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By Paul Fahey and D.W. Lafferty

Those little statues brought to the Amazon synod by the REPAM group, so callously stolen and thrown in the Tiber, have functioned as a sort of Rorschach Test for the Church.

Some Catholics view the image the way the Indigenous Catholics presented it to the pope, as “Our Lady of the Amazon.” This is clear to them because they trust in the orthodoxy and good will of the pope, the synod, and the Indigenous Catholic participants. Those who lack that trust view it as a symbol of pagan infiltration. The Vatican communications office has tried to avoid the controversy by assuring us that it’s not either, but that it simply represents “life, fertility, mother earth.”

In the end, it is simply a piece of art, as this new EWTN interview with Rafael Tavares makes clear. Its symbolic connotations depend upon context and interpretation. However, given the context and what the Indiginous Catholic leaders have said about it, the Marian interpretation is the more accurate one, even if there are echoes of traditional Indigenous Mother Earth imagery. But even that Mother Earth imagery is transformed in this new context. Consider that Pope Francis is about to release a new book called Our Mother Earth! And we can’t forget the famous canticle by St. Francis which says, “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth.” So even if there are some pagan echoes in the imagery, there is no reason to think it’s not still Christian through-and-through.

Much of the animosity towards this image, the synod, and the pope is driven by fear. Fear of a Church bigger than what we are comfortable with. And the spirit that hides behind fear is doubt. Doubt in God’s sovereignty. Doubt in the Holy Spirit’s promise to guide and protect the Church. Doubt in Christ’s promise to Peter.

Fear and doubt lead to a conception of church as a fortress: an isolated community concerned primarily with protecting it’s members from the onslaught of the enemy. But this does not describe the Kingdom of God. The Catholic Church is the great missionary who goes out to all people. She is the one pounding at the gates of the fortress of Hell to rescue all of creation from the clutches of sin and death. The gates of Hell are those that Christ promised will fall before a Church led by Peter.

During his general audience today the pope described the true nature of the Church in his reflection on the early missionary journeys of St. Paul:

The nature of the Church emerges from the Book of Acts, which is not a fortress, but a tent capable of widening its space and giving access to all. […] The Church is called to always be the open house of the Father. Thus, if someone wants to follow a movement of the Holy Spirit and approach, seeking God, he will not meet with the coldness of a closed door. […] But the novelty is for whom are the doors open? To the pagans, because the Apostles preached to the Jews, but the pagans also came to knock on the door of the Church; and this newness of the doors open to the pagans triggers a very lively controversy.  (Trans. Catholic News Agency)

As it was then, so it is now.

Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us for a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit that drives out fear, that fills us with faith in the Father’s goodness, and that renews our trust in Christ’s promise that the gates of Hell will never prevail against His Church.

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30 Responses

  1. Christopher Lake says:

    Amen to every word of this article, and amen again. God bless those indigenous Catholics, who are my dear brothers and sisters in the faith, and God bless Pope Francis!

  2. Jessica says:

    Those who are bothered by the mother earth reference, what about the same types of references that Saint Francis made? (At least I think he used the same language.)

    • Christopher Lake says:

      Jessica,

      You’re right, Saint Francis definitely did use that language in some of his writings. Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Mother Earth, and so on. To those who would object to such language being used, by some Catholics, out of their respect, and love, and desire to care for, God’s creation, I answer, Saint Francis was not a “pagan,” and neither is Pope Francis (who will be publishing a book soon titled “Our Mother Earth”)!

  3. carn says:

    “The Vatican communications office has tried to avoid the controversy by assuring us that it’s not either, but that it simply represents “life, fertility, mother earth.””

    They have fueled the controversy by not carefully investigating the matter and say what it is. Rorschach tests end, when people get told what something is, cause then they stop trying to guess what it is.

    “In the end, it is simply a piece of art, as this new EWTN interview with Rafael Tavares makes clear.”

    Ok, prostrating oneself before a piece of art is accordingly fine.

    “Much of the animosity towards this image, the synod, and the pope is driven by fear.”

    You have proof for that claim except mind reading capabilities?

  4. Michael says:

    Amen. Thank you for this article. I also agree in part with a previous comment that Vatican officials are too often vague, but whether this is intentional in the sense of being diplomatic or because they haven’t researched the situation, I do not claim to know. Bless you.

  5. Marie says:

    Beautiful, thank you. As much as they upset me, especially because of actions like this, I do feel sorry for them too. Many were alone, defending the faith against other attacks, to the point where they can’t see beyond it anymore. They are victims as well as perpetrators, if that makes any sense, but it is pride, and for many a sense of superiority that is stopping them from seeing their way to the truth and joy that the universal church is all about.

  6. Anne Lastman says:

    Thank you Paul. Thank you much.
    In some ways it’s what I’ve been saying to those who have virulently attacked both The holy father and the synod. This virulence is like a virus attacking all members of a body without favour.
    As I’ve said many many times when the voice of the Holy Father and the church need to be heard in this time of assault on life the same voice is dulled,demeaned, despised, deplored by a small handful of dissenting individuals who have accessed media outlets.
    Well done Paul and members of WPI

  7. Jim Micheals says:

    Some seem to forget that many things we now see as Christian in fact had their origins in paganism. In his 1878 Essay on the Development of the Christian Doctrine John H. Newman wrote:

    “The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holy days and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on the fields, sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, the ring in marriage, turning to the east, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the Kyrie Eleison, are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church.”

    So it certainly wouldn’t be unusual to take an indigenous image and Christianize it to represent our Blessed Mother. SO all you folks complaining about it no Christmas trees anymore.

  8. jong says:

    Thanks Paul F.
    I can always see the spirit of wisdom in your article, your heart is blessed.
    I have one simple question to the people who had stolen the “naked statue” and the people who instructed them to steal and thrown a precious item of the Amazonian indigenous people just like that. They are even proud to document their actions, but ofcourse they hide their faces in the uploaded video, why?
    The simple question is, who inspires them to break the commandment of God “thou shall not steal”, is it the Holy Spirit or Satan?
    Let’s see the answer of St.John the beloved;
    “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”(John10:10)
    Pope Francis always reminded us to wear the “cloak of compassion & mercy” when evangelizing, it means respecting other people culture, and by our charity they will experience conversion into our common faith, perhaps later on the Amazonian tribe will cloth the “naked statue” just like all the wooden statue of Mama Mary who were given vestment acknowledging Her profound dignity as our Queen Mother. But, then again we must not proselytize, we must not impose our faith and allow our charity be inspired by the Holy Spirit.
    So, who inspire the action of the people who steal the “naked statue” right at the very presence of God inside the Church, is it the Holy Spirit or Satan? The answer is Satan because the Holy Spirit will not inspire a good soul to break the commandment of God, only Satan came to steal & destroy as John10:10 teaches us.

  9. Rita Michele says:

    With respect to the bowing, the thing is that we don’t really know the context. The bowing may have been simply part of the ceremony. It could have been a prayer to God. It could have been an acknowledgement of the gifts of the Earth, a simple sign of thanksgiving (which ultimately goes to God as the Earth’s Creator). It could have been in veneration to Mary. When I pray before a statue of Mary, I bow my head. I don’t think that’s idolatry. It’s a common Catholic practice. As far as the Vatican spokesmen trying to be diplomatic, if it’s true, it doesn’t make sense. The statue could in fact be both a symbol of Amazonian life, and an image of Our Lady of the Amazon. Mary is, after all, Mother of the New Creation. She is the New Eve. She is the highest, most pure example of motherhood and womanhood. This wouldn’t even be syncretism, in my view. It could be a perfectly orthodox Catholic way of understanding the meaning of the statue. Pope Francis blessed the statue, with the knowledge that it was intended to be Our Lady of the Amazon. And I think that’s how it should be received by all of us. This, to me, is the most charitable, accurate interpretation. That a Vatican spokesperson could be ignorant of the intentions because he hasn’t taken the time to ask the woman who lead the tree planting ceremony herself, is very unfortunate. It gives fuel to the hyper conservatives to continue to insist on the Pachamama theory, which there is no evidence for. I feel at peace with the ceremony and the Marian interpretation, as well as the idea of it also being a symbol of the abundance of the Earth and Amazonian life. And I thank this blog for the balanced, well-researched articles on this controversial topic. Thanks be to God that I found this site, or I would probably still be filled with anxiety. I commented to Taylor Marshall that I was ashamed of both the actions of the thieves, and of him for sewing hysteria. I’m not watching any of those guys anymore–EWTN, Patrick Coffin, Lifesite, Michael Voris, etc. I’m so done with all of them. They will get no more of my time or support. My support goes to the Pope and the peoples he is trying to aid, and to anyone who works for Catholic unity.

