Dr. Peter Kreeft once quipped in his book Jesus Shock, “Abortion is the Antichrist’s demonic parody of the Eucharist. That is why it uses the same holy words, ‘This is my body,’ with the blasphemously opposite meaning.”
He is right in his analysis.
For years, practicing Catholics have had to deal with “Catholic” politicians who have made the claim that they are personally opposed to abortion but still believe the practice should remain legal because of some deluded notion of imposing one’s faith onto another. Of course, not only are these politicians not making any logical sense (it is akin to saying that one is opposed to rape, but won’t pass any laws since the Catholic Church says rape is sinful [see Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2356]), but it is problematic from a theological perspective as well.
To further explain this one needs to look at the whole of the Gospels. Was there a way in which a person could licitly kill Christ? Of course not, hence the phrase from the penitent thief, St. Dismas, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal” (see Luke 23: 40-41).
Dismas is not merely speaking of Jesus breaking Roman or Jewish laws, but rather something much deeper. Rather, Dismas recognizes the absolute Holiness of Christ hence him asking Christ to remember him when Christ enters Paradise. Dismas acknowledges Christ’s sinlessness and as a result death is something that is contrary to true justice and charity.
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However, those Catholic politicians who advocate for abortion rights, whether knowingly or not, are advocating from a theological perspective that somehow abortion was a morally legitimate way for Christ to be killed. So Catholic public officials who try to declare that the unborn are not persons are, in essence, proclaiming that the unborn Christ is not a person until birth.
Firstly, the idea that the unborn child is not a person from the moment of conception is horribly problematic as explained in a previous article. Simply put, Elizabeth’s declaration to Mary would not make sense unless Christ is already fully human and divine. Christ takes on his human flesh at conception, not at birth. Furthermore, those who advocate that the woman has the right to choose an abortion are essentially making the proclamation that Mary could have legitimately aborted the unborn Christ.
It is this point that is most problematic. Death is associated with sin. If one reads Genesis chapter 2,“The LORD God gave the man this order: You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; when you eat from it you shall die.”
Death is associated with disobedience of God. Eve even acknowledges this reality when the serpent was tempting her. Again, if we look at the next chapter of Genesis one can see this in play. Abel’s death is associated with the disobedience of Cain. The flooding of the world in the story of Noah is associated with mankind disobeying God. Even Christ’s death is associated with the sins of the world. Many of the stories in Scripture show death as a result of one’s sin or the result of someone else sinning. Either way, death is associated as something that is contrary to the original human condition.
Catholic politicians who advocate for abortion in the public spectrum are in a quandary. They advocate for the intentional destruction and death of the unborn child. Again, the act of abortion is associated with sin and has been associated with sin even before the time of Christ. As was argued in a previous article, “Children were seen as a blessing from God under Jewish law. This respect for the unborn as a blessing from the Lord is even mentioned by the ancient Jewish historian Flavius Josephus when he says, ‘The law, moreover, enjoins us to bring up our offspring, and forbids women to cause abortion of what is begotten, or destroy it afterward…’ (See Against Apion).”
Basically, it comes down to this, Catholics, especially those Catholics, who advocate for abortion are advocating a form of heresy. The Catechism defines heresy as “the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same” (See Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2089). One cannot advocate that there is a moral way to kill Christ, either directly or indirectly. To continue to advocate that the death of the unborn through abortion is somehow just is contrary to the basic understanding that Christ is the spotless Lamb.
Recently, Governor Tim Kaine, who defines himself publicly as a practicing Catholic, was picked to be the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate. One American Bishop has taken exception to this candidate’s repeated position in support of abortion, stating that “his faith isn’t central to his public, political life.” Kaine’s abortion position certainly implies that Mary chose to continue to carry the unborn Christ child because she merely wished to do so. This is a vast misunderstanding of the very notion of the Theotokos and her understanding of her obligation with the Christ child. She is the New Ark of the Covenant and she is all too aware of her moral obligations. She not only understands that all human life is made in the image and likeness of God and therefore precious, but that her child is God incarnate. Mary understands that life is a gift from God and that it is not to be destroyed. She is the New Eve who is to usher from her womb the New Life. Mary doesn’t merely choose to keep her pregnancy; she understands the value of human life even when faced with hardship such as when Joseph intended to divorce her.
The fact is that public politicians who advocate for abortion not only have a distorted view of unborn human life and motherhood, but a distorted view of the unborn Christ child and the Virgin Mother. Unfortunately, these politicians persist in their obstinacy about the so-called right to abortion. By doing this, these people twist the very meaning of the role of the pregnant Holy Mother. People are correct in asserting that these officials should not receive Holy Communion since they have twisted the very words of Christ as Dr. Kreeft suggested. Mary knows that her body is meant for the nurturing and protection of the unborn Christ child. Her body is not for herself but for her child, just as Christ’s body is not for himself but for His believers. The simple truth remains, if abortion was moral, there could be no Eucharist since the body becomes something for the self. This is the plain heresy the modern Church faces. It is heresy that needs to be exposed since it is a form of idolatry and leads directly to a Culture of Death.
LifeNews Note: Joe Kral has been involved in the pro-life movement since he has been in college. His MA in Theology was completed at the University of St. Thomas where he specialized in bioethics. From 1996-2003 he was the Legislative Director for Texas Right to Life. During that time he was also a lobbyist for the Department of Medical Ethics at National Right to Life. From 2004-2007 he consulted the Texas Catholic Conference on pro-life legislative initiatives. In 2006 he was awarded the “Bishop’s Pro-Life Award for Civic Action” from the Respect Life Ministry in the Diocese of Dallas. He currently is an adjunct professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas.