From the Wisconsin State Journal we have a tale of the visit and speech given by Dr. Peter Kreeft at the Pastoral Center of the Diocese of Madison, where the H.E. Most Rev. Robert Morlino reigns.
In the Spirit: Can a Catholic also be a liberal?
Sunday, November 27, 2011 9:00 am
To certain Catholics, Peter Kreeft is a rock star.
That was evident Nov. 18, when nearly 500 people filled an auditorium at the Bishop O’Connor Center in Madison to hear him talk.
Kreeft, a Catholic author and Boston College philosophy professor, had been asked by the Catholic Diocese of Madison to speak on whether “a Catholic can be a liberal.” Kreeft called it “a very challenging question” and said he’d never spoken on it before.
Kreeft is a strong defender of the Catholic Church against what some people call “modernists” or, more derisively, “cafeteria Catholics,” people who pick and choose which church teachings to follow.
There is no middle ground to Kreeft. It would be silly and redundant to him, for instance, to call someone a “pro-life Catholic.” You cannot be anything but against abortion to be a Catholic, Kreeft said.
“To be a Catholic is to take the whole deal,” he told the crowd.
Kreeft said several definitions of a liberal can and should fit Catholics, including “someone who is generous and unselfish” and “someone who highly values liberty and freedom.”
On abortion, Kreeft contended Catholics are the “true liberals,” because a liberal wants to extend liberty to the oppressed, and “the unborn are the most oppressed,” he said. [Amen and Amen! Do I hear an “Amen!”? I have been hammering this for ever! The greatest achievement of the liberals, moderists, feminists, etc., was to divorce the right to life of the unborn from “social justice”. They attached it to “women’s rights” or “morals” or some category, when in fact it is also a matter of true social justice.]
Yet, in the political realm, the term liberal has been hijacked by abortion rights activists, Kreeft said. “A Catholic cannot be today what is called a liberal about abortion. That’s obvious. That’s a ‘duh.'”
Kreeft mentioned other issues, such as homosexual marriage and euthanasia, that he said Catholics cannot take politically liberal positions on, yet he focused most on abortion. Coming in for the most criticism were elected officials who call themselves Catholic yet support abortion rights. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]
During the Q&A, an audience member brought up the Kennedy political dynasty and how a group of leading theologians and Catholic college professors had met with Kennedy family members in the mid-1960s and came up with a way for Catholic politicians to support a pro-abortion rights platform with clear consciences. [McCormick, Fuchs, Curran, Drinan… grrrrrr…. ]
Kreeft said these Catholic advisers “told the Kennedys how they could get away with murder.” Kreeft then made one of his boldest comments of the evening, suggesting the theologians who first convinced Democratic politicians they could support abortion rights and remain Catholic did more damage to the Catholic Church than pedophile priests. [Which is obviously true.]
“These were wicked people. These were dishonest people. These were people who, frankly, loved power more than they loved God,” Kreeft said. “Sorry, that’s just the way it is. In fact, I’d say these were even worse than the child molesters — though the immediate damage they did was not as obvious — because they did it deliberately, it wasn’t a sin of weakness. Sins of power are worse than sins of weakness. Cold, calculating sins — that’s straight from the devil.”
A few minutes later, the talk over, the crowd gave him a standing ovation.
How I regret not hearing that talk! I hope there is a video or audio available.