Pro-Life or Social Justice: a False Catholic Dichotomy

Right after the March for Life, the USCCB organized the Catholic Social Ministries Gathering. As one of the few who attended both events, I saw many people who were both pro-life and pro-social justice but I also saw a false dichotomy between the two in some. Unfortunately, some at the March for Life show inadequate care for the poor and some who help organize the Church’s ministry to the poor have inadequate concern for the unborn.

It is great when we see those who do both. For example, many homes for unwed mothers help a woman avoid pregnancy while helping her break free from the cycle of poverty. Many times the care given by workers at a charity will mean they are the first people a woman goes to with an undesired pregnancy and they can direct her to save the baby.

Nonetheless, every election cycle it seems certain Catholics will use their faith to promote either of the two main political parties and denigrate the other. I remember a lady at daily Mass who proudly sported a bumper sticker of a notoriously pro-abortion politician knowing this stance because she thought he would help the poor better. (Other Catholics had legitimate disagreement on his economic policies so they weren’t that much more radically Catholic.) I remember talking to a Catholic businessman who seems to think we can let the poor fend for themselves.

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