The overturning of Roe v. Wade has helped expose the extremism of the pro-abortion side. The advocacy of procured abortion has now turned to rage. The hatred toward the unborn child reveals the left’s true face.
Leading this attack upon human life is President Joe Biden. He claims to be a Catholic and receives Holy Communion. Yet his position on abortion could not be more contrary to Church teaching. He is now doing everything possible to undermine the Dobbs decision.
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In his speech reacting to Dobbs, he called the overturning of Roe a sad day for the Court and America—while Catholics everywhere were celebrating. He is pulling out all the stops to promote abortion. And yet he remains unpunished within the Church for his sinful advocacy.
President Biden and the Nature of Scandal
Thus, President Joe Biden causes scandal to countless Americans with his attitude. There is no other way to explain it. He cannot be given the benefit of any doubt. His attitude as President of the world’s greatest power is the cause of great evil and the spiritual ruin of many.
Saint Thomas Aquinas (II-II, Q. lxiii, a. 1) teaches that scandal is an evil word or action which leads to another’s spiritual ruin. The person giving scandal serves to tempt a neighbor to sin. It is listed under the Fifth Commandment forbidding murder since it threatens others with spiritual death.
There are several conditions for the sin of scandal. First, the act must be external and public because only these acts influence others. The scandalous action need not be the physical cause of another’s sin but the moral cause, as when one orders, requests or advises another to sin. The person tempting can but does not need to commit the sin being promoted, but only encourage it. The victim can but need not fall into the sin promoted but only suffer the encouragement of the scandalizer. Scandal must involve a matter sufficiently grave as to be the cause of spiritual ruin or death.
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One’s office further aggravates scandal. The higher the authority, the greater the sin of scandal. The greater the power, the greater the damage that can be done to souls.
Finally, the sin of scandal damages virtue and integrity because it often makes it seem that vice is unpunished. By giving scandal, the sinner challenges authority and undermines order.
The Case of Dobbs
Anyone can see that the President, unfortunately, fulfills all the requirements for giving scandal. The facts speak for themselves, and the President does not attempt to deny them. He shamelessly encourages women to affirm a “right” to procured abortion. He facilitates, promotes and supports those states that make abortion available and wants to codify abortion into federal law. He actively opposes and ridicules his fellow Catholics fighting against abortion.
The office of the American President is made to validate the slaughter of innocents. Thus, his advocacy is a moral cause of the spiritual ruin of countless women and the physical death of unborn children. His position especially gives scandal to the weak and vulnerable since many without sound moral judgment expect to find it in the President who endorses their tragically wrong decisions.
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Finally, his position gives courage to other Catholic officeholders, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who likewise give scandal and facilitate the scourge of abortion across the land.
President Biden causes scandal in this most serious matter. All those who stand for God’s law need to oppose this abuse of the presidential office to promote evil.
Yet Another Scandal
However, there is another scandal connected to this first one. It consists not of a public act encouraging sin but an omission. It is the scandal of those who allow scandal. These people scandalize by their silence or inaction.
These offenders fail to speak out in the face of evil. This offense is especially seen in Church authorities who cause scandal by failing to punish those under their jurisdiction. And thus, evil progresses, festers and corrodes society due to their inaction.
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Since abortion is a moral issue, Church authorities give scandal when they take no significant action against those Catholics who openly flaunt Church teachings and law. Such inaction instills in the faithful the idea that Church teaching has little validity because key figures give it no respect or obedience.
Bishops and priests must speak out about evil and use every means at their disposal (including excommunication) to oppose it. As true shepherds, they must take urgent action since doing nothing leads people to sin and spiritual ruin. It harms the common good because it promotes disrespect for God’s law.
These same spiritual leaders must also encourage those faithful members that fight against abortion and all other sexual sins that fuel the demand for abortion.
The Scandal of the “Woke”
Others are guilty of scandal in the case of abortion. There is the scandal of the “woke.”
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People in this category support abortion out of the fear of appearing out of fashion. By their lack of courage, they repeat the leftist slogans and mantras that lead so many to spiritual ruin.
Following the Dobbs decision, for example, the “woke” executives of at least 56 of the nation’s largest firms announced that they would pay the expenses of any employee that had difficulty obtaining an abortion due to the ruling. Thus, these executives throw the weight of corporate prestige on the side of a culture of death. They virtue-signaled to the world their “wokeness.”
The move by these corporate leaders also highlights the spinelessness of the business community that allows this powerful sector to give scandal when it should oppose such shameless agendas.
Those who see this public support for evil must denounce those who give scandal. They must protest and ask authorities to take appropriate measures against them.
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Reactions must be firm and principled. These brave individuals must be willing to risk going against the prevailing liberal trends and suffering cancelation and ridicule.
The same rules apply to the scandal of those who allow scandal. It is often much more serious since it involves those with the ability or authority to take effective measures against those causing scandal. This must be done with care, respecting the offices of the offenders, lest the rebukes undermine lawful authority. However, it must be done firmly since the spiritual ruin of others is at stake.
The future battle against abortion will depend upon denouncing the scandal of key figures like President Biden and Speaker Pelosi, who shamelessly promote abortion. However, the focus must also be directed upon the enablers found in the scandal of those who allow scandal.