Polarization and the Church


 
American Catholics have endured internal polarization for many years, but lately the split has become more visible, vocal, and vitriolic. For this we largely have Barack Obama to thank.
 
Before Obama’s admirers start screaming — itself a sign of the polarization — I hasten to say I don’t particularly blame the president. Obama has only been doing what politicians always do, seeking allies and votes where he can get them. In the process, however, the divisions among already divided Catholics have unquestionably grown wider and deeper.
 


Now even bishops have taken to advertising their differences. Maybe it’s healthy that they should, since this allows the rest of us to evaluate their arguments instead of leaving it to them to scrap over things that concern us all behind the closed doors of increasingly secretive general assemblies of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
 
But the results are dismaying all the same. Consider recent public comments by Archbishop John R. Quinn, retired archbishop of San Francisco, Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan of Santa Fe, and Bishop John M. D’Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana.
 
Here are three serious senior bishops committed to the best interests of the Church. Yet when it comes to events surrounding Notre Dame University’s decision to give Obama an honorary degree last spring and have him as commencement speaker, despite his well-publicized support for abortion, they could hardly disagree more profoundly.
 
Archbishops Quinn and Sheehan hold that their 80 brothers in the American hierarchy who publicly criticized Notre Dame were flat-out wrong.
 
Writing in Americamagazine, Archbishop Quinn argued that "sanctioning public officials" like Obama by denying them honors "undermines the church’s transcendent role in the American political order," since it looks like partisanship and alienates many Catholics. Archbishop Sheehan, interviewed by the National Catholic Reporter, castigated "hysterical" reactions to the Notre Dame incident while citing as a model for others his own success in persuading pro-choice New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to support abolition of the death penalty.
 
(In passing, it’s noteworthy that Archbishop Sheehan declared the 80 bishops who criticized Notre Dame to be a minority within the hierarchy. At last count, there were 424 American bishops, active and retired. Subtract the 80, and that leaves 344. But nearly all of those in this group said nothing publicly about the Notre Dame affair. Archbishop Sheehan did not explain how he knows what they think.)
 
Bishop D’Arcy is ordinary of the diocese in which Notre Dame is located. Kept in the dark by the university about the Obama invitation until it had been extended and accepted, he protested strongly and boycotted the commencement. Like Archbishop Quinn, he explained his reasoning in an Americaarticle.
 
His objections, he wrote, were "not about President Obama," "not about Democrats versus Republicans," not about the appropriateness of providing Obama with a platform, and "not about . . . ‘sectarian Catholicism.’" Rather, as he saw it, the problem with honoring a pro-choice politician was its betrayal of the fundamental mission of the Church, laid out by Christ in the gospel of Matthew: "Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good works, and glorify your heavenly Father" (Mt 5.13).
 
 
This exchange among bishops illustrates the old truth that he who gets to define the issue can be sure of winning the debate.
 
Archbishops Quinn and Sheehan define the Obama-Notre Dame affair — together with the separate but related question of communion for pro-choice Catholic politicians — in political terms: to withhold an honorary degree or refuse communion because politicians support abortion are, in Archbishop Quinn’s word, forms of "sanctioning" intended to coerce politicians into toeing the Church’s political line on abortion.
 
Bishop D’Arcy defines what’s at stake in religious terms: defending the integrity of the Church and its mandate from Christ to preach the gospel.
 
Archbishops Quinn and Sheehan make some interesting points, but Bishop D’Arcy is right. The fundamental issue here is religious and, specifically, ecclesiological. Keeping that fixed clearly in one’s mind doesn’t by itself settle the question of whether to honor pro-choice politicians or give them communion, but it does make it possible to discuss these things in the correct context.
 
The consequences of not doing that were patent in some of the comments at the time of Sen. Ted Kennedy’s death last month. Make no mistake — Kennedy died in the Church as a practicing Catholic. God rest his soul. But however much his views may have converged with Catholic social doctrine on some issues, on abortion he and the Church were miles apart. It made an enormous difference.
 
A Los Angeles Times op-ed writer named Tim Rutten was right in saying Kennedy showed his fellow Catholics that they too could be pro-choice while remaining Catholics in good standing. Rutten thought that was swell. Others do not.
 
 
But let’s be realistic. On the whole, the polarization of American Catholics isn’t a split among practicing members of the Church.
 
According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, only 23 percent of Catholic adults in the United States now attend Mass every Sunday — which is to say 77 percent do not. Moreover, reports CARA, 75 percent receive the Sacrament of Penance — confess their sins, that is — less than once a year or never.
 
This isn’t American Catholicism at some point in an imagined future — it’s a snapshot of where we are now: three out of four adults seldom or never participating in the central religious acts of their Church, while only one in four does. Here’s the real polarization of American Catholics.
 
In the Notre Dame dust-up, 56 percent of Catholics who don’t attend weekly Mass thought the university did the right thing by honoring Obama, but only 37 percent of the weekly Mass-attenders agreed. More polarization. Instead of criticizing the university’s critics, bishops would do well to address this pervasive crisis at its roots, while at the same time considering the possibility that the views of people who go to Mass every week are the sensus fidelium at work.

Russell Shaw

By

Russell Shaw is the author of Catholic Laity in the Mission of the Church (Requiem Press), Nothing to Hide: Secrecy, Communication, and Communion in the Catholic Church (Ignatius Press), and other works.

  • Analyst

    The divisiveness we see within the Church long pre-dates President Barack Obama’s appearance on the scene. It’s as old as man. Actually, the polarization has nothing to do with Obama directly and everything to do with the psychology of the Right-Wing Authoritarian (RWA) follower.

    The RWAs are defined by 1) illogical thinking 2) highly compartmentalized minds 3) double standards 4) hypocrisy 5) blindness to themselves 6) a profound ethnocentrism and 7) dogmatism (not talking religion here).

    RWAs listen to the news they want to hear; have lots of trouble simply thinking straight; don’t seem to scan for self-consistancy as much as most people do; are spring loaded for hostility (clamp right down on lots and lots of people); are highly self-righteous; embrace “If you’re not with us, you’re against us”; are highly vulnerable to unscrupulous and malevolent manipulators (the very RWA leaders they follow); and, rely on the RWA authorities in their lives to provide them with opinions.

    Approximately 23% of the world population is RWA. In the U.S., they are almost exclusively conservative Republicans. Because their minds are often steel traps, it’s nearly impossible for them to compromise, negotiate or accept that a perceived opponent could be even partially right. Just like the GOP, the RWAs form very cohesive groups.

    During the 60 years (actually beginning well before the end of WWII) that psychologists have been conducting empirical research on the RWA follower involving hundreds of thousands of subjects across the globe, some researchers have tried and failed to make a case for the existence of the Left-Wing Authoritarian follower. Why? Lefties are questioners, challengers, iconoclasts and doubters. Lefties just are not such reliable lock-step followers as the RWAs.

    So, we actually have Right-Wing Authoritarian followers to thank for the polarization within the Church, from the hierarchy on down, and within our beloved country.

    How to progress beyond RWA? Become more educated and more tolerant via long-term personal exposure to a variety of people(s) with lots of differing beliefs. RWAs can learn that people who are not just like them can also be good things like patriotic, moral, well-intentioned and trustworthy.

  • Hess Family

    Everything I’d like to say, Michael Voris has said much better in his 9/17 episode of “The Vortex” called, appropriately enough, “Bickering Bishops.” Here are some excerpts (available on RealCatholcTV.com).

    “The past few months have brought into the light a reality that many in the church simply don

  • Analyst 2

    The divisiveness we see within the Church long pre-dates President Barack Obama’s appearance on the scene. It’s as old as man. Actually, the polarization appear have everything to do with Obama now, but earlier on, it has everything to do with the psychology of the Left-Wing dissenters (LWDs).

    The LWDs are defined by 1) hysterics 2) empty, wide-open minds 3) non-existent moral and social standards 4) blind hypocrisy 5) blindness to the needs of their souls 6) a profound elitism and 7) political, social, and economic dogmatism (not talking religion here, since they have long abandoned any concepts of God.)

    LWDs listen to Obama infomercials masquerading as news; have no trouble at all non-thinking; are default-set for double-talk; are extremely self-righteous (think Lesbians in San Francisco); embrace “If you’re not with us, you’re against us” (or we’ll report you to the WH); are highly vulnerable to unscrupulous and malevolent manipulators (think Pelosi, Biden, ACORN and the rest of them); conveniently forget that there is such a thing as absolute Truth, murderous of innocent lives, hide their greed by stealing from the poor; and quick to throw in the race card because they have nothing else to fight with.

    Approximately 23% of the US population is LWDs. In the U.S., they are not exclusively liberal Democrats. Quite a few are turn-coat Republicans, even self-declared “Christians,” who care more for false promises of new body parts and what’s in their wallets than the wholesale murder of unborn babies. Thus they voted for Obama. Because their minds are open, their brains are falling out, and they’re always negotiating with other people’s lives, money, and property. They are unable to compromise, and since they’re in power, they are always right. You only need to live in San Francisco to know they form very cohesive groups.

    During the 60 years (actually beginning well before the end of WWII) some psychologist-researchers have tried and failed to make a case for the Left-Wing Dissident. Why? Because Lefties do not recognize authorities. They have no principles. They have no concept of good and evil. Lefties are questioners, challengers, iconoclasts and doubters. Lefties are a coward, confused bunch with no moral standards, no love for neighbor, no God except themselves and their money.

    So, we actually have Left-Wing Dissidents to thank for the polarization within the Church, from the hierarchy on down, and within our beloved country.

    How to progress beyond LWD? Pray for them and cling to the Church. Trust the Magisterium’s teachings on everything under the sun. Mother Church has battled and survived external and internal persecutions for 2000 years and triumphed.

    Tolerance is not a virtue if it leads others to sin. Become more educated and more devoted to your faith and its culture. Offer sacrifices and prayers for people(s) with lots of differing beliefs. In the end, the Lord will command the angels to separate the tares from the wheat. He will order that the tares be bundled and burned ant the wheat be taken into his barn. Until then, pray for yourselves and for LWDs so they can learn that people who value life and freedom are good, patriotic, moral, charitable and trustworthy.

  • Austin

    I am not a supporter of Obama, his stance on abortion and fiscal irresponsibility prevent this. That being said, I blame the whole Notre Dame flap on Father Jenkins. Obama is a clever politician and will try to cultivate votes with any group. Father Jenkins did not have to invite him, but he did. I think a big mistake on the part of Fr. Jenkins.

    A lot of Catholics voted for Obama. He’s very glib and tells them what they want to hear, but again, I think a lot of Catholics were alienated from the GOP by the incompetent George W Bush. Very unfortunate to squander the legacy of Ronald Reagan, but that’s what he did.

    Yes, a lot of Catholics don’t attend Mass, take the sacraments, etc. I’m not sure why this is, but we have to do better that’s for sure.

  • Tom

    It’s also those in the “orthodox” camp who relativize the liturgy and see the Church only as “missional,” but not liturgical.

    President Obama is only the current issue, he’s not the reason. Not by a long shot.

  • PNP, OP

    The Church has been polarized since Peter and Paul feuded over circumcision. You cannot have an organization with one billion members and expect perfect harmony on every issue. What should disturb Catholics on the left and the right is the ease with which politicians of every stripe seem to be able to manipulate our internal differences for their own ends. Perhaps this is a natural consequence of being a Church “in the world.” However, after 2,000 years of practice dealing with kings, princes, prime ministers, and presidents, one might expect that we would know how to handle these potentates with a little more finesse. Let’s not forget who the real Enemy is in all this.

    Fr. Philip, OP

  • Hess Family

    Hello Fr. Philip:

    Not doubt angels fear to disagree with a Dominican, arguably the most scholarly order within the Church, but I’m going to humbly take a stab at a couple of things.

    You cannot have an organization with one billion members and expect perfect harmony on every issue.

    True enough re: secular issues and even some liturgical ones. Aggressive military stance vs. “soft power” negotiations? Are U.N. sanctions effective? TLM or NO? Reasonable Catholics disagree.

    But if you’d polled Catholics from any country in say, 1920, they’d have been almost uniform in their belief about the truths of the Faith and how those impacts their daily lives. If they’d heard of abortion or contraception, they’d be appalled to even consider practicing them. Deny the Real Presence or the necessity of attending Sunday Mass? Vote for a pro-death politician who promised pretty things? Inconceivable.

    To turn a phrase, these aren’t your grandfather’s “Catholics.”

    What should disturb Catholics on the left and the right is the ease with which politicians of every stripe seem to be able to manipulate our internal differences for their own ends.

    Lefties on this site and others are quick to claim that others are conservatives first and Catholics second. But the same charge can be leveled at people who hide behind the Left’s definition of “social justice” to impose on others policies whose logical ends are death — physical, spiritual, and economic.

    It doesn’t seem like it’s the politicians advocating these things; rather, they’re riding the waves of those whose minds and hearts are looking for excuses to flout the Church’s clear teachings.

    Warmest regards,

    HF

  • theo

    President Obama really is only a small symptom of greater issue on all sides of Catholicism.

    The division we face is the age old question, that in fact Pontius Pilate ask Jesus, What is Truth?

    Lukewarm Catholicism seems satisfied in supplying our world a polite lie, and/or a coercive nudge to bring Truth or a developmental part of truth to the world.

    Orthodox Catholicism seems satisfied in stating the Truth of Jesus Christ regardless of the attitude of those listening, and confronting our world to make a decisive conviction for Jesus Christ.

    President Obama and Notre Dame Adm’s soft pedal of their Faith traditions are minor concerns and events in the history of Catholicism in America. Right now, I believe we are experiencing a weeding out of our Catholic Faith so that Ultimate Truth may flourish and grow.

