Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Bishops vs heretical politicians. Who will you vote for?
In recent weeks we have witnessed an unprecedented tactical move by many US bishops regarding "Catholic" politicians and abortion. If this doesn't tell us something then we are not paying attention very well. It seems that many Catholics are considering voting for the Obama-Biden camp this coming election. In my opinion, and also the opinion of many others, this would be a grave immoral mistake. We know that Obama is pro-abortion, and so is his heretic running mate Joe Biden. In recent interviews he, as well as other "Catholic" politicians like Nancy Pelosi have tried to justify their heretical pro-abortion voting records.
Archbishop Charles Chaput and Auxiliary Bishop James Conley of Denver recently had this to say on the matter, "Modern biology knows exactly when human life begins," they explained, "at the moment of conception."
"Religion has nothing to do with it," the prelates continued. "People might argue when human 'personhood' begins -- though that leads public policy in very dangerous directions -- but no one can any longer claim that the beginning of life is a matter of religious opinion."
"In his interview, the senator observed that other people with strong religious views disagree with the Catholic approach to abortion. It’s certainly true that we need to acknowledge the views of other people and compromise whenever possible -- but not at the expense of a developing child’s right to life.
"Abortion is a foundational issue; it is not an issue like housing policy or the price of foreign oil. It always involves the intentional killing of an innocent life, and it is always, grievously wrong."
The bishops of Denver said that if Biden accepts the teaching of the Church that life begins at conception, as he spoke of in his interview, "then he is not merely wrong about the science of new life; he also fails to defend the innocent life he already knows is there."
They closed with this remark, "We need to put an end to Roe and the industry of permissive abortion it enables. Otherwise all of us -- from senators and members of Congress, to Catholic laypeople in the pews -- fail not only as believers and disciples, but also as citizens." Reported by Zenit.org
I also wanted to point a statement made by Pope Benedict regarding the level of moral issues. It seems that many people are trying to equate the Iraq war, US foreign policy and other issues with the grave immorality of abortion. This is nothing sheer of pure nonsense. For those who are thinking they can justify voting for Obama please read the following statement sent by the then Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) to Cardinal McCarrick in 2004. I have bold typed a few important texts that I find to be of utmost importance. This document is easily found many places on the internet. I found this one on the Priests For Life website. Please don't fool yourself into thinking that other issues are as important as this one. The final paragraph of this is often used as a proof text to go ahead and vote for pro-abortion candidates. Please read it carefully. It says there must be some proportionate reasons to do so. It seems that many Catholics are using this last paragraph to justify their endorsements of pro-abortion candidates. Going by the criterion laid out in this document, you are going to have to spin somethings to justify a proportionate reason to vote pro-death. It is quite clear that Ratzinger was referring to a situation where there are no other options available to vote for, such as 2 pro-abortion candidates. Then you would have to vote for the lessor of 2 evils. In the case of the upcoming election this is clearly not the case. Fr. John Corapi has a great video that is well worth viewing. You can find it here.
I also have put the entire text of Fr. Corapi's entire article at the bottom of this post.. He has given permission to distribute his article in any form.
Jimmy Akin also wrote a nice article that is posted on Catholic.com regarding what is proportional and what is not. He sums up his article with this, "Make no mistake: Abortion is the preeminent moral issue of our time. It is the black hole that out-masses every other issue. Presenting any other issues as if they were proportionate to it is nothing but smoke and mirrors."
[Note: The following memorandum was sent by Cardinal Ratzinger to Cardinal McCarrick and was made public in the first week of July 2004.]
Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion
by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
1. Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision, based on a reasoned judgment regarding one’s worthiness to do so, according to the Church’s objective criteria, asking such questions as: "Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?" The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected (cf. Instruction "Redemptionis Sacramentum," nos. 81, 83).
2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorize or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a "grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. [...] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to 'take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it’" (no. 73). Christians have a "grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. [...] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it" (no. 74).
3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. 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.
4. Apart from an individual's judgment about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).
5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.
6. When "these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible," and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, "the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it" (cf. Pontifical http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifCouncil for Legislative Texts Declaration "Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics" , nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgment on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.
