Fr. Chad's Thoughts on New York's Recent Abortion Law

02-10-2019Weekly ReflectionFr. Chad King

As many of you know, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who considers himself Catholic, has gone further than any other politician (so far) in making it legal to perform abortions up to birth. Furthermore, they do not have to be performed by a licensed doctor. So, what have we learned?

1. We need to do a good job of investigating and discerning who we vote for! I wonder how many Catholics in New York voted for him just because he was a so-called Catholic, without really looking at his platform? I also wonder how many of those who voted for Cuomo, did so because of his stance on other issues, or even because of his proabortion stance, who are now sorry they have voted for a politician who would go to this extreme? I wonder if they are now second-guessing their decision to make his stance on other issues as more important than his view on life? I have no ties to New York and I do not know, but I wonder. Therefore, we need to investigate and research which candidates will work for what is closest to our beliefs as Catholics. It also shows that we must have a voice. We cannot allow the politicians to govern according to their agendas, instead of serving the people, and so we, the people, must speak up and declare abortion is murder and is not to be tolerated (and especially not celebrated!)

2. Let’s hope this is a wake-up call to everyone on what abortion really is. It is not so much a political issue as it is literally a question of Life and Death. Let’s hope that every person will not be so focused on winning their agenda, as much as really doing what is right for the person (most especially, including the unborn person). Let’s hope and pray that all the abortion doctors, workers, and supporters really look at how far their agenda has gone—way further than caring about the choice or health of the mother. Let’s hope this is a wake-up call for everyone to really think about and look into what it means that abortions are allowed at all, and certainly to this extreme. May every person look at this, not as an agenda or political issue, but as it is about the life of the child and the physical and emotional health of the mother.

3. May this also be a wake-up call for the Church. Thankfully many bishops have called Gov. Cuomo. However, he has declined all their calls and instead, publicly stated that he doesn’t “govern as a Catholic.” May that be a warning to all of us who try to let our faith be just a small part of who we are or what we believe. It can then be easily compartmentalized and thus also compromised—as it has with Cuomo and every other pro-abortion, so-called “Catholic” politician. Instead, let us ask for the grace to let our Faith, and the Truth of it, to influence every aspect of our lives and beliefs. After all, that is what it means to have a well-formed conscience. Remember, abortion—the direct and intentional killing of the unborn—is an intrinsically (absolutely and always) evil act, so there is no rationalizing or justifying an intrinsically evil act, ever.

Finally, may this also be a wake-up call for the Church to speak-up publicly. Even though the Church’s teachings on issues like abortion have always been crystal-clear, because we are living in a post-Christian society, there are many people who may not know what, or especially not why, the Church teaches what she does. I am hoping and am confident that every Bishop is privately speaking to those in his flock who are publicly standing against Church teaching to try to influence them. However, it has become necessary for the Church to be much more public and vocal of the Good News that we have been given by Christ for the good of every person. Therefore, I do believe that more Bishops will make more public statements, like Bishop Thomas Daly of the Diocese of Spokane.

In a letter to his diocese on February 1, Bishop Daly wrote, “Politicians who reside in the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, and who obstinately persevere in their public support for abortion, should not receive Communion without first being reconciled to Christ and the Church.”

Bishop Daly also stated, “Efforts to expand access to abortion, allowing murder of children up to the moment of birth, is evil. Children are a gift from God, no matter the circumstances of their conception. They not only have a right to life, but we as a society have a moral obligation to protect them from harm.”

“The Church’s commitment to the life of every human person from conception until death is firm. God alone is the author of life, and for the civil government to sanction the willful murder of children is unacceptable. For a Catholic political leader to do so is scandalous,” Bishop Daly said.

However, it might also be necessary to do more than publicly state what we believe, and to sometimes publicly Excommunicate someone who is openly confusing and defying Catholic teaching and causing scandal. Historically, Excommunication has been used as a means to work for dialogue and conversion. Thus, I heard Cardinal Dolan’s statements that he has not publicly Excommunicated Governor Cuomo because he has discerned that it will not do any good. However, we also need to think about what message are we sending to the rest of the Catholic flock, especially when there are so many “cafeteria Catholics” and people who think it is acceptable to still call oneself Catholic while purposely and clearly not accepting or practicing Church teaching. As Catholics, we cannot pick and choose what we believe. We should believe and accept what the Church has deemed divinely revealed by Jesus Christ to be true (that murder is a sin is clearly included). So, let me be clear again: to be Catholic means to be Pro-Life, and thus against abortion in every circumstance, PERIOD! Furthermore, we will be held accountable to how we have gone against God’s law and have helped or encouraged others to do so. However, it is reasonable that one may not fully understand a Church’s teaching entirely. In such a case, a person has the responsibility and obligation to pray for humility and investigate to gain full understanding. Therefore, to publicly state that you adamantly disagree with what God and His Church have declared to be true and to actively pursue laws (in the case of politicians) against the Church, means that you are NOT an active Catholic in good standing. So, after all other attempts at dialogue and conversion have been made, it might be necessary in some cases for the Church to declare that publicly by an Excommunication. To this end, our very own Auxiliary Bishop Nevares boldly tweeted: “I am compelled to raise my voice in calling on Cardinal Dolan, and ALL CATHOLIC BISHOPS to EXCOMMUNICATE the ‘Catholic’ Governors and ALL other ‘Catholic’ Politicians who are promoting the most VILE, HIDEOUS and, YES, DEMONIC practice of MURDERING the NEWBORN BABIES.”

Whatever the Church, and her Bishops, discern what is right to do in their Dioceses and in each circumstance, it is my hope that, at the very least, we the Church will be courageous. May we more publicly propose the Truth for the good of society and declare why abortion is intrinsically evil. Ultimately, we will be held accountable and responsible to the degree that we do or do not.

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