Abortion Pope

Abortion Pope

I suppose I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to comment on the new Pope, huh?

There’s lots of talk about him taking the Church in a “new” and “refreshing” direction because he seems kinda cool and he used to ride the bus in Argentina.   Well, don’t hold your breath folks.  Just because he has already abandoned some of the fancy Pope clothes doesn’t mean big changes are in the future.  Take, for example, the Church’s long held opposition to abortion (good segue, huh?).

On October 2, 2007 then-Cardinal Bergoglio told an audience that “we aren’t in agreement with the death penalty but in Argentina we have the death penalty – a child conceived by the rape of a mentally ill or retarded woman can be condemned to death.”  He went on to say that abortion was a “death sentence for unborn children.”  I can’t help but wonder what it must have been like for a woman sitting in that audience that day who had had an abortion.  Even though this occurred in Argentina where abortion is basically illegal, make no mistake that there was a woman there who had had an abortion and she was now forced to hear the Cardinal talk about how she gave the “death sentence” to her child.  Pretty harsh stuff.

Abortion Pope

Abortion Pope

So far, I have not heard Pope Francis say anything about abortion but rest assured that it’s coming soon.  Indeed, the pro-life news service, LifeNews.com, has already reported that “Newly-elected Pope Francis used his second-ever blessing as the head of the Catholic Church to bless a pregnant mother and her unborn child.  The blessing a symbolic overture to the pro-life movement and underscores the importance the Catholic Church places on protecting women and unborn children from abortion.”

Abortion

Abortion

I looked at the video that accompanied this statement and it shows the Pope in a crowd, surrounded by lots of people.  They are kissing his hand and he is “blessing” all of them and one of the women happened to be pregnant.  So, the pro-life media is already stretching things but rest assured that the new Pope will jump in soon on abortion.

I certainly wish the Pope well and I hope he uses his position to make this world a better place to live.   But, as far as the abortion issue is concerned, wouldn’t it be something if when he inevitably condemns abortion, he also condemns the cold blooded murder of real live people who happen to perform those abortions?  Once – just once – I would like to see a Pope (or a priest for that matter) condemn the violence against abortion providers.  Indeed, for him it would be an easy one because no doubt the vast majority of Catholics condemn the killing as well.  But I’m not gonna hold my breath.

Anti Women Catholics

Anti Women Catholics

That’s because the Catholic Church is locked in their ways and the new Pope will not stray far from the flock and stir things up.  Indeed, just the other day I was reminded of the Catholic Church’s head in the sand approach to our world.  I run a local charitable organization for needy children in my area.  Right up the street from me is a Catholic Church which gives out grants to organizations like mine.  Yesterday, I looked at the application and in big, bold letters it said it would not give money to any organization that was in any way connected to “abortion” (and to other causes like the “promotion of homosexuality.”)  Ultimately, I decided I don’t even want their money.

Maybe the Pope can help change this dangerous, myopic outlook and take a more charitable view of those who do not necessarily agree with the Church.  But I doubt it.

Abortion

Abortion

Angelita and Ricardo took their place in one of the last pews in the back of the church.   As always, the predominantly Spanish parishioners at the Good Sheppard Catholic Church have filled the building to the rafters.    Ever since the arrival of a new, dynamic priest named Father Guerrero, attendance has skyrocketed.

Today’s sermon was entitled “The Horrors of Abortion.”  For the next 20 minutes, Father Guerrero told the rapt audience how thousands of babies each day were being torn “limb by limb” from the mother’s womb, how the mothers would ultimately come to regret their heinous act and how God would be watching them commit this serious sin.  This particular church had always been on the cusp of anti- abortion activity, organizing buses to protest at the local “abortion mill.”  Two years ago, they erected a “Memorial to the Unborn” at the church’s entrance, a reminder to everyone entering God’s house that millions of babies had been aborted under his very eye.  Father Guerrero was asked to come to this church because of his zealous anti-abortion activism over the years.  He fit right in.

Abortion

Abortion

Meanwhile, as the good father went on, Angelita kept rubbing her stomach.  She was nine weeks pregnant and in two days she was going to have an abortion.

When the young couple had learned that Angelita was pregnant, at first they rejoiced.  Ricardo, perhaps playing that “machismo” card, could barely contain himself.  He couldn’t wait to tell his compadres at the construction site that he was going to be a father – preferably the father of a young, strapping boy.  Angelita, who was 19 at the time, was also excited at first but then quickly turned anxious.  After she finished high school, she had taken a year off to work at a local fast food restaurant to save money to attend the local community college where she hoped to study nursing.   Suddenly, she saw how her life was about to change.

Catholics and Abortion

Catholics and Abortion

A week or two later, after thinking a lot more about her and Ricardo’s future, she began to think about abortion.  She could not imagine raising a child at her age, giving up her dreams of being a nurse and the possibility of Ricardo having to get a second job to cover their new expenses.  But when she prayed to her God, she could only feel discomfort.  As a lifelong Catholic, she had been trained that just the slightest thought of abortion was abhorrent, that if she ever had one she would clearly spend eternity in hell.  Of course, she could not even think about going to her former priest, the one who had given her communion, had presided over her father’s funeral and had advised her on some many other personal issues.   And the new one was out of the question.  Meanwhile, she couldn’t talk to her friends or her family, as they were Catholic as well.  It was just she and Ricardo.

Within a few weeks, Ricardo’s enthusiasm about being a Dad had worn off as well as he started to anticipate his new responsibilities.  So, when Angelita – in tears – raised the possibility of abortion with him, he was more amenable than she thought he would be.   After a few agonizing days, they agreed to schedule an abortion.

Catholic Compassion

Catholic Compassion

And now, sitting in her house of worship that had been a source of comfort for so many years, she could only feel like an outcast.  When she walked by the statute in the front of the church, she became nauseous.  As she listened to her priest talk to HER about HER abortion, she could not make eye contact and it took all of her resolve to not burst out crying.

She and Ricardo needed help, not condemnation.  But in her desperate time of need, her church offered her no refuge.