South Carolina diocese stands firm on priest’s warning letter

posted at 11:40 am on November 16, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

A South Carolina priest who sent a letter warning parishioners who voted for Barack Obama that they may have placed themselves outside of the communion of the Catholic Church has received the backing of his diocese.  The Diocese of Charleston agrees with Fr. Jay Scott Newman’s letter despite the controversy it generated, which brings the debate over “formal participation” into a new context:

A Greenville priest who told parishioners those who cast ballots for President-elect Barack Obama risk placing themselves “outside of the full communion of Christ’s church” is simply enunciating church teaching and has the full support of the Diocese of Charleston, a spokesman said Thursday.

The provocative letter from the Rev. Jay Scott Newman to members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church has sparked some controversy and yet another conversation about faith and public policy.

“Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exists constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil,” Newman said in the letter posted on the Greenville church’s Web site, www.stmarysgvl.org, “and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ’s Church and under the judgment of divine law.”

Newman said that those who did not choose the anti-abortion candidate, in this case U.S. Sen. John McCain, “should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation.”

Calling Obama “the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate,” Newman went on to say Catholics must pray for the newly elected chief executive.

“Let us hope and pray that the responsibilities of the presidency and the grace of God will awaken in the conscience of this extraordinarily gifted man an awareness that the unholy slaughter of children in this nation is the greatest threat to the peace and security of the United States and constitutes a clear and present danger to the common good,” Newman said in the letter.

Most Catholic bishops have stopped short of this conclusion.  They have focused their criticisms on self-proclaimed Catholic officeholders who vote to enable abortions, calling those votes “formal cooperation” with the intrinsic evil of abortion.  According to the catechism, in paragraph 2272, formal cooperation in abortions constitutes an automatically excommunicating event:

Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,”77 “by the very commission of the offense,”78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

So far, the church has not officially applied 2272 explicitly to the act of voting for a pro-choice candidate.  They’ve had enough trouble rousing the energy to apply church teachings to politicians such as Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi.  They’ve only been interested in doing that much for just a few years, but this letter is the next logical progression if the church wants to assert its beliefs more clearly in the parishes.

Catholic Democrats objected to the statement:

“Father Newman is off-base,” said Steve Krueger, national director of Catholic Democrats. “He is acting beyond the authority of a parish priest to say what he did. … Unfortunately, he is doing so in a manner that will be of great cost to those parishioners who did vote for Senators Obama and Biden. There will be a spiritual cost to them for his words.”

It’s an odd moment indeed when someone accuses a parish priest of being off-base for quoting the catechism.  Krueger appears to have more concern with membership statistics than the reason for belonging to the church in the first place.  As far as the “spiritual cost” for talking about abortion and the church’s position, one might wonder whether Krueger doesn’t concern himself with the “spiritual cost” of supporting abortion.  On what basis would a Catholic conclude that the spiritual cost of discussing the catechism would outstrip that of abortion itself?

Will the church broaden its definition of “formal cooperation” to explicitly include supporting abortion rights and voting for pro-abortion candidates?  If so, Krueger’s prediction that many Democrats may leave the church will probably come true.  However, the church has to apply its beliefs rather than worrying about popularity contests.  Matthew 7:12-14 warns:

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.  Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

The point of the church is to provide the truth and light the narrow road, so that as many as possible can find it.  The church does not exist to endorse the broad road simply because many people insist on following it, or to mislead people into thinking that the choice of road doesn’t matter at all.  Priests do no favors to their parishioners when they avoid teaching the difference, and the spiritual cost of willful silence on the subject of abortion far outstrips the cost of speaking the truth.

Update: Via Tom Shipley, the statement of Monsignor Laughlin seems less than a full endorsement of Newman’s letter, and the spokesman or the reporter got it wrong:

This past week, the Catholic Church’s clear, moral teaching on the evil of abortion has been pulled into the partisan political arena. The recent comments of Father Jay Scott Newman, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville, S.C., have diverted the focus from the Church’s clear position against abortion. As Administrator of the Diocese of Charleston, let me state with clarity that Father Newman’s statements do not adequately reflect the Catholic Church’s teachings. Any comments or statements to the contrary are repudiated.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions.” The Catechism goes on to state: “In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path; we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. We must also examine our conscience before the Lord’s Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.”

Christ gives us freedom to explore our own conscience and to make our own decisions while adhering to the law of God and the teachings of the faith. Therefore, if a person has formed his or her conscience well, he or she should not be denied Communion, nor be told to go to confession before receiving Communion.

The pulpit is reserved for the Word of God. Sometimes God’s truth, as is the Church’s teaching on abortion, is unpopular. All Catholics must be aware of and follow the teachings of the Church.

We should all come together to support the President-elect and all elected officials with a view to influencing policy in favor of the protection of the unborn child. Let us pray for them and ask God to guide them as they take the mantle of leadership on January 20, 2009.

That sounds like a vacillation, not an endorsement.  On one hand, Laughlin repudiates Newman, but on the other hand, notes that church members have to follow church teachings on abortion.  Laughlin says that anyone who thinks they have a clear conscience can take communion, and yet the “teachings of the Church” clearly state that anyone who formally cooperates in abortion is automatically excommunicated, whether they feel guilty about it or not.

This, unfortunately, has been the kind of double-talk that leads people to believe that abortion is compatible with the Catholic faith, when the church itself teaches that it fundamentally is not.


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“Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions.”

Hmmm. Obama not only believes in unrestricted abortion on demand, he also voted repeatedly in Illinois to allow doctors who botched late-term abortion attempts to abandon the newborn babies who survived those botched abortions and leave them, untreated, to die. When challenged to explain those votes, Obama lied.

If Obama believed he had examined his conscience and made a moral decision, they why did he repeatedly lie about what he had done? If he truly believed his choice was a moral one, there should have been no reason to lie about it. And if Obama’s votes were in fact immoral, then how could any moral person choose to vote for him in good conscience?

AZCoyote on November 16, 2008 at 2:37 PM

AZCoyote – Great post, I agree 100%. It is time that Catholics who voted for Obama examine his stated positions and how that relates to their supposed religious beliefs.

echosyst on November 16, 2008 at 2:50 PM

Having an election based around the issue of abortion is a luxury we can ill afford as there are more pressing issues facing us today. If members and leaders of the Catholic church can’t see that well fine. There are reasons why Obama and the Democrats did well with Catholics in the recent election. I doubt that calling them ‘ignorant’ will win them back.

lexhamfox on November 16, 2008 at 2:52 PM

Having an election based around the issue of abortion is a luxury we can ill afford as there are more pressing issues facing us today. If members and leaders of the Catholic church can’t see that well fine. There are reasons why Obama and the Democrats did well with Catholics in the recent election. I doubt that calling them ‘ignorant’ will win them back.

lexhamfox on November 16, 2008 at 2:52 PM

No one’s calling Catholics ignorant. The reason 0bama did so well is because the MSM was in the tank for him and these issues that would have gotten anyone else’s campaign crushed before they even got started were either downplayed or simply not reported. Most people who voted for the 0ne made a decision based on emotion, not fact.

