As Catholics we believe in the sanctity of life - from conception to natural death, right? For the most part it is, but not always. I cannot count the times I’ve spoken to parishioners that say, “I might not agree with abortion, but I support a woman’s right to choose,” or “I think abortion is wrong, except in certain cases, such as rape.”
This kind of thinking not only impedes progress in the fight for life, but is also in direct conflict with the Church’s teaching. The Catechism is very clear, “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.” (2271) Nowhere does it say we can add exceptions or support choice for others.
In most instances, I think (and pray) it’s a matter of miscommunication or misunderstanding. Clarification is imperative. Parish pro-life groups are doing all they can to educate; however, we need our priests to be more proactive and meet the challenge head-on. It needs to be addressed from the pulpit and in their newsletters … and not just during those days, weeks or months dedicated to pro-life campaigns. Parishioners need to be reminded that compromising on abortion is just as sinful as a woman having one. Both violate the teachings of the Church.
My prayer is that as priests clarify issues of life they stress that all is not lost … Those who have strayed by compromising can change their ways, and women who have had an abortion can be healed from their shame and regret. We have a loving and compassionate God, who forgives through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.