Forget ‘Faithful Citizenship’ – What Would Saint Mother Teresa Do?

Deal W. Hudson
October 1, 2016

Once upon a time some Catholics who have heard all their lives that abortion is an intrinsic evil and must be opposed took a look at Clinton and Kaine ticket and thought, “There’s no way I can vote for them. They’re both abortion extremists.”

They looked at the Trump/Pence ticket and, though they didn’t like some things about Trump’s manner and occasional rudeness, these Catholics were impressed by his choice of Supreme Court Justices, his defense of the Hyde Amendment, his promise to defund Planned Parenthood, and his promise to sign the “Pain-Capable Infant Protection Act.”

The choice seemed pretty simple to these Catholics. But when they mentioned it to their priest, he replied, “Well, there are other factors to consider you know, immigration for one, Trump wants to build a wall, that’s deplorable!”

These Catholics were confused, why would Father brush aside the abortion issue and talk about immigration and the wall. They actually had been quite worried about uncontrolled immigration for a long time, especially with the rise of ISIS, and thought Trump might be a bit extreme but they wanted the border made secure.

Father handed them a copy of the Bishop’s guide to political participation, “Forming Consciences to Faithful Citizenship.” These Catholics tried to read the bishop’s document, but it was very long and complicated.

So they flipped to the section on abortion where they expected to verify what they had always been taught about the importance of opposing abortion in both private and public life. When were really perplexed by one sentence, in particular, “A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism if the voter’s intent is to support that position” (34 Emphasis added)?

These Catholics looked at each other, and one asked, “But would my vote for Clinton and Kaine help them kill more babies? Does it really matter whether I intend to support their killing?”

Another Catholic spoke up, saying, “Am I missing something or aren’t the Bishops telling us that we can vote for abortion supporters if we don’t agree with them on that issue?” None of the Catholics could interpret it any other way.

They decided to talk to some pro-life leaders in the parish about their confusion. These Catholic leaders showed them the Bishop’s Pastoral Letter, “Living the Gospel of Life,” which said,

“As Americans, as Catholics and as pastors of our people, we write therefore today to call our fellow citizens back to our country’s founding principles, and most especially to renew our national respect for the rights of those who are unborn, weak, disabled and terminally ill.   Real freedom rests on the inviolability of every person as a child of God.  The inherent value of human life, at every stage and in every circumstance, is not a sectarian issue any more than the Declaration of Independence is a sectarian creed” (6 Emphasis added).

Now, these Catholics were really confused. They explained to the pro-life leaders what Father had said and what they had read in “Faithful Citizenship.” The pro-life leaders told them that they were frustrated too. Very few bishops had proclaimed the Gospel of Life in the months prior to the election, and now it was just over a month away.

“What’s going on?” they all asked themselves.

Then one of them said, “We can’t be wrong. Didn’t the Church just canonize the greatest defender of life in the past century, St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta? Remember when she spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast when Bill Clinton was president, and how he and Hillary refused to clap after her speech?”

Then, one of the ladies presents said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with so many of the bishops and priests, but I know what Saint Mother Teresa would do, and would want us to do – there is no doubt about that.” Everyone nodded their head in agreement, and several said, “Amen.”

These Catholics decided to talk about the example of Saint Mother Teresa between now and the election and not worry about the silence of the bishops or what “Faithful Citizenship” had to say.  And they would carry with them a card with the words she spoke to the Clintons at the Prayer Breakfast:

“But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?” (Emphasis added)

By Deal Hudson

Deal W. Hudson was born November 20, 1949 in Denver, CO, to Emmie and Jack Hudson, both native Texans. Dr. Hudson had an older sister Ruth, and eventually, a younger sister, Elizabeth. Emmie Hudson, Ruth Hudson and Elizabeth Hudson now live in Houston, TX; Jack Hudson passed away some years ago. The late Jack Hudson was a captain for Braniff Airlines in Denver at the time of Dr. Hudson’s birth. Later the family moved to Kansas City when his father joined the Federal Aviation Agency. From Kansas City, the Hudson family moved to Minneapolis, then to Massapequa, NY, and finally to Alexandria, VA, where they first occupied a home overlooking the Potomac River adjacent to the Mount Vernon estate. After a year, the family moved to a home on Tarpon Lane a few houses up the street from the Yacht Haven boat docks. Dr. Hudson attended Mt. Vernon Elementary School from grades 4 to 6 and has a special gratitude for the teaching of Mr. Hoppe who first told him was a ‘smart lad.’ Having moved with his family to Fort Worth, TX in 1960, Dr. Hudson attended William Monnig Junior High and Arlington Heights HS. In high school, Dr. Hudson was captain of the golf team, editor of the literary magazine (Guerdon), and performed the role of Peter in the ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ during his senior year. Dr. Hudson graduated cum laude with a major in philosophy from the University of Texas-Austin in 1971 where his undergraduate advisor was Prof. John Silber. His teachers at the University of Texas included Prof. Louis Mackey and Prof. Larry Caroline. Dr. Hudson minored in both classics and English literature. Dr. Hudson lived in Atlanta from 1974-1989, where he attended Emory University, receiving a Phd from the Graduate Institute for the LIberal Arts. He also taught philosophy at Mercer University in Atlanta from 1980-89. In 1989 Dr. Hudson and his family left Atlanta when he was hired to teach philosophy at Fordham University in the Bronx. Dr. Hudson taught at Fordham, and also part-time at New York University, from 1989 to 1994. Dr. Hudson first came to Atlanta in after graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) with an M.Div. While at PTS, Dr. Hudson managed the Baptist Student Union at Princeton University and became its first director. Dr. Hudson also was licensed at a minister in the Southern Baptist Convention at Madison Baptist Church in Madison, NJ. Dr. Hudson’s primary area of study at PTS was the history of Christian doctrine which he pursued with Dr. Karlfried Froelich. In 1984 Dr. Hudson was received in the Catholic Church by Msgr. Richard Lopez, with the special permission of Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan, at the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home in Atlanta. Dr. Hudson has been married twenty-five years to Theresa Carver Hudson and they have two children, Hannah Clare, 23, and Cyprian Joseph (Chip), 15, adopted from Romania when he was three years old. The Hudson family has lived in Fairfax, VA for more than fifteen years, after having lived five years in Bronxville, NY and a year in Atlanta, GA, where Theresa and Deal were married.

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