Wednesday, May 8, 2019


Maybe this letter writer in this morning’s Augusta Chronicle does not know what Catholics believe but he is an unwitting apologist for the Church’s pro-life teachings.

And our wonderful governor here in Georgia, now the biggest movie making state in the USA, just signed the “heartbeat” bill. It has the two exceptions but it is a start to other processes!

 Pro-lifers hypocritical

Your editorial of April 30 (“Keep fight going for next year”) again was a biased production of selective facts.
My observation is still the same: Abortions have been going on since history began, and surely before. Perhaps someone can explain the correct answer to my words.

Once again the antiabortion hypocrites are engaging in their phony righteousness - citing God, the Bible, the Constitution, the miracle of conception and the sanctity of life to oppose abortion.

Then appears the word “except,” for rape, incest and the mother’s life. In other words, it is OK to exterminate these “miracles” but not the other “miracles.”’

I am 80-plus years old and remember the horror stories of abortion that endured until 1973. Do you have the answer to the above?

George Jackson Martinez


Anonymous said...

Ok, let me try:

The Constitution does not say anything about abortion, pro or con. It was an issue left to the states until 1973, when the Supreme Court "found" a "right" to abortion. Of course, Roe v Wade was pure legislation, the so-called trimester approach. Accordingly, Georgia should have the right to set its own abortion policy. If voters in the state feel "it has gone too far", then they can vote out some politicians at the next election. Or one can always move to a more liberal state where (regretfully), it will remain "anything goes" on abortion (like in California, New York and New England)

As for the exceptions, well, like the old Rolling Stones song, "you can't always get what you want." The legislative process inevitably is one of compromise, and the bill could not have gotten thru the Georgia House (where it only had a slight majority) without the exceptions. Maybe that could change someday (though unlikely), but you can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Like someone wrote on this blog earlier this year, something to the effect that if a building is on fire, do you try to save as many people as possible (knowing you might not save all people), or do you just throw up your hands and say since I probably can't save everyone, I will let everyone in the building die?

johnnyc said...

Father the 'seamless garment' ideology is nothing but political manipulation drummed up by liberals in the Church. It's subtitle is 'how one gets to vote for pro abortion politicians'. It's true that abortion isn't the only pro life issue.....there are five Catholic non negotiables, well now six with the left's promotion of infanticide, but ending abortion obviously takes priority.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

The Seamless Garment approach to respecting human life is entirely consistent with what the Church proposes as a consistent ethic of life.

Mark Shea writes in the NC Register, "And it (the Seamless Garment) remains a controversial teaching, not because it is unorthodox, but because Catholic teaching is and always has been at cross purposes with the political currents of this world and is therefore prone to being cannibalized and used by ideologues rather than listened to in its fullness." (Register, 14 July 2014)

The whole piece is worth considering.

Anonymous said...

From another Priest/blogger reflecting “ON MARK SHEA AND THE SEAMLESS GARMENT”: (Fr. Dwight Longenecker)

“The problem with Mark Shea’s analysis is that it lacks both nuance and balance.”...

...”Can politicians do some good? Sure. God bless ’em.”

“But what if we all rolled up our sleeves and did what we could with what we have where we are? What if our pro life purpose right here right now was not only to end abortion, but to promote adoption and fostering, to look after the women in crisis pregnancies, the moms and dads who have kids, to build up our families, our parishes and schools as oases of life in the midst of the culture of death?”

“If that is what we were doing we wouldn’t have quite so much time to blather on about politics.”

Full article says much, much more

johnnyc said...

"The Seamless Garment approach to respecting human life is entirely consistent with what the Church proposes as a consistent ethic of life."

Nah.....the 'seamless garment' ideology approach is the darling of liberals who identify as Catholic and place more importance on their liberal political ideology than on the teachings of Jesus.

Lol....that garment is getting stretched pretty thin with all the political agendas of the liberals being thrown on it that they talk themselves into being equal too or more important than ending abortion.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

The Seamless Garment, or consistent ethic of life, has been echoed by such "liberals" as St. John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae and Pope Benedict XVI in Caritas in Veritate.

JPII, citing the Second Vatican Council's Gaudium et Spes, wrote, "The Second Vatican Council, in a passage which retains all its relevance today, forcefully condemned a number of crimes and attacks against human life. Thirty years later, taking up the words of the Council and with the same forcefulness I repeat that condemnation in the name of the whole Church, certain that I am interpreting the genuine sentiment of every upright conscience: "Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or wilful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where people are treated as mere instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others like them are infamies indeed. They poison human society, and they do more harm to those who practise them than to those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonour to the Creator".

