The Hill: GOP demands Pelosi apologize for mangling Catholic teaching

This article from The Hill was sent by a reader on The Hill:

GOP demands Pelosi apology for abortion comments

By Bob Cusack

Posted: 08/27/08 01:24 PM [ET]

DENVER — House Republicans are demanding that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) apologize for her recent comments on abortion, saying they “mangle Catholic Church doctrine.”

The letter comes just a day after Archbishop Donald Wuerl, for the second time in a week, [second time?  Where?  When? What?] slapped down the Speaker’s theological explanation for her support of abortion rights.

Pelosi, a Catholic, said on Sunday’s edition of “Meet the Press” that the moment of conception has long been an issue of controversy in the Catholic Church. In a highly unusual move, Wuerl publicly corrected Pelosi on doctrine, and New York Archbishop Edward Cardinal Egan said he was “shocked” by her comments.

Egan said, “What the Speaker had to say about theologians and their positions regarding abortion was not only misinformed; it was also, and especially, utterly incredible in this day and age. … Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being ‘chooses’ to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name.”

Now, a group of 19 Catholic Republican House members are also expressing their outrage. In a letter sent to Pelosi, they write, “[Y]our erroneous claim about the history of the Church’s opposition to abortion is false and denigrates our common Faith.

They point out that in 1679, the Church unequivocally said it is in “an error for Catholics to believe fetuses do not have a soul.”

The Republicans’ letter concludes, “To reduce the scandal and consternation caused amongst the faithful by your remarks, we necessarily write to you to correct the public record and affirm the Church’s actual and historical teaching that defends the sanctity of human life. We hope that you will rectify your errant claims and apologize for misrepresenting the Church’s doctrine and misleading fellow Catholics.”

Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly issued a statement Tuesday in which the Speaker stood by her comments. He said that not all Catholics believe that life begins at conception and cited St. Augustine, who said, "The law does not provide that the act [abortion] pertains to homicide, for there cannot yet be said to be a live soul in a body that lacks sensation."

Wuerl blasted Pelosi’s statement, saying the “philosophical discussion of St. Augustine’s time is not relevant today.” [Not sure about that.  I think it is entirely relevant.  What Augustine has to say is helpful and we haven’t, I suspect, gotten to the bottom of what he was really struggling with… but I’ll get to that eventually.  What is important is that Augustine’s teachings are not the equivalent of the modern Magisterium.]

In his statement, Daly also said, “The Speaker agrees with the Church that we should reduce the number of abortions. She believes that can be done by making family planning more available, as well as by increasing the number of comprehensive age-appropriate sex education and caring adoption programs.”  [That is greater distribution of contraceptives, most of which are abortifacients and also of invasive sex-education.  Speaker Pelosi should review The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality.]

Asked for comment on the House Republican letter, Daly referred to Tuesday’s statement.

The GOP members who signed the letter are: Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.), John Boehner (Ohio), Steve Chabot (Ohio), Virginia Foxx (N.C.), Phil Gingrey (Ga.), Peter King (N.Y.), Steve King (Iowa), Daniel Lungren (Calif.), Devin Nunes (Calif.), John Sullivan (Okla.), Patrick Tiberi (Ohio), Phil English (Pa.), Jean Schmidt (Ohio), Jim Walsh (N.Y.), Jeff Fortenberry (Neb.), Michael McCaul (Texas), Paul Ryan (Wis.), Walter Jones (N.C.) and Mike Ferguson (N.J.).

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57 Responses to The Hill: GOP demands Pelosi apologize for mangling Catholic teaching

  1. fortradition says:

    Thanks, Fr. Z., for keeping us so well informed. What would we do without you and your wonderful commentaries! Perhaps it takes some extreme idiotic statement from the Speaker of the House to raise the ire of our Prelates to finally speak out. I’m glad some in the GOP have joined
    the ranks to discredit Nancy Pelosi’s ignorant statement. I think we should buy her the books, Biology 101, as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Evidently she’s never studied them.

  2. I’d rather the GOP stay out of this. This is not a partisan issue, and we don’t want it to become one.

    Pelosi has picked a fight with the Church. She would love to turn it into a fight with the GOP.

  3. “GOP demands Pelosi apology for abortion comments”

    As though the One True Church needs their defense.

