Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Does the New York Times now oppose dissent from Church teaching?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Oct 16, 2012

In a New York Times op-ed, Michael Peppard, a Fordham theology professor, strains to make the argument that Paul Ryan dissents from Catholic teaching on abortion. Ryan, he observes, has promised “to oppose abortion, with the exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother.” But the Catholic Church opposes direct abortion in all cases. Therefore, Peppard concludes, Ryan “has joined the ranks of dissenting Catholic politicians.” Peppard even suggests that Ryan might properly be denied Communion because of his public dissent.

It’s a reach. Ryan is not promoting legal abortion, nor is he asking taxpayers to subsidize the slaughter. He is making a pragmatic compromise, recognizing that the American public is not prepared (and his running-mate is not prepared) to approve an across-the-board ban on abortion. He is neither defying nor misrepresenting what the Church teaches.

But Peppard’s essay is remarkable for another reason as well. The headline reads: “Paul Ryan, Catholic Dissident.” Am I mistaken, or is this the first time the New York Times has labeled someone as a Catholic dissident—and not applauded the dissent?

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our August expenses ($20,938 to go):
$35,000.00 $14,061.98
60% 40%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Oct. 18, 2012 3:15 PM ET USA

    Paul Ryan clearly labelled this policy as the policy of the "Romney administration," not his own. I was not happy with this, but a running mate simply does not set administration policy. It beats the devil out of the Democrat alternative.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Difficult Decisions in the Real World 14 hours ago
The real reason why divorced/remarried German Catholics are leaving the Church 15 hours ago
An unexpected surge in confessions? August 21
The Problem with Catholic Social Teaching August 21
In Iraq, the Pope has good reason to seek intervention, but fear unilateral US action August 20

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8