Dog bites man and church-goers disapprove of Notre Dame

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. 

From CNA with my emphases and comments:

Survey finds church-going Catholics more likely to disapprove of ND Obama invite

Washington D.C., May 1, 2009 / 04:16 pm (CNA).- While Catholics have mixed reviews regarding President Obama’s invite to speak at Notre Dame, research released by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life on Thursday finds that those who attend Mass regularly are more likely to oppose the invite. Less frequent Mass goers are more apt to support Notre Dame’s decision. [I’m shocked!]

The Pew survey, which was conducted as part of Pew’s April News Interest Index which examines the public reaction to current events asks: “How much, if anything, have you heard about each of the following?  Have you heard a lot, a little or nothing at all?”

The Notre Dame portion of the question is worded: “Criticism of Notre Dame by abortion opponents for inviting Barack Obama to speak at its graduation and receive an honorary degree.”

Similar to views of the general public, only 48% of Catholics are familiar with the Notre Dame controversy and only 19% know a great deal about it.  However, looking at non-Hispanic Catholics who attend Mass weekly, 35% have heard a lot about the invite while out of those who attend Mass less, only 10% know a large amount about the controversy.

The follow-up question asks:  “Do you think it was right or wrong for Notre Dame to invite Obama to give their graduation speech and receive an honorary degree?”

Also in line with the public, almost half of Catholics agree that inviting Obama was the right choice, 28% say that it was the wrong decision and 22% had no opinion.  However, of those who attend Mass at least weekly, 45% say it is wrong for ND to invite Obama while 37% believe it is the correct choice[That could be a lot better.] Of those who do not attend Mass weekly, only 23% say it is wrong and 56% agree with Notre Dame President Father Jenkins.

Pew reports that the numbers are not surprising because 54% of all Catholics voted for President Obama in the November election.

The survey was based on 2,003 adults over the age of 18.  Pew notes that for results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

For more information about the survey, visit

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Arlington Dio says:

    The margin of error for the entire 2,000 people is +/- 2.5%

    But Catholics only made up less than 400 people with a margin of about +/- 4.9%.

    And the margin of error of Mass attending Catholics is nearly +/- 8% if my math is right (since Pew doesn’t give you the margin for those numbers, you have to go to the survey and calculate them yourself).

    That’s a BIG margin of error.

  2. Thank you, Father. Great article and comments. It would really be embarassing if they were to isolate Traditional Catholics vis a vis Vatican II types. It would prove what I have stated for years-there are at least two Catholic “religions”. The Trads. would be almost 100% against Obama being at N.D. The reason the non-Trads are so indefinite is because they really do not know what Catholicism is!

  3. for those of us who have some familiarity with the way surveys are conducted (and the implications), this data is meaningless.

  4. The fact that so many who actually attend mass are in the wrong tells me that perhaps the same percentage among priests might be saying the same thing. I would be interested in a poll that gathers the opinion of priests. I think it would be much worse than people think. Either priests are not educating the parishioners, or they are tacitly endorsing this kind of thing through silence.

  5. Colleen says:

    I was just about to comment on the confidence intervals/margin of error issue myself, but see that another alert reader beat me to it. I would also point out that a sizable number of people either refused to answer that question or said they don’t know. An awful lot of information can be hidden in the “Refused” and “Don’t know” categories. Oftentimes, people will say they don’t know because they don’t want to divulge their opinion. And, obviously, when people refuse to answer they also don’t want to divulge their opinion. Those N/A percentages seem very high to me — 22% of those in this small sample of Catholics.

  6. cthemfly25 says:

    Doesn’t matter…what’s right is right and what’s wrong doesn’t change because of a poll.

  7. Mark VA says:

    I seems that 54% of self identified Catholics believe either that the unborn are not human beings, or that promoting pro-choice politicians will somehow result in fewer abortions. A sad result of deplorable catechesis and “seamless garment” mentality.

  8. Jim says:

    Our former parish priest used to refer to the kinds of folks who approved of Fr. Jenkins’ actions as “baptized pagans.” Perhaps a bit strong, but he was basically correct. He has since been replaced by a Spirit of Vatican II type.