  4. Will the GOP apologize for mangling Church teaching at the times when they needed to do so to suit their purposes? I’m not defending Pelosi, I’m just sayin’…

  5. johnny says:

    Good point Fr Fox. One needs the patience of St Monica, no? I noticed missing from the list is Chris Smith, (Rep, NJ) who always seems to have a good head on his shoulders.

    Perhaps not for the politicians, but for those Catholics who mistakenly think it is possible in good faith to support the dems it’s a hard case. To me, and in some cases, though obviously not all, it is an error of judgement, not of a definitive intention to go against the church. Somehow we need to reach them

  6. toomey says:

    You are so right, Fr. Fox. This is not a partisan issue, as is evidenced by the wonderful news that just today, 8-27-08, all 114 Catholic Democrat members of the United States House of Representatives have joined in unison to denounce Ms. Pelosi for her recent statements on abortion which run contrary to Catholic teaching. Fabulous news, indeed. No partisanship whatsoever.

  7. Lucia says:

    The *journalist* says that the GOP is “demanding” an apology. In reality, a group of Catholic congressmen/women who happen to be all Republicans are correcting someone we all know to have made incorrect statements. Am I saying it’s entirely nonpartisan? Of course not. But it is also unfair to say that these House Republicans are acting solely on behalf of their party rather than their Church.

    And, let’s face it: unfortunately, Pelosi & co. WILL respond to political criticism. They could obviously care less what the Church thinks of them, considering their blatant disregard for Her doctrine.

  8. Flambeaux says:

    That it only seems to be GOP members of Congress indicates how deeply beholden to the Abortion Industry the Democrats in Congress, especially the nominally Catholic Democrats, have become.

    And, AFAIK, members of the GOP, even Catholic ones, have never misrepresented Church teaching, claimed (heretically) that the misrepresentation was authentic Church teaching, and then proceeded to thumb their noses at anyone who had the Audacity to Correct them.

  9. Re: Father Fox’s belief that Ms. Pelosi has picked a fight with the Church (alone) is short-sighted. The Dem’s have supported abortion rights, in general, and the Republican party has been the pro-life party since Ronald Reagan.
    Ms. Pelosi has picked a fight with ALL Catholics, not just the Church. With all due respect, if the Church could have resolved the abortion issue, it would have done so by now and not let 40 million helpless unborns fall to the knife and vacuum.
    Please, don’t reject any help that the Lord may send your way.

  10. James says:

    It’s standard operating procedure on the Hill for Members to correct the record when facts are so grossly misstated. It has also helped to bring more secular press to bear on this issue. As far as Democrats are concerned, we don’t know if they’ve been invited to sign on or not. Perhaps they’ve all refused. Even so, would you take them seriously? They did vote for Pelosi as Speaker in the first place.

  11. John H. says:

    Fr. Martin,

    While I agree that the GOP is not exactly made up of the saints the neoconservatives portray them as being; I must ask how can you say this is not a partisan issue? The Democrats are clear, abortion is a ‘right’ for them. I wish every GOP member would join a letter like this one, and commit to defend life as these men have done, especially every Catholic GOP member. I wish every democrat would as well, but right now men like Sen. Bob Casey, who are far from ideal, are not only in the minority of the democratic party, they are in the negligable minority.

  12. Thomas says:

    “’GOP demands Pelosi apology for abortion comments’

    As though the One True Church needs their defense.”

    Except they ARE members of the One True Church. You’re picking a fight with a headline. Catholics in the House, which Pelosi is Speaker of, have called her to task. It seems they are acting entirely appropriately in their capacity as Lay Faithful in the public arena.

  13. Thomas says:

    Fr. Z, if you go over to the American Papist site you’ll get Archbishop Wuerl’s full(er) response. It’s not quite as simple as merely pish-poshing St. Augustine as irrelevant.

  14. johnny says:

    Hey, I’m with you all, its a tragedy that there are so few genuinely pro-life democrats in the congress or anywhere else. The members who signed are expressing their opinion, which is their right.

    As a lay person, in an appropriate forum, I would be glad to give a whole list of secular reasons why I believe the GOP is right for the nation at this time, but reasonable people can differ on, for example, tax policy or foreign affairs. I think the point was that in the first instance, it is the church who defines the important moral and social doctrines which are not up for debate.

  15. Ron says:

    Fr. Z,

    Here is the second reply of Archbishop Wuerl: http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/pelosis-feud-with-archbishop-escalates-2008-08-26.html

    Pax Christi tecum.

  16. Bill says:

    “Will the GOP apologize for mangling Church teaching at the times when they needed to do so to suit their purposes? I’m not defending Pelosi, I’m just sayin’…”

    What Church teaching has the GOP mangled? If they have mangled anything, is it of a similar nature and gavity as the abortion issue?

  17. No, not a partisan issue…and we ought to fire off complimentary email, letter, fax, or phone call to those elected officials who are denouncing Pelosi for her fallacious comments.

  18. mpm says:

    Someone above said that “it’s a tragedy that there are so few genuinely
    pro-life democrats in the congress or anywhere else.” Perhaps a tragedy,
    but in all certainty, it is and has been a conscious, deliberate policy of
    the Democratic Party, since Carter’s administration. That’s when most of
    the “Catholic Dems” all of a sudden became “pro-choice”.

    If it’s a tragedy, it’s one of the party’s own making, and they could unmake
    it at will.

    If there is some major problem with the Republicans also — I keep hearing
    about various ones — then maybe it’s time for Americans to come up with a
    better third party, and a big one that we can support going forward?

  19. Toomey:

    Can you provide a link or source for your claim about the Catholic House Democrats reacting to Pelosi?

    John H:

    My point is, Pelosi would much prefer that she say, this is R’s attacking D’s…why should any of us oblige her?

    In fact, she claimed to present Catholic teaching, and she mangled it (for self serving reasons obviously), and in doing so, she’s picking a fight with the Church — David Vandemore, the Church includes both hierarchy and her members, so that’s all Catholics.

  20. BobP says:

    If I remember correctly, Roe vs Wade came under Republican watch. Why was it even brought up before the Supreme Court? Because some Catholics
    in New York decided to make it an issue. A very dumb move.

    Be that as it may, the only viable way to “overturn” Roe vs Wade is to throw the abortion issue back to the states where it really belongs as the states would have to determine the penalties anyway.

    However, I have yet to hear any Republican except for maybe Ron Paul propose this idea to the voters. Can someone say they’re playing politics as usual? Pelosi’s comments weren’t surprising coming from her, but why bring up the issue now?

  21. mpm says:

    Fr. Martin Fox,

    I agree with you about the possible “dilution” of the teaching moment if
    this becomes a D v R fight, and not about the Church’s teaching vs. the phoney
    beliefs of some Catholics.

    But how do you get the pols (and I assume some at least are offended as Catholics)
    to keep their hands off of red meat? I’m just saying…

  22. mariadevotee says:

    Life site news http://www.lifesitenews.com/ has a new response from Nancy Pelosi’s spokesman who says that while the Catholic Church is clear in Her teachings, Pelosi, like lots of other Catholics, don’t agree and can still be good Catholics. Certainly the elephant in the room in a lot of parishes. Ok Bishops, tag you’re it.

  23. Joe from Pittsburgh says:

    I am a conservative (not a neocon) who is quite disgruntled at the GOP. i don\’t care what party the Representatives are a member of. They are correct in their letter demanding Pelosi retract her comments.

    However, Pelosi is too beholden to NARAL and Planned Parenthood – and too full of herself – to reconsider. Prayers for conversion are needed – for Pelosi, for the pro-abortion Democrat Party, and for the nation.

  24. Little Gidding says:

    Pelosi “claimed to present Catholic teaching,” not to expound Catholic teaching, but to convict the authority of the Church as hypocritcal, and therefore void: “Look, the Church pretends to some eternal principle,” but here’s one of them (Augustine) who is obviously an authority on its own terms and who did not agree with its “principle.” Ergo, it’s not an eternal principle. She couldn’t care less about what Augustine really thought. She only cares to use him as a club to beat back the authority of the Church. On the basis on what she said on Meet the Press, she may have done no more “study” on this subject than to watch a re-run of the CSI Las Vegas episode in which the same “gotcha” was idiotically applied by Grissom and Willows to the lady who ran the organization that sought to place frozen embryos about to be discarded in the wombs of women willing to bring them to term.

  25. CarpeNoctem says:

    This is not a partisan issue, as I think Fr. Fox is trying to say, because the criticism of Pelosi is correct in itself… not simply because the GOP says so. Sad to say, but many people are too stupid to figure out that the Church stands on principles which are true in themselves rather than taking advantage of what might (rightly or wrongly) be considered political grandstanding by the opposing party to advance the cause.