4shoes on November 16, 2008 at 2:59 PM

Christ gives us freedom to explore our own conscience and to make our own decisions while adhering to the law of God and the teachings of the faith. Therefore, if a person has formed his or her conscience well, he or she should not be denied Communion, nor be told to go to confession before receiving Communion.

More often than not, appeals to “personal conscience” ignore the requirement highlighted above. If through examination of conscience we arrive to a position contrary to the teaching of the church then we are not correctly exercising our conscience. Personal conscience cannot turn intrinsic evil into good. Its place is in the realm of prudential judgment. In the political arena an example of this might be deciding which party’s policies might be more effective in supporting particular social justice issues, or political freedom. It does not really have a significant role in the issue of abortion because there are no circumstances which can mitigate how evil it is. A well informed Catholic could not use the concept of “personal conscience” to justify voting for someone who like Obama has promised to remove existing barriers to abortion and make it more widely and easily available in all stages of pregnancy.

neuquenguy on November 16, 2008 at 3:01 PM

Having an election based around the issue of abortion is a luxury we can ill afford as there are more pressing issues facing us today.

lexhamfox on November 16, 2008 at 2:52 PM

Is is a sad day when opposing the choice of destroying the most vulnerable and innocent among us is a luxury we cannot afford.

neuquenguy on November 16, 2008 at 3:06 PM

The reason 0bama did so well is because the MSM was in the tank for him

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah… if you guys face reality and stop blaming the media for all your ills, you’ll continue to see your party shrink.

There are smart republicans who don’t think like this, but not many around here.

Tom_Shipley on November 16, 2008 at 3:13 PM

if you guys don’t face reality…

fixed.

Tom_Shipley on November 16, 2008 at 3:14 PM

“But they believe that neither candidate will have much of an effect (sic) on the issue.”

[tneloms on November 16, 2008 at 2:23 PM]

This is understandable in the abstract but not in the overall scheme of things nor does it follow logically when looked upon over time.

One of the things I appreciate most about the Church is the deliberate nature of the Church in it’s decision-making. It is slow and it is comprehensive. It questions itself constantly in probing for the truth. When it finds it, it profoundly adheres to it.

Since the Roe decision, the Church, while constantly and consistently opposing abortion has, in some ways, treated those members either indifferent to or supportive of abortion with their myriad of excuses as something like a sinner. It didn’t matter whether you backed into the sin unknowingly, or were trapped by it, or, with weak will succumbed, to it, or even if you acted with agreement with it, if you confessed, repented, and offered the firm purpose to amend it, you were forgiven in the confessional.

Over time this process has been seen for what it is, an abuse of the membership, the sacraments and, like the system of medieval indulgences, corrupted. It has become obvious that the farce of “having no (a)ffect” when no affect is tried, is a threat to the Church itself. I won’t even go into the fact that, over time, membership of the Democratic Party has not grown in it’s opposition to abortion, but to the contrary grown in it’s support of it. That, in and of itself, in effect, is having an affect.

But be of good cheer, tneloms, the Church has shown every indication they will still allow members to pick whichever politician has the least effect on the other issues they are lying about.

Dusty on November 16, 2008 at 3:17 PM

Is is a sad day when opposing the choice of destroying the most vulnerable and innocent among us is a luxury we cannot afford.

neuquenguy on November 16, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Sure but the Vatican decided that the 5,000 priests accused of abusing some 12,000 children in the United States should not be denied communion. They afforded that luxury and in many cases sought to protect the perpetrators.

lexhamfox on November 16, 2008 at 3:17 PM

Two points,

1. The Catholic faith is not yours to change or categorize to your liking.It’s the Magisterium or the door.

2. The MSM did not cause McCain’s defeat. It was the party’s failure to utilize 21st century technology and the Party’s dependence on Rino philosophy. Oh, and social conservatism would have helped McCain.

MNDavenotPC on November 16, 2008 at 3:20 PM

The EWTN Voter’s Guide explains the issue pretty clearly:

4. If I have strong feelings or opinions in favor of a particular candidate, even if he is pro-abortion, why may I not vote for him?

As explained in question 1 above, neither your feelings nor your opinions are identical with your conscience. Neither your feelings nor your opinions can take the place of your conscience. Your feelings and opinions should be governed by your conscience. If the candidate about whom you have strong feelings or opinions is pro-abortion, then your feelings and opinions need to be corrected by your correctly informed conscience, which would tell you that it is wrong for you to allow your feelings and opinions to give lesser weight to the fact that the candidate supports a moral evil.

In this election the teachings should have been clear. Obama stated emphatically that one of the first things he would do would be to pass FOCA. This contrasts with his debate position that he would work to minimize the number of abortions. If a Catholic voted for Obama knowing that he intended to pass FOCA their conscience was influenced by their feelings and opinions rather than vice versa. Catholics are not required to vote for a pro life candidate but if a candidate vocally advocates for abortion this should be a disqualifying issue.

msmveritas on November 16, 2008 at 3:22 PM

Not to make fun of this, but I will anyway.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKxnaMeOK20

Kini on November 16, 2008 at 3:30 PM

This is my home town priest and he stands tall and will not back down to the Godless libs nor to the gates of hell itself.

thmcbb on November 16, 2008 at 3:33 PM

Christ gives us freedom to explore our own conscience and to make our own decisions while adhering to the law of God and the teachings of the faith. Therefore, if a person has formed his or her conscience well, he or she should not be denied Communion, nor be told to go to confession before receiving Communion.

I think the bolded text says it all. If you knew Obama’s views on abortion and his anticipated acts, understood that abortion kills innocents, and voted for him anyway, you sinned. In Catholic terms, you are now obligated to seek forgiveness through the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Penance. While persisting in knowing sin, you must not take Holy Eucharist.

It’s like those Catholics in Germany who voted for Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers Party, knowing full well what they intended for the Jews, but thinking that the alternative would be better for Germany as a whole. They were still Catholics, but they had the blood of the Six Million on their hands, and much penance to do.

In the case of Obama’s supporters, there is the blood of far more than six million on their hands.

unclesmrgol on November 16, 2008 at 3:41 PM

Did I understand this update right? I can now go against the church’s teachings as long as my decision

Goody2Shoes on November 16, 2008 at 3:51 PM

The reason 0bama did so well is because the MSM was in the tank for him…

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah… if you guys face reality and stop blaming the media for all your ills, you’ll continue to see your party shrink.

There are smart republicans who don’t think like this, but not many around here.

