Msgr. Pope minces no words in a recent op-ed for the New Catholic Register. He says that Catholics have been fooled into allowing moral evils because they’ve been deemed political and thus off limits for the Church or Her practitioners to discuss:
Satan is no idiot. He has successfully convinced most Catholics that moral issues are political issues. And in so doing he has successfully shut down a huge amount of moral exhortation and reflection. This is especially true in a political season such as this, when the distinctions between the candidates on critical moral issues could not be clearer or sharper.
Among the moral issues that have been most politicized are non-negotiable issues for any Catholic: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and same sex “marriage.” These are non-negotiable issues because there is no room for nuance or degree of support. You are either for them or against them. There is no middle ground. They are outright forbidden by Church teaching and no Catholic may agree with or support abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research or same-sex “marriage” in any degree whatsoever. This goes for every Catholic from the highest political officials to the lowliest and most unknown Catholic in the pew. This precedes politics, party loyalties, political leanings or any such thing.
But did I mention Satan is no idiot? Indeed, he has convinced many that Catholics who clearly articulate Catholic moral teaching on these non-negotiable issues are merely “talking about politics; and how dare they!” And cowed by this satanic trick and lie many clergy and other Catholics sadly cave and run for cover in speaking to these issues at all, not just in political seasons. Other dissenting Catholics buy Satan’s lie because it gives them cover and helps to silence foes.
This is most certainly true, yet another component to this discussion should be addressed. Many claim that since those issues are moral that they shouldn’t be part of the political conversation (the complement to what Msgr. Pope is talking about). As libertarians we agree that everyone should be able to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t harm others. This means that while abortion and embryonic stem cell research are prohibited due to the violation of the NAP, government should have no role in the sins of physician assisted suicide and same-sex unions. But once public policy is introduced surrounding those issues, it is our moral obligation as Catholics and Christians to oppose such policy. Not only do Leftists want to do these sins, they want moral and financial approval for them against the will of the extorted taxpayers. This is an evil in and of itself that must be eliminated.
Msgr. Pope continues:
To again be clear, abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and same-sex “marriage” are moral issues, and the Church must teach against them no matter where the political lines fall.
The Catholic position on these matters currently coincides with one political party’s platform over another. But this not the intention or fault of the Catholic Church. These are matters that most Americans once agreed on and are now matters that have divided out along political lines.
The Catholic Church has not moved one inch. Rather, it is a confused culture that has changed and politicians and parties have moved and maneuvered for reasons of their own. But to say the abortion is a grave moral evil is no more political today than it was in 1950. And just because politicians and dissenting Catholics say it is political does not make it so.
I, and I pray every other faithful Catholic, will vigorously and confidently refute the charge of “being political” when we teach on these non-negotiable truths. I pray we will refute such charges as did St. Paul when he said, We do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. (2 Cor 4:2). No true Catholic or disciple of Jesus can do anything other than to manifest the truth plainly and draw others to conversion.