Friday, May 15, 2015

SANDRO MAGISTER AND THE POPE FRANCIS OF THE MEDIA AND THE REAL POPE FRANCIS


As I have said over and over again, there are those in the liberal media who want to conquer and divide the Catholic Church. How can they do this? They feign being in love with the pope. But the pope they love is a caricature of what His Holiness actually is. This caricature fits their narrative and they promote it because they know it will divide and make hostile orthodox Catholics who in their own ignorance buy into the caricature the media sells them.

President Barack Obama has played this divide and conquer game with the Catholic Church since day one. One of his more brilliant moves early on in his administration with the help of insiders in the Catholic Church working for Notre Dame was to accept an invitation to speak at Notre Dame's commencement exercises and received an honorary degree. Brilliant on his part and divide he did. He appears as a friend of Notre Dame and of the Catholic Church to win the hearts of young Catholics and others to his pagan agenda of abortion and the curtailing religious freedom of the Catholic Church. It is brilliant and monstrous all at the same time and the smoke of Satan permeates the whole episode.

This is what the wonderful blogger, Sandro Magister has to say about the pope of the media:

The Francis of the Media and the Real Francis

Farther and farther apart from each other. The public narrative continues to depict the pope as a revolutionary. But the facts prove the contrary by Sandro Magister

ROME, May 15, 2015 – When it comes to Pope Francis, there are now two of these who are ever more distant from each other: the Francis of the media and the real one.

The first is exceedingly well-known and has been making the news since his first appearance on the loggia of the basilica of Saint Peter’s.

It is the narrative of the pope who revolutionizes the Church, who lays down the keys of binding and loosing, who does not condemn but only forgives, or rather who does not even judge any more, who washes the feet of the female Muslim inmate and the transexual, who abandons the palace to plunge into the peripheries, who opens the workshop on everything, on the divorced and remarried as on the Vatican’s finances, who closes the checkpoints of dogma and throws open the doors of mercy. A pope who is a friend of the world, who is already being praised for his upcoming encyclical on “sustainable development” even before seeing what will be written there.

In effect there is a great deal, in the words and actions of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, that lends itself to this narrative.

The Francis of the media is also to some extent a creation of his own, and brilliantly so, in the span of one morning miraculously overturning the image of the Catholic Church from opulent and decadent to “poor and for the poor.”

But as soon as one grapples with what the pontificate of Francis has brought that is truly new, the music changes.

The old curia, justly or unjustly so execrated, is still there and completely intact. Nothing has been dismantled or replaced. The new developments are all additions: more dicasteries, more offices, more expenses. The career diplomats, whom Vatican Council II was almost about to abolish, are more firmly  in power than ever, even where one would expect to find “pastors”: like at the head of the synod of bishops or the congregation for the clergy. Not to mention the “inner circle” in direct contact with the pope, with no definite roles but highly influential and with deep-reaching impact in the media.

Then there are the burning questions that captivate and divide public opinion much more. Divorce, homosexuality.

Pope Francis wants these to be discussed out in the open and he was the first to do so, with a few calculated and very effective soundbites, like that “Who am I to judge” which has become the identifying mark of his pontificate, inside and outside of the Church.

For months and months, between the two summers of his first and second year as pope, Bergoglio gave space and visibility to the men and movements in favor of a reform of the pastoral care of the family and of sexual morality.

But when, at the synod last October, he saw that among the bishops the resistance to this reform was much stronger and more widespread than foreseen, he corrected his aim and from then on has not said a single word in support of the innovators. On the contrary, he has gone back to hammering on the controversial themes of abortion, divorce, homosexuality, contraception, without swerving a millimeter from the strict teaching of his predecessors Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI.

From October until now, Francis has spoken out on these questions no fewer than forty times, hitting hard above all against “gender” ideology and its ambition to colonize the world, in spite of the fact, as he said, that it is “an expression of frustration and resignation that aims at blotting out sexual differences because it no longer knows how to deal with them.” Moving from words to actions, he has denied the “placet” for the new ambassador of France because he is homosexual.

Francis has also toughened up on divorce quite a bit. “This doesn’t resolve anything,” he recently said concerning the idea of giving communion to the divorced and remarried, far less, he added, if they demand it, because communion “is not a badge, a decoration, no.”

He knows that expectations are very high in this matter and knows that he himself has fostered them. But he has distanced himself from them. “Overblown expectations,” he now calls them, knowing that he cannot satisfy them. Because after all the proclamations of a more collegial government of the Church, of the pope and the bishops together, it is a given that Francis will side with the will of the bishops, the great majority of them conservative, and give up on imposing a reform that is rejected by most.

In spite of everything, the media continue to sell the story of the “revolutionary” pope, but the true Francis is farther and farther away from this.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is as much smoke of Satan coming from Obama's big ears as there is from the leadership of the once Catholic Univ of Notre Dame. Just as Obama seized an opportunity that was granted to him by the heterodox clergy at ND, so is Francis offering an opportunity to the media. I appreciate the desire on the part of good people who love the Church to want to reject the possibility of a flawed pope sitting in the Vatican, but I think it's better to challenge the nonsense that comes out of his mouth. Too bad Cardinal George was unable to ask Francis his question before he passed away. If a man with Crd. George's integrity and intellect was perplexed by the supposed enigma in Rome then ordinary people should be suspicious of everything the conspicuously humble Francis says.

Anonymous 2 said...

Father McDonald:

Have you read Obama’s Commencement Address at Notre Dame? I just did and it reads somewhat differently than the “caricature” of that episode so often presented including perhaps even in your post (the term “caricature” is used in the speech by the way). Anyway, I would be interested in what you think about it. On the abortion issue specifically, the basic thrust seems to be that irreconcilable differences will not disappear but that those on both sides of the divide can work together to reduce abortions in the area of common ground. This makes sense to me. Does it make sense to you? Here is a link:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-at-Notre-Dame-Commencement/

Anonymous said...

So....Fr...it sounds as if you fired off your diatribe about the Presidents "pagan agenda" and the "smoke of Satan" before you even knew what he said? Am I right? Am I wrong?

MR said...

So is Francis' recent turn towards orthodoxy the result of the Bishops rejecting his liberal proposals and forcing him into orthodoxy? Or is he actually orthodox and just communicating better? I really dont know.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I am not writing about just his talk, no matter how good his rhetoric is, I'm talking about the very real division his presence at Notre Dame at the time created in the Church. It divided Catholics and is precisely what he and political ideologues like him want to do, divide and conquer the Catholic Church which is the only world-wide institution standing in the way of the sexual agenda of politicians and secularists beginning with artificial birth control and government polices concerning it, abortion, now to include late term abortions, same sex marriage, embryonic stem cell research and on and on.

And this president has the audacity to try to force the Church through its insurance policies to provide abortion and artificial contraception and to make the Church hire those or retain those who oppose the Church's teachings.

Smoke of Satan anyone. Divide and conquer. He will fail of course because ultimately the battle is already won in eternity.

A nice speech a good president does not make nor does it indicate what he already accomplished in his divide and conquer strategy.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2
Why would Obama want to reduce the amount of abortions? According to him it is simply a health care procedure just like any other. If you need one you get one. Now, if he is suggesting that there is something wrong with getting an abortion for whatever reasons then he needs to explain why and then reconcile those reasons with the legalization of the procedure.

His statement couldn't be anymore disingenuous. It's a fine example of the smoke of Satan. It's designed to fool people and lend support to those looking for some way to rationalize the abortion. It played perfectly to the audience he had in front of him at ND. It sounds so moderate, yet when he had an opportunity to support a partial birth abortion ban he didn't nor did he support the right of a victim of a botched abortion to be resuscitated. If you think that Obama has one smidgen (to use his word) of interest in limiting any kind of "reproductive rights" then I have some real estate you might be interested in buying.

Mike

Lefebvrian said...

Hegelian dialectic. If you don't understand this concept and how the current president applies it, as a result of his community organizing roots, then you cannot understand his programme.

George said...

Anonymous2:

Here is how Fr. Shenan J. Boquet, the president of Human Life International characterized the re-election of Mr Obama:
"Under the most radical anti-life president America has ever seen, the U.S. taxpayers have funded a destructive foreign policy, which has already done great harm around the world."

