Elsewhere: abortion in the press


Not long ago a tragic decision was made by a Catholic sister, in her job as a Catholic hospital administrator, in approving an abortion. This resulted in her automatic excommunication (latae sententiae).

The mainstream press, of course, does not understand almost any of this – our position on abortion, the roles of religious, excommunication, etc. Many also work hard to promote their own agendas.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue recently wrote about a New York Times op-ed piece by Nicholas Kristof. (The Times often publishes anti-Catholic pieces.)

Recently, Nicholas Kristof has been on a mission to assure Catholics that he likes them, but that he can’t stand the institutional Church. Indeed, he has condemned the “patriarchal premodern” Vatican as an “out of touch” and “self-absorbed” “old boys” club. Today’s article is no different.

Kristof is upset that Phoenix bishop Thomas Olmsted has spoken out against a nun who helped to facilitate an abortion at a Catholic hospital. Kristof goes out of his way to paint her as a “saintly” nun “who helped save a woman’s life.” What he just can’t wrap his head around is that by her involvement in the decision, the nun automatically excommunicated herself. What really gets his goat is the Catholic Church’s unwavering position that no abortion can ever be justified.

On par with the Times, Kristof loathes the Church for its stance on abortion, contraception and women’s ordination. Indeed, he has touched on this triumvirate in his recent hit jobs on the Church. Kristof believes that the “true” Church is the grassroots one. While it is true that lay Catholics play an integral role in the Church – just as reporters at the Times play a critical role for the newspaper – the decision making body in the Church is the Magisterium (the pope in communion with the bishops), just as the editorial board makes the decisions at the Times.

In Kristof’s bifurcated world there are two Catholic Churches. He needs a reality check: there is but one Roman Catholic Church.

I touched on the topics of “Kristof’s triumvirate” abortion, contraception and women’s ordination in earlier posts.

Quote from: Kristof’s Confused View of Catholicism


  1. I'm not sure how relevant what I will say is to what you have written about Kristof, but let me know what you think.

    It has to do with equating the Church to the Institutional Church. Our church is much bigger and more multi-faceted than its institutional aspect. It is primarily The Body of Christ, and whatever else it is, it seems to me, flows from that identity. The Times and Kristof are taking the narrow view.

    I agree with your perception that the NY Times does anti-Catholic pieces and that they have an anti-Catholic agenda. It's too bad, because their paper is very influential, and it's hurting us.

  2. Ruth Ann, I agree with you. Part of the problem is how people outside the Church equate it to organizations as they know them. Part of that is also misunderstanding the organizational structure – as if it is a global company or military.

    Another part of their misunderstanding (innocent or purposeful) is our faithfulness to the Magisterium. We don't want a "grass roots" church deciding our faith. This is one of our great strengths and provides lasting protection for the truth. Jesus chose this organization for good reason.

    As to the Times (and as I said before), if we were only to fully embrace their liberal agenda, we could be best buds. I hope that eventually, everyone will recognize their not-so-hidden agenda.

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