David Griffey at Daffey Thoughts notes the attempted hijacking by leftists under this pontificate of the pro-life label:
I’ve said before that Pope Francis appears to have a divisive way about him. If it’s not intentional, that is how it comes across. Though that’s not an automatic disqualifier. After all, Jesus once said he came not to bring peace, but bring a sword. So there you go. But I’ve sat back and tried to get my head around what is happening with the Francis Revolution and why, even though there is nothing new under the sun teaching-wise, and we should all be happy that everyone seems to be jumping on the Francis bandwagon, something still feels off about it.
Of course Francis devotees will point out it’s because I’m a ‘right wing partisan rad trad fundamentalist tribalist who probably trusts in guns rather than Jesus and secretly desires to increase the slaughter of innocents especially if they are swarthy darky types’. Quite a sentence there. But those are things I’ve seen written by defenders of Pope Francis. I thought it would pack a punch to see them written out like that.
Anyway, I still sit back and wonder why it doesn’t feel right. Why, despite so many things that should be praiseworthy, it all feels, well, wrong. Again, assuming for a minute that I’m not all those things Francis fans have accused me of.
And then I read this. The whole point of the piece is that Francis has shaken up what it means to be pro-life. Fair enough. He certainly has done that. But as I read the piece, I couldn’t help but notice something. Basically it took the issue of abortion, conceded abortion is bad, and then set out to point out how conservatives and Republicans are the ones who don’t care about any of the other issues, who don’t care about the poor, the immigrant, the environment, and by extension are likely the main causes of abortion in the first place. Their policies are what have brought about the problems that cause abortion and therefore they’re the baddies.
And that’s when it hit me. When it comes to this ‘pro-life’ shake up, I notice that Pope Francis doesn’t give clear ideas about how to solve these problems he is pushing into the spotlight, such as helping the environment, immigration, gun control or poverty. He says there are problems. The Church has always said there are problems. But it’s been understood that we can argue over how to solve them and still be in good faith. Certain things like gay sex, adultery, abortion – they were not open for debate. How to help the economy was open to debate. What is going on with the environment was for scientific minds to banter about. You could decide one idea was better than another, but at the end of the day it didn’t make you a bad Catholic.
And yet I’ve noticed that those who have struggled for years to resist tradition, conservatism and the historic roots of how we practice and understand our faith suddenly have rushed into the void created by no real Papal endorsement of actual solutions and slapped on their template devised by liberal Democrats and European secular Democratic Socialists. They’ve taken their proposals, their plans, their solutions, their opinions and slid them under the papal pronouncements as the only logical approach to all of these issues, as if they alone can solve the problems and without these, you can’t care about the poor or the environment.
Since Pope Francis, like most popes, doesn’t say ‘Immigration is a pro-life issue, and this is the exact bill and solution I propose’, he has allowed everyone who rejects traditional ideas or conservative viewpoints to rush in, slap their ideas, policies, bills, proposals and beliefs onto the issues and then insist that anyone who doesn’t agree is resisting the Pope’s call to care about Immigration. Those who reject the liberal Democratic understanding of the Immigration problem are automatically at fault, don’t care about Immigrants, are likely racists, and on and on. And if it means we join the non-Catholic Left by suggesting that only now, under Pope Francis, do Catholics and the Catholic Church finally care about the poor, the environment, gun violence, immigration or justice in the first place, so be it. That’s just part of the post-modern pie: We’re the first generation who will finally set it right.
So that’s it I think. The fact that Pope Francis makes it clear there are a whole host of issues beyond sexuality and abortion – no matter the body count in the wake of those issues – that are important, mixed with the typical papal reluctance to endorse actual solutions, has allowed those who have chomped at the bit to rework and reimagine the Church the chance they were waiting for to seize the debate and make it their own. You can’t just say you care about the poor, but don’t follow ideas such as Democratic Socialism or Liberal Democratic financial proposals. Because if you try, then it just shows you are no longer a good Catholic who listens to the Pope and trusts Jesus.
Go here to read the rest. Nothing enrages most Catholic leftists more than the fight against abortion. It separates them from their leftist colleagues and forces them to accept as allies people they despise. That is why almost all leftist Catholics in politics are pro-aborts, their politics easily overriding the unyielding opposition of Catholicism to abortion. However that puts them at odds with the Church and limits their attempts to take control of the Church, or to at least neuter the Church. Under Pope Benedict most leftist Catholics in politics eagerly embraced efforts by the Obama administration to coerce the Church. Now with Pope Francis they believe they can co-opt the Church. Hence the attempt to alter the meaning of the term “pro-life”, to make it a meaningless feel good term, or even an emblem for leftist causes. A smart strategy all considered. Completely despicable, but smart. Of course this strategy relies strongly on the leftist patina that has been cast over the Church during the current pontificate. However, popes come and go, and a strategy so pope dependent, could crash to earth under a Pope who follows the traditional teachings of the Church.