  9. LouisianaCatholic says:

    On a related note, Bishop Michael Jackels of Wichita, KS has
    publicly stated that he sent a letter to Fr. Jenkins
    and ND back on 4/3/2009 and it has just been publicy
    released that Bishop Murphy of Rockville, NY criticized
    ND’s decision in a Homily at a Men’s conference Mass
    Last Saturday. Bishop Murpy has apparently sent a letter
    to Fr. Jenkins as well. Thus, the total is now 59 Bishops
    as of 5/1/2009 who have criticized ND and Fr. Jenkins.

  10. Brian says:

    Further documentation of the state of emergency in the Church

  11. RJSciurus says:

    How about a poll of Catholics who attend Mass weekly, profess loyalty to the Magisterium and believe that abortion is murder.

  12. Basic proof of how sin blinds people, and those who don’t go to Mass regularly are in serious sin.

  13. Sandra in Severn says:

    “for those of us who have some familiarity with the way surveys are conducted (and the implications), this data is meaningless.”

    I was going to say the same thing. The whole is so wide you can drive a Mack Truck through it, rather than have a camel pass through the eye of a needle.

  14. Sandra in Severn says:

    I meant “hole” instead of whole.

  15. Sharon says:

    Thank heaven for statistically literate people bring the correct interpretation to us.

    The Catholic League had this to say, in part, about the survey:
    Perhaps it’s time pollsters stopped counting non-practicing Catholics as Catholics. After all, those who rarely attend AA meetings aren’t a true reflection of the utility of AA programs. And vegetarians who regularly eat meat—save for occasions when they dine with practicing vegetarians—aren’t a true reflection of vegetarian sentiment on any given issue. In other words, non-practicing Catholics are not a true representation of Catholic opinion.

    Off topic
    Who or what is ‘lewis and short’?

  16. Ceile De says:

    I cannot claim to be a Catholic theologian but I try to be a good Catholic. I am not aware that the
    church has a particular position on abortion different from its position on sanctity of life generally.
    Yet, in the US, it seems almost all politicians support either abortion or the death penalty. Few oppose
    Thus, almost no politicians fully support this central tenet of church teaching. Either no politicians
    in favor of allowing the unnatural extinction of a human life should be allowed to speak, or honored, at
    Catholic universities, or all should. But to say that it is OK to receive some politicians who are OK
    with unnaturally ending human life (through the death penalty) but not others who support it (through
    abortion) seems to me to be intellectually indefensible in the light of church teaching on the sanctity
    of all human life.

  17. Mark VA says:

    Ceile De:

    Link below (from the website) is a short summary of our Church’s teaching on the death penalty:

    Link below (from the same source) is a quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding abortion:

    “ 2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
    You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.75

    God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.76 ”

    The two issues are similar, but not morally equivalent. The abolition of the death penalty is a goal we should be working towards, but it is not called an “abominable crime”. It should be abolished in those countries that can absolutely ensure murderers will be imprisoned for life. The difference in moral gravity of both is there.

    In my view, the problem with the “seamless garment” thinking is that it haphazardly mixes many issues which are not of the same moral concern. It’s not uncommon to see diocesan pro-life guides listing abortion, death penalty, minimum wage, ecological concerns, housing, etc. but which fail to make any distinctions as to the moral gravity of each. Their failure to make and explain these differences adds to the confusion and moral sloth of many Catholics, as reflected in the statistics quoted in this survey. Or worse, it allows cynical people to manipulate and exploit issues that belong under the pro-life umbrella.

  18. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    Abortion is wrong because it is murder–i.e., the intentional killing of a person who is not an unjust aggressor.

    The death penalty is not the killing of an innocent person. It is the killing of someone who is an unjust aggressor. It is not strictly unjust, and not absolutely forbidden by the Church’s teaching.

    In other words: A person who supports the death penalty is NOT violating the principle according to which abortion is strictly and always forbidden.

  19. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    I have never believed that the “Seamless Garment” was an honest, well-intended effort to strengthen the pro-life movement, to make it more attractive to left-leaning people, or anything of the kind. I thought, from the moment I read the original speech in which it was foisted on the Church in America, that it was INTENDED to do what it DID do: Provide protective rhetorical smog–gas, if you will–for pro-abortion Catholic politicians and the Catholics who vote for them. The “SG” never accomplished anything but assist devious people who wanted to claim that “immigration” or “school lunches” were issues as urgent and grave as legal abortion. It was the greatest gift any Catholic bishop ever gave to the abortionists. I have denounced it in just these terms, from the pulpit, many times.

  20. ckdexterhaven says:

    This survey is no surprise. I look at my own parish (in Raleigh) leading up to the election last year. Our priest said nothing about the election. Not after Obama said abortion “was above his pay grade”, not after Nancy Pelosi purposely used St. Augustine!! as the reason she’s pro choice. I sat in the pews week after week, wondering WHY he wasn’t at least talking about what was at stake. (This priest never shied away from talking about how the Iraq War was wrong). After the election, I asked him why he didn’t say anything, when millions of unborn babies’ lives were at stake. He said if he said anything the parish “would split in two”. I didn’t say it, but I thought, it ALREADY is split in two. We could have used a shepherd to lead the sheep. But hey, democrats care about social justice!

    I stayed at that parish until the Feast of St. Paul. It’s no accident that this is the year of St. Paul. We are all called to be like St. Paul in these trying times. I found a parish right around the corner!! that started Perpetual Adoration in October, and have been attending ever since. All priests need our prayers, but especially the ones who are reluctant to speak. So many Catholics need to be led back to Jesus, back to the Church.

  21. Franzjosf says:

    “…of those who attend Mass at least weekly, 45% say it is wrong for ND to invite Obama while 37% believe it is the correct choice. [That could be a lot better.]”

    I agree. And I don’t think it is for lack of speaking of the evil of abortion. I think it is related to the lack of a real Catholic identity. If we had more processions, fish on Friday,solemn worship, weekday devotions, et al., we’d have more loyal Catholics.

    (Thank you, Fr. Fitzpatrick for your excellent remarks.)

  22. blue dog says:

    This annoys me: “non-Hispanic Catholics.” Why are hispanic Catholics always excluded from these surveys? Even during the election, how often did we hear, “Among white Catholics…” Why not simply Catholic, then poll “White” Catholics and “Hispanic” Catholics?

    Fr. Fitzpatrick, I would agree that sometimes people abuse the seamless garment idea. However, I think that if it was HONESTLY implemented, then we would see a great deal of good.

    I think that the best bet for the pro life movement is this: Nominate pro life Democrats. Especially where hispanic populations are rising, mobilize this vote to support pro lifers in the democratic primary. Then with other important issues such as immigration, this would be a true seamless garment.

  23. John Enright says:

    Sandra: I don’t know. “Whole” within the context of your comment is entirely appropriate as in “the entirely of the data is like Swiss Cheese.”

  24. Karl says:

    I remember the talk of the “Seamless Garment” and how it was the particular “baby”, at least as I understood its use, of Cardinal Bernardin regarding a “consistent ethic of life”.

    In my life this has never been the practice of the Catholic Church, as it should be. It is abortion, abortion, abortion and everything else be damned!

    Well there are other things that need recognition and emphasis by the Catholic Church. I am sick of the single-mindedness of the Catholic obsession with abortion. I am sick of the arguments in its favor. I am sick of its proponents.

    I have always been “pro-life” but I ceased any real support for the “movement” as I watched my marriage be destroyed with the encouragement of priests and bishops, their pastoral practices and the marriage tribunal system.

    Unjust divorces and annulments are torture as well as being murder and rape. Until the Catholic Church undoes its divorce/annulment complex and prosecutes those who have abused it, spouses, clerics and laity, and sees them held to full account, in public, I will cheer as the Church is attacked endlessly until it is reduced to the remnant that it should be, based upon the injustice within!

    I will pray for the terrible loss of life that abortion brings but something must be done to punish the Catholic Church and its members for their wanton cooperation in the destruction of marriages and the complete disregard by priests and bishops for abandoned spouses and the children of unjust divorces.

    These recalcitrant so-called clergy watch as our lives are torn apart and do nothing but welcome our rapists, malicious abandoners and their adulterous partners.

    I am sorry Father Z, but unjust divorce and the involvement of the clergy in this nightmare, as co-conspirators, is as much a pro-life issue as is abortion. The death of the soul is worse than the death of the body. There is nothing but death, of one sort or the other, in unjust divorce. [Well… I think you are wrong about this. A person who is born can repent and change his life. I think having the right to be born is more fundamental. This doesn’t mean that both issues are not important.]

    It is time that the Catholic Church embrace this.

    One cannot be pro-life and pro “unjust divorce” and pro the “annulment trade” that encourages divorces.

    This is only off topic, to abortion bigots.

    There is no “Seamless Garment” but there should be and no one should even mention abortion with out mentioning unjust divorces and vice-versa.

