Theological reductionism

The issues raised recently of human life and rights aren’t going to
go away in a political strategy of changing the subject to health care
and employment. In fact, there’s no turning back on the forces of truth
that have gathered to confront a jarring spate of distortions.

Recall Pope Benedict’s famous ‘dictatorship of relativism’ homily:

How many winds of doctrine have we known in recent
decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. The
small boat of the thought of many Christians has often been tossed
about by these waves…

Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is
often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting
oneself be “tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of
doctrine”, seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We
are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize
anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s
own ego and desires. 

That comes to mind, now that Sens. Obama, Pelosi and Biden together seem to have created the perfect storm.

When asked by Pastor Rick Warren at the Saddleback Forum
when a baby acquires human rights, Barack Obama first changed the
subject and then professed a faux intellectual humility about when
human life begins, saying that the answer was “above my pay grade.” Not
so far above his pay grade, mind you, to prevent him from endorsing a
woman’s right to abortion at every stage of an unborn child’s life. He
may claim not to know when human life begins, but of one thing he’s
absolutely sure: it ends whenever a pregnant woman chooses, even for
babies who survive abortion.

Then there’s Pelosi.

Describing herself as “an ardent, practicing Catholic,”
the speaker distanced herself from Obama’s self-professed ignorance by
noting that she had “studied” Catholic teaching on abortion “for a long
time.” And from that study, she has concluded that the Church doesn’t
know what it’s talking about when it comes to Church teaching. The
Catechism of the Catholic Church is for presumptuous Catholics, but for
humble Catholics like herself Roe v. Wade reflects a lectio probabilior
about the proper moral understanding of the value of life before birth.

And Biden…

As with Pelosi, his brand of Catholicism seems to carry
with it a certain interpretative license with respect to Church
teaching, especially on abortion. In Biden’s case, that means being all
over the lot. When he first came to the Senate in the early 1970s, he
adopted a traditional pro-life stance. After Roe v. Wade, however, his
position, like that of most Catholic Democrats, began to morph into
“I’m personally opposed to abortion, but….” The Senator, mind you,
isn’t pro-abortion; he’s just pro-choice. You’d have to be an unborn
child not to see the difference.

Or someone who follows an argument through to its logical conclusions. With intellectual honesty.

This is a good, clarifying article, calling politicians to account
who usually slip past accountability with the help of a complicit
media. Not so now, with Church leaders stepping up and out in the
public square and ’speaking truth to power’ to borrow a phrase. The
bishops are doing the job they’ve been called to do.

These men are to be congratulated for their pastoral
leadership and courage, which will have beneficial effects long after
this political season is over. In the meantime, if Pelosi, Biden, and
other Catholic politicians think they’re going to get a free ride this
time around, they may find themselves confronting change they can
really believe in.


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