Friday, August 14, 2015

VATICAN RADIO HIGHLIGHTS ARCHBISHOP CHARLES CHAPUT'S DISTINCTION CONCERNING THE IMMORALITY AND EVIL OF ABORTION


The new Archbishop of Chicago, Blase Cupich created a stir in resurrecting an unnuanced version of the his predecessor, the late Cardinal Joseph Barnadine, in term of his seamless garment theology. The basic flaw of this ideology is that there is a moral equivalence between the slaughter of the unborn and capital punishment.

This was what distracted from an otherwise good article about Planned Parenthood Archbishop Cupich recently wrote for the Chicago Tribune: 

This newest evidence about the disregard for the value of human life also offers the opportunity to reaffirm our commitment as a nation to a consistent ethic of life. While commerce in the remains of defenseless children is particularly repulsive, we should be no less appalled by the indifference toward the thousands of people who die daily for lack of decent medical care; who are denied rights by a broken immigration system and by racism; who suffer in hunger, joblessness and want; who pay the price of violence in gun-saturated neighborhoods; or who are executed by the state in the name of justice.

Many rightfully criticized Archbishop Cupich for promoting such an unnuanced ideology and the highest ranking Archbishop to do so but only in an implied way is Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia.

The good things today is that what Archbishop Chaput stated is front and center on Vatican Radio's website!

Archbishop Chaput: Deliberate killing of innocent is uniquely wicked


(Vatican Radio) “The deliberate killing of innocent life is a uniquely wicked act. No amount of contextualizing or deflecting our attention to other issues can obscure that.”

This was the response of the Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., to the revelations from a series of secret videos exposing the practices of leading abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.

In his August 10 article on Philly.com, Archbishop Chaput said “no amount  of contextualizing or deflecting our attention to other issues” can obscure the fact there is no equivalence between the killing of the innocent and other evil acts, such as theft or assault, stating “only a very confused conscience would equate thieving and homicide.”

The Archbishop admitted a case is sometimes made that abortion is mainly a cultural and moral issue, and politics is a poor solution to the problem.

“The curious thing is that some of the same voices that argue against political action on the abortion issue seem quite comfortable urging vigorous political engagement on issues like health care, homelessness and the environment,” he said.

He called the failure of the recent efforts in the United States Senate to defund Planned Parenthood a “public failure of character by every Catholic senator who voted against it.”

56 comments:

Jusadbellum said...

It is my contention that the vast majority of the problems with theologians and prelates or priests who preen and pride themselves for being theologians is a faulty or nonexistent grounding in basic PHILOSOPHY.

Making distinctions between SIMILAR but NOT IDENTICAL concepts is absolutely crucial to theology and leadership in any polity or Church. And yet we see again and again grown men seemingly incapable of spotting the error of their utterances.

Thus executing a prisoner who is a convicted murderer and executing an unborn baby both involve the intentional killing of a member of our species. But that's where the similarity ends. One is absolutely innocent while the other is guilty.

To equate the two, placing them on the same footing for condemnation is simply an error. To erect a policy and culture-changing political scheme based on this error is terribly counter productive.

After all, abortion kills 1.4 million babies per year while capital punishment affects less than 1,000. So given their shared humanity the abortion holocaust is a thousand times worst than capital punishment. Plus, as Catholics, we know that whereas an adult can repent and receive baptism or absolution, an unborn infant's eternal destiny is not so clear. We don't know if the souls of aborted infants are taken to God or not. We might hope so, but we don't KNOW whereas we KNOW that an adult can in fact be in the state of grace on the gallows. Executed for just cause but go to heaven.

Thus the spectacle of archbishops, cardinals, priests, and nuns getting emotionally upset over convicted murderers (but not for their conversion into Catholics mind you, just upset that they might be executed) and not showing as much or ANY emotional concern for 1.4 million unjustly executed infants whose eternal destiny is entirely unclear is a SCANDAL.

It has long told me that these people simply aren't serious. They're not serious thinkers. They're hardly mature adults. How could a serious student of Catholic philosophy who then goes on to study theology and is a mature adult not see the glaring difference, the glaring catastrophic injustice of abortion that's in an entirely different class than capital punishment?

Like a broken clock, I call on laity to challenge any prelate or priest or battleax nun to an open, public debate on the merits of their theological and political position with respect to this matter because really, they have so little to stand on. They swallow the camel of abortion and then hyperventilate over the gnat of $15/hour minimum wage that will affect all of 2% of the workforce. Or hyperventilate over modern industry that MIGHT increase global AVERAGE temperatures by half of 1 degree C IN ONE CENTURY.

The intentional, private murder of the completely defenseless and innocent unborn is ignored....but let's all pretend we care about the PLANET? The only value the Planet earth has is due to innocent humans who happen to live on it. Take away their innocence and you take away the very value of the planet.

You'd think people who claim to swear allegiance to God Almighty and not the world, the flesh, and the devil, would understand this.

You'd think.....

Lefebvrian said...

Blaise Cupich should be deposed. He is, quite evidently, not Catholic, and he is not even attempting to hide that fact, unlike his confreres in the American episcopate.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Deposed is a bit hyperbolic and incendiary to say the least. His article with the portion of unnuanced drivel is overall very good.

Lefebvrian said...

I am not being hyperbolic -- Cupich should be deposed.

He stated publicly that unreformed American immigration laws are morally equivalent to the trafficking in the body parts of aborted children.

Lefebvrian said...

And, by the way, what does it matter if it is incendiary? In point of fact, it should not be considered incendiary to suggest that a non-Catholic ought not be an archbishop.

gob said...

While we're talking about incendiary, we just "celebrated" the incineration of 129,000 Japanese citizens in 1945. Gnat or camel? They were the enemy....so...not "innocent, right? you're OK with it Jusad?

I'm a seamless garment guy myself... a left wing, liberal, hippie, commie, Francis-loving, Obama-loving....(Feel free to add your own names and descriptions.)

George said...


Archbishop Cupich's statement, which you reference from the Chicago Tribune, is a re-affirmation of Catholic teaching.Nothing wrong with it in and of itself.

Since Roe versus Wade there has been an ever-increasing impetus to abolish the death penalty. There has been a concern on the part of many who advocate to end the death penalty that there is always the possibility an innocent person could be executed. This is not the best reason to oppose it, but it will suffice. I would call it a pro-life position.
Since the Roe vs Wade decision of 1973, Ten states have ended the use of the death penalty (two others did so, but have since reinstated it). The most recent was Nebraska. Nine states had abolished it prior to Roe and I am not including those. From my own research, I discovered just about all these states with the exception of Nebraska, are ones with some of the highest abortion rates in the country (NY, Massachusetts, Illinois, California etc.).

States which no longer use the death penalty Since the Roe vs Wade are below. These are states with generous public assistance programs, a generous provision of medical care, and a strong outreach to immigrants but which have abortion rates which are above many of the states that still impose and apply the death penalty. In addition,Illinois is also an exception even to these other states in that it has a high murder rate.

Massachusetts
Rhode Island
New Jersey
New York
New Mexico
Illinois
Connecticut
Maryland

We should all remember to pray everyday for a change of heart of those who see no problem with abortion, and do not consider that it is a grave offense against God.



Jusadbellum said...

Capital punishment is not intrinsically evil.
Abortion is.

Having no minimum wage laws or having $10/hr is not intrinsically evil. Abortion is.

Having strict immigration laws (like, say, Mexico's) is not intrinsically evil. Abortion is.

Not having the "New Deal", the programs from the 'war on poverty' or any federal boondoggle would not be to propose an intrinsic evil. But abortion is an intrinsic evil.

If I waved a magic wand and eliminated all Federal expenditures and taxes and regulations overnight... that - while being foolish, would not be an intrinsic evil. Abortion is an intrinsic evil.

Thus the good Archbishop's statement that we should be JUST AS CONCERNED WITH NON-INTRINSIC EVILS AS WE ARE WITH INTRINSIC EVILS IS THE PROBLEM.

I'm looking at a firecracker and a nuclear bomb. Both are explosives. Now ought I be JUST AS CONCERNED with the firecracker as I am of the nuclear bomb?

Conversely, with respect to what happened in Japan in 1945, well over 300,000 Japanese civilians died in the 100 attacks on Japanese cities by our B-29 bomber fleets dropping thousands of tons of conventional bombs. No one seems to care. But those civilians were just as dead as the 129,000 killed by 2 a-bombs. We didn't suddenly start killing civilians in August 1945.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I am about 99.9% opposed to capital punishment. The Church has always allowed the state this option for punishment of heinous crimes and to protect citizens.

The rationale given by St. Pope John Paul II and now the CCC that we can build facilities to keep people in prison for life and thus there is no need to use the death penalty for protection, does not hold the truth test, especially now with rapid communication and crime lords running their terrorism from behind bars and killing many people.

For a pope or bishop to say that prisons can be built to protect people is outside their competence and thus only a pious opinion that is wrong.

gob said...

Killing an innocent human being is intrinsically evil. Guilt or innocence is often a matter of opinion or judgement....

Anonymous said...

Ironic too that many liberals oppose the death penalty for the guilty (murderers) but support the death penalty for the unborn (abortion).

And ironic too to see all the "black lives matter" protests---following shootings of blacks by police---even though far more blacks die in the nation's abortion mills than from police shootings or crimes. When was the last time you heard a civil rights leader like Al Sharpton or John Lewis condemn abortion on demand? Lewis (unfortunately my congressman 85 miles northwest of Macon) has never supported any restrictions on abortion and supports gay marriage. And he belongs to Martin Luther King's Ebenezer Baptist Church (whose pastor is thinking of running for the US Senate and of course is one of those "social justice" preachers---not one to stand for traditional moral stances). As they say, go figure....

gob said...

For a priest to make a blanket statement about what is outside of the competence of a pope or bishop is outside his competence.

Lefebvrian said...

The Church has always upheld the imposition of capital punishment. And she has done so for many and varied reasons.

Still, knowing what I do about the system for capital punishment in this country, it is imprudent and immoral for the state to carry out executions.

Anonymous said...

Gob,

What does your comment at 4:25 mean? I'm afraid I'm too dense to understand it.

The only way in which the unborn can be guilty of anything is by recognizing their state of original sin. If this justifies their killing without any actual or legal means of defending themselves against lethal force at the whim of their mothers, then should not those of us who were born be liable to the same, since we, too, are tainted by original sin? And all those convicted of capital punishment are likewise tainted, right? Thus, the only basis I can see for declaring the unborn to be guilty of something must also apply to every person convicted of capital offenses (rightly or wrongly) an sentenced to death.

And I'd be interested to have you provide some examples of "celebration" of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Maybe somebody somewhere did toast the bombings in celebratory fashion, but if so I didn't hear of it. Commemoration, yes; celebration, no.

Anonymous said...

Apart from Jusadbellum's argument on intrinsic evil, consider that on average 3,000 or so people die from abortion every day, according to Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2008, 40(1):6–16. In light of this statistic, three questions:

1) Can anyone name another evil in the United States today, on a merely quantitative level, that costs anywhere near 3,000 lives per day?

2) Given the Catholic idea of the sanctification of suffering, then qualitatively, is any suffering as bad as death, when that death prevents the opportunity of baptism?

3) Assuming the answer to both these questions is "no," then is Archbishop Cupich's statement about being "no less appalled" by things that are neither quantitatively nor qualitatively as bad as abortion defensible from the perspective of Catholic moral theology, or even basic logic?

gob said...

I am completely, vocally, publicly opposed to abortions. I am opposed to killing of every kind. I am PRO LIFE. Folks here are usually anti-abortion, but not pro life.

Jusadbellum said...

Folks here?

Name them.

I'm pro-life which means anti-abortion, and anti-useless boyfriends who get girls pregnant and then drive them to clinics to evade responsibility. I'm also anti-sexual revolution that prompted girls to sleep with men not their husband in the first place.

I'm anti-generational poverty caused by the structures of sin that lock the bottom 20% in poverty thanks to the heartless Democrats and gutless Republicans. When every city run by Democrats is full of poverty, failing schools, high crime, and corruption, you know its a feature not a bug of their political ideology. Otherwise eventually we'd have a city run properly. Instead NOT ONE run by Democrats for over 20 years is serving its citizens.

So I go the full route and so does pretty much every Pro-lifer I've ever talked with or read about. No one is merely "anti-abortion" but heartless to the mother or her family or her situation or the general social decay that has led to this sad state of affairs.

The old "you are just anti-abortion but don't love the poor" slander is just that. Slander.

Militia Immaculata said...

Gob, your claim that folks on here are "anti-abortion but not pro-life" is a classic accusation by "Catholics" and others who knowingly vote for pro-abortion candidates but then attempt to portray themselves as morally superior by falsely and dishonestly claiming that pro-life candidates and those who support them don't care about people once they're born. Alright then, prove it! Prove that folks on here are "anti-abortion but not pro-life"! But then again, there's really no point in trying to do that because you can't. And if you vote for or support candidates who support abortion, then your alleged opposition to abortion is meaningless, and you show yourself to be a hypocrite. You are aware that it's a mortal sin to knowingly vote for a candidate who supports abortion when the other one is pro-life (or at the very least less pro-abortion), aren't you? It's gravely sinful because you're enabling murder by your vote.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

GOB, are you a complete passavist? You do not accept the just war theory and you will not use deadly force to defend you life, your family, your home from an unjust attacker? If you are not a true passavist, according to you, you are not pro-life just anti-abortion. But let me say, to be anti-abortion is a hell of a lot better than being pro-choice.

rcg said...

These are not easy choices in the best of circumstances. The result of the choice is permanent, irrevocable. We must desire to own that result, be accountable for it, so that we can make the best choice. Something that, in my experience, many people do not think of until, too late is that the difficult situation was the result of a previous seemingly insignificant decision that we did not take seriously.

Some of the previous comments point to another barrier to good choice and that is the desire to assign blame rather than help develop a contingency for the situation at hand.

Anonymous said...

Not much to add. In addition to being non-responsive, Gob's statement shows that he either cannot or will not think/enunciate rationally about Catholic social teaching. Maybe because he's scared where that will lead him. Much easier to make knee-jerk Leftist assumptions about the people here he's clearly so superior to. Just another example of how leftist ideologues simply refuse to engage in honest debate.

Julian Barkin said...

FR AJM, then should the catechism be updated to reflect this fact that heinous acts can be orchestrated from criminals with outside contacts, from "inside the joint?" As for me, hey we need the death penalty for those sicko serial killers both the mentally deranged and those doing so as part of criminal or corporate enterprise. Those kinda of people are so sick they are untreatable. Unless Christ wills it, sometimes you are unable to trump biology that has been so damaged beyond the point of reconstruction/repair, be it from birth, or the psychotic damage of many minds and hands.

gob said...

What the heck's a passavist?

Anonymous 2 said...

Militia Immaculata:

“You are aware that it's a mortal sin to knowingly vote for a candidate who supports abortion when the other one is pro-life (or at the very least less pro-abortion), aren't you? It's gravely sinful because you're enabling murder by your vote.”

I agree that it can be. But the USCCB document “Faithful Citizenship” makes it clear that it is not always so. It depends on the circumstances. I really do not want to get into another extended discussion about this with you, George, or anyone else who disagrees with the document because I have already done that at least twice on this blog. If you disagree with the document, that is fine. But I think it is fine to agree with the document too and to seek to be guided by it. Here again are the pertinent passages:

“34. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among moral goods. A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.


35. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.


36. When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.


37. In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue. In the end, this is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching.


38. It is important to be clear that the political choices faced by citizens not only have an impact on general peace and prosperity but also may affect the individual’s salvation. . . .


42. As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate’s position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support. Yet a candidate’s position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support.”


gob said...

Anon 11:32.....I write what and when I choose. It may be in response to something you or someone else says....it may not. It's all up to me....I probably won't respond to requests or demands for a response or explanation or citation or proof....I'm not inclined to debate here. When I post something, you all can take it or leave it....rant or rave, but you probably shouldn't look for a discussion .... Whether my position is acceptable to Fr. McD, is up to him...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

blame auto spell check on my iPhone, not me! Pacifist!

gob said...

You may need another phone. I don't think "passavist" is even a word at all....

Flavius Hesychius said...

Going off Lefebvrian's comment:

If the US handles capital punishment in any way similar to the way it handles juvenile offenders... such a thing is most definitely evil.

Militia Immaculata said...

Anonymous 2, the problem with Faithful Citizenship is not that it's untrue (besides, I never said it was false anyway). The problem with it is that it's not as clear in certain places as it could or should be. In the past you've broadcast that you voted for Obama and see nothing wrong with it (not sure why because Fr. McDonald has preached often that as Catholics we MUST vote PRO-LIFE). However, none of the passages you cite help your case any.

34. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among moral goods. A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.

Some issues are weightier than others, though. Murdering unborn children by abortion is far more serious than jobs, education, health care, etc. Suppose a candidate advocated killing old people or non-white people and yet you agreed with their stances on other issues. Would you still vote for them? Maybe you wouldn't agree with their intent to exterminate the elderly or those of other races, but if you voted for them anyway, you'd be making yourself an accessory to their sin. Actually, you'd be doing exactly what Faithful Citizenship said voters shouldn't do -- you'd be using the candidate's opposition to unemployment, poverty, etc. to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues (namely, genocide) involving human life and dignity. And of course, that's exactly what you did by voting for Obama.


35. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.

There were NO morally grave reasons to vote for Obama, nor are there any morally grave reasons to vote for any of the pro-abortion and / or pro-gay-marriage candidates the next election. Those who claim to oppose abortion and gay marriage while voting for those who support such things are indeed ignoring fundamental moral evils and advancing narrow interests and party preferences -- they're putting their politics before their faith!


36. When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.

In none of the past couple elections did all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil . . . or at least, no candidate was as rabidly pro-abortion as Obama. Oh sure, you may claim that his Republican opponents wouldn't have done anything about abortion despite their pro-life claims. But how could you possibly know that? You can't vote based on what a candidate MIGHT do or COULD POSSIBLY do; you vote based on what a candidate says they WILL do! And from the beginning Obama made it crystal-clear that he intended to remove all abortion restrictions. And he's really been making headway in that area!
(to be continued)

Militia Immaculata said...


37. In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue. In the end, this is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching.

You have to have a well-formed conscience, yes, but like you said, a well-formed conscience is guided by the teachings of the Church, not by your personal ideas and whims! A well-formed conscience knows that abortion and gay marriage are gravely sinful and that they're far more serious than, say, poverty, war, the death penalty, health care, etc.

38. It is important to be clear that the political choices faced by citizens not only have an impact on general peace and prosperity but also may affect the individual’s salvation. . . .

Yes, and by knowingly voting for a candidate who supports abortion and gay marriage, you committed an objectively mortal sin. Not only that, but receiving Holy Communion while in the state of mortal sin is also a mortal sin -- sacrilege, to be exact. Also, if you've been going to confession, you surely haven't been confessing supporting pro-abortion candidates! If you deliberately fail to confess a mortal sin for any reason, NONE of your sins are forgiven, and you commit yet another mortal sin -- again, sacrilege! And of course, that would render all your subsequent confessions and Holy Communions sacrilege as long as you fail to repent of them. In order to properly repent of bad confessions, you have to make a general confession, that is, you confess not just the mortal sins you committed since your last confession but all those since your last GOOD confession -- including any and all bad confessions and sacrilegious receptions of Holy Communion.

42. As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate’s position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support. Yet a candidate’s position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support.

See? Abortion involves intrinsic evil, and so does gay marriage. So like that passage says, sometimes you HAVE to be a single-issue voter! Conversely, a candidate's position on a single issue like education, taxes, health care, etc. isn't sufficient to guarantee a voter's support. So if you ignore abortion in favor of one of those lesser issues, then you're being the type of single-issue voter that that passage condemns!

Anonymous said...

Gob,

My point precisely is that you write whatever you choose. It just makes little sense from a Catholic perspective. I don't think that my making that observation is a rant or rave. Your statements seem far closer to that then mine.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious gog doersn;t want a discussion . . . much easier for him to rant and rave, hehehehe

Anonymous said...

"Yet a candidate’s position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, MAY legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support."

The operative word being "MAY."

The Church cannot - meaning, "Does Not Have The Authority" - tell Catholics how they must think/reason in the matter of choosing a candidate for office.

Each Catholic, relying on an informed conscience, must make that decision as he/she thinks/reasons to be right.

George said...

Anonymous2

"I really do not want to get into another extended discussion about this with you, George, or anyone else who disagrees with the document."

