John Wilson, a friend of some friends, has announced that he’s leaving his position as a columnist and editorial writer of the New York Post to join the priesthood. It’s a big transition, of course, and I’m very pleased for him.
I’ve only met John once. We carpooled together to attend a Mass for St. Josemaria Escriva’s feast day (which was June 26th). He’d come down from New York to attend; afterwards, we hit the bar for World Cup and fellowship with probably ten other people, before carpooling back. My impression of him was very positive. He was very knowledge, yet down-to-earth, and quickly admitted the few occasions he didn’t know an answer to something. He talked about his discernment process, about choosing the diocesan priesthood instead of a religious order, about the struggles of the orthodox priests he’d encountered in liberal religious orders, and we wondered aloud about whether married priests were able to hear their kids’ confessions (I’m still not sure the answer on this, even having read the relevant section in the CCEO — if anyone knows, please comment!), along with all things World Cup.
Last month, he wrote a very good (albeit depressing) article for the NY Post about the abortion rates in New York City. Particularly disturbing was the pronounced racial disparity. For every two African-American births in NYC, there were three African-American abortions. The overall abortion rate is still jaw-dropping, with seven abortions for every ten live births. John was interested in whether New York’s City Council members would acknowledge the abortion rate (three times the national average) was problematic. Given the Democratic flirtation with the notion of “safe, legal, and rare,” as an abortion mantra, even those who argue for legal abortion frequently do so while arguing that abortion shouldn’t be the norm. Sane pro-choicers should recognize that when abortion is the norm, or nearly so, and pregnancy resulting in birth is the exception (or nearly so), legalized abortion isn’t occurring in the narrow way that Roe v. Wade foresaw, nor is it being used as a last-resort. Disturbingly, even this was too much for the political class to acknowledge:
Yet, of the 51 City Council members, only five — Republicans Eric Ulrich and Dan Halloran and Democrats Peter Vallone Jr., James Sanders and Danny Dromm, all of Queens — were willing to call that abortion rate “too high.”
“I don’t think those numbers are meaningful,” said Upper East Side Councilwoman Jessica Lappin. “I don’t tell people whether they should have two kids, four kids or 10 kids.” One council aide even fretted that a lower abortion rate would bankrupt the city.
(As I’ve mentioned before, anyone inclined towards the unnamed council aide’s point of view should pick up a copy of The Ultimate Resource II, by the late economist Julian Simon. He proves beyond a reasonable doubt that these overpopulation scares are nonsensical.)
John’s to be commended for drawing out a hot-button subject like abortion, and handling it so gracefully, so that even those on the opposite end of the aisle are given pause to consider if abortion-on-demand is really such a great idea in practice.
In any case, I hope you’ll check out John’s article, and join me in welcoming him on his journey towards ordination, and praying for his journey. Finally, since John will be studying at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, to become a priest in New York, it seems fitting to include this song, about preparing to leave Yonkers in your “Sunday clothes” for New York: