It's very difficult. I was raised as a Catholic, I'm a practicing Catholic, and I'm totally at home with the Catholicism that I was raised in and this whole culture of social responsibility, reaction to abuse of power, the whole notion that there is collective civic responsibility. It's the Catholic consciousness that I'm totally comfortable with.
The part that gets hard is that I'm of the view that I have trouble viewing termination of pregnancy in terms of choice. Choice makes it sound like, uh, 'I choose today to go to the market.' 'I choose today to terminate my pregnancy.'" It is not choice. It's always a very, very, very difficult, difficult decision. I know that, my church has wrestled with this for 2,000 years. ... To sum it up, as a Catholic, I'm a John XXIII guy, I'm not a Pope John Paul guy.
Mark Shea — who is most emphatically not in the tank for John McCain — comments:
The trick here (and it's one that works with both the dissenting Progressive and the dissenting Reactionary) is to posit that there are really two Churches, one old and one new. Biden's narrative is a slight departure from the norm since normally the Old Church is the one just before John XXIII, but it's the same basic idea. There was this mythical Pope, you see, named John XXIII and he basically taught that if the Democrats said it was socially responsible, then you could do it even if it disagreed with that musty old Church teaching. But then Mean Pope John Paul tried to stop all that because he hated sex and everything. And of course, mean Pope Benedict is also a control freak like JPII. But good Catholic Democrats know that John XXIII said it was okay to do whatever you wanted, especially if it meant votes for Democrats.
All this, the MSM sums up with the headline: "Biden balances his faith with social responsibility". Cuz, you know, the faith is like totally the opposite of social responsibility, dude.
I've long since grown tired of hearing politicians — or, for that matter, anyone else — blather about how the Catholic Church's teaching on the sinfulness of abortion was at some point(s) in history less than clear, and hearing this canard now causes me to want to do this.
Deo gratias, not a few American bishops have been particularly forceful in their condemnations of this vile lie, and the larger issue of the role of abortion in deciding how a Catholic should vote [pdf].
Archbishop Charles Chaput's address given last week was especially noteworthy, and called to mind this comment I came across a few years ago on Amy Welborn's blog, which was in reference to — appropriately enough — another statement by another bishop (Bishop Thomas Doran of Rockford, IL), also pertaining to politics:
Holy Deus Lo Volt, Batman!
Usually I need coffee reading a bishop's column. This is like eating the beans straight from the bag.
Then there's the bluntness of Scranton's Bishop Martino:
The Bishop stepped up to the microphone. He told those present: “No social issue has caused the death of 50 million people”. ... Then he spoke those four words, “This is Madness People.”
Yeah, I'd say so.