Actually, I don't disagree with the document. There are some parts of it I would have liked to have seen written a little differently. There are reasons the document was written the way it was. I don't judge the bishops on this matter. Only God will judge
them. I do interpret the document more in the way Mission Immaculata does.

Anonymous 2 said...

Militia:

Thank you for sharing your exegesis of the quoted passages in Faithful Citizenship. I respect your sincerity and conviction. However, as you doubtless suspect, I disagree with your exegesis. I said I would not enter an extended argument and I won’t. If you want to know more about my own detailed exegesis of these passages (and my comparisons of Obama with Romney), please Google my previous posts on the topic. It is all there. This said I will make four short points:

(1) The Bishops did not say “Under no circumstances can you vote for a candidate who favors abortion” but that is essentially how you are reading the document. If they wanted to say what you claim they said, they didn’t need to use so many words.

(2) Our politics are thoroughly corrupt. You may be willing to deliver the Catholic vote to the candidate or the party that_claims_to oppose abortion. I am not. And when voting the Bishops want me to use my good judgment, formed in light of the entirety of Catholic teaching and taking multiple factors into account, including factors to do with the credibility of candidates. That is what I did and that is what I will continue to do. (By the way, are you a priest? Because if you are not, you might want to ease up on condemning people for committing what you claim are mortal sins or sacrilege, with the implied threat of eternal damnation. It comes across as intimidation, however sincere and concerned you might be).

(3) I submit that your reading is somewhat forced and biased. Two examples among several:

(a) Your bald assertions that (i) there were no “morally grave reasons” to weigh against abortion and (ii) that anyone who claims there were such reasons was “ignoring” the issue of abortion.

(b) Paragraph 42 is clearly permissive, not mandatory. It means that even though we are not supposed to cast our votes based on a single issue, nevertheless you, Militia, MAY legitimately cast your vote based on the single issue of abortion. It does NOT say that I, Anonymous 2, MUST cast mine on that basis.

(4) Your concession that “the problem with Faithful Citizenship is not that it's untrue. . . .The problem with it is that it's not as clear in certain places as it could or should be” speaks volumes. In other words, it does not clearly say what you say it says. Precisely so!

And if the Bishops really did not mean to say what they appear to have said, then they should clarify or amend the document to say what they really did mean. On this point, I find it very telling that despite many claims that the 2007 document had been misused to argue that a Catholic could vote for a candidate who favors abortion in certain circumstances and despite the consequent calls for clarification or amendment, nevertheless the USCCB re-proposed the document in 2011 and made no changes to it except for the addition of an introductory note, which, if anything, reinforces this reading.

Finally, in case you were wondering, yes, I do worry about my eternal salvation but it is not because of my voting record.

Jusadbellum said...

Would someone please give me an example of a political party which has as its foundational plank the promotion of abortion also has in its plank some essential good that is so awesomely good as to counter-balance abortion?

Abortion is an intrinsic evil. Healthcare is nice to have and exists independently of Government and independent of government money. If the entire federal government vanished overnight who thinks the USA would cease to exist? You think our hospitals and clinics and doctors and dentists and nurses would cease to serve and we the people would cease to support them?

So "healthcare" paid for by tax dollars (originally coming from the free economy) can't be the counter-weight to abortion.

So what else? Education? Is the GOP for eliminating K-post grad education or only reducing the rate of growth of the federal educational bureaucracy? Seems to me the GOP isn't even for cutting budgets anymore.

So please, give me an example of the uniquely awesome good that the DNC is for that would be impossible to get from another party.

Anonymous said...

A2 makes good points. I've long maintained that the two groups that bear the most responsibility for abortion being both so available and so widespread today in the US are 1) our bishops and 2) the Republican Party. The bishops for their systemically vapid response to Roe v. Wade, the subsequent pro-abort stance of the Democratic Party (traditionally the party of American Catholics), and the total failure to discipline pro-abort "catholic politicisns. The Republican Party for promising a pro-life stance to win the votes of social conservatives and then refusing to deliver. O'Connor, Kennedy, Souter: all pro-abort and all Republican appointees to the Supreme Court. (You can add to that Stevens and Blackmun if you wish, although the pro-life movement was not a big deal when Nixon appointed them.) Mind you, at a couple of junctures a single vote would have meant the end of Roe v. Wade, so replace any one of these appointees with a pro-life vote and Roe would have been overturned.

So if you have, hypothetically, a Republican who talks big on abortion issues but you know won't deliver, and a Democrat whom you know _will_ deliver on other "seamless web" issues, than is it ok to vote for the latter? Technically, I think yes. The questions of what various candidates (both pro-life and pro-choice) a) can do and b) will do may validly be considered when deciding upon whom to vote for.

All that being said, the lack of response to my questions at 7:07 and 7:15 is deafening. Quite simply, based on that analysis, assuming equal commitment, truthfulness, capability, and authority in the pro-abort and the pro-life candidate, one _must_ vote for the pro-life candidate. If you disagree, I would expect to see persuasive responses to that effect to my 7:07 and 7:15 posts.

Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous,

Thank you for your response and also for confirming skepticism about those politicians who manipulate the electorate by telling Catholics (and others of course) what they want to hear and then not delivering.


