Monday, August 10, 2015

Archbishop Blase Cupich, Abortion & Social Justice

New Archbishop of Chicago, Blase Cupich has upset some Catholics with an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune.  In the article, the archbishop attacks Planned Parenthood and the idea of crushing a child's skull in order to sell them as valuable parts as he should.

However, this is not what is causing an uproar on social media, especially among Catholics who identify as "conservative" and are known for passing judgments against clergy who emphasize social justice. This is what the archbishop wrote that is stirring reactionists:

"We should be no less appalled by the indifference toward the thousands of people who die daily for lack of decent medical care; who are denied rights by a broken immigration system and by racism; who suffer in hunger, joblessness and want; who pay the price of violence in gun-saturated neighborhoods; or who are executed by the state in the name of justice."  - http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-blase-cupich-abortion-planned-parenthood-perspec-0804-20150803-story.html

As you have read, the archbishop links the atrocities of fetal trafficking with other social injustices, ie: unemployment, lack of medical care, a broken immigration system, racism etc.  The moral equivalency is present.  There is no doubt about this. However, what is he really trying to express?  Is he downplaying the atrocities mentioned in the leaked Planned Parenthood videos as some Catholic reactionaries allude to?  I think not.








What I see here is the archbishop calling our attention to other social ills that also attack human life in different ways. Pro-life advocates are often mocked by those who support abortion who identify under the moniker "Pro-choice."  The latter criticize the hypocrisy of fighting for "pro-life" values while at the same time supporting the death penalty, guns, anti-immigration policies and not speaking out against other abuses related to human life such as poverty, lack of education and so on. Name calling generally comes into play with terms applied to pro-life advocates describing them as having a "Fetus Fetish."

See some Tweets here highlighting this name calling and the alleged discrepancies of those who are "pro-life:"











In light of these tweets, one can see why we in the pro-life movement must focus on all things related to human life and not solely abortion.  By doing this, we lend credibility to the main motive behind the movement: the dignity of all human life.  Granted, nothing can compare to the crushing of unborn children's skulls in regards to other social issues; however, the latter are not less important and must be focused upon as well as they too attack human life in a variety of ways. I believe this is what archbishop Cupich was trying to convey in his op-ed.

Moreover, as Church, we must not focus too much on issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage and so forth as if the Church exists solely to address social issues.  Our Church exists to preach the Gospel of Christ.  We are not called to be activists or protestors like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson who only appear when it suits their interests. These gentlemen claim to support civil rights and show up whenever an African American is shot by a police officer but are a no-show in areas where black on black violence is rampant.  We must not be like them.  Rather, we are called to spread the love of Christ to all, in every place and in every time; to remind all of God's mercy and what He wills for each one of us.

Pope Francis had this to say in an interview he gave:

"We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. The teaching of the church is clear, and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time."
http://www.americamagazine.org/pope-interview

Some Catholic reactionaries were quick to criticize the Pope for those words; however, had they done their homework, they would have known that his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who was viewed as the "staunch conservative" Cardinal Ratzinger, aka "God's rottweiler" also said something similar.  Pope Francis simply echoed his works by reaffirming the Church's priority.

https://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2006/november/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20061109_concl-swiss-bishops.html

In closing, we must not be quick to attack our bishops and should first try to understand their intentions.  No true Catholic bishop would promote the idea that abortion is less evil than unemployment, racism and so forth. No true Catholic bishop would have his flock downplay the selling of fetal parts.  This would be absurd. A true Catholic bishop would call us to respect and aid all human life: born and unborn; in every state of being and circumstance.

The moniker "pro-life" does not make sense if it only applies to issues related to abortion. If we are "pro-life" then we must fight for the rights of all human beings, born and unborn.  We must secure a world where everyone has fair access to the world's wealth and goods so there is no need for contraception; a secure world that has access to education, equal treatment regardless of race, gender, ability, disability, or sexual preference, legal immigration status, dignified work, crime-free neighborhoods, and health care. This is what it means to be "Pro-life."






Source:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-blase-cupich-abortion-planned-parenthood-perspec-0804-20150803-story.html

http://www.americamagazine.org/pope-interview

https://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2006/november/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20061109_concl-swiss-bishops.html

5 comments:

  1. You didn't understand. He's correct we must be concerned about these other issues. But he made them equivalent. They are not. By making them equivalent, that is how over the past 30 years numerous priests, bishops and laity have voted Democrat because they simply have to decide whether they hate abortion or capital punishment more. But the conservatives only support states rights to decide whether each state will have capital punishment or not. Abortion was decided on the federal level, and no state has any right to object. And the Catholic Church has not changed its position regarding capital punishment. It is permitted --- not out of revenge -- but out of self defense. Some Catholics claim U.S is developed and can afford life in prison so no capital punishment. That is pure baloney. #PrisonLivesMatter. Many retarded, mentally ill and young people are brutalized in prison horribly, and they should be defended by capital punishment in some cases. The US prisons are not secure. The prison is a society and murderers do murder there.