Where is the evidence of Mr. Obama's commitment to reducing abortion? Due to our current president, Planned parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States, is still receiving millions of dollars in Federal funding. The Little Sisters of the Poor, along with other religious groups and organizations, is having to designate large sums to legal fees because they do not believe(as Mr. Obama does) that they should have to provide contraception, including abortifacients, to their employees. This is a president who as a member of the Illinois legislature voted to legalize infanticide. He voted against legislation which would have provided protection for an infant that survived an abortion.
Wednesday of this week( the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima), the House of Representatives approved a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The vote was timed to coincide with the two-year anniversary of Kermit Gosnell’s murder conviction for killing infants born alive during abortion procedures.
In a statement, sponsoring Congressman Trent Franks told LifeNews: “More than 18,000 ‘very late term’ abortions are performed every year on perfectly healthy unborn babies in America. These are innocent and defenseless children who can not only feel pain, but who can survive outside of the womb in most cases, and who are torturously killed without even basic anesthesia. Many of them cry and scream as they die, but because it is amniotic fluid going over their vocal cords instead of air, we don’t hear them.”

(A November 2014 poll from Quinnipiac found that 60 percent of Americans support legislation limiting abortions after 20 weeks, including 56 percent of Independents and 46 percent of Democrats).

No institution or any group with Catholic in their name, should give honor or provide a forum to any individual who holds the views and espouses the philosophy that Mr Obama does on abortion.

Anonymous said...

Yikes, Fr.....yet another "declined to answer".

Richard M. Sawicki said...

..."So is Francis' recent turn towards orthodoxy the result of the Bishops rejecting his liberal proposals and forcing him into orthodoxy? Or is he actually orthodox and just communicating better? I really dont know."...

St. Paul exhorts us to be "innocent as lambs and cunning as serpents".

So...

I think he's moving along with a well-planned program of softening up the leftists, making them THINK he's one of them, "smoking them out" (so to speak) and making them confidently demonstrate what THEIR real agenda is, and then "mowing them down" with the unchangeable magisterial teaching of the Church, pronounced from the mouth of the Vicar of Christ.

I think His Holiness learned well from the tactics of military dictators in his native country, and that, combined with his Jesuit intellectual formation, is what makes him appear to me as such a formidable spiritual warrior.

Just my idea, is'all!

Gaudete in Domino Semper!

Anonymous 2 said...

Here are Obama’s actual words at the Commencement Address:


A few days after I won the Democratic nomination, I received an e-mail from a doctor who told me that while he voted for me in the Illinois primary, he had a serious concern that might prevent him from voting for me in the general election. He described himself as a Christian who was strongly pro-life -- but that was not what was preventing him potentially from voting for me.


What bothered the doctor was an entry that my campaign staff had posted on my website -- an entry that said I would fight "right-wing ideologues who want to take away a woman’s right to choose." The doctor said he had assumed I was a reasonable person, he supported my policy initiatives to help the poor and to lift up our educational system, but that if I truly believed that every pro-life individual was simply an ideologue who wanted to inflict suffering on women, then I was not very reasonable. He wrote, "I do not ask at this point that you oppose abortion, only that you speak about this issue in fair-minded words." Fair-minded words.


After I read the doctor’s letter, I wrote back to him and I thanked him. And I didn’t change my underlying position, but I did tell my staff to change the words on my website. And I said a prayer that night that I might extend the same presumption of good faith to others that the doctor had extended to me. Because when we do that -- when we open up our hearts and our minds to those who may not think precisely like we do or believe precisely what we believe -- that’s when we discover at least the possibility of common ground.


That’s when we begin to say, "Maybe we won’t agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this heart-wrenching decision for any woman is not made casually, it has both moral and spiritual dimensions."


So let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions, let’s reduce unintended pregnancies. (Applause.) Let’s make adoption more available. (Applause.) Let’s provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term. (Applause.) Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women. Those are things we can do. (Applause.)