    What is Truth? This question is still the profound search that each individual, organization, and world body must confront,and then choose to submit towards.

  • SteveH

    Cardinal Martino spoke on the U.S. health care reforms being discussed: “I cannot but applaud this initiative.”

    In his remarks the inclusion of an abortion mandate in the legislation was not mentioned.

    What are we to make of this?

  • R.S.Newark

    Fater Jenkins seems to me to exist in a state of sinful pride. Is it not so?

  • Laurie

    Obviously, this discussion always has to include the misinterpretation of Vatican II in the last forty years. Being in my forties now, I can say that my Catholic education was very limited. I am only beginning to understand my faith. From
    Catholic educators to priests, My generation as a whole have not really been taught our faith but an interpretation mixed with worldly influences. This has no doubt influence many of the bishops and priests. If politics comes first to many lay Catholics, it seems to have effected our priests and bishops also. For some of us who are eager to live their lives for the Catholic faith, this battle of opinions between our shephards is very troubling. What does the Catholic Church really stand for? The confusing messages our very harmful. Is abortion all that important? Is a secular government run health care system the best solution? All we get is coflicting messages. It leaves an average lay person like me alittle confused and quite sadden.

  • Jennifer

    “A Los Angeles Times op-ed writer named Tim Rutten was right in saying Kennedy showed his fellow Catholics that they too could be pro-choice while remaining Catholics in good standing. Rutten thought that was swell. Others do not.”

    Excuse me?? I couldn’t disagree more. Catholics cannot be pro-choice and remain in good standing. Kennedy’s example (as well as Biden, Pelosi, Sebelius, etc.) is precisely the problem. You cannot ignore the Church’s teaching about the sanctity of human life and carry on “in good standing.”

    This division will not heal until all Catholics, including those in public service, embrace, live and defend the truth of the Church’s teachings, especially about human life. And Bishop D’Arcy was absolutely correct in his opposition to ND’s shameful honoring of Obama. You don’t bestow honor from the Church upon a man who protects the “right” to murder innocent children.

  • Bob

    I wrote this weeks ago in a previous thread, but it’s worth repeating. In my humble opinion, if you can say “yes” to every line in the creed and acknowledge the True Presence in the Eucharist, then you are a Catholic in good standing in my books, and I care not what your politics are. I personally dislike extremism on both ends of the spectrum, but I find no problem in considering both Daniel Berrigan and Samuel Alito to be fellow Catholics, with whom I happen to disagree on political issues.

    I can’t see into Mr. Shaw’s mind, but it really seems to me that this article is actually intended to deepen perceived divisions, and the author has no perceptable wish to bring people together. I notice he blames only the left for the divisiveness. but even in the cases he cited, just look at who fired the first shots. And the dueling posts by analyst and analyst2 should be Exhibit One in an argument that maybe it’s time both sides stopped pointing fingers.

  • R.C.

    Analyst:

    Does that really pass for “analysis” in your neighborhood?

    Or, for that matter, does it pass for argument?

    I hope John Cleese and company will pardon my appropriation of their script, but “an argument is a coherently connected set of points intended to prove a proposition…it isn’t the mere automatic gainsaying of anything the other fellow says.” Nor is it a series of bigoted ad hominem expressions which, even if they were generally accurate, would not in any way disprove anything that these fantastical caricatures you posit had said.

    For of course a “stopped clock is right twice a day” and “even a blind sow” can find an acorn. (Apparently, even a pair of whitebread college students can find an ACORN.) With effort I could dig out of some dark corner of the Catholic faithful a person matching your entire description — some rarity for whom it wasn’t a mere libel — and ask that person what they had to say for themselves…and the moment they opened their mouths to say, “Abortion should be outlawed, because the first duty of government is to protect the lives of innocent persons,” they’d be right as rain, and no amount of character flaws or intellectual handicaps would change that.

    Moreover, a single glance at the “goths” or “emos” in an American high school is sufficient to demonstrate that the more people try to rebel against one perceived norm, the more they create a new norm and fall into a sort of regimented and clone-like opposition to it.

    Your depiction of left-wingers as brave champions of individualism against the monolithic edifice of Catholic faithfulness neglects this. The Catholic faithful oppose our secular culture in ways that rub the left wrong; they become in that fashion quite similar to one another, holding up signs and lining their walls with crucifixes, because they all share the same criticisms of the secular left, and inevitably express those criticisms the same way.

    Correspondingly, the left also look like a homogeneous herd, finding camaraderie in their support for the welfare state and their disdain for the style, even more than the substance, of those whose dissent from secular orthodoxy we label “pro-life.” The more pronounced their disdain for traditional Catholicism, the more regimented their expressions of it, until it eventually produces the kind of form-letter your last post represents. Had I wished to invent a caricature of left-wing spittle, I could not have made it any more cartoonish than that.

    So, we’re all the same as we try to be different. “Everybody got to deviate from the norm,” to borrow from the prog-rock band Rush, and the result is everyone develops a sort of subcategorized normalcy.

    But I’ll stand with the faithful, against the secular orthodoxy, not with the left, against the Catholic.

    That difference, I think, is one worth living, even if it makes me look the same as everyone else who does.

  • maud

    “A Los Angeles Times op-ed writer named Tim Rutten was right in saying Kennedy showed his fellow Catholics that they too could be pro-choice while remaining Catholics in good standing. Rutten thought that was swell. Others do not.”

    Excuse me?? I couldn’t disagree more. Catholics cannot be pro-choice and remain in good standing. Kennedy’s example (as well as Biden, Pelosi, Sebelius, etc.) is precisely the problem. You cannot ignore the Church’s teaching about the sanctity of human life and carry on “in good standing.”

    I’m certain Shaw agrees with you; I think he was being tongue-in-cheek while pointing something out that’s obviously true: Those who think you can be pro-choice and a Catholic in good standing learned that from Kennedy (and other pols like him). The “Rutten thought that was swell. Others do not” line is a “delicate” way of showing just how much, well, polarization there is on that issue.

    Great column.

  • Hess Family

    John Cleese, ACORN, and Rush in the same post?

    “Dude, you rock!”

  • Art

    Mr. Shaw must be newly arrived on the planet if he thinks Barack Obama is the source of Catholic division.

  • Jay S

    With the death of Ted Kennedy, there will be a void for the Catholic voice in politics. Like it or not (and I didn’t), many Catholics looked to Ted Kennedy, not the bishops, on how their faith should influence their politics. Now, hopefully, a Catholic who really has Catholic faith, not someone who trots it out when it is politically useful will fill the void.
    (My personal fav is Bob McDonnell of Virginia) Any other suggestions? Maybe this could be a roundtable discussion by the editors.

  • Mr. Gumby

    “an argument is a coherently connected set of points intended to prove a proposition…it isn’t the mere automatic gainsaying of anything the other fellow says.”

    Yes it is.

  • FX

    The point is that with each age there are various, particular challenges the Church must face. Secular manipulation and internal dissent (heresy?) are nothing new. But that being said, we should simultaneously be bold enough to call a spade a spade when Truth is undermined as well treat others with dignity. As the good dominican pointed out, there is only one Enemy.

    Civility (charity?) is needed. So is fortitude. We should not sacrifice one for the other.

    Analyst,

    I’ve read my Adorno, too. Maybe you should acquaint yourself with some Aquinas.

  • Howard

    With the death of Ted Kennedy, there will be a void for the Catholic voice in politics. Like it or not (and I didn’t), many Catholics looked to Ted Kennedy, not the bishops, on how their faith should influence their politics.

    We should keep in mind that the Kennedy clan came to their position on abortion after a serious meeting with Catholic theologians and professors and priests in Hyannis Port in 1964. They were looking for a directive and got it from what seemed to be official spokesmen.

  • Art

    But if you’d polled Catholics from any country in say, 1920, they’d have been almost uniform in their belief about the truths of the Faith and how those impacts their daily lives. If they’d heard of abortion or contraception, they’d be appalled to even consider practicing them. Deny the Real Presence or the necessity of attending Sunday Mass? Vote for a pro-death politician who promised pretty things? Inconceivable.

    Back in the 1920s or so, did we not have the phenomenon of Italian, German, Irish, Polish and Mexican parishes existing within walking distance of each other? That does not speak well of “uniformity.”

  • Analyst

    Thank you so much for proving my points about RWAs.

  • Hess Family

    Back in the 1920s or so, did we not have the phenomenon of Italian, German, Irish, Polish and Mexican parishes existing within walking distance of each other? That does not speak well of “uniformity.”

    Hi Art:

    I’ll be happy to reply, but could you clarify a bit? I don’t understand the thrust of your post vis-a-vis the truths of the faith. Is it that different ethnicities didn’t always get along?

  • I am not Spartacus

    Notre Dame’s, Fr. Jenkins, The Bill Buckner of the Common Grounders, still has his job.

    The Red Sox got rid of Buckner.

  • Bob

    R.C.’s post is yet another example of gratuitously creating division amongst Catholics where none need exist. He writes:

    “I’ll stand with the faithful, against the secular orthodoxy, not with the left, against the Catholic.”

    But Mr. R.C., there have always been many, many good and faithful “leftist” Catholics, some who are now declared saints in Heaven, or are on the road to being such.

    I could cite Oscar Romero, Dorothy Day, Thomas Melville, Daniel Berrigan, Peter Maurin, Thomas Merton, etc. The list would run on and on…

    But the main point is that, knowingly or not, anyone who uses “left and right” to divide Catholics is actually placing those philosophies ABOVE the Catholic faith, making them more important than what actually makes us Catholic – which is most emphatically NOT one’s politics. (Liberal Senator)Ted Kennedy was no less a Catholic than is (Conservative Justice) Anthony Kennedy.

  • Bob

    I laughed aloud when I read the post about “Italian, German, Irish, Polish and Mexican parishes existing within walking distance of each other”. One of my favorite stories that my grandmother used to tell me was how she needed special dispensation from her pastor to attend Mass at the Irish Catholic Church, which was RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from her home, when she got to be too elderly to walk the five blocks to the Polish Catholic Church she had attended for decades – and the priest was very much “well, well, I guess it will be all right”.

  • I am not Spartacus

    “To examine how different dimensions of the Protestant work ethic (PWE) are related to constructs indicative of conservative beliefs, 256 Americans completed an online survey including measures of PWE, belief in a just world, social dominance orientation, and right-wing authoritarianism. Multiple regression analyses revealed that the PWE dimensions of the belief that hard work yields desirable outcomes and anti-leisure predicted belief in a just world; the dimensions of centrality of work and anti-leisure attitudes predicted social dominance; and the dimensions of morality/ethics, self-reliance, anti-leisure predicted right-wing authoritarianism. We discuss how focusing on specific dimensions of PWE ideology, rather than a global score, enhances predictive ability and boosts understanding of relationships between PWE and other constructs.”

    Analyst. How many more times are you going to post the RWA stuff here? You have done it at least four times that I can remember. We know it is Gospel to you but I have yet to see a single Catholic react favorably to it. And that is because, as described, it does not fit. That is not what Catholics believe.

    Well, lots of luck continuing to evangelise with the good news of RWA.[smiley=happy]

  • Maggie

    This is a Catholic blog. So as Catholics what binds us together? Is it the Eucharist? Is this a what (The Thanksgiving Bread) or a Who (Jesus Christ; body,blood,soul and devinity)? Is it both?

    If it is He, then we both hear His word, naw on His Word Made
    Flesh and act on His word. When it is time to choose, we
    choose life. We don’t let the storms distract us.

    Can we reasonably disagree that choosing someone to represent
    us who would choose death is an option? Is contraceptive
    mentality life? Is abortion life? Is civil approval of
    homosexual activity life? Is euthenasia life?

    Are we a people of The Life or are we not? Don’t wait for the
    bishops. No one can lead where you do not wish to go.

  • Adam

    Catholics,en masse,(inclusive of many clergy), have succumbed to the culture and are deceived. The deception is the fallout from sin, no doubt about it….spiritual blindness that only humility, prayer and repentance/confession can lift.
    I believe Barack Obama’s work with confused and vulnerable catholics was strategic. He has made himself leader of the mass who do not follow the Pope in the Church and skew Gospel truth. Obama is now their pope. There exists the “little remnant” that Pope Benedict alluded to in the first year of his papacy. Faith, Hope and Love is the mantra of those who hold fast to Christ’s gospel and Holy Church teaching. As Christ Himself said, “When I return, will I find faith?” I pray for continued fidelity and perseverence above all because these are evil days!

  • I am not Spartacus

    Sixty years ago “Catholics” such as Ted Kennedy would not have been coddled by the USCCB. That they are now is testimony to the STD (Socially Transmitted Disease) of Feminism that has so weakened the Body of Christ in America.

    The USCCB is afraid to exercise male authority and that is one reason, to this day, that Bishop D’Arcy has not followed through with his public promises about Fr Jenkins. He knows if he did some other Bishop(s) would defend Fr. Jenkins and claim that Bishop D’Aracy was being harsh, vindictive, judgmental etc etc etc

    The Male Authority Phobia has been the MAP to Girl’s Town and that is how I think of THE USCCB. To me, It is Girl’s Town. Not each individual Bishop, certainly, but as a collective, definitely.

    They are weak, vacillating,temporising, and quick to make nice.

    Their Duties to Teach, Rule, and Sanctify?

    It was only a few years ago at one of their conclaves (maybe it was the one held at the multi-million dollar world-class Hotel on Palm Beach, Fl, The Breakers) that they publicly admitted they had failed to teach Catechetics for forty years.

    Rule? Please. Kennedy was Canonised at his funeral.

    Sanctify? Look at what one of their own homosexual Prelates, Weakland, did to the Mass.

