By Judie Brown
The headline “Most Catholic Americans Disagree with Hardline Positions of Church Leadership” sends several deceptive messages couched in devious language. Of course, the Associated Press is no stranger to such verbal gymnastics, but in this case, we should unpack the words for the sake of every faithful Catholic in our country.
The poll was done by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. AP is an independent news organization, and NORC is a nonpartisan research arm that conducts research for AP. Neither of them is remotely to be considered Catholic.
At issue was Archbishop Cordileone’s decision to deny Holy Communion to one of San Francisco’s most prominent Catholics: Nancy Pelosi.
The results of the poll are based on the responses of 358 Catholics who completed the polling interview! Due to the fact that there are more than 70 million Catholics living in the United States, you can easily see that the poll results have little to no credibility.
Nonetheless, the poll received more than a little publicity. AP reports: “Just a third of Catholics [of the 358 completed interviews] report the church has had an influence on their political views. Most Catholics support abortion rights and feel that Catholic politicians who do so should be allowed to receive Communion.”
In fact, the report tells us nothing about where Catholics stand on the act of abortion because there are other factors that should have been considered as well. How many of the polled Catholics were practicing their faith? How many believe that Christ is truly present in Holy Eucharist? How many know that aborting a baby is a sin against God? And so forth.
The answers to such questions would provide context for the poll, but of course that is not what the media was seeking. The results are, in other words, meaningless. The bottom line is that Speaker Pelosi calls herself Catholic while at the same time supporting the killing of defenseless babies.
But the media is not concerned about that; their goal is to sell the idea that Catholics can call themselves Catholic no matter what sinful acts they support, advocate, or participate in, and that is all. Understanding Church teaching is far away from the agendas of these people.
But it is not distant from ours. We strive to make it clear to bishops, pro-life Catholics, and the public that abortion is killing, is a sin, and is a crime against the image of God. Each one of us, including the speaker, is created by God in His image. This is an awesome truth that should bring us to our knees as we consider the true meaning of that fact.
But it also requires us to respect the dignity of every person, born and preborn. Any Catholic who has learned about the dignity of every person knows that “human life must be absolutely respected and protected from the moment of conception [creation], and therefore from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life.”
So that headline that we quoted at the beginning of this article tells a very sad story about the culture today. It suggests that doctrine is flexible, that murder is acceptable, and that uncompromising teaching is passe. None of these three absurdities is true; none of them is valid. But sadly, each is part of the cultural dismissal of God and His truth.
Detesting Christ sends souls to hell. Let us strive every minute to save those souls regardless of our culture’s contempt for Truth.