  25. TJM says:

    Bravo Father Fitzpatrick for reminding the Faithful about the Church’s position on abortion vis-a-vis capital punishment. By the way, that seamless garment approach was a cynical ploy to give cover to the AbortionCrats, formerly the Democrats. One could say well, look, I am in line with the Church on all other life issues other than abortion, so I’m OK. Recently, bishops such as Chaput and Finn, have debunked the seamless garment approach by basically saying what Father Fitzpatrick has said, that all life issues are not created equal under Catholic doctrine and tradition.

    In terms of the poll, I think we would all agree that the catechesis in this Country has been pathetic following the Council. I believe a majority of Catholics have no understanding of the issues involved in Obama’s honor at ND. If they did, I think the objection rate, at least among Church going Catholics would rise significantly. Tom

  26. Ceile De says:

    Fr Vincent – does not the commandment say ‘thou shalt not kill’, period? I oppose abortion but I equally oppose the death penalty as the commandment does not go on to say ‘except for….”
    The church opposes both – we don’t get to pick and choose. Thank God.

  27. Ceile De says:

    Long story short – this is just a reminder that not all lovers of the EF are anti-Obama Republicans!
    Just as we pray for our bishops who may be misguided, we should pray for our president too when he
    is misguided. Dialogue is surely the key.

  28. Susan Peterson says:

    Karl-perhaps an injustice was done to you. But you are harming yourself by living the rest of your life focused on that injustice and nothing else.

    If you believe the church was wrong to come to the conclusion that there was no true marriage in your case, then you will not remarry. You can pray for your wife and any children. I know that if you spend time kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament and truly lift them up to God, your bitterness will fade. If you ask God what you are to do with the rest of your life, He will show you something. There are many things a single layperson can do. You can become involved in the local food pantry and drive people to medical appointments, something very much needed at least in rural and suburban areas. You can get involved with young people in a variety of community activities, Little League or another sport, community theater, Boy Scouts, etc etc, and thus have a kind of spiritual fatherhood.

    Right now what you are saying is, I am angry at the Church, the Church is against abortion, therefore I will not work against abortion. Come now, the unborn babies are not responsible for your annulment. Right now you read blogs but never post about anything except what happened to your marriage;everything relates to that. How are you fitting your heart for heaven by living and thinking in this way? Even though your marriage was annulled and you were hurt and think this is unjust, God still loves you. He is still your creator. He still shows you the many beauties of His world every day if you will open your eyes. He still has plans for you, work for you to do. You were still made to know, love and serve him, and you still have a duty to serve Him. He is God! He sent His son to die for you, so that you won’t spend eternity in Hell, and you owe Him absolutely everything for that, as do we all. So start getting down on your knees and begging Him to tell you how He wants you to serve Him. If you do that, everlasting joy awaits you, despite the end of your marriage.

    I have said a prayer for you…and for myself that I will take my own words to heart.
    Susan Peterson

  29. michigancatholic says:

    The seamless garment idea is straight out of Cardinal Bernardin’s playbook in Chicago. It’s an attempt to lump all “indiscretions” into the same bucket and then call us all “wounded” and bless it all off without confession or contrition. Even if it worked (don’t make me laugh) it would be totally wrong(even from only a moral philosophy standpoint, ie logically). It’s an incoherent attempt to provide a culturally plausible rationale to people who don’t know and don’t want to know, due to distance from the faith (one or another kind) or implication in serious sin. Recall that progressives often think that the general population is DUMB, weak and can (should!) have things put over on them. This is a perfect exhibit of that. And a perfect example of early post-modernism and subversive technique.

    When people who say they’re Catholic are asked a moral question by someone whom they regard as reasonably neutral, they generally go to their “real bag of reasons” to answer it, especially if asked repeatedly. Some people have a “real bag of reasons” that’s Catholic (CC, scripture, church teaching, tradition, theology, human reason speaking WITH the Church); some people have a “real bag of reasons” that’s completely cultural (whether dissident-like or straight off the news ticker just because).

    This isn’t so much that people don’t have the ability to do it correctly. For years, most people have been carried on with exactly for getting it right. That’s what the resistance to the changes following V2 was all about for many people. It’s about time that we turned that around in the church and made so many things reasonable to Catholic people again by teaching them to think WITH the Church instead of for it (like they’re their own defacto Pope) or against it (which introduces a contradiction for someone claiming to be Catholic, no?).

    BTW, referring to the conversations above, there are definitive logical reasons why one should reject abortion, and regard that rejection as more compelling than..say…a rejection of war or capital punishment. In addition, there are traditional, theological and scriptural reasons for doing so. It’s not an open question. At. All.

  30. michigancatholic says:

    A few years ago, I read Razing the Bastions by Hans von Balthazar. I found it fascinating but also appalling in a way. I kept it for that reason and look at it now & then.

    It was written for a certain audience, and meant to be an inquiry (by its structure), but it was written in a “programmatic” style, which even v. Balthazar has said about it(p7, forward). And so it became. He, along with others, had to witness the seeming division of the tradition (without which the Church wouldn’t be the Church) and the mission of the Church (without which the Church wouldn’t be the Church) (p13, forward).

    He said about it later, “….lest everything in the Church become superficial and insipid, the true undiminished program for the Church today must read: the greatest possible radiance in the world by virtue of the closest possible following of Christ.” (p. 11, forward). He also spoke of the danger of one-sidedness, but by then the damage had been done.

    That there were dramatic mistakes made, on multiple levels, is no secret to many people in the Church. That those mistakes continue is deplorable.

    In the spirit of sheer inquiry, books like Razing the Bastions have a place in the theological/philosophical realm. As programs for destruction or community employment, they definitely do not for the simple reason that taking them programmatically is a mistake. They are speculative works which belong to a different category of knowledge than prescriptive works, or for that matter, apodictic works. Books like Razing the BAstions are half a Thomistic argument without the replies; they pose a question which, if pursued as a program causes nothing but confusion. They set off with a “what if” and never present any more than that BY DESIGN. But that’s not how reason and faith work or ever worked together, and anyone who reads scripture can see that.

    We, in the Church, still haven’t answered the question of mission and tradition in a detailed way for the present time: How do we go about the mission of the Church, within and without, thinking WITH Catholicism (in all its constitutive parts which is also a big topic, but I digress). That’s the Notre Dame dilemma pretty much in a nutshell…well, unless they’ve already defected, which of course is always a possibility.

  31. michigancatholic says:

    When we start to understand this (see above post), then we will have an answer ready when they say to us: Do abortions or shut your hospital down. Or when they say to us: You must have this stem cell treatment. Or: You must be chipped. It’s the law and it’s for your own good.

  32. Jerry says:

    Sharon: “Lewis and Short” most likely refers to a Latin-English dictionary.

  33. michigancatholic says:

    Hi Cecil de,

    One of the biggest problems of the 20th century was that we trained millions of Catholic technicians and didn’t train many Catholic thinkers. And we didn’t listen to the thinkers we had in a careful manner, with the result that they weren’t supported in comprehensive systematic thought. Technicians just grabbed the fragment du jour (like a greasy hamburger) and ran with it (along with a big cudgel).

    But then, the 20th century was the century of bits and pieces, otherwise known as “running off half-cocked.” Much of the implemented part turns out to have been a very mixed bag, leaning toward failure, in retrospect. Wouldn’t you agree?

  34. wsxyz says:

    Ceile De, you are simply wrong. It is not your place to invent doctrines based on your personal exegesis of the fifth commandment. Based on your argument above it would be just as wrong to kill an intruder threatening your family as to abort a baby. (Hint: It’s Not)

    Now no one is saying you shouldn’t oppose the death penalty, but you have to understand that abortion and execution are two different things. Abortion is gravely sinful always and everywhere in every circumstance. The death penalty is not gravely sinful always and everywhere in every circumstance. That is the doctrine of the Church.

    You further err by speaking as if anyone who does not equate the death penalty with abortion is an “Anti-Obama Republican”. This has nothing to do with political parties, it is about the faith.

  35. rljfp says:

    My two cents worth,

    Ceile De said: “… not all lovers of the EF are anti-Obama Republicans”. She is right all lovers of the EF should be pro-life Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever political affliation. To label those who attend the Traditional Latin Mass and are active in the pro-life movement as anti-Obama Republicans reveals much about Ceile De, whether the poster denies it or not. One cannot be a “lover of the EF” and approve of the heinous anti-life policies of the Obama administration that commenced on Inauguration Day. In whose hands would you rather place your soul: President Barack Obama or Archbishop Tim Dolan?