Tom_Shipley on November 16, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Ok Tom, prove they’re not. It’ll be interesting to see how you convince me that what I saw and heard was not blatant bias and omitting of facts.

4shoes on November 16, 2008 at 3:54 PM

Did I understand this update right? I can now go against the church’s teachings as long as my decision

Friggin’ lazy finger hitting submit!!

Did I understand this update right? I can now go against the church’s teachings as long as my decision and conscience is “well formed”? What the heck? Did Slick Willie’s lawyers write this statement for the Arch?

Goody2Shoes on November 16, 2008 at 3:55 PM

Did I understand this update right? I can now go against the church’s teachings as long as my decision

Goody2Shoes on November 16, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Monsignor Laughlin would have to add a lot of nuance to his statement for it not to be interpreted that way.

neuquenguy on November 16, 2008 at 3:59 PM

Monsignor Laughlin would have to add a lot of nuance to his statement for it not to be interpreted that way.

neuquenguy on November 16, 2008 at 3:59 PM

Monsignor Laughlin is just about as lousy a spokesperson as one could find outside the McCain campaign.

msmveritas on November 16, 2008 at 4:21 PM

Ok Tom, prove they’re not. It’ll be interesting to see how you convince me that what I saw and heard was not blatant bias and omitting of facts.

4shoes on November 16, 2008 at 3:54 PM

Tom is going to have a hard time when they flat out admit it themselves.

msmveritas on November 16, 2008 at 4:27 PM

Dusty on November 16, 2008 at 3:17 PM

You’re making similar points to others above, and I accept them. But these arguments aren’t about the fundamental value that abortion is wrong; they are about how to vote given that you hold this value.

It is clearly right for the Church to preach strongly about this first part and impose penalties based on it (i.e., never condone abortion, say that it is a sin under any circumstances, demand that members who are involved in an abortion ask for forgiveness, etc.). And it is clearly right for the Church to make the arguments that you have made, which are convincing.

My question is, if a member of the church accepts the first part (the values) and for some ill-advised reason does not accept the arguments about the second part (how to vote based on these values), how strongly should the Church oppose this? Should it preach or advise against it? Or should it go further and declare it a sin?

How about this hypothetical/analogy: Let’s say that there’s some complex economic proposal that one side claims will reduce abortions and the other side claims will increase them. No one knows for sure what effect it will have, but the Church as a whole takes the position that the proposal will increase abortions. You as a member of the church happen to believe otherwise, though the Church sees you as completely misguided and foolish. It’s a matter of prediction, not values (which you fully share with the Church). Should the Church declare your vote in favor of the proposal a sin?

I’m not really giving an answer myself. I’m just trying to point out the difference between the values and the policy, and my sense is that people are offended by the Church involving itself too much in the latter.

tneloms on November 16, 2008 at 4:36 PM

If most Catholics cared what the church hierarchy said this would be great, because the Church could lose millions of members. Unfortunately, most Catholics just don’t care how loony their robe wearing leadership becomes.

thuja on November 16, 2008 at 4:38 PM

Dusty on November 16, 2008 at 3:17 PM

Also, it’s “effect,” not “affect.” You shouldn’t have put a little (sic) in my quote.

tneloms on November 16, 2008 at 4:38 PM

MrLynn:
1.) Obama did not invent “welfare” and “social concern” from the State
2.) Obama wanted/wants? to send soldiers to KILL people in a land known as Pakistan WITHOUT their permission. . .

dragonash on November 16, 2008 at 2:34 PM

Huh? I didn’t make any such claims. Maybe you are responding to someone else.

MrLynn on November 16, 2008 at 4:48 PM

“Unfortunately, most Catholics just don’t care how loony their robe wearing leadership becomes.”

Yeah, wanting to stop the evisceration of unborn children – loony.

I think Barack Obama’s first act as President should be to show us how normal and wonderful abortion is, but participating in an abortion.

Barack sticking a scalpel into the brains of a fetus would really be a first in Presidential leadership and would present a great photo op and would kick of Obama’s abortion of a Presidency.

NoDonkey on November 16, 2008 at 4:49 PM

Fr. Jay Scott Newman statement is clear. Penance or Reconciliation first before receiving the Eucharist, the Body of Christ, if you knew Obama’s position on abortion before voting for him on Nov 4, 2008. It is Monsignor Laughlin’s statement which is confusing especially to infrequent Sunday mass going Catholics on church’s teaching about abortion.
Here’s Francis Cardinal George of Chicago, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops statement last week:

“If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do its builders labor; if the Lord does not watch over the city, in vain does the watchman keep vigil.” (Psalm 127, vs. 1)
The fundamental good is life itself, a gift from God and our parents. A good state protects the lives of all. Legal protection for those members of the human family waiting to be born in this country was removed when the Supreme Court decided Roe vs. Wade in 1973. This was bad law. The danger the Bishops see at this moment is that a bad court decision will be enshrined in bad legislation that is more radical than the 1973 Supreme Court decision itself. Abortion is a medical procedure that kills, and the psychological and spiritual consequences are written in the sorrow and depression of many women and men. Abortion kills not only unborn children; it destroys constitutional order and the common good, which is assured only when the life of every human being is legally protected. Aggressively pro-abortion policies, legislation and executive orders will permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans, and would be seen by many as an attack on the free exercise of their religion.

atemely on November 16, 2008 at 4:55 PM

NoDonkey on November 16, 2008 at 4:49 PM

The pro-life movement with its fantasy empathy for the suffering of unborn homo sapien is more than willing to ignore the suffering of beings with more life–our animal brothers and sisters. I’m far more respectful of life in urging my mother to feed the abandoned cat that appeared at my mothers house than I would be in stopping an abortion.

Furthermore, our procreation leads to exponential growth unless stopped or controlled in some manner. It’s truly to think we can have unlimited human population growth, and thus abortion is a necessary to good human lives.

thuja on November 16, 2008 at 4:59 PM

“our animal brothers and sisters”

Um, no. They’re your brothers and sisters.

“thus abortion is a necessary to good human lives.”

I hope you practice your beliefs by never procreating yourself and letting your lunatic beliefs perish with you.

NoDonkey on November 16, 2008 at 5:01 PM

This Catholic support Fr Jay Scott Newman, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Greenville, S.C. absolutely. Finally a pastor who understand and interpret the Catholic Church catechism with conviction.

Jay Scott Newman was born on Aug 6, 1962 in Elkin, North Carolina, a small mill town in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and grew up in Greensboro, NC. His parents’ families were mostly Southern Baptists and members of the Church of the Brethren, but at age 13 he became an atheist. In 1980 he matriculated at Princeton University, and there on Oct 15,1981 he experienced a conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ. On Jan 17,1982 he was baptized in the Episcopal Church, and on Nov 5,1982 he was received into full communion with the Catholic Church and confirmed. Father Newman studied for the priesthood at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and received priestly formation at the Pontifical North American College; he holds graduate degrees in sacred theology and canon law. He was ordained to the diaconate on Dec 19, 1992 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City and to the priesthood on July 10, 1993 at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Baptist in Charleston, South Carolina.

