If Lukasz Swiderski (SFS ’10) thought that Election Day was going to settle the alleged “debate” over abortion within the Catholic Church (“Catholics Must Keep Open Minds in Abortion Discussion,” www.thehoya.com, Dec. 2, 2008), he seriously misunderstood Catholicism and politics. Politicians will do anything to get elected. The Church must always stand by what is right. Catholics cannot keep “open minds” about abortion or any other form of mass murder, no matter how popular it may be. Anyone with a basic understanding of biology and natural law, including the infamous anti-theist Christopher Hitchens, can tell you that abortion is an abomination.

Devout Catholics believe that all unborn babies are human beings who should never have to suffer the unthinkable horror of being destroyed at their mothers’ behest. Those who support abortion in any form believe, in effect, that it is okay for some babies to suffer the torment of being killed with their mothers’ approval. Where is the middle ground?

Despite Swiderski’s incredibly offensive assertion that “One fear keeps gripping the Catholic Church in the United States – that it is no longer one, holy, catholic or apostolic,” the Church is afraid of nothing and nobody. This is evidenced by its consistent and fearless teachings on other controversial issues.

The Church is not naïve regarding its stigma in today’s society, but will not surrender, as Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger) said, to “a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as definitive and has as its highest value one’s own ego and one’s own desires. . The church needs to withstand the tide of trends and the latest novelties.”

Through the ages, various heresies and mistakes have been extremely popular, but the Church has prevailed. At one point, there were more Arians than Orthodox Christians, and yet the Church would not waver on its position. Those churches that have made major concessions are now institutionally fragmented: Just look at the Anglican Church, whose recent schism (sparked primarily by precisely these sorts of issues) grows deeper each day. Based on what has happened to the Presbyterian, Lutheran and Anglican churches, the one way that the Church could guarantee splintering and division would be to “compromise.”

Brigid Bower (COL ’11)

Jan. 9, 2009

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