Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

The abortion question is about justice, not "branding"

This piece, in America, tells a story about Catholicism in the United States, and about President Biden, that is very difficult to square with the facts.  In its narrative, there was a hopeful, Council-inspired Catholicism in America, of which Mr. Biden's "authentic[] and beaut[iful]" faith was a part, but then abortion politics came along and caused people to (unfairly) question the "sincerity" of that faith.  Nowhere in the piece is it mentioned that Mr. Biden previously opposed abortion, and its public funding, but then (like many other political figures) changed his stance in order to conform to perceived political-advancement necessities.  The culture warriors to whom he (and others) surrendered were not pro-life Catholic bishops.

The piece goes on to suggest that the ongoing debates about politicians, abortion, and the Eucharist is about "ownership" of the "brand" of Catholicism.  This seems a strange way to frame the question; the Church's pro-life and sacramental teachings are not about "branding" but about truths.  Nor, contrary to the piece, do these teachings have anything to do with an asserted "hesitation about democracy" (except, I suppose, insofar as they reflect a view that truths about sacraments and human dignity are not determined by majority vote).  It is asserted that the Church "cannot control public policy outcomes" (true enough) and that "[w]e must accompany democracy in order to build up the people who would choose the common good through democracy" (indeed) but it is never conceded that those who "choose" (and, indeed, would expand dramatically) the American abortion regime are opposing, not choosing, the "common good." 


Garnett, Rick | Permalink