Bp. Martino of Scranton rolls up his sleeves

WDTPRS has written about the H.E. Most Rev. Joseph Martino, Bishop of Scranton, and his defense of life here and his bad treatment in the press in Scranton here.

About a zillion people wrote to alert me about Bp. Martino’s intervention at a meeting held at a Catholic parish in his diocese of Scranton.

Here is a story from the Wayne Independent which is a must read. 

First,… I must say that I have read comments elsewhere that the photo with the article was unflattering toward Bp. Martino.   I am not so sure.  I think it is good to see a bishop with an aspect other than a grin, especially about this.  Perhaps it is time to stop smiling so much… to stop blowing the happy gas, as one bishop of my acquaintance says.

My emphases and comments.

 

Bishop stresses abortion view at political forum

By Steve McConnell
Wayne Independent
Mon Oct 20, 2008, 06:06 PM EDT
Story Tools: Email This Email This |  Print This Print This
HONESDALE -

A presidential election forum at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church on Sunday centered mainly on abortion.  [First, … note that this is a Catholic parish in the Diocese of Scranton.]
The argument and audience, however, erupted when Diocese of Scranton Bishop Joseph F. Martino unexpectedly arrived and vehemently expressed his distaste for what was said about the church’s stance on voting for pro-choice candidates and the exclusion of his anti-abortion letter at the forum, which recommends voting against pro-choice candidates for moral reasons.

Four panelists

Prior to Martino’s arrival, the forum began with four panelists – local businessman Tom Shepstone, University of Scranton professor William Parente, Sister Margaret Gannon of Marywood University and county commissioner Wendell Kay –  sharing their views about presidential candidates Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois.

Shepstone, who supports McCain and focused on abortion, said a vote for Obama will not protect the unborn.

The common ground begins with the respect to the dignity of every life,” said Shepstone, noting that the U.S. government’s role is protect the public’s and the unborn’s inalienable rights of life and liberty.  “The right to life … is the natural God given right.”

“Rights John McCain respects and Barack Obama does not,” he said.
Kay, who supports Obama, touched on several national issues, briefly addressing abortion.

“I am pro-life,” said Kay.  “I don’t agree with the Roe (vs.) Wade decisions.”
He noted, however, that it was a Supreme Court decision and that “we’re kidding ourselves” to think one political candidate or one political party will overturn it[Thus… we should feel free to set aside abortion as the deal-breaker and focus on other issues… that is the argument coming down the line.]

He also said today’s Supreme Court – which has not overturned the controversial 1973 legislation – was mostly appointed by Republican presidents.  [So what?  Therefore elect a president for for sure will appoint pro-abortion Justices?]
Republican presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush nominated seven justices, of nine, which currently sit on the court.  Democratic president Bill Clinton nominated two justices, who are currently on the bench, noted Kay. 

“Why is that? That’s a question we ought to be asking ourselves,” he [Kay] said.  [That is nothing but a little weasel question.   Just leave something like that hanging in the room, like a bad odor.]

Parente
, who supports McCain, said a vote for Obama “is foolish, although not sinful, for Catholics.” [Hmmm….]

He acknowledge that a majority of Jesuits, a male Catholic religious order, at the University of Scranton are “ardent Democrats.”

“I believe in good conscious, good Catholics, will be voting both ways in this election,” he said.  [I wonder… can you be of good conscience if your conscience is well-formed?]

He warned, however, that “the election of Obama will bring us liberal justices on the court.”

Sister Gannon, who did not state her candidate preference, cited statements from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which say that a political candidate’s position on abortion must be weighed against other moral issues, such as unjust wars or stem-cell research, when it comes time to vote.  [The problem with this is that pro-abortion Catholics will use this as a cover for their cover.  They will use code language such as "the full spectrum" of Catholic teaching in order to diminish the importance of a candidates stand on abortion.]

Full body of bishop’s ok’d it

According to the USCCB’s “Faithful Citizenship” statement, approved by the full body of U.S. bishops in 2007, “a Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity. ” [So… look how people will distort this to say that there is a "fuller range of issues".  They will begin to put all sorts of issues on an equal footing with the issue of abortion in order to diffuse it, dilute it.]

