U.S. Notes & Quotes

Catholic and Pro-life Astrong majority of Catholics “even nominal ones” are pro-life. And they may even start voting that way.

This was the news reported in a Reuters news story on the 25th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in America.

The article cited statistics that show 80% of all Catholics-including non-practicing ones-oppose abortion. It quoted Camden, N.J., Bishop James McHugh, the National Conference of Catholic Bishop's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, explaining why Catholics don't always seem pro-life. Astrong historical identification of many Catholics with the Democratic Party has distorted their public expression of their pro-life ethic. But that's changing.

“There's a great discomfort in the way the Democratic Party has absolutely caved in to pro-abortion forces,” he is quoted saying.

More bishops and laypeople than ever are realizing that, despite decades of family history with the Democratic Party, “[i]t's far more important to use the abortion issue as a central criterion of how voters make up their minds in the choice of a candidate.”

One such layperson, Marie Ralbulsky, a public school teacher, gave her explanation of the Catholic Church's stance on abortion.

“We're just talking about having respect for people in life from conception to the grave. Respect is what the Church is about.”

Ralbulsky and her husband pray every week outside an abortion clinic.

Said the article, “She recalls the day when they enticed a pregnant 18-yearold girl away from the clinic's entrance. Six months later, the couple, parents of two grown daughters, attended the baptism of the teenager's newborn infant.”

Is Nothing Sacred Catholicism a Spent Force?

The Holy Father's summer trip to Denver a few years ago attracted the largest live audience ever assembled in the United States-and one of the largest ever in the world. So how come the priest in the Disney-ABC series Nothing Sacred can't even get people to watch him from the comfort of their own living rooms?

ABC is perplexed by what has happened to Nothing Sacred, according to a Knight Ridder news Service report Jan. 24.

ABC originally hoped that the controversial nature of the show would increase its ratings. “By this standard, Nothing Sacred should be challenging ER as television's highest-rated drama,” said the report.

The show depicts the life of a Catholic priest who seems to object to Catholicism and to wish he weren't a priest.

The show uniquely tested two attitudes toward the Catholic Church. When the 300,000 member Catholic League staged a boycott of the show, it was expected that the show's ratings would grow.

Instead, said the report, they went from bad to worse. Today, “it is wallowing in the WB and UPN section of Nielsenland,” alongside little-watched local programming, said the report.

The article quotes three priests who support the show, among them Chicago sociologist Father Andrew Greeley, who says that “American Catholicism … is a lot more like Nothing Sacred than it is the Catholic League. Write that in stone.”

“Unfortunately,” concluded the report, American Catholics “are not watching Nothing Sacred in significant numbers…. Neither is the rest of America.”