Can I tell someone to leave the Catholic Church?

Hello! My uncle calls himself a Catholic, but says that the Church does not have the right to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her body. He tries to quote the verse in Scripture that says “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” I am very familiar with the Catechism of the Catholic Church and have used this in my arguments with him. However, my question today is what is the best response for this comment: He claims that it is none of his business if a woman has an abortion. She is the only one accountable to God for that action.

Can someone help me refute this claim? Something from Scripture would be great. Also, would it be wrong to tell him to leave the Church and do not claim to be a Catholic if he can not accept the teaching on abortion?

[quote=jeanzee][M]y question today is what is the best response for this comment: He claims that it is none of his business if a woman has an abortion. She is the only one accountable to God for that action.
[/quote]

Ask your uncle what it is he believes is removed during an abortion. Is it a baby? If he agrees that it is a baby, your work now is easy. A baby is a human being and no human being may be unjustly deprived of life. The unjust killing of another human being is murder. Speaking out against the murder of innocent children is everyone’s business, just as it is everyone’s business to speak out against the murder of any other innocent human being.

But perhaps your uncle will claim that a baby is not removed during an abortion. Perhaps he will claim that it is only a clump of cells. (Don’t give him this option when first presenting your question. Let him to be the first to suggest that maybe the baby isn’t really a baby.) Now your work is more difficult because you must first obtain agreement that a baby is removed during an abortion before you can demonstrate why such removal is wrong. Linked below are some helpful resources for help in preparing for the debate.

Recommended reading:

“X” Marks the Spot by James Kidd
The Unaborted Socrates by Peter Kreeft
ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments by Randy Alcorn

[quote=jeanzee][W]ould it be wrong to tell him to leave the Church and do not claim to be a Catholic if he can not accept the teaching on abortion?
[/quote]

I cannot recommend inviting anyone to leave the Catholic Church because I cannot recommend inviting anyone to abandon the Church Christ himself established for our salvation. If your uncle did leave the Church at your invitation and found a church more “in keeping” with his private views, he may end up even more confused than he already is about Christianity. He may eventually understand why abortion is wrong but not be able to come back to the Church because he now has different misconceptions about the Church shaped by his time outside the fold.

I do recommend, though, asking him why he is a Catholic. Is it because he was raised a Catholic and he’s used to identifying himself as a Catholic? Is it because he likes Catholic worship services better than those of other Christian churches and communities? Explain to him that these are insufficient reasons to be Catholic. The only reason to be Catholic is because one is a disciple of Jesus Christ, knows that Jesus founded the Catholic Church to teach in his name on matters of faith and morals, and therefore is obedient to the Church out of obedience to Christ.

**Recommended reading:

The Long Way Home** by Karl Keating

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