Martino, who arrived while the panelists were stating their viewpoints, took issue with the USCCB statement, which was handed out to everyone at the meeting, and also that his letter was not mentioned once at the forum  [That seems to me a very significant point in this problem.  The forum was at a Catholic parish, but there was no step taken to integrate anything the bishop has very publicly caused to be given to the diocese in his role as teacher.]

No USCCB document is relevant in this diocese,” said Martino.  “The USCCB doesn’t speak for me.”  [Right!]

“The only relevant document … is my letter,” he said.  “There is one teacher in this diocese, and these points are not debatable.”  [And he is absolutely right.  The USCCB is not the teaching voice of the Church in the USA.  Bishops teach in their own dioceses.]

His letter, published Sept. 30 and circulated throughout the diocese, states that a candidate’s abortion stance is a major voting issue that supersedes all other considerations due to its grave moral consequences. [Quite the opposite of what the "diluters" want you to believe.]

“Health care, education, economic security, immigration, and taxes are very important concerns. Neglect of any one of them has dire consequences as the recent financial crisis demonstrates. However, the solutions to problems in these areas do not usually involve a rejection of the sanctity of human life in the way that abortion does,” the letter says. “Another argument goes like this: ‘As wrong as abortion is, I don’t think it is the only relevant ‘life’ issue that should be considered when deciding for whom to vote.’ This reasoning is sound only if other issues carry the same moral weight as abortion does, such as in the case of euthanasia and destruction of embryos for research purposes. … National Right to Life reports that 48.5 million abortions have been performed since 1973. One would be too many. No war, no natural disaster, no illness or disability has claimed so great a price.”

The letter also states that Catholic public officials who “persist in public support for abortion” should “not partake in or be admitted to the sacrament of Holy Communion.”

Receiving communion is a holy ritual – a person consumes a bread wafer, symbolically infused with the body of Christ [That is NOT what the Church believes, but let that pass…] –  at Catholic churches.

“No social issue has caused the death of 50 million people,” he said, nothing that he no longer supports the Democratic Party.  “This is madness people.”

Martino also said that he wanted to persuade Father Martin Boylan, of St. John’s, to cancel the forum

After his comments, most of the audience stood and clapped loudly while some were angry that the bishop usurped the forum.   [Umm… no.  The bishops does not usurp anything in the diocese when it concerns Catholics discussing morals on Church property.]

About a quarter of the audience left after the bishop’s comments, which preceded the last half of the forum, a question and answer session with the panelists.

Martino exited shortly after his comments.

Diocese issues comment

“Bishop Martino was aware that the forum at St. John … was being held. He attended with the intention of listening to the presenters, and how they might discuss Catholic teaching,” wrote Bill Genello, a diocese spokesperson, in an e-mail exchange on Monday.  “Certain groups and individuals have used their own erroneous interpretations of Church documents, particularly the U.S. Bishops’ statement on Faithful Citizenship, to justify their political positions and to contradict the Church’s actual teaching on the centrality of abortion, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research.”

“ … He reminded those in attendance, and by extension all the faithful of the Diocese of Scranton, that groups such as Catholic United [booooo] … and other like-minded groups and individuals who make statements about Catholic teaching do not speak with the same authority or authenticity as their bishop.”

Torpedoed forum

“I think this meeting was torpedoed,” said Gene Tagle, the forum’s moderator.   “He’s (Martino) known for three months that this has been in the works.”  [So what?  They stiffed the bishop’s recent explicit teaching!]

After calm returned, Boylan said: “We were very careful not to endorse anyone.”
He said it was meant to be “a political slash editorial forum about the presidential election” and that he “carefully followed” state church guidelines for such an event.  [What is a "political/editorial forum"?]

“I did not know that the bishop does not support the U.S. Conference of Bishops,” said Gannon, after Martino’s remarks.

Shepstone said the forum was “giving cover” to candidates who support abortion and promptly stormed out.  [Notice the word choice, here.  Does that paint a picture?]

