Describing Catholics who are pro-abortion rights

People’s stances on abortion are often nuanced, with many folks supporting or opposing abortion in some, but not all, circumstances.
As a writer, I think it’s tricky to employ one or two adjectives and hope to capture someone’s viewpoint in these cases. But as a reporter, I don’t have the luxury of infinite column inches in the newspaper.
The Bible Belt Blogger brought up an interesting question about a recent New York Times article discussing Catholics in Scranton and how they think about abortion and the church’s teachings on abortion. (More after the jump.)


The NYT writer describes the Catholics in Scranton who are willing to support pro-abortion rights politicians as “progressive.” He labels Catholics who support only anti-abortion candidates as “conservatives.” At least, that’s my reading.
What do you think of this “progressive” label? Better than liberal and conservative or left and right?

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One Response to Describing Catholics who are pro-abortion rights

  1. Jason says:

    I think the label, in the context of abortion, is somewhat biased and ignorant. First of all I must say that most “progressives” can never define to where or what they are progressing towards. It seems in the case of Catholics it means only progressing away from true Catholicism, when they should try to progressing towards God. I also think that since the word “progress” in and of itself usually implies something positive, it is biased to apply it only towards those who oppose Church teaching. It could be considered inaccurate since Catholics who follow Church teaching can at least define toward what and whom they are progressing.
    In my opinion Catholics who support abortion should not be called Catholics at all. Being a Catholic is a religion and practice that is defined by the doctrines of the Catholic Church established by Christ and the Apostles and preserved by the Magisterium. It is practicing these teachings that makes one a true Catholic, not just showing up for mass. One may accurately declare that we are all sinners, however with a little thought I think one can come to the conclusion that there is a big difference between sinning and thinking and teaching that sin is acceptable. This kind of criteria for an interview may be difficult for a journalist to establish, but it should be considered by the journalist interviewing a “Catholic” who believes in abortion, they are not really interviewing a Catholic. Maybe the terms Catholic and non-practicing Catholic would be appropriate and respectful to the religion?

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