Therefore it troubles me greatly when prominent Catholic pro-life leaders advocate the continuance of denial. When they do so, they unwittingly act as to dissuade their readers from discerning the input that feeds their souls. Thus these deniers contribute to the spiritual damage already being wrought by the pope's harmful words.
A sad "case in point" is found in an article by Judie Brown, co-founder and president of American Life League. ALL has always been in the forefront of the Catholic pro-life movement as they have correctly pointed out the spiritual destruction caused by contraception. The article is to be found in RenewAmerica entitled "The Pope Francis Effect". While I respect Mrs. Brown highly, I have no choice but to refute this.
Let's bring in the first two sentences: "Over the last week, considering all the events that Pope Francis participated in during his six-day visit to Mexico and the many lives he touched with his words, his actions, and his very presence, it seems so sad that only one or two sentences from one interview captured our attention. It is as though nothing else happened that week." The effects of his trip to Mexico are debatable at best, but I won't broach that for now. Suffice it to say that any (debatable) benefit from his trip was far outweighed by the heresy against morals in his "one or two sentences". No amount of benefit will mitigate the immense harm and scandal caused by his stated approval of contraceptives. For example, consider the morning of April 15, 1865. Can you just imagine someone asking Mary Todd Lincoln, "Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?" Well the notion that we should dismiss the outright heresy because of the "lives he touched" is similarly preposterous. Let us consider that his heresy is "touching lives", too.
Proceeding down, she says "the pope was speaking off the cuff". So what? It was still the pope who was speaking. "What he said or didn't say really isn't the problem." Yes it is, when Humanae Vitae, Casti Connubi and Evangelium Vitae are undermined in the eyes of the world by the Vicar of Christ, the "problem" cannot be overestimated. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I suspect that if it weren't Pope Francis on that plane and instead we had Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Wuerl or some other progressive shepherd on that plane uttering those exact same words, Mrs. Brown's take on the matter would be decidedly different - and rightly so.
She said that "it is troubling to realize that all the good (?) Pope Francis did during his visit to Mexico was so easily overshadowed by one or two silly comments made to reporters". I'm glad she acknowledged that, at best, the comments were "silly", but actually they constituted heresy. Refer to what I wrote of Mrs. Lincoln's experience at Ford Theater. She might have watched a lovely performance, but when the shots were fired, what constituted the real impact of that evening in her life?
Toward the end she says, "it makes me so sad that we are always so prone to jump on something negative rather than embracing the positive. No, the positive will never take top billing on the nightly news." A few things..
- It seems that Mrs. Brown, at least in this case, has fallen for the "positive versus negative" codswallop. I've said this many times and now will say so again. The "positive versus negative" paradigm has nothing to do with objective truth or falsehood of a given statement or situation; rather it is a paradigm that focuses on the emotional impact that said statement or situation has on its beholders. Obviously whether a situation is "positive" or "negative" depends on whom you ask and their particular disposition - not the objective merits of the same.
- As far as "top billing on the nightly news", the problem is that the news is abuzz about the whole mess, and viewing what we would consider a "negative" as a "positive". To wit:
- The above news sites are on the first page after I googled "pope Francis contraceptives". Can we all now see the scandal caused by the pope's utterance of heresy? Please - let's not blame the media for this. They didn't "bait" him into a trap. He's a grown-up who is responsible for what he says, just like the rest of us.