Parente left without notice.

It went on, however, for another 45 minutes with the focus remaining on abortion.

Nancy Pinto, of Moscow and a pro-life advocate, said abortion is “the greatest civil rights issue of our time.”

I’m a Catholic before I am a Democrat,” she said, and warned others not to be “Catholics of convenience.”

“Abortion is horrible,” said Mike Keough, of Honesdale.  “This has nothing to do with Catholicism; it has to do with the Declaration of Independence.”  [Not sure what that means.]

Nobody publicly spoke in favor of pro-choice.

There were a couple of questions and comments regarding energy policy and third-party candidates.

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52 Responses to Bp. Martino of Scranton rolls up his sleeves

  1. I’m so glad you crossed out the awful representation of the Eucharist. That was the first thing I noticed when I read the article earlier today. As for the Declaration of Independence comment, I’m pretty sure he is referring to the inalienable rights of LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  2. Jonathan says:

    He acknowledge that a majority of Jesuits, a male Catholic religious order, at the University of Scranton are “ardent Democrats.”

    I can’t tell you how true this is. As a student at a Jesuit University, it is shocking and disturbing how a religious order is more devoted to a political party than to the religion that they are ordained in. I would be just as disgusted if they were devoted to any other political party, but especially a party that is so against life issues. It seems so reflective of this order. As the president of the University said, “Loyola is a University first, Catholic second.” It seems that Catholicism always gets shoved in the background with many Jesuits.

  3. Rudy B says:

    Wow. We need more bishops to live their vocations as public shepherds, not bureaucratic administrators! Hope the other bishops are watching!

  4. 3rd party candidates? The constitution gives the popular election over to the candidate with a plurality, not a majority. IMO we have had too many Presdidents who had less than 40% of the popular vote – and each of these cases was due to a 3rd party candidate who could NOT ultimately win ANYTHING.

    There has also been talk of Sen. Obama voting “present” on so many occasions, and that is something that many of our congressmen and senators do – regularly. Evidently they are sure the bill will either pass or not pass – whichever way they want it to go – so they don’t need to show their constituents where they actually stood on the issue come the next campaign!

    McCain/Palin may not be “perfect”, but they ARE pro-life. I can see not reason whatsoever for a Catholic to vote Democrat. But, if you live in a state where you think it will probably go for McCain?Palin anyway, and you vote for a 3rd party candidate that you think/feel is better, it is virtually a vote “present”!

    It is time for PRO-LIFE to win BY A LANDSLIDE!

  5. Jonathan, transfer to a real Catholic school here at Villanova :) You can’t beat learning from the Augustinians :)

  6. Aine says:

    “ … He reminded those in attendance, and by extension all the faithful of the Diocese of Scranton, that groups such as Catholic United [booooo] … and other like-minded groups and individuals who make statements about Catholic teaching do not speak with the same authority or authenticity as their bishop.”

    George Soros Funds Catholic Groups Making Obama Seem Pro-Life on Abortion:
    Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A Catholic pro-life group says new information adds to the criticism a couple of Catholics organizations have already received for trying to make Barack Obama seem pro-life on abortion. Leading abortion activist and billionaire George Soros is behind the groups.

    Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United have been working overtime to mask Obama’s pro-abortion views. The groups have called him pro-life even though he supports unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy for any reason……
    http://www.lifenews.com/nat4472.html

    This is serious.

  7. Aine says:

    What a dreadful picture they posted on the Bishop.

  8. Melody says:

    Well may God bless Bishop Martino for standing up for the Catholic faith!

    Now, either the Bishop just spent a day at the beach, or someone used photoshop. Very sad.

    Doesn’t anyone else find it jarring that people seem completely not to get that the Bishop is in charge and is for all intents and purposes their boss in Church matters?

    Let’s imagine that a local branch of a corporation was having a political meeting which conflicted with company policy ( which I know is not nearly as egregious as flouting Catholic doctrine). The regional manager would be in perfect rights to come in, shut it down and lecture them on policy. People would be unhappy, but no one would question the manager’s right to do so.

