What’s the best thing Pres. Obama could do to achieve what he promised the Pope?

On 10 June Pope Benedict XVI heard President Barack Obama promise he would work to reduce the number of abortions in the United States.

: "What’s the best thing," I asked myself, "that Pres. Obama could do to achieve that goal?  Actually to keep his promise?"

He could resign, I concluded.

Then I thought that scenario through.

If Pres. Obama resigns, Vice President Joe Biden becomes President.

Aside from the obvious disadvantage of that, VP Biden is a notorious and obstinate pro-choice Catholic.

"That won’t do", quoth  I. "He’ll have to resign too".

I can hear it now.

"But Father! But Father!", most of you are saying… with your copies of the Presidential Succession Act and 25th Amendment in hand. "If Biden resigned, the Speaker of the House of Representatives would succeed him!"

But that’s Nancy Pelosi.  Like VP Biden, she too says she’s Catholic and that she, too, supports abortion.

In fact, like Biden, Speaker Pelosi thinks – incredibly – that long-standing Catholic tradition allows abortion.

So she probably wouldn’t keep Pres. Obama’s promise to the Pope.

She’d have to resign.

That would make the President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate into the POTUS.

But that’s former Klansman Sen. Robert Byrd, and he’s pro-abortion.

Okay, let him resign too.

That would mean that the Secretary of State would become President.

At that point I asked myself what’s the second best thing that Pres. Obama could do to reduce the number of abortions?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. avecrux says:

    Yep. Exactly.

  2. Antonius says:

    kobayashi maru

  3. Sieber says:

    N.B. his promise to the Pope was to try to reduce abortions only in the U.S.

  4. Sandy says:

    Hmmm…. any thoughts about Newsweek’s article saying that Obama would make a better Pope for American Catholics than Pope Benedict? Then O wouldn’t have to worry about curtailing abortions.

  5. LCB says:

    HOld on hold on… you mean the entire leadership of the Democratic party is ravenously pro-moloch?

    Surely you jest! I heard it’s okay to support these folks!

  6. Loxodonta solitarius says:

    Dear Father Z: 2010 is coming.

    Hope for Change! And let’s keep working for it. Yes we can!

  7. Antonius says:

    Obama’s plan for abortion reduction is probably going to be based on increasing access to contraception, especially to minors. Now does this actually reduce abortion, no it doesn’t. If he wants to expand programs for troubled mother, good for him, even I will get behind him for that, but you can’t throw condoms and pills and not do anything to change this sexually permissive culture we have (which he usually endorses judging by his entourage)

  8. Clara says:

    More entitlement programs and welfare benefits. Because, you know, that’s been superbly effective in the past at keeping abortion numbers low.

  9. cavaliere says:

    Funny story, now after a good laugh how about a serious question.

    How does President Obama keep the promise, assuming of course he genuinely wants to reduce abortion and isn’t saying so in order to keep his critics at bay?

    There are really only a couple morally permissable reasons possible and he hasn’t shown himself willing to promote them.

    Will he advocate for more abstinence programs, parental notification and other legal efforts? Will he appoint judges at all levels that respect the will of the people and the laws that their legislators passed or will he appoint judges who believe that Roe v. Wade is so universal that any law whatsoever is an infringement on so called abortion rights?

    Now his desire to reduce poverty is a noble goal but will that really reduce the number of people seeking abortions? We know of course that many poor women have abortions but is the answer to that problem wealth redistribution or a higher minimum wage? If poverty is such an important factor in the decision to have an abortion why are most of the opponents of abortion around the world from 3rd World countries in greater poverty than our own?

    Perhaps it is the sex free-for-all that we have experienced since most of the past two generations have rejected Humanae Vitae that is mostly responsible for this abomination and thus the prescribed cure is the cause of the disease in the first place.

  10. Virgil says:

    What hopeless cynics we are. Shame.

    The President and the Pope just had an historic meeting, agreeing to work together on all sorts of problems, INCLUDING the problem of abortion. Are you saying that this meeting was a sham, and that these two great men are merely chaff? [Hardly. We just want him to keep his promise.]

    In the US, there is FINALLY a President who is willing to give deeper thought to tackling the problem of abortion. [Give “deeper” thought?] And again in Rome, there is a Pope who is willing to engage in giving the intellectual ammunition to the task. Are you saying that Pope and President are just absent-minded professors? [Again… placing them on the same plane….]

