ARCHBISHOP: CATHOLIC MORAL PRINCIPLES ARE INVIOLATE, BUT SOME PRINCIPLES ARE MORE INVIOLATE THAN OTHERS
Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark won't quite say that pro-choice Catholics shouldn't receive communion, but he calls taking communion if you're pro-choice "objectively dishonest," according to this account of his May 5 pastoral letter.
But isn't this selective enforcement of church teachings? Well, sure, but Archbishop Myers says that's OK:
"Some might argue that the Church has many social teachings and the teaching on abortion is only one of them. This is, of course, correct. The Church's social teaching is a diverse and rich tradition of moral truths and biblical insights applied to the political, economic, and cultural aspects of our society. All Catholics should form and inform their conscience in accordance with these teachings. But reasonable Catholics can (and do) disagree about how to apply these teachings in various situations."
"But with abortion (and for example slavery, racism, euthanasia and trafficking in human persons) there can be no legitimate diversity of opinion. The direct killing of the innocent is always a grave injustice. One should not permit unjust killing any more than one should permit slave-holding, racist actions, or other grave injustices. From the perspective of justice, to say “I am personally opposed to abortion but…" is like saying "I personally am against slavery, but I can not impose my personal beliefs on my neighbor."
So there's wiggle room on, say, the death penalty, or war not waged in self-defense, or indifference to the poor and needy, but not on, say, allowing a twelve-year-old rape victim to terminate a pregnancy, or helping your grandmother die if she's terminally ill and in intense pain.
(Incidentally, the link above is via SeaMax News, which is the product of an intern program at St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School on Staten Island -- an intern program sponsored by the far-right media organization NewsMax. Anyone else think it's a bit unseemly for a church high school to affiliate with a nakedly ideological group like NewsMax? And how many tax exemptions are involved here?)