NYT: Election divides Catholic Church

Last night, as I arrived in the Twin Cities, I had an interesting discussion with the great Fr. GW, one of the most asute political observers I have ever known. 

Our discussion turned to the Presidential campaign.

Amidst the sundry observations forwarded, it occured to us that the Catholic vote might make a great difference this year, but we hadn’t seen much about that yet in the MSM.

This morning I am in receipt of this from the "Hell’s Bible", as one bishop I know calls it, the NYT.  My emphases and comments.

NYT: Election divides Catholic Church
Liberals, conservatives skirmish over church’s teachings on war, racism
By David D. Kirkpatrick

The New York Times
updated 6:33 p.m. CT, Sat., Oct. 4, 2008

As the Roman Catholic Church observes its annual “respect life” Sunday in this heated presidential election season, the unusually pitched competition for Catholic voters is setting off a round of skirmishes over how to apply the church’s teachings not only on abortion but also on the war in Iraq, immigration and racism.

In a departure from previous elections, Democrats and liberal Catholic groups are waging a fight within the church, arguing that the Democratic Party better reflects the full spectrum of church teachings. ["reflects better the full spectrum"… get that?  That is the old "seamless garment" approach.  What this seeks to do is diminish the foundational issues of human life.]

It is a contest for credibility among observant Catholics, with each faction describing itself as a defender of “life.” The two sides disagree over how to address the “intrinsic evil” of abortion.   [If it is an "intrinsic" evil then it should be clear that it must be addressed in a manner quite different from the treatment of evils that are evil due to circumstances.]

The escalating efforts by more-liberal Catholics are provoking a vigorous backlash from some bishops and the right[I deny this premise.  This is not a "right" or "left" thing, this is not a matter of those who are interested "social justice" issues.  This is a matter of human life.  So, I deny the premise.]

In Scranton, Pa., every Catholic attending Mass this weekend will hear a special homily about the election next month: Bishop Joseph Martino has ordered every priest in the diocese to read a letter warning that voting for a supporter of abortion rights amounts to endorsing “homicide.”  [Perhaps "infanticide" might be better, but okay.]

Being ‘right’ on taxes, education, health care, immigration and the economy fails to make up for the error of disregarding the value of a human life,” the bishop wrote. “It is a tragic irony that ‘pro-choice’ candidates have come to support homicide — the gravest injustice a society can tolerate — in the name of ‘social justice.’

In response, a coalition of liberal lay Catholics is pushing back, criticizing the bishop’s message for neglecting other aspects of “life” talked about in Catholic social teachings, like concern for the poor[I deny the premise again.  Defense of life will create a better foundation for all the other social issues.]

To underscore the point, a nun is collecting the signatures of prominent Catholic leaders there for a newspaper advertisement [This reminds me of those Catholics who signed a NYT against Humanae vitae.] reminding those who may be wary of voting for Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, the Democratic nominee for president, that the church also considers racism a sin that threatens the dignity of life[OH. WHAT. A. SLIMEY. TACTIC.]

“Here in Scranton, racist attitudes often prevent us from seeing all of our fellow citizens and candidates for public office as God’s children,” says the petition, circulated by Sister Margaret P. Gannon, a professor at Marywood University.  [All this does is obfuscate the real issues.  And if we really think about it, the problems people in Scranton might have with Sen. Obama are not going to be about race, but with his comments about people in that area who cling to their guns and religion.  But the racism card is a really low blow.]

Scranton, the focus of a disproportionate amount of attention because it was the childhood home of Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, has become a flashpoint in the battle playing out nationwide in weekly homilies, pastoral letters and diocesan newspapers. Scranton is also one of several heavily Catholic, working-class cities in swing states — like Cincinnati; Cleveland; Detroit; Erie, Pa.; Pittsburgh; and St. Louis — where a new network of liberal groups like Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United are trying to promote the church’s social justice teachings[Makes them sound like scrappy insurgent freedom fighters.]

Catholics make up about a quarter of the electorate nationwide and about a third in many of the most heavily contested states in the Northeast and Midwest, an increasingly central focus of both presidential campaigns[This, friends, is why bishops and priests MUST SPEAK UP and ACT.]

The campaign of Senator John McCain of Arizona has dispatched high-profile surrogates like Senator Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas, to remind Catholic audiences of the Republican candidate’s opposition to abortion.

For Mr. Obama, who supports the right to abortion, [Not just abortion.  Remember the whole thing about denying support to children who survive abortions so that they die.] his campaign has trained its grass-roots organizers in the details of recent policy statements of the Bishops Conference.

Conservatives argue that ending legal protections for abortion outweighs almost all other issues, [almost?] while liberals contend that social programs can more effectively reduce the abortion rate than trying to overturn Supreme Court precedents. [B as in B.  S as in S.  They are seriously arguing that social programs to "reduce poverty", or distributing contraceptives and abortifacients to teens will lower the abortion rate?] They cite a 2007 statement from the United States bishops explicitly condoning a vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights if the vote was cast for other “grave” reasons[That was then and this is now.  Also, I wonder what they are actually citing.  Are they citing what the Holy See passed on through the USCCB or are they citing Card. MCarrick’s enverating spin?]

The subtleties can be slippery. [No. I deny the premise.  This really isn’t all that hard.  Sure there are some situations where you have two candidates who both support abortion, but one might place no restrictions and one would.]  The Cathedral of St. Peter in Wilmington, Del., where Mr. Biden lives, is promoting a video produced by the conservative Catholic group Fidelis that is intended to persuade Catholic voters to put opposition to abortion rights and same-sex marriage above all other issues.  Sounds good to me.

“Many issues are at stake,” a caption reads as the video displays a fetus and choral music swells. “Some are more important than others.”  [So… liberals can make their issue dramatic, but not the pro-life supporters?]

‘Voter guide’

Brian Burch, president of Fidelis, said the group had created the video as “a voter guide for the 21st century.” Many Catholic churches across the country have put it on their Web sites, and Mr. Burch said some statewide advocacy groups had been distributing it to their members.

At the Cathedral of St. Peter, the Rev. Joseph Cocucci has displayed the video prominently on the church’s Web page, and at each Mass he is urging parishioners to view it. Father Cocucci noted that the video also features smaller visual references to Catholics carrying peace signs and marching for civil rights.

“The video does say life is the most important issue, but if you notice it isn’t only abortion,” he said.

In the final push to Election Day, the intrachurch election debate is increasingly spilling into public view.

Last week, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the head of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. in Missouri had stormed out of a Mass because his priest had invoked Hitler’s name in condemning Democratic support for abortion rights. The Cincinnati Enquirer published a column commending several archbishops for instructing Catholics not to vote for supporters of abortion rights but lamenting that the archbishop there had not done the same[That would be the Archbishop of Cincinatti.]

In the aftermath of the 2004 election, many liberal Catholics complained that parishes had distributed millions of copies of a voter guide created by a group called Catholic Answers that highlighted five “nonnegotiable” issues: abortion, stem-cell research, human cloning, euthanasia and same-sex marriage.

In response, liberal groups like Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance quickly began preparing alternative guides emphasizing a broader spectrum of the church’s social justice teachings.

Then the Bishops Conference, perhaps to forestall a blizzard of competing pamphlets, all but banned third-party voter guides from parishes, requiring the explicit endorsement of the presiding bishop[And that is … what… wrong to do?  Would that bishops had exercised such vigilance over printed materials for Catholics in the last few decades.]

But some, including the bishop of La Crosse in Wisconsin, [Bp. Jerome Listecki] a swing state, have nevertheless chosen to authorize distribution of the “nonnegotiable” guides this year. [Don’t you love that "nevertheless" in there?  How it changes the tenor the sentence?] The liberal groups are trying to distribute their material through direct mail and at meetings of lay Catholic groups.

Alexia Kelley, executive director of Catholics in Alliance, said her organization was spending more than $250,000 on radio, print and billboard advertisements in Scranton and other heavily Catholic areas. The advertisements emphasize what Ms. Kelley described as the broader spectrum of Catholic concerns about the “common good,” including health care, jobs and home foreclosures[Remember… "broader spectrum" is code language.]

Douglas W. Kmiec, a Catholic legal scholar who was a legal counsel in the administrations of President Ronald Reagan and the first President George Bush, has been telling Catholic audiences in Pennsylvania and other swing states that Mr. Obama’s platform better fits Catholic social teaching, including reducing the abortion rate[Which is, of course, not true.  Those things will not in themselves reduce the rate of abortion.  And even if they did, that doesn’t make any difference for this issue.  If abortion is intrinsically evil, then we must not support it.  If it is more fundamental than other issues, then it must have priority in our weighing of the candidates.]

Mr. Kmiec, who recently published a book on the subject — “Can a Catholic Support Him? Asking the Big Question about Barack Obama” — was speaking in Scranton last week when Bishop Martino issued his letter rebutting those arguments.

Asked how his former Republican colleagues were responding to his Obama evangelism, Mr. Kmiec acknowledged some resistance. “Some remind me that George Washington gave orders for Benedict Arnold to be shot on sight,” he said.

Mr. Kmiec… Benedict Arnold was a traitor.

NYT: Election divides Catholic Church
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118 Responses to NYT: Election divides Catholic Church

  1. The other David says:

    I don’t always agree with your analysis Father, but this was an excellent dissection of the article, and I found myself agreeing with your comments.

    Thank you for this one

  2. Jim says:

    Nice work, Father. The Times does tend to have a pro-Democratic, liberal slant to its news as you have amply demonstrated.

  3. John Fisher says:

    Ahem. Arnold was a loyalist: Washington was a rebel and traitor.

  4. Jim: At least this particular article has a slant. Or so I think.

  5. London Calling says:

    Father, in this paragraph

    The subtleties can be slippery. The Cathedral of St. Peter in Wilmington, Del., where Mr. Biden lives, is promoting a video produced by the conservative Catholic group Fidelis that is intended to persuade Catholic voters to put opposition to abortion rights and same-sex marriage above all other issues. Sounds good to me.

    the last sentence is, I think, your comment — but it’s neither in bold nor in red, and it looks as though the NYT author wrote it.

  6. EDG says:

    I am so angry my hands are shaking and I can barely type, because I just got home from Mass where the pastor’s “Respect Life Sunday” homily could have been taken word for word from the New York Times article. He told people that it is a mistake to think that Respect Life Sunday refers to abortion, mentioning it only twice and then in a laundry list of things including “homelessness,” and ended by urging people to vote for “change.” I guess that means Obama. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised, considering how things are in my diocese, but nonetheless I am both surprised and upset. I am going to write him a letter because I think this should not be allowed to pass without comment.

  7. paul says:

    What can compare to more than 48 million babies murdered through abortion? Pope Pius x1 in Casti Connubi called abortion murder.

  8. Lucia says:

    Sadly, I am neither surprised, shocked, nor offended by anything said in the article. I’m not surprised or shocked because it doesn’t even compare to the joke that is the Washington Post. I’m not offended because a) I feel sorry for them, and b) I ran out of energy after reading this morning’s paper.

    You would think unbiased, factually correct journalism would be a given. Instead, it’s an oxymoron.

    But I have to wonder…if politicos are so keen to mess with the Church and “capture” its voters, is that because they see us as a “threat”?

    If that’s the case… :)

  9. Johnny Domer says:

    “Scranton is also one of several heavily Catholic, working-class cities…where a new network of liberal groups like Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United are trying to promote the church’s social justice teachings.”

    I hate the fact that the media portrays liberal Catholics as actually promoting “the Church’s social justice teachings” and conservatives as not caring about them. How do liberation theology, socialized medicine, ignoring our immigration laws, and promoting cradle-to-grave government nanny programs fit in with Catholic social teaching? How do they fit in with the principle of subsidiarity? The idea that liberals are just spot on with social justice issues is another premise that I reject from this article. Furthermore, if I could think of one issue of social justice (a term, as liberals use it, that seems to include just whatever they want it to include) that is really important that they seem to ignore: ABORTION. There is NO greater social injustice than abortion; with the exception of the murder of almighty God Himself on the Cross, there has never, EVER been an injustice so great as that of abortion.

  10. joye says:

    @John Fisher
    No, Benedict Arnold was just a traitor. He didn’t switch sides because he changed his mind about who was right; he switched sides because he didn’t feel appreciated enough. And he had good reason to feel bitter about what happened to him (despite his brilliant service and his wounds from battle, he was being passed over in favor of less experienced people for promotion). So he tried to drown his sorrows in wild parties and fell into debt.

    His story ends with him offering the British the fort under his command for 20k pounds. He was found out and fled to Britain.

    He’s a traitor, and his motives were purely mercenary. Wax poetic about the injustice of the Revolutionary War and laud monarchy all you like, but don’t try to take Benedict Arnold as a good guy.

  11. Mike says:

    Without respect for life at all stages, from conception through death, the definition of humanity itself becomes contingent. If you don’t believe so, consider the opinion of the “leading medical ethicist” in Britain, Baroness Warnock, who says the demented elderly should end their lives for the good of society.

    The death penalty is a non sequitur, as it involves someone being judged guilty of a heinous crime. What crime have the unborn, the old, or the infirm committed?

    All the other issues of Catholic social teaching are covered under prudent judgment – there are a variety of opinions about and approaches to achieving such justice. The right to life is not prudential – it is fundamental.

  12. John says:

    I live in the Richmond dioscese.

    We have a Catholic governor who was elected claiming to be Catholic but whose pro-life credentials are arguable. He was elected with Catholic support, the Chancery office did not speak out. My bishop was caught consenting –albeit indirectly– to abortion involving a minor. My priest today mentioned it being Respect Life Sunday but complained about discarding batteries in the trash so it could contaminate the drinking water. Later he said a few words about respecting all life but his heart was obviously still moreconcerned about the batteries. Bishop DiLorenzo has a lot to answer for and should be worried if he expects to meet the creator of life at the end of his earthly career.

  13. ckdexterhaven says:

    I am also disheartened by my some of my fellow Catholics. A gal in my church said she is pro choice. The “old” me would have sat and stewed about it, but I charitably told her (and her teenage son) that abortion is never right, b/c an innocent baby is killed. There was an Obama sticker on a car in the parking lot of church today. Didn’t these Catholics hear Obama say he didn’t want his daughters “punished with a baby?”.

    The long and short of it is, I am praying to Our Lady for the conversion of our Catholic leaders in Washington. I know I’m praying for Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and Ted Kennedy. I don’t know any other names of the other Catholics, but I am praying that they are converted and turn away from promoting the evil that is abortion. I have also taken Fr. Z’s advice and am praying for their guardian angels as well.

  14. The issue of Washington and Arnold is a RABBIT HOLE which I declare CLOSED.

  15. Larry says:

    The issues of abortion is primary and fundamental. Without life all the rights in the world don’t matter at all. The bishops have been promoting this concept for years; but, with few actually teaching on it from their throne. In 1968 when the bishops failed to defend Humanae Vitae they lost a huge amount of credibiltiy even though they made their sheep very happy. Forty years later their sucessors, our current bishops, in many cases are attempting to regain the high ground. I believe they are succeeding, but that does not mean that a majority of the flock will get it. Unfortuneately this is a most important election because of the prospect of two justices on the Supreme Court who are about to retire. It could be several years and several million more abortions before we have a real chance to end this scourge in the US. Hopefully, the protestants and muslims and mormons will off set the stupidity of many Catholics and elect men and women who will finally spell the end of this outrage against justice in the United States.

  16. Larry says:

    I should have added—-BE SURE TO GET OUT AND VOTE!!!!!!

    It would almost be nice if we could follow the advice of that great democrat from ole Chi Town. “Vote earlyand vote often!!!”

  17. Barb says:

    Our family lost our home in this mortgage crisis. Do I think this issue outweighs the abortion issue?
    NOPE!

    We live with far less food and comforts these days (even the internet may have to go soon), does this make
    the economy more important than the abortion issue?
    NOPE!

    The only candidate I can vote for is McCain. I am voting my conscience whether these liberals like it or not, and
    I am voting on the issue of abortion. period. If our country can rid itself of this liberal blight, God’s
    blessings will again flow more copiously and take care of the rest of the “spectrum” they speak of.

    Fiat Voluntas Tua

  18. tallen says:

    What part of Jesus message of social justice do you not understand? The Sermon on the Mount? The injunction to give our coat, food and drink, and aid to strangers? The story of the Good Samaritan?

    Now find for me once, just once, a mention of abortion in Jesus’s message. Yes, maybe he affirms some of the old Testament teachings, such as Kill Not, and maybe this is applied by some of you to abortion, but JC [JC?] himself NEVER mentions it. So how did YOU decide that abortion, which he never mentions, is the prime issue of our day, in contrast with social justice, which Jesus speaks of over and over and over?

    [The usual sloppy stuff. First, you can’t feed or give a coat to someone who was denied BIRTH. Also, I deny your false dichotomy of either pro-life or social justice. This is a both/and situation for Catholics. But the basic issue of LIFE is the most important. It has logical priority, though we deal with it simultaneously, in chronological terms, with all the other issues of charity which as Catholics we are called to answer. If you do not place your social justice efforts on the proper foundation, which must include the basic right of a person to be born… to live… then all the other things make little sense and, in the long run, cannot be defended as necessary. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this: (Proverbs 6:16-19) Six things there are, which the Lord hateth, and the seventh his soul detesteth: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that deviseth wicked plots, feet that are swift to run into mischief, a deceitful witness that uttereth lies, and him that soweth discord among brethren.]

  19. Jordanes says:

    Leftists deride “trickle down economics” and deregulation of markets, but then we have folks like Doug Kmiec and the Common Gooders arguing in favor of “trickle down respect for life” with completely deregulated abortion and contraception. Nice to know where their priorities are: money, not the unborn.

  20. Seminarian says:

    Tallen,

    This is not something Father Z has decided, but what the Church has decided. Not one person or group, but the Church.

    Even then, when considering social justice. Who is to say one is opposing social justice by not voting for a democrat. What would Jesus want more, the government making people hand out goods, or people doing it of their own free good will? I frankly would rather not have the government be doing this, especially since they mess up everything they try to control.

  21. Jordanes says:

    Tallen said: What part of Jesus message of social justice do you not understand?

    There’s not a single part of it that we fail to understand.

    The Sermon on the Mount? The injunction to give our coat, food and drink, and aid to strangers? The story of the Good Samaritan?

    What about the part that says it would be better for a person to have a millstone hung about his neck and he be cast into the depths of the sea than that a single one of God’s little children be offended or assaulted? Barack Obama and Joe Biden are committed to working for the offense and assault of more and more children. God have mercy on them and on everyone who wants abortion to remain legal.

    Now find for me once, just once, a mention of abortion in Jesus’s message. Yes, maybe he affirms some of the old Testament teachings, such as Kill Not, and maybe this is applied by some of you to abortion, but JC himself NEVER mentions it.

    It’s not just applied by some of us, it’s applied by Jesus Christ Himself.

    The Catholic Church knows better what Jesus said and meant than you do, Tallen. After all, She was established by Jesus to teach His commandments. The Church was there when Jesus delivered His teachings, so She knows what He said. You weren’t there, so you don’t know.

    So how did YOU decide that abortion, which he never mentions, is the prime issue of our day, in contrast with social justice, which Jesus speaks of over and over and over?

    Anyone who is not committed to outlawing abortion is not committed to social justice. If the unborn have no innate and inalienable rights, then nobody does.

  22. Margaret says:

    The Times is repeating themselves. They ran a very similar article in mid-September when the whole Pelosi/Biden-as-amateur-theologians thing was going strong: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/17/us/politics/17catholics.html?pagewanted=1&ref=opinion

    which was followed by a very good letter to the editor from the Rockville Center and Broolyn bishops shortly thereafter: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/24/opinion/l24bishops.html?_r=5&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=login

    It’s like watching a game of tennis– the NYT wistfully hits over this ball about how Catholics can vote pro-abortion because of social justice, and it keeps getting smacked back. Perhaps some of us can submit several good return volleys to the letters page? It’s not just the job of priests and bishops…

  23. Barb says:

    tallen, I notice you call the Son of God “JC”. That is more than improper. Furthermore, Christ did indeed
    say that He did not come to abolish the law (the laws that were given to the jews by God), He came to fulfill them all.
    Thou Shalt Not Kill. That is one of the big ten. You can have absolutely NO social justice without first taking
    care of the most helpless in society. Those are the unborn, aged, and infirm in our society.

    Focus on this issue until it is resolved the way God wants it resolved. Abolish abortion and social justice will
    flourish.

  24. Howard says:

    Tallen: According to your argument, all one has to do is to find sins so bizzare or degenerate that they would never have been considered in 1st-century Judea. Like cannibalism. Where in the Gospels does Christ condemn cannibalism? In fact, didn’t he declare all foods clean? (Mark 7:19) But cannibalism wasn’t a common sin in 1st-century Judea or Galilee, so there was no need for him to mention it. Abortion wasn’t a common sin at that time and place, either.

    Which is not to say that abortion wasn’t a problem elsewhere in the Empire at the time; so it was condemned specifically in the Teaching of the Twelve (Didache 2:2). The fact remains that when the Teaching Authority of the Catholic Church speaks against abortion, it speaks with the voice of Jesus Christ, and this IS biblical:

    Luke 10:16: Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.

  25. Todd says:

    This is the first year in which I am able to vote in a presidential election, and thus I’m wrestling with these issues for the first time. On one hand, I disagree with McCain on many issues. On the other hand, I abhor the fact that Obama is vehemently pro-choice. It feels like my hands are tied behind my back, because I can’t in good conscience support either candidate. With no good choice my instinct is to simply not vote, but that isn’t a good option either. I just haven’t found a good option yet.

    /I don’t mean to start a political discussion on McCain and Obama’s other positions. I just mean to express my frustration at this unfortunate situation.

  26. eric says:

    Is’nt the greatest social injustice a premature death? Once that is eliminated then the rest, only as an already established part of the whole, will be as the ‘seamless garment’of social justice. A true comprehensive view. Why always this bartering for just a bit here and there? Any bartering away of Christs message is a Protestant idea, orthodoxy cannot condone this idea.

  27. Debi says:

    Barb thank you, you have made my day. I feel the same way you and my son just lost his job. As you know this means cuts backs in this household are a must. You will be in my prayers. I ask the Blessed Virgin to find favor in you comment and intercede for your family to regain all that you have lost.

    May Deus largior plures venia super vestri prosapia.

  28. John says:

    Regardless of who wins the election, manifesto driven “catholicism” is going to internally collapse. Gospel based Catholicism however, will thrive. (just like a mustard seed planted in an organic, carbon credited garden)

  29. Tim from St. Agnes says:

    Fr. Z, saying public Mass in the Twin Cities while you are here? If so when and where?

  30. Debi says:

    Barb thank you, you have made my day. I feel the same way you and my son just lost his job. As you know this means cuts backs in this household are a must. You will be in my prayers. I ask the Blessed Virgin to find favor in you comment and intercede for your family to regain all that you have lost.

    May Deus largior plures venia super vestri prosapia.

  31. Mike says:

    Tallen,

    The Bible never explicitly mentions “Trinity” either, does it? So how then do Christians know the fundamentally central doctrine of the Trinity? Answer: Church Teaching.

    The same argument for other matters impels us to defer to the Church to delineate what proper emphasis must be placed on ‘social justice’ particularly with regard to other, much more important and literally life or death issues.

  32. Rosie says:

    The premise that the Democratic Party is the party of social justice is
    factually incorrect and one of the myths promoted by them to silence dissent.
    It has been documented that Republicans are much more generous
    with their money than Democrats. I don’t know who takes a poll at the food banks,
    homeless shelters etc., but in my community this work is usually taken on by a
    wide range of people and conservatives are very well represented. I see more
    liberals promoting a green planet than actually getting their hands dirty helping
    real people in need.

    There are many ways to promote social justice and government is one of the least
    effective. Why don’t Democrats take the Republicans lead and promote social justice
    with their own money and not taxpayers.

  33. Adam says:

    I’m probably going to be flayed for this, but … I actually thought that this was a pretty good article. Now, you may or may not agree with the various points-of-view presented in it (or premises, as Fr.Z points out), but as a piece of reporting, I find this to be a fairly well-balanced presentation. It’s as good a piece of work as I’ve seen outside of the Catholic media. Yeah, sure, you can quibble with emphasis here and there, but at least the NYT is putting this kind of article out there. Call me a glass half-full kind of optimist, but I’m keenly aware that quality religion reporting in the MSM is hard to come by. Amazing to me that the reporter was able to get this past his editors.