    Further, we are in a sort-of “perfect storm” in that many of the people in US government are CATHOLICS: Veep, Speaker, half the Supremes. And a non-Catholic President who, unlike his predecessor, actually understands Catholic thinking. [He does?] Are you saying that Catholics should simply stay out of politics? Maybe leave politics to the bishops?

    Come on. [Yah… c’mon is right!]

    Pray for the President. Pray for our Pope. Pray for all the children who will be born, fruits of their efforts to cultivate a culture of life.

  11. Tom Lanter says:

    Fr. Z.

    Because of his 100% Pro-Abortion stance President Obama is now all Pro-Life American’s worse nightmare. He is not our President he is our King.

    We have tried for over thirty years and have saved some lives but the bad guys are wining only God can stop these killings.

    Tom Lanter

  12. Orville says:

    “lets call the whole thing off…”

  13. kate says:

    He might trade all the feminists in his administration for women who are more open minded about the effects of abortion, and don’t see abortion as a woman’s ‘birthright’.(if that’s a pun, its unintended!)

  14. TNCath says:

    The best thing President Obama could do to achieve what he promised the Pope is to read “Dignitatis Personae.”

  15. cavaliere says:

    The President and the Pope just had an historic meeting, agreeing to work together on all sorts of problems, INCLUDING the problem of abortion.

    This meeting was historic? In what way? Maybe Virgil you could answer my question of “how” President Obama intends to “reduce abortion.”

    One of the other “agreements” between the Pope and Pres. Obama was the importance of teaching young children the importance of tolerance. Do you really think that Pres. Obama and Pope Benedict understand this sentence in the same way? Somehow I think that some of of the topics President Obama feels children should learn to be tolerant about conflict with what the Holy Father believes.

  16. Murray says:

    The best things the President could do to keep his promise to the Pope would be these:

    1. Improve the economic conditions, especially of poor women, which lead those women to having abortions.

    2. Improve access to contraceptives, including, of course, natural family planning.

    3. Improve the quality of frank, open sex education at all levels. This has been remarkably successful in the Scandinavian countries.

    As Catholics we have “lost the battle” against prohibiting abortions. Let’s move on–there are many more “life” issues.

  17. Paul says:

    How about withdrawing U.S. Support for the anti-life U.N. programs, and a executive order defunding all federal “reproductive health” programs and an absolute hands-off policy with regards to the States by such departments as health and human services, education, the surgeon general, etc.?

    He could do this and still heat his office to 80 degrees +


  18. ssoldie says:

    Why should he keep his promise to the Pope, if the F.O.C.A. comes up he will sign it, he made that promise ‘first’ to the people who put him in office. He will do everything to keep abortion legal, lets face it the majority of American citizens believe that abortion is the law of the land, and the Supreme Court back in Jan 22,1973 said the Constitution guarenteed the right to privacy and that gives woman a ‘right’ to an abortion for all nine mo’s. Now we get Sotomyor. Dialogue,,,,,, B as in B, S as in S.

  19. What’s the best thing Obama can do? Follow his campaign promise and embrace change. How? Change his mind on the killing of innocent babies. Likely at present? No. But if there were enough Catholics practicing the faith and praying the Rosary as Our Lady asks, then such an amazing miracle would be possible.

    Virgil, perhaps you can tell us how a president who wants to fully fund worldwide abortions and make them available to everyone paid with our tax dollars is reducing abortions? Removing all restrictions and eliminating conscience clauses will reduce abortions? Shall we reduce speeding by removing all speed limit signs? Please do share your logic in any case.

  20. Bob says:

    If Obama had any desire to “reduce the number of abortions in the United States,” he could stop paying for them with tax money. Since he has, in fact, done the exact opposite, I have to conclude that he has no such desire, and that he simply lied to the pope’s face.

    I suggest applying the Bux Protocol to President Obama and some of our other political leaders.

  21. The obvious solution is that he will redefine the word “abortion”.

  22. Charivari Rob says:

    Virgil – “The President and the Pope just had an historic meeting…”

    Historic? How so?

    Has no other P.O.T.U.S. met a Pope before? Did they discuss things no Pope and President have discussed before? Did the President recant the lamentable positions he’s held to date?

