To those living in the early 1960s when Pope John XXIII arrived on the scene of the Catholic Church there was hope and expectation of moving the church into the 20th century. Unfortunately, the happy Pope who was receptive to new ideas and regarded all humans as the children of God, died too soon and those who followed him moved the Church dramatically away from his ideas of reform. We are in the 21st century and leaders of the Catholic Church wanted to deny even the good Catholic Edward Kennedy a Catholic burial. Strange, but I never heard any of these people seeking to deny the vicious Catholic Argentine Army officers who murdered innocent people punishment for their behavior. Can anyone recall the dictator Pinochet being regarded as a bad Catholic. Sorry, he was against gays and against abortion so what if he killed thousands of innocent people, he was on the right side of the Church.
The American Catholic Church will split sometime this century and form their own Catholic Church. One that respects all humans, one that respects the rights of gays and lesbians. As to the issue of abortion, there is no simple right or wrong answer. It is a question caught in the vise of medical research which challenges the definition of what constitutes human life. Is there not room in the Catholic Church for those who sincerely believe in the right of abortion? Wouldn’t the Church be more able to fulfill its mission on Earth if it allowed those who differ to be par;t of the Church and worked to persuade them rather than to punish them?