One Catholic priest is blaming his fellow church leaders for their strong condemnation of abortion, claiming their comments “helped spawn a hate-filled environment” that led to violence at the U.S. Capitol last week.
In an essay this week at America magazine, Father James Martin criticized several Catholic bishops and priests for speaking out against abortion and President-elect Joe Biden’s stance on the issue, the Catholic News Agency reports.
Though Biden promotes himself as a devout Catholic, he supports killing unborn babies in abortions without restriction and wants to force taxpayers to pay for their deaths. He also opposes religious freedom measures that protect organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic nuns’ charity that serves the poor and elderly.
Many priests and bishops spoke out against abortion and Biden’s hypocrisy ahead of the election, and Martin quoted several of their statements to make his case.
“… personal vilification from members of the clergy inevitably gives rise to a lack of respect from the faithful, making it easier for those in the pews to revile government and civic leaders,” Martin wrote. “An alarming number of Catholic clergy contributed to an environment that led to the fatal riots at the U.S. Capitol. Ironically, priests and bishops who count themselves as pro-life helped spawn a hate-filled environment that led to mayhem, violence and, ultimately, death.”
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Martin, the editor-at-large of the magazine, slammed the pro-life Catholic leaders for their “contemptuous and even dehumanizing language,” such as the following Aug. 21 comments by Tennessee Bishop Richard Stika:
“(I) don’t understand how Mr. Biden can claim to be a good and faithful Catholic as he denies so much of Church teaching especially on the absolute child abuse and human rights violations of the most innocent, the not yet born,” Stika wrote on Twitter.
“And he also praises his sidekick [Kamala Harris] who has shown time and time again in Senate hearings that she is an anti-Catholic bigot,” he continued.
Martin also criticized Cardinal Raymond Burke for saying that Biden’s pro-abortion stance is a “grave, immoral evil” and “the source of scandal,” and Washington state Bishop Thomas Daly for questioning how Catholics can vote for “a candidate like Biden” if “abortion is an intrinsic evil,” according to the report.
“Bishops and priests need to understand the real-life effects of such contemptuous and even dehumanizing language,” Martin responded. “Catholic bishops and priests are meant to teach morality, but they are not meant to judge others (as Jesus said clearly) or to treat people with such bitter contempt. The real-world effect of this kind of language was revealed at the Capitol on Jan. 6.”
Martin’s claims are not only unfair, they also undermine the largest problem with violence in our society, namely the 62 million unborn babies who have been legally slaughtered in abortions in the past four decades and the so-called Catholic politicians who openly support this mass genocide.
Pro-life and conservative leaders overwhelmingly condemned the violence at the Capitol last week, as did most Americans who supported President Donald Trump. At the root of the pro-life movement is opposition to the violent, intentional destruction of human lives, and the greatest threat to human life by far is abortion.
The violence on Jan. 6 was not just targeted at liberal, Democrat leaders either. Authorities found bombs at both the Republican and Democrat headquarters, and a few of the rioters who broke into the Capitol with the pro-Trump rioters have been identified as leftist activists.
The violence at the Capitol was wrong, but to suggest that Catholic leaders should stop speaking out against the massive, daily violence that destroys thousands of innocent children’s lives every single day simply because a few radicals responded badly is far worse.
Stika, responding to Martin’s criticism on Wednesday, said he will not apologize for speaking out for unborn babies.
“I don’t apologize for the tweet as I agree with the [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops] that abortion is the preeminent issue in this day and age,” he wrote. “Mr. Biden likes to speak about his Catholic faith. Perhaps he should realize that abortion is a human rights issue as well as the ultimate child abuse.”