NRL News

“Among the evils and injustices in American life in 2016, abortion and euthanasia are different and stand alone”

by | Jun 2, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

101-Grandmother,-newbornreAs surely as the swallows return to Capistrano, we will hear ten different variations of the same “truth”: the abortion issue just isn’t “that big a deal” to the electorate in 2016. And as just as faithfully, pro-lifers will work diligently to provide what NRLC calls the “pro-life increment.”

Why? Because this advantage the pro-life candidate holds over the pro-abortion candidate among voters who base their vote on the abortion issue has, does, and will carry many, many pro-life candidates to victory in highly competitive races.

I mention that true truism before commenting on a column written by Archbishop José H. Gomez of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles which is adapted from his recent foreword to the 4th edition of “Catholics in the Public Square,” by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix.

It is a polite but firm rebuttal of those who argue for a kind of moral equivalency on “serious social issues.” Without lessening the importance of bringing the “Church’s social witness” to a range of “affront[s] to human dignity,” Archbishop Gomez observes

But the hard truth is that not all injustices in the world are “equal.” We can understand this perhaps better about issues in the past than we can with issues in the present. For instance, we would never want to describe slavery as just one of several problems in 18th-century and 19th-century American life.

There are indeed “lesser” evils. But that means there are also “greater” evils — evils that are more serious than others and even some evils that are so grave that Christians are called to address them as a primary duty.

Among the evils and injustices in American life in 2016, abortion and euthanasia are different and stand alone. Each is a direct, personal attack on innocent and vulnerable human life. Abortion and euthanasia function in our society as what the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls “structures of sin” or “social sins.”

Later, he writes about “this broader mentality — what Francis and previous Popes have called a ‘culture of death’”–that the Church “must confront.”

That is why abortion and euthanasia are not just two issues among many or only questions of individual conscience.

Abortion and euthanasia raise basic questions of human rights and social justice, questions of what kind of society and what kind of people we want to be. Do we really want to become a people that responds to human suffering by helping to kill the one who suffers? Do we really want to be a society where the lives of the weak are sacrificed for the comfort and benefit of those who are stronger?

That is why any approach that essentially tolerates abortion and euthanasia or puts these issues on a par with others, not only betrays the beautiful vision of the Church’s social teaching, but also weakens the credibility of the Church’s witness in our society.

So, in this culture, the Church must insist that abortion and euthanasia are grave and intrinsic evils — evils that are corrosive and corrupting, evils that are at the heart of other social injustices.

Abortion and euthanasia are “fundamental” social issues, because if the child in the womb has no right to be born, if the sick and the old have no right to be taken care of, then there is no solid foundation to defend anyone’s human rights, and no foundation for peace and justice in society.

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Categories: Abortion Euthanasia