N.B. A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.
Go to Zenit.org for full articles on these issues.
THE IMPENDING SUICIDE OF A ONCE GREAT NATION
©2008 REV. JOHN A. CORAPI, SOLT, STD
A large number of endangered, unwanted, and unborn children held a town hall meeting
on the 4th of July--alarmed at the brutal and untimely killing of millions of their brothers
and sisters in recent years. That the murderous war waged on them had the full force and
respectability of the law made their plight all the more terrifying.
Their complaint was humble and it was simple. They were not distressed by rising gas
prices, or the deteriorating economy in general. They were not even frightened by the
exponential increase of natural disasters. The threat of global warming or global terrorism
did not greatly disturb them.
They had become an endangered species, and little had been done to answer their
terrified and silent screams from the womb. They decided that the barbaric treatment that
they and their fellow unwanted unborn human beings have had to endure for perilous
decades was unconscionable and unbearable. They cried out to their Creator for
inspiration and protection, and then unanimously they put forth a declaration. It began as
“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the
political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the
powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of
Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they
should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT, THAT ALL MEN ARE
CREATED EQUAL, THAT THEY ARE ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR WITH
CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS, THAT AMONG THESE ARE LIFE, LIBERTY
AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS….”
THAT AMONG THESE IS LIFE; THAT AMONG THESE IS LIFE; THAT AMONG
THESE IS LIFE!
The first and pre-eminent right is the right to life. This truth the Founding Fathers were
sure of, and anyone with any common sense at all is equally sure of it. 232 years after the
Declaration of Independence was signed the amount of common sense that seems to be
operative in many spheres of influence—most notably the courts and the political arena--
can easily be poured into a very small thimble.
The United States of America seems to have a death wish, and we have traveled far down
the road to having that wish realized.
When law divorces itself from common sense and spawns the illegitimate offspring of
distortions of law, resulting in illegal laws—based neither on the natural law nor divine
law--this undermines law itself, generating disdain for the law. Erosion of trust in the
courts, or the system in general, is inevitable.
The genesis of the death wish is rooted in the fall of man that we see in the Book of
Genesis. The substance of the fall is wrapped up in Lucifer’s pride, transferred to Adam
and Eve—“You can be like gods, knowing good and evil.” The unholy, yet inevitable,
consequence of that pride is disobedience—eating the forbidden fruit. The ultimate end is
death, as God said it would be. That’s the way it was in the beginning. That’s the way it
is now. That’s the way it will be until time breathes forth it’s last moment.
The prototypical sin is pride, the pride that seeks to exalt the creature above the Creator:
“I can be like God.” Then, subjectively and arbitrarily, man tries to assert himself,
imagining that he knows what’s good and evil for himself without reference to God and
God’s law. This was the fall of the angels and the fall of man. The attempt by creatures to
usurp what is only the province of God. Only God knows what is good for His creation.
In recent years it took the form of a self-inflicted heart wound when some dissident
Catholics rejected the teaching of the Church, a teaching that clearly held that artificial
contraception is intrinsically evil. Then, as Pope Paul VI had warned, it metastasized into
abortion. From abortion it degenerated even further into partial-birth abortion. It was then
a short and easy step to infanticide.
The exclamation point at the end of the death wish is that now there is yet another
candidate for the office of president of the United States who has in an extraordinary way
done everything possible to breathe life into all of the barbaric elements of the death
wish. He and his party make no apologies for their support of abortion, partial-birth
abortion, and even infanticide. It’s hard to believe that we have degenerated to the point
that we’ll murder a helpless baby should it escape the violence of an abortion and be born
alive. Can a Catholic vote for such persons? We are told, “yes” for a “proportionate
reason.” What, I might ask, is the proportionate reason so weighty as to excuse
supporting those responsible for what is tantamount to genocide?
The judges and politicians that support such barbaric practices are truly guilty of
genocide: genocide—the deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic, racial,
religious, national, or social group. “What is the group so targeted?” you might ask. The
group is unwanted, unborn children--tens of millions of them.