  9. Luke says:

    Steve Collins:
    I have heard the argument a lot that Catholics are obligated to vote for McCain, simply to keep Obama out of office. For those of us who cannot find a topic of agreement with McCain (aside, of course, from abortion), this is like saying that we are obligated to choose the lesser of two evils. The problem is that the paradigm of the two party system is an artificial one. There are not simply two evils to choose between; there are two evils, which are likely to win, but we also have a number of other choices, ranging the spectrum from good to evil.
    This may not be the place for such a discussion, but I was wondering what any of you thought about this:
    Is a Catholic morally obliged to choose the lesser of two evils if a third, good, choice exists? Or is it morally acceptable for a Catholic to vote for a candidate who they agree with, knowing that they will lose?

    -L

  10. Manuel says:

    That most Jesuits are democracts is so true. I would say they commit fraud by luring parents into thinking they will send their children to Catholic university and then ditch all the teachings of the Church. (They were famous for their causistry). Most are no longer Catholic but only Jesuit.

  11. Joe Horan says:

    Let the picture be all the more dreadful! When you go in with guns slinging you dont smile while you fire off rounds. Im so happy about this good Bishop I could cry. One good result of Obama is that he is making the Catholics stand up and fight for something. I have never seen anything like this. God bless the Bishops. People shouldnt be afraid to celebrate the Church since so many are used to criticizing. We should be able to call a spade a spade even if its a happy one. Dont be afraid to be joyful.

  12. vox borealis says:

    Fr. Z,

    To answer your question:
    ===
    “Abortion is horrible,” said Mike Keough, of Honesdale. “This has nothing to do with Catholicism; it has to do with the Declaration of Independence.” [Not sure what that means.]
    ===

    From the Declaration of Independence:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    I believe that Mr. Keough is trying to argue that abortion, which denies a human of the basic and inalienable right of life, is antithetical to the fundamental philosophical and political assumptions of the United States, regardless of one’s religious confession.

  13. newtrad says:

    “Martino for president??????????” Well, we can at least hope “Martino for Pope” someday…….The Bishops are coming alive and I love it!!!!! May it continue long after the election…

  14. Central Valley Catholic says:

    The faithful of Scranton are blessed to have a defender of the faith as their Bishop. Oh, how we long for men like this Bishop in California. The leader of the Fresno diocese would never speak out like this. I loved the comment about the USCCB. Didn’t Cardinal Ratzinger make a comment at one time that documents from Bishop’s conferences are not worth the paper they are written on unless they are approved by Rome.

  15. God Bless the good Bishop for standing up again and teaching the Faith…CV Catholic, no worries, both the Bishops in my local area have been silent as well…let us pray for them.

  16. English Catholic says:

    Reminds me of England’s Bishop of Lancaster who, to his very great credit, also broke ranks with his Bishop’s Conference over summer:
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/damian_thompson/blog/2008/08/18/bishop_attacks_his_colleagues_failure_to_uphold_catholic_teaching

  17. miss book says:

    Well said,English Catholic!
    I think it’s really important to support and pray for such Bishops and let them know that you are doing so.
    I suspect that stepping aside of the Bishops Conference may require great courage, and probably comes at a personal cost.

  18. Thorfinn says:

    I first heard of this bishop in connection with his support of former Episcopalians to seek full communion with the Holy See and to establish an Anglican Use congregation in his diocese. http://www.stthomasmoresociety.org/
    It’s when the battle rages most fiercely, that the truest and bravest hearts really stand out.

  19. TNCath says:

    Thank you Bishop Martino! I can’t wait for the bishops’ meeting in November, after the elections, when the subject of abortion is going to be discussed. If Barack Obama is elected President, the U.S. Bishops are going to have to play the leading role in raising the consciousness of the American people to the life issues at hand: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and human cloning. I’m not so sure that we (with bishops at the top of the list) won’t have to endure quite a bit of persecution for this as well.

