Tag Archives: Pro-Life

America Will Reject Abortion When America Sees Abortion

The title for this post is taken from Fr. Frank Pavone, the Founder and President of Priests for Life, who famously said, “America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion.” I just made it a positive, “America will reject abortion when America sees abortion.” And I have always believed this to be true. I know many will not agree with me on this point, but I also believe people who favor abortion need to see abortion in all of its gory reality in order for this viewing of abortion to have its full effect. I believe tens of millions would change their view from pro-abortion to pro-life in a matter of the minutes it would take to see, via video, the reality of what abortion truly is.

Below, find proof positive that Fr. Frank (and I, I might add) is right! Watch how multiple people’s minds are changed by viewing what are rather mild examples of videos exposing the brutality of abortion. Watch this:

And this was after viewing these videos that are, again, relatively mild in presentation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRDnVSMr5j0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgw4X7Dw_3k

There are much more graphic videos than these available that I believe would be even more effective. But the main point of this post remains: America would reject abortion if America were to actually come to know what abortion is through seeing what abortion actually is with its own collective eyes.

One Way, But Not the Only Way

The viewing of the graphic and brutal reality of what abortion is is not the only way to change minds and hearts; though, as I said, I believe it is a very effective way. We can also persuade people, as I can tell you I have over the years, by simply laying out the truth of what abortion truly is. We all need to be evangelists for life if we are Catholic. In fact, we all need to be evangelists for life if we are simply men and women of good will. Opposition to the killing of innocent pre-born children is not a Catholic-only club!

But there is a third way of accomplishing the task as well. And the Knights of Columbus have teamed up with COLFS (Culture of Life Family Services) to bring to the fore what I believe to be another extremely effective tool in educating the masses who live in ignorance as to the truth about abortion. It comes in the form of multiple mobile ultrasound units that can be taken anywhere in the U.S. to give women in crisis pregnancies the opportunity to see their own babies in the womb in order to aid them in making the right choice to bring their unborn children to full term.

I recently spoke at a fundraiser for this group and it was truly one of the great honors of my entire career as an apologist. Check out the website here and see how you can get involved in this most worthy endeavor to create a true culture of life.

And if you would like to educate yourself as to the issues involved on an intellectual level, click here. 

The Church and Capital Punishment

Years ago, my wife and I were at a fundraiser for a candidate who was then running for President of the United States, and I struck up a conversation with a Catholic attorney who does great work for various pro-life causes. I’ll call him John. The conversation had hardly turned from small talk about family and children to pro-life matters when John made the claim, “Anyone who is pro-death penalty cannot make the claim to being pro-life because the two positions are oxymoronic.”

“Oh, boy!” I thought, “Here we go!”

I pointed out to John what too many Catholics simply do not know: The death penalty has always been, and always will be, upheld as a legitimate and potentially just punishment in Catholic Tradition as well as in Scripture.

This teaching cannot change.

Genesis 9:6 says, for example, “He who sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God created man in his own image.”

The Catchism of the Council of Trent teaches under the heading of “The Fifth Commandment:”

Another kind of lawful slaying belongs to the civil authorities, to whom is entrusted power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent. The just use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this Commandment which prohibits murder. The end of the Commandment is the preservation and security of human life. Now the punishments inflicted by the civil authority, which is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend to this end, since they give security to life by repressing outrage and violence. Hence these words of David: “In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land, that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord.”

And CCC 2267 declares:

Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”

This latter statement in quotes, “… rare, if not practically non-existent,” is taken from Pope St. John Paul II’s Encyclical Letter, Evangelium Vitae, paragraph 56. This statement, along with the USCCB’s thought-provoking document on capital punishment of 1980, where the bishops declared their belief that the death penalty ought not to be carried out in the United States in our time, were the documents John used to say a person is not truly pro-life if he is, at the same time, pro-death penalty.

I respectfully disagreeed.

A Matter of Prudence

I pointed out to John that the Church, Pope St. John Paul II, and the American bishops, and now we can add Pope Francis as well, are not making dogmatic statements on the matter of the death penalty; rather, they are making prudential judgments. There is a significant difference between the two.

Catholics are free to debate the issue of when the death penalty should or should not be employed. In fact, then Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, when he was Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, declared, in a document called, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion: General Principles,” 3:

Not all moral issues have the same weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father (John Paul II) on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

So again, the key here, as I said to my friend John, is to understand that capital punishment and the death penalty are not “non-negotiable” matters as abortion and euthanasia are. And we could speak of other “non-negotiables” as well.

Thus, a Catholic who supports the use of the death penalty against those convicted of capital crimes in modern times while opposing the murder of innocents does not somehow forfeit his “pro-life” position.

Conclusion

After what ended up being a very congenial discussion, it struck me how important it is that we never present the question of capital punishment as if there is a moral equivalency between it and, say, abortion, or any of the other “non-negotiables” in our moral theology. Capital punishment can be carried out justly against a murderer who has been justly convicted. Abortion, however, is always and in every situation grave sin and can never be justified in any sense.

The problems with presenting capital punishment as if it is a “non-negotiable” are manifold:

1. It sets up contradictions between Scripture and the teaching of the Church. This can never be.

2. It presents contradictions between Magisterial statements of the Church. This causes confusion among the faithful and can lead to skepticism toward other teachings of the Church.

3. It presents contradictions to those seeking full communion with the Catholic Church that may prevent them from further consideration of the legitimate claims of the Catholic Church.

If you enjoyed this, click here to go deeper in the discussion.

Answers For Life

If you want a video that says it all about life in a succinct way, and in a format you can easily send to anyone no matter which side of the pro-life fence they may be standing, you have to check this out:

Here is the long version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wURL0rVLbY

Here is the short version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jRM6ytOA_U

 

 

An Amazing Apostolic Work – Not Mine!

Those of you who have been reading this blog since its inception, you know we are the new kids on the block. We just launched this blog back in July, 2013.

To get things started, I have been focusing on some basic, biblical apologetics, which should not be much of a surprise to those who know me. That represents a good chunk of what I do as Director of Apologetics and Evangelization at Catholic Answers here in San Diego, CA.

And BTW, stay tuned because we really haven’t even scratched the scratch on the surface compared to what we have planned for the coming months and years when it comes to biblical apologetics.

But you should also know that we plan much more than just this. We are going to tackle scientific matters as they relate to our Catholic Faith, philosophy, theology, history, and this is not to mention the more “fun stuff,” like movies, sports, popular culture, not so popular culture, politics, news, and more.

Now to the real reason for this post. There is another thing that we have not done to date on this blog, and that’s the promotion of other people, apostolates, etc. There are many reasons why we haven’t done this yet, one of which is we wanted more than three people reading the blog before we do it, but I would like to point you in the direction of an amazing work that is being done by Mr. Chris Stefanick of RealLifeCatholic.com

Chris has a truly extraordinary gift when it comes to reaching young people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and in particular, with the message that every human being that has ever been conceived is infinitely loved by an infinitely loving God.

But let me shut up now and you go to:

If you don’t know about Chris yet, you should. But check out this video and more at his website and I think you will know precisely what I mean.