Penance first before communion…
Obama terminate America one baby at a time.

atemely on November 16, 2008 at 5:14 PM

Oh, and since Obama thinks it’s OK to force people to perform abortions, why shouldn’t he set an example and participate in one? A real live abortion with our abortion of a “president-elect” assisting.

A photo op for the ages.

NoDonkey on November 16, 2008 at 5:14 PM

No- actually it is the person’s own choice to excommunicate themselves and the Church is making that clear. Your inability to grasp that fact indicates an immature intelligence. This is not a cut but realitly.

If you don’t like the Church rules…leave.

By the way excommunication does not keep one from being able to attend the Mass.

Jamson64 on November 16, 2008 at 1:12 PM

The decision to define a vote for a candidate in a particular election as sinful and to withhold the Eucharist is made, in this case, by an individual church official.

Your casualness with conjecture about reality is matched apparently by your casualness with spelling the word.

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 5:19 PM

Obama promised that his first act would be to sign FOCA, which will erase all the progress made by the pro-life movement over the last decades, make abortion ubiquitous throughout the country and eliminate all the rights of the states with respect to abortion, from banning of partial birth abortion to parental notification rights. That is co-operation with abortion.

neuquenguy on November 16, 2008 at 1:41 PM

The problem is that the election was for POTUS, an office which has to deal with more than this one issue. If abortion were the matter of an executive order I might agree with you but there are the courts and then the voters in each state, few of which seem to want significant restrictions on abortion much less the Catholic position of life-from-conception.

Assume, though, that Catholics should vote for McCain when giving weight to all of the issues. I wish they all had. I still think the Church should shape the conscience of the Catholic rather than provide direction on a specific ballot choice.

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 5:28 PM

Assume, though, that Catholics should vote for McCain when giving weight to all of the issues. I wish they all had. I still think the Church should shape the conscience of the Catholic rather than provide direction on a specific ballot choice.

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 5:28 PM

I really don’t consider the casual attitudes toward killing of children “a specific ballot choice”. With all of the other sick cultural issues that Obama represents the time for playing paddy-cake with these people is over. They lose Prop 8 and begin carrying out acts of violence. The crap is about to hit the fan.

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 5:39 PM

“They lose Prop 8 and begin carrying out acts of violence.”

It’s never violence if it’s in support of a left wing cause tacitly supported by the Democrat Party.

How many perverts have been arrested? My guess is none. Extremism in the support of liberalism is no vice.

NoDonkey on November 16, 2008 at 5:42 PM

They lose Prop 8 and begin carrying out acts of violence. The crap is about to hit the fan.

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 5:39 PM

Gay marriage lost everywhere it was on the ballot but abortion restrictions were voted down in several states. It isn’t a small group of protesters who are pro-choice but most Americans.

The Americans who voted against abortion restrictions in places like South Dakota were not following Catholic teaching. The Church needs to focus on changing hearts & minds on the issue before asking voters to determine who has the nuclear launch codes based only on the abortion issue.

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 5:48 PM

I have to wonder how many HA readers are Catholics. I’d suspect somewhat less than half.

Against the background of a) the fact that the US economy is teetering on structural bankruptcy and b) that we’ve just elected the most inexperienced President in US history and c) the US still faces grave threats from resurgent hostile foreign states perhaps all this BS about the Catholic catechism is irrelevant and immaterial to the majority of readers.

Or maybe I’ve missed a trick and the Catholic Church, as corrupt and full of kiddy fiddlers and those who would cover up their vile acts really is something we should focus on closely…

Perspective anyone?

Ares on November 16, 2008 at 5:49 PM

I agree the Church needs to change hearts and minds on the abortion issue but I applaud it finally taking a stand.

So few people are these days and it seems everyone is rushing to cave into the onslaught of radical leftism/secularlism.

They are risking a lot by doing this, by incurring the wrath of government and the violence of lunatic left secularists.

As for the loss of membership? Good riddance. The Catholic Church will only lose cafeteria “catholics” who show up to Mass at most on Easter and Christmas. It will gain true believers who want more than namby-pamby, go along to get along, watered down, don’t ruffle any feathers, why get out of bed on Sunday morning anyway “christianity”.

NoDonkey on November 16, 2008 at 5:53 PM

Gay marriage lost everywhere it was on the ballot but abortion restrictions were voted down in several states. It isn’t a small group of protesters who are pro-choice but most Americans.

So dedalus, how about listing here which states voted down gay marriage and voted down abortion restriction. I will be checking all evening so go check and then lets see your post.

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 5:55 PM

“all this BS about the Catholic catechism is irrelevant and immaterial to the majority of readers”

Feel free to navigate elsewhere.

I never understand why people post in threads they feel are irrelevant. It’s a big internet out there, no one’s forcing you to stay.

NoDonkey on November 16, 2008 at 5:55 PM

Perspective anyone?

Ares on November 16, 2008 at 5:49 PM

The perspective is the church in South Carolina is doing the correct thing. The church is New England is still abusing little boys.

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 5:57 PM

I’m not Catholic, but someone who is Protestant and pro-life. I follow Ed’s posts because I have great interest and appreciation the pro-life work of the Catholic church.

INC on November 16, 2008 at 5:57 PM

[tneloms on November 16, 2008 at 4:36 PM]

The point, tneloms, which you ignore in the substantive par of my post, is that the decision-making is not a question of hypotheticals when the historical record (time), of both words and actions, is taken into account. As I implied in my notation about the growth of support for abortion in the Democratic party, the willful driving out of the pro-lifers is an effect, whether the Catholic likes it or not, and they, at the very least, are contributing to it by continuing to vote for Dems which have pro-abortion preferences for whatever reason. To neglect to consider, or worse, to neglect it entirely, is no less than willful blindness on their part.

As for your hypothetical, if there is reason to suppose it is solely a matter of prediction, then surely it can be tested if there is a record, either a politician’s personal record, the record of the party, past record of similar policies. This isn’t a question of what the effects of some new policy that is implemented. What you offer is the continuation of the game that has been played for more than three decades. The game is over. The pattern is obvious. The results overwhelming. It is not just the right, but the duty, for the Church to end it as far as they are concerned.

Anyway, the Church has every right to involve itself in policy and does so all the time. But this is not even a question of voting on policy, but voting for a person, a person who, if elected would clearly be detrimental to the pro-life cause.

BTW, you are wrong about the use of effect vs affect. Now you could have written it so as to use effect but you didn’t and a candidate cannot “bring about, cause, produce result in, have as result” an issue in the sense you offer but can “have an influence on, produce an effect on, concern, effect a change in” an issue. Therefore, you should have used “affect.” Fowler is your friend.

