Just say it

Just say it

Speaking of Mahony, (What can I say? He’s in the news.) Kelly Clark notes that Cardinal Mahony has urged his flock to vote Yes on California’s Proposition 85, to require an abortionist to notify at least one parent before performing an abortion on an underage girl. Unfortunately, Mahony neglects to come right and say that abortion is wrong.

He starts by comparing the parental notification requirement for schools to give flu shots or even an aspirin, with the lack of requirement for abortion. Okay, but that’s an argument for parents’ rights, not against abortion.

He then says that “Parental notification laws are desperately needed to protect young girls.” Well, yes, but we also need to protect unborn girls and boys.

Finally, he says “Parents are the best ones to help a minor understand all her options if she becomes pregnant.” All her options? Like what, Your Eminence? Why can’t he come right out and say it? He’s addressing a Catholic audience. No one is going to think it strange if a Catholic cardinal-archbishop says that abortion is wrong. So why doesn’t he? As Kelly says:

The Cardinal makes a strong case for the effectiveness of parental notification laws in preventing “secret abortions,” and that’s a good thing.

What he does not do is state what I don’t think “goes without saying.” He doesn’t say—and I wish he did—that abortion is not an option because it is murder and murder is a sin.

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  • Didn’t the cardinal write a nice essay a few years back on how people who support the “right to choose” never mention the object of that choice, abortion?  It was certainly memorable enough for me.

  • I can’t completely disagree, but to give the devil his due (perhaps that’s a bit harsh toward an Eminence), the argument that the Cardinal is making is appropriate to the political debate going on in the state.  One does not convince voters who don’t believe in the concept of “sin” to oppose a measure because it is sinful.

    Sorry to chime in late on this. Comcast woes, alas.

    Anyway, this kind of argument makes me squirm, frankly. A good secular leader—secular leader—uses tactics like this to persuade citizens to vote in a certain, please God, correct way. Fine.

    A spiritual leader’s first job is to get his flock into Heaven. His job is to, before all else, preach. In this case, preach the Gospel of Life. And to convince his flock that, yes, the concept of sin is indeed a valid one.

    (Kevin and Trubador: I’m happy for your memory and your parish, respectively.)