‘c’atholics for Choice and Can. 915

The head of the faux-catholic, pro-abortion, Soros-funded “Catholics for Choice”, Jon O’Brien, ought to be publicly corrected by our bishops in these USA and then denied Holy Communion according to can. 915 until he publicly recant his spiritually dangerous positions.

His recent letter to the New York Times (Hell’s Bible) contains a falsehood.

The Opinion Pages|LETTERS

Being a Catholic in the Time of Francis

To the Editor:

Peter Manseau raises several important issues in “What It Means to Be Catholic Now” (Op-Ed, March 10), not least the question “Who is a Catholic?” Catholicism has long been defined by the Latin phrase “in varietate concordia” — “unity in diversity.”

All Catholics are connected by the requirement to follow our consciences as the ultimate arbiter when it comes to moral decision-making. That leads many of us to disagree with our bishops while still retaining our Catholicism. [I am sure you readers see what is wrong with this.  Catholics must form their consciences according to the mind of the Church and, even when they struggle to understand and grasp the Church's difficult teachings, they must accede to what the Church teaches.]

There are no political benchmarks, attendance records or litmus tests for being a Catholic. We are Catholic because of our baptism, and nothing can ever change that.

JON O’BRIEN
President, Catholics for Choice
Washington, March 10, 2014

This is a purposely misleading statement.   It calls for a correction.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in 1983 CIC can. 915, Emanations from Penumbras, Liberals, Our Catholic Identity, Pope Francis, The Drill, The Sin That Cries To Heaven For Vengence and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to ‘c’atholics for Choice and Can. 915

  1. Priam1184 says:

    “All Catholics are connected by the requirement to follow our consciences as the ultimate arbiter when it comes to moral decision-making. That leads many of us to disagree with our bishops while still retaining our Catholicism.”

    If you disagree with the moral teaching of the bishops (on the rare occasion that most American bishops actually decide to do any teaching on moral issues) then what exactly is the ‘catholicism’ that you are retaining?

    I don’t know what these dissidents are complaining about. The American Church rarely does anything to stop them. They are free to violate and flout any and/or all of the Church’s moral Teaching any time they want, publicly and privately, and are also perfectly free to present themselves for Holy Communion probably at somewhere between 75 and 90 percent of the parishes in this country and no one will bat an eyelash. But that’s the thing with evil, it will never settle for 99%, which is why you can NEVER COMPROMISE WITH EVIL O BISHOPS!

  2. wmeyer says:

    The requirement, of course, is to be led by your well-formed conscience. That formation being a product of Catholic teaching of the fullness of truth. Complete acceptance of all that is contained in the CCC (not that red-covered paperback from the USCCB.) And as we have seen 40+ years of failed catechesis, I sincerely doubt that many of the laity today have well-formed consciences.

  3. benedetta says:

    Our consciences would not exist but for the Truth, who loved us first. Therefore any conclusion drawn which contradicts the Truth also severs unity.

  4. benedetta says:

    In other words, this guy in rationalizing abortion as a great option for Catholics is far away from even the cafeteria he attempts to be joining…essentially he’s at a junk food vending machine, not even among the selections in the great and lofty cafeteria much celebrated in our times.

    Further it is to laugh to imply that anything different from a cafeteria or vending machine rendering of the unity of the Church also lacks diversity. What rot.

  5. CrimsonCatholic says:

    Fr. Z,

    Can you write Hell’s bible and correct this error?

  6. Gregorius says:

    Well I’ll be…. looks like another Latin phrase I as a young Catholic have never heard of. “in varietate concordia”? That’s a phrase that’s LONG defined Catholicism? Wow, I never knew that!

    For real though, his translation skills seem to be as good as the 70′s ICEL staff. 1. whatever he wrote seems better translated as ‘agreement in variety’, whatever that means, and. 2. I haven’t been studying Latin for that long, but perhaps a better translation would ‘sentire cum ecclesia’? It’s not like he’d know the difference anyway.

  7. Scott W. says:

    Go to any dissenter’s website and here’s how they quote Aquinas on conscience:

    Conscience is more to be obeyed than authority imposed from the outside. By following a right conscience you not only do not incur sin but are also immune from sin, whatever superiors may say to the contrary. To act against one’s conscience and to disobey a superior can both be sinful. Of the two, the first is the worse since the dictate of conscience is more blinding than the decree of external authority.

    Here’s how it should read:

    Nevertheless, the situation is not the same in the case of a correct conscience and that of a false conscience. For a correct conscience binds absolutely and perfectly against the command of a superior. It binds absolutely, because one cannot be freed from its obligation, for such a conscience cannot be changed without sin. And it binds perfectly, because a correct conscience binds in the sense not only that one who follows it does not commit sin, but also that he is free from sin, no matter what command of a superior there is to the contrary.

    Notice they conveniently leave out the essential qualifier–a correct conscience.

    “Conscience” has become code for moral relativism.

  8. John V says:

    CrimsonCatholic

    If one is looking to the clergy to “write to correct the error”, perhaps it is for the Archbishop of Washington to do so, since Mr. O’Brien uses an address there. Or the Archbishop of New York, where the error was published. Then again, we should not be looking only to the clergy to correct erroneous statements about Church teaching. Apostalicam actuositatem and all that.

  9. Andrew says:

    Catholicism has long been defined by the Latin phrase “in varietate concordia” — “unity in diversity.”

    Nice (diabolical) try! Putting a sentence in Latin in order to give it a sense of permanence. Catholicism has NEVER been defined by this Latin phrase. Nor could it be. In fact, this phrase was recently coined and adapted as the motto of the European Union. Thousands of suggestions were submitted for the motto, and the “in varietate concordia” was chosen as the winning line. One can see why. If they wanted to use something older, perhaps they could have chosen “concordia discors”.

  10. Charles E Flynn says:

    On Conscience (Bioethics & Culture), by Pope Benedict XVI.

  11. Legisperitus says:

    Why should “being a Catholic in the time of Francis” mean anything different from being a Catholic in any other given time? Indeed, how could it?

    Some Latin phrases that have “long defined” Catholicism?
    “Semper idem.”
    “Quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus.”

  12. Salvelinus says:

    I already wrote to the editor as soon as I read this on my Pewsitter app.
    I highly doubt it will be looked at, much less printed.

  13. acricketchirps says:

    Re: “in varietate concordia”:
    He was confusing the Church with the EU. Easy mistake to make.

  14. Magpie says:

    John lacks Catholic Faith. I wonder how he sleeps at night knowing he makes his living from falsehood?

  15. Kathleen10 says:

    Fr. Z. is no doubt already too much noticed. I hope a Bishop responds to it. They have the teaching authority. Besides, it’s a rather safe topic, in that it is not risk-taking to point out to someone that one needs a well formed conscience first. It would be risk-taking to examine the points on which one must have a well formed conscience, something I would expect would not be discussed in much detail.
    I agree, using the Latin is slimy and of course intentionally misleading. I can visualize many readers seeing that and saying “Huh, I didn’t know that was the Catholic motto…well I never…”.

  16. Dad of Six says:

    Paging Bill Donohue!

    He will send this puff ball over the left field wall.

  17. lisebaur says:

    My son’s religion textbook, Catholic Morality: A Course in Religion by Fr. John Laux, states, ” … the conscience of the Christian is a conscience whose rule and standard is the will God.” And Fr. Laux attributes that explanation to St. Paul. Fr. Laux also explains, “Our conscience can err – there is such a thing as an erroneous conscience – but if the will of GOd is the measure of our conscience, if we form our conscience “in Christ and in the Holy Ghost,” it is an infalliable guide of right conduct.

    Maybe Mr. O’Brien should stop by when my sons and I are having our high school religion class for a refresher course.

  18. Joseph-Mary says:

    My conscience did not bother me a bit when I was a mortal sinner.

  19. benedetta says:

    What is even more foul is that this chump actually says that “what makes us Catholic is our baptism”…and then attempts to dunk an allusion to St. Paul, without attribution…so what he is telling us, from him, anti-Pope, apparently, is that the preborn are excluded, yes? Straight to hell with them, according to his whacked out theology? Pretty filthy really, and totally smug propaganda. The NYTimes aka hell’s bible needs to head that letter “fiction and short stories”. Newsflash to this Soros shill: what makes us Catholic is our human personhood. Talk about legalism and empty ritual! In his weird and wild universe, a child has to “earn” baptism by becoming born. Yeah, baptism is not considered a reward for getting born, nutjob. Clearly this guy attributes his entire personhood and humanity to his somehow deserving to be born, whereas tens of millions he happily dismisses as not as worthy.

  20. BLB Oregon says:

    “There are no political benchmarks, attendance records or litmus tests for being a Catholic.
    We are Catholic because of our baptism, and nothing can ever change that.”

    IOW, as Catholic as Stalin, as Catholic as Castro, as Catholic as Hitler? “Yes, I have been a hit man my entire life, Father, but you can’t tell me I’m not Catholic!”

    “You still have to admit I’m Catholic”….I wouldn’t call that the highest spiritual aspiration possible.

