FOCA Watch: Has FOCA Replaced Roe?

That is, in the minds and hearts of anti-abortion Catholics?

In the comments below, a non-Roe thread quickly develops a Roe thought and frequent commenter John takes it from there. See posts 9 and 12 for the core of the point. A question is raised that Roe may not be the best point of attack and that we have options. Then five paragraphs, impassioned no doubt, ensue about exactly Roe.

I was checking another conservative web site and there’s g/rumbling that a bishop of all people has opined that FOCA is no danger to Catholic hospitals. Result? The commentariat begins talk of schism.

This is a perfect example of behavior and thinking that happens around alcoholics and other addicts. Can’t confront unwelcome news, so divert the discussion to crazy extremes.

I remember Bishop Hermann’s comment a few months ago. I also remember that quip comparing martyrdom to sainthood–the implication that it’s easier to die quickly for the faith than endure a marathon of sacrifice.

I think that’s why the bishop’s statement was more like a clang than a clarion call. Shouldn’t it go without saying that a believer would lay down her or his life for another human being? Even non-believers show tremendous acts of courage and sacrifice for others. But from leaders we hope for direction, a distillation of policy, workable and working strategies to make some progress … any progress.

A bishop giving a sound byte about abortion martyrdom: that’s very, very unlikely in most anyplace in the world, except maybe for China. Abortion isn’t a government policy so much as a hands-off approach to let people choose. And the sad fact is that tens of millions of women have chosen abortion over the past half-century. They’re not going to stone a bishop or throw him off a cliff. If Bishop Hermann wanted to give a difficult witness of sacrifice, he might turn the bishop’s house into a home for mothers seeking an alternative to abortion. I’ve known a few pro-lifers who have done that with a spare room in their home. It seems like just having a houseguest, but it can be a very challenging arrangement, full of saintly sacrifice.

Take the nice home imaged at the top of the post, the domicile of Portland (Maine) Bishop Richard Malone. Instead of empty interior space, imagine the support that could be rendered to women in need. Even if were just a PR gesture, it would serve to counteract the crazy talk coming from the other side of the abortion divide. How can you fault, after all, an old guy who gives up his home to women and babies in need and moves in with somebody else?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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