  20. Hettie B. says:

    I am so thankful and impressed by Bishop Martino! And by the many bishops who have taken a firm stand in recent months. I wasn’t in the Church during the last election, so I have nothing to compare to, but I’ve gotten the impression that these powerful statements and stances by our bishops are something new. That’s encouraging. I hope they keep it up for the long haul, especially if Obama does win. We’re going to need them more than ever then.

    What I remain uncertain of is… what exactly is the USCCB for? What is its purpose in the Church? Sorry if that’s a dumb question; I’m still a revert who has lots to learn. :)

  21. Volpius says:

    Yes, Yes please stop blowing the happy gas.

    Murdering of innocent babies is no laughing or smiling matter, we should be angry about it, in fact to not be angry about it would be a sin going by what the saints taught such as St. John Chrysostom and St. Thomas Aquinas. The jist been that it is through the anger of good people that evil is kept in check.

    And you need only look at this election to see that people are sick and tired of ever smiling politicos.

    In that photo I see a passionate man, who really cares about the lives of the unborn, and cares about America. The enemies of life will try and put a different slant on it sure, but in truth they fear passion, they know that its contagious and it is a mistake to tone yourself down out of fear of slurs against you from your enemies, your playing right into their hands if you do that.

  22. mrteachersir says:

    Needless to say, I love my bishop.

  23. Athelstane says:

    He also said today’s Supreme Court – which has not overturned the controversial 1973 legislation – was mostly appointed by Republican presidents. “Why is that? That’s a question we ought to be asking ourselves,”

    Because Ford was pro-choice. And Reagan and Bush Senior did not always vet their nominees properly. And a court appointment is always a risk to some degree.

    What is clear, however, is that Democratic appointees vote to uphold Roe at every turn. This is the default position of most of the legal academy.

    That said, God bless Bioshop Martino. When all issues are called important, none of them are.

  24. Volpius says:

    The only usurpers in this thing were those trying to usurp the Bishops teaching authority, these people are protestants plain and simple.

    The Bishop turning up there on the other hand was doing his job, and God bless him for that more Bishops need to follow his lead.

    I mean look at how arrogant this is: “Parente, who supports McCain, said a vote for Obama “is foolish, although not sinful, for Catholics.”

    This guy does not have the authority to teach others what is and isn’t sinful, plain and simple. None of these four people do, they need to stick to their jobs and let the Bishops and Priests do theirs.

  25. Brian says:

    I do not understand the USCCB’s “Faithful Citizenship” statement. Are there U.S. Bishops who would
    provide moral justification for voting for a pro-abortion candidate, such as Obama?

  26. mrteachersir says:

    If you read the comments on the original newspaper site, its really bad. Bishop Martino is attacked daily in Scranton, by all corners. The newspapers are against him and the local TV stations seemingly try to catch him in bad spots to make him look dumb. He is anything but.

    He needs your prayers, and your encouragement.

  27. mrteachersir says:

    Brian,

    The document passed with 98% of the vote…clearly, it had to be watered down to allow for all of the bishops to accept it. As evidenced in 2004, many bishops don’t want to be too over-bearing or dictatorial.

    Remember, that during the Arian heresy, nearly 70% of all bishops were Arians (or Arian sympathizers), and it was the orthodox who were in the minority…and orthodoxy (obviously) won.

  28. Andy K. says:

    *Sniff*

    I stood and applauded the bishop while reading this article.

    If only we had more like him!

  29. Brian says:

    As for Bishops who will not stand against killing innocent, unborn children:

    “And whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me; it were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” (Mk 9:41).

  30. Pseudomodo says:

    I thought that the picture of Bishop Martino was the best picture of a Bishop in action that I have seen for a long time. GOD BLESS HIM!

    I’m sick of these portraits of grinning episcopal goofs. Gimme a Bishop with BALLS anyday!

    Father, I want to see two pictures in the next post:

    One picture (as ahown above) with Bishop Martino exclaiming, “There is one teacher in this diocese, and these points are not debatable!”

    The other with a picture of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ exclaiming, “My temple is a house of prayer. But you have made it into a den of thieves!”

    I challenge the readers to try and tell the two apart!