    Fr.Z – I like your commentary, but I wonder if it’s possible to somehow distinguish between when you are disagreeing with the reporter, and when you are disagreeing with a quote or statement reported by the reporter. [Keep working on that!]

  34. Debi says:

    Barb thank you, you have made my day. I feel the same way you and my son just lost his job. As you know this means cuts backs in this household are a must. You will be in my prayers. I ask the Blessed Virgin to find favor in you comment and intercede for your family to regain all that you have lost.

    May Deus largior plures venia super vestri prosapia.

  35. Think this is the end? Get ready for what I’m sure the New York Times will do tomorrow, which is run a story about the angry Catholics who walked out of Masses in the Diocese of Scranton while the letter was being read. Look for the picture of someone walking out of a church (probably the cathedral), quotes from people about “separation of Church and State”, “war is also a sin”, and how they’ll never come back again.

    Predictable.

  36. Barb says:

    The Church that Christ founded has spoken. Those who adhere to the false doctrine of the “seamless garment”
    must now make their choice.

    Let me go homeless. Let me go hungry. Let me go without human comfort. Let me be reviled by all.
    Just let the little ones live.

    Fiat Voluntas Tua

  37. mark lajoie says:

    The DIDACHE APOSTOLORUM written in 97 AD, an undeniably apostolic writing, directly condemns abortion. There is no possible way they would have proclaimed this in the lifetime of the Apostles if they were not certain this was the will of Jesus Christ infallibly aided as they were by the Holy Spirit. This condemnation has stood uncontested for two millenia, philosophical arguments about ‘ensoulment’ or anything else notwithstanding.

    Canon Law as it stands, makes active support of abortion a reason for AUTOMATIC excommunication no matter what the Bishop says. The Bishop may choose to underline the spiritual reality but he cannot change it.

  38. Volpius says:

    How can you claim to promote the Churches social justice teachings by disobeying the Church? Such a claim is blatantly ridiculous.

  39. Volpius says:

    “The subtleties can be slippery.”

    Even if they were which they are not the answer is to listen to the Church, to not do so is like not listening to the maths teacher when you are trying to understand algebra, you are going to get it wrong!

    In fact its worse than that its like not listening to the guy who actually came up with algebra.

  40. Arrico Prela says:

    I’m pro-life, but I’m still voting Democratic. I look at all the issues, NOT just the abortion issue. And anyone who just looks at the issue of pro-life or abortion is suffering from a gross violation of valid judgement. [Not so fast. You don’t have to sacrifice your interest in those issues, but you do have to see that some issues really do have logical priority. Social issues are important, but being active regarding them is merely to build a house on sand if you don’t have the foundational principles in place. ]
    Look at the war in Iraq/Afganistan. Neither of which we should have been involved in. Look at the trillions+ deficit the Bush/Cheney team has racked up in 8 years, something that will burden us for ten years or more. Especially look at the crumbling economy and the jobs market. [blah blah blah…. not because those are not important… but because they are an attempt to dissolve the life issue, which is logically prior, into a mass of other troubles.]
    Look at all the people who are homeless, loosing their homes, their their business, their jobs, look at all the people who can’t find work after 9 months looking (even with the help of employment agencies), look at how the USA is disrespected by most in Europe because they see the disasterous road that Bush/Cheney has taken the USA in 8 years, and realize that McCain/Palin will be more of the same. [This really is out of place in this discussion. Quite off topic.]
    IF, after all that, people still cast their vote SOLELY on the issue of abortion, then I think there is something wrong with those individuals.
    I’m pro-life, but I also see that our country is on the point of ruination after 8 years of Republican Bush/Cheney rule. McCain/Palin would be far , far worse. [And this is a rabbit hole. This blog does not push one party or another. I am placing the issues before you in their proper priority. You have mixed up their order and therefore will have a hard time making the right decisions. I do not say the “the right decision for you but rather the right

      decision.]

  41. ragekj says:

    Barb, great post. I appreciate your love of the unborn.
    I think we would all do well to remember that the seamless garment ethic isn\’t the problem-the problem is people misusing it; the seamless garment ethic does say that some issues are more important than others. I personally cringe when I hear the words \”seamless garment\”, just as I do when I hear \”social justice\”, but the issue isn\’t that these are unimportant or wrong, it\’s that they are being misused. I know ya\’ll care about issues of justice, I\’m just afraid that some people would take what is being said here out of context. God bless.

  42. Barb says:

    I just wish people remembered that all of these ills are punishments from God for the sins of our country.
    The sin of abortion is the top one of all. Our country “legalized” the slaughter of the innocent unborn.
    Why in the world would anyone think that the broken cisterns of government can fix these evils when it is part of
    the cause?

    The economy, the crime rate, the housing problems, etc….are all punishments. The cause is sin. The most grievous
    of which are abortion and sodomy. We must begin at the beginning to make things better. Destroy abortion, contraceptive mentality, and sodomy and then the punishments will be reduced and/or removed.

    Instead of saying “God bless america” maybe we should be saying “America bless God”. Forgetfullness of God and His
    laws brought us to this sorry state of affairs. Remembering Him will rain down His blessings on us all.

  43. Brian Day says:

    Fr. Z,

    I’m surprised that you haven’t closed this thread down by now.

    The only thing that I can add is remember the concept of subsidiarity. From wikipedia:
    Subsidiarity is an organizing principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. The Oxford English Dictionary defines subsidiarity as the idea that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level.

    You can talk all you want about the “broader spectrum”, aka “seamless garment” all you want, but homelessness is not a federal issue. The federal government does not create jobs. If those issues are important to you then personally get involved with your parish or local service organizations. It is the city and county and state taxes and regulations that kill jobs or help create them. Make you views known to your local representatives. Quit thinking that the federal government is responsible for getting things done. If everyone did their part, then these would not be a campaign issue. [Job creation is a mere tangent to what is really important in this discussion.]

  44. Jack007 says:

    “I’m pro-life, but I’m still voting Democratic. I look at all the issues, NOT just the abortion issue. And anyone who just looks at the issue of pro-life or abortion is suffering from a gross violation of valid judgement.”

    I heard Fr. Corapi say something the other day that made me think a lot… Arrico’s post and thinking fits in.

    “On the day of my judgment, I wonder how I will be able to explain away my “votes”, actions, and “moral” decisions to the MILLIONS of souls of those aborted babies?”

    Father Corapi really made me think. Thats a powerful visual, and for me who is FAR from being a saint, a very SCARY one.
    Seriously, just think about that for just a few moments. Millions of souls of innocent babes before you…
    I don’t care much for pious melodrama, but that thought just haunts me.
    I am not in favor of the unjust Iraq “war”, but how could I possibly face those little souls with that argument?
    May God have mercy on our country.
    PRAY!
    Jack in KC

  45. tradone says:

    Comment by Arrico Prela
    Sad point of view.

    Let’s abolish abortion and see how the state of the world changes.
    God help us.

  46. shadrach says:

    ‘I just wish people remembered that all of these ills are punishments from God for the sins of our country.’

    This can’t be proved. And Catholics don’t have to believe this. Augustine in ‘The City of God’ adequately shows the disconnect between prospering in this world and one’s standing in relation to the Truth. And vice versa.

    Original sin is hardwired into us. Any social or political gesture we make will be imperfect. Some gestures, of course, will be less perfect than others.

  47. Barb says:

    What can’t be proved?

    The fact that God punishes sin?
    The fact that God punishes countries as well as individuals?
    The fact that abortion is a heinous violation of God’s law?
    The fact that poverty is sometimes used by God as a punishment for sin?
    The fact that criminality is sometimes used by God as a punishment for sin?
    The fact that immorality is sometimes used by God as a punishment for sin?
    The fact that rampant sin is used by God as a punishment for sin?

    God does abandon the sinner to his sin when he refuses to repent.

    Which one of the above can a catholic safely disregard?

  48. Louis E. says:

    Jordanes,
    unless “innate and inalienable rights” are prohibited to “the unborn”,they can not be secured for anyone else.

  49. Volpius says:

    Arrico Prela when 48 million people are murdered in Iraq let me know ;). [But not here.] Also guess what the invasion of those places might have been wrong but you cannot undo the invasion by leaving, you cannot undo an event that has already happened. I just read in the paper today the Christians in Iraq are begging us not to pull out because they know if we do there will be civil war.

    Is that justice? You invade a country and then leave it in ruins and civil war? I don’t think so. If we indeed destroyed Iraq as you believe then we have an obligation to rebuild it, to not do so is to commit yet another injustice.

    Part of those deficits went to funding abortions you can be sure ;), money is not more important than even one child’s life do you worship God or do you worship Mammon & Baal?

    I have been out of work for over a year now, killing babies aint going to help me find a job and quite frankly a babies life is to high a price to pay for a job, if you care so much sacrifice your own life instead of sacrificing other peoples.

    Your judgement is completely disordered, it is people like you who seem to completely lack the ability to reason in a logical way that is to blame for all theose poor babies been killed.

    How does it feel to be partly responsible for the infanticide of 48 million innocent babies?

    Because if you vote for people who are pro-infanticide it is you who are enabling them to carry out those murders, you are an accessory to what Father Corapi rightly labelled genocide, genocide aimed at the most defenceless human beings on the planet, babies in a mothers womb.

  50. Volpius says:

    Just to put that in perspective even if the whole population of Iraq was wiped out it still wouldn’t total the number of lives that have been taken by abortion.

  51. shadrach says:

    No, Volpius, it would be the whole population of Iraq plus the number of lives that have been taken by abortion. Lives should not be placed in a ratio against lives, even theoretically.

  52. Marnie says:

    I think all ducks (Catholics Alliance for Common Stupidity and Catholics United in Ignorance) should be placed in a row and excommunicated. First and last names and not just en masse.

  53. Barb says:

    “Bread and circuses” Those who go for the “seamless garment” bit are so easily diverted from the most important
    issue by those that affect them personally.

    Don’t vote with your belly.

    There really isn’t a conflict of interest here. The liberals try to make it look like there is. If one votes
    according to their conscience, they are labelled as uncaring on the other fronts. That isn’t true. There are
    priorities here that the liberals refuse to accept because it makes them uncomfortable and undermines their
    efforts to redefine the faith itself.

  54. Rivendell says:

    I’m a Catholic woman who in the past has not given much thought about the issue of abortion, it’s never touched me or any member of my family, and I’ve simply lumped it together with all the other social evils of this world. But this election season, with its Democratic candidate Barak Obama’s extreme views on abortion/infanticide, has pushed abortion front and center in my mind. I’ve been having discussions at my workplace with co-workers (some Catholic, others not) several of whom have stated they will vote for Obama, and I’ve been reading Catholic blogs such as this one. My parish’s pastors haven’t said much about abortion from the pulpit, although I have yet to attend mass this Right to Life Sunday, I will be attending later this afternoon and be listening keenly to today’s homily. Three of the four candidates (except Sarah Palin’s life choice) to date have not made abortion one of its crucial campaign issues like the war in Iraq, the financial situation, health care, etc. And yet the omission of the abortion issue from the day to day campaign political debate and discussion has made it for me the most important issue of all of them. I know what the Church teaches about abortion and I personally will heed her teaching. I’m not very smart or highly educated, but I can sense when something big is brewing, and abortion I feel will prove to be our undoing in this country. I also have seen Fr. John Carapi’s videos and I think he’s right. Abortion is the single most important issue in society and it has to be abolished, when it is, all of our other social ills will be alleviated. I do believe that when a society denies some people the right to be born and be allowed to live out their lives, then that society suffers even more because of such evil. As much as I do admire Barak Obama’s youth, energy and intelligence, I abhor his pro-choice stance. I cannot, in good conscience, vote for him. I don’t like McCain at all, but Barak Obama is just too extreme. On November 4th, I’m sticking with the Church’s wisdom on this one.

  55. John Womack says:

    “I heard Fr. Corapi say something the other day that made me think a lot… Arrico’s post and thinking fits in.

    “On the day of my judgment, I wonder how I will be able to explain away my “votes”, actions, and “moral” decisions to the MILLIONS of souls of those aborted babies?””

    Ummm, I’ll be called to explain my decisions to God alone on judgment day, unless some new verses have been added to scripture and church teaching.

    I have living proof of my pro-life stance…I talked a friend out of an abortion years ago. (How many of those who are angered at me and my stance can say this, I wonder?) Her child is 18 now, and I’m her Godfather. So don’t lecture me on my concern for life.

