Michael Hichborn, formerly of American Life League, runs a site called Lepantoinstitute.org. It is a well-run site that is quite informative and faithful to Catholic teaching. Recently he ran an article regarding the attempts by John Carr to insinuate himself into the pro-life movement. Recall that while he was at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Carr oversaw the office that was in charge of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. He did absolutely nothing to address the scandals regarding that collection.
The main focus of this article is not John Carr. We
are looking at the attempts of others to couple the pro-life movement with the
now-discredited “seamless garment” theory that was championed by the late
Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. In his article, Hichborn made mention of a series
of articles found in the summer edition of Human Life Review. Here is the site for your perusal Many of the authors understand the perils of the
seamless garment theory under its many disguises. Among them, Ann
Hendershott, Kevin Williamson and Kristin Hawkins see the danger of diluting
our focus on ending baby-killing. On the other hand, there are people
like Aimee Murphy, director of Rehumanize International. I previously did
some research on this group and found them to be at serious variance with
Catholic moral teaching. Their “new media coordinator” supports
homosexual conduct and may herself be embroiled in that sin. Murphy
herself evinced racism as she supported the violent “Black Lives Matter” on her
But the seamless garment poses an even greater threat to the
authentic pro-life cause than mere dilution. In many, if not most, cases,
its adherents ascribe to “seamless garment” tenets moral authority that belongs
only to those matters to which the Church has placed special emphasis:
abortion, contraception, euthanasia, homosexual conduct, abuse of embryos.
Even worse, some “seamless garment” adherents will go so far as to
transgress against the Church’s teachings on the aforementioned intrinsic evils
in order to promote the progressive positions on lesser matters (such as
immigration or capital punishment). We’ll now expound on these threats.
Some of the articles made mention of a group that dubs
itself the “The New Pro-life Movement” – rather pretentious, that! Its
site is thenewprolifemovement.com . Right on its homepage we
see a problem. John Cavanaugh-O’Keefe was a highly-respected
pro-life leader approximately 25 years ago. He helped spearhead the
clinic rescue aspect of the movement. Recently, some seamless garment pet
causes – in his case, amnesty for illegal immigrants – clouded his perspective
to the extent that he supported the unapologetically pro-abortion Hillary
Clinton during the last presidential election. I won’t go into the evils
of that or this article would take up the entire magazine. Look at the
“contributors” page. One of the other contributors is Rebecca Bratten
Weiss. Rather than go into another lengthy explanation, I refer you to
this piece by LifeSiteNews.
Let’s look at its “organizations we support” page. We
see listed “Obria Medical Clinics”. Going to that site, we see their page
on abortion. While they don’t speak glowingly of abortion, they think that it could be “the
right choice” for someone. What??? They seem to be fine with
contraception. Another supported organization is “All Our Lives”.
Not only is it “informed” by the “consistent life ethic”, but also “the
reproductive justice movement”. They advocate for gay rights.
This “new pro-life movement” organization is not unique in
having serious moral problems. We’ve always known that those enamored
with the “seamless garment” have flirted either with mortal sins themselves or
have allied themselves with others embroiled in those sins. An example of
that was brought to my attention during the controversies over DACA. A
friend of mine, perhaps in an attempt to justify amnesty for Illegal aliens,
posted an article about a priest in Georgia, Fr. Rey Pineda, who is himself an illegal alien. To bring his “plight” to national attention, he relayed
his story to Senator Dick Durbin, who then took it to the Senate floor last
November. Of course Durbin did this while advocating for illegal
amnesty. Dick Durbin’s name recently came up during Senate judicial
hearings, when he and Senator Dianne Feinstein grilled judicial nominee Amy
Coney Barrett regarding her Catholic faith, mocking her in the process.
So on the one hand, Dick Durbin (a “Catholic” who has always been pro-abortion)
takes up Fr. Pineda’s case for his own end, but on the other hand he openly
takes aim at a judicial nominee for living out her Catholic faith.
Pineda, a priest, lent moral credibility to a politician who displays
anti-Catholic bigotry in order to facilitate his own sinful disregard for his
host nation’s laws. This is just another instance of moral compromise
when Catholics get entangled in the seamless garment embrace of progressive
The gains that the pro-life movement has made in recent
years have been due in large measure to the movement’s laser-like focus on
defending innocent life and the sanctity of marriage. We are soon coming
up on the centennial anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun that culminated Our
Lady of Fatima’s appearances to the three children. During these
apparitions, she warned the children that the leading cause of souls going to
hell was sins of the flesh. Let us focus on eradicating these sins and
not allow other matters disguising themselves as “social justice issues” to
distract us and even seduce us to sin.