  31. Tom S. says:

    LEADERSHIP…. That’s what this is about…

    And WOW, what a Bishop. And what a SHEPHERD. God Bless and Keep him!

  32. JohnE says:

    “Abortion is horrible,” said Mike Keough, of Honesdale. “This has nothing to do with Catholicism; it has to do with the Declaration of Independence.” [Not sure what that means.]

    I think what he may have been trying to say is that this is not an issue specific to Catholicism, but has to do with the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all people (and in that order). To say that it has nothing to do with Catholicism I think is a misstatement or misunderstanding of Catholicism and perhaps an over-reaction to the “we shouldn’t impose our religion on anyone” crowd.

  33. TJM says:

    Bishop Martino is a LION! I was disappointed that the “newspaper” of record, the New York Times, surpressed this info. I guess the “people”
    really don’t need to know (about opposing viewpoints to modern day liberal ideology). Tom

  34. Torquemada says:

    Father Z – glad you pointed out Bp Martino’s bizarre statement on the Eucharist (“Receiving communion is a holy ritual – a person consumes a bread wafer, symbolically infused with the body of Christ [That is NOT what the Church believes, but let that pass…] – at Catholic churches.”) However, I am in the middle of reading James Larson’s “War Against Being,” and I’d have to say this statement of Martino’s is actually an echo of what Ratzinger said as Cardinal about transubstantiation, being faithful to his theology of “essentializing the faith.” Kind of scary, actually.

  35. Fabrizio says:

    Torquemada,

    1) those were NOT the words of His Excellency but a comment inserted by the journalist probably in a pathetic attempt to an explanation of Transubstantiation to non-Catholic readers. The Bishop’s words are in quotes, the journalist’s are not.

    2) I think Joseph Ratzinger’s understanding of substantia and accidens is better than yours of his writings and newspaper articles.

    3) Tomas de Torquemada knew his stuff. Modern critics of His Holiness? Not so much…

  36. Torquemada: Father Z – glad you pointed out Bp Martino’s bizarre statement on the Eucharist (“Receiving communion is a holy ritual – a person consumes a bread wafer, symbolically infused with the body of Christ [That is NOT what the Church believes, but let that pass…] – at Catholic churches.”) However, I am in the middle of reading James Larson’s “War Against Being,” and I’d have to say this statement of Martino’s …

    What seems bizarre to me is that you would attribute the alleged quote to Bishop Martino. And that you would have commented on Bp. Martino’s letter (which Father Z linked) evidently without reading it yourself–for it contains no such description (or any other) of communion.

    To the contrary, as was clear from its context (without quotes) in the article, this suspect statement is the news writer’s own gratuitous “explanation” of the sacrament (“holy ritual”) of Holy Communion.

    Nothing is bizarre about a news writer’s butchering Catholic doctrine (as is common). Only about a presumed Catholic falling for it as a Catholic bishop’s misstatement. And then having the effrontery to comment on an alleged view of Cardinal Ratzinger.

  37. Michael J says:

    John,

    Why on earth would I consult a non-Catholic(Lew Rockwell) or a putatively Catholic layman (G.C. Dilsaver) to get a “truly” Catholic perspective

  38. Clinton says:

    Torquemada – Keep in mind that the post is of a newspaper article. I think that the sentence referring to receiving Communion is an aside
    by the reporter to explain what receiving Communion is to any non-Catholic readers. Unfortunately, the reporter botched the job, as
    Father pointed out. A careful rereading of the post will show that the offending sentence is not a quote of anything said by the
    good Bishop. For my part I applaud Bishop Martino. More importantly, I’ll keep him and all other bishops fighting the good fight in my
    prayers.

  39. cheyan says:

    Torquemada: The article didn’t say that Martino said it; it didn’t actually quote anybody at all. It was an attempt by the writer (or possibly the editor) to explain why “not [partaking] in or be[ing] admitted to the sacrament of Holy Communion” was a serious thing.

    (Also, I don’t know why this catches my eye more than the rest of this article, but for some reason “Nobody publicly spoke in favor of pro-choice.” just nags at me.

