Is it sinful to remain silent during discussions of life issues?

Many times in conversations with family and friends, I find myself overrun by supporters of abortion and assisted suicide. I grow timid. The best I can manage is “I have a problem with your views but I understand why you feel that way.”

I make no attempt to defend to church’s views. I always feel ashamed that I don’t do more to promote pro-life issues.

Am I committing a sin when I fail to speak out against abortion and assisted suicide?

If it’s a sin it’s a venial one. Not everyone changes minds by stammering incoherent red-faced retorts. Sometimes the best way is to pick your battles. I mean I think as long as you’re voicing your disagreement in some way it’s a cinch.

But man. If you ever feel really inspired with an answer? Just throw that one out there. Then get up to get a snack before they can jump down your throat.

Make sure you get enough to share. :wink:



Silence is golden, and the eyes still sees.

I would probably do something similar to what you did, and I doubt that God wants to use me to take the place of a Catholic apologist. We all have the gifts that God wanted us to have in serving Him in this life. Watch out for the scruples.

Isn’t this reflective of St. Francis’ quote, that is along the lines … Always preach the Gospel and if necessary use words…

I might have to research that quote. :slight_smile:

Okay… from the website Brainyquote, St. Francis is attributed with:

Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.

I don’t think that it is. We’re told not to cast our pearls before swine, so in many situations, I too, choose to remain silent, if I gauge that I’m not likely going to change my company’s minds.

If however, I’m in conversation with someone whom I think that I might be able to change the mind of, yes, I feel obligated to try, whatever that might mean in the situation.

I don’t think it’s sinful, but I also think that we all should open our mouths more.

The Church’s teaching will never be known if we act as if we don’t care or don’t share it with people.

If someone brings up abortion, let them know your opinion on it. Don’t be ashamed it’s your own opinion and it’s the timeless teaching of the church.

We are being drowned out by the popular culture. It’s not about them changing their minds in that moment, it’s about planting seeds that may grow down the line.

Be courageous.

My friends know that I’m Catholic so there is rarely a need for me to get into arguments/discussions/debates. They are aware of the Church stance.

I have had this discussion with the two Mormons who used to visit, they are pro-lifers.

I always engage and remain calm even when the other person/s is getting agitated, raising voices and getting highly emotional. I watch and take cues from Trent Horns style of debate.
I’m a mini-Trent :smiley:

To this day I have yet to change the mind of anyone who was firmly pro-choice, and I’ve gotten into a few debates. I’m starting to think that it may be impossible to change their minds with pure arguments/words.

While I’m not saying that you should ALWAYS keep silent, I doubt it was sinful, and I doubt anything you said would have had much effect, unless you have heavy influence on these people. Do you?

I would not have a heavy influence on them. Thanks for making that point.

In general, if you have influence and/or authority over someone, those are times to speak up. If you have neither, than pick your battles wisely. Try and pray for a change in mindset for pro-choice people.

Just for curiosity sake, if you don’t mind sharing, what exactly were these people saying?

Just be ready for the day someone actually asks you what you think and why. It will happen and take you off guard! But your friends will know to come to you when they feel doubt about their secular values, as long as you always make clear you have a different stance. Which I think you have. God bless!

Even if you don’t answer their arguments, it wouldn’t hurt to research the pro-life objections to counter their points in the future (whether it’s with them or whoever else God sets in your path down the line) There are numerous books and material available. Sometimes timidity is the result of not having enough confidence in the matter being discussed. I was that way years ago when someone would attack the Catholic Church. Since I didn’t know too much about my faith, I remained silent. After one particular nasty attack, it finally lit a fire within me to defend what I knew in my heart, I loved. I researched and found answers to their arguments, and I was able to hold my own pretty well.

However, I understand what it feels like to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of viterol that can be lobbied by those who are quite passionate in their pro-choice views. It may not be wise to respond at that moment in time. The best response is prayer because as St. Paul says, in the end, we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the principalities of darkness. I think if we could clearly see the power that happens behind the scenes when we pray, that would more often be our FIRST recourse instead of our last. Other times, it would suffice to simply say, “I disagree.” However, if you feel like the Holy Spirit is calling on you to speak up, then you should do so.