  21. benedetta says:

    The fact is also, they have been organizing and recruiting for quite a long time now, splinter fashion, going around buttonholing anyone who will listen, not unlike, say, some active cult group hitting people up with their literature on the streets…it’s just that now it’s that combined with the buying power of a soros. Speaking of which, what’s with these billionaire types going out to purchase a whole lot of abortion with their spare 1% of the rest of the world? What is that about? Not enough room on the private island so they feel they must go out and dwindle down some indigenous population here or there just for kicks? Wow.

  22. CrimsonCatholic says:

    @ John V,

    We all know Cardinal Wuerl isn’t about to do anything on this, so it is better that someone corrects the misinformed.

  23. jhayes says:

    Scott W., the Catechism doesn’t use the terms “right conscience” or “correct conscience.” It talks of “the certain judgement” of one’s conscience and recognizes that even though it is certain, it may be erroneous through “invincible ignorance”

    1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

    1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.” In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.

    1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one’s passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church’s authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.

    1793 If – on the contrary – the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.

    1794 A good and pure conscience is enlightened by true faith, for charity proceeds at the same time “from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.”

  24. torch621 says:

    If you deny the Church’s dogma, you might be a Catholic, but you’re still a heretic.

  25. Lin says:

    Probably closer to 50+ years of failed catechesis! When does this end and how?

  26. wmeyer says:

    “We are Catholic because of our baptism, and nothing can ever change that.”

    This skates perilously close to “once saved, always saved”, a Protestant notion. As has already been said, we may be always Catholic, but baptism is not a guarantee of heaven — it’s a starting point. Or, as I have heard a local priest was fond of saying: baptism is like a work permit. It’s the beginning of a lifelong struggle, hopefully for holiness.

  27. jeffreyquick says:

    “We are Catholic because of our baptism, and nothing can ever change that.” Hmm, I was baptised Lutheran, practiced Wicca for a quarter century or so, and am now a Catholic. Does this mean I always was and now am a Lutheran? Thanks for kicking me out of your church, Jonny! Yeah, “indelible mark” and all that, but as Forrest Gump’s mom might have said, “Catholic is as Catholic does.”

  28. SKAY says:

    Dad of Six says: Paging Bill Donohue!

    Below is his comment on Nancy Pelosi’s award from Planned Parenthood.

    http://www.catholicleague.org/pelosis-duplicity/

    “Yesterday, Rep. John Boehner extended an invitation to Pope Francis to speak before a joint session of the Congress. Joining with him was Rep. Nancy Pelosi. On March 27, Rep. Pelosi will receive Planned Parenthood’s highest honor, The Margaret Sanger Award.”

    I wonder if she even has a conscience.

  29. Rouxfus says:

    When Jon O’Brien writes “There are no political benchmarks, attendance records or litmus tests for being a Catholic. We are Catholic because of our baptism, and nothing can ever change that.” he is simply, flat-out, wrong.

    James Cardinal Gibbons, writing in 1876 in The Faith of Our Fathers, wrote about “The Unity of the Church” (the first of the Four Marks of the Church Christ founded) discussed what that idea means on the ground for individual Catholics:

    The number of Catholics in the world is computed at three hundred millions. They have all “one Lord, one faith, one baptism,” one creed. They receive the same sacraments, they worship at the same altar, and pay spiritual allegiance to one common Head. Should a Catholic be so unfortunate as contumaciously to deny a single article of faith, or withdraw from the communion of his legitimate pastors, he ceases to be a member of the Church, and is cut off like a withered branch. The Church had rather sever her right hand than allow any member to corrode her vitals. It was thus she excommunicated Henry VIII because he persisted in violating the sacred law of marriage, although she foresaw that the lustful monarch would involve a nation in his spiritual ruin. She anathematized, more recently, Dr. Döllinger, though the prestige of his name threatened to engender a schism in Germany. She says to her children: “You may espouse any political party you choose; with this I have no concern.” But as soon as they trench on matters of faith she cries out: “Hitherto thou shalt come, and shalt go no farther; and here thou shalt break thy swelling waves” [Job xxviii. 12.] of discord. The temple of faith is the asylum of peace, concord and unity.

    One can only hope and pray more princes of our Church today had such clarity and conviction about what Church proposes for our belief. As individuals we are free to accept what the Church proposes, or to walk away from it. Walking away from it by denying the teachings of the Church, in the knowledge that it was founded by God and provides the ordinary means to salvation and eternal life, would seem to be an eternally dangerous and imprudent thing to do.

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  31. Unwilling says:

    “We are Catholic because of our baptism, and nothing can ever change that.” That is true. Even if we abandon and repudiate our Catholicism. But… the fact that we are Catholic does not mean that what we say is Catholic.

