Excerpt from commentary by William A. Donohue
August 5, 2008 (InsideCatholic.com) – In the summer of 1993, a young woman on my staff came back from lunch one afternoon screaming mad. I had just started as president of the Catholic League and wanted to know what her problem was. It so happened that over lunch (in the New York Archdiocese’s cafeteria) she was berated by a young man for her pro-life views. He worked for a social-justice organization.
It is no secret that the “peace and justice” crowd is soft on abortion. Sr. Helen Prejean and others like her can get quite worked up about the rights of serial murderers on death row, but they never seem to be quite as excited about the rights of innocent unborn babies. That’s because too many of them see abortion as merely unfortunate: They positively do not believe it is “intrinsically evil.”
On July 25, Catholics for Choice paid for an ad in Italy’s largest newspaper – the money was laundered via the Ford Foundation and other anti-Catholic establishment institutions – denouncing the Catholic Church for its teaching on contraception. One of Pax Christi’s chapters signed the ad, and so did a chapter of Voice of the Faithful. Dignity and the Women’s Ordination Conference were also signatories.
None of these groups was founded to protest the Church’s teaching on contraception. Pax Christi professes an interest in peace; VOTF was established to address the sexual abuse scandal; Dignity is a gay-rights group; Women’s Ordination Conference wants women priests. But all are integral to the social-justice wing of the Catholic Church, and all reject the Church’s teachings on sexuality (not just artificial birth control). To top it off, they have no problem signing an ad sponsored by an organization that was twice condemned by the bishops’ conference for being a fraud.
How can groups that are nominally Catholic join with a group that is the most notoriously anti-Catholic organization in the nation? The answer is obvious: They are ideologically compatible. They would argue, however, that their commitment to helping the poor and promoting peace makes them more Catholic than most pro-life groups. But what does their commitment entail?
Social-justice Catholics love to tout organizations like Bread for the World. But the fact is that this group does nothing but lobby for welfare programs – it has never given any poor person a job, never helped them to get a job, and never once put food on the table for them. But it is good at lobbying, and what it lobbies for is more handouts.
In 1996, President Bill Clinton reluctantly signed the most comprehensive welfare reform bill in American history. It is now acknowledged, even by the New York Times, that it did more to break the back of dependency than any other piece of legislation. And who worked hard against it? The social-justice crowd.
Peace through strength is the most efficacious way to avoid war. Self-reliance and hard work is the best way to help the able-bodied poor to become upwardly mobile. Laws protecting the unborn are the most reliable means of stopping abortion. This is something those in the pro-life wing of the Catholic Church already know, and it is something they can pursue without ever being bankrolled by anti-Catholic front groups.