National Review Online had Fr. Thomas Williams, LC give a commentary on the "Statement of Principle" made by the 55 Catholic Democrats called "Wanted: Pro-Life Democrats". (Thanks for the notice, Curt Jester.) One of the best lines from this article comes from the following passage:
…even the most enormous of tents has its boundaries, beyond which it is possible to stray. The statement makes a feeble attempt at defending the claim that the “big tent” of Catholicism can cover abortion.
That is a tough case to make. Just as you don’t have the polytheistic wing of Islam or the seal-clubbing wing of Greenpeace, you don’t have the pro-abortion wing of the Catholic Church. Certain non-negotiable moral standards define Catholicism just as surely as doctrinal beliefs do. We all advocate a big tent, but it can stretch only so far until it rips asunder.
The article is also helpful for its links to early Church documents, such as the Didache and the Letter of Barnabas. Most notable, though not fully expounded upon (it is left to the reader to follow the link to make the connection for themselves), is the connection between abortion today and the worship of Moloch in ancient times. G.K. Chesterton best explains Moloch in Chapter 7 of The Everlasting Man (called "The War of the Gods and Demons"):
In the interior psychology of the Punic peoples this strange sort of pessimistic practicality had grown to great proportions. In the New Town, which the Romans called Carthage, as in the parent cities of Phoenicia, the god who got things done bore the name of Moloch, who was perhaps identical with the other deity whom we know as Baal, the Lord. The Romans did not at first quite know what to call him or what to make of him; they had to go back to the grossest myth of Greek or Roman origins and compare him to Saturn devouring his children. But the worshippers of Moloch were not gross or primitive. They were members of a mature and polished civilisation, abounding in refinements and luxuries; they were probably far more civilised than the Romans. And Moloch was not a myth; or at any rate his meal was not a myth. These highly civilised people really met together to invoke the blessing of heaven on their empire by throwing hundreds of their infants into a large furnace. We can only realise the combination by imagining a number of Manchester merchants with chimney-pot hats and mutton-chop whiskers, going to church every Sunday at eleven o’clock to see a baby roasted alive.
Read the rest of the chapter yourself to see how he describes Hannibal (whose name means "the Grace of Baal") and his attack upon Rome. Kind of reminds us that the forces of Baal/Moloch are still waging war today against the forces of Rome (the Catholic Church), all the while claiming the name of "the Lord".
Back to the article, another of my favorite sections of the article totally rips apart the diplomatic mush-language which tries to gloss over harsh realities:
True, the statement acknowledges the “undesirability” of abortion, and the signers hasten to assure their constituencies that they do not “celebrate its practice.” That they do not “celebrate” the greatest social ill of our time may prove cold comfort to those who spend much of their free time actively campaigning for its abolition. And as regards its “undesirability,” this poorly chosen term will likely provoke only indignation. Hangnails are undesirable; under-seasoned salads are undesirable; lines at the cash register are undesirable. Abortion is repugnant and evil. Can you imagine a politician stepping forward and (with much hand-wringing) asserting that he finds rape “undesirable” and that he does not “celebrate” its practice, but that he will not stop defending legislation that permits it? Such a politician would rightly be ridden out of town on a rail.
God bless the Legionaries of Christ for explaining the faith so well.