Thursday, May 12, 2011


It is such a relief to have a true Catholic Speaker of the House now serving our country and in the spotlight. But that does not mean that controversy has been completely quelled. As Mr. Boehner prepares for his commencement address and reception of the honorary doctorate from the Catholic University of America some Catholics are not as chipper as you would expect them to be. This is due to the simple fact that they do not truly understand the hierarchy in Catholic social teaching. Lemme explain.

Abortion is at the top of the list. In fact it is at the top, separated from the list completely in an all important list of one. It is the issue that trumps all other issues. It is like a giant tintinnabulum that overshadows all other teachings rendering them obsolete. All ordinances, encyclicals, bulls, catechisms, promulgations and Gospel exhortations bow down before the might of the issue of abortion. Pope Benedict himself said something similar to this before he was pope, though I do not have the exact quote at hand.

The Church, you see, is hierarchical. The Pope is head of the Church, Latin is the head of all languages, the man is the head of the woman and abortion is the head of morality. The body of Catholic moral teaching is a conglomerate of minor issues that are not essential to the true Catholic identity. A Catholic can, in good conscience, pry an illegal Mexican immigrant from his family and waterboard him in order to gather reconnaissance to bring down unions and end health care for the poor as long as he does not support abortion. Boehner understands this and implements it into his political life. He knows that Christ’s desire was for the poor to always be with us and that they are blessed who do not have access to health care. He realizes that taxes are stealing. He realizes that it is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven and that they need all of the help that they can get.

Some say that this is “cafeteria Catholicism”… well, maybe it is. But who can possibly choose everything the cafeteria has to offer anyways? If Catholicism is a cafeteria I prefer to chow down on the steak and potatoes of abortion rather than piddle around with the ketchup packets of social justice any day of the week, except Fridays of course.

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