Judge for your selves whether in these words “[Obama] appears as a friend of Notre Dame and of the Catholic Church to win the hearts of young Catholics and others to his pagan agenda of abortion.” And also answer whether you agree or disagree with the proposed measures to reduce the number of abortions in the area of common ground to the extent these measures are otherwise compatible with Catholic teaching. Perhaps Obama was speaking disingenuously and cynically, perhaps not. But even if he was (and do we really know this?), what do you think about the sentiments expressed and the value of working together with opponents in the area of common ground?

I would have thought that those who really want to be practical about reducing the number of abortions, as opposed to just engaging in a “smite the enemy” religio-political crusade, would look for every opportunity to do so even if that means working together with those on the other side of the divide. Also, it is right wing propaganda to suggest that those who support the so-called “right to choose” view abortion as just another health procedure or are “in favor of” abortion. And it is left-wing propaganda to suggest that those who oppose abortion want to wage a “war on women.” Poppycock; and a pox on both their houses! Enough with the mutual demonization -- Let’s get on with the real task at hand.

Personally, I look forward to the day when hearts and minds, on the left and on the right, are transformed so that every child will be wanted, every mother supported, and abortions will be zero.

Anonymous said...

The Guttmacher Institute reports that the rate of abortions is now the lowest since 1973...that the rate has dropped by 13% since 2008. (Which happens to be the year you-know-who was elected president.

George said...

Anonymous
I should have figured someone would bring that up.

Firstly, the The Guttmacher Institute is the "SEMI-Autonomous" research arm of Planned Parenthood. I am skeptical of any numbers that issue from them.
Secondly, I'm skeptical of the numbers because abortion clinics are among the least regulated of any business or health entities.
Their record keeping (for what it is) simply cannot be trusted to provide reliable data. You and others should read up on the details of the Kermit Gosnell investigation and what authorities discovered about what was going on at his clinic.

OK- about the decline in the numbers of abortion (whatever the true numbers are). Any decline in abortions can be attributed for the most part to
legislation and pro-life initiatives at the state and local levels. Since Mr Obama became president, more governorships and state legislatures have become
majority Republican. This has resulted in laws being passed and regulations put in place which have had some effect on reducing abortions. One other factor
(perhaps a larger one but certainly not a good one) is the increase in the use of abortifacients.

Anonymous2

Please, please,please. Judge Mr. Obama and those in his administration on their actions, not words. I could go on and on about (among other things)his appointment of pro-abortion Kathleen Sebelius as head of HHS and about Eric Holder's wife's (an OB/GYN) ownership of a building housing an abortion clinic(which he failed to disclose) but why should one have to? Mr. Obama and this administration have consistently opposed putting in place even the most modest proposals or signing any legislation which would reduce abortions.


Anonymous 2 said...

George:


As you can see from the following Washington Post report the causes for the decline in the number of abortions are disputed. Once again one assumes it all depends on the increasingly tiresome point of which narrative is favored:


http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/study-abortion-rate-at-lowest-point-since-1973/2014/02/02/8dea007c-8a9b-11e3-833c-33098f9e5267_story.html


I get your point about Obama of course. But neither you nor anyone else has answered my questions about the merits of working together with those on the other side of the divide to reduce the number of abortions through measures on which both sides can agree in the area of common ground. Unless someone does answer those questions I will be forced to conclude that people are more interested in bashing Obama and passing laws criminalizing abortion than they are in also taking other measures to reduce abortions. This would be sad and perhaps even hypocritical and it would play right into the hands of those who criticize abortion opponents for being willing to pass laws imposing criminal punishment on physicians and even aborting mothers but not being willing to do much of anything else, especially if it actually costs the taxpayer money. However, I don’t want to think that this is an approach favored by Catholics. I believe we are better than this and that we recognize the right to life as so sacred that the entire community should take responsibility for safeguarding and supporting it, whether or not someone might call this socialism. Please prove me right.


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

A2, When I was in Augusta and a part of an ecumenical group of clergy, a very liberal Episcopal priest want the Catholics to work with the pro-choice clergy to find common ground concerning abortion and thus maybe promote a decline in abortions.

