Sometimes mere words are in themselves deeds; sometimes they’re not

Sometimes mere words are in themselves deeds; sometimes they’re not

Here’s a little exercise for you before you click through to see the context for the following quote. Picture in your mind’s eye that the “culture of death proponent” is a pro-abortion Catholic politician and the “clergyman” is his Catholic bishop who follows the non-confrontational approach in dealing with such prominent dissenters. Now read the excerpt and then go read the context.

Did you try to influence him? Did you, as a clergyman, try to appeal to his feelings, preach to him, and tell him that his conduct was contrary to morality?” Of course, the very courageous pastor had done nothing of the sort, and his answers now were highly embarrassing. He said that “deeds are more effective that words,” and that “words would have been useless”; he spoke in clichés that had nothing to do with the reality of the situation, where “mere words” would have been deeds, and where it had perhaps been the duty of a clergyman to test the “uselessness of words.” Even more pertinent than [the] question was what [culture of death proponent] said about this episode in his last statement: “Nobody,” he repeated, “came to me and reproached me for anything in the performance of my duties. Not even Pastor Grüber claims to have done so.” He then added, “he came to me and sought the alleviation of suffering, but he did not actually object to the very performance of my duties as such.”

Sobering, isn’t it? If a bishop is going to say that he is not going to deny Communion to a pro-abortion Catholic politician under the provisions of Canon 915—“Those who are excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”—but instead will dialogue with and teach the politician, isn’t there at least some necessity to acknowledge publicly the scandal done to the faithful and reassure them—again publicly—that being pro-choice is indeed not acceptable?

In the end, the question for all of us is whether we truly believe that the Roe v. Wade era is a real holocaust and if so are we responding in the same way we would have responded to the Nazi Holocaust, the Shoah? Are our bishops? Are our priests? Are our politicians? Are we? It’s admittedly a difficult question because I think most of us have not, and I include myself in that group. Sure, some have and I admire them for it. And I acknowledge the difficulty since it is a “hidden” holocaust, people we’ve never seen killed before we can even see their faces. Yet it is a reality we must comprehend and some strong and masculine examples from our spiritual fathers would go a long way toward helping that.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli