Former House Chaplain Enables Heresy, Uses Thomas Aquinas to Give Abortion Supporters Cover | National Review

Former House Chaplain Enables Heresy, Uses Thomas Aquinas to Give Abortion Supporters Cover | National Review


House Chaplain Father Patrick J. Conroy on Capitol Hill, April 22, 2020. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

There’s moral gibberish in an interview with the former chaplain for the U.S. House of Representatives. Father Pat Conroy, a Jesuit priest, tells the Washington Post’s Michelle Boorstein:

How do we, within our constitutional system, how do we get to our Catholic value in this case, [when women have] the right to choose. By the way, I want to know the American who thinks the government should take away their choice in any area of their life — any area of their life. It’s an American value that each one of us can choose where our life is going. That happens to be a Catholic value, too. That we should all use our gifts and our talents and our intelligence as best we can to make the best choices we have the freedom to make.

Sometimes we don’t have the freedom to make really important choices because of fear, because of oppression, because of poverty, because of all kinds of things. Choice is a highly American value and it’s a church value. [Twelfth-century Italian priest and Catholic philosophical giant] Thomas Aquinas says if your conscience says to do something the church says is a sin, you are bound to follow your conscience. That’s Thomas Aquinas!

What about the baby who is killed in the exercise of abortion? What about the right to life? He goes on to talk about the importance of racial justice. How about places like New York where more black babies die than are born?

A Catholic priest is responsible to teach the faith, not to make people feel better about supporting abortion. Consciences aren’t helped by priests giving their blessing to evil. There is one God, and He is about truth.

He goes on to say:

A good Catholic in our system could be saying: Given women in our system have this constitutional right, our task as fellow Christians, or as Catholics, is to make it possible for her to optimize her ability to make the choice.

Roe v. Wade created an evil “right” and one that is against God’s law. Curious what his advice would be come this summer, if Roe v. Wade is overturned in the Dobbs case. Now the “system” is leaving abortion up to the states. What would be his bad advice to Catholics then?

Father Conroy also tries to defend pro-abortion Democrats as not actually pro-abortion. He says: “a pro-choice Democrat isn’t a pro-abortion person but the debate has snatched that. So immediately any pro-choice Democrat is judged as pro-abortion.” The Biden administration has expanded abortion – the latest move with chemical abortions. That’s pro-abortion. If you’ve listened to the rhetoric of the new governor of New York, she’s pro-abortion.

Father Conroy’s description captures the average American who is not motivated by abortion activism, but describes himself as pro-choice because he wants to know that a woman in a difficult situation has options. And he does no one any good by lying about what the Catholic Church teaches about abortion.

If it were not sold out, I’d send Father Conroy the End Roe issue of National Review, where he’d learn our “system” is in league with North Korea and China when it comes to abortion. The history, law, and science behind Roe is shoddy and has led to the immiseration of women, not their flourishing.

Too bad Father Conroy wasn’t chaplain when Mother Teresa visited Washington, D.C, and spoke to the National Prayer Breakfast:

But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, that father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. The father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

This is the stuff that correctly informs consciences. Father Conroy should also listen to Pope Francis on abortion:

It’s more than a problem, it’s homicide, whoever has an abortion, kills. No mincing words. Take any book on embryology for medical students. The third week after conception, all the organs are already there, even the DNA. . . .It is a human life, this human life must be respected, this principle is so clear! To those who cannot understand, I would ask this question: Is it right to kill a human life to solve a problem? Is it right to hire a hitman to kill a human life? Scientifically, it is a human life. Is it right to take it out to solve a problem? That is why the Church is so harsh on this issue, because if it accepts this, it is as if it accepts daily murder. A Head of State told me that the demographic decline began because in those years there was such a strong law on abortion that six million abortions were performed and this left a decline in births in the society of that country.

Giving cover to pro-abortion politicians does no one any good. And certainly not the women who often find every pressure in their world insisting on abortion. He could have challenged the media to talk more about the real alternatives to abortion that there are. He could have talked about the right of the innocent unborn. Instead, he uttered talking points of the culture of death, which leaves souls worse off, content to make God into their own image instead of the light of truth.





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Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.