Catholics personally opposed to abortion? A fallacy.
Has Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made a mistake in categorizing her worldview? Her religion? Has she made several? Who has the authority to say?
We all make mistakes. Some more than others. To even admit to a mistake requires a certain worldview.
In her recent Washington Post article (linked at top), Contributor Mary Eberstadt discusses the Archdiocese of San Francisco’s decision to bar House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from receiving Holy Communion. Why? Because Pelosi’s support of abortion contradicts one of the core tenets of the Roman Catholic Church—the sanctity of all human life.
The Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s bold declaration highlights at least two cardinal worldview mistakes that Ms. Pelosi continues to make: She not only assumes all women have the same beliefs on abortion, but her very beliefs contradict established Catholic orthodoxy and worldview.
As Mary mentions in her article, Speaker Pelosi has continually spoken for “all women” on the issue of abortion, yet she does not consider that millions of women (many professed Catholics like her) believe differently. Below are two of our Contributors, the first a Protestant and the second a Catholic, who happen to be among them.
By taking this position, Ms. Pelosi is either claiming that her views on abortion are universal (which would be false) or that they are simply more important than those of others (making her elitist).
This is not to say that Speaker Pelosi can’t make a purely subjective “truth claim” about abortion being universally good or correct (on some basis)—for truth likely exists on the matter, in our opinion, and it must be stated by someone—but rather: What is the basis of her claim about being Catholic?
What defines such status, and, again, who decides?
Her belief raises the question of worldview consistency. The Roman Catholic Church’s notification to Ms. Pelosi explains the impossibility of someone professing allegiance to both abortion and the Catholic faith. The church has decided that her beliefs cannot be rooted in the church, nor reconciled with its laws and teaching.
You would think it best to make sure your beliefs and actions align with the worldview claimed as your own—this goes for the theist, atheist, and pantheist alike. As adults, we determine our own worldview, though we aren’t free to call it or them whatever we like. Groups must agree to language and the concepts associated with them. References and coherence matter.
When we adopt worldviews that are all-encompassing and try them on for size in the public square, we test their strength. We subject our thought and actions to the public furnace often referred to as objective truth. All groups with common outlooks and goals enforce some form of orthodoxy. Early Christians struggled over the basics of Christianity for centuries, and the debate obviously continues.
For now, however, it appears that the sanctity of life within the Roman Catholic Church is not negotiable. Welcome to the current Roman Catholic world, Speaker Pelosi.
Only time will tell if Nancy Pelosi learns from her worldview “mistakes,” but here’s a great place to start: Try getting one’s own worldview straight first, while striving to understand the worldviews of others.
In conclusion, like Speaker Pelosi and the federal government, Praxis Circle would like to remind you that, “We’re here to help.”