  10. jong says:

    I hope WPI already anticipates to write articles about Church history in ordaining women deacon and the possibility of ordaining a woman into priesthood, why?
    Pope Francis said it is the Holy Spirit wisdom that will guide the Synod and it is the Holy Spirit wisdom who will inspire & teach the Bishop Synod on what to do to help the situation in the Amazonian region.
    Looking and pondering at Amoris Laetetia and CCC2267, this two teachings mentioned “social situations had changed” and “sacramental discipline was inspired to be change” by the Holy Spirit in light of the gospel of Mercy because we are now living in the Time of Mercy, the signs of times are now becoming more visible.
    Cardinal Ratzinger stated ‘Re “Ordinatio Sacerdotolis” it is not a “Dogma contained in the divine revelation”. As Cardinal Ratzinger when he is the Prefect of CDF clarifies “Definitive judgement that pertain to the deposition of faith are diff. from Dogmas contained in the deposit of faith.” It is only “de fide tenenda” not “de fide credenda”.(I’ve read this in one commenter on WPI)
    Looking at the wordings of St.JP2 in “Ordinatio Sacerdotolis” it has a small window of opening in paragraph#4 here it is
    “4. Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.”

    We can see that this was based on a mere “disciplinary force” and we know that Pope Francis had said “the Church cannot condemn forever” with regards to Council of Trent teachings on the couple in irregular union.
    Plus the conclusion of “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis” is “I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”

    Look carefully at the wordings, it said the “Church has no authority to confer”, what if the Holy Spirit since it is already the Time of Mercy supply the needed Church Authority” in these “signs of times’ to soften the force of discipline?
    I have a feeling the Holy Spirit will inspire the Church to “soften the force of discipline” to allow the women to be ordain a deacon, and this will fuel again further attack on the Magisterium of Pope Francis and it will serve again as God’s way of purifying the Church.
    But, the worst division that will happen is, the “ordination of woman to priesthood”..I think this will not happen yet…but if we ponder on Cardinal Ratzinger precise prediction of the future of the Church that “it will be reduced to a small church but a more pious church” and Pope Francis is welcoming the Church to become poor and for the poor, meaning it will embraced the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit to witness the Divine Mercy by softening the force of discipline and considering the current social situations, will the Holy Spirit supply the extra power & authority lacking in the Church right now to ordain woman after all Mama Mary is truly a Virgin Priest and Queen of all priest.
    Mary Virgin Priest, pray for us. (St.Pius X approved prayer devotion)
    (Note: I’ve answered the issue asking if “Mary Virgin Priest” is just a metaphor or a real priesthood here; What is the basis of St. Pius X in 1906 that led to the approval of the prayer devotion; “Mary Virgin Priest, pray for us”?https://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/73880/what-is-the-basis-of-st-pius-x-in-1906-that-led-to-the-approval-of-the-prayer-d

    ORDINATIO SACERDOTALIS http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_letters/1994/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_19940522_ordinatio-sacerdotalis.html

  11. John says:

    There is the act.

    Then, there is filming the act, in a way that merely documents it.

    Then, there is editing the film with “Generi_Epic_Movie_Preview.mp3” as the soundtrack.

    Each of these details, and the declaration of intent, tells us something about the mindset of those who did this.

    Based on the declaration, I think they intend to act again.

