Pope is wrong about the Church

In a recent interview, the Pope appeared to be offering some kind of olive branch in his comments about gay marriage, abortion and birth control.

The New York Times picked up on his message with a piece titled, “Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed’ With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control.

I think I understand the Pontiff’s concerns about the dangers of becoming so focused on one or two issues that we lose sight of other pressing matters. But I also believe that his words were unfortunate, unnecessary and perhaps even misguided.

Let me explain.

On one level, the Pope played into the hands of a deceitful effort to paint the Church as overly preoccupied with things like abortion and homosexuality.  Yet remember that the Church has largely responded to the obsessive preoccupation of liberal media with promoting abortion rights and gay marriage.  

The Church is most often responding to the demands of liberal politics that the public conforms to only one view on these subjects. The Church is responding to a radical agenda on the left that uses the puppets of mainstream media to promote an ideology that they reinforce with deceptive polls.

We must not fall for efforts to promote a false image of Christians as obsessed with abortion and gays. We must not be blindly manipulated into misguided self-criticism.

Attorney David French summarized the issue well, writing that, “The criticism is so common that it’s often internalized and adopted by the church itself. Similar to our reaction to another leftist refrain (“Christians care about children until they’re born”), we act as if the critique is legitimate — as if it’s the result of some kind of empirical, good-faith analysis of Christian action in America. But it’s not. It is, pure and simple, a talking point. And it’s false. Demonstrably false.”

French argued that, “American Christians, in fact, are ‘obsessed’ with helping the poorest and weakest members of our society.”

“While the full scope and sweep of all Christian charitable activity (both in donations and volunteer time) would require book-length treatment, we can at least begin to isolate one critical factor: money. Our obsessions are reflected in our expenditures. Where do Christians put their charitable dollars? What is their charitable obsession?”

“We can find part of the answer by looking at the budgets of the largest and most influential Christian organizations. A website called Guidestar publishes the tax filings of most charitable organizations, so register (it’s free) and take a tour of Form 990s. First, you’ll notice that Christians do give lots of money to what I’d call “pure” culture war organizations, but not as much as the Left.”

A larger concern

On another level, given the gravity of abortion, why should we apologize for being obsessed with protecting unborn life? The occupant of a mother’s womb is a human life with the potential of becoming a mature human being. It’s a verifiable fact that abortion does not merely terminate a pregnancy; it terminates the life of a baby.

If you have children, look closely at them and remind yourself that had you chosen to abort any of them at any point from conception to birth, you would have ended the life of your child. 

More than 90 percent of induced abortions are performed for non-medical reasons. The large majority of surgical abortions are performed during the 7th through 10th week of pregnancy. By this time, a baby’s heartbeat, arms, legs and fingers are identifiable.

The thought of a mother’s womb becoming a baby’s death chamber is unconscionable. Perhaps our apology should be to the millions of babies whose lives should have mattered more to us.

But, here too, we must not forget that Christians are the majority (by far) on the front lines — leading the way by caring for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of young women facing unplanned pregnancies. 

Steve Cornell

About Wisdomforlife

Just another worker in God's field.
This entry was posted in Abortion, Catholic Church, Culture, Equal Rights, Equality, Gay, Gay Marriage?, Homosexual lifestyle, Homosexuality, Life, Planned parenthood, Pope, Post-abortion, Pro-life, Same-sex, Sanctity of life, Wisdom and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Pope is wrong about the Church

  1. “American Christians, in fact, are ‘obsessed’ with helping the poorest and weakest members of our society.”. That’s the truth that the media wants to hide.

    I can’t for the life of me understand some of the things the Pope says. Of course we never hear the other 99.99% of his words that just don’t make a good headline. And I have to say that nothing has stood up for the saving of lives like the Catholic Church. I’ll give the Pope the benefit of the doubt on this one.

    Thanks for the wise and well-balanced message Steve.

    –Wm. Brown

    Forest, VA

  2. When you put the three statements below together (with some of the other things said about the issues), the Pope was understood to offer some form of corrective or as I said, an “olive branch” and I think it plays toward an intentional piece of propaganda that is fostered by a manipulative media. More importantly, it’s very far from the actual truth of the hard work of the majority of Christians that will never be featured by the media. Of course, his corrective is not completely out of place and is needed for a small vocal number that the media loves to hold up as the true image of Christians. I’d like to hear more courageous leaders expose this distortion and blatant misrepresentation of the Christianity. __________________________________________________________________________

    1. “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that …”

    2. “The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

    3. “The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.”

  3. These quotes help give some further context. Re. quote no. 3: abortion, contraception, and gay marriage are hardly ‘small things”. And I’m not sure what he means by “disjointed multitude of doctrines”.

  4. I copied this from “The Denison Forum”………..

    SEP 25, 2013
    Denison Forum Cultural Commentary
    Pope excommunicates pro-gay marriage priest

    USA Today, like most news sources, summarized a recently published interview with Pope Francis: “Pope Francis said the Catholic Church should focus less on abortion, gays and contraception.” Is there more to the story?

    Consider this: last May, Pope Francis excommunicated a pro-gay marriage priest. Greg Reynolds of Melbourne, Australia had been advocating views on women clergy and gay marriage that clearly contradict Catholic doctrine. However, the pope’s action is only now making news. Why? Perhaps because, as one commentator notes, “he’s not the liberal the media wants.”

    I read the pope’s recent, controversial interview in its entirety. His fellow Jesuit, Antonio Spadaro, asked him, “What kind of church do you dream of?” Francis replied: “I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds.”

    Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio washing the feet of a unidentified woman on Holy Thursday at the Buenos Aires Sarda maternity hospital on March 24, 2005 (Credit: Reuters/Tony Gomez-Dyn)
    3 Lessons Protestants Can Learn From The Pope
    Read more This is the context of his oft-quoted statement, “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. . . . When we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context.” What context? “Proclamation . . . focuses on the essentials, in the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus.”

    What are the “essentials”? Francis: “A genuine sermon must begin with the first proclamation, with the proclamation of salvation. There is nothing more solid, deep and sure than this proclamation. . . . Then you can draw even a moral consequence. But the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives.” The pope is emphatic: “We need to proclaim the Gospel on every street corner, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing, even with our preaching, every kind of disease and wound.”

    Pope Francis is right: when we focus on the immorality of our culture, we diagnose the disease but have no cure for it. However, if we then lead people to Jesus, he heals what we cannot. Human words cannot change human hearts. But the gospel contains the power to effect the moral transformation our culture so desperately needs.

    I am reading Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. Set in Jesus’ lifetime, this paragraph is striking: “Jesus will never write a book, compose a song, or put paint to canvas. But two thousand years from now, after his message has spread to billions of people, more books will be written about his life, more songs sung in his honor, and more works of art created in his name than for any other man in the history of the world.”

    The worship chorus is right: “It’s all about Jesus.”

  5. LoyalCatholic says:

    Great stuff…..

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