Ends and Means

I just finished reading a spat between two bloggers about Pro-Obama Catholics.

One of them claims that a Democratic administration will reduce abortions. As a mother practicing NFP, she takes offense to the claim that such a position puts her at odds with her beloved Church.

Meanwhile the other blogger is absolutely beside himself that anyone who loves the Church and strives to uphold her doctrine could possibly defend a vote for Obama.

What seems to be lost on both of them is the basic underlying Catholic doctrine that moral ends never justify immoral means.

Keeping abortion legal while working to mitigate the poverty that often impels women to choose abortion is still sinful. The end of abortion is a good end; yet we must employ just and moral means of reaching that end, and having this sanction in our Law is sinful- it is never moral to take an innocent human life.

Likewise, promoting contraception to reduce abortions employs a sinful means towards a noble end. The only way to righteously oppose abortion is to outlaw it, work to support the mothers and meet their human needs, and educate the public on the sacredness of human life and human sexuality.

If we claim to be pro-life, we are wrong to castigate - i.e. do violence with our words to- those who voted for Obama. This means is not justifiable if our end is converting the sinner and instructing the ignorant.

Obviously, the mother who practices NFP and still thinks Europe's sex.ed. should be emulated needs to be instructed in her ignorance. She should not be insulted, because her dignity must be upheld too. She should be informed that teaching abstinence and marital sexuality is the only licit way to educate the young. Failing to teach youth about the sinful choices they might make is a failure to shepherd their souls.

The fault is not in the Truth we uphold...it's all in the delivery. If someone refuses to see the Truth, we can only pray for them to receive the Holy Spirit. We must pray for the 54% of Catholics who defend their vote for a pro-choice administration. We must double our efforts to instruct the public that abortion is murder, women who choose abortion are wrong to do so and therefore in need of mercy, and sanctioning abortion is a sin.

Basically, all of us stand in need of Divine Mercy. This election and this Advent season is a good time to remind ourselves how much this is true for us individually and collectively. Let's implore the Infant Jesus for His Divine Mercy on all those who would permit the destruction of even one human life, be it in the fallopian tube, in utero, or in the act of being born.

To name a sin is an act of Love. To stay the hand of someone who would commit a sin is an act of Love. To punish someone who has committed sin is an act of Love. To forgive a sinner who repents is an act of Love.

This is Divine Mercy. This is God who Loves. This is Emmanuel.

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