Can a vocal Pro-abort be a Liturgical Minister?


a visiting retired priest led us at Mass on Sat. 9-8 as ours was on vacation. He shared his dismay with what the Democratic Convention had to say about contraception, abortion and “gay rights.” (this was less than a minute of his homily) As i was listening my mind went to how brave he was and wondered what kind of reaction he’d get after Mass. Sure enough as i approached him to thank him for this truth, he was being accosted by ----- one of the most outspoken supporters of abortion and Obama supporter.

As i approached him, she left and i said how brave he was to say what he did. He immediately said that he had been wrong and shouldn’t have said anything, that he should have *“kept religion out of it.” *She had got to him with her divisive tongue spouting about *“separation of Church and State.” *I told him that he had done the right thing and we need to hear these truths from the pulpit. He was visibly rattled and said that the Republicans also supported abortion, so i told him that they do not and their platform specifically is against abortion (i wondered where he got that info from). i’m pretty sure he left that portion out of his homily at the later Masses that weekend.

As i was about to get in my car, she came down the sidewalk and i asked her what she thought about the homily. She said the bit about Church and State and then i found out where Fr. got the bit about the Republicans being in favor of abortion – she said Paul Ryan had said that he didn’t care one way or another about abortion, which i know is an outright lie. I told her that was totally untrue.

Then she said that i was “pro-birth” not pro-Life, which i replied with that i am pro-Life, as life begins at conception (fertilization). Things were getting heated now. I asked her if she had children and she said she had 3. i said well what if you had had abortion(s), what then? Her reply, *“that’s not the point.” *To which i said, *“it most certainly is the point. . . life begins at conception.” *i really don’t know what her point is as she didn’t say. As an aside, i wonder if she actually did have an abortion perhaps later in life for say child # 4.

As she got in her car, i sort of lost it and said that she should not be on the altar (she was a Eucharistic minister @ Mass & in the past has also been a lector). I am just so sick of people like her calling themselves Catholic when they are so public about their heresy! Please confront her about this and recuse her from any liturgical ministry at our parish.

( i emailed this to our parish priest and am awaiting his actions ).

Thoughts? Comments? Did i handle this appropriately?


I’m first going to address the title of this thread: As we all know there is a difference between “can” and “may”. Given that she is an EMHC and according to you she is a “vocal Pro-abort” then I guess the answer to the thread title question is, “Yes.”

But your real question seems to be more along the lines of, “What should we do about such people?”

I do think we need to speak up more. And we need to encourage our priests when they speak up. We have to be careful when we confront people because uncontrolled righteous anger can backfire.

To a certain extent I think we need to guard our own speech and be a bit more lawyer-like. Those who promote abortion like to misconstrue our words against us. Our beliefs about abortion come about because of fundamental beliefs about when life begins. Sadly we cant even say life begins at conception anymore without someone “misunderstanding” it.


Yes, we should speak up, BUT it doesn’t do any good to start an arguement. That doesn’t change people’s minds; it usually just makes them more firm in their resolve. For example, asking the woman if she’d every had (or would have) an abortion isn’t appropriate at that point in the discussion.

Speaking to the priest who gave the homily to encourage him was wonderful. Speaking to your pastor (especially face to face) about concerns you have that EMHCs/lectors/CCD teachers share the truth of the faith correctly is important. Trying to change someone’s mind via a 2 minute conversation in the parkeing lot isn’t effective.


While I know that it is not your main topic:
Her viewpoint of “Church and State” is common in today’s world, it is also incorrect. The establishment clause of the Constitution was meant to protect the religion from the state. The letter the phrase “Separation of Church and State” was from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association who were concerned the State could wind up doing exactly what HHS is doing. Jefferson explained to them their worry is unfounded as there is a high wall of separation between the church and state and as such the state could never intrude on the rights of the church or members thereof).

Here is the final draft of the original letter.

And the unedited version.

Here is a link to a resource which explains it.

Keep Fighting the Battle


Since this person is in a position of confidence in the parish, it’s scandalous to the degree to which her views on abortion are known.

It was good of you to encourage the priest.

I think the solution, as monsignor said at Mass last week, is to pray for the courage we need to stand up for the gospel, and pray that our priests will manfully defend it, as examples for us to imitate. They need our prayers.



I respectfully disagree. I find that this is the most effective way to get pro-abortion people to shut up. People are all for it until it applies to them, this type of hypocrisy is that same as someone who is against something until they need it. When you ask a person a question like that it forces their brain to acknowledge that death is an attribute of abortion. Once the seed it planted it has the capacity to grow.