    I, too, am very nervous to see the GOP chumming up too close with the Church on this episode and taking political advantage of someone elses sin and heresy. If the GOP swoops in too close, the perception will be that all of this hubbub is simply another partisan squabble which half of the population cna dismiss out of hand as another political maneuver… diminishing the Church’s credibility and relevance on the issue of abortion. We need to simply teach and instruct (and DISCIPLINE) in our own right without the GOP’s commentary or apparent cooperation.

    Thus I also agree with the sentiment that “the Church doesn’t need the GOP’s help here”. I am very nervous about the GOP’s (and the nominee’s) true commitment to life issues, and they could end up on the outs before this is all over. Yeah, I know about the need to ‘limit evil’ when there is no best choice between candidates, but I sure hope it doesn’t come to that… it would be a great disservice to the nation, the party, and to the cause of life.

  26. Romulus says:

    Fr. Martin Fox: I almost asked the same questions you have, but then started to wonder whether toomey isn’t dealing in some rather dry irony.

    It would have been nice to see some Democrat signers on that GOP letter, as it would have mitigated its partisan odor. I suppose that’s too much to hope for.

  27. Luke D. says:

    Father, I love you and your blog, but how much more can we beat this issue into the ground? Somebody (her Bishop) needs to ban her from communion and be done with it.

  28. Joe says:

    Luke,

    And maybe a site as lucrative in hits as Fr. Z might be the place it needs to be beat in the ground. It beats thousands of innocents dying in our country only because we feel beating such an issue into the ground will be futile. The ripples of the gaff and obstinance of Madam Speaker deserve as much attention as it can get. Unfortunately, this ripple effect might be the only way your average uniformed American finds this out. I just happened to hear this on a rare time my TV is ever on and felt my arm hairs getting singed by the holy justice multitudes of millions cry out to Heaven for.

    Oremus!

  29. Andy says:

    Pelosi: “I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. And Senator–St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.”

    “The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.”

    So, she doesn’t care about the teachings of Augustine!!!!!

    This is evil! This is how the devil seeks to influence people!

    Her spokesman: “…the law does not provide that the act [abortion] pertains to homicide, for there cannot yet be said to be a live soul in a body that lacks sensation…’ (Saint Augustine, On Exodus 21.22)”

    Based on the secondary sources that I’ve been able to find regarding Augustine’s thinking, I think that the passage in On Exodus lays down what punishments should be meted out upon an assailant who ACCIDENTALLY causes a woman to miscarry!

    I’ve not been able to identify the alleged source which Pelosi quotes!

    Is there and official Latin/Greek/English text?

    WHO CAN HELP ME FIND IT?

  30. Bob,

    While it is a prudential issue which is not defined strictly such as abortion, I would cite the Iraq war. I don’t think that the Iraq situation passes all the points of the just war theory. What, for instance, is our “clear objective”? Moreover, I don’t think the just war theory makes allowances for decisions taken with false information–and evidence is growing that many who took this decision knew that they were, at least, stretching the truth.

    *I do not mean to take this thread down a rabbit hole, but since I was pressed on this point, I felt I should reply.*

    I agree that what Pelosi said was completely despicable, but it seems to me that the rebuking is better left to the bishops, who can be a bit more successful at staying above the fray.

  31. mpm says:

    “While it is a prudential issue which is not defined strictly such as abortion, I would cite the Iraq war. I don’t think that the Iraq situation passes all the points of the just war theory. What, for instance, is our “clear objective”? Moreover, I don’t think the just war theory makes allowances for decisions taken with false information—and evidence is growing that many who took this decision knew that they were, at least, stretching the truth.”

    Michael,

    In 2008 we are not voting on whether to go to war with Iraq. That’s already
    happened. Neither of the candidates is suggesting we should actually stay
    in Iraq. What they are debating is under what conditions we should be leaving.
    So, “change, anything’s better than Bush” is irrelevant, since he isn’t running.

  32. Volpius says:

    So judging by her spokesman’s reply she is going to ignore warnings from pretty much everyone, so what next?

    The USCCB have talked the talk are they now going to walk the walk? Is she going to be denied communion until she corrects her position or are they going to allow her to continue committing sacrilege?