  23. Andrew, medievalist says:

    Ditto TNCath (3.33pm) The Holy Father, as he should be, is a step ahead of all of us.

  24. Jonathan says:

    I have an idea. The best thing he could do is to run for President again in 2012, win the primaries, and purposely make his campaign awful when he is running in the presidential campaign. That way people won’t vote for him.

    I guess the drones still probably will vote for him…

  25. JillofTheAmazingWolverineTribe says:

    Is God out of the business of smiting a bunch of people at once? I’d consider it a personal favor to the Republic if he just spent a little time on this.

  26. Peggy says:

    Re: Virgil’s claims:

    –While I won’t defend GW Bush on many fronts, I will say he actively promoted adoption and marriage, as “big govt” “compassionate” social conservative ideas.

    And Murry wants to promote contraception as a means of reducing abortions?

    I have no idea what social programs are not being offered already to assist poor/unmarried women who are pregnant, whether it’s subsidized pre-natal care, financial support, and post-pregnancy, ie, WIC and so forth. As another commenter pointed out, those programs have done nothing to curb abortion and unwed pregnancy rates for over 40 years.

    The only thing Obama can do I suppose is to have some conversion of his soul and start caring for human suffering in the womb, in the nursing home, in lands where freedom is denied, and so forth.

  27. Gerard says:

    Actually, Fr. Z’s first option was the right one, but a few things must be ensured. Biden must then appoint a pro-life VP and ensure somehow that the Senate confirms him. Then he in turn can resign.

    That’s it. No Pelosi, or whoever has to come into the picture.

  28. wmeyer says:

    Your analysis goes to the heart of the problem. Those who think that the mid-term election will bring improvements need to wake up. What we have before us is the culmination of decades of bloc voting by the Dems. They have long understood what the Republicans still do not: small victories over an extended interval eventually yield a big victory.

    We are the frog placed in a pot of cool water who fails to realize that the temperature is rising when the water is heated, and dies as a result.

    I wish I could remember to whom I should give credit for this, but I do not: In any compromise between good and evil, evil wins.

  29. Paul Haley says:

    He could announce that after reading the encyclitals given to him by Pope Benedict XVI he has decided to renounce his pro choice views and has decided to take instruction in the Catholic Faith from Fr. Corapi or maybe even a certain priest widely known for his internet forum. Yah, and everyone lived happily ever after. As for resignation, the prospects should that happen are probably worse than the status quo. But, then, there’s always 2012 if we begin now.

  30. observer says:

    The best thing he could do? Maybe actually become what he promised – transparent – and unseal all of his personal history – like his long form birth certificate; possible adoption records by Indonesian stepfather to get him into that Indonesian school; how he got into Occidental College (as a foreign student?); who backed him for other higher education; his draft record; his health record; his educational record; just for starters. And then fire the high powered attorneys now defending him against all such inquiries for those documents at great cost(Occidental has same attorneys, btw) and simply pay the $15 or whatever for the actual BC and reveal his true self to the more than likely duped public. Then all that he has signed off on – including all those czars – would be invalid. But then no one would want such a Constitutional crisis would they … how convenient to his plans.

  31. Gloria says:

    What can he do to keep his promise? What has he done with all his other promises? He has had no intention of keeping them. Even wondering what he can do is an exercise in futility, I’m afraid. His agenda is clear. His backers in Congress are “committed” (now there’s a word I would like to see used in a different context). A cousin of mine is having a bumper sticker and lapel pins made that say “Dump the Dopes,” meaning to vote out all these automatons. Would it were that easy.

  32. shoofoolatte says:

    This is a very good question – just what it is that you want President OBama to do?

    We live in a country where abortion is not criminalized. Women who have abortions are not incarcerated. Should we start sending them to jail?

    I agree with Murray, above.

    I also think that the answer is not in politics – it is in modeling.

  33. Paul Haley says:

    encyclitals? How about encyclicals? Sheeesh, am I getting old.

  34. Hidden One says:

    Who’s after the Secretary of State? Rahm Emmanuel?

  35. Sieber says:

    Shoofoolatte, if you and Murray are serious about modeling…I suggest John Robert Powers.

  36. Will says:

    Of course, pursuant to section 2 of the twenty-fifth amendment, Biden, upon assuming the presidency, could nominate a new VP who could be confirmed by both Houses of Congress.

