Bottom line: Odious creatures like Pelosi, Biden, Kerry and the rest of the pro-abort crowd have zero chance of seducing serious Catholics into dissent and contempt for the Church’s teaching. Enemies don’t tempt us to sin (except of course by tempting us to hate our enemies). Nope. It’s friends who tempt us to sin. That’s the stuff we all should have learned way back in high school when it was friends and peers whose approval we desperately sought (and who taught us to drink too much, eat too much, use drugs, drive too fast and take chances, and fornicate to prove our coolness) who typically led us astray, not the people who despised us and who we loathed with mutual passion.
Virtually none of the people reading this blog will hear Nancy Pelosi give one of her theologically and philosophically ignorant pronouncements on how Thomas Aquinas supports abortion and think, “Gee! She’s making a lot of sense! I support abortion now!” But plenty of people who regard themselves as “faithful conservative Catholics” believe that somebody like Santorum can vote to compel you to pay for abortifacients (and brag about it), ignore the Church’s teaching on just war, vote for human cloning, cheer for murder as “wonderful” and give an enthusiastic thumbs up to torture and still be regarded as a “very strong orthodox Catholic”.
If somebody dissents from the Church on matters of grave intrinsic evil, he is not a strong orthodox Catholic. He is, like Nancy Pelosi, a bad Catholic who likes certain things about the faith, but who emperils both his own soul and the souls of those he influences by dismissing other critical aspects of the faith and teaching his followers this is compatible with the Faith. It’s as true for Santorum as it is for her. I’m glad he’s anti-abortion. I applaud his courage in personally applying the Church’s teaching against contraception. I honor and applaud his openness to life in his family. That matters a lot. But opposition to abortion does not take away the sin of the world and liberate us from listening to the rest of what the Church says about matters of grave import. We are required to be consistent in our obedience. Santorum is not constent and advocates some very dangerous dissent from essential Catholic teaching which many of his followers wink at just as much as some Catholics who reckon themselves “good Catholics” wink at the pro-abort zealotry of Pelosi.
No thanks. I’m tired of submerging fidelity to Christ to the demands of peers. I played the peer group approval game in high school. It was a disaster then and remains one now. Be different. Be fully Catholic. Never a dull moment.