  12. Pete Vickery says:

    Hey Paul I notice you guys take turns managing the comments section. Maybe you guys should mention it to your confessors to see if it counts as a form of penance. Kind of like when it was my day of the week to stand outside the abortion clinic. Necessary but not fun.

  13. Joshua Hernandez says:

    Paul,

    Has it ever occurred to you that, perhaps, we may have good reason to be suspicious? I was never made aware of the fact that Catholics were required to abandon all reason, tradition, their sensus fidelium, as well as all good sense and rational judgement in order to justify every aberrant behavior and utterance of a pope. There is something very off about this. This doesn’t have the ring of truth or catholicity. To not be suspicious in the face of overtly and persistently suspicious behavior is in itself suspect in the eyes of any honest observer.

    And enough already with this nonsense that says that if we ever have a bad or erring pope this somehow means that the Holy Spirit has failed and that the gates of hell have prevailed against the Church. If this were the case it would have all been over a long time ago. About 2,000 years ago, in fact, when St. Paul was forced to publicly resist St. Peter to the face in Antioch for his setting aside of God’s truth in order to avoid conflict and please those in the clutches of doctrinal error (sound a bit familiar, maybe?). The First Vatican Council defined the limits of papal infallibility for a reason. This “all is well” attitude in the face of utter disaster is in reality gravely harmful to the Chair of Peter. You guys are setting everyone up for a massive fall when, in the future, a successive pope repudiates all of this nonsense and once again reaffirms the Church’s perennial doctrine and discipline. What will you say then? Will you once again just chalk it all up to another one of those “developments of doctrine”? As if doctrine could go from meaning one thing to meaning its very opposite? Another “surprise of the Holy Spirit”, as if the Holy Spirit were schizophrenic? I’m sorry, but this is not Catholicism. This is not loyal subjection to the papacy. This is, rather, the cultish, servile, sycophantic adherence to the every word and action of a single man. Congratulations, you have confirmed, in every possible way, the protestant caricature of our Faith. This is not Catholicism, my friends, this is insanity.

    • Joshua Hernandez says:

      P.S. I would just like to add that, on top of defining the limits of papal infallibility, Vatican I also defined the limits of the authentic development of doctrine (“that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.”), as well as the infallibility of the ordinary and universal magisterium (that which has been taught always and everywhere throughout the ages by all the bishops and popes). This is of paramount importance for faithful Catholics trying to maneuver through the doctrinal confusion of our times.

      • Lazarus says:

        When Pope Francis’ succesor does not repudiate his predecessor, will you stay in the Church or join that schismatic Church where the pope can be deposed if he disagrees with the opinion, a church where the pope is a mere figure head and not the supreme vicar of Christ?

      • Mary Angelica says:

        So I sympathize with your concerns, but if you are going to go against the Pope on something, you probably shouldn’t do so in a guilt-by- conceptual-association kind of way.

        If the topic is the statue, for example, if there indeed is a problem, I don’t see how the Pope is at fault in this case. He himself didn’t plan the ritual. The people at REPAM did. Popes don’t typically plan these things. Otherwise BXVI should be blamed for that one chicken sacrifice held inside a church during the Asissi meeting.

        The only comments Francis could be said to have made on the whole issue was an our father right after the ritual, and now, (perhaps) his homily on the council of Jerusalem, neither of which sound anything like ther Vatican spokesmen.

        I think Francis has a horrendous inner circle of cardinals, but I don’t equate those cardinals’ views with his. Nor will I attribute any weirdness in the synod to him if the source of that weirdness isn’t him.

      • Joshua Hernandez says:

        Mary,

        “I think Francis has a horrendous inner circle of cardinals”.

        Indeed, he has surrounded himself with absolute filth and distanced himself from the few remaining good, decent, orthodox men. Are we supposed to count this to his credit? I don’t understand.

      • Mary Angelica says:

        You can argue against the choice of the inner circle without claiming that everything they do is his fault.

        Supposing that idolatry had occurred, it doesn’t mean that Francis approved of it. I suggest you take a look at his homily that he gave today. Me thinks it expresses his opinion on the whole matter.

