Yesterday in an entry about comments made by soon-to-be Card. Burke and the responsibilities of voters in this upcoming mid-term election, I foretold that liberals would claim that Burke was “telling people how to vote”.
Arch-liberal Maureen Fielder, a dissenting woman religious who actively promotes the ordination of women, speaks for the arch-liberal NCR on her blog.
Burke tells us how to vote, from the Vatican [She is asking the NCR reader to channel their inner “Know Nothing”. This simply plays on the anti-Catholic chestnut that a elected Catholic official would be improperly influenced by “the Vatican”.]
by Maureen Fiedler on Oct. 28, 2010
I remember distinctly, when I was about 10-11 years old, hearing my father say after church, “That priest can have his opinions, but he is not going to tell me how to vote!” (The person at issue, as I recall, was a local candidate who was divorced). [She is setting up a moral equivalency between a Catholic politician who is divorced and a one who promotes abortion. Since NCR catholics are expected to think that divorce/remarriage is somewhat trivial for Catholics, so too…. She isn’t saying that her father thought divorce is good. It just isn’t important enough to make a difference. Beyond that, reason doesn’t enter into her father’s statement: he simply wants to have things his own way regardless of what one of the Church’s teachers might say. This will play well with NCR catholics as well.]
It sounds like Cardinal-designate Raymond Burke never ran into Catholics like my father. [Nah… he grew up in rural Wisconsin, farmed by old Poles and Germans. No stubborn people there.] According to CatholicAction.org, Burke is once again telling American Catholics how to vote — this time from the banks of the Tiber. [Ooooo]
In an interview with Thomas McKenna begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting, president of the arch-conservative Catholic Action for Faith and Family, Burke reportedly said that Catholics are bound in conscience to vote for political candidates who oppose aborting babies, embryonic stem cell experiments, euthanasia and so-called homosexual “marriage.” [You can see why the editors of the NCR would be against that!]
There was no mention of [Here it comes… ] the central issues of the 2010 mid-term election: unemployment, the economy, the widening income gap between the wealthy and the working/middle class, home foreclosures, or even immigration. For Burke, everything apparently hinges on the “bedroom” issues, not the “boardroom” or the “border” issues. [She is rehashing the liberal catholic from the 2008 election cycle. NCR catholics fail to see that the basic human right to live is prior to every other human right. The foundation of true Catholic social justice rests on the right to be born and live in dignity to a natural death. The bonds of society and our societal interactions depend on firm foundations that are in harmony with nature and common sense – and divine revelation. Society’s basic building block is the normal and natural family. If you tear apart what “family” means and begin to call unnatural relationships “normal” you tear at the bonds of society.]
This is a yet another example of hierarchical behavior that oversteps the boundaries of acceptable church/state relations and sends most Catholic voters up the wall — if they pay attention to it at all. [Another misstep. She is pressing on the reader a false understanding of the chimeric “separation of church and state”. Furthermore, she is taking a position against the right of the Church to have a voice in the public square. Effectively, for arch-liberal Fiedler, catholics only have the right to raise their voice in the public square so long as they are pressing for her positions. Had Burke been speaking about mercy for illegal immigrants, she and the NCR would not have taken a public position against him. They would not have praised him. It is when Church officials say that homosexual acts are wrong that they seem to get worked up.]
Many Catholics do not agree with the official hierarchical position on some or all of these issues, but even those who do don’t want to be given instructions on how to cast their ballot. [Arch-liberal Fiedler reduces the Church’s teaching to a “official hierarchical position”. Note the choice of words. For NCR catholics “hierarchical” is bad. If something is “official”, perhaps there is an un-official position which is still “catholic”. She would like that, because she wants to have part in an alternative magisterium.]
Now Burke, as an American citizen, certainly has the right to express the official church positions — or his personal opinions — on these issues. But when hierarchical leaders [as opposed to the sort of “leader” arch-liberal Fiedler is. She is asserting a moral equivalence.] suggest [He went beyond a “suggestion”.] that voting for candidates who do not share official church views is in any way sinful it’s akin to trying to make voting itself a potentially sinful act. That’s something many church/state scholars find unacceptable. [Who, Maureen? Give us the list.]
The Catholic bishops as a body, in every major election, have said that voters need to weigh all the major issues in making a decision, not just one or two of them.
Now, that is a position my father would understand. [But in the final analysis he wouldn’t care what the bishops say, because nobody was going to tell him what to do. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, it seems.]
One of the most serious wrongs that a publicly visible catholic can do is confuse the Catholic faithful and lead them into error of faith and sinful actions. Pro-abortion politicians do this when they support evil positions contrary to Church teaching: they cause scandal in a very public way. Women religious who give cover to catholic politicians who vote in favor of abortion or in favor of unnatural relationships do them same.
The Church must defend the faithful against that damage.
The Church must try to get the person who caused the damage to try to make amends and heal it.
Otherwise, the Church must separate that person from Communion with the hope that she will correct her views.
On 28 October Benedict XVI spoke to Brazilian bishops in Rome for an ad limina. Among other things he said:
“Your duty as bishops, together with your clergy, is indirect because [NB] you must contribute to the purification of reason, and to the moral awakening of the forces necessary to build a just and fraternal society. Nonetheless, when required by the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls, pastors have the binding duty to emit moral judgments, even on political themes“.
This is what Burke did. He did not directly tell people what to do. His influence was “indirect” because he was pointing to guiding principles. That is what bishops are supposed to do.
“When forming these judgements, pastors must bear in mind the absolute value of those … precepts which make it morally unacceptable to chose a particular action which is intrinsically evil and incompatible with human dignity. [Such as promoting abortion or unnatural sexual relations.] This decision cannot be justified by the merit of some specific goal, intention, consequence or circumstance, Thus it would be completely false and illusory to defend, political, economic or social rights which do not comprehend a vigorous defence of the right to life from conception to natural end. When it comes to defending the weakest, who is more defenceless than an unborn child or a patient in a vegetative or comatose state?”
It may be too much to hope that Fiedler cares what the Vicar of Christ says, but I am sure you know people who could benefit from this clarity.
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