    In favor of being pro-choice? In favor of the pro-choice position? In favor of a pro-choice politician? In favor of pro-choice politicians in general? In favor of voting for pro-choice politicians? If it were “in favor of choice”, I’d roll my eyes and say, “Hey, your bias is hanging out, might want to fix that,” but in favor of pro-choice just baffles me.)

  40. ALL: I don’t care if the message you want to get across is good, bad or indifferent.

    Spam my blog and I will THROW YOU OUT.

  41. Torquemada says:

    Thanks for the corrections about the Eucharist remark, all – sorry about my sloppy reading.

  42. Marysann says:

    Does anyone have an e-mail address to contact Bishop Martino? I couldn’t find one on the Diocese of Scranton website. I want to congratulate him on his courageous stand as a real shepherd, and assure him of my prayers. It seems to me that every time one bishop has the courage to speak the truth publicly, other bishops then do the same. Let’s support our bishops!

  43. Torquemada says:

    Marysann – try the Office Manager for the Office of Clergy Formation:
    Susan-Ruane@dioceseofscranton.org

  44. Stephanie says:

    Fr. Z, thank you so much for posting this article. And to everyone who reads, please consider calling Bishop Martino’s Office to leave a message of thanks for all he does. I live here in Scranton and the Bishop is under fire so much, lets send him some support :)

  45. mpm says:

    Sister Gannon, who did not state her candidate preference, cited statements from the United
    States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which say that a political candidate’s position
    on abortion must be weighed against other moral issues
    , such as unjust wars or stem-cell
    research, when it comes time to vote.

    Given the reporter’s ineptitude on doctrinal matters, I’m not attacking Sr. Gannon. But one of
    the problems with the USCCB document, which says the opposite of what this reporter is saying,
    is that it does not give all the moral principles for making a proper judgement, so the George
    Soros’ payees, the press, and others can READ and take this idea away.

    What Christ left us was a Church founded on the Apostles, and their successors. When they, not
    the USCCB and its committees, teach authentically there is a sacred charism (or sacramental
    grace, if you like) and the promise of the Holy Spirit attached: “He who hears you, hears me.”
    It is very good to hear Bishop Martino, and the other bishops who are in communion with the
    Holy Father, offer their personal voices.

  46. Sharon says:

    What Cardinal Ratzinger had to say about Bishops’ conferences in The Ratzinger Report

    . “ We must not forget that the Episcopal conferences have no theological basis, they do not belong to the structure of the Church, as willed by Christ, that cannot be eliminated; they have only a practical, concrete function.,, The collective, therefore, does not substitute for the persons of the bishops, who…are” the authentic teachers and instructors of the faith for the faithful entrusted to their care.”(cf CIC Can. 753) Ratzinger confirms: “No Episcopal conference, as such, has a teaching mission; its documents have no weight of their own save that of the consent given to them by the individual bishops.”…it is a matter of safeguarding the very nature of the Catholic Church, which is based on an Episcopal structure and not on a kind of federation of national churches….It must once again become clear that in each diocese there is only one shepherd and teacher of the faith in communion with the other pastors and teachers and with the Vicar of Christ”…”.It happens,” he says, “that with some bishops there is a certain lack of a sense of individual responsibility, and the delegation of his inalienable powers as shepherd and teacher to the structures of the local conference leads to letting what should remain very personal lapse into anonymity. …It happens then that the search for agreement between the different tendencies and the effort at mediation often yield flattened documents in which decisive positions (where they might be necessary) are weakened.

    He recalls an Episcopal conference that had been held in his country in the thirties:” Well, the really powerful documents against National Socialism were those that came from individual courageous bishops. The documents of the conference, on the contrary, were often rather wan and too weak with respect to what the tragedy called for.”