Dusty on November 16, 2008 at 6:03 PM

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 5:55 PM

CA, SD, CO against abortion restrictions.
CA, FL, AZ against gay marriage.

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 6:06 PM

CA, SD, CO against abortion restrictions.
CA, FL, AZ against gay marriage.

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 6:06 PM

So do I have your permission now to go out tonight and begin attacking those who voted to step-up the killing of babies ? Maybe put some powder in envelopes and send it to Donk headquarters ? Maybe knock down half-wits with Obama shirts and kick them ? Encircle Donk headquarters and shout obscenities and threaten violence ? Fan out accross the country and threaten violence against various churches, none of which assisted in the victory of Prop 8 ? Where is B. Hussine Obama ? Why hasn’t he come on the radio and TV and denounced the violence and threats of violence ?

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 6:16 PM

“Where is B. Hussine Obama ? Why hasn’t he come on the radio and TV and denounced the violence and threats of violence ?”

We all know the answer to that.

Violence in support of leftism and the Democrat Party does not exist. Nor does voter fraud.

Just ask the media. They won’t tell you.

NoDonkey on November 16, 2008 at 6:20 PM

CA, SD, CO against abortion restrictions.
CA, FL, AZ against gay marriage.

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 6:06 PM

There is no doubt that if the losers on the abortion votes had done, over the last week, what the freaks had done in support of gayness there would be 24 hour news coverage with Ahnold Schwarzenbugger demanding an end to violence and Pelosi would have her damn panties in such a wad that her face would be spewing botox.

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 6:23 PM

Can we PLEASE just tax the Catholic church (and a bunch more of them) now and get it over with?

Jazz Shaw on November 16, 2008 at 12:31 PM

No, not yet. But I’m certain that plan is on the table somewhere in the Obama camp. Those windfall oil taxes appear to have evaporated, so he’ll have to tax someone. Christians are about the only group left that its OK to hate. Hate tax? That has a libera lring to it, hey?

MikeA on November 16, 2008 at 6:29 PM

So do I have your permission now to go out tonight and begin attacking those who voted to step-up the killing of babies ? Maybe put some powder in envelopes and send it to Donk headquarters ? Maybe knock down half-wits with Obama shirts and kick them ? Encircle Donk headquarters and shout obscenities and threaten violence ? Fan out accross the country and threaten violence against various churches, none of which assisted in the victory of Prop 8 ? Where is B. Hussine Obama ? Why hasn’t he come on the radio and TV and denounced the violence and threats of violence ?

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 6:16 PM

Protests are something for local law enforcement to figure out. I don’t pay attention to them. I’ve lived in places with high crime rates and it doesn’t matter to me if a criminal act is done for political reasons or just out of anger and greed.

There were a lot of reasons to vote against Obama, but defeating him still wouldn’t have changed the majority opinion in most states that they want to reserve some individual choice regarding abortion.

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 6:31 PM

I’d be fine with taxing the Church.

Then they could tell the truth about how vile our government is and how utterly execrable are the corrupt and incompetent Democrat Party politicians are.

The truth will set you free.

NoDonkey on November 16, 2008 at 6:32 PM

Protests are something for local law enforcement to figure out. I don’t pay attention to them. I’ve lived in places with high crime rates and it doesn’t matter to me if a criminal act is done for political reasons or just out of anger and greed.

There were a lot of reasons to vote against Obama, but defeating him still wouldn’t have changed the majority opinion in most states that they want to reserve some individual choice regarding abortion.

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 6:31 PM

But defeating him would have prevented his expressed forthcoming reveral of GWBs executive order that spared the lives of thousands of innocent children. Twist and turn it if you will, but the killing of babies is going to be purposely accelerated by B. Hussien Obama.

And by the way, I thought baby killing was a Federal mandate a la Roe V. Wade. Even if these states had tried to restrict abortion, the Donks would not have permitted it. Just as they have not permitted the peoples will with respect to gay marriage in Mass and earlier in CA. Schwarzenbugger and Pelosi have already rejected the legitmacy of the vote.

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 6:47 PM

Of course – elections and referendums are only valid when they go the way the Democrats intend them to, if not they can be ignored.

Not sure why we even bother having elections or referendums any longer.

The media has deemed any questioning of the Democrat(ic) Party to be hate speech and to be irrelevant.

NoDonkey on November 16, 2008 at 6:52 PM

There were a lot of reasons to vote against Obama, but defeating him still wouldn’t have changed the majority opinion in most states that they want to reserve some individual choice regarding abortion.

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 6:31 PM

It is remarkable that our society is populated by so many people who discriminate against an entire segment of the population, and continue to support the blatant butchering of them as the slaughter houses of abortion engage in.

What makes this laughable in a way is that so many pompous asses, including Hollywood self absorbed celebrities, politicians, and the Media, mock anyone who does not believe in Global Warming as being equivalent to “Holocaust Deniers,” yet the same is not attached to respect and protection of the newest members of the human race, the targets of death by various, violent, cruel, disgusting methods of abortion.

The same takes place with so many self absorbed, undereducated, misguided individuals, many of whom have college degrees of some kind, in condemning and mocking those who hold dissenting opinions from the pseudo-scientific/philosophical/world view, quasi-religious, dogmatic mindset of Darwinism-evolutionism.

If you don’t believe in Darwinism-evolutionism then you are an idiot who does not know science, even though you might, actually, really know science, and really have experience and knowledge that helped you arrive at your interpretation of the observable universe and phenomenon.

So, if you don’t believe in Darwinism-evolutionism, then you are in idiot and people should ignore you.

If you don’t believe in Global Warming, then you are an idiot, and people should ignore you.

If you don’t believe in abortion, but you believe in protecting the newest members of the human ace, then you are an idiot, and people should ignore you.

Ignorance is bliss!

Fact: It is a scientific fact that normally a human being’s life begins sexually (man and woman, with sperm penetrating the zona pellucida of the woman’s oocyte), in vivo (inside the mother’s body) at conception-fertilization and continues until death. Also a fact, monozygotic twinning, triplets, etc., occurs in living human beings, hence, human beings do also begin their lives as twins, triplets, etc., asexually (without sperm and oocyte), in vivo (inside mother’s womb).

Fact: With modern reproductive technologies, a new human being’s life also begins ex vivo (outside mother’s womb) as in In vitro fertilization (which occurs sexually, via sperm and oocyte, ex vivo), and Artificial Reproductive Technologies, in which the new human being’s life begins asexually (without sperm and oocyte) ex vivo (outside of mother’s womb). A few examples of methods of this type of reproductive technologies can include blastomere separation, blastocyst splitting, and others.

Bottom line, in all cases, upon the fertilization process, or the splitting process, the new human being’s life has begun. From that point afterward any destruction of that new human being is, in fact, the killing of a a member of the human race, a living human being.