He was very pro-choice but understood the Catholic position but did not agree with it of course. The woman's right to choose in a self-determining way and in consultation with her doctor was the meme. No mention of clergy participating in the decision making process though.

Bottom line, I soon left that group because the common ground talk was just one more example of promoting the pro-choice ideology and this time getting Catholics on board.

It is like a Nazi wanting to have common ground with those who oppose them. Let's see which Jews can be saved, at least they all won't be exterminated.

There is something wrong with this picture, isn't there?

Anonymous said...

1. "The Francis of the media is also to some extent a creation of his own, and brilliantly so..."

Yes of course, it was - not just "to some extent", but almost wholly of his own creation. It soon became clear that media had little to do with this warped papal image. There was no dichotomy at that time - the "Pope Francis of the media" and the "early Pope Francis" was one and the same - heterodox at least and hostile to tradition, scolding faithful Catholics and giving cringeable interviews with the likes of aestheist Scalfari.

2. "Then there are the burning questions that captivate and divide public opinion much more. Divorce, homosexuality. Pope Francis wants these to be discussed out in the open and he was the first to do so, with a few calculated and very effective soundbites..."

Established dogmas should not be tampered with, as they have been given in Sacred Scripture and Tradition by the Founder of the Church Himself, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Either we believe His teachings to be the Truth or we don't trust Him and charge Him a liar. The function of the Church is to promote Her Lord's teachings and protect them - not to question them. The synod on the matters of divorce and homosexuality should not have been convoked.

3. "From October until now, Francis has spoken out on these questions no fewer than forty times, hitting hard above all against “gender” ideology and its ambition to colonize the world."

This was the turning point for me. As a traditionalist Catholic, I have been hurt, confused and made angry by much of the Pope's early insults and actions, until I heard him condemn "gender ideology and its ambition to colonize the world."

He condemned gender ideology on his visit to the Philippines and there he also comforted the poor typhoon victims, saying [extemporaneously, in Spanish]: "I have nothing to give you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." All of a sudden, all the hurt feelings I had earlier with this Pope subsided and were healed. Deo gratias!

4. "He knows that expectations are very high in this matter and knows that he himself has fostered them. But he has distanced himself from them."

We continue to pray, we continue to hope! Viva Cristo Rey!

Marie

George said...

Anonymous2

I got the below from the article you provided a link to.

The numbers of abortions are not exactly known. Providers are not required to report them. The CDC gets its data from state health departments reports, and that data is often incomplete. California, for example, which has the largest fractional share of abortions(17%), does not gather data on the number of abortions. Of course that makes me wonder how the 17% was arrived at.

The increase use of abortifacients:
According to research, nearly one in four of all non-hospital abortions were a result of the abortion pill, which is up from 17 percent in 2008. This is huge, one can certainly infer, and really, what is the true number? When a woman aborts using a pill, how can one reliably put a number on that?
It can only be extrapolated from the sale of abortifacients. I would say that it would not be beyond reason to attribute most or all of the 13% decline to this alone because other forms of contraception were in greater or exclusive use prior to the widespread use of abortifacients.

As far as finding common ground, I'm willing to entertain your approach if it reduces abortions, but there has always been, from what I've been aware of, an attitude of NO compromise among those who favor abortion.
It has always been a situation of pro-lifers taking whatever they can get as far as legislation and regulatory remedies.

Anonymous 2 said...

Father McDonald:

I was not there and so cannot judge the wisdom or not of withdrawing from that group. I do wonder, though, just what sorts of measures were being considered to reduce the number of abortions. Could you please elaborate so we can understand better why you regarded continued involvement as futile or counter-productive due to the risk of being co-opted?

The Nazi example is, of course, a tendentious one, as you know. The mention of Nazi or Hitler in a conversation is supposed to be an ace up the sleeve that ends an argument – only it doesn’t (remember the parallels drawn between Saddam Hussein and Hitler? Of course, they did both have a moustache). Whether we like it or not, there is a clear apparent difference between exterminating those who have been born and thus who are visible as adults and children, even if regarded as something less than human, on the one hand, and aborting an invisible fetus within the womb who has not yet assumed visible human form (at least not visible without the aid of imaging technology) on the other. You and I have one view of this but there are people of goodwill on the other side of the divide who have another view. We cannot, indeed we must not, seriously contend that in their own minds they are prepared to commit murder. Those responsible for the Nazi Holocaust were in no doubt about what they were doing, which is why they did it out of sight in remote concentration camps in Eastern Europe and with only very carefully selected personnel.

