HuffPo has posted a spittle-flecked nutty from Jon O’Brien, president of the disgusting pro-abortion catholic group, Catholics … catholics For Choice.
O’Brien’s nutty was sparked by a post on the USCCB blog by Sr. Mary Ann Walsh.
Sr. Walsh wrote:
“Going to Catholics for Choice for a so-called Catholic view is like asking Catholic Atheists (yet to exist, I think) to opine on the meaning of God.”
Heh heh. Kudos. Sr. Walsh’s entirely appropriate remark got under O’Brien’s skin. Perhaps O’Brien has yet a trace of guilt for promoting immoral things. I don’t know.
Sr. Walsh pointed to the fact that catholics For Choice are catholic in name only. They hijacked the descriptive word “Catholic” for the title of their politically oriented organization.
They must not be given a free pass. Sr. Walsh spoke up. O’Brien lashed out in HuffPo.
You might enjoy reading O’Brien’s nervous reaction in its entirely, HERE. Make some popcorn.
Leaving aside most of O’Brien’s piece, let’s focus on one point, in keeping with his title: “Nobody Gets to Say Who Is and Who Is Not Catholic”. He wrote:
As somebody intimately familiar with the ways of the church, Sister Mary Ann knows that nobody gets to say who is and who is not Catholic. Not the priests, not the bishops and not the pope. One is a Catholic after baptism. Period. She might have her own opinions about who is a good Catholic or a bad Catholic, but her claims that we aren’t Catholic needs some fact-checking.
He’s right, of course. Even excommunicated people are still Catholics. Perhaps O’Brien should be excommunicated. He perhaps could use some practical knowledge rather than just theoretical knowledge about his catholic identity. Think of the authority being excommunicated would give him with his acolytes!
O’Brien also wrote:
And as to my Catholicism, perhaps I’ll send her copy of my baptismal certificate, though I doubt she’d [Sr. Walsh] be appeased.
He has a baptismal certificate! I guess he wins the argument with that one. On the other hand, each and every priest who sexually abused children have baptismal certificates. They are still Catholics, even in jail.
Baptized catholics remain baptized catholics in Hell, too.
The Church does, in fact, get to determine who is in communion with her and who is not. The Church’s shepherds do, in fact, get to determine who can and can’t use the term “Catholic” in the names of their organization. We all, in fact, get to form opinions about the catholicity of individuals and of organizations based on what they say and what they do.
I don’t think those priests – and nuns – who abused children were very Catholic in their actions.
catholics For Choice promotes abortion. Killing children. That doesn’t sound very Catholic to me.
O’Brien also wrote:
As Catholics we take seriously our obligations to know and thoughtfully consider Catholic teaching. And in coming to our positions on abortion, family planning and other issues we have done so, and continue to do so. We didn’t make this up. We’ve got saints, cardinals, theologians and millions of Catholics on our side.
No, Jon, you are making this up. Whom are you trying kid? Catholics cannot in good conscience condone abortion. Catholics cannot in good conscience promote abortion.
I doubt the saints O’Brien claims would be pleased to be counted as being on his side. I hope those saints are asking God to grant O’Brien the graces needed for his conversion. But wait! On his side he also has “cardinals, theologians and millions of Catholics”? BIG DEAL. They have theologians on their side! Wow! Cardinals, too? I’m sooo impressed! Millions of Catholics? That clinches it!
While I’m at it, O’Brien wrote:
“The church’s brand control over individuals ends the minute a person is baptized. From that point forward, we have the right — and the responsibility — to speak as Catholics on matters of social justice, including those that involve sex, sexuality and reproduction.”
Aside from the clear point in Catholic teaching that obedience is due to the Magisterium of bishops on matters of defined Catholic teachings, O’Brien must explain why his statement limits Catholics’ right and responsibility to dissent to “matters of social justice, including those that involve sex…”? What about their right and responsibility to dissent from other Catholic teachings, such as the divinity of Jesus, or the exclusive role of Christ in human salvation, or the trinitarian nature of God, or Mary’s role as Mother of God? What makes social justice such a privileged category for dissent?
catholics for Choice is dead wrong. They promote evil and they claim that people can choose evil in good conscience. Does that sound Catholic to you?
Holy Church has marks by which we recognize who she is. These marks help us to know that we belong to the Church Christ founded, and not some reduced Church or some mere ecclesial community. In a similar way, we can draw conclusions about Catholic identity, the catholicity of Catholics, by noting carefully and fairly both their words and deeds. There is a great deal flexibility in this matter. People make mistakes and, of course, remain Catholics. People sin and remain Catholics. The Church corrects them and they adjust their lives. If erring people persist in their errors or sins after proper correction, then Holy Church can impose censures on them. The Church can and does issue statements about those people or groups. The Church can, in fact, say that people are not in communion with her or that they are in serious error.
Our tent is actually pretty big. It is possible, however, to stray out of the tent.
I think O’Brien and catholics For Choice have strayed from the tent. They stand in direct opposition to the Church’s clear moral teaching on a range of things, including the intrinsic evil of abortion. They stand in direct opposition to the Church’s duly appointed shepherds, successors of the Apostles.
The USCCB should issue a clear, brief statement that catholics For Choice may not use the identifying term “Catholic” in the name of their anti-Catholic organization.
In the meantime…