PopeWatch: the Meaning of “Pro-life”

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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.


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  1. “You can’t just say you care about the poor, but don’t follow ideas such as Democratic Socialism or Liberal Democratic financial proposals.”
    Two supporters of the candidacy of Bernie Sanders for President came to my property the other day. They never will come again. I took their pamphlet and tore it in front of them. I called them the communists that they are right to their shocked millennial faces. I ordered them off my property to never ever return. I scared the living pi$$ out of them. I do not care what they say about me not supporting the poor. I took in homeless immigrants from the Philippines when these spoiled brats were occupying Wall Street. I paid rent for homeless drunks while they in pajamas were living off their parents wealth. I housed rent free for seven months a man who had lost his job through no fault of his own. When I was their age, I served aboard a nuclear submarine cleaning bilges in the North Atlantic while we chased their Soviet predecessors back to the north sea from whence they had come. I therefore will NOT tolerate the presence of any socialist, Democrat, liberal or progressive anywhere near me. The time for dialogue is at an end. They are the enemy. What a horrid turn of events that we defeated them in the cold war and now like a satanic Cobra they rear their ugly head once again. I won’t stand for it.

  2. @ Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus.

    God bless you!

    From todays readings, Esther C 12, 23-25; “And now, come to help me, an orphan. Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy, so that he and those who are in league with him may perish. Save us from the hand of our enemies; turn our mourning into gladness and our sorrows into wholeness.”

    A fitting prayer for us to recite in this time of ungodliness. May the lion devoure our enemies. May our Nation be protected from the enemy within, an enemy who wishes to deceive and undermine Our sovereign United States.

  3. God bless you, LQC, not only for your charity, but for standing on the wall against an enemy who meant us and the world nothing but ill, but which was elevated and praised by Bernie Sanders and his ilk, while they ridiculed President Reagan, Pope JPII, Prime Minister Thatcher you, and others who stood against this evil.

  4. Philip wrote, “The Pope also seems to have a new definition of who is Christian.”
    In Britain, and Europe generally , any reference to a politician’s religious affiliation would be considered, frankly, outrageous.
    One recalls the diplomatic row that broke out in 1997, when a German newspaper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, referred to the then British Foreign Secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, who was visiting Germany, as “der Jude Rifkind.” [The Jew Rifkind]
    Perhaps, it is no surprise to learn that the journalist in question, Michaela Wiegel, had been educated at Harvard. A politician’s religion appears to be fair game in the US. The Holy Father’s remarks suggest the same is true of the Argentine.

  5. Yes Phillip, I already noticed that as well. Who is Pope Francis to judge? Now we know. The point I notice isn’t that he did this. It’s that so many who condemned Catholics for wanting popes to do this very thing are now rejoicing with great gladness that Pope Francis has done this very thing. Again, liberalism is a fluid thing, and that’s why it’s tough to resist.

  6. “When I was their age, I served aboard a nuclear submarine cleaning bilges in the North Atlantic”

    Few things will disabuse a young 18, 19, or early twenty something of a sense of entitlement like a bilge diving expedition.

  7. Pope Francis has made himself a white-board where liberal ideas can be scribbled and proclaimed to the world. The divisive effect of all this is to alienate Catholics from one another, further erode the credibility of the Catholic Church and undermine the authority of the Papacy. Why wouldn’t Pope Francis know better than engage in such seriously stupid and corrupting behavior of killing his own authority? Only someone who has given in to the temptations of the devil would do such a thing.

  8. Where in the bible did Jesus teach his disciples to go get government to take care of the poor? When will the U.S. bishops stop turning themselves into pretzels trying to justify supposed faithful Catholics endorsing with their names and actions the pro-abortion Democratic Party? The Catholic Church never did that for people who joined the Nazi Party or the Ku Klux Klan; merely joining those organizations was a mortal sin against the 5th Commandment. Look up the sins of the 5th Commandment in the Catechism and see what it says about joining organizations that discriminate against race, religion or nationality. Why is the Church in the U.S. so silent on this contradiction in Her teaching? Does She think it is that important not to offend Catholics who are Democrats? Does She really believe those Catholics are not condemning themselves to Hell?

    One last thing; I find it interesting that those on the “left” in this life will find themselves being told to line-up on Jesus’ left side when he returns. Is that just a coincidence? Jackasses now – goats later?

  9. @Stilbelieve.

    Answer to your great questions… $?
    Is it government benefit related?
    I don’t know but I wonder.

  10. “Jackass’s now – Goats later.”

    Success now – Failure forever and ever!

    They are making their Heaven now. A counterfeit one. They are “receiving their reward” now. Too bad they didn’t have the humility to seek God’s kingdom first. Many won’t find it hereafter.

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