But let us accept your premise for the sake of argument. Why not work with the Nazi regime in saving those Jews who could be saved? I wonder if there is some guilt here over America’s ungenerous immigration policies during much of the era and its lack of compassion towards the Jews seeking to flee Nazi occupied Europe (although matters did improve towards the end of the War).


Anonymous 2 said...

George:

I wondered about the numbers too and about how the abortifacient pills were counted. I do not have any answers for that. Perhaps others do.

Regarding working together in the area of common ground, we may be talking past one another. I was not talking about working together on compromise anti-abortion legislation (desirable though that would be) but on the other types of measures Obama mentions -- reducing unintended pregnancies, making adoption more available, and providing care and support for women who do carry their children to term (this one may cost the taxpayer to the extent private charitable organizations cannot provide the care and support).

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It boiled down to artificial birth control, passing out condoms and at a young age as well as making the pill and other abortifacients available.

George said...

Anonymous2

OK. I was primarily addressing one aspect of the issue, true. Still, at the state and local level, pro-lifers have been supporting these kind of programs and initiatives for years (and without the Federal government or Planned Parenthood's help). Right here in Macon we have the Kolbe center and Family Advancement Ministries along with similar Protestant efforts. It is true that in the past pro-lifer's were more re-active than pro-active, but that has changed. I'm not aware of any efforts
to "reduce unintended pregnancies, make adoption more available, and provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term " by the pro-abortion side.

Anonymous 2 said...

That is a very narrow approach; no wonder you left the group.

Anonymous 2 said...

George:

The Mercer Lyceum program on this subject in 2012 may change your mind. It involves Rachel Laser, former senior counsel to the National Women’s Law Center, representing the pro-choice side, and Mercer University's David Gushee, representing the pro-life side, seeking common ground. This is resonant with Obama’s address at Notre Dame. I did not see this particular presentation (it was in Atlanta) but saw the same program later that day in Macon and the program at the Law School the following day. I am all in favor of the work of the Kolbe Center and Family Advancement Ministries and counterpart Protestant efforts, and do what I can to support them, but we need more than this. We need government supports, which is so often where so-called conservatives get off the bus – a point emphasized by David Gushee – as well as other policies and measures discussed in the program.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5TAk2dK4DU

I commend this video both for its content and for its tone. In my view this is how we should proceed. It does not require either side to compromise its core beliefs but it does allow for the working of the Holy Spirit in the human interactions that can occur. I hope that you, Father McDonald, and other readers will take the time and put in the effort to watch this video and give it a fair hearing (it lasts just over an hour). Then we can talk again. I find nothing for a Catholic to disagree with, except for the promotion of artificial contraception (not an obstacle in Gushee’s Evangelical denomination). I also find it interesting, and hopeful, that in the very last comment in the Q&A David Gushee sees the Catholic Church in its better moments (returned under Pope Francis?) as almost the last best hope for us to find common ground for reducing abortions in this hopelessly divided democracy that we inhabit.

This has been a good discussion. It has also motivated me to contact David Gushee to see what follow up there has been or might be and what role I can play in this. So thank you for that.


Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. George, I just noticed that you refer to the “pro-abortion” side. I respectfully suggest that we should reconsider our words. This is like calling the pro-life side the “war on women” side. Such labels are intended to manipulate and whip up the base and are heard by the other side as inflammatory and inaccurate. I refuse to play that game. I don’t exactly like “pro-choice” either because I do not see how there be a fully informed choice when the pregnant woman is denied full and accurate information about the human being developing in her womb and about all other relevant matters, but I do not have a better term at the moment.

jolly jansenist said...

You are either pro-abortion or anti-abortion, There is no middle ground. So, call it what it is.

Anonymous 2 said...