    As for Hidden One’s question, the order of succession passes through the cabinet secretaries in order of their department’s creation. See Tile 3, Chapter 1, Section 19 of the US Code. That means that the Treasury Secretary, Geithner, would be next in line.

  37. Sieber says:

    Ooops…rabbit hole.

  38. Frank H. says:

    shoofoolatte – I don’t think we want the women who seek or obtain abortions in jail. We want them to use various alternatives that avoid the killing of innocent babies. I do feel that. when the procedure is again outlawed, the doctors and other assistants in the heinous procedures should be considered criminals and charged accordingly.

    Murray – don’t be so sure the battle is lost. Lots of other righteous causes took decades to achieve victory.

  39. Frank H. says:

    Sieber – I was thinking the same thing! But you had the chutzpah to post it!

  40. JML says:

    Fr. Z

    See Holy Smoke. Read the NYT interview. Go to the 6th question from the bottom.

    Well at least it is out in the open.

  41. Chris says:

    He’s promise free contraceptives for anyone who wants them. And, unfortunately, 90 percent of Catholics in this country will jump in line for the freebies.

  42. Sieber says:


    Some of these comments bring up the rugze…so the chutzpah becomes natural.



  43. EDG says:

    The first idea was the right one – he could resign. None of the equally incompetent and pro-death members of his chain of command would have the press-generated mystique that he does, which is the thing that enables him to get away with autocratic actions that no ordinary president would even dream of suggesting. He’s your basic populist dictator in the making.

    I think that he actually has been told by his handlers to back off, however, because Americans are becoming alarmed by his behavior, and therefore he has lowered the rhetoric and even tried to make nice with Rome. Somebody told him that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, although I suspect that the Pope is able to see through this.

    However, since he’s not going to quit, what he could actually do is be honest about his plans (or rather, those of the people behind him) and let our elected representatives have a say. He is doing many things by fiat, and while Congress is horrible, most of our legislators want to be reelected. If he takes things away from these mysterious czars and submits them to the legislature, as he is supposed to do, it’s much more likely that we’ll have a good outcome.

    In Roe vs Wade, the states lost their powers; under Obama, our elected representatives – and probably, very soon, the judiciary – are losing their powers.

  44. shoofoolatte says:

    Can someone please verify a credible source that says that Obama has offered free contraceptives?

    What about infertile women who use IVF in order to concieve children? How do we deal with that now that it is out of the bottle? Put them in jail? Encourage them to adopt?

    As a young woman my husband and I were not able to have children. At the time, IVF was too expensive and unreliable for us, and we ended up adopting a child. But I can tell you, if it had been more affordable and reliable, it would have been very, very tempting. The desire to have a child, our child, was very deep.

  45. shoofoolatte says:

    oh man, Sieber, I thought you were serious about John Powers. I didn’t know who he was, and googled him.

    Seriously, don’t you think that if Catholics truly lived what we preached, that would go a long way in infusing the culture with respect (even awe) for the sacredness of life.

    I have worked for a long time with death row prisoners – the apathy of mainstream Catholicism toward this state sponsored killing is very sobering and sad.

  46. Heather says:

    Stop using our tax dollars to pay for them?

  47. C. says:

    Why hasn’t Obama supported the Pregnant Women’s Support Act (PWSA), introduced by pro-life Democrats in Congress?

  48. Lori Ehrman says:

    The best thing Obama could do, with the help and grace of Almighty God, would be to CONVERT! Repent and Believe in the Gospel!

    Boy oh boy, if that happened!

  49. Alban says:

    My guess is Virgil caught the vapors and now realizes he overspoke. There is nothing “historic” about the meeting between the POTUS and the Pope, nor has Obama done anything “great” as president yet.

  50. John Enright says:

    Great post, Fr. I can’t think of a better method of proving that every single vote counts!

  51. JohnE says:

    As others said, one word: convert

  52. Willebrord says:

    Brilliant Father!

  53. GordonBOPS says:

    I’ll just echo the point that as Catholics, we are still losing the battle if artificial contraception takes the place of abortion. Not to diminish abortion– but we all know the pill is an abortifacient. Its six of one, halfdozen of the other. Solving abortion takes an attack also on the selfish society we have when it comes to children and sexuality.

  54. Phil Steinacker says:

    The meeting between POTUS and Pope Benedict XVI is NOT HISTORIC!

    NOT in the least. This is the 12th POTUS to meet with a Pope. The Wun didn’t even make it into the top 10; well, at least the first 10.

    And PLEASE stop with all this leftwing (and all too often “Catholic”) nonsense linking abortion to monetary difficulties. This claim is utterly baseless and is so much trash by which willing Catholics are led to justify advancing other so-called “life” issues they like to claim are at least as important as aborting infants.

    The Guttemacher Institute has been Planned Parenthood’s statistical research arm for yeras, and their own published stats show 17% of abortions are committed because of financial concerns. Do you get that?? ONLY 17% means that 83% of abortions are committed for reasons of preference, convenience, & other forms of selfishness.

    What kind of Catholics fall for this trash?? WILLING Catholics looking for justification to vote leftwing politicians into office to transform the nation into a socialist paradise.

    They’re all too willing to participate in infanticide to do it, and need the kind of cover Kmiec-type Catholics like Virgil will give them. If you’re not one, I apologize, Virgil, but your sputtering sounds just like the absurdities I hear from faux Catholics in my own church.

  55. Jonathan says:

    “Financial difficulties” can easily be solved by adoption. There! No murder necessary.

  56. Athelstane says:

    The President and the Pope just had an historic meeting, agreeing to work together on all sorts of problems, INCLUDING the problem of abortion. Are you saying that this meeting was a sham, and that these two great men are merely chaff?

    They met for 15 minutes, Virgil. 15 minutes.

  57. prof. basto says:

    Withdraw Judge Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

    Nominate Judge Priscilla R. Owen in her place.

  58. athanasius says:

    Shoofoolatte:”But I can tell you, if it had been more affordable and reliable, it would have been very, very tempting. The desire to have a child, our child, was very deep.” ?

    So you’re tempted by IVF — from the same “doctors” that murder emryoes? You’d contribute to the culture of death just so you could have a child and not adopt?

    Typical liberl Catholic selfish thinking.

  59. Agnes says:

    My concern is that in order to “reduce abortions”, Obama will simply ramp up sex education efforts and distribute contraceptives in “target” (ie. poor) areas.


  60. athanasius says:

    Shoofoolatte:”But I can tell you, if it had been more affordable and reliable, it would have been very, very tempting. The desire to have a child, our child, was very deep.” ?

    So you’re tempted by IVF — from the same “doctors” that murder emryoes? You’d contribute to the culture of death just so you could have a child and not adopt?

    Typical liberal Catholic selfish thinking.

  61. fxr2 says:

    Temptations are always strong, please do not forget whom we are dealing with, Lucifer. In case your are confused, The Catholic Church does not prohibit the killing of criminals by the state. The Church states that criminals should only be put to death in the most egregious of circumstances, and capital punishment may not be necessary in most western countries. That decision, like the decision to go to war is left to the state. The state my not be perfect, but it is in power by the will of God. The taking of innocent human life, however, is an intrinsic evil. The taking of innocent human life is always evil everywhere all the time. Perhaps you could explain to me how a baby in the womb of it’s mother is not innocent. The child as all children below the age of reason is incapable of being anything other than innocent.

    Perhaps the churches position on IVF would make more sense to you if you considered being open to God’s will more important than financial decisions. IVF often results in the implantation of a large number of babies which are often killed by their mother and father through their doctor. For example “You want to have 1 child so we should implant 5 zygotes”. I fully support your decision to adopt a child. I pray you will teach your child the Catholic faith. Please think of how you would explain this to your child as the process has an edifying effect.

    Perhaps you should read my post to shoofoolatte. I am not a theologian, a cleric or even a scholar, only a catholic that understands that I am my brother’s keeper. I hope you will accept my fraternal correction as it is intended. Please be open to God’s will.


  62. Susan Peterson says:

    I don’t think we should be down on Shoofoulette for admitting that she would have been tempted by IVF. I was blessed with nine children. I think I would have been a miserable and desperate woman if I had been infertile, and I would certainly have been tempted by anything which promised to give me my own baby. To be tempted is not necessarily to do it.