  33. Liam says:

    It is utterly inappropriate for the *GOP* to be demanding apologies on behalf of the Catholic Church. Catholic representatives who happen to be Republican is one thing, but they must act solely as Catholics, not qua Republicans. Pelosi deserves much that has been directed at her, but I am also offended at this supposed “help”….

  34. Deusdonat says:

    I just spoke to a contact at the SF Archdiocese (must remain anonymous). She told me the Archbishop is planning on (finally) releasing a statement in the next couple of days regarding this incident. She also said his office has been inundated by calls. So, it sounds like he is finally being forced to account for his mitre.

    Father Z – I believe what bishop Wuerl meant by the “philosophical discussion of St. Augustine’s time is not relevant today.” is that the case is closed; regardless of debates on ensoulment, life begins at conception. And as far back as the earliest days of Christianity (i.e. as referenced in the Didache) abortion ist verboten. Full stop. Ergo, one cannot hide behind the wayward arguments of a Saint since the matter is closed.

    St Augustine was a very strange character. Truly brilliant and inspired by the spirit, but like St Paul, also very much a hypocrite and far from infallible.

  35. Fr. Fox is exactly right. If we care about the life of the innocent unborn, protests against Pelosi’s false and self-serving falsification of Catholic teaching must not be identified with a particular party and so become dismissible as “politically motivated.” The Republican Catholic politicians signing this letter would have served truth better by finding Pro-Life Democrats (they exist) to sign the letter in equal numbers. If they cannot do this task, then they should let the bishops handle the problem. Politics is not merely position taking and posturing, it involves moving the society to a more just society–here, one in which the innocent unborn are not murdered.

  36. Deusdonat: \”like St Paul, also very much a hypocrite and far from infallible.\”

    This of a writer of the divinely inspired scriptures! Do you really want to say that? It would naturally suggest to people that they could dismiss the Bible as not infallible as a guide of Faith.

    If you reject the Bible (i.e. Paul\’s letters) as an infallible guide of Faith, would you explain how this can be squared with the Catholic view of Scripture as the unerring guide of truth in Faith and Morals?

  37. Deusdonat says:

    Fr Augustine, I am not at all saying the scriptures are fallible. [The Scriptures are fallible? Scripture is not inerrant?] The canonical writings of St Paul are indeed infallible. You missed my point entirely. The Pope, the successor of St Peter is infallible when he speaks ex-Cathedra only. The church is infallible when speaking as a body and on matters of dogma. But as individuals, all men are quite fallible, as were St Paul and St Augustine, which means their actions and non-canonical writings may be fallible as well. This is basic Catholicism 101 here.

    St Paul and St Augustine definitely had issues, and I repeat, were far from infallible. St Augustine was a hedonist and pagan for the majority of his life and only converted long after he had finally sown the last of his “wild oats”. [No. In fact, ridiculous.] His writings (namely “confessions”) clearly stick out as hypocritical and contrived, specifically from someone who had extensive carnal knowledge. I could give some choice quotes from St Augustine here, but they would be quite off-colour, I assure you. St Paul on the other hand, as a single man (extremely odd for a Jew of his age) he summises that circumcision is in fact not required for converts. He then decides that for his young Greek companion/convert, it IS required, and procedes to perform the act himself. Without getting into graphical detail, you can do the math here. [you have not the slightest idea what you are talking about if this is your view of Augustine of Hippo.]

  38. Andy says:

    Deusdonat,

    “St Augustine was a very strange character. Truly brilliant and inspired by the spirit, but like St Paul, also very much a hypocrite and far from infallible.”

    Saints are usually “strange”, that is why they are Saints and we are not!

    I don’t want to comment on the second sentence.

    “since the matter is closed” The matter is not closed! This anti-intellectual, fundamentalist attitude will lead nowhere. I even doubt that a fundamentalist attitude is a Catholic attitude! Fundamentalists are enemies of the Church.

    “life begins at conception” Is it that easy? Could you please explain me what “conception” is? I think that a person’s life even begins before conception. What about his soul? So, we are not allowed to discuss these things?

    We are living in a post-modern world, a world which has many parallels to the “post-modern world” in which St. Augustine was living. Nothing is easy and everything is complex. We can learn a lot from St. Augustine. Have you ever read him?

    His writings are very difficult to find in English.

    Could you please explain me where Pelosi got her texts?

    This is THE crucial question!

