5 thoughts on “Bishop McElroy on “A Church for the Poor”

  1. “Both abortion and poverty countenance the deaths of millions of children in a world where government action could end the slaughter.” ok, where is the statistical evidence that over 1million American children die each year from poverty, which is what it would take to equate poverty problem to the abortion problem? Child obesity, which the First Lady has rightfully taken up as her cause, is a bigger problem than child-poverty.

    • Marc, a few points;
      1. The very sentence from the bishop that you quoted makes reference to deaths of children by abortion and poverty in the world, not the U.S. There is more to reality around us than the U.S. and certainly more that should concern Catholics than the U.S. That’s what solidarity is all about.
      2, It surely would not be difficult to make the case that poverty does lead to a great many American deaths each year, even if a great many are not dying of hunger,
      3. Bishop McElroy did not “equate” poverty with abortion. Very poor word choice, that. Indeed, he was pretty emphatic not to do that, stating clearly in one of the passages I quoted that “each in its own way and to its own degree, constitute an assault on the very core of the dignity of the human person, instrumentalizing life as part of a throwaway culture.” So only someone intentionally looking for some stone to throw, no matter how cheaply, could conclude he’s equating them.
      4. Your most egregious mistake was the last sentence, suggesting that a childhood obesity problem argues against a childhood poverty problem. It has been very clear for decades among sociologists, nutritionists, etc, that obesity is closely related to poverty, particularly in the more developed countries. We have such a serious childhood obesity problem largely because so many families are poor. Finding the stats and the reasons for this is so utterly simple with a Google search, I’ll leave it to you.

  2. ok, i cited the wrong exact line in the article. regardless of the actual line, the whole article is saying something to the effect that we need to transform the entire political Catholic conversation in America, such that it elevates poverty to that of abortion. There were plenty of references to our country and America. Right? If so, I disagree. Poverty in America, although present and troubling, does not cause near the death toll as abortion. As far as obesity being a problem for the poor, I dont get it. In the times of my life when I didn’t have much money to get through the week, the last place I went to eat was McDonalds. I went to the grocery store and bought the cheapest can of tuna and some crackers that I could find. Big Macs and Super Sized cokes are quite expensive.

  3. “It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop.” – Blessed Pope John Paul II. Concern for issues of poverty, health care, housing, employment, etc., and being “right” on such issues, does not excuse an indifference to attacks against the right to life of all human beings from conception to natural death. This was made clear by the U.S. Bishops 15 years ago in their letter Living the Gospel of Life. The Bishops stated: “But being ‘right’ in such matters can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life. Indeed, the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the ‘rightness’ of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community. If we understand the human person as the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’ — the living house of God — then these latter issues fall logically into place as the crossbeams and walls of that house. All direct attacks on innocent human life, such as abortion and euthanasia, strike at the house’s foundation. These directly and immediately violate the human person’s most fundamental right — the right to life. Neglect of these issues is the equivalent of building our house on sand. Such attacks cannot help but lull the social conscience in ways ultimately destructive of other human rights.” Archbishop Chaput in a recent column put it this way: “This is why the right to life is not merely one among many urgent issues, but rather the foundational one. It provides the cornerstone for a whole architecture of human dignity. Nothing has changed in recent months or years in Catholic thinking about the sanctity of human life. Nor can it. As America’s bishops have stressed so many times, we have an obligation to work for human dignity at every stage and in every circumstance of human life. …when we revoke legal protection for unborn children – when we accept the intimate violence abortion inflicts both on women and their unborn children; when we license and sacralize abortion as part of what Pope Francis calls a ‘throw away culture’ — we violate the first and most important human right, the right to life itself. And once we do that, and then create a system of alibis to justify it, we begin to put every other human and civil right at risk.”

  4. Marc, what straw man are you arguing against? If you read Bishop McElroy’s article, you certainly found no “indifference to attacks against the right to life of all human beings from conception to natural death.” And you’d find none on this blog either. (Indeed, Chaput’s way of framing the question seems a more direct road in that direction.)

    As for the connection between poverty and obesity that you “don’t get,” a little reading on the topic will shed the light that will dispell the darkness of ignorance.

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