Why a Catholic abortion debate is still so important

Why a Catholic abortion debate is still so important

Sometimes supposedly educated people say the most incomprehensible things. To wit, Monika Hellwig, speaking at a conference at the National Press Club, said the following of the push to have pro-abortion Catholic politicians denied Communion:

Monika K. Hellwig said that tactic would contribute to the misperception that abortion is a “Catholic issue” when it should be an issue with all candidates.

... Hellwig said the focus on whether Catholic politicians such as Kerry should be allowed to receive Communion is a “monumental red herring” drawing attention away from the main issue.

“The central issue should be what is wrong with a culture that sponsors abortion and what can we do about it. What can we do about it at the political level, in the culture, in the pattern of society?” she said. ... She said it is a mistake to isolate abortion “from other issues of the election and from other issues of the sacredness of life.” One problem, she said, is that abortion “has come to be seen as a Catholic issue.”

She is guilty of a false dichotomy. There is no such thing as a “Catholic” issue because issues of life are human issues. How is the imposition of discipline upon recalcitrant members of our Church taking away from the debate? In fact, by her own presence at the National Press Club, Hellwig is proving that this public discussion of pro-abortion Catholic politicians has brought the debate to the fore once again.

  • She’s creating another false dichotomy here—part and parcel of creating that “alternative culture” capable of sustaining legislation is bringing home the importance of the issue to the wayward members of the flock—e.g., the Patakis and Kerrys who are doing the legislating.  The communion issue, far from a “distraction” or “red herring” (Give me a break, Prof…) is the essential wake-up call.

    Put differently:  in the 30 years since Roe, the nicey-nice endless dialogue approach to abortion has led to prominent Catholics espousing infanticide in the form of PBAs.  This process has been aided and abetted quite effectively by her fellow Catholic academics vomiting up BS about the primacy of [an extraordinarily deformed] conscience.  If it weren’t for men like Abp. Burke, the snooze bar would have been hit for another election cycle, and another million victims would be swirling into the waste bins without a second’s reflection by the Catholic legislators who make it possible.

  • Dom:

    Somehow I missed your use of “false dichotomy” here.  Hence, I sound like a parroting nimrod.

    OK, *even more* like a parroting nimrod.

    A great phrase—I bow to your first use, sir!  smile

    P.S.—maybe you could replace the “a” with “another”? 

  • The Catholic electorate is FAR from any danger, of abortion drawing attention away from other “life issues.” The REAL danger is that abortion gets BURIED by all the other “life issues”—every time a bishops’ committee feels like it has to say something on the topic. No wonder the idea of a “Catholic vote” is a joke.

  • This 30years of nicey nice talk is like the policy of the Vatican during the 1960s and 1970s toward the Communinsts. They called it Ostpolitik. It was really just cover for communists masquerading as Roman Catholics.

    In the same way Ms. Hellwig’s comments and are just an attempt to provide cover for the pro-abortion crowd like Kerry, Kennedy and their ilk.

    By the way, who the heck is Monika Hellwig?

  • By the way, who the heck is Monika Hellwig?

    See this and then there’s also this website (do a Ctrl+F and type in her last name to find her on that page).  I would take that second web site with a grain of salt as I think their criteria for “heresy” might be a little unbalanced; not all that they list would necessarily qualify for the title of “heretic”. 

  • I saw the event on CSpan and felt great pity for Fr. Neuhaus trying to debate this woman’s (or would that be womyn’s?) positions. A “culture of rape”?!? Puhlease. This, quite obviously, is a woman (womyn?) who has drunk deep from the well of radical feminism.

  • It’s the abortion industry that is raping the country….and liberal theologians like this one who are the red herring…the whole appearance seemed fishy to me……Monica for Kerry.

  • Of course abortion should be an issue with all candidates.  But the Church is only responsible for who gets admitted to her own communion table, and those who approach it tend to be pretty exclusively Catholics (though if Tony Blair presumed to approach it, as I understand he has on occasion, I’d think canon 915 would apply to him as well).

  • Monika Hellwig is a dissident, who is styled as a “theologian.”  We’ve been subjected to this crap in a million places because Catholic crap filters haven’t been so functional.

    It’s time to use the internet to get a handle on who’s who and who’s fit to use in CCD classes, RCIA classes and private reading, etc.