Monday, January 23, 2006

Bishop Tikhon of San Francisco on pro-life hypocrisy
After filtering out his convert bragging (Vladyka was born a Lutheran) and rudeness to the bishop of Colorado Springs* (perhaps he is a right-wing ‘jerk’, a Novus Ordo neocon in the Republicans’ pocket, or perhaps not, but if so he’s one who happens to be Roman Catholic), and considering the libertarian arguments against government control of labour, there is little if anything I can disagree with here. If Mr Kerry had said he would stop the war the good Coloradan bishop would have been wrong thanks to double effect. The Republicans won’t stop abortion, as the bishop notes, and so that is cancelled out as a voting issue.

And to temper the bishop’s bragging I can point out that most rank-and-file Eastern Orthodox outside the convert boomlet are either stonily, deafeningly indifferent or have accepted the secular mainstream’s cop-out (‘I’m personally opposed but support a right to choose’ — George Stephanopoulos, call your office).

With due respect to the libertarians, I should think that any Christian would be horrified at a legalised Dickensian workhouse on a Pacific island, and one that forces its pregnant de facto slaves to have abortions at that.

As I’ve written before, the approaches I criticise here are different to that of the most conservative Orthodox who of course oppose abortion but realise that activism isn’t stopping it.

Marching, etc. such as the March for Life is in theory a noble cause — I’ve done it and even tried to block the door of a clinic in a rescue and am proud of it — but 1) the right side of that often hypocritically support Mr Bush’s minders (the bishop doesn’t mention Iraq but it fits in with his point), 2) it doesn’t stop abortions and 3) it becomes an excuse for charismatic** RCs to get together and have a party essentially. As the bishop alludes to, if you’ve got a decent Mass you don’t need a substitute and pro-life isn’t just for once a year.

But, again, to temper the bragging, the Liturgy without good scholastic moral theology (like a dose of St Alphonsus) and catechesis doesn’t cover all either.

From Fr Joseph Huneycutt
Fact for the day
Approximately 93% of the women who have had abortions cited they did so for social reasons.
*I’m fairly sure that St Tikhon, of San Francisco circa 1900, didn’t talk about bishops in other churches that way.

**Like this a substitute for the traditional Catholic religion.

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