    She was well informed… a bit TOO… I do not believe that this was just “chance”! I don’t trust Pelosi and I don’t trust you.

    This was a coordinated, vicious attack by the Obama-camp againt St. Augustine and the Catholic Church!!!

  39. John Enright says:

    Liam said “It is utterly inappropriate for the GOP to be demanding apologies on behalf of the Catholic Church. Catholic representatives who happen to be Republican is one thing, but they must act solely as Catholics, not qua Republicans. Pelosi deserves much that has been directed at her, but I am also offended at this supposed ‘help’….”

    Why do you think that the Representatives who signed the letter were acting solely as agents of the Republican Party, and not as Catholics? It seems to me that the message contained in the letter was correct, so why argue that it is a GOP strategy? Maybe the signers of the letter actually believe in Catholic doctrine.

  40. Will says:

    I don’t buy these arguments that the GOP are mucking things up. They are stating facts. Practically speaking, the one or two truly pro-life Democrats in the House would not sign the letter correcting Pelosi because they want good committee assignments, better offices, etc. Pelosi controls much of the practical life in the House and those who cross her don’t do so without consequence.

    These Republicans aren’t co-opting Church teaching or anything like that. They are Catholics, in a very similar situation to Pelosi, speaking out, demanding she stop lying about their Church and their Faith. We need more elected officials, indeed more Catholic elected officials, to stand up for the Sanctity of Life.

    I would also point out there are a number of Catholic GOPers in the House, not signed on to the letter! If any of them signed or authored the letter for reasons other than the Truth, they will answer for their treachery.

    Why criticize a genuine effort? Aren’t we on the same team. Shouldn’t we be all hands on deck for the unborn?

  41. Liam says:

    I am not on the GOP “team” any more than I am on the Democratic “team”. Both parties have made their fatal moral compromises with intrinsically evil situations, in different ways, and should be consigned to the political boneyard so far as I am concerned. That’s why I object to the GOP trying to appropriate something it does not merit here as a party. Profoundly offensive and alienating to me and others. It was the wrong move.

  42. Will says:

    It is never the wrong move for faithful Catholics to defend their faith when and where it is being maligned! Standing up for the unborn is “profoundly offensive and alienating” to you and others? Wow.

  43. Who was on the stage shaking hands with former President Clinton on C-Span this evening? Your friend and mine, Nancy Pelosi… The Dems are going to have to do a great deal to persuade people that they are serious about family values when there is no pro-life campaigner running on any ticket… so far!

  44. Anne says:

    God bless those GOP’ers (and Dems if there were any – last time I checked which was yesterday there weren’t any) who stood up for life and their faith and wrote the letter. This IS a partisan issue. The Dems are pro-abortion and the Repubs are pro-life.

    Vote for life – vote John McCain!

  45. David says:

    As a Catholic North Carolinian, its good to see Reps. Foxx and Jones present. NC is tied for second with California and New York and behind Ohio, all with larger Catholic populations.

  46. Anne says:

    David, Good for them. I’m from NY and we got prolifers King and Walsh. All the rest are Dems therefore all proabortion. My family and friends are all Dems but since Pelosi they’re changing to McCain. Thanks Nancy. :)

  47. RBrown says:

    St Augustine was a hedonist and pagan for the majority of his life and only converted long after he had finally sown the last of his “wild oats”.

    It was hardly the majority of his life. Augustine converted when he was about 33 and lived to be about 75.

    His writings (namely “confessions”) clearly stick out as hypocritical and contrived, specifically from someone who had extensive carnal knowledge. I could give some choice quotes from St Augustine here, but they would be quite off-colour, I assure you.

    The present pope has said that if he were alone on a desert island, one of the two books he would want with him is the Confessions.

    I have never before heard it said that Augustine was a strange man. He was a very interesting man, a man with many friends. Fr George Lawless, thrice an Augustinian, used to say in his lectures that Augustine was a man who would have been at home in the Officers’ Club. (Of course, he would have been out of luck now in the States because almost all Officers’ Clubs have been closed.)

    St Paul on the other hand, as a single man (extremely odd for a Jew of his age) he summises that circumcision is in fact not required for converts. He then decides that for his young Greek companion/convert, it IS required, and procedes to perform the act himself. Without getting into graphical detail, you can do the math here.
    Comment by Deusdonat

    Timothy was circumcised because his mother was a Jew–it would help him to be accepted by Jews.