Abortion should be banned, legally, as the killing of human beings, which it, in fact, IS! Abortionists should not be permitted to continue in their butchering of these members of the human family, and respect should be shown the victims of abortion.

William2006 on November 16, 2008 at 6:55 PM

You seem to contradict yourself in your post.

I imagine the church is into over a billion dollars and likely hundreds of arrests of those who did the crimes.

Jamson64 on November 16, 2008 at 12:49 PM

If you consider payment an acceptable form of recompense for sexual abuse, then yeah that’s a contradiction. But I am guessing that most people would rather not endure abuse in the first place regardless of the award granted by a civil court.

Furthermore, the church’s payments do not take away from the fact that there are many documented instances of cover-up and denial. How much damage is done to a victim to whom their own parish turns a blind or lazy eye?

The amount paid in recompense and punitive damages does not make up for the damage done to the lives of victims.

Also, I am ignorant of the number of arrests that have been made. But I, like other simple-minded folk, believe that there probably have not been enough.

The crimes and the cover-ups stink.

The Race Card on November 16, 2008 at 6:56 PM

Of course – elections and referendums are only valid when they go the way the Democrats intend them to, if not they can be ignored.

Not sure why we even bother having elections or referendums any longer.

The media has deemed any questioning of the Democrat(ic) Party to be hate speech and to be irrelevant.

NoDonkey on November 16, 2008 at 6:52 PM

Yeap.

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 6:58 PM

I can tell you that this is one Catholic who will reexamine his choices if the Monsignor cannot explain his ambiguous message that removes the multiple layers of gray that he placed in an issue that should be black or white.

john1schn on November 16, 2008 at 7:03 PM

William2006 on November 16, 2008 at 6:55 PM

Good post William. And then every year about this time we hear a story about some turkey (gobble, not jive) in a grocery store somewhere being booby-trapped somehow by PETA-ish zealot because they “value life”. But they are always on the ramparts defending the right to kill a child.

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 7:05 PM

This seems to be rather clear cut. You are either in favor of murder are you are against it. I am not even Catholic and I can see the difference.

duff65 on November 16, 2008 at 7:06 PM

The pro-life movement with its fantasy empathy for the suffering of unborn homo sapien is more than willing to ignore the suffering of beings with more life–our animal brothers and sisters. I’m far more respectful of life in urging my mother to feed the abandoned cat that appeared at my mothers house than I would be in stopping an abortion.

Furthermore, our procreation leads to exponential growth unless stopped or controlled in some manner. It’s truly to think we can have unlimited human population growth, and thus abortion is a necessary to good human lives.

thuja on November 16, 2008 at 4:59 PM

Ahem. What an interesting dichotomy you have here.

Before we go further, I’m anti-abortion, I’m Catholic, I live in California, I voted FOR Prop 2, I have three strays I’ve taken in (including one older cat that was brought to my doorstep by a liberal pro-Choicer with a death sentence hanging over him — either I took him (please) or he had to go to the pound).

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s move on. Would you say that the best way to control the feral cat population is via spay/neuter, or via abortion? Would you suck a load of kittens out of a momma cat and think “Hey, that’s ok — I’m controlling the cat population here, because it’s way out of line”? Or would you let momma cat have the kits and adopt them out?

Now take that thought and apply it to humans.

If most Catholics cared what the church hierarchy said this would be great, because the Church could lose millions of members. Unfortunately, most Catholics just don’t care how loony their robe wearing leadership becomes.

thuja on November 16, 2008 at 4:38 PM
</blockquote

You mean to say that St. Augustine was LOONEY? Gee, the thought never occurred to me! I think some of the Church’s membership went momentarily looney, but not the “robe wearing leadership” — which, by the way is a rather racist comparison of the Catholic hierarchy to the KKK! OK, we get the simile, have considered where it comes from, and have duly discarded same.

unclesmrgol on November 16, 2008 at 7:10 PM

The Race Card on November 16, 2008 at 6:56 PM

I find it interesting that you are belaboring a point that was created by the liberal influence on the Catholic Church. So what you ar4e saying is that the Church should be condemned for its liberal abuses. But now when the conservatives try to clean up the Church, we should not understand that and hold them responsible.

Yeah, right.

Hawthorne on November 16, 2008 at 7:12 PM

Fact: It is a scientific fact that normally a human being’s life begins sexually (man and woman, with sperm penetrating the zona pellucida of the woman’s oocyte), in vivo (inside the mother’s body) at conception-fertilization and continues until death. Also a fact, monozygotic twinning, triplets, etc., occurs in living human beings, hence, human beings do also begin their lives as twins, triplets, etc., asexually (without sperm and oocyte), in vivo (inside mother’s womb).
William2006 on November 16, 2008 at 6:55 PM

Twinning requires conception to have occurred also. It is not asexual in origin. Other than that, agree with what you say.

unclesmrgol on November 16, 2008 at 7:15 PM

I live in a mid-size Southern city and we have moved to spay/neuter and return to neighborhood approach for feral cats. And 99% no kill. And most of us would never dream of killing a child. I do have an 18 year old that I am still pondering but that is another story for another day.

I do not see how anyone can be a lover and protector of animals and favor killing kids. It is an irrational and unacceptable “choice”.

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 7:22 PM

And the Titans are now 10 and Oh……

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 7:23 PM

I don’t remember Jesus interrogating the disciples for their voting habits during the last supper.

Greenhelmet on November 16, 2008 at 7:26 PM

And by the way, I thought baby killing was a Federal mandate a la Roe V. Wade. Even if these states had tried to restrict abortion, the Donks would not have permitted it. Just as they have not permitted the peoples will with respect to gay marriage in Mass and earlier in CA. Schwarzenbugger and Pelosi have already rejected the legitmacy of the vote.

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 6:47 PM

There probably would have been court challenges to the abortion ballot propositions had they succeeded, but the votes weren’t there on election day. It provides some indication of what might happen if Roe were overturned and the decision returned to the state.

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 7:31 PM

Also a fact, monozygotic twinning, triplets, etc., occurs in living human beings, hence, human beings do also begin their lives as twins, triplets, etc., asexually (without sperm and oocyte), in vivo (inside mother’s womb).

William2006 on November 16, 2008 at 6:55 PM

Given that monozygotic twins might form 2 days after conception, how do we know how many individual people are killed in abortions that occur before 2 days?

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 7:40 PM

I don’t remember Jesus interrogating the disciples for their voting habits during the last supper.

Greenhelmet on November 16, 2008 at 7:26 PM

There is nothing in the life of Jesus that would suggest that he would support the killing of children. Quite the contrary.

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 7:42 PM

Given that monozygotic twins might form 2 days after conception, how do we know how many individual people are killed in abortions that occur before 2 days?

