A Moral Quandary
Can Cardinal Archbishop Gregory (who has been confrontational to President Trump over alleged racism) make a confrontational pro-life stand against Biden and Harris‘s fervent support of abortion and public funds for abortion? The moral quandary presented to Democrats and Bishops has not gone well so far.
This must be what Limbo feels like, neither here nor there. For fear of the virus, limitations on church attendance, social activities, businesses, in fact, almost all activities still exist (except for getting an abortion, but I will deal with that in my next BF offering). We are between surges, between percentages, between in-school and online learning, between, between, between, which means nowhere. Add to this, we just had a presidential election, yet no candidate has been officially certified as winner, that doesn’t happen until December. Limbo.
For most of us, the day has not changed. Eyes open, thank you God for the favor of another day, prayer, breakfast (still cereal and buttered toast), work. Most of us do not engage directly in battling the coronavirus, except in trying to stay away from it. Most of us have no hand in the post-election legal efforts. Most of us, in fact, have no contact with either of the presidential personages, but oddly, today, I thought of one person who is going to be in the hot seat: the Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, D.C., Wilton Gregory.
Archbishops are players. They meet and greet, the great and the lowly genuflect in their churches. They oversee great numbers of staff, children in schools, parishes, and priests must read their directives before all congregations. In communion with the Vicar of Christ, they represent the Church in the name of God and before mankind. And in the culture of politics and chaos in Washington, D.C., representing the Church in the name of God and before mankind cannot be easy.
The Cardinal-elect has only been in D.C. about a year and a half. Aside from criticizing President Trump like everyone else does (e.g., for having a picture taken in front of a church), I do not recall any instance of Archbishop Gregory having to stand his ground, like Gandolf in Lord of the Rings, against evil.
If Joseph Biden turns out as the winner of the presidential election of November 3, because, in truth, there is corruption in high places, Wilton Daniel Cardinal Gregory will be faced with an incoming Chief Executive and a Vice President who are, in my opinion, rabidly pro-abortion.
“Catholic” Joseph Biden has said, “Reproductive rights are a constitutional right. And, in fact, every woman should have that right.” According to an October 6 article in Harper’s Bazaar by Erica Gonzales, Biden’s Affordable Care Act restoration would include a public option which “will cover contraception and a woman’s constitutional right to choose.”
In other actions, Biden plans to work for ending the Hyde amendment which prevents public funding of abortions and restore funding to Planned Parenthood and allow abortion referrals through Title X family planning programs.
Kamala Harris is on board with these measures, having promoted the Women’s Health Protection Act and supporting no bans on abortion based on fetal viability. According to a November 9 article in Harper’s Bazaar, she supports the idea of permission of the U.S. Justice Department for any state to enact laws to restricting abortion, including parental notification, waiting periods, ultrasounds. Both are on board with having abortion rights “codified” into law.
When Joe Biden signs off on public funds being used for abortion, when he demands a no-holds-barred right to abortion across the country, will Cardinal Gregory be faced with a moral quandary about what to do about this life and death situation? Many social justice ideals fly under the Democratic Party banner, and everyone feels good about supporting social justice, right? But the right to life is not on that list. Preserving the life of the unborn doesn’t even come close to making the cut.
So what will the Cardinal do? Stay in his chancery a few miles from the White House and write letters about this and that or will he be confrontational? In the name of racial equality, will he defend the lives of very large numbers of Black babies who are destroyed by abortion in this country? Will he stand representing the Church in the name of God and before all mankind and tell these leaders they are wrong and doing evil? Will reception of Holy Communion with our Lord Jesus Christ be an issue? Or will he go along to get along?
Having the red hat isn’t just another step up the ladder of episcopal success in the Church (cf. The Red Hat, by Ralph McInerny). It is, in reality, a step closer to the cross. Let us pray that the Cardinal is up to the challenge.
This article, A Moral Quandary is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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