  48. Deusdonat says:

    Uh…yeah. Because everyone knows all Jews debate nekked.

  49. Anne says:

    REP. PELOSI: Roe v. Wade talks about very clear definitions of when the child–first trimester,…

    I just reread what she said…”the child-first trimester”…very revealing. A Freudian slip?

  50. Joseph says:

    Deusdonat,

    With all due respect, if you think are going to pile insinuations and invectives onto St. Paul, you had better come with more than snide “do I have to paint a picture” style remarks.

    Paint the picture and let us all see your real points and/or agenda.

    Maybe his remarks in Romans are just his, oh, I don’t know, (and this would be, I guess, according to your theory, or do I need to paint the picture) homophobia – which would then really be his self loathing coming out and being exposed. You made something of a mess here, I am suggesting, and now please, do clean it up, prove it, or clarify. And you may want to this time leave off the tap shoes and/or ballet slippers.

  51. Liam says:

    Will

    I don’t object to faithful Catholics qua faithful Catholics defending the faith. I object to faithful Catholics qua faithful Republicans (or Democrats for that matter) defending their faith as a means to the end of promoting their party. Using the Church as a means to a party end is indeed offensive, and ought to be to any sensible Catholic.

  52. Bryan Muench says:

    Jeff Fortenberry, Representative from Nebraska who signed this petition, is a strong practicing Catholic with at least 5 daughters (last time I checked in 2007…he married a cousin of mine in 1996.) We need more people in the house and the senate like Jeff Fortenberry if we are going to have any sense of morality to guide our lawmaking process. PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH AND VOTE THIS YEAR FOR CANDIDATES WHO WILL DEFEND LIFE….even if you may believe none of the presidential candidates are worth a trip to the ballot box.

  53. RBrown says:

    Uh…yeah. Because everyone knows all Jews debate nekked.
    Comment by Deusdonat

    cf Acts 16:3

    1 He reached (also) Derbe and Lystra where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek.
    2
    The brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him,
    3
    and Paul wanted him to come along with him. On account of the Jews of that region, Paul had him circumcised, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

    The footnote says: Paul had him circumcised: he did this in order that Timothy might be able to associate with the Jews and so perform a ministry among them. Paul did not object to the Jewish Christians’ adherence to the law. But he insisted that the law could not be imposed on the Gentiles. Paul himself lived in accordance with the law, or as exempt from the law, according to particular circumstances (see 1 Cor 9:19-23).

  54. Volpius says:

    “Fr. Fox is exactly right. If we care about the life of the innocent unborn, protests against Pelosi’s false and self-serving falsification of Catholic teaching must not be identified with a particular party and so become dismissible as “politically motivated.” The Republican Catholic politicians signing this letter would have served truth better by finding Pro-Life Democrats (they exist) to sign the letter in equal numbers.”

    There is nothing to stop those Pro-Life Democrats from signing their own letter you know Father? Have they said anything about it? If not why not?

    If they aren’t then the fault lies with them not the ones who have cared enough to do so.

    The speaking out of the Republicans in no way diminishes the words of the Bishops even if some people do try to dismiss them as politically motivated, if one congresswoman (Pelosi) can play the theologian then her fellow members of congress been her equal in authority are not only right to correct her but in fact in my opinion have a duty to do so.

    Is is not a work of mercy to Instruct the Ignorant and are we all not called to on to perform this work if we are able?

  55. Matt says:

    Regarding Catholic Republicans defending the Church’s teaching, I think there’s a lot of confusion about politics vs. belief. These Catholic Republicans are pro-life because of their belief in the Catholic Church’s teaching, not because it’s part of their platform (at least we are obliged to grant them this in the absence of contrary evidence). Furthermore, it seems to me we are obliged to recognize that it’s in the party platform not because it scores points, but because the majority of Republicans believe it is right, and a minority of Republicans consequently believe it is politically expedient. I don’t think it’s fair to impune this majority by assuming it’s purely a political position.

    Given that, I think it’s completely reasonable and right for these Catholics to stand together against the heresy. I suspect that they would have been all to willing to have a pro-life Democrat sign on, except, if Casey is an example of a “pro-life” Democrat, it seems to me there is no such thing. He is simply a schill for the party of death, a token.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  56. Mitch says:

    As she should..As an ardent Catholic she should know all to well about humility. I picture here pacing.