    Frankly, I vote Democrat because I believe that AS A CATHOLIC it’s worth the fight to change the party’s abortion stance, and I’m far from alone. Bishop Chaput has confirmed this lately, saying that there are a LOT of good Catholics who are Democrats and that we have an OBLIGATION to change the party’s stance on life.
    Well, that’s all I’ve said, and I get the pariah treatment for it.
    Such is life. Strangely, I don’t hear many the Bishop on that. Nope, instead of encouraging we Catholic Dems to fight for life in our party, we basically get told we’re worshiping Moloch. Give it a rest.

    I used to be a Republican, but after witnessing McCain & Palin’s tactics, I wouldn’t vote Republican this year if a serial killer with an itchy trigger finger had a loaded gun to my head. Some of my Catholic friends won’t speak to me anymore because they can’t conceive of my fighting to save a once great political party. God bless ‘em.

    I stand before God with a clear conscience.

    By the way, I’m a convert, and I prefer the EF of the Mass by far (because of it’s reverence for our Lord), so don’t try to lump me in with the “sandalista” crowd.

  56. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    First, I will not be voting for either evil in this presidential election. Obama is evil, but so is McCain, and I could not figure out which one was more evil or less evil with any degree of certainty. The fact is that the president can only effect the abortion issue in an indirect manner, by nominating members of the Supreme Court. This would possibly at best throw the issue back the states. However, McCain is unwilling to say that he would ensure that any supreme court nominee would reject roe v wade. So the probability of a McCain presidency ending abortion or effecting the numbers of abortions is slim. Next move on to the Catholic teaching on a just war. McCain and Obama clearly reject this teaching, however, McCain seems more willing to act on this error, and would be more likely to start another unjust war. Now, let’s look at the sinfulness of the positions: Is it more sinful to allow a person to commit murder by abortion, without saying it is wrong, (McCain might say it is wrong, but he will not say it is murder), or is it more sinful to order soldiers (with the threat of capital punishment, if they refuse) under your direct command to commit murder in an unjust war? To pretend that a Catholic, who believes that the Iraqi War was unjust, and therefore every death committed by Americans is murder, should not take that into consideration is wrong. It is also wrong to put 46 million abortions on one side. If McCain had been president since roe v wade, do you really think that there would have been zero legal abortions? I doubt it. I am not convinced that electing either candidate would decrease the numbers of abortions in this country in either the long or the short term. Until a majority of the people believe that abortion should be illegal, abortion will still be allowed. This of course is one of the down sides about living in a democracy. Some Catholics believe the abortion issue is lost, and while I pray and hope that is not the case, I can see their point, and admit that they might be right. The best scenario pro-life McCain supporters can give is that he might nominate someone to the supreme court that would over turn roe v wade, and send the issue back to the states. Finally, I really feel that many Catholics are enthusiastic supporters of McCain, not because of the pro-life issue, but of the other issues – taxes, war, etc. Any Catholic voting for McCain or Obama should go into the booth with their nose plugged. I have a very weak stomach, so I can not bring myself to vote for either one.

  57. tallen says:

    Z – “The usual sloppy stuff.” Guess you better look more closely at my actual argument, instead of making up whatever straw men you want. A totally unfounded comment.

    Z – “I deny your false dichotomy of either pro-life or social justice.” I made no such dichotomy. I merely challenged you to present Jesus’s actual words on abortion, as compared to his ABUNDANT and CLEAR actual words in the Gospels on social justice. “Slavishly accurate” you are not – but sloppy – yes you are. Please read the actual words I wrote, not something you made up.

    Howard – yours was the best – almost the only – decent argument or reply. The problem is, abortion WAS a big issue, both in the century before and after Christ – see my next answer.

    Mark – as I’m sure you know, the DIDACHE APOSTOLORUM is not part of the Catholic Bible, as it is NOT accepted by the church as true nor revealed. Further, the Didache is an adaptation of an older Jewish catechism, no surprise, so it is not Jesus’ words nor the apostles’ words, it predates them both by a century. Further, the text was lost from 1100 – 1800 AD so it has NOT withstood two millenia’s test, its content was unknown.

    But the Didache does show one thing – from the time before Christ and after Christ, in that area, abortion WAS an important issue, as it is mentioned in Jewish and Christian catechisms. However, Jesus’s comments on abortion, if any, remain unrecorded.

    tallen

  58. Thomas says:

    Last night, because Bill Bennett was leading it, I watched CNN’s “Beyond Politics” show. A question was raised as to whether America (U.S.) is a “moral” country. I did not hear anyone mention abortion, even in passing. To be fair, I was out of the room from time to time, but the panel seemed to reach the incredible conclusion that America was, indeed, a “moral” country, without having even considered what is arguably the greatest moral outrage of all history.

  59. Boko Fittleworth says:

    “Being ‘right’ on taxes, education, health care, immigration and the economy fails to make up for the error of disregarding the value of a human life,” the bishop wrote.

    Fair enough, and I realize the bishop is speaking hypothetically, in effect saying “even if they got that stuff right.” But this is what bothers me about some of Archbishop Chaput’s, and other Catholic leaders’, commentary.

    “Being ‘wrong’ on taxes, education, health care, immigration and the economy [also and especialy] fails to make up for the error of disregarding the value of a human life.” A lot of us think the libs are WRONG on taxes, health care, immigration, and the economy. Wrong for prudential reasons and even wrong for doctrinal reasons. This is an opinion which intelligent, informed Catholics of good will can hold.

    Be nice to see that acknowledged. Instead, too many of our episcopal betters assume the Dems are right on most of the issues other than abortion. This thinking Catholic begs to differ.

  60. shadrach says:

    I agree with Christopher Sarsfield: the truest observation about American politics that I’ve read on this blog in a long time.

  61. Simon Platt says:

    Dear Tallen

    I’m afraid you’ve gone too far, and Father was right with “sloppy”. I think the dichotomy was clear in what you wrote, and that Father has been consistently clear that this dichotomy is false when applied to christian teaching. A sincere love of Chist’s teaching requires us both to protect the unborn as well as care for the needy after birth; in truth, failure to respect unborn human life undermines “social justice”. It’s logically and morally inept – in fact, “sloppy”.

    I shall finish by making two points about my understanding of Our Lord’s teaching during his earthly ministry. First, it was principally aimed at teaching his disciples about his person and his sacrificial mission, not at presenting a moral guide. After all, he did not come to change the moral law. Secondly, insofar as he is recorded as preaching morals, he wisely directed this at the sins of his immediate hearers. It would be foolish indeed to expect him to have addressed the specific sins of 21st century secular man or 1st century pagans. But he has left his church to continue his saving mission – and today she must provide the specific moral teaching that our sins demand today.

    I do not think that a sincere reading of the Gospels can be reconciled with acceptance of induced abortion under any circumstances. Neither does Christ’s church.

  62. Sooner says:

    Tallen – Are you really Catholic? Your argument is that Jesus does not mention abortion “in the Bible”. If you are not Catholic then your logic could possibly be considered since you could be holding a peculiar version of Sola Scriptura. If you are Catholic, you have absolutely no excuse. The Catholic belief regarding Scripture and Tradition is not the topic of this post but it seems you need to do some serious studying of it. To follow your logic though, what does Jesus say about the minimum wage, healthcare, nuclear proliferation, just war, or taxes (other than render unto Caesar)?

  63. John Womack says:

    *Be nice to see that acknowledged. Instead, too many of our episcopal betters assume the Dems are right on most of the issues other than abortion. This thinking Catholic begs to differ.*

    The teachings of Holy Mother Church tend to tick off both sides sooner or later. :-)

  64. toomey says:

    You are quite right, Boko. Our Chaput is is rather a social liberal, and over the past several years, has sent mixed messages on abortion issue voting. Chaput sadly is not the friendliest bishop toward the TLM, either. Some rumors in Denver say that in 2011, Chaput goes to Los Angeles. If that is true, I’m writing to Rome to say that I will pay for plane fare one way to Denver for Bishop Bruskewitz.

  65. John Womack says:

    If Bp. Chaput comes to L.A. then do 2 things:
    1. Rejoice!
    2. Pray for him DAILY.

  66. CK says:

    For Tallen:
    (Psalm 139:13-16) “For YOU created my inmost being; YOU knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

    I believe that the video mentioned in the article and that was promoted in the diocese also mentioned is the very powerful one here: http://www.catholicvote.com/

    We are not permitted to promote this video in our diocese nor are we even permitted this Life Sunday to list the candidates’ positions in our bulletin. They considered that to be a voters’ guide and said no voters’ guides were permitted…only what is written by the USCCB…which is pretty vague andwhich can leave the faithful still unmoved and with the idea of that “seamless garment” again. This election is probably the most important in our history since the promise of that Freedom of Choice Act passage has been made by one of the candidates – the same one voting against coming to the aid of the most defenseless, struggling for life AFTER the attempted abortion against him. This is completely diabolical and for bishops not to grasp this kind of spiritual warfare going on here, today, more than ever before, is unconscionable.

    There is a graphic (truthful) footage of real abortions in a video made by the Mexican star of “Bella”, Eduardo Verastegui, “Dura Realidad” (Hard Truth). As Eduardo states, “We all instinctively know that abortion is something intrinsically evil, and if it is something so terrible that we can’t even see it, shouldn’t we perhaps not tolerate it either?” I won’t put the link to it here without Fr. Z’s permission though, since it shows what abortions really are and do. But it would seem that many of us as well as many bishops are not unlike the Christians in Germany during the Holocaust, trying to look the other way when we are not permitted to place the actual truth of what is happening in a lot of our neighborhoods in front of the faces of voters, and especially Catholic voters.

    And to those so concerned with the “seamless garment” argument I would ask…just whom will it cover???

  67. tallen says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I apologize if I have offended some of you.

    I might be a secular Catholic, if there is such a thing. Baptized, some Catholic school, etc, still think Jesus was important, but no longer accept the metaphysics. Surely Fr. Z would call me an non- or ex-catholic, as a belief in heaven, hell, souls, and so on would be pretty minimal to officially be considered a Catholic.

    Some time back in the 70s I thought the church was moving toward accepting or accommodating someone like me, but no longer, of course. [That’s the reason Jesus established the Church? So that it could change according to our whims?] Taking Jesus as a wise man isn’t enough, [No. It is not.] so I am not officially Catholic, even if I follow the ethics and think Jesus crucially important to my views.

    So, I am not considering the issue of voting for a pro-abortion candidate vs a social justice candidate as just an academic exercise. My ethics is mostly Catholic based, and other Catholic’s views are important to me.

    Thanks again,
    tallen

  68. David Kastel says:

    The president’s only authority with regard to the abortion issue is to appoint judges to the Supreme Court.

    John McCain has directly supported this grave evil of legal abortion by voting in favor of the very explicitly pro-Roe judges Ginsburg and Breyer for the Supreme Court.

    It is “non-negotiable”. Catholics must not vote for John McCain or Obama.

    Or are McCain’s pro-abortion votes okay because he is Republican?

  69. avecrux says:

    Dear David –

    If you think the President’s only authority with regard to abortion involves appointing judges (which is very important, by the way) you are not fully informed. To spare you the research, I present here a list prepared by Priests for Life outlining what our current President has done:

    1) Appointed Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. The appointments resulted in the upholding of the federal partial-birth abortion ban by a 5-4 decision.

    2) Reinstituted the Mexico City Policy, begun by the Reagan Administration and reversed by the Clinton Administration (when Congress tried to reinstitute the policy, Clinton vetoed the bill), that bars foreign aid funding to groups that perform or advocate for abortions. In 2003, the Bush Administration expanded the Mexico City Policy to include not just funds dispensed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), but also the State Department.

    3) Discouraged advancement of pro-abortion legislation by announcing early in his administration that he would veto legislation that threatened pro-life policy.

    4) Signed the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, which made it a federal crime not to treat babies who survive abortion.

    5) Signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban of 2003.

    6) Signed Unborn Victims of Violence Act, recognizing the unborn child as a separate crime victim if injured or killed during an assault.

    7) Cut off all federal funds to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for its involvement in China’s one-child policy which includes forced abortion and sterilization. President Bush sent a fact-finding mission to China which found that the nation’s one-child policy was indeed coercive in nature and that the UNFPA was an integral part of implementing that policy, placing the UNFPA in clear violation of the Kemp-Kasten Amendment that prohibits any aid to any program that involves forced abortion or forced sterilization. Tens of millions of dollars that otherwise would have gone to the UNFPA were redirected to maternal and child health programs.

