I wish to comment on the front page article in the June 4 Catholic Messenger concerning the murder of the doctor from Kansas who performed abortions.
The Catholic News Service story, which I read in several Midwest diocesan papers, began by stating: “Pro-life advocates universally condemned the May 31 murder of a Kansas abortion doctor…”
Certainly the U.S. Catholic and other mainline Christian churches “condemned the murder.”
However, it is certainly not accurate for CNS to say that the horrible act was “universally” condemned. Anyone who listened to network news was painfully aware that several national organizations and individuals calling themselves “pro-life” not only approved but applauded the murder of the doctor in his church.
I think it is important for us as Catholics to realize that we need to avoid extremism; that we cannot be “cafeteria” Christians, choosing to uphold the right to life for some but not for all; that we need to constantly seek common ground so that we can move forward together to eliminate the need for abortion in all but the most extreme health crises just as we need to eliminate capital punishment and war and nuclear weapons.
We need to speak openly and candidly, but without violence or malice, and we need to be clear that “pro-life” does not mean the same thing to everyone. Majority opinion is not yet universal consensus, and opinion is not yet commitment to justice for all.