        For better or worse, his pontificate has allowed all sorts of crazy to come out of the woodshed. However, my impression is that such crazy was already here for a long, long time, and it benefited from being more hidden.

      • Marie says:

        Joshua- If you are unable to recognize that you are closed minded, and not open to Church teachings you find difficult to accept, referring to others as absolute filth should be a signal to you that something is amiss in your thinking.

        I gradually left the pro life movement, and sadly for some time the Church, not because I lost my faith in Catholicism, or that I was no longer pro life, but in large part because I didn’t recognize my faith in the ‘faithful’ Catholic community I was surrounded by, often critical of all others who were not quite holy enough for their liking. Sadly, all while at the same time walking by the hungry homeless man beside them, despite full bellies.

        How ironic that your desire to kiss the papal ring, a sign of respect and obedience, was seen as the pope “visibly annoyed, forcefully and aggressively” refusing “us this honor”. It seems that moment for you was about his duty towards you, rather than yours towards him, and explains a lot about how you see your roll as protector of the Church, rather than the other way around.

        Your post claiming a desire to understand our pope and his teachings was disingenuous. You have no desire to understand, and only seek to demand the Church, and pope follow the teachings and rules as you see fit. I hope you will reconsider.

      • PaulusFranciscus says:

        @Marie

        Joshua is entirely correct.

        Your comment suggests that you are pro-abortion. If you truly consider yourself a Catholic, you need to think seriously about whether your unwillingness to accept even the mildest criticism of this Pontiff might actually stem from a desire to shape Catholic teaching to your own ideology, rather than a willingness on your part to conform to the Catholic Faith, Morals, Doctrine and Tradition as it has been handed down to us for over 2000 years.

      • Marie says:

        Paulus- Sorry to disappoint, I’m completely, totally pro life as I said in my post, prolife, womb to tomb. I don’t have an ideology, I’m Catholic, and follow all Church teachings, ALL of them. I don’t idolize the pope, I respect him dearly, admire him greatly and thank God every day for the gift of his promise to protect his Church through Peter. I don’t pick and choose what to believe, nor do I fixate only on infallible teachings as an excuse to ignore catholic teachings I might not want to accept and I don’t take on the role of the Magisterium. I respect our Church too much for that.

      • Joshua Hernandez says:

        Marie,

        To clarify, you’re absolutely right, my personal opinion in all of this is completely worthless and carries no weight. What I think doesn’t matter one bit. We can at least agree on that. However, what the Church teaches, as can be known through all of her popes, councils, doctors and saints, and especially in her infallible pronouncements, through both her extraordinary magisterium as well as her universal and ordinary magisterium, we are absolutely bound to as Catholics and may only depart from at the cost of forfeiting our faith. That goes for me, you or anyone else regardless of personal preference or opinion. Those aren’t my rules or teachings.

        Catholic doctrine cannot be altered or changed. Changing the original sense and meaning of a doctrine is not authentic development of doctrine. I don’t say this, the Church does. I have put forth three concrete examples in which Pope Francis done just this (Amoris, Death Penalty, Abu Dhabi). If I am wrong about this, all I ask is for a response and solution that doesn’t require me having to reject authoritative and binding Church teaching which the Church herself already adamantly insists I am not at liberty to dispense with or contradict if I am to save my soul.

        We have an absolute duty as Catholics to hold fast to the Church’s teachings, in spite of what high ranking prelates or even a pope says. Again, I don’t say this, the Church does. It is for this reason that the Church has defined the limits of papal infallibility as well as set forth the weight of magisterial pronouncement according to degrees. Not every magisterial pronouncement carries with it the same level of authority. More authoritative magisterial pronouncements trump less authoritative magisterial pronouncements. The Church says this, not I. When magisterial pronouncements seemingly contradict we don’t look to chronology to determine which one is right (it doesn’t matter if what was said was said on Monday or Tuesday), rather we look to magisterial weight/authority e.g. are either of these teachings infallible? Has one been taught longer and more universally? Which has been pronounced more solemnly?

