and second, “they just made it up to justify a political decision by liberals.”
The stunning thing about the decision is that it was so all encompassing without the slightest bit of legislative oversight. In fact it flew in the face of the legislative actions of virtually every state in the union. And there was no appeal from its effect. It was mandated by the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court is the only body (short of a constitutional revision) that can change its effect.
In the meantime, as of the end of 2020, over SIXTY-THREE MILLION abortions have been performed and they continue at a rate of over 50,000 per month. Sixty-three million babies murdered. Over 50,000 babies murdered each month.
President Joe Biden (D) took office as a United States Senator from Delaware at about the same time. Based on the arcane rules of seniority in the United States Senate, Mr. Biden rose to the position of chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee – not because of any specific foreign or domestic acumen but rather simply because he had been in the committee longer than anyone else. Thereafter, he became Vice-President of the United State when President Barack Obama (D) selected Mr. Biden as his running mate – a choice that was made primarily because Mr. Biden posed the least possible threat to Mr. Obama’s self-declared intellectual superiority to everyone in the world. And during his time in these offices Mr. Biden uniformly supported taxpayer funded abortion on demand without hesitation. He did that despite his putative claim to be a Catholic. Mr. Biden regularly attended Mass, carried his rosary beads, and spoke of his deep and abiding Catholic faith while all the while voting in support of the murder of over sixty-three million babies by abortion.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) first served in Congress in 1987. She like Mr. Biden has never failed to support taxpayer funded abortion on demand without hesitation. She too is a putative Catholic who finds time to piously wear her expensive lace mantillas while attending Mass and additional time to display her rosaries blessed by a series of popes none of whom apparently took time to explain to her that her leadership on abortion on demand is an anathema to the teachings of the Church. A situation that has at times led to Ms. Pelosi trying to explain how the Catholic Church actually supports the concept of abortion. Of course no one has ever been able to follow her bumbling explanation or find any support in the Catholic Church for such nonsense. She too is culpable in the deaths of millions of babies at the hands of the abortionists.
Mr. Biden and Ms. Pelosi are the two highest ranking public officials in the federal government. They are also the two highest ranking officials who are self-proclaimed Catholics who have routinely repudiated the teachings of the Church that they so “fervently” embrace during election seasons. But they are not alone.
A September 19, 2021 article in Newsweek quoted Pope Francis – the first and only Jesuit to become Pope – in an interview:
“The Vatican’s stance is firm: ‘Abortion is homicide,’ Pope Francis said on Wednesday. But the Catholic leader also urged compassion for politicians who support abortion rights.
“Speaking to reporters on a flight back to Rome from Slovakia, Pope Francis, 84, was steadfast in his belief that abortion should be classified as murder. His comments came while addressing whether or not Catholic politicians like U.S. President Joe Biden or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should receive Communion if they back abortion rights.
“’The problem of abortion, abortion is more than a problem, abortion is murder’ he said. ‘Scientifically, it’s a human life. The textbooks teach us that. But is it right to take it out to solve a problem? And this is why the Church is so strict on this issue because it is kind of like accepting this is accepting daily murder.”
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“However, he called on Catholic bishops not to condemn politicians who support the medical procedure, but to treat them with ‘compassion and tenderness.’”
This level of moral equivocation is the principle reason that so many Catholics* leave the Catholic Church and so few young people join the Church.
It is a fundamental tenet of the Church that abortion constitutes the murder of a child. That murder constitutes a mortal sin and that absent confession, repentance and forgiveness that such a sin will deny you a place in the presence of God upon your death. Ultimately only God knows whether there is a valid confession, repentance and forgiveness.
Now I want you to stop and think about that for a minute. For those of us who are believers in a Supreme Being and who believe that we have a soul that will be held accountable upon our death based on how we conducted ourselves prior to death; that is a gravely serious burden. Even if you are not a believer, you have to consider the nature of those who embrace a theology and act repeatedly, unabashedly, and publicly contrary to one of the most fundamental tenets of that theology. If you are a believer, then the murder of sixty-three plus million babies is just as wrong, just as malicious, just as cold blooded as the murder of twelve million Jews by Adolph Hitler, the murder of twenty-five million Russians by Josef Stalin, and/or the murder of forty-seven million Chinese by Mao Zedong. Even if you are not a believer then daily repeated support and encouragement of abortion by those who profess publicly their beliefs in the Church that condemns abortion as murder should cause you dismay over the fundamental ethics of Mr. Biden and Ms. Pelosi.
And to that dilemma, Pope Francis adds equivocation. It is unsurprising frankly. The Jesuit order has a long and dubious history of turning a blind eye to the public sins of the rich and powerful. As the Spanish and Portuguese opened the Far East and the New World (the Americas) the Jesuits preached the gospel of Jesus to the natives while aiding and abetting the subjugation of the natives in its most brutal forms. They have covered up for the child molesters in their ranks. And they have danced to the siren calls of “diplomacy” with some of the most brutal dictators and murderers in history. It is one of the primary reasons that in the two thousand year history of the Church there has never been a Jesuit pope until Pope Francis. And now that the Church has had a Jesuit as pope, it is more than likely that it will be another two thousand years before it ever happens again.
In this instance, Pope Francis must believe that it is more important to maintain secular relations with Mr. Biden and Ms. Pelosi than to embrace the tenets of the church with regard to abortion. In doing so he joins Mr. Biden and Ms. Pelosi in demonstrating that there is a double standard of justice (religious and secular)– one for the rich and famous and another for all others.
Pope Francis has introduced this moral equivocation in response to the strong likelihood that the American bishops are going to adopt some form of censure for Catholic politicians who actively support taxpayer funded abortion on demand like Mr. Biden and Ms. Pelosi. Nobody is suggesting that Mr. Biden and Ms. Pelosi be held up for public condemnation or ridicule or that a spectacle be made of denying them access to the sacraments. It is more important that they find their way back to the tenets of the Church than to publicly condemn them.
And the best way to accomplish that is to use the two parts of the daily mass to specifically pray for the souls of Mr. Biden and Ms. Pelosi and the other errant politicians who support abortion and to inform them privately that they should not expect to receive communion. None should be denied access to Mass – there is a part of the Mass that encourages those who cannot receive communion to simply fold their arms and receive a blessing from the priests or those distributing communion. That is the way to treat them with “compassion and tenderness.” Pope Francis’ choice to ignore the conflict in hopes that it will disappear only encourages further alienation of the faithful.
*It is difficult for many Catholics to separate their belief in the tenets of the Church from the conduct of those charged with the administration of those tenets. But for most of us, we recognize that those tenets are divinely inspired while the errant conduct of some of the clergy are the product of human frailty.