The problem goes even deeper, however. Abortion is an absolutely horrible evil. Not only does it involve the unjustified killing of an innocent human life but it does so in a horribly violent manner. It is yet another example of how humans tend to solve perceived problems by resorting to violence and killing—something we seem especially good at in the USA. From my perspective coming from Britain this is a very violent country compared with other developed nations. I often ask myself why this is so and still have no good answers.

I have stated on this blog before, and I say it again, that I would like to see a world in which the abortion rate is zero. But here is the problem: Repealing Roe v. Wade will NOT get you there. Yes, it_may_reduce abortion in those states that decide to prohibit it (by the way Roe v Wade allows increased restriction of abortions in the later trimesters as you know) but even this is not clear because people could travel to states where it is permitted or resort to illegal and unsafe abortions as before. The only way to prohibit it across the board is through a personhood amendment and even then we would still face the issue of illegal back street abortions or the self-administered “knitting needle” solution. I don’t know how accurate or self-serving it is, of course, but a Wikipedia article on self-induce abortion states that “A study concluded in 1968 determined that over 500,000 illegal abortions were performed every year in the United States, a portion of which were performed by women acting alone.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-induced_abortion#cite_note-15

This is why other measures are also necessary and indeed may even make legal prohibition of less consequence than these other measures in the final analysis. And the most important thing of all, of course, is to change the hearts and minds of all those who are involved in a decision to abort a pregnancy so the issue does not arise in the first place. But we won’t be very effective at persuading others to accept our premises about what is at stake if we demonize them. All that will do is to cause them to put up the barriers and double down on their positions. We must find better ways, as I believe Pope Francis is trying to do. At the individual level, we must look for opportunities to persuade others in individual conversation but we must be wise about how we do this and tailor what we say to the particular hearer.


Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. Of course I should have said overturning or reversing Roe v. Wade not repealing.

George said...


Anonymous @ 10:49 AM

"So if you have, hypothetically, a Republican who talks big on abortion issues but you know won't deliver, and a Democrat whom you know _will_ deliver on other "seamless web" issues, than is it ok to vote for the latter? Technically, I think yes. The questions of what various candidates (both pro-life and pro-choice) a) can do and b) will do may validly be considered when deciding upon whom to vote for."

We do have a responsibility as voters though to be and stay informed.

There is a hierarchy of issues. Abortion, given that it is always the taking of innocent human life, and in addition, the immense number performed every year, has to be at the top. One could rank other issues below abortion in different order. Certainly the protection of religious minorities in the Middle East from ISIS would rank right near the top. This administration so far has an abominable record on both counts.

No one who made any effort at all to find out can plead ignorance on Mr Obama's record and philosophy on abortion, even prior to his election to the Presidency.






George said...

Anonymous@10:49

"The Republican Party for promising a pro-life stance to win the votes of social conservatives and then refusing to deliver. O'Connor, Kennedy, Souter: all pro-abort and all Republican appointees to the Supreme Court."

To be fair, these justices were thought to be more conservative than they in fact turned out to be. A President also has to nominate judges who he feels can be confirmed. When it comes to who is on the Supreme Court, the Republicans, whether it was a President or in those in the Senate, have tried to deliver on their promises. You can't ask more that that.

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks was approved by the Republican controlled House. It has not as yet passed the Senate. The legislation, which also requires a 48-hour waiting period, informed consent forms and mandatory counseling for victims of rape and sexual assault before abortions, passed 242-184, with 4 Republicans in opposition. That may be a moot point since we have a President who threatened to shut down the government in order to preserve funding for Planned Parenthood. He would not sign the legislation.

Elections have consequences. Republicans have done as much as they were able to, but as long as the Democrats can put up a roadblock, there is not much more they could have done.

There are other issues also, such as Attorney General Eric Holder refusing to enforce Federal obscenity laws.

Catholic Advocate website during the election of 2012 had a scorecard on how Catholic members of Congress voted on issues of importance to Catholic voters. Catholic Republicans, who tend to be the more conservative, voted with Church teaching at a much higher rate than Catholic Democrats.


U.S. Senate Number Voted with Church teaching?

Catholic Democrats 15 3%

Catholic Republicans 9 94%

House of Representatives:

Catholic Democrats 65 6%

Catholic Republicans 63 98%





Anonymous 2 said...

George:

“Catholic Republicans, who tend to be the more conservative, voted with Church teaching at a much higher rate than Catholic Democrats.”

I admit to not being very expert with statistics. But are the score cards you reproduced correct? If they are, Catholic Democrats had a better record than Republicans in the Senate, though both are quite low, and there is virtually no difference between Catholic Democrats and Catholic Republicans in the House.

As for votes in the House in general, the cynic in me asks how meaningful these votes are when those casting them know full well that the Senate will not pass the measure and/or the President will veto it, with the result that these legislators do not have to answer at the polls for bringing about certain legal consequences. How much of this is posturing in other words, like all the futile House votes to repeal Obamacare? And does this have anything to do with the relatively higher rate of consistent Catholic voting in the House as compared with the Senate on the score card?

Perhaps you can restore my faith in what I see as our broken and corrupted politics but I am not even close to being there yet.


Anonymous said...

A2,

I realize that the overturning of Roe wouldn't end all abortions. At this point we have to start the uncomfortable process of quantifying evil. If the overturning of Roe were definitely to reduce the abortion rate by 10%, how do you weigh those lives saved against probably (or to be more realistic possible) quality of life improvements if we elect Democrats instead?