    We Fish Heads rot from the head down.

    Speaking of Fish, Friday, EVERY Friday, is still a Universal Day of Penance (Canons 1249-1253). When was the last time your Local Bishop had anything to say about that?

    When the Body of Christ abjures Penance it becomes weak and subject to attack by Satan and his minions.

    The way out of Girl’s Town is via the EF Mass, Penance and Fasting. Absent that, the males in Girl Town will continue to avert their eyes from the growing influence and power of The Catholic Congregationalists.

  • Catholic Revert

    The division of Catholics is a direct result of many years of not being taught the Faith. When I was in the 2nd grade(early 70’s) and had just started receiving the Eucharist a friend scolded me for chewing the Host. She said it is the Real Body of Christ and it is to be dissolved, not chewed. The teacher stepped in (a nun)and said, “Those rules don’t apply any more. They are old fashioned. Just be respectful when you receive the Eucharist.”
    The “old fashioned” bit stuck with me and through the years I fell away from the Faith. Afterall, the Church’s views on contraception, abortion, confession, and everything else, is “old fashioned”. I became lost in the sea of secularism and didn’t even realize it!
    Thanks be to God and His ever persistant Mother, I have returned to the Faith. I am able to learn the Faith through Catholic Radio, EWTN and homeschooling my children.
    I am so sad when I hear of people calling themselves Catholic and who are also pro-abortion. I know they are so lost, like I was for decades. All I can do is pray for these folks. The Divine Mercy was introduced to me upon my return to the Faith and it is ever so appropriate for these divided times.

  • Ted Seeber

    For me, the start of the division was a good 28 years earlier: Ronald Reagan and his culture of “ask not what your country can do for you, or what you can do for your country, but how your country can leave you alone” ethic.

    This was the start of radical individualism for me- and the start of the insistence on mortal sin as virtue (“Greed is good”, “Gluttony is good”, “We have to use up the resources God gave us so Jesus can come again”).

    Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama are just the response to Reagan.

  • Ted Seeber

    “The past few months have brought into the light a reality that many in the church simply don

  • Bob

    Referencing “Catholic Revert”, I don’t know of a single pro-abortion Catholic, either personally or by reputation, and I’m sceptical that there are any, anywhere.

    What there ARE, are anti-abortion Catholics and anti-laws prohibiting abortion Catholics. But neither group is “pro-Abortion”. And both groups are good Catholics.

    And don’t tell me that if you aren’t in favor of outlawing abortion, then you are automatically pro-abortion. NOT TRUE! If it were, then I would have to be considered “pro-gambling”, because, although personally opposed to gambling (I consider it to be a sin), I am not in favor of outlawing it. I also don’t smoke, and don’t approve of it. But I would be opposed to outlawing it. Does that make me “pro-smoking”? It most certainly does not.

  • PC Thompson

    It is all well and good to believe wholeheartedly in every line of the Creed. However, if despite believing in God as Creator, you can allow (via your vote or approval of pro-choice lawmakers) another to come along and terminate what He has created, how are you living your faith? To be in UNION with the Church (and be worthy of COMMUNION), one needs to have sanctifying grace. Believe all you like, but if you do not do what God has commanded, do not consider yourself “in good standing”.

    What are these extremes that you mention that you do not support? One either believes that life, the dignity of marriage, and so forth, should be defended, or one thinks these things are not worthy of causing a rift between “members” of the Church. The Church is not a country club where all may do as they please without consequence. If we are not living stones defending God’s word, we are NOT in good standing. Voting for pro-choice candidates should weigh heavily on our consciences. Thank the Lord we have Penance to help us repent of such things.

    If our pastors would universally preach that voting pro-choice is voting for death, some would surely leave the Church. But when Christ taught that his flesh and blood are real food and drink, many left him then. Did he then call after those people and try to make them feel better? We need to be called to continual reform because Christianity is TOUGH.

    Political views, as you call them, have consequences. Children are killed because of certain political views. Elderly folks and others with medical problems are already left to starve and dehydrate because of certain political views. So how can you think any political view is good enough for a Catholic?

    As a final thought, since someone else previously mentioned it, how is it that bishops approve of any kind of health care bill? I could see that they might disapprove of one (say, if it included abortion, contraception, or euthanasia possibilities). Let them educate the faithful, and stay officially neutral unless a bill is morally or ethically unjust, at which time they can remind the faithful of their responsibility to oppose it. I happen to believe that socialized medicine is bound to be one of the greatest catastrophes of this century. Show me just one government enterprise that has resulted in justice, productivity, or financial equilibrium. Why does anyone think that more government intervention is better? More prayer, more thought, more work: yes; more government: you’ll be sorry!

  • PC Thompson
  • Christine

    Our system of governance in the US did not have the problems we have now because, until the late 1960s, we all agreed that our system of governance and all of our laws should be based upon the 10 commandments. Our entire system of governance was based upon the pursuit of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” which have their firm roots based firmly in the Decalogue.

    Our leaders now try to have us resolve what is right and what is wrong instead of relying on the 10 commandments as the final arbiter. We get into the argument of the very nature of right and wrong instead of actually getting anything done. This is why you see such gridlock in the passing of any legislation. Smooth talking politicians, such as our President, will always come around to take advantage of our bickering of what is right and wrong in order to push their own agenda.

    I disagree with Analyst’s analysis mainly because he discounts the thoughts of people who acknowledge that their a priori knowledge is based upon the 10 commandments, namely devout Christians and Jews. He confuses devout Christians’ and Jews’ acceptance of the Decologue as the basis for their reasoning and decision making as purile and backwards. He thinks that by accepting the 10 commandments as a priori knowledge, we are not thinking for ourselves. Obviously the knowledge he holds as a priori are decidedly different from the Decologue, and so I pray for him and others like him.

    Both political parties in our country would prefer that we continue bickering with each other and calling each other intolerant specifically because they want to have the power.

    Bush lied about a war in which we killed many people when we were not in danger of attack (Iraq) and Obama lies about a health plan which will kill many more (abortion and the killing of the old and disabled is far worse, however, because we are killing the poorest of the poor who are the most defensless). Both are wrong and should be stopped.

  • William H. Phelan

    The dividing line in the Church began, in earnest, with the issue of contraception. We spoke of a “dual magisterium” which would compete with the Church’s Magisterium and the Church did nothing to squash it. You are looking at 50 years of dissent which has been so effective that no one knows what the Truth is. I can assure you that I, as a weekly Mass attendee and frequent confessee(?), do not look to the bishops or Catholic writers for any direction whatsoever. As the priests in our FSSP chapel say, the ONLY reason to be here is you wish to become a saint. Nothing less.

  • Harry Meekins

    In my opinion, Barack Obama is not the root cause of division within the Church. He leaves as much to be desired as the previous “president” and is merely a symptom of the lack of unified leadership of the USCCB and [some of them] failure to teach authentic Catholic doctrine. The shepherds are out to lunch and their flocks are being devoured.

  • Jay S
    With the death of Ted Kennedy, there will be a void for the Catholic voice in politics. Like it or not (and I didn’t), many Catholics looked to Ted Kennedy, not the bishops, on how their faith should influence their politics.

    We should keep in mind that the Kennedy clan came to their position on abortion after a serious meeting with Catholic theologians and professors and priests in Hyannis Port in 1964. They were looking for a directive and got it from what seemed to be official spokesmen.

    Can you cite a source please? Not trying to be confrontational, just curious where you got the information.

  • Revert

    Big difference between being supportive of abortion and being supportive of gambling and smoking, Bob. If you don’t see the difference then perhaps you might be one of the blinded souls that I refer to and I pray for you.
    The great deceiver has many tactics. The greater evil is the killing of innocent children. Our church and our country will not be unified until we all agree on this. We will not prosper and be Blessed if we continue down this road.

  • Farkel44

    One need only a short glance over the comments here to see the point of the article is proven..

    When Benedict passes there will be a MASSIVE cry for a Progressive Pope….News anchors will echo the question..”Is now the time for a Progressive Pope?”… A Progressive Pope will create a massive divide.. a Conservative Pope will do the same.

    Welcome to paragraph 675.

  • Ted Seeber

    This is a Catholic blog. So as Catholics what binds us together? Is it the Eucharist? Is this a what (The Thanksgiving Bread) or a Who (Jesus Christ; body,blood,soul and devinity)? Is it both?

    For me, it’s the creed. Protestants believe in Christ. The Eastern Orthodox have the Eucharist.

    If it is He, then we both hear His word, naw on His Word Made
    Flesh and act on His word. When it is time to choose, we
    choose life. We don’t let the storms distract us.

    Can we reasonably disagree that choosing someone to represent
    us who would choose death is an option? Is contraceptive
    mentality life? Is abortion life? Is civil approval of
    homosexual activity life? Is euthenasia life?

    Are we a people of The Life or are we not? Don’t wait for the
    bishops. No one can lead where you do not wish to go.

    Unfortunately, Life isn’t in the creed. It’s a doctrinal development, and a fairly recent (under 500 years) one at that.

  • Ted Seeber

    Referencing “Catholic Revert”, I don’t know of a single pro-abortion Catholic, either personally or by reputation, and I’m sceptical that there are any, anywhere.

    What there ARE, are anti-abortion Catholics and anti-laws prohibiting abortion Catholics. But neither group is “pro-Abortion”. And both groups are good Catholics.

    And don’t tell me that if you aren’t in favor of outlawing abortion, then you are automatically pro-abortion. NOT TRUE! If it were, then I would have to be considered “pro-gambling”, because, although personally opposed to gambling (I consider it to be a sin), I am not in favor of outlawing it. I also don’t smoke, and don’t approve of it. But I would be opposed to outlawing it. Does that make me “pro-smoking”? It most certainly does not.

    There is a third group out here- perhaps a bit younger, the post RoeVWade generation:

    I’d welcome outlawing abortion, but I suspect strongly that outlawing it won’t save a single life. Abortion is a symptom, and the real problem is the mortal sin of greed, and valuing human life below money. To truly attack abortion, we will have to fully implement UDHR Article 25, and provide a living wage job for every man, and remove the healthcare of mothers and children from the free market and provide these as a government right.

    Only THEN- when every pregnant woman is guaranteed, by law, to have to get an ultrasound regardless of her “choice” to continue with the pregnancy or not- and only when every child is guaranteed enough food, clothing and shelter to grow up- will we be able to say NO to abortion. Reversing RoeV.Wade won’t do that. Charity WILL.

  • I am not Spartacus

    “Unfortunately, Life isn’t in the creed. It’s a doctrinal development, and a fairly recent (under 500 years) one at that.”

    The “one” as an identifying mark of the Church means Oneness (Unity) in Worship, Doctrine, and Authority and the Catholic Church has ALWAYS taught the sanctity of life and condemned abortion.

  • RC

    Referencing “Catholic Revert”, I don’t know of a single pro-abortion Catholic, either personally or by reputation, and I’m sceptical that there are any, anywhere.

    What there ARE, are anti-abortion Catholics and anti-laws prohibiting abortion Catholics. But neither group is “pro-Abortion”. And both groups are good Catholics.

    And don’t tell me that if you aren’t in favor of outlawing abortion, then you are automatically pro-abortion. NOT TRUE! If it were, then I would have to be considered “pro-gambling”, because, although personally opposed to gambling (I consider it to be a sin), I am not in favor of outlawing it. I also don’t smoke, and don’t approve of it. But I would be opposed to outlawing it. Does that make me “pro-smoking”? It most certainly does not.

    Silly, simply silly. If you are not in favor of outlawing abortion, you are in favor of keeping it legal. This makes you pro-abortion. This absurd line of thinking, vomited over and over and over by those seeking to assuage their own conscious while implicitly supporting the murder of children, is old, tired, exhaustively hypocritical and it is the heart, the bleeding, pumping heart of the dissident catholic orthodoxy to keep abortion, “safe, legal and rare.”

    Thank you for your post, it’s a gas to compare smoking and gambling with ripping the skull open of a seven month old baby in the womb in the name of “choice.”

  • LV

    Unfortunately, Life isn’t in the creed. It’s a doctrinal development, and a fairly recent (under 500 years) one at that.

    If nothing else, you might wish to take a look at the Didache (~AD 100)–chapter 2, in particular–before you make that claim. (I’ve included a link to the document for your convenience.)

  • Ted Seeber

    “Unfortunately, Life isn’t in the creed. It’s a doctrinal development, and a fairly recent (under 500 years) one at that.”

    The “one” as an identifying mark of the Church means Oneness (Unity) in Worship, Doctrine, and Authority and the Catholic Church has ALWAYS taught the sanctity of life and condemned abortion.

    While the Didache (one of the earliest catechisms) did indeed condemn abortion (and thus you’re right in that), the Church has not been anywhere near as consistent with life *after* childhood. From the abandonment of disabled children that continued into the Middle Ages, to horrific wars in the name of God without regard to Just War teaching, to the usage of the Death Penalty even after being technically able to create a cell that cannot be escaped from, our idea of the Seamless Garment of Life is indeed *developed* doctrine- some of which would be horrific and unthinkable to earlier generations of Catholics.

  • Ted Seeber

    Silly, simply silly. If you are not in favor of outlawing abortion, you are in favor of keeping it legal. This makes you pro-abortion.

    Whether abortion is legal or not has *NO BEARING WHATSOEVER* on number of abortions done- in Mexico abortion is illegal, but they have the same abortion rate as the United States.

    This absurd line of thinking, vomited over and over and over by those seeking to assuage their own conscious while implicitly supporting the murder of children, is old, tired, exhaustively hypocritical and it is the heart, the bleeding, pumping heart of the dissident catholic orthodoxy to keep abortion, “safe, legal and rare.”

    And I reply to that that I want it “illegal and non-existent”, and am willing to sacrifice the free market, and the freedom to choose, to do so. Are you?

  • Sam Schmitt

    “And don’t tell me that if you aren’t in favor of outlawing
    abortion, then you are automatically pro-abortion.”

    Bob,

    On strictly logical grounds you may be right. But let’s look at the real world.

    It’s not unfair to call many if not most of those politicians who oppose outlawing abortion “pro-abortion,” since in many ways they (e.g. President Obama) actively support abortion: i.e. funding for abortion providers, opposition to regulation of abortion clinics, and even support for partial birth abortion. They are also actively opposed any measure which would result in the outlawing of abortion by democratic means.

    You and I may not be opposed to outlawing gambling, but certainly we do not support gambling by minors, little or no regulation of gambling, federal tax dollars going to casinos, etc. I don’t think it would be a stretch to call someone who supported these positions “pro-gambling,” would you?

    Let’s not be naive here: this is much more than simple opposition to outlawing abortion.

    Also, let’s not ignore the fact that groups like NARAL celebrate and support those who have and do abortions as heroes and positive forces in our society. As a candidate President Obama spoke at a NARAL function and fully supported its goals.

  • Francis Beckwith

    This is how the game is played.

    If one departs from the Church’s teaching on a matter, that is called “dissent,” and that, we are told, is good for the Church, even it tweeks the noses of them members of the Magisterium. “Disagreement,” in this instance, is not divisive.

    On the other hand, if one draws attention to the “dissent” as undermining of Church teachings–that is, if one dissents from the dissent–then one is “divisive.”

    In this way, dissenters can have all the advantages of an enforced orthodoxy while claiming the mantle of “liberty.”

    Passive aggressive tyranny is still tyranny.

  • Art

    Dear RC,

    If only life were as simple as “if your not with me, you’re against me.” Seems like that line of reasoning didn’t serve the last administration very well.

    Kindly go back and read Ted Seeber’s post carefully. There is a whole, big group of intelligent, educated, well-meaning, well-catechized, and devout Catholics who sincerely believe that laws against abortion by themselves are a complete waste of time and effort.

    I might also count myself with the group of pro-life Catholics, however large, who examine candidates very carefully, and wound up asking themselves, “How can anybody call George Bush or John McCain ‘pro-life’?”

    Now perhaps that is not the conclusion you reached, but then again, nobody that I know of is inviting you out of the Catholic Church.

    Meanwhile, I have to ask myself further that whether certain people are concerned about whether I voted “Catholic” or more concerned about I voted “Republican,” and how the heck did the two become synonymous.

  • Christine

    Ted,

    Where do you get your abortion statistics for Mexico, since the procedure is outlawed in that country and therefore would be difficult to calculate?

    If you are correct that Mexico has the same number of abortions performed as the US, then Mexico would be by far the largest performer of abortions in the world. Considering that we are the 3rd most populous country in the world, if Mexicans had the same number of abortions as Americans, they would have the highest per capita abortion rate by far, perhaps even surpassing China and their over-one baby abortion laws.

    Please let us all know your sources, as it seems to me that it would be unreliable at best, and therefore should be left out of any comments on this forum.

  • Adam

    RWA’s????

    You sound like a LWA!
    Actually right and left are wordly cultural terms and have naught to do with the life of the Spirit. The life of the Spirit speaks in terms of sin vs virtue.
    However, come to think of it…. in Matthew 25:32 Christ said
    “All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his RIGHT hand and the goats at the LEFT. INTERESTING!

  • Ted Seeber
    Unfortunately, Life isn’t in the creed. It’s a doctrinal development, and a fairly recent (under 500 years) one at that.

    If nothing else, you might wish to take a look at the Didache (~AD 100)–chapter 2, in particular–before you make that claim. (I’ve included a link to the document for your convenience.)

    Only one small part of holding human life to be sacred I’m afraid. The Didache said nothing about holding human life sacred *after* birth- and the Magisterium has been frightfully inconsistent with respect to the 5th commandment over the last two millenia.

  • Ted Seeber

    Ted,

    Where do you get your abortion statistics for Mexico, since the procedure is outlawed in that country and therefore would be difficult to calculate?

    Thank you for making me look this up! First of all, I’m talking about rate, not number- Mexico has a far smaller population than we do. But scarier than that is that their rate is actually WORSE than ours:
    http://tinyurl.com/a9vukg (Guttmacher Institute Study, 2006). My original came from the distant memory of a 1990 study, it’s apparently MUCH WORSE NOW.

    If you are correct that Mexico has the same number of abortions performed as the US, then Mexico would be by far the largest performer of abortions in the world. Considering that we are the 3rd most populous country in the world, if Mexicans had the same number of abortions as Americans, they would have the highest per capita abortion rate by far, perhaps even surpassing China and their over-one baby abortion laws.

    Not numbers, rate- but I wonder, at 33/1000 women for Mexico, how China does compare. Sure enough, Guttmacher again has the answer:
    http://tinyurl.com/y3jfy9 26/1000 official rate, but more likely (due to a large number of unofficial clinics in China) rivaling Mexico at between 30-35/1000.

    Please let us all know your sources, as it seems to me that it would be unreliable at best, and therefore should be left out of any comments on this forum.

    Guttmacher is considered pretty reliable from a scientific standpoint. I may disagree with their conclusions (that second article is particularily horrific to me- I have a tendency towards scrupulosity when it comes to abortion and euthanasia, though unlike most Catholic pro-lifers I do admit to the concept of triage when it comes to emergency-room abortions where the mother is unconscious, but only if the doctor considers the unborn child to be a second patient EQUAL in rights to the mother) but their raw data is quite solid.

  • Analyst

    Sorry, “I Am Not Spartacus,” but 60 years of empirical research on RWAs doesn’t constitute a “belief” system, mine or anyone else’s. It doesn’t seek a favorable reaction from any group. It’s not about fitting somewhere. It’s not something for Catholics to “believe.”

    What the RWA reseach does is help to define behaviors and attitudes that can result in polarization, in the this case, within the Church. It’s a way of understanding what motivates the “real” Catholics to decide who are and are not the “real” Catholics. Conservative Republican Catholics have decided that Liberal Democratic Catholics are not “real” Catholics. That is exactly what RWAs do.

  • Ted Seeber

    I might also count myself with the group of pro-life Catholics, however large, who examine candidates very carefully, and wound up asking themselves, “How can anybody call George Bush or John McCain ‘pro-life’?”

    Art, I would like to point out something related to this. Had Chuck Baldwin (last election) or Alan Keyes (previous elections since I finally got fully informed on this topic) not been on the ballot in Oregon, I would have had to refrain from voting for President *at all*. I not only came to the conclusion that none of the main stream candidates were pro-life.

    I cannot take the Seamless Garment argument equivalencies to mean I should choose the lesser of two evils; for that is still cooperating with evil.

  • Mark

    “in Mexico abortion is illegal” – Ted

    Mexico City legalized abortion in 2007.

    “Whether abortion is legal or not has *NO BEARING WHATSOEVER* on number of abortions done” – Ted

    As of 1973, 2.8% of women in the U.S. had abortions, today the number is 28%. Pretty big change after Roe v Wade.

    Ted, would you please get the facts before lecturing the rest of us? This is the second time in a week that you have presented misinformation. Thank you.

  • Ted Seeber

    “And don’t tell me that if you aren’t in favor of outlawing
    abortion, then you are automatically pro-abortion.”

    Bob,

    On strictly logical grounds you may be right. But let’s look at the real world.

    I’d love to. Let’s start with comparing the abortion rates, as I linked to above, from the USA (19.6/1000 women have had an abortion) with Mexico (33/1000) and China (let’s take the REAL rate, not the official one, for China, and let’s make it the most conservative one, 35/1000).

    What does that tell us about legality?

    Legal abortion with an economic safety net with holes in it seems to be the best. Making it illegal but unsupported economically (Mexico) is almost as bad as making it legal and fining everybody who has more than one child (China).

    Now with that in mind, on to your points:

    It’s not unfair to call many if not most of those politicians who oppose outlawing abortion “pro-abortion,” since in many ways they (e.g. President Obama) actively support abortion: i.e. funding for abortion providers, opposition to regulation of abortion clinics, and even support for partial birth abortion. They are also actively opposed any measure which would result in the outlawing of abortion by democratic means.

    And yet, with all of that, we still have only a 19.6/1000 rate, far less than Mexico where it’s illegal outright.

    You and I may not be opposed to outlawing gambling, but certainly we do not support gambling by minors, little or no regulation of gambling, federal tax dollars going to casinos, etc. I don’t think it would be a stretch to call someone who supported these positions “pro-gambling,” would you?

    Not necessarily. There’s a LOT More too it than that.

    Let’s not be naive here: this is much more than simple opposition to outlawing abortion.

    Agreed. In fact, I think the shoe *might* be entirely on the other foot.

    Also, let’s not ignore the fact that groups like NARAL celebrate and support those who have and do abortions as heroes and positive forces in our society. As a candidate President Obama spoke at a NARAL function and fully supported its goals.

    True enough- which is one of the big reasons why I didn’t vote for him. But here’s why this doesn’t matter: As long as there is a lack of living wage jobs and a lack of willing men to accept the responsibilities of *fatherhood*- there will be abortion. Society can do something about the first- support full employment laws, economics, tax and trade policy. The second- that’s harder. I’m not sure what to do about the second. Any suggestions?

  • Laurie

    Somebody tell me what is more important that we let the government do the social justice in this country–taking care of the poor, etc., instead of ourselves, or we protect life the least amongst us? Do we endorse homosexuality with our vote and embryonic stem cell research, possibly cloning etc? Whether you want to admit it or not these things do not follow the one apostolic Catholic church. If Jesus wanted the government to take care of the poor instead of us, why didn’t he come down as a politican? Isn’t this our responsibility? When the Good Samaritan helped the beaten man on the side of the road, he took care of the man, he paid for future care for this man. When we give the government all the responsibility, how does that help us? Where do we come in? In a perfect world a government that cared like Jesus cared would be great. We do not have that kind of government. In fact no one ever has throughout history. Our government is secular. Jesus probably perceived this. That is why he said WE are to take care of the poor, sick and lonely. How can a big giant government help these people the same way you or I can? Which is more important our faith or our party affiliation? I am not saying the Republicans have it all right. I just know in my heart that I can Never vote for a party that has abortion, homosexuality, embryonic stem cell research as part of their platform. Please someone tell me how I am wrong. I just can’t see it. Like I said earlier in a post. I want to follow the One Apostalic Catholic Church. When bishops and priests confuse the teachings of our faith this back and forth banter is the result. We need concise answers to these issues. Imagine how many babies would be saved if we just stood for life first instead of Republican or Democrat.

  • terry

    This “polarization” as you name it started when the bush/cheney regime came to power. It’s as clear as the nose on your face Mr. Shaw! US Conservative Bishops NEVER speaking against an unjust invasion of a Sovereign nation that does not meet one criteria of a “just war” according to the Catholic Catechism and was decried by TWO Popes. Never speaking against the bush/cheney regime and their anti Catholic Social, Political and Economic policies that have led this Nation to ruin.
    These same bishops ONLY shout and find their voices against abortion. And that is right by ALL manners of moral thought and faith! And it should be shouted about! But these same bishops NEVER made a peep when bush/cheney allowed the scientific researchers to use hundreds and maybe thousands of fetus’ to be used for experimental holocausts. These fetus’ were left over from the Clinton years and should have had rightful Christain burials.
    Mr. Shaw and all the Obama haters only have minds that remember what they want to remember. It wasn’t Obama’s Presidency that caused the “polarization” of Catholics. It was ineptness on the part of bishops to take on ALL immoral practices under any Presidency! And thus “CONFUSION” exists among practicing Catholics. NOT “polarization!”

  • Christine

    Hi Ted,

    Since you use more numbers, where are you getting the statistics from?

    How can it be counted on being reliable since China is a communist country that controls its information and Mexico has outlawed abortion and does not keep statistics?

  • Ted Seeber

    “in Mexico abortion is illegal” – Ted

    Mexico City legalized abortion in 2007.

    Well, my numbers are from 2006, so I’d say that has no bearing.

    “Whether abortion is legal or not has *NO BEARING WHATSOEVER* on number of abortions done” – Ted

    As of 1973, 2.8% of women in the U.S. had abortions, today the number is 28%. Pretty big change after Roe v Wade.

    Ted, would you please get the facts before lecturing the rest of us? This is the second time in a week that you have presented misinformation. Thank you.

    Care to read my second where I admitted to being wrong (in a HORRIFIC way), and included my sources?

    United States: 19.6/1000 women have had abortions. Mexico, 2006 (before it was legal) 33/1000 women have had abortions.

    That’s Guttmacher Institute numbers.

    Now, could you please reveal YOUR sources? Because that doesn’t jive with what I remember for numbers.

  • George Kadlec

    Let me see, I believe we have at least three Church scandals that have taken place in the last couple of months.

    1 – Obama spoke at Notre Dame. Based on thier criteria, it would have been acceptable to invite Hitler, Stalin, etc. to speak and receive honors.

    2 – Kennedy’s funeral was simply a platform for abortion, etc.
    In Corinthians Paul recommends excommunication for the man who is having sexual relations with his stepmother. He further states that you are not to associate with someone who calls himself a brother and is coveteous, adulterer, etc.; You are not to even eat with this man.

    3 – Communion for pro-abortion politicans. The Pope has written that you should not be giving Communion after appropriate notification to these people.

    One last thing is that Jesus Christ stated that he did not come to bring peace but division i.e. a daughter against her mother-in-law, etc.