Either way, whether you choose to speak up or not, at the very least pick up some materials that counter their arguments. That way you are equipped to speak for those who have no voice when the occasion arises.

All these comments encouraging silence is exactly why the church is losing on these social issues.

These are "family ". And “friends” that bring this topic up and the advice is to basically subcumb to your embarrassment and be quiet??


Why not proclaim the truth?

As long as we are too afraid to speak the truth when topics are brought up by family and friends then we will forever give our passive support to these horrible issues and they will continue to grow until the church and the truth are all but history, the teaching obscured by a culture that fluorishes because of cowardice disguised as kindness.

I wonder what the great martyrs of the past would say about that.

I say. Viva Christo Rey.

Once, a young woman knocked at my door. She said she was collecting money for some kind of “pro- choice” organization. Without even thinking, I blurted out, “0h, I’m so sorry, but I just couldn’t bring myself to kill an unborn baby.”

She got a truly horrified look on her face and turned around and left without a word. I think I may have rattled her cage.

Another time, A young woman was demonstrating for abortion, and I asked her if her mother was pro-choice. She said yes, and she seemed to be clueless about what I was getting at. If she hadn’t walked away, I would have asked her if she felt lucky to be alive.

However, I don’t think it’s wrong to remain silent if you can’t think of anything to say.

I posted that I do speak the truth but it wasn’t always that way. Early on in my conversion, I knew very little about Catholic doctrine apart from live begins upon conception and God gifts us all a soul.

Educating myself on Catholic basics of doctrines became a priority so I could discuss and debate issues. What I found was easiest in the case of “abortion” was to argue it from a non-religious perspective.

Being stumped and embarrassed happened a lot in the early days. After some practice I got better and found that 90% of the time, it’s the other person’s ignorance of actual Catholic doctrine which forms the basis of their argument. They were not making “informed” arguments because my arguments were not based on my faith alone, they were philosophical, scientific and social arguments.

We should venture out of our comfort zone, it’s challenging but I like a challenge and who knows someone may think twice or even change their mind about abortion because of words you/I or another CAF poster said.

The most rewarding part is that I am learning more about the faith while I am explaining/defending it.

I don’t want to get too specific, but mainly, they were arguing that many problems such as poverty could be solved if women resorted to abortion. Others just follow the feminist orthodoxy that women should be able to control their bodies. I hope that’s enough information.

My family and friends know what I believe about abortion and I expect that your family also knows what your position is. I see no point in arguing about it because no matter what you say it will not penetrate. However, if they bring the subject up in your presence, instead of saying “I understand why you feel that way.” Say, “I simply can not understand how anyone can not understand that human life is not sacred but I am not going to argue about it.” If they want to argue smile sweetly, change the subject or leave the room. Don’t try to debate because that only serves to reinforce their arguments in their own minds. Make your point and let that be the last word spoken.

The only weapon you have is your own love of life. Your own joy in living. Life must be beautiful to you before you can teach how beautiful it is to others.

I once got into a dreadful argument about this with my son. Words were spoken between us that became harmful to both of us. Although we both pretend that argument never took place between us, there is a gulf that may never really be bridged.

Abortion has done nothing in helping women control their own bodies. It has given men a pass in the responsibility of their sexual use of women. Men can now say, “It’s her body, her baby. Not my problem.”

Abortion has done nothing to stop the spread of human trafficking of women.
Abortion has become the silent holocaust of the black community.

I have a close friend at my office whom I would describe as a “liberal elite.” Along with his wife, they are agnostic/atheistic, highly educated, rather self absorbed.

We had dinner a few months back. The wife made a backhanded complement by commenting how well read and educated I am, yet still I hold pro life beliefs and am a practicing Catholic who believes in God.:confused:

I explained that I only agree with the Church’s position, which is also scientific: that life begins at conception (fertilization). She resorted to the legal argument that “it’s settled by the Supreme Court” and I said that is political and judicial opinion, not fact. Wouldn’t science be a better measure of truth than the judiciary or politics?

The topic changed…

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