Tuesday, June 17, 2014
YOU KNOW THESE HAVE TO BE ANTI-CATHOLIC TIMES WHEN AN ARCHBISHOP OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS TO DEFEND HIMSELF BECAUSE HE DEFENDS NATURAL LAW AS IT CONCERNS RELIGIOUS AND SECULAR MARRIAGE!
My Comments first: Following the searing criticism that Nancy Pelosi, a post-Catholic who deserves excommunication in order to call her to repent and return to the full communion of the Catholic Church prior to her personal judgement, as well as from other politicians and elected governmental officials, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, a good Irishman, felt obliged to defend himself for being a Catholic Archbishop! So much for separation of the Church and State. Of course we all know the new state religion is Secularism and it is dogmatic and has its own version of the Inquisition that makes any Catholic version of the same look like child's play!
Dear Fellow Citizens,
Your letter [from politicians and elected governmental officials] sharing with me your thoughts on the upcoming “March for Marriage” in Washington, D.C., was forwarded to me while I was attending meetings out of town, and I have reflected on what you have to say. I appreciate your affirmation of my Church’s teaching—not unique to our religion, but a truth accessible to anyone of good will—on the intrinsic human dignity of all people, irrespective of their stage and condition in life. That principle requires us to respect and protect each and every member of the human family, from the precious child in the womb to the frail elderly person nearing death. It also requires me, as a bishop, to proclaim the truth—the whole truth—about the human person and God’s will for our flourishing. I must do that in season and out of season, even when truths that it is my duty to uphold and teach are unpopular, including especially the truth about marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife. That is what will be doing on June 19th.
With regard to your request that I not attend the March, and the reasons you give for this request, allow me to explain the following points.
1. The March for Marriage is not “anti-LGBT” (as some have described it); it is not anti-anyone or anti-anything. Rather, it is a pro-marriage March. The latter does not imply the former. Rather, it affirms the great good of bringing the two halves of humanity together so that a man and a woman may bond with each other and with any children who come from their union. This is precisely the vision promoted by Pope Francis, who recently said, “We must reaffirm the right of children to grow up in a family with a father and mother.” Rest assured that if the point of this event were to single out a group of individuals and target them for hatred, I most certainly would not be there. (Do I hear an amen out there in blogdom?)
2. While I cannot go into all of the details here of your allegations against the sponsors of this event and scheduled speakers, I do know that at least some of what you say is based on misinterpretation or is simply factually incorrect. For example, it is not true that the National Organization for Marriage connects homosexuality with pedophilia and incest. What is true is that three years ago a conference was sponsored in Baltimore by the group B4U-ACT for the purpose of finding ways to encourage tolerance for pedophilia. A statement on NOM’s blogpost objecting to this conference affirmed that this is something that would outrage people in the gay community as well. Unfortunately, many conclusions are being drawn about those involved in the March for Marriage based on false impressions.
3. It gives me assurance that we share a common disdain for harsh and hateful rhetoric. It must be pointed out, though, that there is plenty of offensive rhetoric which flows in the opposite direction. In fact, for those who support the conjugal understanding of marriage, the attacks have not stopped at rhetoric. Simply for taking a stand for marriage as it has been understood
in every human society for millennia, people have lost their jobs, lost their livelihoods, and have suffered other types of retribution, including physical violence. (This Archbishop is going to be a martyr for the cause! He tells it like it is and he is to be applauded!) It is true that historically in our society violence has been perpetrated against persons who experience attraction to members of the same sex, and this is to be deplored and eradicated. Sadly, though, we are now beginning to see examples, although thankfully not widespread, of even physical violence against those who hold to the conjugal view of marriage (such as, most notably, the attempted gunning down of those who work in the offices of the Family Research Council). While it is true that free speech can be used to offend others, it is not so much people exercising their right to free speech that drives us further apart than people punished precisely for doing so that does.
4. Please do not make judgments based on stereotypes, media images and comments taken out of context. Rather, get to know us first as fellow human beings. I myself am willing to meet personally with any of you not only to dialogue, but simply so that we can get to know each other. It is the personal encounter that changes the vision of the other and softens the heart.
In the end, love is the answer, and this can happen even between people with such deep disagreements. That may sound fanciful and far-fetched, but it is true, it is possible. I know it is possible, I know this from personal experience. When we come together seeking to understand the other with good will, miracles can happen.
When all is said and done, then, there is only one thing that I would ask of you more than anything else: before you judge us, get to know us.
Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone
Archbishop of San Francisco
Posted by Fr. Allan J. McDonald at Tuesday, June 17, 2014
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I suggest that everyone take the archbishop's suggestion for face to face encounters. I guess you're all locals so probably know one another. But does Fr. Ignotius get together with Gene etc.?
Do local Maconites (?) on opposite sides of these controversies ever meet face to face...or would they if on neutral ground?
About two years ago Mercer University had a panel discussion on homosexuality. Fr . Dawid was on the panel and the discussion was respectful and cordial.
Maybe your community needs a more regular discussion panel on homosexuality and Catholicism that allows the nuances and distinctions to be aired more so both sides can appreciate the other as complex, real people not totems of the hated 'other tribe'.
Salvatore Cordileone is Irish?
I was very gratified when I read the end of the Archbishop's letter and even more gratified to read your comments, which repeat a theme from another thread yesterday (I assume you are the same Anonymous). As I said there, I completely agree with what you say (and now what the Archbishop says) about the value of face-to-face dialogue and support your suggestion about the Catholic Church organizing such conversations locally. As I also mentioned, this could perhaps be done in conjunction with interested others such as Mercer University, which has had a Lyceum program aimed at promoting civil and informative dialogue on controversial issues. Although the Lyceum events have generally involved panel discussions, I very much like your idea sponsoring small groups of community members to engage in roundtable discussions.
As for Pater Ignotus and Gene getting together, I actually suggested a group meeting to discuss some pre-Vatican II documents over a year ago but no-one seemed interested. Moreover, Gene refuses even to meet with me because I voted for Obama (for what I considered to be very good reasons about which I have just posted again on another thread). I do not condemn those who voted for Romney, but that’s me I guess.
Those difficulties noted, I would be happy to work together with you and like-minded others to try to arrange such face-to-face conversations. Are you in Macon?
IS there any devout Catholic who has been blessed with great financial means who will, as an act of charity, justice, and mercy, PAY to have Archbishop Cordelione's reply reprinted as a full-page advertisement in the San Francisco Chronicle?
If these words of his are only transmitted to his accusers in a limited number of ways, the people out in the streets, who are the ones who desperately need to hear them, will only have the leftist lies repeated to them ad nauseam on T.V., radio, in the "tweets", Facebook posts, and in the pages of the newspapers.
Gaudete in Domino Semper!
I think it's funny that Pater Ignotus can play a prominent role in a conversation without even posting anything!
"Gene refuses even to meet with me because I voted for Obama".
Is it important who you vote for?
Padre Pio was one of the greatest mystics in the history of the Church. He is now a saint. "Stories of Padre Pio" by Katharna Tangeri (who was a personal confidant of his) is one of many books written about him. One of the storys in there is "A Socialist from Palermo". He had gone to confession to Padre Pio and confessed that he was a socialist. The Padre 'enlightened' him as to his error, that his socialist idealism was false and so he gave him absolution. Some time later after he voted in an election, he went to confession again and told the Padre that he had not voted for the socialist. "For whom did you vote then? "For nobody" he answered. He told Padre Pio he couldn't bring himself to vote for the anti-socialist candidate. "Then you can look elsewhere for absolution"and he sent him away without giving him absolution.
I'm in Macon (and now wish I had seen the previous post from a year ago... where was I...?) and I'd not mind something alsong the lines you've suggested. The logistics would need to be worked out of course, but you can consider me 'in'.
I always liked Ambrose Bierce's definition of such face to face arguments and discussions: "An encounter whereby each participant leaves more thoroughly convinced of his original position than previously."
There is absolutely nothing to be gained from me meeting with Ignotus or Anonymous 2 and it would probably ruin a good lunch…or coffee, or whatever.
You know, there is absolutely nothing to discuss about homosexuality. It is an abomination, according to Scripture, a biological falsehood, a political weapon against Christian values and morality, and a threats to family, culture, and decency. What's to discuss?
Well, now you can see the problem with people like Gene from his comment at 5:16 a.m. I believe this is a classic example of “prejudice.” Gene has prejudged such conversation before engaging in it, so he speaks of what he does not know. But then there are people like Flavius who give one cause for hope.
I expect that Gene will now tell us that he has already engaged in such conversations and that this is the basis for his conclusions about their merit (or lack thereof). If he does so, I hope he will provide some specifics about the nature of any conversations he may have had with people with whom he disagrees (about homosexuality, for example, or presidential candidates).
Flavius: Thank you for your interest and support. I spoke today with one of the members of the Mercer Lyceum Committee about the idea of organizing face to face roundtable conversations. There seems to be genuine interest and I expect the idea to be discussed in the fall after the new academic year gets underway. In the meantime I will feel others out about the idea and about how to set about organizing such conversations, whether or not they are co-sponsored by interested other entities such as Mercer. Perhaps you might do the same. But just to be clear: Are you interested mainly in a discussion of pre-Vatican II documents and how they relate to the documents of Vatican II or also in broader face to face conversation about controversial topics?
I must be especially dense today. Can you please explain to the significance of your comment about Padre Pio? Thanks.
Anon 2, Of course it is prejudice. I am prejudiced against liberals and gays. I consider them enemies of Christian values, America, and everything that this country once was and stood for. You speak of prejudice like it is a bad thing…it is called believing in something and having opinions. Damn right I am prejudiced. This notion that we just have to be accepting of everybody and everything is idiocy.
Your comment about about Gene refusing to meet with you because who you voted for brought me back to reading about that incident.I also happened to have the book right in front of me at the time. I just though it interesting that Padre(St.) Pio, one of the greatest mysticsin Church history DID think it was important enough and that voting for certain candidates and holding certain political philosophies was wrong and under the necessary conditions sinful,even seriously sinful. To him, communism and socialism were just not things a faithful Catholic should embrace or support. In this he was in conformance with the writings of many of the recent popes of his time.
I was talking about being prejudiced against conversation with those with whom you might disagree, not about being prejudiced against those people themselves or their views. There is an important difference. By all means have prejudice against certain views you believe are harmful and not in the best interests of the country. Not everyone is able to maintain a “judicious” mind when engaging in political conversation. But, like it or not, we inhabit the same Republic and are stuck with one another. In democratic conversation we seek to persuade one another. How do you hope to persuade anyone to your point of view if you do not engage in conversation with them? And remember, bombastic rhetoric reminiscent of Thrasymachus may not be the most effective way to persuade your fellow citizens, as Plato effectively demonstrated in The Republic. You don’t have to be a Socrates but how about a Glaucon or an Adeimantus?
And if you don’t want to be bothered with the effort at democratic persuasion, how patriotic is that? Who is the real enemy of the country – the person who disagrees with you or the person who can’t be bothered to participate as a citizen in local conversation in an effort to persuade but instead abdicates all political responsibility to gigantic bureaucratic political organizations largely funded by other gigantic bureaucratic organizations in a system that would make the Founders spin in their graves?
I still am unsure whether I get the point. If the point is that voting for Obama is sinful per se and/or that someone like Gene is justified in thinking that it is, then I refer you to the USCCB document “Faithful Citizenship” that provided guidelines for American voters (I understand it has been recently updated but have not yet seen the latest version). I was very careful to analyze that document before casting my vote. Although voting for Obama was futile in Georgia, I voted my conscience after taking many relevant factors into account, just as the USCCB document specifies.
And when I now see the same clowns who got it so completely wrong in Iraq, and who apparently were influential with Mitt Romney, once again peddling their misguided opinions in the media about how to respond to the current situation in Iraq (which, of course, they are perfectly entitled to do even if we should reject their efforts to persuade), the more I am confirmed in that vote. Had Romney been elected, I suspect we would now be completely mired in Syria and possibly Iran, as well as Iraq again, because some people never seem to learn and such action would be consistent with their original intentions. As Russell Kirk, a founding father of modern American conservatism, famously said of the neoconservatives: “Often clever, seldom wise.” Remarkably, even Glenn Beck has seen the light.
And as have explained before on the Blog, I was not duped into voting for the political opportunist and “wolf in sheep’s clothing” known as Mitt Romney:
I am tired of defending and explaining my vote. I have nothing to apologize for. If anything, people who voted for Romney should defend and explain_their_vote in light of the above.
I’m sorry (not) to complicate some people’s simplistic distorted worldview with pesky things like, you know, facts.
I am not necessarily responding to you in all this, because you may have been making a more general and abstract point. But I am definitely responding to people like Gene.
The Padre Pio story is surely apocryphal since what happens in the confessional is protected by the Seal. It also makes little sense. Are we to infer that St Pio regarded not voting for the anti-socialist (presumably a sin of omission) so serious as to warrant denial of absolution? Or that refusing to vote for any of the candidates was sinful? (It surely isn't). Or that the penitent still had socialist leanings and so his repentance was not genuine?
I don't know how reliable Katharina Tangari is; I do know that there is a lot of nonsense out there (such as his meeting Marcel Lefebvre in 1962 and sternly predicting the latter's future disobedience, or telling a young Karol Wojtyla that he would one day be pope). Tangari, who was Pio's 'spiritual daughter' later became an adherent of the SSPX.
John, the yawn was for Anon 2, not for you.
Gene: Play time is over. It’s time to come inside now and get serious.
I've read a number of books by Padre Pio (there are quiet a few out there). A priest is forbidden to disclose what went on in confession.This is not the same as you or I. Would I do it? No. But because Padre Pio had great mystical gifts (he could read souls and sometimes would prompt sinners for something they forgot) some people would share their experiences. Now, it is possible that it bothered St Pio that people would reveal these things.Other religious that lived in San San Giovanni Rotondo, some of whom knew him for most of his life, personally witnessed things or were told of things that happened. There were those who would relate what transpired in confession because it was a life-changing experience for them. There were US military personnel during WWII who visited the monastery where he resided and who told about their own mystical experiences. By the way, some of these soldiers were Protestants. Another excellent book I read on him was "Padre Pio The True Story"( by C. Bernard Ruffin). Please read some of the books written about this aint. You will find what has been writen and revealed about his life is not so easily dismissed.
In my reply above, I meant to include you John Nolan. I appreciate both you, Anon2 and Gene's (should I say vast) knowledge of things and reading your response about Padre Pio, a healthy skepticism is not a bad thing. I've read more about Padre Pio than any other saint (there is quite a bit out there) and there is something that comes through for me that bespeaks the truth. He died in 1968 so there are many living today he knew or met him.
Iraq was a mistake. Was Mr Bush duped by reports coming out from intelligence agencies both in this country and abroad about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction? Would he have taken military action regardless? I don't know. I need to read up on this more. We know that people on both sides of the aisle, of different political persuasion, supported and voted for the war. Mr Obama's foreign policy up to now has been disastrous. It might have been better with Mr Romney but we'll never know. His administration has used financial support to other countries contingent on upon them legalizing abortion and same sex marriage (there are organizations, such as the Catholic Human Life International that keep up with these things). Prior to his becoming President, same-sex marriage lost in every state where it was put to a public referendum. Now, it seems (if one believes the polls) there has been a reversal in public sentiment. The Little Sisters of the Poor among others, has a lawsuit pending because of the HHS mandate that would force them to violate their religious freedom by requiring them to pay for and provide contraceptive services to their employees among other things. Mr Obama, when he ran the second time, was a known quantity. There was enough there to give one a good idea of what kind of person he was even before then (look up and read about Jill Stanek).
" If the point is that voting for Obama is sinful per se and/or that someone like Gene is justified in thinking that it is, then I refer you to the USCCB document “Faithful Citizenship” that provided guidelines for American voters (I understand it has been recently updated but have not yet seen the latest version). I was very careful to analyze that document before casting my vote. Although voting for Obama was futile in Georgia, I voted my conscience after taking many relevant factors into account, just as the USCCB document specifies."
Anonymous 2, you're supposed to vote your conscience PROVIDED THAT you're voting with a CORRECT conscience, that is, one formed by Church teaching. The Church has made it crystal clear that you can't vote for candidates who support abortion, gay marriage, etc. and that to do so is to make oneself an accessory to sin and thus commit a mortal sin. The ONLY reason to vote for a pro-abortion / pro-gay marriage candidate is if the other candidate has even worse stances. For example, if one candidate is pro-abortion but is against partial birth abortion, but the other one even supports partial birth abortion, then you vote for the former. There have to be proportionate reasons for voting for a pro-abortion / pro-gay marriage candidate, but "proportionate" is the key word. It doesn't mean you can vote for such a candidate for any reason whatsoever just so long as you don't agree with their abortion stance, gay marriage stance, etc. Face it -- there were NO good or proportionate reasons to vote for Obama -- NONE WHATSOEVER. I urge you to repent via the Sacrament of Penance. And quit receiving Holy Communion until you do.
I would say it is true about me that when reading about those such as St Francis of Assisi,or St. Catherine of Siena, and yes, St. Padre Pio, I do not apply what some would say is a proper and necessary objective balance and perspective; a properly functioning discerning eye, if you will, to what I'm reading. What can I say? I'm Catholic and they are Catholic. I believe by the power of God that mystical experiences and phenomena are possible and do happen. As Jesus said:"Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father."
Now if mystical gifts and abilities were related to luminosity, the above saints would shine like the sun whereas someone such as St Therese of Lisieux would be a barely visible dwarf. Yet, she is just as much and as great a saint as they. It is testimony to their great holiness that well past their bodily death they are still converting others to the Faith.
I appreciate the sincere sentiment behind your advice, but I disagree with your analysis. I have two questions for you:
(1) Have you read the USCCB document “Faithful Citizenship” or, more precisely that version of that document in effect for the 2012 election?
(2) Regarding your comment “The ONLY reason to vote for a pro-abortion / pro-gay marriage candidate is if the other candidate has even worse stances,” did you read the analysis of the two candidates Obama and Romney by the organization American Right to Life in the link I provided in my post at 10:52 p.m. yesterday evening?
You made a judgement and you voted for a certain candidate. The day may come where you look back and acknowledge that you voted for the wrong candidate. Or it may not. The American Right to Life is an outlier in the Pro-Life movement not to be confused with the more well-known and credible National Right to Life.The best voting guide I saw was one from Priests for Life. You should look for voting guidance from that organization and others that are Catholic such as American Life league and Human Life International. Pro-Life America.com doesn't even list American Right to Life. The voting guide I received from Priests for Life which made side-by-side pro-life comparisons between Mr Obama and Mr Romney left no doubt in my mind that on the pro- issue, Mr Romney was the choice(even though he left something to be desired). Militia Immaculata's thought process to use in considering which candidate to vote for is consistent with what the Catholic church teaches.
Anon 2 is wiser than the Catholic Church.
No, Gene, I am not wiser than the Catholic Church. All of you who say that Romney was the only candidate a Catholic could vote for are wiser than the Catholic Church. This is because you seem to believe that your own judgments are the only correct ones and apparently have failed to attend to the language of the USCCB document “Faithful Citizenship.” This is an arrogance I do not, and would not, dare to assert. I do not question the integrity or the conscientiousness of those who voted for Romney, even if I disagree with their judgments on the comparative merits taking all relevant factors into account.
And George, Militatia Immaculata’s thought processes are_not_consistent with what the Catholic Church teaches regarding how to choose among candidates, which is why I asked if he had read the USCCB document. It is plain to me that he has not or, if he has, that he is misremembering or misunderstanding it. Perhaps that is why he has not responded to my questions.
All of you who insist that the Catholic Church in effect mandated a vote for Romney, please read the USCCB document “Faithful Citizenship,” especially Part I. Here is a link to the website:
To help you zero in on some critical language (but please do read the rest too), indeed the language that is perhaps the most challenging for my position, here are sections 34-37:
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. . .
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.
Now, will someone explain to me how this language equates to “Catholics must vote for Romney and must not vote for Obama.
And remember, too, the risk of delivering the Catholic vote to a particular candidate, specifically the Republican candidate, as long as they talk a good talk about such issues as right to life or same sex marriage. As long as they do this, and as long as this is all one focuses on, they receive license to do all kinds of other evil. Do not be duped. Our politics is thoroughly and perhaps irredeemably corrupt. If it were not for the Bishops’ admonition that I should actually vote, my inclination would be not to vote at all as an expression of protest.
American Right to Life may be an outlier in the pro-life movement. Does that mean that the points it makes about Romney’s record and untrustworthiness are invalid? Isn’t the important question how sound these points are on the merits?
And please understand, I do not want to create a false impression. I only discovered this organization and its analysis after the election. So, their position did not factor into my voting decision. What factored into my voting decision, though, was my judgment that Romney was completely untrustworthy, which, it should be noted, is also a factor I am supposed to take into account under the Bishops’ guidelines. The American Right to Life analysis vindicates that judgment.
The below was is from the head of Human Life international just after the re-election of Barack Obama.
"Militatia Immaculata’s thought processes are_not_consistent with what the Catholic Church"
From what I understand of Catholic teaching, they are. Now as far as sinful culpability goes, the necessary conditions must be met.
"American Right to Life may be an outlier in the pro-life movement. Does that mean that the points it makes about Romney’s record and untrustworthiness are invalid? "
Yes. I've been a committed Pro-lifer for a long time and I read their points. I compared then against the CATHOLIC organizations such as Priest for Life and Human Life International and also such organizations as National Right to Life. I did my due diligence in this regard. Mr Obama was rightly judged to be the MOST pro-abortion candidate to ever run for the Presidency(look up Jill Stanek among others)
"What factored into my voting decision, though, was my judgment that Romney was completely untrustworthy."
I wouldn't characterize Mr Obama as the paradigm of trustworthiness. Look at what has transpired under his presidency. The "lost" emails, for instance,is positively Nixon-esque.
"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 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."
"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."
Correct. Could a good Catholic vote for a candidate in a Nazi-like party? No. The person could be good on every other issue, but the ONE issue of Racism would disqualify him or her for my vote. If not, are you saying that I could go to any Catholic bishop in the U.S. and he would give me the OK to vote for that person? I don't think so. Now there can be a situation where one candidate is Pro-life and racist and the other is Pro-abortion and not racist. That can happen but not in this case.
The primary issues for a Catholic to consider today are : abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research. Racism one could say also since under this president we seem to be more polarized than in a long time.
One other thing I forgot to include:
We are one Supreme Court justice away from confirming, accelerating and cementing in place all kinds of policies and laws that go against Church teaching. Decisions have already come down under the present Court that are not good even with six Catholics on the bench. I don't see any good at all in any appointment that Mr. Obama would make.This is a difficult one since Supreme Court justices don't always do what one would expect. At least with a president who is more in line with Church teaching on the life issues, we have a chance of getting one that would vote our way and not knock down every(even modest) pro-life statute that comes before the Court.
As far as racial polarization in this country, that is a difficult one too. If it is indeed worse problem than it was, what can the next president do to change the situation? I don't know. There are a number of factors that contribute to it. We'll just have to wait and see what transpires.
One more I forgot(although I don't think it trumps abortion, embryonic stem cell research etc.)
I see this administration's immigration policy as irresponsible bordering on incompetent. This is a problem begging for a solution. It is a complex problem. Whatever solution is found will (I'm thinking) be one which will leave no one side completely satisfied.We have to remember that we are dealing with human beings here, but we have to find not only a just, but a responsible solution.
Thank you for still engaging. The conversation is getting quite interesting.
I read the link and agree that there are troubling elements of the Obama foreign policy. But some of us feel that we cannot just focus on this one particular aspect of foreign policy. Some of us are convinced that had Romney been elected, surrounded as he was by the same neoconservative advisers who influenced the Bush administration and who seem to have had much more influence over Romney than his few moderate advisers, then we would likely now be at war with Syria and possibly Iran, let alone Iraq. You can research the neoconservative agenda. The consequences would have been devastating in my view. What was needed, indeed what is still needed, is a prudent foreign policy that does not seek to solve all problems at the point of a gun. Situations are different and require different responses that acknowledge their complexity, not simplistic responses rooted in naïve ideologies (Sunnis versus Shia anyone? If only they had told George Bush!).
Militia Immaculata said that “[t]he ONLY reason to vote for a pro-abortion / pro-gay marriage candidate is if the other candidate has even worse stances.” This is patently incorrect. As I read sections 34 and 35 of Faithful Citizenship, where one candidate genuinely opposes an “intrinsic evil” such as abortion or racism and the other candidate supports it, then a Catholic may still vote for the candidate who supports it provided two conditions are met. First, the Catholic voter must not intend to support that particular position. I really do hope no-one is suggesting that I voted for Obama with the intent of supporting his position on abortion. Second, the Catholic voter must be motivated by “truly grave moral reasons” and not by “narrow interests or partisan preferences or [a disposition] to ignore a fundamental moral evil.” I did have grave moral reasons (foreign policy concerns and the evils of war were just one of them; there were many others) and I had none of the disqualifying motivations; none.
Shifting his position somewhat, Militia does seem to acknowledge the legitimacy of such a vote with his reference to “proportionate reasons” but then dismissively and indeed emphatically suggests there were no such reasons. I disagree. (By the way, section 36 cannot specify the only conditions under which a Catholic voter is permitted to vote for such a candidate, for then the preceding language would appear to be redundant.)
Conversely, section 35 says that “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” and section 42 admonishes against being single issue voters. However, section 42 also recognizes that a candidate’s position in support of an intrinsic evil may legitimately lead a Catholic voter to disqualify that candidate. So, yes, provided you were not indifferent or inattentive to other issues, you could legitimately disqualify Obama for his pro-abortion stance. But, and this is the point, you were not obligated to do so, only permitted to do so. The language is “may,” not “must,” which is consistent with sections 34 and 35.
“Could a good Catholic vote for a candidate in a Nazi-like party?” I must admit I have not investigated the American Nazi Party, but provided the voter’s intent was not to support their racist position, the question would be whether there were “truly grave moral reasons” in favor of voting for them. I find this difficult to imagine, given what we now know about Nazism. But, and this is the more interesting question, could a good Catholic have voted for Hitler in Weimar Germany under the Bishops’ guidelines? (Many Catholics did vote for Hitler.) I would tend to answer in the affirmative given the conditions in Weimar Germany and the fact that they did not know what we know now. Another more interesting question, as you seem to imply, concerns the possible racist motivations of individual Catholic voters in voting against Obama.
Of course, all this is premised on the genuineness of the other candidate’s positions opposing an intrinsic evil. As I have said, I question Romney’s sincerity. Thus, under section 37 Catholic voters “should take into account a candidate's commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue.” Indeed, section 41 is even more explicit when it says that “they should consider candidates' integrity, philosophy, and performance. It is important for all citizens ‘to see beyond party politics, to analyze campaign rhetoric critically, and to choose their political leaders according to principle, not party affiliation or mere self-interest.’” Obama’s current trustworthiness seems to be beside the point here. On the other grave moral reasons that I took into account Obama seems to have proven more or less trustworthy. (The problem the Republicans now face over the IRS emails is that they have cried wolf too often. Benghazi anyone?)
Finally, those critical of my vote on this Blog are in effect suggesting that all Catholics must henceforth vote Republican in presidential elections. I find this deeply troubling for the reasons I have already given in my previous response. I also find the Inquisition like treatment meted out to me by some on this Blog deeply troubling personally. I will, however, assume charitably that these Inquisitors are concerned about the salvation of souls and not driven by their political party loyalties.
I should not need to justify my vote to anyone here. However, I have provided this explanation of my justifications (it is only partial because there is much more, which I have addressed in earlier threads discussing right to life issues, the economy, etc.) in the hope of advancing an understanding of some of the complexities that exist, especially in the corrupted politics of today. As Robert Bolt’s Sir Thomas More says, “God made the angels to show Him splendor as He made animals for innocence and plants for their simplicity. But man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind.” More, you will recall, is the patron saint of lawyers.
I only saw your posts about the Supreme Court and immigration after posting my last response.
I agree that these issues exacerbate the complexities in voting. Regarding the Supreme Court, in addition to the unpredictability of voting by some Supreme Court Justices, one also needs to consider realities. Let’s assume, for example, that Roe v. Wade is reversed. Would this lead to an end of abortions in the United States? Of course not! The matter would simply be returned to the states. Perhaps some unborn will be saved, but perhaps not. Women in states prohibiting abortion will go the states permitting it (if they can afford to do so) or get illegal abortions just as they did before Roe v. Wade (if they can’t). Legally, the only solution is a Personhood amendment to the Constitution or a Supreme Court that somehow finds a way to re-interpret the Constitution to give full protection to the unborn. Morally and spiritually, the only way is to change hearts and minds. Pragmatically, one can also increase social supports for women having children.
Immigration is a whole other discussion. I will say this. For most of the Bush presidency, about 3000-4000 undocumented are estimated to have entered the country. Whatever the reasons for this, do the math. That is almost 1 million per year or 10 million per decade. And we wonder why there is such a problem now? In addition, Obama is disliked intensely by many immigration advocates precisely because of his aggressive deportation policy (of course, you are unlikely to hear about this from Obama opponents). I agree we need a just and responsible solution to the immigration problem.
George: That should be 3000-4000 undocumented per day, of course. Sorry.
"Could a good Catholic have voted for Hitler in Weimar Germany under the Bishops’ guidelines? (Many Catholics did vote for Hitler.) I would tend to answer in the affirmative given the conditions in Weimar Germany and the fact that they did not know what we know now."
Some German Catholics did. Some didn't such as Benedict XVI's father.
"Some of us are convinced that had Romney been elected, surrounded as he was by the same neoconservative advisers who influenced the Bush administration and who seem to have had much more influence over Romney than his few moderate advisers, then we would likely now be at war with Syria and possibly Iran, let alone Iraq."
As Archbishop Caput said at a pro-life ralley in Denver a few years back: you cannot a priori judge a candidate on what he or she MIGHT or MIGHT Not do.
"Finally, those critical of my vote on this Blog are in effect suggesting that all Catholics must henceforth vote Republican in presidential elections. "
Jimmy Carter, when he ran in 1976, ran as a Pro-life Democrat. You could have voted for him. Catholic Advocate compiled a scorecard as of the last election 2012 looking at how members of Congress voted on issues important to Catholics and how they voted in comformance to Church teaching. The results differed little from 2010 and 2008.