    Chesterton wrote “There are many ways to fall but only one way to stand.” and “Only a live fish can swim against the current, the dead go with it.” and “I want a church that moves the world not one that moves with it.”

  • Ted Seeber

    Hi Ted,

    Since you use more numbers, where are you getting the statistics from?

    I gave the links to the Guttmacher Institute studies. I even TinyURLed them for you.

    How can it be counted on being reliable since China is a communist country that controls its information and Mexico has outlawed abortion and does not keep statistics?

    Government statistics are NOT the only way to find out such things- and note that the 2nd report at http://tinyurl.com/y3jfy9 specifically rejects the official China rate of 26/1000 as being *far too low*.

  • Ted Seeber

    Somebody tell me what is more important that we let the government do the social justice in this country–taking care of the poor, etc., instead of ourselves, or we protect life the least amongst us?

    I would suggest, just for the sake of argument, that social justice is inversely proportional to abortion rate.

    In other words, the more social justice you have, the lower the abortion rate will be, and the less social justice you have, the higher the abortion rate will be.

    Do we endorse homosexuality with our vote and embryonic stem cell research, possibly cloning etc?

    I reject that also, and only vote for politicians who also reject it.

    Whether you want to admit it or not these things do not follow the one apostolic Catholic church. If Jesus wanted the government to take care of the poor instead of us, why didn’t he come down as a politican?

    Funny, most of his contemporaries, especially his enemies, thought he did- that’s why they executed him after all (because he was claiming to be “King of the Jews” was the false charge).

    Isn’t this our responsibility? When the Good Samaritan helped the beaten man on the side of the road, he took care of the man, he paid for future care for this man. When we give the government all the responsibility, how does that help us?

    In a republic, we are the government. These are not two separate entities here.

    Where do we come in?

    In our vote and our taxes, I’d say.

    In a perfect world a government that cared like Jesus cared would be great. We do not have that kind of government. In fact no one ever has throughout history.

    Except Germany, France, Switzerland, Norway, etc.

    Our government is secular.

    The Declaration of Independence seems to differ on that concept.

    Jesus probably perceived this. That is why he said WE are to take care of the poor, sick and lonely. How can a big giant government help these people the same way you or I can?

    By relying on it’s citizens to help.

    Which is more important our faith or our party affiliation? I am not saying the Republicans have it all right. I just know in my heart that I can Never vote for a party that has abortion, homosexuality, embryonic stem cell research as part of their platform.

    Me neither, but I add war and the Death Penalty and being pro-business to that, in keeping with Evangelium Vitae.

    Please someone tell me how I am wrong. I just can’t see it.

    You’re not wrong. You can’t vote for a party that does any of that. But that means you can’t vote for Republicans either.

    Like I said earlier in a post. I want to follow the One Apostalic Catholic Church. When bishops and priests confuse the teachings of our faith this back and forth banter is the result. We need concise answers to these issues. Imagine how many babies would be saved if we just stood for life first instead of Republican or Democrat.

    And this, you and I agree on (it’s also the reason I voted Constitution Party instead, last election).

  • VJM

    Ted –

    Outlawing abortion is a Good in itself and is justified for that reason alone.

    Therefore, although rape still occurs in our land, we are still justified in making it illegal.

    Murder still occurs, but we are still justified in making it illegal.

    Etc.

    You are trying to equate the value of man made Social Justice solutions to the value of banning the absolute evil of Abortion. They are not equal, never have been, and never will be.

    Abortion trumps Social Justice solutions. How to achieve Social Justice is OPEN to debate, Abortion however, is NOT.

  • Christine

    Hi Ted,

    The Guttmacher institute’s organizational goal (from their website) is, “Advancing sexual and reproductive health worldwide through research, policy analysis and public education”.

    Unfortunately, this institute’s very goal is to advance abortion throughout the world, so their statistics are most likely unreliable.

    Sorry.

  • Ted Seeber

    Ted –

    Outlawing abortion is a Good in itself and is justified for that reason alone.

    Granted, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough.

    Therefore, although rape still occurs in our land, we are still justified in making it illegal.

    Fine, but I wish we’d do far more on that one as well.

    Murder still occurs, but we are still justified in making it illegal.

    Yes, not arguing with that.

    You are trying to equate the value of man made Social Justice solutions to the value of banning the absolute evil of Abortion. They are not equal, never have been, and never will be.

    NO. That is specifically NOT what I’m trying to do. What I am trying to do is END the absolute evil of abortion, regardless of cost.

    Abortion trumps Social Justice solutions. How to achieve Social Justice is OPEN to debate, Abortion however, is NOT.

    I suggest that NEITHER is open to debate, and that they are in fact *the same issue*. That the abortion rate is tied to the amount of social justice available. And that because of that- neither the Republicans nor the Democrats deserve the Catholic vote.

  • Ted Seeber

    Hi Ted,

    The Guttmacher institute’s organizational goal (from their website) is, “Advancing sexual and reproductive health worldwide through research, policy analysis and public education”.

    So what? Who cares what their goal is? It is their raw data we’re looking at, not their conclusions.

    Unfortunately, this institute’s very goal is to advance abortion throughout the world, so their statistics are most likely unreliable.

    Sorry.

    If you were denying their *conclusion*, I’d agree with you (in fact, I do). But to deny the basic research based on the conclusion is not reasonable.

  • R.C.

    Bob:

    But Mr. R.C., there have always been many, many good and faithful “leftist” Catholics, some who are now declared saints in Heaven, or are on the road to being such.

    I could cite Oscar Romero, Dorothy Day, Thomas Melville, Daniel Berrigan, Peter Maurin, Thomas Merton….

    I acknowledge that some of these folk stand on the leftward ramparts of Catholic orthodoxy so far as government involvement in almsgiving is concerned. Some I do not know well enough to judge; however, and those I do know, I don’t think I could give the title “leftist” with all that title implies in the year 2009. Senator Kennedy went a long way toward defining the meaning of that title, and I think it tends to include, at minimum, permissiveness toward legal abortion.

    But let me acknowledge at the outset that my intent was not to sow further division, but to answer Analyst’s libel. More broadly, I would wish only to “sow division” when it was a necessity in the sowing of clarity.

    My hope is that clear lines of demarcation will always find those who claim Christ on the Catholic side of the line; and that any time someone claiming Christ finds himself on the wrong side of the line, he’ll adjust his position (both politically, and in the context of this analogy).

    If, after the lines are drawn, a person finds himself on the wrong side of one of them, and opts to stay there…well, in that case, the division of the body of Christ was none of my doing.

    Now this line-drawing is only relevant in those areas of life where (a.) the Church is teaching within her Magisterial Authority; that is, on matters of faith and morals; and, (b.) the Church has drawn a line quite clearly. For of course we know with respect to (a.) that if a churchman were to claim that the mass of a particular quark were other than scientists generally agree, this would not constitute authoritative teaching; and with respect to (b.) we know that there are areas where the Church has not drawn crisp lines, but allow some variation of opinion and action.

    On abortion, the topic is (a.) on a matter of faith and morals, and (b.) quite crisply defined in Church teaching, which tells us that: (1.) it is a primary duty of governments to defend innocent persons from violent assault on their persons; and (2.) direct abortion is always not merely a grave moral evil, but constitutes an assault on the right to life of an innocent party.

    Therefore this is one of those teachings where we can draw quite crisp lines. That’s useful information, because if it weren’t, we couldn’t be sure about where the line fell.

    What there ARE, are anti-abortion Catholics and anti-laws prohibiting abortion Catholics. But neither group is “pro-Abortion”. And both groups are good Catholics.

    And don’t tell me that if you aren’t in favor of outlawing abortion, then you are automatically pro-abortion. NOT TRUE! If it were, then I would have to be considered “pro-gambling”, because, although personally opposed to gambling (I consider it to be a sin), I am not in favor of outlawing it. I also don’t smoke, and don’t approve of it. But I would be opposed to outlawing it. Does that make me “pro-smoking”? It most certainly does not.

    Ah, but you see, the line excludes this view for abortion, whereas it doesn’t with respect to gambling and smoking. No one can assert that smoking, voluntarily undertaken by a person with the intelligence and education to have read all the warnings, constitutes an assault against the smoker by a third party. So the Church’s teaching about the duties of government is not applicable.

    With respect to abortion, it is.

    Ergo it is the Catholic position, and even the leftward-leaning Catholic position, tho’ obviously not the 2009-era thoroughgoing “leftist’s” position, that abortion must not merely be avoided, but actually outlawed. I do not find any glee in saying this — having a Magisterium makes makes it harder to find political allies in this case — but sometimes obedience is not entirely politically expedient.

  • Carl
  • Richard Mansfield

    In British Columbia, the real division is in the culture itself, the Catholic parish being a simple reflection of our post-Christian culture. For all practical purposes, it is a social divide, such that one is defined as a Christian by listening to Christian music exclusively, not wearing tattoos, dressing modestly, and using clean language. The way one speaks gives one away immediately as a Christian because one will be careful not to use suggestive meanings and nuances. Being a Christian marathon runner has made me particularly aware of this. I have always grown up with the concept that just going to church does not make you a Christian. You need to be conformed in your mind, and not by some church program. It has to be done by yourself. I have personally experienced the scripture from Song of Songs: “for there is Love, Strong as death, Jealousy demanding as the Grave. And many waters, cannot quench this love.” – God Bless,

    - Richard, Prince George, BC Canada

  • Marie

    Unfortunately, Life isn’t in the creed. It’s a doctrinal development, and a fairly recent (under 500 years) one at that.
    Written by Ted Seeber

    Here it is in the Nicene Creed:

    “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of LIFE…”

    also here:

    “I believe in one holy
    catholic and apostolic Church.”

    It means that I believe in everything that the Holy Catholic Church teaches, including her teaching on the evils of abortion.

  • I am not Spartacus

    “While the Didache (one of the earliest catechisms) did indeed condemn abortion (and thus you’re right in that), the Church has not been anywhere near as consistent with life *after* childhood.”

    Since I cited the Creed with it Mark of Oneness (unity) in Worship, Doctrine, and Authority, you have tried to insinuate the Catholic Church has not always taught that abortion is evil or that life is sacred.

    Prove it by citing Catholic Doctrine. Either copy and paste from some Magisterial Document or post a link to and Magisterial Document which teaches that abortion is ok or that life is not sacred.

    Conflating the sinful actions of Catholics with Catholic Doctrine is not helpful to any exchange.

  • Carl
  • I am not Spartacus

    Those are Catholics who are Baptised, receive the Sacraments and maintain the Bonds of Unity in Worship, Doctrine, and Authority.

    +++++++ begin quotes ++++++++++++++++++

    I. THE CHURCH IS ONE

    “The sacred mystery of the Church’s unity” (UR 2)

    813 The Church is one because of her source: “the highest exemplar and source of this mystery is the unity, in the Trinity of Persons, of one God, the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit.”259 The Church is one because of her founder: for “the Word made flesh, the prince of peace, reconciled all men to God by the cross, . . . restoring the unity of all in one people and one body.”260 The Church is one because of her “soul”: “It is the Holy Spirit, dwelling in those who believe and pervading and ruling over the entire Church, who brings about that wonderful communion of the faithful and joins them together so intimately in Christ that he is the principle of the Church’s unity.”261 Unity is of the essence of the Church:

    What an astonishing mystery! There is one Father of the universe, one Logos of the universe, and also one Holy Spirit, everywhere one and the same; there is also one virgin become mother, and I should like to call her “Church.”262

    814 From the beginning, this one Church has been marked by a great diversity which comes from both the variety of God’s gifts and the diversity of those who receive them. Within the unity of the People of God, a multiplicity of peoples and cultures is gathered together. Among the Church’s members, there are different gifts, offices, conditions, and ways of life. “Holding a rightful place in the communion of the Church there are also particular Churches that retain their own traditions.”263 The great richness of such diversity is not opposed to the Church’s unity. Yet sin and the burden of its consequences constantly threaten the gift of unity. And so the Apostle has to exhort Christians to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”264

    815 What are these bonds of unity? Above all, charity “binds everything together in perfect harmony.”265 But the unity of the pilgrim Church is also assured by visible bonds of communion:

    - profession of one faith received from the Apostles;

    -common celebration of divine worship, especially of the sacraments;

    - apostolic succession through the sacrament of Holy Orders, maintaining the fraternal concord of God’s family.266

    ++++++++++ end quotes +++++++++++++

    As regards who and who is not an orthodox Catholic the psych survey you, repeatedly, reference in here is as useful to understanding who is an orthodox and faithful Catholic is worthless, at best.

    Anyone who knows Ecclesiastical History and the myriad of religious movements baptised by the Magisterium recognises just who flat out silly it is to, repeatedly, cite RWA when it comes to Catholicism.

    I bear you no ill will but I will simply ignore your repeated RWA references in the future because it is void of meaning as it pertains to the Catholic Church and its members.

  • Laurie

    Ted,
    I think your simple explantion that if social justice (providing services, jobs for the poor would eliminate abortion)
    is not completely accurate. Rich man, poor man, rich woman, poor woman all can sin. Rape occurs at all levels and is not neccesarily tied to poverty levels. Same goes with promiscuity which somtimes leads to selfishness(“I don’t want a baby, that is not part of my plan or lifestyle”). The sin of abortion, the sin of homosexuality can and will continue if a person is rich or poor. Voting for a party that doesn’t have a chance to win but makes ME feel better, doesn’t help the situation either. Yes, the Republican party has it’s problem. I personally didn’t even like John McCain, but in a close election my vote matters. I understand and respect your vote for the Constitution Party, but I wanted my vote to at least not move abortion in a negative way as it is happening now. This man is the most pro abortion president in our history, we knew this before the election. Getting back to the original subject, if our bishops and priest would be concise and say politicans who vote for abortion, homosexuality, etc., are excommunicated or at least can not receive the Holy Eucharist, perhaps people would stop putting their party affiliation before their faith. Perhaps the parties would go back to big government vs. little government being the main issue.