My objection is to those who assume 1) the issues themselves to be equal and that 2) given that equality, Democrats and other pro-choice candidates are always (or presumably) the better choice.* In my experience, those who state in knee-jerk fashion that the Dems are better usually refuse to do as you have done and admit that abortion is an evil. Usually, they're actually pro-choice (and thus disobedient to Church teaching) and trying to smokescreen the issues, i.e. deluding themselves or others.

*On this note I'd be interested to see the source for George's percentages. George, can you tell us Who determined what amounted to voting "with" as opposed to "against" Church teaching? While the percentages are interesting, I certainly don't think they mandate or even persuasively suggest that we should vote Democrat for the following three reasons: 1) Not all evils are equally great, as most of the posts here amply demonstrate or concede; 2) what can be done is not often equal to what should be done, as several posts here address; and c) on issues that aren't intrinsic evils, the Church can't mandate how its members seek to achieve the goals of Catholic social teaching. For instance, if (within reason) I believe that supply-side trickle-down economics will ultimately result in greater productivity and better quality of life for all people, as well as the ultimate domination of green industry in the marketplace, and you believe that demand-side economics will ultimately lead to the same result, then all other things being equal, there's no moral impetus for either of us to change our votes and no legitimate reason to say either one of us is voting "for" or "against" Church teaching.

Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous:

“In my experience, those who state in knee-jerk fashion that the Dems are better usually refuse to do as you have done and admit that abortion is an evil. Usually, they're actually pro-choice (and thus disobedient to Church teaching) and trying to smokescreen the issues, i.e. deluding themselves or others.”

I do not see how any conscientious Catholic who is remotely aware of the Church’s teaching on abortion, or who has read Faithful Citizenship, could possibly refuse to recognize the evil of abortion. I can only assume, charitably, that they are in a state of ignorance about these things and/or that they have never been personally affected by or witnessed the agonies so often involved in a decision to abort because self-delusion does not seem an option otherwise.


Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous:

“At this point we have to start the uncomfortable process of quantifying evil. If the overturning of Roe were definitely to reduce the abortion rate by 10%, how do you weigh those lives saved against probably (or to be more realistic possible) quality of life improvements if we elect Democrats instead?”

But what if the figures turn out to cut the other way (due to anti-Catholic social hostility, resurgence of illegal abortions, etc.)? Either way, this underscores my basic point that winning the battle over Roe v. Wade is a far cry from winning the war over abortion. I do not discount the former but I fear that we might lose the war even if we win the battle, and I would like to win the war, as I am sure we all would. It is a multi-faceted war that must be waged on many fronts; the battle over Roe v. Wade is only one of them. Personally, I believe we have to develop a consistent ethic of life that opposes our throw-away culture, and this is what Pope Francis seems to be attempting to cultivate among Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Like St. Paul he has to be all things to all people to reach to where they are.


George said...

Anonymous and Anon2

"I admit to not being very expert with statistics. But are the score cards you reproduced correct? If they are, Catholic Democrats had a better record than Republicans in the Senate, though both are quite low, and there is virtually no difference between Catholic Democrats and Catholic Republicans in the House."

Here is what it should have looked like(below) When I entered the comment, it didn't format as it should have. Only 3% of Democrats in the Senate
voted with Church teaching. Only 6% in the house did so.


U.S. Senate Number Voted with Church teaching?

Catholic Democrats 15 3%

Catholic Republicans 9 94%

House of Representatives:

Catholic Democrats 65 6%

Catholic Republicans 63 98%

George said...

The stats I gave above represent the percentage that the senator or congressman voted in conformance with Church teaching.


Here are two links to the Catholic Advocate Scorecard (from 2012- as of the last Presidential election)

If you click on each state you can see a grade on how congressman and senators voted, both Catholic and non-Catholic.



http://scorecard.catholicadvocate.com/



CatholicAdvocate.com/voter-guide-2/voter-guide/

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

George - The problem is that Catholic Advocate doesn't describe HOW it came to the conclusion that a Senator or Representative "voted in conformace with Church teaching."

The Greek said...

Ah, The first number is the number of Catholic Dems or Repubs... ok. Now I get it >.<

Anonymous said...

A2,

Re "Catholics" who vote pro-choice: the problem isn't that they're ignorant of Church teaching; they just don't accept or agree with it.

Re losing the war: All too often your position can become a defeatism that justifies ignoring the abortion issue altogether: "We can never overturn Roe/ban all abortions/stop all abortions, so let's just vote Dem since they'll help the poor." Any number of things can happen if we vote Republican, so since we don't know, let's don't vote Republican. That's sloppy in any number of ways and the lazy man's way out. I submit that given abortion's intrinsic nature as well as its magnitude, one should treat as suspect--not necessarily wrong, but suspect, at least as to motive--casual or habitual votes for a party whose only (or nearly only) consistency has been pro-abortion. And one shouldn't use the fact that anything might happen regardless of outcome as some sort of cover for not giving the abortion issue the weight it deserves.

George, for once I'm in agreement with Fr. Kavanagh. Even if catholic Advocate explained its rationale, that rationale might not accurately reflect Catholic social teaching in all its ramifications.

Jusadbellum said...

No one touches the question about proportionality?