The Supreme Court justices that gave us Roe v. Wade will have to plead temporary
insanity in the court of history. There will be no defense in the highest Court that is the
judgment seat of almighty God if they do not repent of the incalculable evil they have
Yet, despite the life and death importance of this travesty of authentic law, there will be
no serious discussion among political candidates, or anyone else. It is as if society has
been bewitched, blind to the splendor of truth, deaf to the cries of the most innocent, most
vulnerable, and most utterly helpless.
From artificial contraception to abortion to partial-birth abortion, then on to infanticide
we march toward the abyss of oblivion, a society marked for death. Is it any wonder we
can rationalize the killing of the elderly or the sick through euthanasia? The tragic murder
of Terri Schiavo is a logical extension of a morally numb society’s mad march toward its
own suicidal death. She wasn’t sick. She wasn’t dying. They murdered her, starved her to
death--one of the cruelest forms of death. She was innocent, yet subjected to a most cruel
and unusual punishment. Why? Because she was helpless? Because she was too much
trouble, too hard to look at?
As Abraham Lincoln asserted, “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author
and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”
We are dying by suicide, moral and spiritual suicide, and the moral demise of a nation
almost always precedes the ultimate demise of a nation.
Many of our leaders, political and legal, are reminiscent of the horrid witches in Act 1
Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” chanting shrilly to a morally sick public all too
eager to be confirmed in their sins,
“Fair is foul, and foul is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air.”
Good is evil, and evil is good. The truth is a lie and lies are the truth, hover through the
fog of moral relativism and the filthy air of a world gone mad with the madness of sin.
The words of the prophet thunder through the ages, “ Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Isaiah 5:20).
We have inverted the poles of the moral power grid. We have begun to call the negative
pole the positive, and the positive the negative. This inversion of reality begets disaster:
The power fails, the lights go out, darkness falls—and indeed, if your light is darkness,
how deep, how very deep will the darkness be! (cf. Mt 6:23).
This death wish has marched toward its logical and inexorable conclusion
with little opposition from leaders--political, legal, or religious. The world knows the
Catholic Church and any self-respecting and faithful Christian roundly reject abortion
and all of the other nails in the coffin of contemporary society, but the defense of life has
been weak. Weak leadership, whether in society in general, or in the Church in particular,
is punishment for sin. The Old Covenant has examples enough of the Chosen People
being turned over to exile and their enemies because of infidelity. They lamented, “We
have no priest, prophet, or king.” These were taken away because of infidelity. In recent
times large numbers of Catholics and other Christians rejected Pope Paul VI’s landmark
and prophetic encyclical Humanae Vitae, on Human Life. A majority of the bishops of
Canada did so publicly, formally, and in writing with their infamous Winnipeg Statement.
The great Archbishop Fulton Sheen lamented bitterly in the 1970s that the prophetic
spirit of Christ had all but been extinguished in the contemporary Church. Today there
are many CEOs, all too few Apostles. Are we afraid of a fight? Do we fear rejection,
misunderstanding, or derision? Are we cowed and intimidated by fallacious notions of
the separation of Church and state? Could we be afraid of persecution? Could we be
afraid of losing our tax-exempt status? Have we declared détente with evil?
The clock is ticking. Midnight is approaching. Time is running out for our nation, a
nation that once was great, and could be great again if enough of us wake up and
renounce this curse of a death wish. Will God turn his friends over to His enemies as He
has done multiple times in the past? Will radical Islam overrun us? Will the planet cook?
Will one too many natural disasters grind us into dust? Will we collapse economically?
All of the above? Perhaps these are all merely effects of the underlying cause—a death
wish that chokes the life out of us.
In the end it is likely that President Abraham Lincoln had it right: “Intoxicated with
unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming
and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.” Thus forgetting that we
are one nation under God, we become a nation gone under (President Ronald Reagan).
And, indeed, “If destruction be our lot we ourselves will be its author and finisher. As a
nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”
May God grant us the grace to awake from this deadly moral slumber, renounce the death
wish, and live like truly free men and women—in the glorious freedom of the children of
Rev John Corapi, SOLT-2008
Posted by James Bellisario at 3:27 PM