  • Analyst

    I bear you no ill will but I will simply ignore your repeated RWA references in the future because it is void of meaning as it pertains to the Catholic Church and its members.

    Works for me!

    And, it is a testament to the divine Oneness and Universality of the Church that it has thrived as One despite the inherent divisiveness of the human failings and limitations of its earthly members, including those chosen, but still mere mortals, who are called upon to lead it.

  • Laurie

    I just wanted to add that Jesus wanted us to have a personal relationship with him not via the government. Morality is the issue. If the Bishops and priests would be alittle more like John the Baptist and rebuke all sin and teach their flock accordingly we would have no need to communicate on this issue. The pharasees saw Jesus as a threat to their power but he was never concerned with political influence one way or another. He wanted us to turn and follow him. He died for our sins, not just the government’s sins. When we turn our responsibility over to “freedom from religion” government to help the poor and than completely equate everything with social justice I think we are missing one big giant part or the equation=us.

  • VJM

    I suggest that NEITHER is open to debate, and that they are in fact *the same issue*. That the abortion rate is tied to the amount of social justice available. And that because of that- neither the Republicans nor the Democrats deserve the Catholic vote.

    I must disagree. The goal of making abortion illegal isn’t to reduce abortions – it is to stand on the principle that we will not legally permit Evil in God’s sight. Our laws should reflect God’s will. Reducing the number of abortions is a separate issue. And, *HOW* we reduce the need for abortion is most certainly OPEN for debate:

    You have shown some statistics that seem to show some correlation between abortion rate and certain solutions. However, rule #1 in stats needs to be remembered: Correlation is **NOT** Causation.

    You’ll have to prove that the solutions you have in mind Cause the results you want. But, even then, there are many ways of reducing abortion, so even after you have proven Causation (which will be very difficult), you would still need to DEBATE which methods are optimal and compatible with Church teaching – which is no small task as well (e.g. Subsidiarity vs Socialism vs Individualism).

    Therefore, Social Justice solutions are most certainly open for debate. Abortion is not.

  • Art

    Do you know, George, about the informal Internet debate rule tht says the first person to invoke Hitler or Stalin automatically loses?

    But to answer your concern:

    Obama spoke at Notre Dame. Based on thier criteria, it would have been acceptable to invite Hitler, Stalin, etc. to speak and receive honors.

    Now I don’t know about “etc.”, but I am fairly certain that Hitler and Stalin were never elected Presdient of the United States. Notre Dame has extended the same invitation Obama received to every president of the United States since Eisenhower.

    Secondly, unless I am mistaken, I think that the University of Notre Dame was around during the terror reigns of Hitler and Stalin. You might check to see if Nother Dame invited them to speak at any commencement and offered them an honorary degree.

  • Art

    I must admit that while I don’t agree with your sweeping “a pox on both your houses” approach, I certainly find in more in line with Catholic social teaching than the “If you’re Catholic, you must vote Republican” school of thought.

    And this is where Russel Shaw’s analysis falls short.

    The polarization of American policts has infected the Catholic Church in America. And this has happened because the minority of bishops have reached critical mass who are willing to sacrifice the transcendent, healing and unifying nature of the church in favor of the fun and games of partisan politics.

  • Carl

    And the Church stands unequivocally against both.

    Clearly the secular culture has done a better job of evangelization than the Church.

    Pope Pius XI, Quadragesimo anno, On the Reconstruction of the Social Order
    120. If Socialism, like all errors, contains some truth (which, moreover, the Supreme Pontiffs have never denied), it is based nevertheless on a theory of human society peculiar to itself and irreconcilable with true Christianity. Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.

    Pope Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, On the Doctrines of the Mondernists
    Gravity of the Situation
    2. That We make no delay in this matter is rendered necessary especially by the fact that the partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church’s open enemies; they lie hid, a thing to be deeply deplored and feared, in her very bosom and heart, and are the more mischievous, the less conspicuously they appear. We allude, Venerable Brethren, to many who belong to the Catholic laity, nay, and this is far more lamentable, to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who, feigning a love for the Church, lacking the firm protection of philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, vaunt themselves as reformers of the Church; and, forming more boldly into line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not sparing even the person of the Divine Redeemer, whom, with sacrilegious daring, they reduce to a simple, mere man.

    In our country in the last hundred years one party has had majority control for about eighty of those years and has championed both the modernist and socialist ideology with evangelical fervor. Sure, many times the other party has supported wrongly the socialist agenda, but clearly they don

  • Joe Lammers

    R.C.’s post is yet another example of gratuitously creating division amongst Catholics where none need exist. He writes:

    “I’ll stand with the faithful, against the secular orthodoxy, not with the left, against the Catholic.”

    But Mr. R.C., there have always been many, many good and faithful “leftist” Catholics, some who are now declared saints in Heaven, or are on the road to being such.

    I could cite Oscar Romero, Dorothy Day, Thomas Melville, Daniel Berrigan, Peter Maurin, Thomas Merton, etc. The list would run on and on…

    But the main point is that, knowingly or not, anyone who uses “left and right” to divide Catholics is actually placing those philosophies ABOVE the Catholic faith, making them more important than what actually makes us Catholic – which is most emphatically NOT one’s politics. (Liberal Senator)Ted Kennedy was no less a Catholic than is (Conservative Justice) Anthony Kennedy.

    I don’t think any of those you’ve listed above have been declared saints yet. Regardless, none of them would have countenanced abortion. However much I would have disagreed with them on politics I don’t think there would be any disagreement on matters fundamental to our faith. Unfortunately nowdays support for abortion is a requirement for leftwing politics.

    Ted Kennedy, Dennis Kucinich, and Jesse Jackson all opposed abortion at one time. They all lost their way.

  • Howard

    With the death of Ted Kennedy, there will be a void for the Catholic voice in politics. Like it or not (and I didn’t), many Catholics looked to Ted Kennedy, not the bishops, on how their faith should influence their politics.

  • Mark

    - The “leftist” of 1960 would be defined as a conservative today. Go back and read JFK speeches if you don’t believe me.

    - I have never heard anyone say that the Republican Party is the official party of Catholics in America. However, all honest mature adults can easily see that the Democrat Party has become enemies of Catholics everywhere… hence the label “party of death”

    - That “seamless garment” nonsense is a pseudo license which betrays prudence while promoting that we should sacrifice good on the altar of perfection. Just another trojan horse for lefties.

  • Brian English

    Ted:

    Your approach of dealing with economic issues first as the answer to abortion is doomed to failure. Benedict XVI explains why in his book, Jesus of Nazareth.

    Benedict quotes the German Jesuit, Alfred Delp, who was executed by the Nazis, with regard to the idea that man does not live by bread alone: “Bread is important, freedom is more important, but most important of all is unbroken fidelity and faithful adoration.” (Jesus of Nazareth, p. 33).

    Benedict then goes on to state, “When the ordering of goods is no longer respected, but turned on its head, the result is not justice or concern for human suffering. The result is rather ruin and destruction even of material goods themselves. When God is regarded as a secondary matter that can be set aside temporarily or permanently on account of more important things, it is precisely these supposedly more important things that come to nothing. It is not just the negative outcome of the Marxist experiment that proves this.” (Id.)

    Benedict then goes on to examine the failure of material aid by the West to the developing world and states, “The issue is the primacy of God. The issue is acknowledging that he is reality, that he is the reality without which nothing else can be good. History cannot be detached from God and then run smoothly on purely material lines. If man’s heart is not good, then nothing else can turn out good, either. And goodness of the human heart can ultimately come only from the One who is goodness, who is the good itself.” (Id. at 33-34).

    As long as abortion exists, economic justice will not exist.

  • Brian English

    Ted:

    I think you need to look at the abortion statistics for Mexico you cite a little more closely. If you read the description of how the study was compiled, you will see that all they did was take the number of women treated in hospitals for abortion-related complications, surveyed “informed professionals” (whatever that means), and then extrapolated the abortion rate from those two sources. That is better than pulling numbers out of thin air, but not much.

    In any event, I would like you to look at the issue of abortion rates with regard to your belief that socialistic economic systems, with their public services and economic equality, will lead to a lower abortion rate.

    If you go to the nationmaster.com site, they have the abortion rates for 20 countries based upon United Nations statistics. Sweden, the proto-typical socialist, cradle to grave, economic system, has a higher abortion rate than the United States. Cuba, that workers’ paradise with its vaunted free healthcare system, has an abortion rate that is 75% higher than that of the United States.

    Economic policy is not the answer to abortion.

  • Mark

    “America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society.”

    “But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child – a direct killing of the innocent child – murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”

    “Any country that accepts abortion, is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants.”

    “The fruit of abortion is nuclear war.”

  • Joan

    Thank you Laurie for reminding us that our Christian (Catholic) faith is a relationship with our Lord Jesus and that we are His body. We are responsible to take up our cross and follow Him in His love and humility but also His suffering. To die to oneself is not the way of the world and yet, He left His Church in the world to be light to the lost while making it perfectly clear we would be persecuted by the world. We still need to be wary of wolves in sheep clothing but He has not left us orphaned. We have The Eucharist, The Holy Spirit, The Holy Catholic Church, Our Holy Father, The Holy Scriptures and all of His Creation to guide and strengthen us. When we lay ourselves down, repent and open in prayer to Him we are one body. May God bless and keep you and may His Light shine upon you. Please pray for me, our country and all of our elected officials.

  • Sara

    Why would a Catholic publication refer to pro-abortion folks as pro-choice thereby removing the reality of that position from the label of the activity?

    The struggle against the humanist culture of death is real and goes way beyound the question over whether we should kill unborn babies or not. Obama’s Czars are advocating for the abilty of humanists to use centralized government health care to kill the disabled and eldery through rationing now. They believe in killing people because their earth is over populated and they look upon people as a roach infestation or a cancer upon the earth.

    The humanists’ struggle for the “choice” to kill will continue to expand and it does Catholics no good to argue over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

  • Mike from Boynton

    I remember an old verse from the Tao De Qing, “One need not leave his own house to know the world”. Church people are like everyone else, very fickle and stubborn. Some people want a foreign language most don’t understand back in the mass, many priests want it their personal way or the highway and would like to think that their so-called way is sacred…whatever. However, when it comes to killing children and those that advocate that ‘choice’ you’d think we would get some common sense agreement about what is truly right or wrong. These are the times I guess where you just have to sit back and let the Holy Spirit handle it. Those who would prefer convenience, wealth and political popularity will be handled by God in due time, meanwhile I will bear that authoritarian know it all priests and that mumbo-jumbo Latin resurgence and patiently wait for justice as I see the beauty of the Holy Spirit holding everything together in what we know as the Bride of Christ, the Catholic Church.

  • Maggie

    Our One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church should be a religion that doesn’t cave in to the whims of society. Rather it should stay uncompromisingly true to our roots.

    St. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Ephesians: “Build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the devil’s evil tricks. For we are not fighting against human beings, but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers of this dark age. So put on God’s armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground. Stand ready with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate , and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. Accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you. Do all this in prayer asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up, pray always for all God’s people.
    St. Albert of Jerusalem (martyr, died 1214), Bishop and Lawgiver of Carmel says that life on earth is a time of trial, and all who seek to live devoutly in Christ suffer persecution, and because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion prowls about seeking someone to devour, every care must be taken to put on the armor of God, that you may stand firm against the cunning devices of the enemy. Encircle your loins with the belt of chastity. Defend your breast with holy meditation, for Scripture says: Holy meditation will save you. Put on the breastplate of justice so that you may love the Lord your God with your whole heart and your whole soul and your whole strength, and your neighbors as yourselves. In all things take up the shield of faith by which you can extinguish every flaming dart from the evil one, for without faith it is impossible to please God. Set the helmet of salvation on your head, that you place your hope of salvation only in the Savior, who rescues his people from their sins. Next may you possess the sword of the spirit, which is God’s word, abundantly in your mouth and in your hearts. Whatever you do, let it be done in the Lord’s word. Balance one’s words and have a careful reign for one’s mouth lest one stumble and fall in speech, and the fall be incurable, even mortal. Be careful of one’s ways.

  • Richard Mansfield, Prince George

    In Prince George parishes, the Masses use guitars and use inclusive language in their Mass parts. I have a new Taylor guitar and have played for Masses in other Catholic churches in the past, but as I play more and more Christian music with different Christian guitar players in town and mature as a Christian musician, it is becoming apparent to me that Mass music that uses inclusive language is something I can no longer play. I have tried to be obedient to the church, kind to the other musicians, but I can no longer play this music. I have also been faithful to the traditional Catholics who do not want guitars in church and have tried hard not to play a guitar in church for their sakes, as much as I love to play Christian music in my own Catholic church. So I believe this indicates what Hiyakawa at Berkley said in the 1960s, namely that word meanings indicate the manner in which one thinks – I do not believe that the Catholics who wrote that music are Christians because I am very disturbed in my Spirit how they use words, when I take it seriously at all. e.g. The replacement of the personal pronoun He by the word God is shocking to me – it shows where the authors’ priorities really lie – sexual equality and homosexually seems to be taking a higher priority than personal Salvation. Musicians feel these realities at a much deeper level than otherwise would be the case. Even if I am wrong, I find I can no longer play this music, which is another sign of polarization in our society – I will be respectful and not make a statement about our church viz.polarization.

