Catholic moral teaching is part of the overall moral teaching of the Church, but it’s really an approach to how we live together as people in various social structures. If you believe in the Pew Report- you would not think so, but would you be correct.
More than half of the U.S. Catholics (56%) said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while roughly four-in-ten (42%) said it should be illegal in all or most cases, according to the 2019 Pew Research Center survey. Although most Catholics generally approve of legalized abortion, the vast majority favor at least some restrictions. For example, while roughly one-third of Catholics (35%) said abortion should be legal in most cases, only around one-fifth (21%) said it should be legal in all cases. By the same token, 28% of Catholics said abortion should be illegal in most cases, while half as many (14%) said it should be illegal in all cases.
However, when you ask people who attend Church frequently these opinions change. Catholics who regularly attend Mass show higher levels of opposition to abortion. Two-thirds of Catholics who attend Mass weekly or more often (67%) said abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, while one-in-three (33%) said it should be legal. The ratio is almost exactly reversed for those who attend less frequently: Among Catholics who attend Mass less than weekly, roughly two-thirds said abortion should be legal in all or most cases (65%), while approximately one-in-three (32%) said it should be illegal in all or most cases. Compared with other Christian groups analyzed in the data, Catholics were about as likely as White Protestants who are not evangelical (60%) and Black Protestants (64%) to support legal abortion, and much more likely than White evangelical Protestants (20%) to do so. Among Americans who are religiously unaffiliated – those who say they are atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – the vast majority (83%) said abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
There are many different philosophies that can govern how we live together and relate to each other, and Catholic social teaching is an attempt to bring the Gospel values to bear on these questions. I think one of the reasons why the Church is at odds with society—which is actually one of the reasons why it’s so relevant to talk about Catholic social teaching—is that the Church’s social teaching is not just based on the revelation of the Gospel, but also on a reasoned reflection on the nature of the human person. Catholic social teaching is often misunderstood because the world is thinking in materialist, consumerist, and utilitarian terms, while the Church is thinking in terms of the sanctity and beauty of the human person.
One of the very best sources to see about the teaching of the Church is Pope Leo XIII. This man was the oldest Pope to serve as Bishop of Rome and the third longest serving Pope. His writings are some of the largest of Popes and the variety of subjects he wrote about is the largest. When it comes to morals and teaching of the Church, Pope Leo XIII had some remarkable words.
POPE LEO XIII wrote in EXEUNTE IAM ANNO on the birthday of Our Lord Jesus Christ; in the year 1888
ON THE RIGHT ORDERING OF CHRISTIAN LIFE
When the mind has thus been poisoned, at the same time the moral character becomes deeply and essentially corrupted; and such a state can only be cured with the utmost difficulty in this class of men, because on the one hand wrong opinions vitiate their judgment of what is right, and on the other the light of Christian faith, which is the principle and basis of all justice, is extinguished.
8. In this way We daily see the numerous ills which afflict all classes of men. These poisonous doctrines have utterly corrupted both public and private life; rationalism, materialism, atheism, have begotten socialism, communism, nihilism evil principles which it was not only fitting should have sprung from such parentage but were its necessary offspring. In truth, if the Catholic religion is wilfully rejected, whose divine origin is made clear by such unmistakable signs, what reason is there why every form of religion should not be rejected, not upheld, by such criteria of truth? If the soul is one with the body, and if therefore no hope of a happy eternity remains when the body dies, what reason is there for men to undertake toil and suffering here in subjecting the appetites to the right reason? The highest good of man will then lie in enjoying life's pleasures and life's luxuries. And since there is no one who is drawn to virtue by the impulse of his own nature, every man will naturally lay hands on all he can so that he may live happily on the spoils of others. Nor is there any power mighty enough to bridle the passions, for it follows that the power of law is broken, and that all authority is loosened, if the belief in an ever-living God, Who commands what is right and forbids what is wrong is rejected. Hence the bonds of civil society will be utterly shattered when every man is driven by an unappeasable covetousness to a perpetual struggle, some striving to keep their possessions, others to obtain what they desire. This is well-nigh the bent of our age.
In today’s world do we see socialism, communism, nihilism and other evil principles being taught in our institutions of higher learning? Do we see these being taught in our secondary schools? Do we even see these being learned by members of our Church? Why? Maybe Pope Leo XIII said it best when he said that next one hundred years Satan would be attacking the Church. These attacks were through the very fabric of our society- our families and our Church. We must stay strong, united against the enemy, and solid in our belief in God. Amen. Comment below