    Now because the Archbishop defended this weak thinking, he defended Planned Parenthood and Obamacare (stealth euthanasia). His moral compass is way out of whack. His thinking is called the Seamless Garment of Life. Unfortunately such a failed method of thinking does not distinguish between criminal lives and unborn babies' lives. One can mostly object to Capital Punishment, and never ever subscribe to the "Seamless Garment of Life."
    This is the age of the laity. If the Shepherds will not protect the people, God sends in the sheep dogs. God bless you, one sheep dog disagreeing with another. Susan Fox www.christsfaithfulwitness.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, I understand. I acknowledged his moral equivalency. That's why I wrote,

      "The moral equivalency is present. There is no doubt about this. However, what is he really trying to express? Is he downplaying the atrocities mentioned in the leaked Planned Parenthood videos as some Catholic reactionaries allude to? I think not."

      What I did was explain what I believe he was trying to convey. As you have stated, he was adopting his predecessor's "Seamless Garment" argument. Cardinal Joseph Bernardin used the term metaphorically in a speech at the Bronx's Fordham University in 1983. The late Cardinal used John 19:23 as a reference. You can find the speech in the archdiocese's archives (http://archives.archchicago.org/).The phrase itself comes from the co-founder of Pax Christi, Eileen Egan in 1973. As archbishop of Chicago, Cupich is echoing the phrase which is completely in line with the Church's teachings.

      "Every individual, precisely by reason of the mystery of the Word of God who was made flesh (cf. Jn 1:14), is entrusted to the maternal care of the Church. Therefore every threat to human dignity and life must necessarily be felt in the Church's very heart; it cannot but affect her at the core of her faith in the Redemptive Incarnation of the Son of God, and engage her in her mission of proclaiming the Gospel of life in all the world and to every creature (cf. Mk 16:15)." The Gospel of Life (Evangelium vitae), #3

      The problem here is that some Catholics think that Republican conservative or Democratic liberal ideas are part of the Church's teachings. They are not and never will be. I have read on Twitter Catholics who call themselves "convervative" or "Republican" tweet some really racists things. The other day, one Catholic tweeted to a black activist that she should hang herself. Seriously?

      See the tweet: https://twitter.com/Chris_1791/status/630810807568367617

      He clearly cannot separate his political views from Catholicism.

      Democratic Catholics are not far behind. They tweet things claiming that the Church must be welcoming to all but at the expense of Church teaching. This is not a reality. This is why Mother Angelica stated that she is neither liberal or conservative, just Catholic. Moreover, this is why both Popes Benedict XVI and Francis have made it clear that we cannot be focused on one or two social issues.

      The archbishop does not have weak thinking. Again, some Catholics are reading his words via their personal political filter. You seem to be falling in the same pattern. No where in the op-ed did he downplay the evil acts of Planned Parenthood. He simply used to occasion to remind us of other evils plaguing human life. Again, it makes no sense to simply be "pro-life" just in the area of abortion and then ignore the rest of human life and how it is attacked. Pro-abortion advocates are quick to point this out. At the March for Life, I have witnessed fellow pro-lifers shout their life slogans while walking past homeless people. There is something wrong. How can we march and defend life while walking past homeless people who are starving?

      Delete


    2. While the Church does not exclude recourse to capital punishment, she has always spoken against it, prefering other non-lethal means to be used.

      "2267 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."68"

      You have to see where the archbishop is coming from. He is not downplaying abortion or defending Planned Parenthood. The archbishop is calling for a "consistent ethic of life" while recalling that the videos show a disregard for the value of human life.

      "This newest evidence about the disregard for the value of human life also offers the opportunity to reaffirm our commitment as a nation to a consistent ethic of life."


      So while he did make this moral equivalency, his point is valid. We must be "pro-life" in regards to all stages of human life and not just focus on cases related to abortion. If we do the latter, then we would be no different than radical feminists who put the woman's life over that of the unborn child. The "seamless garment" argument works well in protecting all human life from conception to natural death. This is why we try to save both the unborn child and the mother, instead of picking one over the other. We see life has no seams.

      Catholics need to set aside their personal politics and focus on the Church's teachings which are politically neutral. We cannot become "right wing" evangelicals who think Jesus was an American patriot of sort. We cannot become an "Ann Coulter" and believe that Darren Wilson's life was more valuable than Michael Brown's simply because the latter was the aggressor, according to the evidence presented. The Catholic response is that both lives have worth. So the archbishop is not degrading the moral value of issues related to abortion nor defending Planned Parenthood. He is simply calling our attention to the respect of ALL human life from conception to natural death.

      You can also think of it in regards to the same-sex issue. How can one be in favor of sacred traditional marriage, yet be divorced? Do you see the problem this arises? How can anyone take one seriously? Same-sex advocates will simply state that they respect it more than the sacred traditional marriage person since they are not divorced and simply want to marry.

      Delete
  2. Spare me the liberal nonsense.

    Michael Brown was a piece of garbage who got what he deserved. Darren Wilson's life was FAR more important.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liberal nonsense? Your opinion can be classified as "liberal nonsense" since liberals love to choose a woman over an unborn child. Liberals tend to view lives as belonging on a scale of worth and measured by certain criteria. This is utilitarianism which is a liberal concept. The reality is that Michael Brown's life was not less important than Wilson's life. Only God can determine who deserves what, not us. What if your daughter gives a dirty look to someone and is slapped? Will you say your daughter deserved it? We have to mature about this. Brown did wrong and faced the consequences. Did he deserve it? I cannot answer that. However, he should have known better not to become violent. In any event, Christ died for both Wilson and Brown showing their lives have worth and are equal.

      Delete

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