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 7:40 PM

Well…we can assume at least one child is killed.

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 7:43 PM

Shear Guts!

Finally,a line in zee sand!

canopfor on November 16, 2008 at 7:44 PM

Well…we can assume at least one child is killed.

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 7:43 PM

In the case of twins, which one?

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 7:47 PM

In the case of twins, which one?

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 7:47 PM

In case of twins, two children are murdered.

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 7:49 PM

If the Catholic Church won’t speak with a firm voice, then it shouldn’t expect its members to follow a pro-life path.

If the church speaks with a wishy-washy voice, it should expect its members to do as they please.

smagar on November 16, 2008 at 7:52 PM

Abortion is a fundamental human rights issue, which is why the Church takes such a definitive stand on it. Imagine the outcry if we had killed 50 million Russians, Chinese, or Arabs in a protracted war over the past 36 years! Instead, we have killed the equivalent number of our own, and called it a “right” or perhaps a “tragedy.”

That said, the Church has emphasized abortion (and to a slightly lesser degree gay “marriage”) to the detriment of her other central teachings, leading many Catholics to divide themselves into “conservative” (i.e. anti-abortion) and “liberal” (i.e. “peace and justice”). The fallacy of this is that many ‘liberal’ positions run contrary to the teachings of the Church, and neither the bishops nor the laity are addressing it. Socialistic economic policies, the welfare state, etc. are in direct conflict with Church teaching (see Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum novarum), and yet many Catholics support those policies.

In short, we Catholics must oppose abortion, but we must also emphasize that Church teaching goes beyond that particular issue and runs against socialism and statist policies as a whole.

Fallen Sparrow on November 16, 2008 at 7:56 PM

“material cooperation with intrinsic evil”

Type this into http://www.biblegateway.com/ and see what comes up.

Greenhelmet on November 16, 2008 at 7:56 PM

“I don’t remember Jesus interrogating the disciples for their voting habits during the last supper.”

Do you actually think people voted for their government back then? You’re about 2000 years off on that one.

Although it could be argued with all of the vote stealing and vote rigging the Democrat(ic) Party does, it could be argued that we’re only permitted to go through some absurd charade of a vote.

NoDonkey on November 16, 2008 at 8:11 PM

If a society permits young children to be murdered for “choice” and convenience, then it’s a short step to offing the elderly, the terminally ill and the feeble.

Seems to me, a healthy baby with 70+ potential years of productive life before it, is far more worthy of keeping alive than an elderly man or woman with Alzheimer’s or with terminal cancer.

I’d rather draw the line at keeping them all alive rather than making “choices”. But then, that’s probably something a inexperienced and unqualified dullard like Barack Obama hasn’t had time to contemplate.

Barack had plenty of time to auction off his votes to the highest bidder, however.

NoDonkey on November 16, 2008 at 8:16 PM

Do you actually think people voted for their government back then? You’re about 2000 years off on that one.

He never held people’s problematic political participations as barriers to a relationship with him. These rules are made-up by the church as posted above:

Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.

Greenhelmet on November 16, 2008 at 8:23 PM

“He never held people’s problematic political participations as barriers to a relationship with him. These rules are made-up by the church as posted above:”

What political participation?

There weren’t any “politics” back then, not for the people Jesus dealt with.

You were either ruling or the ruled back then.

He welcomed a tax collector who gave up everything he had and followed him.

You can’t follow Jesus if you support abortion or politicians who support abortion. It’s that simple.

NoDonkey on November 16, 2008 at 8:26 PM

When will these priests refuse communion to those who supported the war or who support the death penalty, two things the Catholic Church has condemned as sinful. Until that happens these guys are pure hypocrites.

And don’t start to me on the “innocent” equation. The Catholic Church and the pope has not made a distinction between the death penalty and abortion. Death is death according to dogma. And if this refusal of communion is about being PURE dogmatically, then not extending it to all the examples of pro-death policy that the Church condemns is hypocrisy of the highest order.

Protestants can get away with it a little bit easier. But for the Catholics it’s just a little ridiculous.

DeathToMediaHacks on November 16, 2008 at 8:32 PM

“Catholic Democrats objected to the statement:”

Catholic Democrats object to truth. They attend Church for unknown reasons other than Spiritual reasons. DD

Darvin Dowdy on November 16, 2008 at 8:32 PM

“When will these priests refuse communion to those who supported the war or who support the death penalty”

You have absolutely no idea what it is you’re talking about, just stop while you’re hopelessly behind.

Supporting a just war or the death penalty does not put one’s immortal soul in jeopardy according to Catholic Doctrine, supporting abortion does.

NoDonkey on November 16, 2008 at 8:37 PM

Supporting a just war or the death penalty does not put one’s immortal soul in jeopardy according to Catholic Doctrine, supporting abortion does

The Pope has clearly and unequivocally said that the death penalty is sinful as is the war in Iraq. Period.

DeathToMediaHacks on November 16, 2008 at 8:39 PM

“The Pope has clearly and unequivocally said that the death penalty is sinful as is the war in Iraq. Period.”

What the Pope did not say is that one’s immortal soul is in danger for supporting either.

He did say that about abortion. Period.

They’re completely different, you have no idea what it is you’re talking about.

NoDonkey on November 16, 2008 at 8:43 PM

In case of twins, two children are murdered.

JonRoss on November 16, 2008 at 7:49 PM

With the MZ twins there is only one zygote, only one body. It is indistinguishable from a zygote that produces one baby. I understand how it is potentially 2 people but don’t see how it is two people a day after conception, unless two people can simultaneously inhabit a single body.

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 8:43 PM

The following is from Pope John Paul II Encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae(The Gospel of Life), where he talks about the death penalty.

‘If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.’”

(46) Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2266

Both Benedict and John Paul II have been clear about their opposition to war in Iraq as well.

DeathToMediaHacks on November 16, 2008 at 8:48 PM

What the Pope did not say is that one’s immortal soul is in danger for supporting either.

He did say that about abortion. Period.

They’re completely different, you have no idea what it is you’re talking about.

Oh OK so I just want to be 100% clear. Catholics should ONLY amend their voting patterns and beliefs on sins which the Pope says are a threat to one’s “immortal soul.” Unless those specific words are used it’s OK to support things the Pope and the Church identity as sinful. Is that your claim?

DeathToMediaHacks on November 16, 2008 at 8:51 PM

I understand how it is potentially 2 people but don’t see how it is two people a day after conception, unless two people can simultaneously inhabit a single body.

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 8:43 PM

I am potentially no people tomorrow. So what?

The answer is, it is at least one person.

Saltysam on November 16, 2008 at 8:52 PM

I don’t remember Jesus interrogating the disciples for their voting habits during the last supper.