  36. Karl says:

    Dear Susan,

    Thank you for the prayer.

    I do, from time to time comment on other issues but, since I tend to read mostly \”faithfully\” catholic blogs, I usually do not try to fix what is not broken. You won\’t find me assailing the Church positions because I either understand them, as best I can, and attempt to live by them or I accept them, even if I don\’t understand them, and try to live by them.

    Heck, I don\’t disagree on the theory behind nullity. I have a niece who left the Catholic Church over divorce because she cannot or could not bring herself to seek a decision on her situation, which she felt was obvious and did not \”need\” such a \”Church\” decision. As gently as I could I tried to address it with her, hoping she would understand, based upon what she watched me and her cousins go through, that EVEN I could see the evidence that supported the \”likely conclusion of an inquiry\” that no intent for fidelity was present in the vows her spouse professed in Church, but the wound was so painful and \”obvious\” to her that she \”projected\” her frustration and hurt upon the Church. It is a tragedy and even though I have formally defected from the Church, she knows that I would still ask her to return to the Church and to seek an investigation regarding the validity of her marriage. My stand is based upon experience and upon the trustworthy situations that I have, personally, been informed of, albeit in some cases by only a single spouse which always poses a serious issue, where divorce/nullity practices have been in serious error and caused, likely, irreversible damage, not because the damage is impossible to heal but because the priests and bishops REFUSE to even try, period.

    Don\’t worry, Susan, the marriage was not annulled. It was upheld in Rome, twice. It just is violated openly and with the approval of the clergy and the ordinaries, who refuse to act to work towards healing a valid marriage, in deference to the \”rights\” of adulterers. To me it is kind of like giving an \”honorary\” law degree to our President, even though he supports abortion. My wife and her lover are being granted an \”honorary\” marriage even though they have aborted our valid marriage, since the clergy and bishops, positively, refuse to even attempt to intervene or take any action. My wife is waiting for me to die in order to marry in the Church and, evidently, this seems just and logical to the clergy and bishops.

    Nor have I abandoned God. Interestingly, I had a colleague recently address me regarding what he thought was my \”proselytizing\” of others through my openly \”Catholic\” beliefs. He asked me to \”tone it down\”. I respect this man, as a fellow officer, whose work is exemplary and fair and I do not want to give him cause to file a complaint over my religious beliefs, but I was puzzled that he was so concerned over my style as he is a regular communicant at a Catholic Church and life-long Catholic. I have to smile, inside, because even though I have left the Church, my love for it is obvious to those who see me regularly and work with me and my concern for the protection of the dignity of each person I work with is observed in a public forum, daily, by the most diverse group of people one could imagine.

    I still sometimes attend a life chain and an occasional march. I almost went to the march in Washington in January. I still pray, but it is not something that comes easily, rather, I chose to pray, and certainly not enough.

    Our marriage persists, Susan, it is wrong for me NOT to protest, endlessly, for it, against the sins of the Catholic Church through its priests and bishops and laity. I pray for my wife, her lover and their two children. It is not a situation which I would wish for anyone, but neither is it an impossible situation to heal. It is a deliberate decision made by each bishop involved, all of whom at one time or another I have contacted and asked for help from and who have uniformly done nothing detectable or of which they informed me, to allow the open, public mockery of a valid marriage, knowingly. Our children continue to suffer from this situation, as do and will the two children of the adultery. This seems not to matter to anyone, but me and to a certain extent one of our children and perhaps another.

    Thank you, and, please, keep me in your prayers and all of us; I do mean all of us!

    Abortion and the defense of marriage are not separable issues, as children and respect for their right-to-life, are owed their families, in justice. It is time men like Father Pavone and Father Euteneuer speak of both of these issues all the time. especially when they are addressing clergy.

  37. Ceile De says:

    Dear rljfp
    I am as anti-abortion as any Catholic but I see it, from the Vatican’s pronouncements, as being inseparable frmo
    her opposition to the death penalty and euthanasia since all go to the inviolability of human life.
    I did not say I am in favour of President Obama speaking at Notre Dame. I certainly have reservations
    about his being honored with a degree.
    But I find the a la carte views of some on here to fundamental issues of life intellectually incoherent
    and not in step with my understanding of the church’s teaching on life.
    with due respect to those upset by the church’s sometimes lax approach to nullity, I think the issue of life is a core
    discrete one. Any my question was simple – I do not see how a Catholic, as a Catholic, can object to Obama at Notre Dame
    without equally objecting to a pro-death penalty or euthanasia politican speaking at a Catholic university.
    So, we have Democratic politicans who support abortion and maybe euthanasia. And Republican ones who support the death penalty. All in breach of the commandments and church teaching.
    It is a lousy lousy lousy choice – I don’t blame anyone for choosing one side or the other. But I understand it.