Every 4 years we're presented with "Catholic" democrats who swear that they must vote for the D candidate despite their vociferous support for abortion because otherwise the evil R candidate will threaten some awesomely awesome, fantastically fantastic, hyper-good federal program that exists solely and exclusively due to the noble goodness of Democrats and will vanish spontaneously should a Republican be elected POTUS and is of such august moral status as to counter-balance the horror that is abortion.

So, being the curious chap I am, I'd like to know what this awesomely awesome good thing is, exactly.

Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous:

“All too often your position can become a defeatism that justifies ignoring the abortion issue altogether.”

I don’t see how you can understand my position as set out in my post of 8:00 p.m. yesterday evening as remotely close to this. It fact, it is almost diametrically opposed. Far from justifying ignoring the abortion issue, it advocates waging battle on many fronts not just one.

Anonymous 2 said...

JusadBellum:

Now you’re being a silly chap. Besides which, why do you insist on limiting what goes in the scales on the other side to some “good”? Shouldn’t we also put in those scales the “evil” that might result from voting for the allegedly pro-life candidate?

George said...

Anonymous :

"George, for once I'm in agreement with Fr. Kavanagh. Even if Catholic Advocate explained its rationale, that rationale might not accurately reflect Catholic social teaching in all its ramifications."

I understand. At one time you could download a pdf from their web site with a lot more info and detail. You could even get a print-out mailed to you. It seems that their focus is to highlight voting records right Presidential election time

I did manage to find the .pdf I downloaded from their site right before the 2008 Presidential election

For the three sessions of Congress up to the year 2008, they looked at voting records for the major legislation listed below. They then graded yes or no on whether the person in office voted in conformance with Catholic teaching.

The numbers in parenthesis represent that session of Congress.

1 Funding of Overseas Pro-Abortion Organizations (110th)
2 Funding of Embryo-Destructive Stem Cell Research (109th)
3 Child Custody Protection Act (S. 403): passage (109th)
4 Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (109th)
5 Federal Marriage Amendment Act (109th)
6 Harking Amendment to Endorse Roe v. Wade (108th)
7 Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003: passage ( 108th)
8 Abortion in Military Medical Facilities (108th)
9 Feinstein Substitute Amendment (Single-Victim Sub.) (108th)
10 Unborn Victims of Violence Act: passage (108th)

So for instance Nancy Pelosi had 0%. Patrick Kennedy ( he only voted on 9 of these) had 11%(1 out of 9)
Peter King of NY had 100%. John Boehner had 100%, Paul Ryan had 100% Bobby Jindal had 100% just to name a few Republicans.

Jim Marshall(who attended St Joseph's) was one of only six Democrats voting on all or almost all of the bills who had 100% conformance with Cahtolic teaching.

Anonymous said...

A2,

Just as one can posit that a repeal of Roe might conceivably lead to more abortions or other bad things, one can posit that electing pro-choice people might also backfire in various foreseeable and unforeseeable ways. If one plays that game long enough, one can come to various positions including 1) "My vote is worthless and won't change anything"; 2) "Since I can't tell what effect my vote will have, I'd better not vote at all"; and 3) "Since there are so many imponderables and/or my vote doesn't really matter, I'll vote for the Democrat since the Democrats are so obviously concerned about the poor, the hungry, and the weak* even if they can't accomplish anything and voting for the Republican wouldn't really help the pro-life cause." I suppose if one genuinely believes the latter based on careful reflection he isn't morally to blame, but my point is one can play these logic games all day. In doing so, one can stumble into justifying a vote (pr pattern of voting) whose effect, if not intent, is to ignore both the intrinsic quality as well as the quantity of the evil of abortion.

I can also imagine a circumstance in which the voter attempts to fool God by constructing arguments of the sort you've posited as a justification for doing what he really wants to do, viz., vote for the Dem or the pro-choice candidate. (Most of us engage in such self-justification at some point so why not in the voting booth?) An episcopal document or statement that puts abortion on the same qualitative and quantitative level as non-intrinsic evils can be used as further justification. In other words, if we can convince ourselves, especially with the help of bishops' statements, that voting pro-life isn't likely to change anything, might there be a problem somewhere?

* An aside: The Dems don't really care more for the poor, weak, and hungry. If they really did care for the disadvantaged, they'd be against abortion. The only disadvantaged they seem to care for is those who are legally able to vote.

Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous:

I agree all those thought processes are possible. But equally deficient thought processes are possible also on the part of those voting for a allegedly pro-life candidate (including fooling God), as indeed Faithful Citizenship recognizes. As for fooling God regarding true motivations, one way to test motivation is to ask: Would you vote for a Democrat who is pro-life but opposed to the Republican candidate on other issues, for example immigration or invading other countries and war? Because if you wouldn’t be prepared to consider voting for the Democrat, perhaps the real, or at least the primary, motivation for your vote is unrelated to abortion. All that this proves, of course, is that we should take the USCCB document very seriously and try to be conscientious and responsible voters.

By the way, I voted for Jim Marshall (mentioned by George) at every opportunity, and not just because he is a former colleague and a friend (I once told him he could not count on my vote; it depended on his platform), even though I disagreed with him on some issues (the invasion of Iraq for example). If we had more virtuous politicians like him in Congress, our ailing Republic would be much healthier. It is a shame he was not re-elected.