Poor Monsignor Pope. He writes a bunch of sensible stuff about the culture of death:
We have discussed the “culture of death” numerous times before on this blog. This description of Western Culture was used by Pope John Paul II. Fundamentally it refers to the fact that in the modern, western world, especially America death is increasingly seen as a “solution” to problems. Has a child come along at an inconvenient time? Perhaps the baby has been diagnosed with defects perhaps there is some other wrenching problem regarding the pregnancy such as the poverty of the mother. The solution? Abort the baby. Has a criminal committed heinous acts? Kill him through capital punishment. Is an elderly or sick person suffering from a reduced quality of life? Perhaps they are bedridden or experiencing the pains of the dying process. Solution? Euthanize them. Does raising children and dealing with a larger family cause hardships: economic and emotional? Do children cause stress? Simple, contracept so that they don’t exist in the first place. So you see, the death or non-existence of human beings is increasingly the “solution” to problems and this is what is meant by the “culture of death.”
Oops! Did you catch his sinister sin? He mentioned the death penalty. And sure enough, within a few combox comments, the lovers (there’s no other word) of the death penalty emerge to try, with might and main, to obsess over this issue and show that the Magisterium of the Church is wrong to disagree with American lovers of the death penalty and, in this case, we should be killing as many people as possible. One reader in particular amuses me by displaying something I have seen several times from self-absorbed ideologues whos ears are only attuned to their obsession and no others:
What, do you have to punch your ticket as not being a bad ol’ conservative by once again lumping in just executions with murder?
Apparently for this reader, Msgr. Pope’s note read “blah blah blah death penalty blah blah blah”. Yes. His whole purpose was obviously only to persecute conservatives. It’s all about you, conservative reader.
This reminds me of nothing so much as when the Pope writes an encyclical about economic justice and the press pores over it looking for the word “sex”, then complains that the Church is obsessed with sex.
Msgr. Pope acquits himself well in his rebuttals, but it is fascinating to see “prolife” cafeteria Catholics so readily dismiss, minimize and ignore the teaching of the Magisterium when it fails to ratify their tribal needs.. Particularly strange to see them exhibit such consistent self-regard as more Catholic than the Pope while they do it.
Basic reminder: This is not a left vs. right issue. This is Catholic teaching. Well done, Monsignor!