    I skimmed this thread, and didn’t see that anyone suggested what I am about to suggest, but if someone did and I missed it, my apologies. I think Obama might well have an effect on the number of abortions if he spoke to young men about taking responsibility for the child when they have gotten a woman pregnant. He is a very good speaker and many young people admire him very much. If he means at all that he would like to see abortions reduced (while still being legal) then he can speak, often, whenever he speaks at a college, for instance, to young men, telling them they shouldn’t have sex with young women if they don’t like them well enough to want to have a child with them, and that if a girl does get pregnant, they should offer to marry her and raise the child. He could admit he missed having his own father present in his life.

    While there certainly are some women who choose of their own accord to have an abortion, no matter what the man says, I think the majority of women look to the man to say, Yes, please, have our child and I will support you and be there for you.
    If Obama could get it across that this is the manly thing to do, he could make a difference.

  63. Brendan says:

    Why do pro-abortion politicians want to “reduce the number of abortions?” If abortion, according to them, is just a simple medical procedure, why should we try to reduce it?

  64. cavaliere says:

    Well said Susan P.

    As I mentioned earlier the decision of poor women to abort will not be solved simply by financial means. As someone who has volunteered with a crisis pregnancy center for inner city women the decision of poor women to abort has less to do with their poverty than the lack of support from a boyfriend who does not want to take responsibility for his action or family that is embarrassed or feels humiliated by her. But with counseling many of these same women do choose life despite incredible sacrifice and hardships including frequent threats from the boyfriend or family.

    Another point to consider is how Fr. McNabb O.P. described the “City” as a proximate occasion of sin which required a level of heroic virtue to avoid, and which most people do not possess. He explained how the City by its nature encourages birth control as well as a host of other social problems. As someone who spent the majority of his priesthood living in some of the worst slums of London he witnessed firsthand these conditions which caused him to advocate fleeing the City and a return to the land. While the practicality of such an endeavor is open to debate it would be imprudent to ignore his years of experience and desire to help the poor.

  65. RC says:

    Thanks, Susan P.

    The first step toward reducing abortions is to recognize the motivations involved.

    Alas, some people probably think that abortion “solves a problem” in a more reliable way than manly responsibility does.

  66. shoofoolatte says:

    Just a reminder:
    We librul, leftist, democrat, whatever-you-wanna-call-us Catholics are NOT pro-abortion. We care deeply and passionately for the unborn, the poor, the dispossessed, the condemned. And we love our Church and have a long history of service and saints.

    We are not wrong while you are right, nor vice versa. What we bring to the table is necessary to the Body of Christ, just as what you bring is necessary. We are your brothers and sisters, your Catholic family. You cannot kick us out.

  67. Jordanes says:

    shoofoolatte said: We librul, leftist, democrat, whatever-you-wanna-call-us Catholics are NOT pro-abortion.

    Well, at least some of you aren’t pro-abortion, but it’s generally the case in that crowd either to believe it should be legal to slaughter unborn children or at the least are not fervently committed to outlawing that crime: either position amounts to being in favor of abortion, whether one dubs oneself with the Orwellian “pro-choice” label or takes the Kmiecian political sell-out of claiming to desire to reduce the number of abortions while disagreeing with Holy Mother Church that we need to be working to outlaw this abomination.

  68. Jordanes says:

    Agnes said: My concern is that in order to “reduce abortions”, Obama will simply ramp up sex education efforts and distribute contraceptives in “target” (ie. poor) areas.

    Yep, I think we can be confident that “we need to reduce abortions” is political code for “we need to teach kindergarteners how to use condoms and get them to think fornication and homosexuality is just fine.”

  69. RBrown says:

    Seriously, don’t you think that if Catholics truly lived what we preached, that would go a long way in infusing the culture with respect (even awe) for the sacredness of life.

    I agree. And one important way of living what we preach is not to identify ourselves with a political party (or ideology) that has endorsed abortion on demand.

    I have worked for a long time with death row prisoners – the apathy of mainstream Catholicism toward this state sponsored killing is very sobering and sad.
    Comment by shoofoolatte

    I am not a Death Penalty advocate, but, once again: The doctrine of the Church does not prohibit the Death Penalty. Catholic Doctrine, however, does prohibit abortion.

  70. I think Susan Peterson‘s response is excellent and realistic. I can see the President trying to instill greater responsibility in young men. I hope he will. And of everything he may do, I think that could have the greatest effect on abortion.

    But the president and the government will only do so much. We see in Father’s post how entrenched our worldly powers that be are in the Culture of Death.

