Repairing the Seamless Garment


To the Editor:
The proverbial Seamless Garment of a consistent life ethic is unraveling fast. Denial, abuse and false compassion lead to tradeoffs that are soul-killing. In this seemingly no-win election I urge Catholics to discern anew.
“Seamless Garment” was originally an activist term later somewhat spiritualized by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. It was first meant to simply draw Catholics’ concern to the issue of capital punishment, while not taking away from the more basic issue of abortion on demand. It eventually expanded to include all life issues such as war and poverty.
Even as the cardinal said not to equate war with abortion (perhaps except as Mother Teresa did, as a cause and effect!), many Catholics did just that. I finish writing this on Sept. 11, praying for the souls of victims and perpetrators alike.
I realize I am willing to protect future victims even at the expense of perpetrators’ lives. Each issue must be addressed appropriately as it arises. They have been, except for abortion. It is worse, now including the born.
The death penalty, war and abuse of the needy are more scrutinized. So why are the unborn and newborn thrown under the bus as seeming good trade-offs for vague further improvement in other issues?!
Should abstract pluralism say we may kill on demand if others say no human life exists legally?
The traditional process to redress these grievances is disappearing. Voters’ majority decisions are routinely stripped by judicial decisions to reinterpret what the issue or law in question should be, beyond being simply constitutional. Think about Roe v. Wade, redefining marriage and freedom of public religious expression.
The Seamless Garment needs appropriate repair. Our next generation is covered in a corrupt rag. Maybe in this Year of Mercy, through the intercession of St. Teresa of Calcutta, we will discern anew.
Leslye Killian

Support The Catholic Messenger’s mission to inform, educate and inspire the faithful of the Diocese of Davenport – and beyond! Subscribe to the print and/or e-edition, or make a one-time donation, today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted on