Friday, September 25, 2015


This is what Shepherd Smith of Fox News said yesterday and in a brilliant way:

I think that we are in a weird place in the world when the following things are considered political. Five things, I'm going to tick them off. These are the five things that were on [the pope] and our president's agenda. Caring for the marginalized and the poor. That's now political. Advancing economic opportunity for all. Political? Serving as good stewards of the environment. Protecting religious minorities and promoting religious freedom globally. Welcoming [and] integrating immigrants and refugees globally. And that's political?"

- Shepard Smith

Most Catholics who are commenting here think what Shepherd Smith thinks, that people think those five things above that he ticks off and that the Pope is commenting on, are political and not religious, human issues.

Again, I have to point out to all here that those five things and the Pope of Rome speaking about them to the political powers of the USA are not political issues but issues near and dear to the Catholic Church.

But Catholics are woefully unaware of this in our country because of poor catechesis that has been woefully lacking.

Instead we have focused on redecorating the Mass and convincing the laity that the redecorated Mass was nicer than the old way the Mass was decorated. We've focused on lectors, communion ministers and how well the congregation participates. We've focused on music that most Catholics hate and insist on telling them that it is what Vatican II wanted.

Conservative priests and laity have focused on the evils of messing with natural law as it concerns unnatural sex, artificial contraception and the like. Most in the world know very well what the Church's teaching on abortion is although a great number in the world, to include Catholics, reject parts of that teaching and insist that artificial contraception would lead to fewer abortions, when in fact it has led to many, many more.

Pope Francis early on in his papacy said, the world knows what the Church teaches about abortion but there are other things to talk about too. Pope Francis has clearly stated at other times and for the world to hear his opposition to abortion and he has used that term many times and reiterated it within the context of our throw away society.  His Holiness has also reiterated the need to respect Natural Law and has done so brilliantly in Chapter II of Laudato Si--read it! He makes connections between our original and actual sins against natural law that bring devastation to our relationship with God, with each other and with the earth. But His Holiness doesn't stop there, he gives the antidote to original sin--God's grace, mercy and forgiveness that heal the wounds we created in our relationship with God, with each other and with the earth!

But do Catholics who focus on pro-life issues see the other teachings of the Church flowing from that foundational moral principal which are the five things that Shepard Smith points out and which I state again:

1. Caring for the marginalized and poor (which implies the unborn!)

2. Advancing economic opportunity for all (which implies caring for life after the right to birth!)

3. Serving as good stewards of the environment (which sustains both the unborn and born!)

4. Protecting religious minorities and promoting religious freedom globally (Seems pro-life to me tied into the human right to bring one's faith to the public square as Pope Francis did in Congress! )

5. Welcoming [and] integrating immigrants and refugees globally. (Being pro-life and supporting this agenda are not mutually exclusive and are a part of the Church's moral teaching on the sanctity of life!)

I would condemn as an unjust judgement anyone who says that those who are called to defend the life of the unborn and from the moment of conception, no matter how that conception takes place, don't care about other life issues after birth, such as the care of the baby, toddler, child, preteen, teenager, young adult, maturing adult, elderly adult! If they don't know that these are interrelated, then they are ignorant of Church teaching and it may not be their fault! It may be the fault of the institutional Church that hasn't taught this to them. But now they have a pope who is!

And for those who say that Catholics, to include the Pope of Rome, don't care about the unborn and from the moment of conception, no matter how that child is conceived, when they promote the five teachings of the Church I highlighted from Shepard Smith's brilliant commentary, that they are being equally unjust in their judgments and if they think that abortion and these five things aren't Catholic teachings. If they don't know that being pro-life from the moment of conception, no matter how that conception takes place,  is linked to these five things then they have been extremely poorly catechized.


Dave said...

How Fox News covered the Pope's statement: Sean Hannity had the Baptist minister running for president (Huckabee) back in Thursday night to speculate further on whether Obama is a Christian and recounting what the Rev. Jeremiah Wright said in 2003.

In other words, so much for Pope Francis and all that talk about peace and healing and reconciliation.

Jusadbellum said...

People, anytime anyone asks Congress to do something that involves spending tax payer money, the request is "political".

If the Pope was calling on all private individuals and private enterprise to mobilize so as to welcome in the foreigner was only asking the Federal government to increase the INS quotas and streamline the H1B visa system - that might be different. But he's making blanket calls TO CONGRESS to "do something" which, to avoid tokenism must cost in the billions.

And he says this in a vacuum - as though the US (and EU and CHINA and Russia etc.) are not all living beyond our means. Every country above has more debt than their GDP.

So asking more government expenditures on welfare - which is what he's doing - without even broaching the topic for how this is all going to be paid for is a problem. There are structural changes that can occur so as to afford this (like genuine healthcare reform which would actually reduce the cost of all health care to the point where we wouldn't need insurance to cover basic care). But precious few Bishops seem to even have a clue. It's always the call for "universal healthcare" with not much specifics on who pays and how they are expected to sustain the payments?

Once upon a time the Church owned 30% of all lands in France and thanks to serfs paying rent on those lands, was able to finance the Cathedrals, hospitals, schools, orphanages, etc. So for centuries the Church was self-financed via rents. People paid their tithe and tax but knew where the money was going as it was largely raised and spent locally.

After the Protestant and French Revolutions overthrew this system, the Church was destitute and had to make due with pocket change. But the temptation to find some faceless bureaucratic method to finance our ministry has remained in force. But who pays the piper calls the tune. So by asking Congress to pay for welfare, healthcare, education, etc. the Pope is tacitly asking centralized States to take over the lion's share of what was once the Church's ministry.

It feels good...but its a long term disaster. It would be far cheaper for NATO to invade Syria, carve out a protectorate from Damascus to Iraq, and re-patriate all the "Syrian refugees" under the protective umbrella of 100,000 NATO troops.

Ditto with North Africa - it would be far more humane to invade all the North African countries and stabilize them rather than force millions to risk life and limb boating to Europe in search of welfare and safety.

But it won't be done for various ideological reasons - not the least of which is that Europe has chosen abortion, sterilization, and contraception and so has no children who will be needed to prop up their socialist welfare and retirement communities.

So the atheists will get their atheistic utopia for about the next 30 years and then the whole continent will become Islamic and Rome will face the same fate of Jerusalem and Constantinople.

And we - if we're still a nation - will be blamed for the catastrophe and called "stingy" because we didn't "share" when the solution was never about mere redistribution but preventing war and chaos in the first place.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me the Gospel of Life is being proclaimed and advocated in both Pope Francis' speech to Congress yesterday and Fr. McDonald's commentary. These messages offer hope and direction for building a culture of life!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the church had things pretty sweet during the Dark Ages when they could force serfs to work for them as virtual slaves. Tell us again why you're opposed to taxes?

Jusadbellum said...

I'm not opposed to taxes. Nor am I opposed to tithing. But I am opposed to people voting for OTHER people to be taxed and counting that as their own moral virtue.

Where did Jesus preach that we must increase our taxes to Caesar so that Caesar would then feed the poor, house the homeless, teach the children, honor the elderly, and provide free bread and circuses to the underclass? I must have missed that Gospel, perhaps you can enlighten me?

Jesus paid the Temple Tax. But he didn't agitate for one single massive centralized government as the choice means by which to make the Kingdom come.

Silly me, I thought the Kingdom would come via the Church and last time I checked the Church wasn't a massive centralized government. But those who believe in Government as their ancestors believed in the Church sure seem to consistently hold anyone who works for the government to be both impeccable and infallible and their programs insuperable, something we couldn't possibly live without.

But the USA existed for 150 years before the Federal government grew to its current size and scope. We had open borders and doubled in population every 25 years without a massive "war on poverty" welfare state. How ever did we avoid mass starvation without HUD and HHS, the EPA and other alphabet agencies? Easy, by subsidiarity and solidarity.

rcg said...

Jusad got that right. Why not just steal it and donate?