B16, in Caritas in Veritate, wrote, "In order to protect nature, it is not enough to intervene with economic incentives or deterrents; not even an apposite education is sufficient. These are important steps, but the decisive issue is the overall moral tenor of society. If there is a lack of respect for the right to life and to a natural death, if human conception, gestation and birth are made artificial, if human embryos are sacrificed to research, the conscience of society ends up losing the concept of human ecology and, along with it, that of environmental ecology. It is contradictory to insist that future generations respect the natural environment when our educational systems and laws do not help them to respect themselves. The book of nature is one and indivisible: it takes in not only the environment but also life, sexuality, marriage, the family, social relations: in a word, integral human development. Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person, considered in himself and in relation to others. It would be wrong to uphold one set of duties while trampling on the other. Herein lies a grave contradiction in our mentality and practice today: one which demeans the person, disrupts the environment and damages society."

The Seamless Garment/Consistent Ethic of Life is not an oddity or a manipulative tool used by some "liberals." It is a reflection of the Church's understanding of the value of human life.

Anonymous said...

The seam less garment is a bloody garment. Millions of babies have been killed by that excuse. Hundreds if not thousands of politicians used it to hind behind it too, while voting to make infanticide available and legal.,

Anonymous said...

Fr. MJK, in the broadest sense, you are right of course (I try not to argue with priests in good standing, no matter their politics or liturgical preferences). The real problem for some of us, and I think Fr. Longenecker, is how that phrase “Seamless Garment” has been used/abused over the past 35 years.
It was first officially espoused, then accepted as doctrine in 1984 by the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, protege of John Cardinal Dearden of Detroit, via Chicago via Atlanta via South Carolina...(get the connection? Enough said there.). He coined that expression (drawn from John 19:23) as a way of illustrating the coherence of Catholic teachings on the sanctity of human life. It’s meant to underscore that a “consistent ethic of life” requires attention to a spectrum of issues, including not just obvious offenses against life such as abortion and euthanasia, but just war, capital punishment, human trafficking, the plight of the poor, workers’ rights, and so on. At the time, arguably, none of us mainstream pew-sitters could or would disagree. The doctrine took off and flew “On Eagles Wings”.
Whew—such a lot has transpired in our Church since those halcyon days! I leave it to you, dear blog readers to google/research/analyze/pray about the “rest of the story”. I have my own story...

johnnyc said...

Yeah well I got a Church document too lol.....

However, it is correct to prioritize the right to life as the foundation for all other rights, Archbishop Chaput noted.

“But of course, children need to survive the womb before they can have needs like food, shelter, immigration counseling and good health care. Humanity’s priority right – the one that undergirds all other rights – is the right to life,” he said.

And while being opposed to abortion and euthanasia does not excuse anyone from caring about other social injustices, such a poverty and violence, there is a right ordering of moral priorities, Archbishop Chaput said, which is the reason the United States’ bishops released their 1998 pastoral letter, “Living the Gospel of Life.”

“Any politics of human dignity must seriously address issues of racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education, housing, and health care . . . But being 'right' in such matters can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life.

Indeed, the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the 'rightness' of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community” (Living the Gospel of Life pp. 22).

Eight years of pro abortion Obama is a product of the 'seamless garment'ideology.

'Catholic' Cuomo's infanticide law is a product of the 'seamless garment' ideology.

Pro Life President Trump is a product of true Pro Life put into action. Thankfully enough Catholics got wise and we now have a true Pro Life President. And if you want evidence of that just look at how the left is trying to get rid of him. They know how dangerous he is to planned parenthood.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Anonymous 5:38 - People have abused any number of titles, statements of doctrine, or other Church words, for, well, all time. That does not diminish the Seamless Garment/Consistent Ethic of Life as a completely authentic, unalterable portion of the Church's doctrine. It is not some "liberal" gobbledygook developed in order to skirt the protection of the unborn.

Anonymous said...

Dear Fr. MJK, I’m unclear why you say “It is not some ‘liberal’ gobbledygook...” in referring to my comment. I certainly said no such thing, nor did I even come close to that kind of phraseology. I never would, as it is not my style of writing, nor am I qualified to judge doctrine. I merely cited some historical facts regarding the origin said doctrine. I then left it to the reader to “consider” as you advised in your first posting. I do have my own story which would be of little interest here.
And, again, I try not to argue with priests in good standing.

Anon 5:38

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Anonymous 5:38 - I was referring to and renewing my rebuttal to johnnyc's comment, "Father the 'seamless garment' ideology is nothing but political manipulation drummed up by liberals in the Church." Sorry, my post made it sound like I was addressing you.

The origin of the Consistent Ethic of Life/ Seamless Garment predates Bernardin who took up the term in 1983. "The rest of the story" is that the necessity of respecting human life - whether that is by protecting unborn children, not polluting rivers and streams, or being mindful of the waste we produce - is foundational to Christianity.