        Concerned Catholics are now in a very uncomfortable position which none of us ever wanted to be in but which we have been forced into because of our fidelity to the Church’s magisterium. You cannot just say that what Francis has said regarding these matters is also part of the magisterium and therefore we must adhere to it and then call it a day. That’s not how it works, as you have seen. The magisterium has within it levels of authority. Again, I don’t say this, the Church does. On certain matters, Francis’ magisterium has directly contradicted much weightier and even infallible magisterial pronouncements. This must be reconciled. As faithful Catholics we are then left with a choice. We either accept Francis’ new admittedly non-infallible teachings, and by so doing reject the infallible Church teachings which we are absolutely bound to if we are to remain faithful Catholics, or we hold on to what the Church has definitively taught and temporarily set aside the teachings of Francis until some sort of clarification or correction is forthcoming. If I and other countless faithful Catholics are mistaken and have gotten all of this completely wrong, then all we ask is that the Holy Father clarify this so that we can move on.

      • Pedro Gabriel says:

        Joshua said “We have an absolute duty as Catholics to hold fast to the Church’s teachings, in spite of what high ranking prelates or even a pope says. Again, I don’t say this, the Church does.”

        Where does the Church say this? (and by “pope says”, I suppose from your example that you mean lesser magisterial teachings from the Pope)

        Please cite the actual Church doc.

        PS: All of the three examples you mentioned were already reconciled with previous magisteria in several articles in this website. Of course, it all hinges on whether you are willing to accept them

      • Joshua Hernandez says:

        Pedro,

        You said: “Joshua said “We have an absolute duty as Catholics to hold fast to the Church’s teachings, in spite of what high ranking prelates or even a pope says. Again, I don’t say this, the Church does.”
        Where does the Church say this?”

        She says so by her distinction with regard to fallible vs infallible teaching. Though we do owe religious submission of the will and intellect to the pronouncements of the ordinary non-infallible magisterium, we owe submission of faith (a much higher and absolute submission) to the pronouncements of the infallible magisterium, be it the extraordinary magisterium or the ordinary an universal magisterium. That being the case, obviously, if one seems to contradict the other we are required to stick to the higher one. This also applies to the different non-infallible statements of the ordinary magisterium when they seem to be in contradiction. The CDF document “Professio Fidei” states:

        …”As examples of doctrines belonging to the third paragraph, one can point in general to teachings set forth by the authentic ordinary Magisterium in a non-definitive way, which require degrees of adherence differentiated according to the mind and the will manifested; this is shown especially by the nature of the documents, by the frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or by the tenor of the verbal expression.”

        In regards to the limits of papal infallibility, the limits of doctrinal development and the infallibility of the ordinary and universal magisterium see the documents of Vatican I.

        Of course, there is also the inspired word of God which states:

        “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Glatians 1:8-9

        I really don’t think my sentence was far off from what St. Paul said to the Galatians. It’s practically the same for all intents and purposes. “We have an absolute duty as Catholics to hold fast to the Church’s teachings, in spite of what high ranking prelates or even a pope says. Again, I don’t say this, the Church does.”

        You said: “(and by “pope says”, I suppose from your example that you mean lesser magisterial teachings from the Pope)

        Precisely.

        You said: “PS: All of the three examples you mentioned were already reconciled with previous magisteria in several articles in this website. Of course, it all hinges on whether you are willing to accept them”

        There is obviously a massive debate about this within the highest levels of the clergy (with much of the concern over what the pope has said emanating from men known for their orthodoxy and loyal assent) and among the lay faithful alike. This is why a definitive statement from the pope is necessary. He may begin by answering the dubia. We have been waiting now almost three years for this. The buck stops with the pope. He is the only one that can get us out of this mess by making the proper and very much needed clarifications on these matters.

  14. Katherine V Urquidi says:

    Bravo Joshua Hernandez .

  15. Christopher Lake says:

    PaulusFranciscus,

    For the sake of both accuracy and charity, please read Marie’s comment again carefully. She clearly states that, although she left the “pro-life movement,” she did *not* do so because of any approval of abortion on her part:

    “I gradually left the pro life movement, and sadly for some time the Church, not because I lost my faith in Catholicism, or that I was no longer pro life…”

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