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Conservatives And Liberals Unite For Life

Conservative and liberal Catholics are divided on issues of life and death. Both need desperately to forge a unity and develop holistic strategies aimed at protecting the dignity of every single human being from conception to natural death.

In the Gospel, Jesus puts forth to His followers this challenging directive: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.”

In a world that is so often darkened by what Pope Francis calls the “culture of indifference,” we, the modern-day followers of Jesus are called to radiate the Master’s light of love upon the various sufferings of countless brothers and sisters. But we are taking this mandate too lightly–in a fractured and partial way.

In general, I have long found that very often Catholics with conservative leanings, more or less oppose abortion, infanticide, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, promiscuous public school sex education, and government attacks on religious liberty and traditional marriage.

And in general, I have long found that very often Catholics with liberal leanings, more or less support nonviolent peace initiatives, demilitarization, drastically cutting military budgets and redirecting those funds to end global hunger and poverty, protecting the environment while working to end human-induced climate change, abolishing capital punishment, welcoming migrants and refugees, opposing racism, and fighting to stop human trafficking. 

Each of these efforts is morally commendable–to a point. But the problem is that when it comes to conservative Catholic social action initiatives and liberal Catholic social action initiatives, it most often boils down to “never the twain shall meet.” 

And this is disastrous for our Catholic faith and for all who will continue to suffer because we prefer biased, ideological, narrow-minded tunnel vision to open-minded, heartfelt Catholic dialogue that places the Gospel and Catholic social teaching as our foundation.

Catholic conservatives and Catholic liberals desperately need to pray and take concrete steps in forging a unity designed to work together to develop holistic nonviolent strategies aimed at protecting the life and dignity of every single human being from conception to natural death. 

Instead of ranking the life issues, we need to link them, always bearing in mind that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Thus, all the life links need to be strong!

Imagine what a moral, political, economic, cultural, and religious beacon of light the Catholic Church would be if conservative Catholics and liberal Catholics would pray together and work together with Christocentric passion, building Pope Francis’ “culture of encounter” where all life is respected, protected and nurtured! 

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