  • Luciano

    Somewhere is written that if you break one of the Commandments you have broken them all and if anyone repents of all serious sins except one and knowingly refuses to the very end is in serious danger of hell. Thanks be to God for Divine mercy and that last call by Jesus in that split second between time and eternity!
    It seems also plain to me that as has happened long ago with an old heresy we’re are waking up and the world is relativistic, people have been confused, have lost their roots and most people have turned into tumbling tumble weeds or as it is explained in the Gospel as reeds swaying in the wind.
    Whatever happened to the examination of conscience? This world would be a much better and more reasonable place because of it!

  • LEM

    TED,

    How do we reteach a culture to value something precious after it has been given lip-service & trampled underfoot? It has been said that the Blessed Mary conceived Jesus in her heart before physically conceiving Him in her womb. Love is a decision which a woman makes even before she becomes pregnant and it has little to do with socio-economic assistance. That is why a contraceptive mentality makes the decision to abort so much more familiar; it’s just the next step when the contraceptive has failed, but the mind is set with the initial decision to contracept….to block life. That was my personal experience. All I know is that God is Love and love is never the easy road; never the quick-fix. Rather, love is the harder choice with commitment and that which is filled with the bitter-sweet blessings and graces of a life well lived.

    So many Catholics today no longer know how to discern good from evil for they have lost the sense of sin & have been blinded by it. Catholics in the Obama administration and Congress come to mind as well as those vigilant for Church reform.
    Many Women Religious question the Vatican’s investigation into their communities after they have openly voiced that they have “gone beyond” Jesus. They seem to have lost their spiritual discernment and don’t even realize it.

    Secularists put great hope in their false god of political power and many lukewarm to cold & even non-practicing Catholics have embraced a particular political party as their idol, as well. Their trust is no longer totally in God through His Church. Power, prestige, wealth, reputation are the things of this world that are choking out the Word and replacing God for them. Modernism and Liberalism along with relativism are among the most current damaging heresies. Our Nation is being strangled with Age of Enlightenment theories that have been passed down over time in our universities. The current trend of population control to avert a food crisis is based on the Malthusian Catastrophe theory during Darwin’s Age & once again explored in the 1970’s by our current Science czar, John Holdren who proposes forced sterilizations as a viable solution to overpopulation. Our billion dollar abortion industry would welcome the business.

    In Scripture, Jesus commends Nathaniel because he is a true child of Israel having no guile or duplicity within him. We Catholics must also be of single mind & heart focused on our Master and living our lives openly without duplicity. * * *

  • Mike

    “Analyst. How many more times are you going to post the RWA stuff here? You have done it at least four times that I can remember. We know it is Gospel to you but I have yet to see a single Catholic react favorably to it. And that is because, as described, it does not fit. That is not what Catholics believe.”

    Analyst’s “RWA stuff” is objectively true. What Catholics believe about it is entirely irrelevant.

  • Francis

    The problem is very simple. When Pope Paul VI decided to complete the destruction of our Church by handing the power away from the Vicar of Christ in Rome and hand it over to the Bishops and call synods every so often, the dismantling and the “One, Holy , Catholic and Apostolic”, the 4 marks of the church that we were taught as children that needed to always be for the church to never be in eclipse-was done with. We are no longer ONE (JFK made that clear when he said that he would never take orders from the Pope, but Modernism was in full swing at this juncture)-and we are no longer Apostolic (do we actively seek conversions and spread the word of Christ are has ecumenism, Freedom of Religion, etc-all made all faiths essentially no equal and all can be saved?). Oh yes we can all quote one blurb here where there is a “good” Bishop who still holds true to the faith as handed down from the first Apostles who would rather die a martyrs death than deny our Lord, but with Vatican II documents containing more words than all of the other council documents added together-you can pick and choose a paragraph to support anything or side of the split or divide you want,possibly what the Modernists wanted. Heck, you can go from diocese to diocese, even church to church and get a different take on Catholicsm if you want, I even had a cousin go from his diocese to another where his fiance lived to get a better take on his annulment, which he received by the Roman Rota even after 15 years of marriage to the same woman and no foreseeable impediments except possibly they got tired of eachother and started fighting

    The church has made it so easy now to be “Catholic”, with masses from Saturday night to Sunday late, meat on every Friday except lent, come dressed as you are, anyone can receive our Lord (do not even give instructions for reception of communion being in a state of grace, etc, )-that now to go back to truly being what was Catholic will be impossible

    So until Pope B16 and hopefully his successor completes the reform of the reform and reigns in this renegades and restores power back to the Vicar of Christ, it will only get worse.
    My opinion is shared by many either in full or in part.

    God bless

  • Robert J. Shalhoub, M.D.

    Assuming for the sake of argument that the majority of Catholic bishops disagree with the minority of bishops critical of Notre Dame’s honoring of President Obama and of honoring pro-choice Catholic public figures, since when is the behavior of the majority of bishops an indication of the correctness of said position? We know that 10 of the 12 apostles betrayed or deserted Christ after their first Holy Communion and that their leader denied Christ leaving the minority of 1 to have the guts to stay with Our Lord and His mother during His day of need. Also if my memory serves me right, one day in the 4th century “the Church woke up and found itself Arian” requiring 2 Ecumenical Councils and the papal Deacon Athanasius to kill the beast that had seduced a great number of bishops. Finally, there were many bishops in England during the reign of Henry the 8th but only 1 who refused to sign the oath of supremacy making Henry the highest authority of the Catholic Church in England, Bishop John Fisher, and we all know what happened to him. And as for Bishop Sheehan persuading Governor Richardson to reject the death penalty, that is very good. But the issue here is abortion which the good bishop knows is an intrinsically evil “abominable crime” in no way comparable to the death penalty. I will be first to applaud the good bishop when he persuades Governor Richardson to publicly reject his pro-choice position as a result of his teaching.
    Finally, I respectfully point out that Our Lord, in an early reference to His Church in Matthew Chapter 18, anticipated dissent/error/ misbehavior on the part of “the brethren” and pointed out that there is a limit to rejection of progressive counseling after which major sanctions should be imposed.

  • Analyst

    “Analyst. How many more times are you going to post the RWA stuff here? You have done it at least four times that I can remember. We know it is Gospel to you but I have yet to see a single Catholic react favorably to it. And that is because, as described, it does not fit. That is not what Catholics believe.”

    Analyst’s “RWA stuff” is objectively true. What Catholics believe about it is entirely irrelevant.

    Thanks, Mike. I wish I had stated it so clearly and simply.

  • Art

    Surely you are not suggesting that there is any disagreement whatsoever among our bishops on the intrinsic evil of abortion.

    Bishop Sheehan’s point, unless I misinterpret it, is that once you impose public sanctions, the door has been slammed shut, and the opportunity for further dialogue is over.

    Bishop Sheehan believes that more can be accomplished through dialogue and persuasion than with sanctions. Others, such as Archbishop Naumann, apparently disagree.

    But that doesn’t put the two bishops at odds over the nagure of abortion.

  • Mark

    Analyst’s “RWA stuff”: “The concept of right-wing authoritarianism was introduced in 1981 by Canadian psychologist, Bob Altemeyer,[4] as a refinement of the authoritarian personality theory originally pioneered by University of California at Berkeley researchers…” – Wiki

    The most common “objective” conclusion of “research” coming out of Berkeley, would be nonsensical psychobabble.

    As for RWA expert Bob Altemeyer, here is the table of contents for his new book, just to illustrate his diversity and depth:

    “Sex and Youth”

    Table of Contents
    Chapter 1

  • Analyst

    Thank you so much for proving my points about RWAs.

    You and Analyst 2 make this so easy!

  • Richard Mansfield, Prince George

    The quote: “Make no mistake — Kennedy died in the Church as a practicing Catholic. God rest his soul.” is a problem for me, knowing what I know about trying to live as a Christian in a post-Christian Canada where one is in danger of being sued for liable for doing one’s moral duty to take a stand against abortion and homosexuality and for the Bible. In practice, one can no longer trust socialist Catholics who are allied with the Human Rights Commission. This does indeed translate into the political realm where now, only fringe parties like the Family Coalition Party or Christain Hertiage party represent my Christian positions. In this regard, a Democrat like Kennedy is indeed my political opponent who I know would sue me. I work in the real world of government and business where people compete and destroy each other over issues, so I find that statement about Kennedy dying in the Church something I don’t want to be around. I believe one must be Saved, in Personal Salvation, so I look to groups like James Dobson and other Evangelical groups which the Supreme court judges in BC truly respect and fear. Make no mistake, individuals must now take a moral position on abortion and homosexuality which is sweeping North American society. I believe Romans 1 has already taken place and I know that even the Conservative Party in Canada has been given over to the homoexual lobby. Ask Real Women of Canada, Focus on the Family Canda, Catholic Civil Rights League. Facile and trite talk on left versus right in the church is truly of no consequence and I will not bother this otherwise interesting blog in future.

    - Richard

  • I am not Spartacus

    Mark. You are right, of course. Identifying RWAs as the ones responsible for polarisation within the Catholic Church is sterodic silliness on stilts.

    You prolly already know Dr. Bob is not exactly The Messiah and he has plenty of critics of his own.

    +++++++++++ Begin Quotes ++++++++++++++++

    R.W. Godwin
    The Journal of Psychohistory V. 25, N. 3, Winter 1998

    With no recourse to unconscious mechanisms or developmental psychology, Altemayer is beholden to a two-dimensional, flatland psychology in which behavior simply is what it is; there is no symbolic meaning or deep structure that is generating the outward forms – the authoritarian attitudes – that he has spent a lifetime studying. People become authoritarian because they imitate other people who are authoritarian. As for why…who knows? And why did people start becoming authoritarian in the first place? Just saying it is genetic is saying nothing at all, because a gene can only express itself in a given environmental context, and there is a very wide range of ways a gene may express itself based upon the environment. For example, I have a pet pit bull that I could have easily trained into an aggressive attack dog. The gene was there but the environment wasn’t; yes, the dog is still aggressive, but aggressively friendly, aggressively playful, aggressively curious, etc.”

    ++++++++ end quotes ++++++++++++++++

    I think the entire RWA is silliness but Free Will being what it is, there are many who will believe in that before they will admit Original Sin. C’est la vie.

    As Roger Miller sang, “It takes all kinds to make a world.”

  • Christine

    Hi Ted,

    The Guttmacher Institute’s organizational goals and timing of the specific study you cite have absolutely everything to do with the veracity of thei information they compile.

    The abortion statistics regarding Mexico was placed onto their website in October 2008, just in time for everyone to see results from a study that would enable the incoming administration to repeal the Mexico City policy, thus advancing funding for their furthuring funding for their “reproductive rights” cause in Mexico. Hillary Clinton herself was quoted acknowledging that the term “reproductive rights” is used interchangably as “abortion rights”.

    As with every organization, you have to try to ascertain what they are trying to sell and why they do what they do. In this specific instance, the Guttmacher Institute serves as a biased and therefore unreliable source for statistical information regarding abortions.

    P.S. – Their statistics for abortions in China may be correct or not – but I think that they have nothing to sell to China, as abortions are funded by the Chinese government in that country, and the Guttmacher institue does not stand to increase their “fold”. Therefore, the accuracy of The Guttmacher Institute’s statistics in one country does not stand as an indicator of the accuracy of the statistics for another.

  • Ted Seeber
    I suggest that NEITHER is open to debate, and that they are in fact *the same issue*. That the abortion rate is tied to the amount of social justice available. And that because of that- neither the Republicans nor the Democrats deserve the Catholic vote.

    I must disagree. The goal of making abortion illegal isn’t to reduce abortions – it is to stand on the principle that we will not legally permit Evil in God’s sight. Our laws should reflect God’s will. Reducing the number of abortions is a separate issue. And, *HOW* we reduce the need for abortion is most certainly OPEN for debate:

    You have shown some statistics that seem to show some correlation between abortion rate and certain solutions. However, rule #1 in stats needs to be remembered: Correlation is **NOT** Causation.

    You’ll have to prove that the solutions you have in mind Cause the results you want. But, even then, there are many ways of reducing abortion, so even after you have proven Causation (which will be very difficult), you would still need to DEBATE which methods are optimal and compatible with Church teaching – which is no small task as well (e.g. Subsidiarity vs Socialism vs Individualism).

    Therefore, Social Justice solutions are most certainly open for debate. Abortion is not.

    Interesting case for the mortal sin of Greed you present.

    So instead of actually doing something to reduce abortion you say that we should only make it illegal? Reminds me of the argument for usury- because we want to have items that are beyond our means to obtain, we need fractional reserve banking.

  • Mark

    “So instead of actually doing something to reduce abortion you say that we should only make it illegal?” – Ted

    From Abortionfacts.com:

    Number of abortions in the U.S.

    1972 – 586,000
    1976 – 988,267
    1990 – 1,429,577

    Gee Ted, looks like there were fewer abortions before Roe v Wade… who woulda thunk it?

    What’s your real agenda?

  • Tom B

    In general I find statistics debates silly, every side of every issue has their own favorites. But I got curious about the statistics of the Guttmacher Institute quoted liberally above; who are they? are they an truly objective source? Well, below is their mission statement. So who would regard this as a scientifically objective source???

    “Learn more about our work
    The Guttmacher Institute advances sexual and reproductive health worldwide through an interrelated program of social science research, public education and policy analysis. For nearly four decades, Guttmacher has demonstrated that scientific evidence

  • Ted Seeber

    “So instead of actually doing something to reduce abortion you say that we should only make it illegal?” – Ted

    From Abortionfacts.com:

    Number of abortions in the U.S.

    1972 – 586,000
    1976 – 988,267
    1990 – 1,429,577

    Gee Ted, looks like there were fewer abortions before Roe v Wade… who woulda thunk it?