    8) Thwarted efforts at the United Nations to promote abortion by instructing U.S. delegates to state at every appropriate opportunity that America does not regard anything in any document before the U.N. to establish any international right to abortion.

    9) Issued Executive Order banning the use of new lines of embryonic stem cells in federally funded experiments. Later vetoed legislation passed by Congress to permit federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

    10) Signed the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005, which will fund research using umbilical cord and adult stem cells. The measure provides funding to increase the inventory of cord blood units available to match and treat patients and to link cord blood banks so that doctors have a single source to search for cord blood and bone marrow matches. It also reauthorizes the National Bone Marrow Registry.

    11) Launched public awareness of adoption campaign, working with the National Council for Adoption and pregnancy help centers across the country. The campaign sponsored conferences encouraging faith based communities to promote adoption and produced public service announcements featuring the First Lady urging the adoption of foster children.

    12) Established the first federal government and national website listing and showing children available for adoption across the country (www.AdoptUSKids.org).

    13) Increased the tax credit for adoption related expenses from $5,000 to $10,000; for special needs children, the credit was raised from $5,000 for qualified adoption related expenses to $10,000 for any adoption related expenses. This was done as part of the President’s tax relief bill.

    14) Annually declared Sanctity of Human Life Day.

    15) Issued a federal regulation allowing states to include unborn children in the federal/state S-CHIP program, which provides health insurance for children in poor families. This allowed states to include pre-natal care in the health insurance they offer to poor children under the program.

    16) The Bush Administration did what it could to stop assisted suicide from taking further hold in Oregon. The state of Oregon passed an assisted suicide law that allows doctors to prescribe federally controlled drugs in lethal amounts to certain of their patients who say they want to die. Federal law holds that federally controlled drugs may only be prescribed for legitimate medical purposes. During the Clinton Administration, Attorney General Janet Reno decreed that assisted suicide was a legitimate medical purpose in those states that permit it.

    During the Bush Administration, Attorney General John Ashcroft changed that ruling, saying that assisted suicide was not a legitimate medical purpose, thereby barring doctors from prescribing lethal drugs. A lawsuit was filed and ultimately, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing the drugs to be used for assisted suicide.

    17) Signed legislation making it possible for a federal court to hear whether Terri Schiavo’s constitutional rights had been violated by being denied hydration and nutrition.

    18) Dramatically increased funding for abstinence education through the Department of Health and Human Services, although Congress did not approve the full amount the Bush Administration requested.

    Please note Barak Obama has pledged he will pass FOCA as his first act as President. (EXTREME!) To find out more about FOCA, read Fr. Z’s earlier post of the article written by Bishop Finn.

  70. TAAD says:

    First I have read Bishop Chaput. He has clearly stated that there is no other
    issue at this time that one could claim out weighs abortion. He even said you
    better be ready to defend your vote for a pro-abort to the aborted babies
    when you meet them on judgement day.

    One issue that some don’t mention is that abortion is a racist issue. With the blacks
    being about 15% of the US population they account for 35% of the abortions. They will never
    admit it publicly, but it is a factor. Who is a racist? One who thinks your babies should
    live or one who wants your babies to die? This doesn’t even account for the other
    minorities. So it is a social justice issue also. I tire of those who want to label me
    as a single issue voter. Abortion is not just one issue. It’s a base of many social
    justice issues. And it is an attack on the thoughts of God himself. We don’t want
    to hear the voices he is sending us. We are aborting the thoughts and plans of God.

    What kind of thought process is going on when you can’t decide if something is living
    (“not my pay grade.”) and yet your for destroying it? When we prove it’s a life
    what do we say to the ones who died? Sorry, just a little mistake. We don’t
    execute murders without their day in court. Innocent until proven guilty, right? So
    how’s this square with the above thought process? What kind of people think this way?

    Open your ears to what else is being said. Does it add up? I’m going to reduce the number of
    of abortions. Okay, sounds good. I’m going to sign the Freedom of Choice Act and do
    away with the Mexico City Policy. Huh? Both of these actions will lead to way more abortions
    not less. Again, what kind of thought process is going on here? That’s what’s really
    scarry. You are telling me an obvious lie and expect me to swallow it. No thanks!

    No one said we are going to find a perfect choice. Just like a parish or a priest (sorry Fr.)
    there are no perfect ones. But there are those who are closer to the goal of appointing
    judges who will overturn the ‘law’. Otherwise with several bad appointments we are looking
    at abortion being legal for many more years. Do the math. Look at the age of the judges
    and think how long a young pro-abort judge would be around. We are so close to the
    goal. Are you going to let it be taken away from us because you want the perfect
    party or candidate? It will set the Right to Life back decades.
    The death toll could double. How sad Catholics will cooperate in this.

    “Weep not for Me but weep for your children. For there will come a time when they will say
    blessed are the wombs that never bore… And they will call on the mountains to bury them.”

  71. Boko Fittleworth says:

    Here’s another one for you: It’s time for our bishops (AND OUR POPES) to tell the truth about the liceity of capital punishment. Teach what the Church has always taught, not what the EU and the American left dictate.

  72. Larry says:

    Tallen,

    There are a number of actions which the Church has defined as sinful that Jesus never mentioned explicitly. To the possibility of this Jesus said to Peter and hence to his succeseors. “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Jesus did not sit down and list every sin in the world but He certainly gave His Church the authority to do this. By the way Jesus never said to Caesar anything about caring for the poor or any other social doctrine. He gave that command to His Church both as an institution and as individuals. The state does not sin nor is it judged and sent to heaven or hell. People are and it is people who kill babies in the womb and outside of it. Our Constitution however is designed to make this State responsible for certain needs and necessities. In it’s Preamble it notes that “all men (persons) are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…amomng these are life…” Note if you will that it says created not born. Therefore our founding fathers did not say that the Creator gave these rights to those who are born, but, rather to those who are “created”. Science now has confirmed waht the Church ahs taught from before the Christian era that abortion is wrong gravely wrong. HOw many of the 50 million souls who are poor have you clothed, fed, given drink to or even visited? How many of the 50 million souls in heaven because of abortion are you willing to confront with your wholly inadequate understanding of Jesus or His Gospel.

    David, while John McCain has or may have done as you said in past he has pledged to appoint justices like our chief Justice and Justice Allito. I can only go on what he has pledged and note that his VP is STRONGLY PRO LIFE. His opponent is Dr. Death unles you are a “desired” birth and his partner is a Catholic who has no problem supporting Roe vs. Wade. Choosing to vote for someone who has no chance is voting for death for another 100 million souls. Hitler and Mao and Stalin are paltry pretenders to the title of genocidal maniacs that title rests on all those who choose death.

  73. Howard says:

    Tallen,

    Obviously a big part of the problem comes from your demand for an unambiguous statement from the Gospels addressing this issue. This demand is fundamentally unreasonable, since the Gospels were never intended to be a full account of all Christ did and said.

    John 20:30-31: Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of (his) disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may (come to) believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.</em

    John 21:25: There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.

    If the Didache is an adaptation of a pre-existing Jewish document, it is neither surprising nor would it necessarily make it less of an expression of the Apostle’s teachings. Not only is Christianity a development of Judaism after the advent of the Messiah, but as C.S. Lewis points out in The Abolition of Man, Christianity does not use some different morality. The fact that Judaism already condemned abortion should be enough, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to show that Jesus also condemned abortion.

    I strongly suspect that abortion would have been a bigger temptation for Jews living in Rome, Greece, or Egypt (for whom the Septuagint was translated) or even in the big city of Jerusalem (where Herod built a gymnasium, etc.) rather than in Galilee, where Jesus did most of His preaching. Any good preacher will concentrate on the sins that the congregation clings to most fondly, not on exotic sins that have no local appeal.

    Perhaps an analogous situation may be seen with marriage. Jesus certainly preached about the permanence of marriage, but there is no record of Him preaching against incest specifically. John the Baptist certainly did, because Herod’s marriage to his brother’s wife was a kind of incest (as well as being a remarriage after divorce, which Jesus is recorded as having forbidden). Surely you wouldn’t conclude from this that Jesus did not care about incest or thought that Herod’s marriage was OK.

    Or, again, where do you find Jesus preaching specifically against domestic violence in the Gospels? It’s covered under “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” — but if it’s not specifically mentioned by name, should it be dropped from Catholic social doctrine?

    An argument from silence is a very weak argument, particularly when you concede that Jewish tradition before Christ and Christian tradition after the Ascension agreed in condemning abortion.

  74. Mary O says:

    Christopher and Todd,

    Join me in casting a protest vote – a write-in ballot for Ron Paul, the only candidate to present a workable (and Constitutional) way to end the federal “right” to abortion. He proposed legislation which overturns Roe and also removes the jurisdiction of the federal courts over the entire abortion issue. The Constitution explicitly gives this power to Congress. He won’t win but at least we will have registered a protest against the two party “box” and the abortion/war conundrum.

  75. shadrach says:

    ‘Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitively taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity ” are very rare, if not practically non-existent” ‘

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Obviously, Boko, you have never had a loved one executed by the state. Apart from our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, of course.

  76. Woody Jones says:

    I had the pleasure of hearing Fr. Owen Kearns, LC, publisher of the National Catholic Register, a few days ago, speaking about Catholic journalism and the Register’s place therein. One thing he said also applies to the NYT and other secular media: the practice of placing the views of those, like Bishop Martino, who speak authoritatively alongside more or less equal space for opposing views is the “bias of balance.” The reader, presented with the what are treated as opposing views of apparently equal worth, is then left to choose for himself which he prefers (and I would add, judging from experience, that the choice is then made on the grounds of what the media tells one, or the culture as a whole, or one’s own gratification needs, all nicely wrapped up in rationalizations, of course).

    I am sure I am correct when I say that no one arrives at his or her conclusions about the most important issues based solely on his or her own reasoning (or, again from experience, by relying on sola scriptura), our views are in fact largely influenced by a magisterium of one sort or the other.

    The focus should thus be on making sure one is following the right Magisterium, and this would be, of course, that guaranteed by the assurance of Our Lord and the sending the Holy Spirit, and also the manifold miracles attesting to the Church’s authority (my favorite maybe is Belloc’s observation, that the Church must be indestructible because she has survived 2,000 years of bishops).

    And from the Magisterium, then, in this case a well-recognized repetition of magisterial teaching from the Second Vatican Council, is the truth that abortion and euthanasia are “abominable crimes”. And let’s face it, the other aspects of seamless garment thinking mostly involve the concept that we must support the taxation of (preferably) others in order to transfer what is often hard-earned wealth to another favored group — with, in practice, a hefty cut taken out by their political sponsors.

  77. Boko Fittleworth says:

    shadrach,

    I’ve never had a loved one murder or rape or torture someone, or betray our country. I have had a loved one claim that retribution was the most important factor to be considered re punishment (more important than the self-defense of society), and then totally ignore that factor in the catechism he signed off on. The name of that loved one was JPII.

    Reading is fundamental. Church doctrine began before 1962.

  78. tallen says:

    Howard wrote:
    “The fact that Judaism already condemned abortion should be enough, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to show that Jesus also condemned abortion.”

    Indeed, a good point. Thank-you.

    Howard also wrote:
    “a big part of the problem comes from your demand for an unambiguous statement from the Gospels addressing this issue.”
    and:
    “An argument from silence is a very weak argument…”

    My demand for an unambiguous statement on this set of issues arises from the Bishop’s demand (in the NYTimes article) that voters weigh a candidate’s pro-abortion views heavier than a candidate’s views on social justice. The textual evidence of Jesus’s abortion views is (in a narrow sense) non-existent, whereas there is plenty about social justice – his views on social justice are in a sense defining of Jesus.

    In a broad sense, what Simon Plait said above is surely true:

    “I do not think that a sincere reading of the Gospels can be reconciled with acceptance of induced abortion under any circumstances. Neither does Christ’s church.”

    I totally agree. But the question is not acceptance of induced abortion, but the relative weight to give it, vs. other moral issues, especially given the disparity in direct textual evidence.

    Howard, As an thought experiment, supposed we were asked what Plato thought about abortion. Although he wrote about ethics, I don’t think Plato explicitly wrote on abortion. So what are we to do? We can try to infer his view from other things he said. We can look at what his teachers or students said. We can look at Athens’ cultural milieu. But if someone were to say, Plato thought abortion was a much more important issue than the structure of the state, we can point to the text and disprove this. Plato stressed the structure of the state and never mentioned abortion, and we fairly conclude that Plato did not attach as much weight to topics he did not discuss.