Catholic Democrats 15 Avg Score: 3%
Catholic Republicans 9 Avg Score: 94%
Catholic Democrats 65 Avg Score: 6%
Catholic Republicans 63 Avg Score: 98%
As far as Thomas More, he gave his life over ONE issue. From what I've read he had no problem with Henry VIII over anything else. Finally, when I read about Mr Obama's political history in Illinois, when I read about Jill Stanek's experience, I myself sound I could not trust him. The things that have gone on in this administration only confirmed my suspicions. Where is Judge Sirica and Sam Ervin when we need them? Intimidation of political opponents? Losing emails? C'mon.
I try to understand your position and thought process on this. To me though, if I were to adopt your philosophical and legalistic approach, I could find myself voting for a Mr Biden or Ms. Pelosi. If the Catholics of the Bay Area voted as I do, the Archbishop of San Francisco would have a far easier go of it. .
As far as "Catholic may still vote for the candidate who supports it provided two conditions are met. First, the Catholic voter must not intend to support that particular position"
To me this was put in for someone such as the 85 year old grandmother living with a daughter say, who has a hard time keeping up with local politics ,let alone what is happening in the Middle East. Although there are some 85 year olds who can, I''ll admit.
"Second, the Catholic voter must be motivated by 'truly grave moral reasons' " . You cannot judge Mr. Romney "a priori" on what his foreign policy might be and characterize that as a truly grave moral reason. In fact Mr. Romney came across to me and others as a pragmatist(and to some, too much so). There were some who thought, looking at his history, that he was in fact too liberal.
Thank you for your response.
I do understand your position and concerns and I do not question at all your judgment in supporting Romney or the legitimacy of your vote for him. I just wish you could understand my position and concerns and reciprocate in kind. I believe you are reading the Bishops’ document too narrowly, probably because you cannot abide the thought that it could possibly permit a Catholic to vote for someone like Obama after taking all relevant factors into account. I do not read the document the way you do.
You might want to think about not only what the Bishops said but what they did not say. If the Bishops believed that under no circumstances could a Catholic vote for a candidate who, for example, supports abortion, then they should have said so, instead of inviting conscientious Catholics like me to engage in nuanced deliberation, weighing all relevant factors in an effort to reach a prudent or practically wise decision. The fact that they did not say this is, I suggest, support for my broader understanding of the document. Similarly, with the 85 year old grandmother, if the Bishops had wanted to address only the situation you describe, then the appropriate wording is “provided that the voter is unaware of that position.” There would be no need to refer to intent at all.
And if we cannot judge candidates based on what they are likely to do, how then could you judge Mitt Romney given that he is more slippery than a snake in a Wiffle ball? As you yourself say, given his history, he was too liberal for some. I rest my case.
I forgot to label this
Catholic Advocate 2010
(They post this on their website)
House of Representatives:
Catholic Democrats 65 Avg Score: 6%
Catholic Republicans 63 Avg Score: 98%
The kind of things Catholic Advocate rates on is: "Did the person vote to give tax money to Planned Parenthood?"
(Which as you know is the largest abortion provider in the U.S.)
Do you not see it as a problem that too many Catholics are voting for politicians such as Ms Pelosi and Mr Biden? Those Catholics I would say are reading the document too broadly.
As Archbishop Chaput said at a pro-life rally in Denver a few years back: you cannot a priori judge a candidate on what he or she MIGHT or MIGHT Not do. He went on to explain that lacking any historical evidence to the contrary, it is unfair to do this.
By the way,this did not have to do with foreign policy but with the political posturing by some that the Republican candidate would take away welfare and social security benefits. If you want to apply it to foreign policy then in 2010 Mr Obama had 4 years of foreign policy history to judge him on. Mr. Romney had none. It is simply wrong to judge someone like that. If you wanted to judge him on the Romneycare experience in Massachusetts, fine.
The reason I know about Archbishop Chaput address is because Priests for Life, who I receive correspondence from ,was at the rally.
I also am disturbed when I read the following:
Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, told LifesiteNews.com that during the Clinton-era Violence Against Abortion Providers Conspiracy (VAAPCON) program, federal agents harassed pro-lifers in an attempt to uncover a conspiracy to kill abortionists. “Our mail was rifled through. Our phone lines were tapped. We were followed. I have an FBI file."
FBI agents subsequently attended a terrorism training seminar on alleged pro-life terrorism, hosted by Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation, and the Feminist Majority Foundation. After equating free speech with violence, organizers distributed a resource guide listing three pages of purportedly extremist websites such as Priests for Life, the American Center for Law and Justice, and the Christian Broadcasting Network.
“This is nothing new when you consider how the Obama administration operates,” Newman told LifeSiteNews. “All you have to do is look at the patterns of history. Despots and tyrants oppress their foes.”
These are not nice people Anon2.
As Pope Francis says, “Who am I to judge?” And, in this context, it seems appropriate to quote it. I do not know why so many Catholics voted for candidates like Pelosi and Biden or how they deliberated about it. I only know why I voted for Obama.
