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The TwitterZone: Catholic Church Drawing the Line on Abortion?

Catholic bishops weigh denying Communion to abortion proponents.

Each week Liberty Nation straps on its Personal Protective Equipment and dives into the TwitterZone to bring you the biggest news, the most outlandish arguments, and the real Zeitgeist of what is taking place in the internet’s wildest frontier

Reactions to multiple reports surrounding the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) decision to draft a document outlining the criteria for denying Communion to abortion rights advocates have taken Twitter by storm the past few days. Young progressives have formed the most significant opposition to religious involvement in politics, with no goodwill being shown towards deeply religious figures with a say in public policy.

The Twitter population already skews heavily towards these young progressives, who are increasingly unlikely to affiliate with organized religion and more broadly hold ill will towards the many conservative doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. Reactions to the announcement from the conference of bishops were hostile and have even already provoked a response from House Democrats to urge the USCCB to reconsider chastising prominent pro-choice Democrats that receive Communion. President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have been painted as the main targets of the USCCB’s decision despite the lack of any specific admonishments of the two from the organization.

Pro-Abortion or Just “Pro-Choice”?

Aside from social media, the response from many Americans towards the message coming from American bishops has been mixed. Despite grumbling from some Democrats, a few have acknowledged the disregard for Catholic doctrine behind their party’s support for abortion rights. The majority seem to contend that no one in their party outright supports abortion but instead believes in a woman’s right to make her own decisions regarding her body. At the same time, many conservatives reject this stance, arguing that the existence of pro-abortion Democrats and organizations like Planned Parenthood are not borne out of reluctance but enthusiasm for abortion itself.

Already, critics of the move have begun to cite prior instances of religious hypocrisy from within the Catholic Church in defense of Democratic politicians facing reproach. After all, it is difficult to bring up religious doctrine and wave away the hundreds of cases that the Roman Catholic Church has settled with victims of sexual abuse at the hands of the clergy – estimated to total over $2 billion from 1950-2007. Despite Pope Francis’ reputation as a more liberal religious reformer after becoming the head of the church, various other scandals have continued to plague Catholicism and led to disillusionment with organized religion for many.

The Decline of Religion

Data shows a smaller share of adults are identifying as Christians and that those labeling themselves as religiously unaffiliated have rapidly increased over the last 14 years. Almost all Western countries have become decisively more secular over the years, with abortion being legal in a significant number of these nations despite harsher regulations for the procedure in many cases. Younger Americans tend to cite the Catholic Church’s stances against abortion, contraceptives, and gay marriage as reasons for their detachment from organized religion. Although various factions within the church have undoubtedly become more liberal in their views towards the above, Catholic orthodoxy remains adamant in refraining from the outright endorsement of any “right” to abortion.

Many critics of the USCCB’s proposed document remain fearful that the act of Communion may become more politicized than necessary and further exacerbate partisanship throughout America. In their mind, support for abortion rights will become a litmus test for membership in the Catholic Church, driving more Americans away from the faith as a result.

In the past, Catholic bishops had proposed reprimanding President Trump for his administration’s policy of family separation, though the moves gained no traction. Any general official admonishment of Catholic-identifying Democratic politicians might lead to strife within the church if individual bishops begin taking action into their own hands and denying Communion to politicians who oppose their religious beliefs. Ultimately, American bishops may be caught between a rock and a hard place if the proposed document is written, amended, and approved in November.

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Read more from Jose Backer

Read More From Jose Backer

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