    Now, can be apply these same standards to Jesus as presented by the gospels? Can we apply even vaguely similar standards? It is difficult. Jesus actual words are surrounded by the whole metaphysical structure of thousands of years of religion (Jewish and Christian), and we infuse this history of the whole religion into everything Jesus said. We assume, oh Jesus must be against abortion, and he must give the topic major importance, even though we don’t have the evidence of his words before us. We say, well, Jesus MUST have thought this way. And it is unlikely this conclusion would be valid in other, non-religious contexts.

    So I am not arguing from silence, that Jesus did not disapprove of abortion because he didn’t mention it. I am saying the bishops cannot draw such strong conclusions from that same silence. And indeed, the bishops are not drawing the conclusion from Jesus’s recorded views, but from various non-Jesus sources, like thousands of years of religious history. Fair enough, that’s how the Catholic Church works.

    tallen

  79. Jordanes says:

    Louis E. said: unless “innate and inalienable rights” are prohibited to “the unborn”,they can not be secured for anyone else.

    Yes, and unless you tell us lies, we will never hear the truth out of your mouth; and unless there is no sun, there will never be any daylight; and unless black people are enslaved, whites will never be free.

    Any more Orwellian Newspeak for us, Louis?

    Mark – as I’m sure you know, the DIDACHE APOSTOLORUM is not part of the Catholic Bible, as it is NOT accepted by the church as true nor revealed.

    It is, however, a crucial document of the early church that, as its title indicates, contains genuine apostolic teachings. In some circles it was virtually regarded as canonical sciprture. It is chock full of quotes from the Gospel of St. Matthew.

    Further, the Didache is an adaptation of an older Jewish catechism, no surprise, so it is not Jesus’ words nor the apostles’ words, it predates them both by a century.

    So some scholars have claimed, but for allegedly being adapted from an older Jewish catechism (f there ever were such things back then) it sure does sound an awful lot like a thoroughly Christian work. And for not being Jesus’ words nor the apostles’ words, it sure does have a lot of quotes and parallels with the New Testament.

    Further, the text was lost from 1100 – 1800 AD so it has NOT withstood two millenia’s test, its content was unknown.

    Doesn’t matter: it was well known and highly regarded during the first few centuries of Church history, and most of it was incorporated as a integral text into the Apostolic
    Constitutions, which was an expansion of the Didache. The treatise on the Two Ways found in the Didache is also found at the end of the Epistle of Pseudo-Barnabas, so that part of the Didache was also known. So, yes, this early patristic text has withstood the two millennia test.

    John Womack said: Frankly, I vote Democrat because I believe that AS A CATHOLIC it’s worth the fight to change the party’s abortion stance

    I can’t blame you for trying to do that, but if pro-lifers vote Democrat they will never change their stance on abortion, any more than Republicans would be making fiscally responsible noises this year if people had continued to vote for them. Just remember that if you vote for Obama next month, you can kiss goodbye every slight gain the pro-life movement has made in
    the past 35 years, and very likely you can say hello to the Freedom of Choice Act and watch the federal government abolish the Catholic health care system: all thanks to your vote.

    I used to be a Republican, but after witnessing McCain & Palin’s tactics, I wouldn’t vote Republican this year if a serial killer with an itchy trigger finger had a loaded gun to my head.

    I’m not a Republican, but it also brings me great joy to know that I’m not a Democrat. Frankly I think our system of government is broken, probably beyond repair. This year more than ever drives home just how awful things have gotten, how our system just no longer works, and I think we have one of the dumbest methods of choosing leaders ever devised. The virtuous culture needed to make a representative democracy or republic work is gone. But even so, I’ll be voting for McCain, unsatisfactory a choice as that is. There’s just no real alternative for someone who hopes this country doesn’t slide even further into the abyss. McCain will be a bad president, I think, though hopefully better than the one we’ve got now. Obama will be a monstrous horror of a president, of that I’m sure, bringing in an era that will probably be far worse than the “schreckliche Zeit, praesidentlose” of last decade.

  80. shadrach says:

    Boko, Are you invoking the ‘spirit of John Paul II’ against the letter of the catechism? As for retribution. I can’t recall that our Saviour was a great enthusiast for that on this side of the last day. The Church has always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. Thank God.

  81. Matt says:

    Matthew 19:14
    Douay-Rheims Bible
    But Jesus said to them: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for such.

    Pretty strong statement directly from Jesus. Will you be the one to forbid a child to come to Jesus? Will you be the one who votes for someone who will activley work against one of Jesus’ teachings? What suffering is Jesus referring to? Does the word abortion have to be present for you to see that it is wrong?

    I put forth that the robbing of life of the innocent by one who know better is worse than the crime the soldiers commited to Chirst when they nailed him to the cross. As Jesus said on the Cross “Forgive them, they know not what they do.” Those who perform abortions and murder the innocent KNOW what they are doing and do it anyway. Therefore their sin should be greater than those who know not what they do.

  82. Patrick says:

    Wow!!

    It is amazing to me the inability for Catholics to not cut off their noses to spite their faces. In California, one sees law after law that move toward chipping away at rights of Catholics specifically (health care laws come to mind especially, conscience exceptions in providing benefits like contraception, homosexual partnerships, and forcing Catholic hospitals to tow the gov. line or get out of business — speech restrictions, coming fast and furious – and coming your way soon – and this is a “Catholic” state by the numbers.)

    The lack of perspective, understanding of history, the inability to read the signs on the wall, which are not subtle, not at all. The regurgitation here on this thread by SOME –of the line for line talking point gobbledygook of the left — (not to say the “right” is so right) but oh my goodness, show some depth. If you come to a sight like this, you show, ostensibly, that you have at least something above a sheep mentality, but yet, we hear “BAHHH, Bahhh, way to much to really comfirm that.

    Choose LIFE -so says the Good Book.

    God, it would seem, from Scriptural examples, some cited above, (Millstones around necks etc.) seems to reserve His greatest and most virulent invectives and punishment to those who would, by any means, harm children, who are those closest to the Kingdom and thus His Sacred Heart.

    That said, it has never been the case that so many called “pro-choice” (pro death) Catholics, (and a real pair we have here in Biden and Pelosi – and btw, are they just “misguided” or has a deal been made with a non-divine spirit), would have – should Mr. Obama be elected – risen to such heights in our Government, causing no small scandal and the more danger to children, especially the unborn but not solely. That said, I fear greatly for this country as “God is not mocked,” and has stated His retribution explicitly.

    Catholic person, yes YOU, on the fence, and YOU — Kool-aid drinker, even though you motives might be good — go ahead and vote Democratic, rationalize till the cows come home, you are thus forewarned as to the consequences that will no doubt be unleashed – read up on Fatima, and see how God’s hand has been heretofore restrained by Our Lady’s prayer for Divine mercy. As the blood of innocents cries out for vengeance, and the stench in Our Lord’s nostril becomes too much, then shall come upon the earth a chastisement we would wish we never lived to see, or so I fear, so I fear. I dreadfully fear. Sin is never the answer to fix sin. Illogical to the max.

    With the new government you get (or maintain) unfettered abortions, embryonic stem cells (destroying live humans [children, again, attached on children” for “research” to??? — keep alive ninety years olds who are afraid to die??- pfhh!! – and BTW, adult stem cells are the only ones to date that have yielded anything positive — do you really think that the Divine Healer will allow healing to usher forth from killing children — ARE YOU NUTS???) Gay marriage, and ultimately, more and more visceral attacks on Holy Mother Church, and if you don’t think this is on the horizon, you had better wake up, my friend.

    So, we may indeed get this new “change” in our Gov. but when things don’t work out so well, what will those who in their wisdom chose to ignore the warnings (“I don’t want my child PUNISHED with a baby”) say then. Maybe this is what we need, as it would seem 9-11 wasn’t wake up call enough. Don’t b no fool all you life.

    AND if another (usually same folks) Catholic lambastes Mr. Bush, remember,he stemmed the tide of e. stem cell harvesting, gave us Catholics (real Catholics) on the bench, treated our Pope with a huge amount of dignity and respect, started Faith based solutions in problem areas, pro life always, stalwartly so, thwarted terrorists attempts, has Catholics in the family, will probably convert himself. Faithful to his wife, not a hint of scandal that way, IOW a better Catholic than JFK ever was!!! Promoted way more blacks to significant positions in high office than ANYONE, including our first “black president” (pfhh) Wm. Jefferson Clinton.

    Look and see clearly.

  83. Luke says:

    I think abortion is here to stay, unfortunately. Somehow, it got caught up and twisted into being a modern civil rights and liberties issue. It’s amazing how barbaric the idea is – as the recent Pelosi controversy publicly showed, the Church has been fighting against abortion for 2000 years.

    The future Supreme Court can either chip away or add more liberties to abortion legislation. But either way, abortions will continue, even if they are totally illegal, they’ll be doing them “back alley.”

    It’s a cultural issue. We need a culture of realizing that pregnancy is a gift from God, that pregnancy is human life and it matters greatly.

    I think that’s something both Democrats and Republicans can agree on, and I hope they work together to reduce abortions through adoptions and/or abstinence.

  84. Howard says:

    Tallen,

    (1) The bishops’ comments were in the context of public policy, whether by lawmakers or by the voting public.

    (2) None of Jesus’ sermons were on public policy (and His audiences had no votes). His “social agenda” was not a “New Deal” or “Great Society”, but “Love thy neighbor”. It was at least as much about the spiritual necessity of generosity for the individual giver as the “practical” material aid which was given. (Think of the widow’s mite, Mark 12:41-44.)

    (3) Jesus refused to say anything to Herod, and He said nothing to Pilate about a social agenda.

    (4) On the narrow basis of what is recorded in the Gospels, then, there is no basis for claiming any particular set of laws whatsoever. If abortion is not mentioned, neither are food stamps, medicare, or social security.

    (5) Without diminishing the objective gravity of the sin of abortion, it is certainly the case that a lack of knowledge or a degree of coercion might, in particular cases, make it less subjectively sinful than some other grave sin, such as neglecting ones needy parents. This is acknowledged both in the criteria for a sin to be mortal and in the criteria for automatic excommunication, but it still does not diminish the objective gravity of abortion. Within the context of Jesus’ actual teachings related to the spiritual state of His hearers applied to us in the 21st century, this is the closest I can come to agreeing with you.

    (6) For Catholics, Jesus is not just some colorful character from 2 millenia ago, dead and irrelevant aside from some interesting sermons recorded by others. He is alive; He is present; He is active; and He has given us other infallible means of knowing His will. The bishops are speaking to those who presumably agree with these assertions. They should not restrict themselves to Protestant, sola scriptura arguments when addressing Catholics.

  85. Jordanes says:

    Luke said: I think abortion is here to stay, unfortunately.

    People used to say that about slavery, Jim Crow, and lynchings, but we fought to get the laws changed, and people’s minds changed, and they’ve been changed.

    The future Supreme Court can either chip away or add more liberties to abortion legislation. But either way, abortions will continue, even if they are totally illegal, they’ll be doing them “back alley.”

    True, even if a crime is outlawed, there will always be some who will break the law. But that doesn’t mean the law shouldn’t be enacted and enforced, and it doesn’t mean there won’t be a LOT less abortions when (not if) we outlaw abortion. Instead of several millions killed a year, we’ll have several thousand. Bad, yes, but a whole lot better.

  86. Ron says:

    This article exemplifies something that drives me crazy: the imposing of political philosophy on to the life of the Catholic Church. What I mean is this whole talk about “left” and “right” in the Catholic Church. Those terms originate, people have told me, in the French Revolution and are political terms. In the Church we don’t have left and right, as if they are just two opposing groups battling for control of the Church. No, there is orthodoxy and heterodoxy – a dividing line in the sand that makes the Truth the basis for whether a group either accepts or rejects it (or some part of it). The left and right language only serves to blur that line of orthodoxy, giving legitimacy to both sides without saying if either one agrees or dissents from the objective truths of the Faith.

    Drives me goofy :)

    Pax Christi tecum.

