On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I think that it important to talk briefly about some contradictions in certain catholic circles with regard to abortion. They are the following:
1.While the Church clearly teaches that abortion is the taking of new life and always morally wrong, this message somehow gets watered down among catholics in schools and jobs over concern about guilt and the abortive mother. This concern is misplaced. Evidence shows that women without "religion" still have higher rates of depression and attempted suicides than birth mothers. This evidence comes by way of several Scandanavian studies which show that while abortion is very common and assumed to not have moral consequence, so is post-abortion depression. The evidence of increased risk for depressions also comes to us from a study that was conducted in Australia. Clearly, we have to worry about the state of the post-abortion mother but not by avoiding the discussion about the right and wrong of the abortion.
2. While the Church stands up courageously for all life, many catholic schools fail to educate all of our catholic children for a variety of reasons: lack of family money, large families can't afford high tuitions, special needs children, etc. Too many catholic schools - like catholic hospitals have become more elitist in approaching education and caring for the poor and the special needs children. Is it any wonder that society overall has become less caring as they watch the faithful become less involved and concerned as well. The axiom that the more we love God the more we love others rings so true today.
3. The ideal of sending our children to catholic schools leads many families to assume a two-person income . A long time ago, I remember reading a commentary from Pope JP II; he wished mothers would stay home before taking jobs that took them away from the family and loving and nurturing their young ones. Peer pressure is hard to overcome even for parents.
4. Many Catholic schools of all levels (grade school through college) seem oblivious to the mission and vision of forming well educated, exuberant, faithfilled, authentic, students so they can become "soldiers for Christ" as popularized in the 50's. Instead, colleges (catholic) seem more prone to generate soldiers against Christ. While many parents wring their hands over the lack of catholic formation occurring at their kids' schools, they continue to pay the bills and allow this lack of formation to continue.
5. Irreligious philosophers suggested that the way to turn out people who don't need "religion" is to lure them into sexual immorality. It turns out that adopting the irreligious attitudes and behaviors is part and parcel of why we continue to debate the morality of abortion in 2010.