The naming of President Bush’s nominee for the Supreme Court Vacancy has caused pro-life and pro-choice forces to come out in full force proclaiming their support of or dissent from the pick. Among the statements that were release today was one from Francis Kissling of Catholics for a Free Choice. Because I will not link to her site, you can read her press release on US Newswire. This statement makes many false statements about Catholic teachings.
Ms. Kissling criticizes the assumption that “a faithful Catholic is obliged to follow church positions on issues like abortion, contraception, access to reproductive health services, end of life decision-making, the death penalty and gay rights” by claiming that “faithful Catholics hold a wide range of views on what the constitution demands, regardless of their personal religious views about the morality of these issues."
The agenda of Catholics for a Free Choice is in clear opposition to the teachings of the Catholic Church. In her statement today, Ms. Kissling reiterates many of her fundamental misunderstandings of the Catholic Church. In fact, Ms. Kissling entirely misses the point of being a faithful Catholic, which is that such person is Catholic faithful to all of the teachings of the Catholic Church. Unfaithful Catholics are those who consciously defy the teachings of the Church on matters of importance, while still proclaiming their allegiance to the Church. This is duplicitous and gravely sinful.
Ms. Kissling also stated, "an educated Catholic knows that they have a personal right to dissent from church positions and an even stronger responsibility to protect the right of all Americans to follow or disregard the teachings of their denominations on these issues."
These statements presume that Catholics are educated to dissent from Church teachings. On the contrary, Catholics are expected to know and follow the teachings of the Church. If the teachings of the Catholic Church do not guide the moral decision making of an individual member, that individual is not longer a member of the Roman Catholic Church.
Lastly, Ms. Kissling stated that "modern Catholic social thought accepts and supports a legitimate distinction between church and state."
Ms. Kissling has a grave misunderstanding of the “separation of Church and state.” This concept does not mean that Catholics or Christians of any denomination are disallowed from bringing their values into the political sphere, but that the State is unable to dictate how individual churches conduct their services and religious business. This concept does not mean that Catholics or Christians of any denomination are disallowed from bringing their faith-based pro-life, pro-family, pro-woman values into the political sphere, but that the State is unable to dictate how individual churches conduct their services and religious business. Ms. Kissling further advances the agenda of the Culture of Death through her dissent.
Ms. Kissling's statements are false and only serve to confuse Catholics and others who are unsure of the teachings of the Catholic Church. Make no mistake, Ms. Kissling's cooperation with abortion, contraception, euthanasia and gay rights is not sanctioned by the Catholic Church. They bring scandal to the Church.
Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life issued a press release responding to these heresies.
“Our response is simple,” said Fr. Frank. “Nobody is forced to be a Catholic, but if you don't subscribe to Catholic teaching, have the honesty and integrity to say that you are no longer Catholic. But don't try to have it both ways.”
“Another problem with her press release is that it suggests that abortion can be justified. Here we don't even have to enter the question of Catholic Faith. We just have to read the descriptions of the procedure and look at the pictures. It is an act of killing. Neither a private citizen nor a Supreme Court nominee can justify this act of violence. Those who claim that killing children has any place under our Constitution, or in any civilized society, have more than a problem with Catholic Faith. They have a problem with fundamental human rights,” said Fr. Pavone.