Jolly Jansenist:

While I think the term “anti-abortion” is appropriate, I disagree about “pro-abortion.” That descriptor does not seem to fit someone who wants to reduce abortions but who just opposes doing so through a complete legal prohibition. Think about it. Does the absence of legal prohibition necessarily mean I am “pro” the activity that is permitted? Take smoking, for example. I may be opposed to prohibiting smoking through law but that does not make me “pro-smoking.” Indeed, I may very strongly seek to discourage someone from doing it. Thus I might even be “anti-smoking” while also opposing legal prohibition of smoking. And the same is true of many, many things that are legally permitted in this so-called land of freedom. Similarly, then, someone might even be “anti-abortion” while also opposing legal prohibition of abortion. So, yes, I agree, call it like it is and recognize distinctions.

Clearly you have not spoken to many “pro-choice” people about abortion. Either that or those to whom you have spoken must be extremist fanatics. The “pro-choice” people with whom I have spoken are, rightly, angry at being labeled “pro-abortion.”

What troubles me greatly is that we have stopped thinking. One reason, I believe, is the total idolization in this country of “rights.” Just because I have a legal “right” to do something does NOT mean I_should_do it morally or prudentially or that law should not seek to discourage (as opposed to prohibit) that conduct and encourage the opposite. That may be why you and others are incapable of seeing the middle ground or that it is perfectly reasonable for someone to say, as many people do, that they are opposed to abortion on moral grounds but also opposed to the complete legal prohibition of abortion.

Please understand that I am not challenging the Church’s teaching in any way here, just our use of language and "demonization" of the other side.

By the way, why do you identify yourself as a heretic, or has Jansenism suddenly been rehabilitated? Just asking. =)


jolly jansenist said...

Anon 2, Your point is taken. I am not sure we aren't chopping logic here, however.But, yes, as one with some Libertarian leanings I can see what you are saying about the legalistic side of it. I certainly agree with you regarding your comment about "rights" and our obsession with our own egos.

I call myself the "Jolly" Jansenist because I am not hard core about it. I tend to be a very Augustinian Catholic and agree with the emphasis on Total Depravity, Limited Atonement, and justification by faith, none of which are in conflict with Catholic doctrine. I reject some of the more radical aspects of Jansenism, however.

jolly jansenist said...

Anon 2, one correction…Total depravity a la John Calvin is in conflict with Catholoic doctrine, although Augustine comes mighty close. Let's just say that I believe that man, when left to his own devices, will invariably screw up….let's just say I have confidence in concupiscence.

Anonymous 2 said...

Jolly Jansenist,

I wish we were just chopping logic or arguing mere semantics. Unfortunately, however, words and slogans have great power, indeed can be formidable weapons. Propagandists of all stripes understand this very well. Orwell should have put us on our constant guard.

I am not sure about total depravity. This said, I believe that we can do no real good of our own. Any real good that we do is due to the working of divine grace within us, often unrecognized by non-believers of course. The best thing that we can do is try to get out of the way -- and here is some room for free will, albeit still assisted by divine grace. But I stand to be corrected by those who are more expert in theology than I am.

George said...

Anonymous2:

(1)"reduce unintended pregnancies"- How is that to be done? Tell us. That was the promise of contraception wasn't it? Pro-lifers have been derided for preaching abstinence - an option that at one time worked quite well in reducing unintended pregnancies( a term by the way, I don't really care for).

(2)"make adoption more available" -I personally know of couples who have had to go to a lengthy process and had to travel to a foreign country and pay a large sum of money to adopt. Now, why was that? Could it be that with a lot of babies in this country being aborted every year that it limits the availability of adoptable infants?Pro-lifers have been suggesting and facilitating adoptions(when possible- although the opportunities are quite limited) for years.

(3) "Provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term".- Can you provide some stats or examples of women in this country carrying their children to term and not being provided care and support? By the way I'm glad you used the term children.






Anonymous 2 said...

George:

Have you watched the video?