That question, quite directly, asked the lady if she thought abortion was an appropriate choice of action in her circumstance. When her brain kicked in and actually considered the question the answer was an abrupt no. Once her brain acknowledged that it was an inappropriate action in her case (and had she done it, the children which (I assume) she loves would not exist) she is immediately faced with the immorality of such a choice. As soon as her brain acknowledges that it is immoral in her case it will begin to think of a case in which it is moral. At that point, the thought of her children and abortion are joined together, so whenever she comes up with a scenario trying to justify abortion she will see images of her children, and her brain will dispel the nonsensical notion. That is precisely why she was unable to answer the questions that were posed to her after that point. Her brain, and soul, were telling her there was no justification, but she wouldn’t listen.

When you force people to realize they are killing children they no longer have any moral leg to stand on. The problem with society is that they ignore the reality of the fetus as a human child, and focus on it only as a collection of cells. That’s the same kind of disconnection to human life that bombers (pilots who drop bombs) or other people who engage in long-range killing get. They don’t see the humans so they don’t associate their actions with death.

As to the question, no, under no circumstances should someone so radically out of line with the teachings of the Church be allowed to distribute the body and blood of our savior. For her to do so is an insult to Christ’s sacrifice.


Amen to you…and I applaud the Priest who spoke up in his Homily…I don’t know that I would have specifically mentioned the Democratic Party…as res ipsa liquitor, the facts speak for themselves…I have dear friend who happens to be a very Holy Priest who does not pull any punches about individuals who live the homosexual lifestyle, the Sacrament of Matrimony, Pro life issues and etc. There are many people who refer to themselves as Catholic but think nothing of living lives that do not reflect the teaching of the Church…I am not so sure that I favor lay people who distribute Holy Communion anyway…I once was asked to help with this…and felt extremely unworthy…who is worthy.? I made it a point to go to confession/reconcilation the Sat before…anyway…good work…PAX


Kudos to both You and the Priest for speaking up. What you did was the right thing, and Yes I would bar her from the Altar. I would even take it one step further, and ANY democratic, abortion supporting Catholic, would get excommunicated. Period. No question asked, and No HOLY COMMUNION for you, until you change your stance, get the excommunication sentence lifted, confess and then come and RECEIVE. Until then, I would be excommunicating every single one of those Catholics who are VERY supportive and vocal about being pro-choice or pro abortionist. I may sound harsh, but frankly, I don’t give two cents. The Church needs to be cleaned up from this, and It needs to happen fast.


If we banished all the sinners from our church there would be no one left.

This is not the way to do it. While it’s true that those people are in grievous error, with the mindset of most of them they’d sooner abandon the faith than do what was necessary to de-excommunicate themselves. Our best bet it to persistently preach the Truth and hope it sinks in.




Priests should speak up. Frankly, I find it odd that a parishioner would tell a priest to “keep religion out of it”! Huh? That makes no sense.


I would simply have responded to the lady (and this is true), “I was adopted as an infant and I am forever grateful to my biological mother for having chosen to let me live; I am so very sad that so many children are never given the same chance”.

THAT should have stopped her in her tracks.

When I’m with a group of people who decide to discuss abortion, and are of mixed opinions on the subject, I usually say “well I’m going to recuse myself from this discussion; since I was adopted as an infant, and am forever grateful for having been given the chance to live by my biological mother, you’ll understand that I am very highly biased on this subject and this discussion risks becoming very heated”.

Usually that’s enough to stop the discussion (and I hope, make people think…).

I think this is far more effective than condemnation. Suddenly the pro-abortionist will have to realize that this is no longer a theoretical subject: (s)he now has a name and a face to associate to the issue.


now that you mention it,thats bizarre.


I understand what you’re saying, but if someone doesn’t believe what the Church teaches, and would abandon their Faith before they would admit they are wrong, they they really don’t belong to the Church anyway. Do they? :shrug:


Did you say this to her directly? What do you mean by “lost it”? Did you go after her in the parking lot?

It will be interesting for you to share the pastor’s reaction. About 15 years ago we had an individual in a former parish I attended who chased someone to their car calling them “heretic, etc!” The parish took out a restraining order against the chaser!


It may make no sense to us but it doesn’t surprise me.

It makes sense to people who think that the first amendment of the American Constitution was designed to to keep the keep both Church and State from telling them what to believe and what they can or cannot do.


The goal is to help change their minds, not just get them to shut up. I agree that it can be a compelling thought; however, it is not effective with someone you don’t know, who you start arguing with in the middle of the parking lot.

Zingers and oneliners aren’t good tools of persuasion. The OP was right on target to encourage the priest who spoke, and to let the pastor know about the pro-abortion belieifs of an EMHC (even better if the OP knew the woman’s name, but data and Mass time will probably give him enough information). To engage her in an angry sounding argument out of the blue, not so much.


Yes they do. They don’t cease being Catholic even if they are not in communion.

The Church doesn’t want to chase them out. She wants the Good Shepherd to bring them back into full communion.

It may take time. A long time. It would take even longer (and perhaps never) if we chased them out.


I can’t believe that she would tell a priest that he needs to “separate Church and state”. That is a government law because no government should be telling its people what to believe. Religions are not held to. Actually, that is where taking a stance on the tough issues should be acceptable.

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