From Patrick Madrid:
How does a formerly pro-life Catholic college girl morph into a pro-abortion zealot who identifies the roots of her transformation as including attending the National March for Life?
You read that right.
As implausible as it might sound, Kate Childs Graham says that this happened to her, and the results are not pretty. In her recent article “I Am a Prochoice Catholic,” which appears in that notorious bastion of contumacy, The National Catholic Reporter, Ms. Childs Graham reveals:
“I wasn’t always a prochoice Catholic. During college I attended the annual March for Life on more than one occasion. The first time my friends and I traveled to the event from Indianapolis, Ind., was with a bus full of high school students — most, seemingly, only going for the trip to Washington, D.C., with their friends, sans parental supervision. Needless to say, it was a noisy bus ride. After I transferred to Catholic University, I volunteered for the Mass for Life two years in a row, helping to herd all of those high school students into every crevice of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.”
One must wonder if Ms. Childs Graham herself was one of those young people who made the journey to Washington, not to protest the evil of legalized abortion, but simply because she wanted the freedom of a little road trip, “sans parental supervision.”
She claims that, “Each time I attended the March for Life, I felt overwhelmingly conflicted. On one hand, it was moving to be among so many people, all energized by their faith around an issue. On the other hand, I sensed that I wasn’t getting the complete picture — I wasn’t being told the full story.”
Hmm. Unless this young woman was comatose during her high school and college years, how could she not have been “told the full story”?
The pro-abortion screamers have done nothing but tell their “story” in the most strident ways possible, including counter-demonstrating and handing out their propaganda to anyone who will take it at the Washington March for Life.
Their side of the story has dominated the public consciousness through the sheer force and high-decibel volume of the pro-abortion diktat purveyed in the movies Ms. Childs Graham watched growing up, in the television programs she enjoyed during middle school and high school, in the biased and often inaccurate coverage of the U.S. abortion debate with which the mainstream news outlets have persistently and perniciously inveigled their readers.
But then, maybe Ms. Childs Graham never watched television growing up. And maybe she never saw any movies or watched the network news or read a mainstream secular newspaper or magazine.
Maybe, but I doubt it. I’m pretty certain she got a great big dose, for years on end, of the pro-abortion crowd’s side of the story.
If she was raised Catholic, as it appears, was she raised on a desert island somewhere, far away from any means of encountering Catholic teaching on the evil of abortion? Perhaps she never heard of Pope John Paul II or listened to or read any of his many teachings on this subject?
Perhaps she attended parishes where the priests never preached on the evil of abortion, and she may never have visited any of the many Catholic pro-life websites or read the many Catholic periodicals that clearly proclaim what the Catholic Church has always and everywhere proclaimed, namely, that abortion is murder.
It’s possible, I suppose, that Ms. Childs Graham never opened and read her Holy Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church, both of which are as clear and forceful and unambiguous as can be about telling the other side of the story, you know, the side about how killing unborn babies through abortion is murder and how murder is always a mortal sin.
Maybe she never came into contact with any fellow pro-life Catholics (who number in the tens of millions in this country, incidentally) and heard from them the other side of the story.
Maybe, but I doubt it. In fact, I’m quite confident that Ms. Childs Graham heard both sides of the story and that, tragically, she has simply chosen to believe the lie, the fairytale, the fable about how “protecting a woman’s right to choose [i.e., to murder her unborn child]” is a good thing. How it “helps” women. And how illegal abortions are “unsafe.” I wonder if it has ever dawned on this deeply misguided woman that, legal or illegal, abortions are always “unsafe” for the little child being killed in the procedure.
Maybe, but after reading her article and the vacuous reasons it gives in defense of her ideology, I doubt it.
I wonder if she has ever stopped to think about all the millions of unborn women who are being subjected to the unsafest of unsafe medical procedures when they are aborted.
During her trips to the Washington March for Life, did Ms. Childs Graham ever listen to any of the many eloquent speakers and teachers of the Catholic Faith — bishops, priests, religious, and laity — who come there to explain to the March attendees the fundamental reasons why the Catholic Church teaches that abortion is murder and that murder may never, under any circumstances, be countenanced, much less promoted? Maybe she was too busy herding all those high school students into all those crevices of the Nation Shrine to pay attention to what was going on all around her. It’s hard to say.
Ignorance of why life issues like abortion and contraception are inextricably linked and how both do incalculable damage to women and men, marriages, and society as a whole (prescinding for the moment from the wanton destruction of human life entailed in these two activities) seem to be the root problem here. Ms. Child Graham assures her readers:
“[F]or me (and for many others), being prochoice does not end at supporting the right to safe and legal abortion; it extends to discovering the best methods to prevent unintended pregnancies. Contraception promotion, comprehensive sexuality education, and access to affordable child care and healthcare are just some of the methods that are paramount to reducing the need for abortion.”
One thing’s for sure, if she never heard the pro-abortion side of the story, as she alleges, since becoming pro-abortion, she sure has made up for lost time. She can parrot back with the best of them the vapid and long-discredited Planned Parenthood talking points that she spouts in her article.
But you’ve got to give her credit for sheer persistence, if not for clear thinking. To borrow another writer’s turn of a phrase, she is speaking from “a pinnacle of near-perfect ignorance.”
“I am a prochoice Catholic,” she asseverates, “because my Catholic faith tells me I can be. The Catechism reads, ‘[Conscience] is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.’ Even St. Thomas Aquinas said it would be better to be excommunicated than to neglect your individual conscience. So really, I am just following his lead. After years of research, discernment and prayer, my conscience has been well informed. Being a prochoice Catholic does not contradict my faith; rather, in following my well-informed conscience, I am adhering to the central tenet of Catholic teaching — the primacy of conscience.”
Ms. Childs Grahamn has a “well-informed conscience”? Really? Perhaps she is being sincere when she says this (c.f., CCC 1790), but it appears that she completely missed that part in the Catechism where is says:
“Moral conscience, present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil. It also judges particular choices, approving those that are good and denouncing those that are evil. It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the commandments. When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking” (CCC 1777);
“Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings” (CCC 1783); and
“Conscience can remain in ignorance or make erroneous judgments. Such ignorance and errors are not always free of guilt” (CCC 1801).
It’s not necessary to explain here what St. Thomas actually said about man’s duty to follow his conscience in observing the commandments and teachings of the Church, as that would simply be piling on and would be a further cause of embarrassment for Ms. Childs Graham. So it will suffice to simply read the above statements from the Catechism about conscience in light of this other statement:
“Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law: ‘You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.’ ‘God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes’” (CCC 2271).
Ms. Childs Graham, please, please, come to your senses. Wake up to the hideous realty of what you’re saying and doing and supporting here. You have fallen for the wrong side of this story.
You are wrong about what the Church teaches about conscience and human freedom. You are wrong in your opinion that, when it comes to being proabortion, “My Catholic faith tells me I can be.” No, the Catholic Church tells you exactly the opposite.
I urge you take the time to really study what the Catholic Church says on this issue. I call upon you to at least be intellectually honest with yourself. In due time, you, like the rest of us, will have to meet the Lord face-to-face and be judged. On that day, you will have to give an account for why you defied the clear teaching of his Church on the evil of abortion.
“I am a proabortion Catholic” are the five most pathetic words you could say.
For the sake of your own immortal soul and for the sake of the lives of the unborn children your ideology menaces, please rid yourself of this delusion.
— Patrick Madrid is the director of the Envoy Institute of Belmont Abbey College and publisher of Envoy Magazine. His personal website is www.patrickmadrid.com.