No Narrow Gate, says Bishop Ochoa


A few days ago, I linked to Fr. Miguel Rodriguez’s fantastic column in the Aug. 2 _El Paso Times_.

As I predicted, his bishop, the Most Rev. Armando Ochoa, has written a rebuke in the same paper, saying that Fr. Rodriguez’s column does not represent the “official position” of the Catholic Church but rather his personal opinions. Bishop Ochoa has done the whole “yes, the Church technically teaches abortion and homosexuality are wrong,” BUT “these are difficult decisions” and “Fr. Rodriguez’s approach wasn’t pastoral.”

Did the woman who microwaved her baby face a difficult choice? His her “difficult choice” worse than the woman who tells a doctor to vacuum up her baby?

It’s especially ironic given that this weekend’s Gospel was the “narrow gate” passage, where Jesus tells us that even most people who think they’re going to Heaven because they’re Christians (or Jews) are in for a big surprise when they get there and He says, “I don’t know you.”

It’s popular among liberal Christians to wonder “what about the Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, pagans, etc.?” whom they should be evangelizing. “How could a loving God let so many of His children go to Hell?”
Well, how could a loving God force His children who hate Him to live with him?

Again, Heaven would be worse than Hell for Christopher Hitchens. He hates God. To be in Heaven would be a constant wound to his pride.

Yet Jesus tells us just the opposite: it’s a very narrow way.


One response to “No Narrow Gate, says Bishop Ochoa

  1. Theodore Seeber

    I think that was John Paul The Great’s point, back in 1998- that Heaven and Hell aren’t places- they’re states of mind. The arrogance of people who think they know the mind of God is astounding. You can have moral certainty- but never absolute certainty.

    Personally, I think adultery is actually *more wrong* than homosexuality- it’s a far worse sin because it includes betrayal of one’s spouse and children. And while I agree abortion is an intrinsic evil that needs to be opposed, it needs to be opposed in it’s *causes*- materialism, disordered medical ethics, incest- as much as in law itself, otherwise the law won’t do very much.

    That’s what the Bishop means by “a pastoral approach”- taking people where they are (we are all, even radtrads, sinners after all) and moving them to a more moral place by removing even the temptation for sin.

    That’s why, when arguing with rabid Protestant non-CEL pro-lifers, I always point out that one of the major causes of abortion in the United States is the hoarding of resources by the rich.

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