As for stats, this should get you started. It is from December 2012 but I doubt the situation has much improved since then:

http://www.thenation.com/blog/171886/week-poverty-us-single-mothers-worst#

Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. I was using the language from Obama’s address – he talked about carrying children to term. But, of course, we all know he used this language to manipulate the Notre Dame audience and co-opt Catholics into his pro-abortion agenda. It is even coded into his name Barack – B for baby and k for killer. By the way, has he invaded Texas yet? =)

jolly jansenist said...

Anon 2, Sarcasm has to be sufficiently extreme enough regarding the subject being ridiculed in order to be effective. Fail.

Anonymous 2 said...

Thanks for the tip, Doug.

George said...


Anonymous2

"I was using the language from Obama’s address – he talked about carrying children to term."

My mistake-I should have credited the president-of whom you were quoting.

About the link you providing-I did read the article. The writer makes a compelling case for the plight of single mothers in poverty. He also makes just as compelling case(implicitly) for a stable two parent family. The increase in the numbers of so many single mothers today is something we as a society have not come to terms with. This is in large part due to liberalism and the lessening influence of religion in American life. He also does not mention the help which religious groups and non-government social service organizations provide. He does not mention state or local help (which admittedly is better in some jurisdictions than others). He does not mention WIC. (the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children , a Federal program which provides for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.) He does mention that many of the working poor still qualify for some kind of welfare assistance (such as Food Stamps). He does not mention Medicaid.
He also does not mention child support. It would be good to know how many of these women are receiving that and what is the breakdown on the reasons for those mothers who are not receiving it. There have always been single mother raising children. Never has there been the level of support available to them as there is today. Ben Carson, the well known surgeon, was raised by a single mother at a time when there was virtually no support system in place for such families (as compared to today).
If this issue is so important to the president, what has he done or proposed since his Notre Dame speech to address this?
What kind of help on this has been provided, suggested or offered by those who favor abortion?



George said...

The question that those who favor the procedure do not want to truthfully answer is "What is abortion?" When I look at a 3D sonogram of an unborn in a woman's womb, I see a human being. An innocent human is present to my sight. If those who favor abortion still favor the procedure after viewing such an image, then they deny the reality in front of them. Of course, many such people do not seek to view such images. "Out of sight out of mind", as the saying goes. Others have such hardened hearts that it doesn't matter, they are all too predisposed to denying what is before them if it suits their purpose. So what is a great offense to God is a "right" to them which cannot be abridged or restricted in any way. There are grave consequences to violating God's law in such a serious way and these are consequences, both individually and collectively, that we in the world are facing now, and will continue to do so long into the future. So we can talk about reducing or ending abortion, but unless those who favor it turn
their hearts back to God, and recognize and acknowledge that it is a child that a woman carries,such talk will not effect the end (and even a meaningful reduction) of such a procedure which is (or should be) the desired goal.

George said...

Anonymous2:

"We need government supports, which is so often where so-called conservatives get off the bus – a point emphasized by David Gushee"

I did watch the video. Too much there to comment on-not much in the way of substantive proposals to reduce abortions though. As far as the above assertion about "conservatives get off the bus" I can only echo what Archbishop Chaput said one time ingiving a Pro-Life talk (when he was in Denver archdiocese) -Where is the evidence (for asserting) this? Social welfare spending has increased every year no matter who is in charge in Washington - Republican or Democrat. The Federal government and the states have spent hugh amounts on the social safety net over the past four decades while at the same time the number of abortions increased and remains still at over a million a year. I will say this though, many of those considered "poor" today would not have been considered such forty years ago. So all that money has had its effect on increasing the standard of living, even for those at the bottom of the economic ladder. Just not all that much in reducing abortion though.

Data from the Department of Energy and other agencies show that the average poor family, as defined by Census officials:
- Lives in a home that is in good repair, not crowded, and equipped with air conditioning, clothes washer and dryer, and cable or satellite TV service.
- Prepares meals in a kitchen with a refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave as well as oven and stove.
- Enjoys two color TVs, a DVD player, VCR and — if children are there — an Xbox, PlayStation, or other video game system.
- Had enough money in the past year to meet essential needs, including adequate food and medical care.
•The typical “poor” American has more living space than the average European.

Anonymous 2 said...


George; Many thanks for your several posts, which I have only just seen. I will try to respond later – no time now.