    We can “disagree with our bishops while still retaining our Catholicism.” I think most of us who (from time to time) disagree with our or others’ Bishops do so in order to retain our Catholicism. We think that in those instances those particular Bishops have failed to “accede to what the Church teaches”. So, true again.

    But, what we say is Catholic, only if its content is Catholicism. And Catholicism is not what we say or some Bishop says. Catholicism is the entire Tradition, especially including the Truths enunciated by the infallible teaching authority of the Church.

    Legisperitus indicates above what the nature of Catholicism is.

  32. Vecchio di Londra says:

    Being baptised won’t save any sinner from hell. I doubt if they have a Court of Appeal there, for anyone claiming their Human Rights as a baptised member of the Catholic Church have been violated.
    Yesterday’s Epistle (Ezechiel Chap.18 – in both the Traditional Latin and OF Mass) seems extremely relevant. The Almighty tells us – in His own Words – that sinners can be saved through their repentance and conversion to the path of goodness, but on the other hand: “if the just man shall turn from justice to perform the iniquities of the wicked, then all the justices he previously carried out shall not be remembered, and in his insincerity and duplicity and in the sin he has committed, he shall die. You say ‘The way of the Lord is not right’….Is it really My way that is not right, or rather, your ways that are crooked?”
    But perhaps Mr O’Brien is a Catholic Calvinist? :-)

  33. Long-Skirts says:

    jeffreyquick says:

    “We are Catholic because of our baptism, and nothing can ever change that.” Hmm, I was baptised Lutheran, practiced Wicca for a quarter century or so, and am now a Catholic. Does this mean I always was and now am a Lutheran? Thanks for kicking me out of your church, Jonny! Yeah, “indelible mark” and all that, but as Forrest Gump’s mom might have said, “Catholic is as Catholic does.”

    http://tinyurl.com/mlgxaf8

    THE
    DEACON’S
    ROAR

    I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
    Scared to rock the Barque and make a mess
    So I sat quietly, obeyed politely
    Ignored what learned in Baltimore
    Forgot the Church that’s marked by Four
    I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

    You made me sit, but I knelt down
    Dusty sandals brushed on ground
    You hear my voice, you hear that sound
    Roaring Rosaries all around
    You made me sit, but I knelt down
    Get ready ‘cause I’ve had enough
    I see it all, I see it now

    We’ve caught the eye of the Tibre, we’re fighters, dancing through the fire
    ‘Cause we are Catholic and we’re gonna say our “Roar” sries
    Louder, louder than the lion
    ‘Cause we are Catholic and they’re gonna hear us roar

    Oh oh oh oh oh oh
    Oh oh oh oh oh oh
    Oh oh oh oh oh oh
    They’re gonna hear us roar

    Blogs are flyin’ like a butterfly
    Stinging like a bee for Truth we’ll die
    They call you zero, but you’re a hero
    They made you stop, but you kneel down
    Dusty sandals brushed on ground
    They hear your voice, they hate that sound
    Like lightening gonna strike Hell’s hound
    They made you stop, but you kneel down
    Get ready ‘cause I’ve had enough
    I see it all, I see it now

    We’ve caught the eye of the Tibre, we’re fighters, dancing through the fire
    ‘Cause we are Catholic and we’re gonna say our “Roar” sries
    Louder, louder than the lion
    ‘Cause we are Catholic and they’re gonna hear us roar

    Oh oh oh oh oh oh
    Oh oh oh oh oh oh
    Oh oh oh oh oh oh
    They’re gonna hear us roar….
    Ro-oar, ro-oar, ro-oar, ro-oar, “Roar”sries!!!

    with apologies to Katy Perry’s, ROAR
    (“even a stopped watch is right twice a day”)

  34. Dutchman says:

    “We are Catholic by our baptism…” meaning Protestant, of course. I’m sure Luther would agree.

  35. wmeyer wrote,”I sincerely doubt that many of the laity today have well-formed consciences.”
    Half are making the effort and half aren’t. Unfortunately the half that aren’t are mostly people in the public eye causing scandal.
    BTW. i was a lapsed Catholic,notorious sinner. I firmly believe we are Catholic by baptism but can totally reject the Church and her teachings.I also firmly believe by God’s grace,confession and His mercy we can come back.It doesn’t mean we cease to be Catholic;it means we cease to be faithful Catholics until one of 3 things happen.We reject the Church and excommunicate ourselves,we reject the Church with our dying breathe and refuse to repent or the Church excommunicates us.If I’m wrong pls correct.