Greenhelmet on November 16, 2008 at 7:26 PM

Absolutely. The Church’s job is to spread the Gospel. It isn’t to condemn people to hell. I guess eventually we’ll have a priest saying ‘vote for me or you’ll go to hell’. None of this has anything to do with Jesus. It is just the church trying to take over for God by judging others on His behalf.

Imagine the Catholic Church deciding who would be best to write most of the New Testament. Imagine the Church’s stance on the idea that it would be Paul. . . (a Jew, a Christian killer/prosecutor). If the Church rejected Paul, he would not have had the road to Damascus and the miracle that came over him which in turn helped spawn the entire Christian religion.

Now here’s the Catholic Church saying that if you voted for Obama, you get excommunicated (that’s 55% of the Church. . . eventually you get too exclusive even for the person making the ‘rules’). If Obama changes his mind on abortion, then many other people might too. . . but Catholics rob God of the opportunity to work miracles by telling people that if they voted for Obama, they are going to hell.

Of course, as usual, there’s a caveat so as not to completely damn everyone to hell. . . you can go to confessional and confess that you sinned by voting for Obama. This is absurd. Of course a lot of stuff about the Catholic Church and the ‘spiritual authority’ of the Catholic Church is absurd. Sorry I got to this thread late. . . but it’s par for the course.

Protestants have been pro-life, fighting, and voting for the party most interested in changing the law since Roe. Maybe some of you Catholics that are pro-life should consider that and join a Protestant Church that has been supporting the pro-life cause since there was a pro-life cause. The Catholics are ‘johnny come-lately’s on this issue.

ThackerAgency on November 16, 2008 at 8:52 PM

The Catholic Church and the pope has not made a distinction between the death penalty and abortion. Death is death according to dogma.

DeathToMediaHacks on November 16, 2008 at 8:32 PM

Where do you get your dogma, from commenters on the DailyKOs? You really have no idea what you are talking about. If you are going to try to articulate catholic doctrine in public do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of the catechism, or even learn how to use google, and you might save yourself some embarrassment.

neuquenguy on November 16, 2008 at 8:54 PM

Where do you get your dogma, from commenters on the DailyKOs? You really have no idea what you are talking about. If you are going to try to articulate catholic doctrine in public do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of the catechism, or even learn how to use google, and you might save yourself some embarrassment.

Yeah I just quoted the cathechism to prove my point…see above. How awkward for you.

DeathToMediaHacks on November 16, 2008 at 8:55 PM

In short, we Catholics must oppose abortion, but we must also emphasize that Church teaching goes beyond that particular issue and runs against socialism and statist policies as a whole.

Fallen Sparrow on November 16, 2008 at 7:56 PM

I’ve often been shocked to find out that I’m more Catholic than Catholics, and I’m not Catholic.

That was my first clue that the Church is in trouble.

Saltysam on November 16, 2008 at 9:01 PM

In short, we Catholics must oppose abortion, but we must also emphasize that Church teaching goes beyond that particular issue and runs against socialism and statist policies as a whole.

Can you provide some evidence that the church is “anti-statist” in reference to economic policy. And since I’m being held to a high standard, could you quote some sections from the Cathechism? Thanks.

DeathToMediaHacks on November 16, 2008 at 9:06 PM

Yeah I just quoted the cathechism to prove my point…see above. How awkward for you.

DeathToMediaHacks on November 16, 2008 at 8:55 PM

You might have quoted it but obviously do not understand it. What you quoted does not support even remotely your statement: “The Catholic Church and the pope has not made a distinction between the death penalty and abortion. Death is death according to dogma”. In fact your quote says “IF bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means..” did you note the word IF? That means that it is a matter where prudential judgment comes into play in conjunction with particular circumstances. If, on the other hand you look up abortion in the catechism, you will learn that abortion is an intrinsic evil, meaning that there are no circumstances where voluntary abortion is not evil. Therefore your statement “The Catholic Church and the pope has not made a distinction between the death penalty and abortion. Death is death according to dogma” is totally erroneous, not even remotely resembling catholic teaching. This is what happens when you pick some little snippet to quote in support of your false assertions without understanding the basics of catholic doctrine and its context.

neuquenguy on November 16, 2008 at 9:13 PM

[Greenhelmet on November 16, 2008 at 7:26 PM]

Of course you didn’t. He didn’t have to interrogate them because He knew what they would do.

Dusty on November 16, 2008 at 9:37 PM

The Catholic Church and the pope has not made a distinction between the death penalty and abortion. Death is death according to dogma.

DeathToMediaHacks on November 16, 2008 at 8:32 PM

Here is where a quick check in google might have helped:

POPE BENEDICT ON WAR, DEATH PENALTY, ABORTION AND EUTHANASIA

BENEDICT AT THE BASILICA

The Pope speaks to Catholic bishops in Washington, D.C.

04/17/2008

“There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion, even among Catholics, about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not, however, with regard to abortion and euthanasia.” H.H. Benedict XVI.

neuquenguy on November 16, 2008 at 9:40 PM

“If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, …”

[DeathToMediaHacks on November 16, 2008 at 8:48 PM]

Thank you for confirming that supporting the death penalty is not a sin if your well formed conscience believes bloodless means is not sufficient. I was worried you might have some statement that I haven’t seen that would require me to reconsider the argument.

Dusty on November 16, 2008 at 9:46 PM

“IF bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means..” did you note the word IF? That means that it is a matter where prudential judgment comes into play in conjunction with particular circumstances.

Since you are familiar with the Cathechism you know that John Paul II also said that circumstances were it is *impossible* to protect against future violence are nearly non-existent, which is a pretty clear reference to the ability to imprison without possibility of parole. The death penalty as practiced within Western societies (we may be the last one to do it) is not acceptable within Catholic dogma. Which brings me back to my original point. Is the argument of pro-life Catholics REALLY that it only matters what the Pope says when it threatens your “immortal soul” or is an “intrinsic evil” Does that mean we should ignore things like lying? Homosexuality? Because they are not “intrinsic” evils.

Because that’s the logical conclusion you’re forced into when you support and cheerlead a war and social policies that the Church condemns as sinful and react with an iron rigid stance on OTHER sins which the Church has condemned. By your own hypocrisy you have made it so that the ONLY time Catholics should listen to the Pope is when something is called an “intrinsic evil” or “threatens the immortal soul.” Is that really the relationship Catholics are meant to have with the Church?

DeathToMediaHacks on November 16, 2008 at 9:48 PM

I am potentially no people tomorrow. So what?

The answer is, it is at least one person.

Saltysam on November 16, 2008 at 8:52 PM

Then potentially it wouldn’t be murder to kill someone tomorrow–if they didn’t exist. If a person were killed today it would be murder. If there were two bodies, it would be a double homicide.

Given the ability of the zygote to split into two distinct human beings would seem to argue that it is a precious human organism but not yet an individuated being.

dedalus on November 16, 2008 at 9:54 PM

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