  47. Paul S says:

    The thing that drives me absolutely wild about this election is that people are still looking at the republicans as some sort of pro-life solution. The rhetoric of the republican party is for the most part pro-life, except they seem to revel in the exception in the “case of rape or incest”,,,,first of all you make that exception your whole argument comes tumbling down, secondly a child should not suffer capital punishment for the crimes of their parents. But beyond that, I think a sustainable argument can be made that the republican party has not saved one single solitary childs life. Did the abortions in military hospitals cease under commander-in-chief Regan, Bush I, or Bush W? With one stroke of the pen any one of those men could have cut off funding to that monstrous organization, planned parenthood, yet they did not.
    I guess it just seems that the republican party is pro-life because the democratic party is so very blood thirsty when it comes to abortion. But I think the real lesson of this election should be that whatever symbolic gestures the republicans have made to the pro-life movement can be eliminated overnight, and replaced with an even more radical pro abortion agenda. Also, the republicans have been wildly successful in totally paralyzing the pro-life movement.
    I invite all commentary on the above.thank you,Paul

  48. Emilio III says:

    Paul S,

    The thing that drives me absolutely wild about this election is people who think that since Republicans are not perfect there is no reason not to vote for Democrats. I do agree with most of your complaints about Republican administrations, but don’t think that any President could cut off funding to Planned Parenthood with one or many strokes of the pen. If a bill funding Planned Parenthood is passed, the President can veto it, but he can’t cross them out of a general appropriations bill. For better or worse, appropriation bills must come from the House, and the President is not allowed a line-item veto.

    When it comes to choosing the lesser of two evils, I don’t think it’s a very hard choice in this election.

  49. Paul S says:

    Hi Emilo III,
    Thank you for your comment, and your point is well taken about the veto; but I think it only further bolsters my central argument that the republican party has not saved a single solitary baby. How long were the republicans in control of the legislature? How long were they in control of the legislature with a sitting president?
    Lest I be misunderstood though: I don’t think there is any good reason to vote for Sen. Obama. Since there is no doubt that my state {NJ} will vote for Sen. Obama, I will be voting for either Chuck Balwin, or do a write in for Rep. Ron Paul–I particularly like the idea of Rep. Ron Paul: pro-life to be sure, and it really shows contempt for the shameless way the republican party treated him. And yes, I do believe that if I lived in a swing state, I would have to give alot of thought to voting for Sen. McCain.
    In rereading my analysis I would say that the biggest problem with it is that it doesnt present a solution. It merely states that I dont think the republican party is the solution nor are they sincere in offering to be the solution. Perhaps this kind can only be defeated through prayer and fasting.
    Peace,
    Paul

  50. Michael J says:

    I’d like to echo Emilio’s comments and point out that there is a rather significant difference between “not enough” and “none”, so I would deny the assertion that “a sustainable argument can be made that the republican party has not saved one single solitary childs life”. President Bush, for all of his faults *did* advance the cause of eliminating abortion. Among other things, he reinstituted the Mexico City Policy, signed the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban of 2003, cut off all federal funds to the United Nations Population Fund and vetoed legislation passed by Congress to permit federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Was this enough? I would tend to say no, but it’s still a far cry from “nothing”

  51. Paul S says:

    Hey Michael J,
    Thanks for your listing of the prolife accomplishments of Pres. Bush; I probably should soften my position from nothing to “why havent we accomplished anything that cannot be undone overnight.”
    There probably is some bitterness too on my part; as we now seem to be on the eve of a radical solidification of the pro-abortion legalisms {may God avert!}. I remember when Pres. Reagan was elected, those were heady days in the pro-life movement! We thought certainly we would see an end to abortion on demand in at most a couple of years, and we waited and waited and waited….I was about to be critical of Pres. Bush, but then it was I do think it was a gallant thing for him to nominate Justice Bork, too bad he didnt make it with his intelligence and perception {talk about perception: he became one of us, an RC in 2003} he quite possibly could have made all the difference.
    In any case let us all pray for the unborn, and unite ourselves to all the novena of Masses which are being said before the election.
    Peace,
    Paul

  52. Paul S says:

    Er, correction there I meant “….I was about to be critical of Pres. Reagan,{I said Bush} but then it was I do think it was a gallant thing for him to nominate Justice Bork, too bad he didnt make it with his intelligence and perception {talk about perception: he became one of us, an RC in 2003} he quite possibly could have made all the difference…..