  38. Ceile De says:

    To wsxyz, and with thanks to Mark VA, I read from the Vatican:

    It is surely more necessary than ever that the inalienable dignity of human life be universally respected and recognised for its immeasurable value. The Holy See has engaged itself in the pursuit of the abolition of capital punishment and an integral part of the defence of human life at every stage of its development and does so in defiance of any assertion of a culture of death.

    So, by all means, oppose the president speaking at Notre Dame if you wish. I will not defend him or opose you.

    But let’s be consistent as to inalienability of the digntiy of human life.

  39. Ricky Vines says:

    Re” I do not see how a Catholic, as a Catholic, can object to Obama at Notre Dame without equally objecting to a pro-death penalty or euthanasia politican speaking at a Catholic university.”

    IMHO, as earlier posts noted, there are qualitative and quantitative differences in the anti-life sins. So, the slaughter of 15 million babies for personal reasons far outweighs the enhanced interrogation of 100 enemy combatants for the sake of national security.

    e.g. stealing by itself can have different moral evaluations depending of the circumstances, intent and the particulars in the act e.g. what was stolen and from whom. Stealing excess inventories from big pharma to help the poor may even be a moral act.

    Long story short, the responses are not identical, but they are consistent.

  40. Ceile De says:

    Ricky – I did not address illegal torture and do not propose to here. I agree that reprehensible though it is it falls short of termination of a life. My suggestion about the President is that, now that he has been invited, courtesy and hospitality should be shown (His Holiness has shown us how we can act in a Christian manner towards those with whom we disagree) but it is to be hoped that Notre Dame will use the opportunity to educate the President about the Church’s position on the sacntity of all human life from the moent of conception until natural death.

  41. wsxyz says:

    Ceile De, From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    2267 Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

    The point being, not that Catholics should be pro death penalty, but that the Church does not exclude the death penalty as a matter of doctrine. That is a fact, whether you like it or not.

    If you want to argue that the death penalty should be abolished in the U.S.A. in the year 2009, then I’m right there with you, but do not pretend that the Church equates the issues of capital punishment and abortion. Abortion is always and everywhere wrong and no Catholic may dissent from this teaching. Capital punishment is wrong only when other means are sufficient and available to permanently remove an egregious offender from society and Catholics may in good conscience have differing opinions as to whether other means are sufficient and available.

    If you think the issues of abortion and the death penalty are inseparable, then your understanding of the Church’s teaching on life is mistaken.

  42. Mark VA says:

    Ceile De:

    I think we agree that abortion and the death penalty (together with some other issues), qualify as pro-life concerns. However, you seem to have a rather strong conviction that both are also of equal moral gravity, therefore the essence of the Democrat and Republican parties is likewise the same (your posts do tend to go in that direction…).

    Our Church makes a distinction in how She views these two issues – in the language used to describe both, and in the underlying logic, which shows why the two are not equivalent. Personally, if year after year three thousand prisoners were executed per day after perfunctory trials, I would agree with you. But the reality of the situation is different.

    In my view, the effort to understand the differences in moral weight among many pro-life concerns will lead to a better structured, better expressed, and thus more effective pro-life work. It will address the many shortcomings of the worn out seamless garment approach. And certainly it is not an “a la carte” and “intellectually incoherent” effort to think with the Church on these issues.

  43. Ricky Vines says:

    Re: “My suggestion about the President is that, now that he has been invited, courtesy and hospitality should be shown (His Holiness has shown us how we can act in a Christian manner towards those with whom we disagree)”

    There are a few schools of thought on how that should be handled. What is the impact of cutting losses vs. going through with the charade. Which matters more – faux pais vs.scandal, offending man or God?

    Re: “but it is to be hoped that Notre Dame will use the opportunity to educate the President about the Church’s position on the sacntity of all human life from the moent of conception until natural death.”

    I think the President is more than informed and not the least open w.r.t. when the unborn get vested with human rights – something about a pay grade. So, that’s a moot point IMHO.

Comments are closed.