  87. Ron says:

    Tallen,

    I don’t think you’re looking at these moral issues objectively. We do need to heed Jesus’ social teaching and there is a legitimate social cause in the Church. However if we compare abortion with, say, clothing the homeless, objectively we can see that the former kills a life while the later does not take a life but rather keeps some legitimate good from one in need. How can you not see that to kill a life is much more grave and therefore needs to be a weightier issue?

    The problem isn’t that the Bishops and the Church are saying to ignore social teaching. They are saying that it cannot be considered weightier than other issues, such as abortion which is intrinsically evil in every case and instance.

    There is no greater evil in our country, and our world, in our day than the murder of innocent human life in the womb of mothers who are called by God to give sacrificial love.

    Pax Christi tecum.

  88. Jack says:

    If I had a vote in the US (which I don’t, since you all decided to run away from us in 1776!) then it would definately be McCain, even though his environmental policies are frankly awful. But anyway, there are bigger issues at stake.

    I too reject the idea that Abortion is here to stay. Never underestimate what the Spirit can do through us if we want to let it :)

  89. Bernie says:

    What makes me really sad about some Catholics who vote democrat is that they seem to believe that the Left is actually capable of clothing and feeding the poor. I don’t have a vote in the US but I see no difference between the american left and the south american left. Mostly promises, beautiful words, beautiful people and lies. Politics as usual. My conclusion is very simple: following Fr Z “both/and”, social justice (SS) and right to life (RL). However the notion that the left can deliver SS is risible. Thus, if I were American, I’d stick with the very imperfect party GOP that can at least deliver something when it comes to RL and is as bad as or perhaps less worse than the left when it comes to SS.

    Really!? Do people really believe that the democrats can help the poor, the marginalised and the environment? Really? Wake up! SS is but a slogan for these politicians who want to create a bureaucratic cast, a new order, a global secular religion!

    Please Americans, as we struggle to keep abortion illegal in Brazil, and we have been fighting hard and losing ground, please do not let a radical like Obama win. It would certainly embolden the radicals here and and its ironic, it’d have zero effect on social justice.
    Bernie

  90. John Polhamus says:

    The Catholic Church in America was effectively divided in the late ’30’s and early ’40’s by one Saul Alinsky, the Chicago radical who invented social “action” “Community Organizing” and who credits Lucifer in the introduction to one of his books as the original Radical who rebelled, lost the war, but “at least gained his own Kingdom.” He trained Jim Kellman, who trained Barack Obama. And do you know who helped promote Alinsky and his social engineering? The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. Fortunately we’re now getting out of the Social Action business as Catholics and putting CHRIST first, but the damage has been done, as the radical’s greatest disciple is poised to take power on a populist tide. So to say that the church has been split by an issue today is to be ignorant of the past sixty years during which we have been manipulated. Were the potential consequences of the Battle of Lepanto any less?

  91. Brian C. says:

    Jordanes writes:

    Leftists deride “trickle down economics” and deregulation of markets, but then we have folks like Doug Kmiec and the Common Gooders arguing in favor of “trickle down respect for life” with completely deregulated abortion and contraception. Nice to know where their priorities are: money, not the unborn.

    That… was the comment of the week! :)

    In Christ,
    Brian

  92. I am very impressed by our bishop here in Scranton diocese. A true leader of the flock (which is the point of bishops, right?!).

    We are blessed here and there is also an FSSP parish downtown, http://www.saintmichaelsrcc.org/

    A priest of the FSSP parish I spoke with on a plane once and his words helped me discern that I may be called to the priesthood. This is a very good diocese with great priests and a great leader. St. Louis may be a bit better and bigger, yet there is a strong Catholic presence here and I’m glad our leaders are educating Catholics on just what being a Catholic is.

    God bless.

  93. TJM says:

    Unfortunately, the Democratic Party is so committed to abortion that it probably deserves the sobriquet of “party of Death” referenced
    by Archbishop Burke. Catholics who vote Democratic are kidding themselves that the Party will change. It cannot because the hard left controls
    the Party today. Abortion at any cost, is an article of faith for them. If you look at Catholic after Catholic Democratic politician, they
    abandon their beliefs for advancement in the Party. For example, Senator Durbin of Illinois was pro-life until he realized he couldn’t advance
    in the Party without casting his lot with the pro-abortionist position. I don’t think Senator Durbin is in danger of being confused with St. Thomas More. Tom

  94. John Womack says:

    *Catholics who vote Democratic are kidding themselves that the Party will change. It cannot because the hard left controls
    the Party today.*

    Oh really? I wasn’t aware that the hard left is omnipotent. They gained control of the party once…but you’re saying it can’t be won back to reason? Oh ye of little faith!

    The God we believe in raised the dead, therefore he can work smaller miracles as well.

  95. Bernie says:

    Sure that DFL becoming a pro-life party is possible. Anything is, really.

    But for me, the extreme views of this ticket make it impossible for a Catholic to vote for it. One can disagree entirely with GOP but to vote for a radical pro-abortion FOCA and a VP who scandalized the Church and ridiculed Her teachings by publicly lining himself up with Pelosi and creating all kinds of confusion about the Church’s position is beyond justification.

    Seriously, can one in good conscience argue that a fight to fix DFL makes more sense than a fight to fix GOP? Really???

    With all the flaws of Republicans if one is in the mood of staying in an imperfect institution in order to bring it closer to Catholic morals, a party that has a VP of the caliber o Palin is far closer to the ideal than a party of radicals and feminists.

    I go further. I bet that if Mrs Palin sat down with someone like Fr Z, a Scott Hahn or name your best apologist she would certainly give a lot of thought about becoming Catholic. I bet that if she had contact with sound Catholic doctrine and time to think about it the HS+ would find fertile ground for conversion. Can one really say the same about Mr Biden and Obama? MR Biden who claims to be Catholic is that much more responsible for his factual dissent than Palin is for being a protestant.

    The argument of “turning DFL back to Christian values” is like saying that one will remain hindu in order to convert them to Christianity.

    Bernie.

  96. Marcus says:

    Tallen and others,

    “Social Justice.” What does that mean to you? You speak of what Jesus asks of us, and you speak well. He asks us to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, and take the homeless into our homes. He does not ask us to transfer that task to the community, but rather to DO IT. these are the tasks of charity, which you and I will be judged on. The man who has taken me into his home and provided me with a place to stay, receives my prayers on his behalf; and the homeless man who was living under the bridge, but now camps in the back yard, (under court order not to live in his trailer because it is a violation of zoning ordinances) well, I feed him and he prays for me and we all pray for each other. The state is incapable of assisting either of us; having made one of us homeless while trumpeting the “advocacy” of for the homeless. shameful. But all of this is the realm of charity, it is social in that it involves interaction between people; it is just in that the Lord Jesus commanded “love one another.”

    As we move up the level of social entity, things can be done in Justice which the previous level was incapable of doing, and as Leo XIII through JPII wrote in their Social Justice encyclicals, only those things which cannot be done at the lower level should be done at the higher level. This we intuit when we acknowledge that law enforcement is not the domain of the private individual, but the state. To reiterate, Jesus never asked that the state perform the tasks of charity He set before us, He asked us to do so.

    I cannot imagine you would support a politician who advocated that children should be allowed to euthanize their retired parents who were an inconvenience or in danger of spending all their retirement and leaving nothing to their children, but being a burden instead. What a horrible thought! Yet the position you and many others advocate is morally equivalent. I don’t expect you to accept that or even understand it, so I’ll end with the definition of abortion – “Abortion is the willful termination of a human life in the earliest stages of development.” Put aside all the arguments and chew on that till it sinks in what it is that you find so unimportant.

  97. Brian says:

    “The world was created for the sake of the Church.” (CCC 760)

    Satan’s goal is to destroy the Church and so attack the Author of life.

    Satan deluded and used the People of God, to kill the Son of God.
    So today, he deludes and uses the People of God, to further his culture of death.

    According to Pope John Paul II, in our own day the apparent success of the culture of death is measured by the legally institutionalized “death of the Innocents . . . the massive taking of lives of human beings even before they are born.”

    Without the Catholic vote, no pro-choice candidates would be elected.

    Wake up! The culture of death is maintained by the vote and failed leadership of deluded Catholics.

  98. If you can live with yourself voting for a party that is OK with abortion, the murder of over am million innocent lives a year in the US alone, then it is on you. You will have to answer for your actions when the time comes. It is not for anyone else to tell you what to do, surely. Yet the Holy See guiding us and teaching us what is the teaching of God is something that Catholics should surely believe.

    I’d rather do the will of God instead of my own. Isn’t that a fundamental joy of being a Christian, of being Catholic? Maybe that has been lost?

    We are here in this mortal life but for a short time. We are here to make it to heaven and to live out the gift that has been given to us. We can’t lose sight of that.

    God bless.

  99. Louis E. says:

    Jordanes,
    any “right” given a foetus represents the dehumanization of a pregnant woman.We agree on the sanctity of life from BIRTH to natural death (I expect I am more vehemently opposed to capital punishment than you are,but we both despise euthanasia)…we just differ on whether the part from conception to birth is the least or most important to protect.You claim that the potential of birth counts as if it were already realized…I see the innate biological dependence of the embryo as mandating that the interests of the woman always take precedence.

  100. Jordanes says:

    Louis E. said: any “right” given a foetus represents the dehumanization of a pregnant woman.

    How does acknowledging a woman’s unborn child is a human being remove or lessen the humanity of the woman? You’ve got it exactly backwards: if we do not acknowledge the child’s inalienable rights, then the mother has no inalienable rights. If the child is not acknowledged as a member f the human race, then the mother isn’t a member of the human race either, but is something less. Women who abort their children are aborting their own humanity.

    We agree on the sanctity of life from BIRTH to natural death (I expect I am more vehemently opposed to capital punishment than you are,but we both despise euthanasia)…we just differ on whether the part from conception to birth is the least or most important to protect.

    If unborn life is not sacred, then no human life can be sacred.

    We’re all in this together, Louis. All of us or none. No exceptions: we either all have dignity, or nobody does.

    You claim that the potential of birth counts as if it were already realized…

    It is undeniable that birth does not convey humanity and human dignity on anyone. Placing the boundary at partuition is purely arbitrary.

    I see the innate biological dependence of the embryo as mandating that the interests of the woman always take precedence.

    Jesus, however, turns man’s thinking on its head. Man thinks the dependent are inferior to the overlords, the gifted are superior to the less gifted. But Jesus says the first shall be last and the last shall be first. He says the only way to be first in the Kingdom is to make yourself the slave of everyone. He that exalteth himself shall be abased, but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. He hath showed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.

    In exalting the mother over her child, you have abased the mother, despoiling her of her dignity, and are demanding that God abase you too.

  101. John Womack says:

    *The argument of “turning DFL back to Christian values” is like saying that one will remain hindu in order to convert them to Christianity.*

    Interesting analogy. Care to back that up with facts?

  102. John Womack says:

    The argument of “turning DFL back to Christian values” is like saying that one will remain hindu in order to convert them to Christianity.

    WRONG. 2 words for you: *William Wilberforce*

    He led the fight to abolish the slave trade in his beloved England. It took him YEARS to do so (by the grace of God). Did he leave his nation? NO!!! Did he renounce his citizenship? NO!!! He fought to cease England’s horrid complicity in the evils of slavery. And you know what? It worked.

    Lest you want to say the analogy is flawed, well, consider Ronald Reagan’s comparison of the Dred Scott decision to Roe v. Wade in that they shared the same fundamental diabolical premise: that the beings in question aren’t human!

    Now perhaps you understand why there are a LOT of pro-life Democrats who in clear conscience before Almighty God REMAIN Democrats.

  103. Brian2 says:

    John Womak: Is the Democratic party the same thing as a country? The analogy doesn’t work. Membership in a political party is not like citizenship in a country in the relevant ways. The analogy with Wilberforce shows that one doesn’t need to leave the USA because of abortion, but it doesn’t get you where you want to go, that one can stay a member of an organization in the USA that supports abortion. For your analogy to work, you would have to position Wilberforce as a member of a anti-abolitionist political party. But Wilberforce did not do that, neither did Lincoln, Frederick Douglas and the major American Abolitionists. So the analogy fails.

