We’re told all the time by politicians how irrelevant the Church is to people’s lives but then why do those same politicians attack the Church all the time.
A Polish government minister has accused the Church of using excommunication as blackmail.
A government minister has said the threat by some bishops to excommunicate MPs who vote for state funding of IVF treatment in Poland is the equivalent of “blackmail” – though the ruling Civic Platform is not united on the legislation.
“It’s a pity that the Church does not assist [in creating legislation] but threatens and blackmails,” said minister without portfolio Pawel Gras.
Of course this is a wrongheaded view of excommunication.
In a public letter the bishops called IVF the “younger sister of eugenics.”
Stefan Niesiolowski, a deputy speaker in the lower house of parliament, said he didn’t fear excommunication. He said, “I wouldn’t have enough courage to tell a married couple who suffer because they can’t have children that I can’t help them,” said the deputy speaker of parliament.
For4 some reason this love Niesiolowski has for others doesn’t pertain to the little human beings who will exist in a frozen limbo in perpetuity.
But I think many politicians believe that their public life should have no relevance at all to their standing in the Church. Does that even make sense to you? As a corollary, do they also believe their votes have any bearing on their soul?
Would they not agree that there are sins worthy of excommunication? Would they not agree that just maybe funding the creation of human beings and storing them in a freezer in perpetuity might just qualify?
We saw a similar debate with Obamacare in America recently. When the bishops stood up against the plan mainly because of its funding of abortion some politicians and media types said the church was bullying and threatening their way into the debate.
The debate eventually settles on whether the state simply says what is legal and illegal while the Church can only offer what it thinks is right and wrong. The much argued about separation of church and state is really just an argument that some people don’t accept certain morals and therefore they can’t be deemed illegal. The state poses as a neutral observer, there only to ensure that nobody’s rights are infringed upon. I think that formulation is wrongheaded and illogical because it falls apart under scrutiny. (What are all laws based on but widely accepted morality after all? When immorality gains popularity it eventually becomes legal.)
But the funding of certain acts like abortion and IVF is a different subject altogether. When the state funds something it promotes it. The state can no longer pretend to be a neutral or impartial observer. It’s taken a side. And when that side is immoral I thank God the Church is there to point it out and stand strong against it.