I hate to break it to you but there are “not nice” people everywhere in politics, spanning the political spectrum. To keep this discussion in perspective, I remind you of what I said in an earlier comment: “Do not be duped. Our politics is thoroughly and perhaps irredeemably corrupt. If it were not for the Bishops’ admonition that I should actually vote, my inclination would be not to vote at all as an expression of protest.” You do not have to accept my skepticism, even cynicism, about our current politics, and I still want to hope our political life is redeemable. But I am no fan of these career politicians, Obama included.
I knew a person through other people I know who is well educated (PHD) and taught college in Atlanta for many years. He lives in another state now. His philosophy and political persuasion mirrored yours, as far as I can gather from reading your posts. He voted for Mr Obama. It's been a pretty good while now since I've talked to him.I never did get into these conversations with him. Why not?Because he was non-religious. He did not attend religious services. He was raised a protestant. I could understand at least somewhat why he voted the way he did.It's the Catholics who vote this way that I don't understand.I've never worked for any particular political party. They exist and candidates belong and are supported by them. I myself look at the candidates positions vis-a-vis Church teaching especially on the life and marriage issues.
“It's the Catholics who vote this way that I don't understand.”
Your observation expressing puzzlement prompted me to do some research that I should probably have done before, namely to see if there are sources out there making the Catholic case for supporting Obama. I had not done this before but worked out my position independently and that is what I have been reflecting in my comments.
I have now discovered an organization called “Catholic Democrats,” which has published some interesting literature. Here is a link to a 2008 booklet, discussing Obama as well as various issues, including pro-life issues, important to Catholics. I have only scanned this very quickly and you should not take me as endorsing everything they say. I thought I would pass it on to you, however, because it might help to respond to your puzzlement. From what I can tell from my cursory reading, it appears to be quite illuminating:
These are The LCWR types. You know, the "nuns on the bus" and others like them that went around campaigning for Mr Obama.
The kind that didn't want Bob Casey, the pro-life Democrat to speak at one of their conventions.
They puzzle me and always will.
I have no idea about possible connections between the Catholic Democrats organization and the LCWR or “Nuns on the Bus.” Do you?
This evening I did come across the Catholic Democrats’ discussion of the question whether a Catholic could vote for a pro-choice candidate under certain circumstances. Clearly, I was re-inventing the wheel in much of my deliberative process:
I also found the following claim about Senator Casey in this discussion:
“Thanks to Senator Obama, Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr., a pro-life Democrat, was given a prominent speaking role at the  Democratic National Convention.”
I was referring to Bob Casey's father not being allowed to speak. This was at a previous Democratic Party Convention. Compared to his father he can hardly be called pro-life. Bob Casey being given allowance to speak by Barack Obama, the most pro-abortion candidate ever to run for the Presidency says it all for me.
Casey received a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2011. He voted against defunding Planned Parenthood.
Casey expressed support for "requiring employers or health insurance plans to cover contraceptives in their prescription drug plans". He also stated his support for "a provision in the state’s budget to fund contraceptive services." Casey's views on this extend to the federal funding of contraception, which he also supports.
As far as the connection you ask, the politics are virtually the same from what I read about them.
Catholic Bob Casey mislabeled as Pro-Life.
Traditional Catholic vs modern Catholic:
Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, Jr., a Catholic, spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. The senator’s father, former Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey Sr., was barred from speaking at the 1992 Democratic National Convention because of his pro-life views.
Bob Casey Jr.in 2008 had a NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) voting record of 65 percent but considered himself pro-life. In 2011 he had a NARAL rating of 100%.
The Democratic Party platform:
The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.
They "offset" this in the platform with this:
The Democratic Party also strongly supports access to affordable family planning services and comprehensive age-appropriate sex education which empower people to make informed choices and live healthy lives.
This is not a "zero-sum" calculation.
As Pope St John Paul II said : abortion is pre-eminent above all other rights.
Pro-life is winning at the state level. The issues are the same but in certain states there are enough candidates elected to make a difference. The philosophy is that you can't get rid of abortion completely but you can reduce it. So quite a few abortion facilities across the country have closed because of laws and regulations put in place at the state level. Pro-lifers don't take an all or nothing approach.
Here is my response from the thread “Sensus Fidelium” originated June 27, 2014:
When you referred to “Bob Casey, the pro-life Democrat” I honestly thought you were referring to Bob Casey, Jr. and did not realize you were reaching back over twenty years to his father. At that time I had only just become a U.S. citizen and had not yet voted, so I was not following politics the way I do today. I know you did not intend to do so, but I feel somewhat a victim of “Gotcha” when I then bought into the resulting assumption that Bob Casey, Jr. was “pro-life.” He has certainly been characterized that way and indeed was characterized as such in relation to his speaking at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. And you did not specify that you meant the father.
Regarding the Democratic Party platform, I believe you have misstated, or incompletely stated, the 2012 Democratic Party Platform section on abortion. I have just looked it up. Here is the actual text:
“The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way. We also recognize that health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. We strongly and unequivocally support a woman's decision to have a child by providing affordable health care and ensuring the availability of and access to programs that help women during pregnancy and after the birth of a child, including caring adoption programs.”
Regrettably, the Party dropped the previous language that abortion should be “safe, affordable and rare.”
Regarding the pro-life forces winning at the state level, I note that there has been a significant decline in the number of abortions since 2008. There are apparently several reasons for this.
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