  104. avecrux says:

    Louis, you are simply wrong. Birth is a completely arbitrary point in the life of a child – significantly more arbitrary than viability, even. Human life begins at conception. As the Bishops have emphasized recently, much to the disappointment of Speaker Pelosi and Senator Biden, this is a scientific fact, not theological speculation.
    Babies are totally dependent on others after they are born, too. As Jordanes emphasized, to be dependent is not to be inferior.
    To suggest a woman is dehumanized by being afforded the privilege of guarding and protecting the most vulnerable among us is simply wrong. What is dehumanizing is to violate the integrity of her womb and slaughter her child while he or she helplessly resides inside of her.
    Sometimes, women are called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice for their children. St. Gianna did. She understood what you do not, and the Church has elevated her because she lived in accordance with her understanding – and her understanding is true. There is a reason she is a saint for our times. I encourage you to pray about this – pray before the Blessed Sacrament, where Jesus makes Himself so vulnerable to us.

  105. RC says:

    Remaining registered as a Democrat in order to influence the party is a defensible choice. By all means, Catholic Democrats, please express Catholic social teaching in the primaries, caucuses, and conventions. Run for office, even! Get elected! Do the right thing!

    But voting for pro-abortion candidates over anti-abortion candidates does not accomplish your professed goal of redeeming the Democratic Party, of making it more hospitable to pro-life opinion. As Bill Clinton used to say, “That dog don’t hunt.”

  106. Louis E. says:

    Avecrux,
    scientific fact,approached with a scientific eye rather than on a mission to find backing for the teachings of a church one assumes a priori is infallible,is that there is no definable moment at which the life of an individual begins.A zygote is wholly incapable of developing itself.The dependency of an embryo is entirely different from that of a born infant…anyone can provide for the infant,the pregnant woman alone can,and if she is entitled to control her own body,must have a choice of whether or not to,provide that the embryo become an infant.It is not “the privilege of guarding and protecting” if she has no choice. [So, you believe that the unborn have only as much rights as someone else decides they can have, depending on how it seems at the moment. Well… someday that might be applied to you.]

  107. Jordanes says:

    Louis E. said: scientific fact,approached with a scientific eye rather than on a mission to find backing for the teachings of a church one assumes a priori is infallible,is that there is no definable moment at which the life of an individual begins.

    Wrong again. Science is clear that when the zygote forms at conception (or when an early embryo divides to form twins or triplets, etc.), an individual living organism immediately results. That is when the life of an individual begins, and it’s Flat Earthism to say otherwise.

    A zygote is wholly incapable of developing itself.

    That is something that doesn’t essentially change throughout life: the human body grows and develops according to a preordered plan. It is God who made us and not we ourselves.

    The dependency of an embryo is entirely different from that of a born infant…

    No, there is no essential difference.

    anyone can provide for the infant,

    So the more dependent a child is on one particular person, the more authority that person has over whether or not that child’s life will be allowed to continue?

    the pregnant woman alone can,and if she is entitled to control her own body,

    She is certainly not entitled to control her own body (nor is anyone else entitled to total autonomy over one’s body: we may not use our bodies to harm or kill others); rather, she is obligated to control it, and is obligated never to harm her own body nor the bodies of other humans, not even of those humans are living in her womb.

    must have a choice of whether or not to,provide that the embryo become an
    infant.

    If she has a right to decide whether or not to let her unborn child be born, then she also had a right to decide whether or not to let her infant grow up, and has a right to decide whether or not to let her husband/boyfriend/sperm donor continue to live, and has a right to decide whether or not to allow her parents and siblings to continue to live. Once you give a person the right to kill someone who imposes himself on that person, you have given that person the right to kill anybody who troubles or annoys him. Why is it just her unborn child’s imposition on her that gives her a right to commit murder? And why does she have a right to kill someone else’s child: for the child in her is not just her offspring, but is also the offspring of the father. She gets to murder someone’s child just because she doesn’t want to have a baby or whatever?

    It is not “the privilege of guarding and protecting” if she has no choice.

    None of us has a choice about coming into this world, so why should someone who had no choice about being created get to choose whether or not I will get to be born?

    Face it, Louis E., you are advocating monstrous evil. Please come to your senses.

  108. John Womack says:

    *John Womak: For your analogy to work, you would have to position Wilberforce as a member of a anti-abolitionist political party. But Wilberforce did not do that, neither did Lincoln, Frederick Douglas and the major American Abolitionists. So the analogy fails.*

    Hi Brian2,

    My analogy works fine, just not within your artificial constraints. But I do give you credit for a *long* leap in logic.

    I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.

    God bless you,

    Johnny

  109. John Womack says:

    *Remaining registered as a Democrat in order to influence the party is a defensible choice. By all means, Catholic Democrats, please express Catholic social teaching in the primaries, caucuses, and conventions. Run for office, even! Get elected! Do the right thing!

    But voting for pro-abortion candidates over anti-abortion candidates does not accomplish your professed goal of redeeming the Democratic Party, of making it more hospitable to pro-life opinion. As Bill Clinton used to say, “That dog don’t hunt.” *

    I see. McCain is anti-abortion but pro-stem cell research, so he’s pro-life? PUH-LEASE. Good ‘ol John McCain, the guy who has the *gall to say* “I actively support stem-cell research, but I’m pro-life, really I am! Honest!” McCain is Pro-life? WAKE UP! MURDER IS MURDER! Frankly, I’m tired of the hypocrisy of a lot of the Catholic blogosphere when in comes to McCain & stem-cell research. Looking the other way doesn’t change McCain.)

    So I should let McCain be elected? No thank you. McCain, Palin and a few mushroom clouds…let that one sink in.
    There’s some proportionality for you.

    I doubt I’d be of further benefit to this thread, so I’ll clam up now. [Good.] God bless all here.

  110. avecrux says:

    Jordanes – excellent points.
    Louis E – I don’t have to go on a mission to find backing for the teachings of “a church”.
    Thank God I have THE one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church instituted by Jesus Christ to guide me toward Truth.
    The gates of hell will never prevail against Her.
    Having said that, faith and reason are totally compatible as they both come to us from the Author of Truth. (See Fides et Ratio).
    Read more of Pope Benedict. You will see his critique of reason which becomes a monster when not guided by faith.
    Abortion is gravely evil. You don’t NEED the Church to tell you that – just go to work as an ultrasound tech.
    And as a mother of 8 (two of whom died in utero – one of whom I was able to honor with a burial) I assure you that guarding and protecting a child is a privilege in any circumstance. If you disagree, perhaps you can learn more from the “Silent No More” campaign.
    Finally, are you still maintaining birth as the point when a child becomes human, or are you now defaulting to questioning the humanity of a zygote because it is easier?

  111. Jordanes says:

    John Womack said: So I should let McCain be elected? No thank you. McCain, Palin and a few mushroom clouds…let that one sink in. There’s some proportionality for you.

    I guess I missed the part of the McCain/Palin platform that calls for a nuclear war. But I did notice the part of Obama’s platform that strongly supports legal abortion and the end of the Catholic Church’s hospital system.

    You’ve got to start looking at these things with the Church’s eyes, John. Nobody is saying Mccain is perfect, or even close to perfect. But as the pope and bishops have explained, one can be permitted, for proportionate reasons, to vote for an imperfect candidate in order to try to stop the election of someone even worse. One is not permitted to vote for the worse candidate, in this case Obama. It’s all well and good to try to get the Democrat Party to abandon their support of intrinsic evil, but if you vote for Obama you will be helping to confirm their support for intrinsic evil and will be cooperating in it yourself.

  112. Aine says:

    John Womack said: “I’m tired of the hypocrisy of a lot of the Catholic blogosphere when in comes to McCain & stem-cell research. Looking the other way doesn’t change McCain.”

    So this convinces you that there isn’t a difference in the candidates? Has there been 40 million baby deaths due to stem-cell research? You’re in denial and trying to justify an intrinsic evil John. Obama proved by his actions that he considered life cheap and disposable when he voted down the [the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act] when even NARAL went neutral on the bill – it says something about this man and his character. If we don’t fight for the right to life today, and leave the defenseless unprotected, then expect the same treatment when it comes to anyone’s life, even yours, tomorrow.

    FYI – Update – Responses to Catholic Politicians on Abortion:
    http://www.ewtn.com/media/abortion/responses.asp

  113. CK says:

    Louis E.: Jordanes,
    any “right” given a foetus represents the dehumanization of a pregnant woman.

    Rather, it’s just the opposite. NOT acknowledging the rights of human life in the womb, at any stage, would ultimately be dehumanizing the pregnant woman.

    we just differ on whether the part from conception to birth is the least or most important to protect.

    Well, the reality of existing human life is established. Now, deciding NOT to defend, protect it at its most defenseless will define what course should be taken with regard to those other stages of defenselessness that also occur in the reality of existence – whether they be due to accident, disease, nature, genetic effects displayed at any age, etc. The human condition is just that and one cannot attempt to avoid its many imperfections or hardships without the consequences of hardening the human hearts of entire generations which has now occurred and with even the consequences, as Mother Theresa concluded, of the contagious effect of hating entire nations, cultures even to the point of suicidal notions of exchanges of nuclear means of retribution!

  114. Charivari Rob says:

    Louis E. –
    “unless “innate and inalienable rights” are prohibited to “the unborn”,they can not be secured for anyone else”
    “any “right” given a foetus represents the dehumanization of a pregnant woman”

    You keep saying that. You haven’t backed up that idea with an example.

    Exactly which right would be denied the woman by recognizing and respecting the child’s right to life?

  115. Bernie says:

    Mr John Womack,

    We have an obligation to convert/change not only DFL but the whole world. Pray, fast, distribute fliers, engage in conversations, support the Church, inform others, fight for the Kingdom of God. Nothing of that however means endorse, support and vote for the abortionists. Convert others does not mean to vote for them. See the difference? This is fundamental and is being missed but supporters of democrats. Pray, fast, fight. It does equal vote, support, finance.

    And this has nothing to do with changing the democratic party. This support and all this justification is exactly what Biden did on TV. It is self denial and an attempt to comfort oneself that it is ok to vote for a pro-secularism, radical, pro-abortion party under the assumption that they can actually solve the misery of the poor. Which is by the way just an assumption and history shows what “well-intentioned” revolutionaries do to the faith.

    Wilberforce fought the pro-slavery. He never voted for them or supported them in some naive and utopic hope that they would one day, after thousands had died and suffered, would convert to his cause.

    Again. Pray, fast, talk to them. Write to them and let the democrats know of the horrors of abortion. But to go as far as to vote for them and support them is where the fundamental error and sin lies.

    Bernie

  116. Louis E. says:

    Charivari Rob,
    denying the woman the right to decide whether or not to carry the pregnancy to term makes her a slaved life-support system if she would rather not bear the child. [Ridiculous. This is going to end soon.]
    Avecrux,
    birth is the point at which the child becomes a person. [That is not the teaching of the Church.] The gametes themselves were “human” before they formed the zygote,but not until birth is a completely SEPARATE life in being. [No. Patently wrong.] There is no definable point at which an individual’s life begins,but injustice is done if legal rights are attributed prior to birth. [Wrong again.]
    All the risks you see as placed for the born by denying the rights to “the unborn” rest on your fallacious denial of the night-and-day difference between them.Once attained,the right to life is irrevocable (hence no death penalty,no euthanasia) but it can not be attained while it is at the compulsory and inalienable expense of a bona fide person(the pregnant woman). [How about using decent punctuation? – But that won’t matter… never mind. A “bona fide” person? This is pernicious.]
    To be the child of a mother who wanetd you,born because she wanted you,is worthier than being a burden born at the mandate of the law,and without the right to abortion we are all equal to that evil and no better. [What you have done is establish the basis for a person’s rights on what another person has decided. That is entirely arbitrary. Rights are based on whims, on your dark planet. In any event… we have heard enough of this argument, and you really aren’t saying anything new. Time to move along. On this blog I decide who has rights to post and it is my whim that you no longer have them.]

  117. Jordanes says:

    The gametes themselves were “human” before they formed the zygote,but not until birth is a completely SEPARATE life in being. [No. Patently wrong.]

    As Father Zuhlsdorf said, the notion that a human being is not a completely separate life until birth is absolutely wrong. If what Louis claimed were correct, in vitro fertilisation and embryonic stem cell research would be impossible.

    To be the child of a mother who wanetd you,born because she wanted you,is worthier than being a burden born at the mandate of the law,and without the right to abortion we are all equal to that evil and no better.

    So, in order for us to have human dignity, we must suffer under the threat that our mothers might kill us before we’re born. Right.

  118. Lucia says:

    Well…not to be picky, Jordanes…but in many cases, a doctor performs the fatal procedure, not the mother.

    But you’re still right. :)