    What’s your real agenda?

    MY real agenda: Is to put the sacredness of human life, from conception until natural death, under God, above the sacredness of the so-called “free market” to which mankind has become slaves.

    Why, what is your real agenda? To leave people slaves to economics?

  • Ted Seeber

    In general I find statistics debates silly, every side of every issue has their own favorites. But I got curious about the statistics of the Guttmacher Institute quoted liberally above; who are they? are they an truly objective source? Well, below is their mission statement. So who would regard this as a scientifically objective source???

    Can we separate usage of data from acceptance of conclusions? Raw data is *always* scientifically objective, regardless of the conclusions we draw from it.

  • Ted Seeber

    Hi Ted,

    The Guttmacher Institute’s organizational goals and timing of the specific study you cite have absolutely everything to do with the veracity of thei information they compile.

    The timing of the release I agree. The raw data? I disagree. Obscurantism does nothing to help our side.

    P.S. – Their statistics for abortions in China may be correct or not – but I think that they have nothing to sell to China, as abortions are funded by the Chinese government in that country, and the Guttmacher institue does not stand to increase their “fold”. Therefore, the accuracy of The Guttmacher Institute’s statistics in one country does not stand as an indicator of the accuracy of the statistics for another.

    Interesting argument. But I *still* have to ask the question, why not try charity first? What is so scary about making ourselves poor to help the poor?

  • Ted Seeber

    TED,

    How do we reteach a culture to value something precious after it has been given lip-service & trampled underfoot? It has been said that the Blessed Mary conceived Jesus in her heart before physically conceiving Him in her womb. Love is a decision which a woman makes even before she becomes pregnant and it has little to do with socio-economic assistance. That is why a contraceptive mentality makes the decision to abort so much more familiar; it’s just the next step when the contraceptive has failed, but the mind is set with the initial decision to contracept….to block life. That was my personal experience. All I know is that God is Love and love is never the easy road; never the quick-fix. Rather, love is the harder choice with commitment and that which is filled with the bitter-sweet blessings and graces of a life well lived.

    So you argue that we should instead leave the poor to make the choice between a $6000 bill for birth vs a $400 bill for abortion, just because love is supposed to be hard?

    So many Catholics today no longer know how to discern good from evil for they have lost the sense of sin & have been blinded by it. Catholics in the Obama administration and Congress come to mind as well as those vigilant for Church reform.
    Many Women Religious question the Vatican’s investigation into their communities after they have openly voiced that they have “gone beyond” Jesus. They seem to have lost their spiritual discernment and don’t even realize it.

    True enough- but maybe the first thing we should do is actually *value life above economics*- by doing *whatever it takes* to remove that argument from the equation.

    Secularists put great hope in their false god of political power and many lukewarm to cold & even non-practicing Catholics have embraced a particular political party as their idol, as well. Their trust is no longer totally in God through His Church. Power, prestige, wealth, reputation are the things of this world that are choking out the Word and replacing God for them. Modernism and Liberalism along with relativism are among the most current damaging heresies. Our Nation is being strangled with Age of Enlightenment theories that have been passed down over time in our universities. The current trend of population control to avert a food crisis is based on the Malthusian Catastrophe theory during Darwin’s Age & once again explored in the 1970’s by our current Science czar, John Holdren who proposes forced sterilizations as a viable solution to overpopulation. Our billion dollar abortion industry would welcome the business.

    Exactly! And it’s a false one. So why not PROVE it to be false? Start by planting a community garden. If you know of a pregnant teenager being forced out of her home, take her in. If you meet a woman considering abortion, pay for her to have an ultrasound first. On the national scale, let’s actually fulfill the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 25- and start pursuing economics not for profit, but to provide living wage jobs to anybody who wants one.

    In Scripture, Jesus commends Nathaniel because he is a true child of Israel having no guile or duplicity within him. We Catholics must also be of single mind & heart focused on our Master and living our lives openly without duplicity. * * *

    Yes, we should. And we should start by ending any hint of worship of mammon over God, and by ending this stupid idea that individuals need not be their brother’s keeper.

  • Ted Seeber
  • Ted Seeber

    Ted:

    Your approach of dealing with economic issues first as the answer to abortion is doomed to failure. Benedict XVI explains why in his book, Jesus of Nazareth.

    Benedict quotes the German Jesuit, Alfred Delp, who was executed by the Nazis, with regard to the idea that man does not live by bread alone: “Bread is important, freedom is more important, but most important of all is unbroken fidelity and faithful adoration.” (Jesus of Nazareth, p. 33).

    I’d order that slightly differently than Alfred- reversing freedom and bread- but only because unbroken fidelity and faithful adoration should be against freedom. The faithful man needs no freedom- for he has found all he needs in a lack of sin.

    Benedict then goes on to state, “When the ordering of goods is no longer respected, but turned on its head, the result is not justice or concern for human suffering. The result is rather ruin and destruction even of material goods themselves. When God is regarded as a secondary matter that can be set aside temporarily or permanently on account of more important things, it is precisely these supposedly more important things that come to nothing. It is not just the negative outcome of the Marxist experiment that proves this.” (Id.)

    Here’s the problem I am not for the Marxist Experiment. I’m for the *distributist* experiment. In which the ordering of goods is not turned on it’s head- but instead entirely put right by the words of Christ: The last shall be first, and the first, last.

    Benedict then goes on to examine the failure of material aid by the West to the developing world and states, “The issue is the primacy of God. The issue is acknowledging that he is reality, that he is the reality without which nothing else can be good. History cannot be detached from God and then run smoothly on purely material lines. If man’s heart is not good, then nothing else can turn out good, either. And goodness of the human heart can ultimately come only from the One who is goodness, who is the good itself.” (Id. at 33-34).

    And this is an excellent example. Tractors and seed, should be the material aid, not food. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.

    As long as abortion exists, economic justice will not exist.

    Agreed. So why not do WHATEVER IT TAKES, including the destruction of freedom itself, to destroy abortion?

  • Brian English

    Ted:

    You are still approaching this from the wrong direction. Having a supposedly more “caring” economic system will not put an end to abortion. As I indicated in another post, Sweden has an abortion rate that is actually slightly higher than ours, and Cuba, with its health care system that Michael Moore finds so superior, has a rate 75% higher than ours.

    The starting point has got to be that it is always evil to kill someone because they might be an economic burden or might interfere with a carefully laid out plan for a career. Unfortunately, our society is heading in the opposite direction.

    I frankly do not know what you mean by the destruction of freedom resulting in the end of abortion. The Church tells us to share what we can with others, but there is no coercion in that charity (if something is taken by force, I do not see how you can still call it charity).

    If you are talking about the government destroying freedom in order to end abortion, then you have really gone wrong. Russia still has, by far, the highest abortion rate in the world. The destruction of freedom leads to the deadening of the soul and the destruction of life, especially the most defenseless life, on a vast scale.

  • Christine

    Ted,

    “Seek ye first the kindom of God and his righeousness and all of these things shall be added unto you”.

    Mt 6:33

    Do not sell your soul for bread. As a child of God you are above this…

  • VJM

    Interesting case for the mortal sin of Greed you present.

    Hmmm…not sure how you jumped to THAT conclusion. What moral law has been broken by wanting someone to PROVE that his social theory will actually work before we spend a nickel on it? That is simple Prudence, a Cardinal Virtue, not a mortal sin.

    So instead of actually doing something to reduce abortion you say that we should only make it illegal? Reminds me of the argument for usury- because we want to have items that are beyond our means to obtain, we need fractional reserve banking.

    Ahhh, the “my way or no way” attitude. Please show me where I said I didn’t want to do anything. What I HAVE done is to deny the moral equivalence between God’s absolute law on Abortion and YOUR unproven social theories. And, that is no basis to say that I don’t want to do anything. Your theories stand rejected precisely because they are UNPROVEN, not because I refuse to do anything.

    But, since you insist upon a “my way or no way” attitude, I think I’m entitled to respectfully ask you to PROVE that your social theories are the BEST moral way to reduce Abortions (and please, no more correlations). Then, and only then, can you assert the grave sinfulness of people that don’t agree with you.

    Until then, nobody has any moral obligation to entertain these unproven opinions … and any further talk of trying to equate God’s absolute law on Abortion to man-made social theories can be safely, and morally, ignored.

  • Art

    Very few things in this life come with guarantees. But if you want an indication how expanding health care coverage affects the abortion rate, look at the dip the rate took in the mid-90s after SCHIP.

  • Analyst2

    Thank you so much for proving my points about RWAs.

    You and Analyst 2 make this so easy!

    My post on LWDs is a mirror image of your stereotyping of RWAs, with minor changes. And you’re not complaining?[smiley=laugh] It just goes to show…

    And yes, you’re welcome.

  • R.C.

    It’s not of any great importance, but…

    There’s a post in here, with my name (okay, my “online moniker”) on it, that I didn’t write.

    Admin, would you mind changing the attribution from “RC” to “Anonymous?”

    It’s not even the kind of thing I write. I mean, I largely agree with the point being made, but I wouldn’t say it that way.

    I’m speaking of the post September 18th, 2009, at 4:32pm.

    Art replied to it September 18th, 2009, at 5:39pm.

    (I guess it could be someone else whose initials are R.C.; anyhow, I just wanted to point out it wasn’t me.)

  • Brian English

    Art:

    Sweden has a slightly higher abortion rate than the United States.

    Cuba has universal health care and its abortion rate is 75% higher than the United States.

  • Art

    Canada, France the UK, Germany, NOrway, Italy and Japan all have lower abortion rathes than the U.S.

    And none of that has anything to do with the point that in the U.S. the abortion rate dropped rather sharply after SCHIP.

  • VJM

    And none of that has anything to do with the point that in the U.S. the abortion rate dropped rather sharply after SCHIP.

    With all due respect, when you can prove that it was SCHIP, and SCHIP alone, that CAUSED the abortion rate to drop, then you have something to debate. But, until then, you are doing nothing more than pointing out a Correlation. Correlation does not equal Causation. Therefore, you have a hope that SCHIP did something, but, not a proof.

  • Art

    I’m not certain that any level of proof is possible for those deadset against the concept of universal heath care.

  • Brian English

    Art:

    Since you are the one arguing that Catholics should support the radical overhaul of 1/6 of the economy because it will lower abortion rates, I think the burden of proof is really on you here to show some connection between the two.

    So far, all we have are the abortion rates each of us cited, which are actually evidence that health care systems do not affect abortion rates since countries with similar comprehensive systems have rates that are both lower and higher than the United States. How can we be certain which way our country would go?

    With regard to S-CHIP, it was only passed in August 1997. Abortion rates had been declining since 1991, so how can you prove the decline after the passage of S-CHIP was not just a part of that trend?

    On a more practical level, S-CHIP applies to children up to the age of 18, and only in some states does it apply to pregnant women who meet certain economic standards.

    Do you really believe that the declines in abortion in the years following 1997 are all pregnant women covered by S-CHIP? If you do believe that, do you have any surveys done of these women in which they indicated that if not for the existence of S-CHIP, they would have had abortions?

  • VJM

    I’m not certain that any level of proof is possible for those deadset against the concept of universal heath care.

    How did you come to that conclusion, if I may ask? I was actually arguing with Ted and his radical Utopian economic vision for the world, not Universal Health Care.

    But, no matter, the result is the same. It is immoral to ask people to give up their God given freedoms and hard earned money for a solution that you know in advance to be unproven. That’s like a car dealer convincing a little old lady to buy a used car for $100,000, even though he has no idea if it will work or not.

    However, consider two things:

    1. Even if you could prove Causation, that still doesn’t prove that your solution is the BEST – or even moral. It just gets your solution on the table to be debated along with all the others.

    2. You can skip the Correlation vs Causation problem if you stick to Catholic principles. A case can be made in favor of UHC using Catholic principles, but, cases can also be made against it, also using Catholic principles – so it would be a good debate. The only problem for a typical Democrat, would of course be that any Catholic version of UHC would exclude Abortion and Contraception. Is that why there is such a push to equate social justice solutions with abortion?

  • Robert
  • Giovanni

    In my opinion this all stems from the fact that Bishops are reluctant to use their authority when they need to.

    How many times must people scandalize the Church before a Bishops publicly excommunicates them? How many times will a rogue priest do whatever he wants behind his Bishop without being laicized? How many more honors, funerals, speeches from dissenting Catholics will the Church tolerate before somebody actually does something about it?

    Its about time for Bishops to get a little medieval and actually do something about those that scandalize the Church.

    The reason being two fold:

    1. The souls of those dissenters are on the line the Bishops are suppose to lead them to heaven not let them slide their way in to hell.

    2. Show their brothers and sisters in the Church that there are things that the Church will not tolerate and there are consequences to their actions.

  • Ken

    Analyst sez “During the 60 years (actually beginning well before the end of WWII) that psychologists have been conducting empirical research on the RWA follower involving hundreds of thousands of subjects across the globe, some researchers have tried and failed to make a case for the existence of the Left-Wing Authoritarian follower. Why? Lefties are questioners, challengers, iconoclasts and doubters. Lefties just are not such reliable lock-step followers as the RWAs.”

    ——————-

    Hmm – I always thought the socialists and communists wer on the Left. You mean to tell me then, that the National Socialists, and Soviet Communists did not follow their authoritarian leaders? On the contrary; it is nothing short of ludicrous to say that nobody paid attention to Hitler or Stalin.

    No Analyst, Leftists are very much the type that follows in lock-step. Just look at China and Korea.

  • Chris

    Ted:

    You should devote your time and money to Project Rachel and The Gabriel Project.

    Your friend in Jesus.

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