    If abortion is really going to become a thing of the past, it’s going to be by the grace and work of God and by the faithful, bold, steadfast witness of Catholics in our society. Catholics must faithfully live out the Church’s teachings on sexual morality, embracing chastity, openness to life, and lifelong dedication to marriage and family. That’s where the building up of the Culture of Life–and the downfall of the Culture of Death–begins.

    This is preaching to choir here in this combox. The serious question is: what is the Church (from the Pope on down) going to do to bring the vast majority of Catholics in line, including and especially those in civil service? That will depend mainly on the bishops, of course. But we’re all part of the Church, and we each have some influence on our fellow Catholics–perhaps without even realizing it.

    So, let’s pray very hard for the unity, faithfulness, fortitude, wisdom, and sanctification of all our bishops and priests. Let’s pray that we ourselves hold fast to the Church’s teachings and, more importantly, show it in our words and deeds. Let’s ask God how we can exert positive influence on our fellow Catholics, how to live out the baptismal mission in our own ways, through our own gifts. Last but definitely not least, let us engage in constant prayer and acts of penance! Let us pray the Rosary each day. Let us abstain and fast from food and other pleasures. Let us line up frequently outside our confessionals.

    And let us not, under any circumstances, believe that the battle is lost and there’s nothing we can do. That’s giving into despair and discouragement–that’s playing right into the devil’s hands. Catholics must live with hope and conviction, no matter how wrong and overbearing the world may seem.

  71. Steve says:

    Shoo, Virgil, Murray –

    Any Catholic who knowingly votes for pro-abortion politicians are just as culpable for the resulting abortions as the person who drove the get-away car in an armed robbery of a bank. The driver may not have held the gun but they’re just as guilty for the crime. The Catholic who votes for the pro-aborts may not have performed the abortion but they’re just as guilty as the abortionist.

    Phil had it exactly correct when he wrote the above:

    “What kind of Catholics fall for this trash?? WILLING Catholics looking for justification to vote leftwing politicians into office to transform the nation into a socialist paradise.”

    Liberal politics trumps the lives of the unborn for these Catholics.

    Any person who thinks this president will do anything to reduce the number of abortions are intellectually dishonest at best.

  72. Phil Steinacker says:

    I am not apathetic about the death penalty – I fully support it in line with Church teaching. The catechism under JP II states that we must not impose the death penalty except as necessary to protect innocent life. This has been widely and wrongly interpreted to all but prohibit the death penalty as if the matter is obviously settled: if convicted murderers are imprisoned, then innocent life is no longer at risk.

    However, there is a wealth of studies over the past 10 years showing that failure to execute convicted murderers leads to the taking of more innocent lives – and not merely one life per murderer. Prison guards and other prison employees pay with their lives all too often when imprisoned murderers have little to fear as a consequence to another taking of innocent life. That doesn’t begin to factor the death toll that can mount up after an escape. Studies reveal a death toll after prison escapes of murderers often rise to as high three, and to 18 in one case.

    Either outcome is unacceptable and constitutes a failure by the state to protect innocent life. Therefore, it is entirely reasonable for Catholics to support the death penalty because in the real world the risk to innocent life is to high to consider it otherwise.

    Besides, the word of God on this subject is repeated in each of the first five books of the Old Testament – presumably to make sure the Israelites got the message (in case the liberals among them were confused on the point). That word is that if a man wrongly takes a life he should be made to pay for it with his own life. Any other interpretation of it is pure liberalism: I don’t like what God has instructed so I’m free (by the lights of my own conscience) to construct something better than what God has ordained.

    As for kicking anyone out, I don’t support such a notion at all. Instead I believe each of us struggles with a particular besetting sin with which we struggle terribly; that represents a huge stumbling block in our forming and nurturing a close relationship with the Lord. It can be – and often is – a specific sinful action with which we struggle (sex outside of marriage comes to mind as a predominant example), but our refusal to acknowledge the wrongness of our actions (and to insist on a view that justifies them) is nothing less than the sin of pride. I see many Catholics struggle so much with Church authority they fabricate actual Church teaching to permit sinful behavior to which they’re strongly attached. It is not merely the behavior but also the insistently prideful rationalization that is sinful.

    I know of what I speak first hand to a degree, and witness it as ravaging the 21st century Church. Leaving – or kicking anyone out – is no solution. I fear for those who embrace either notion.

  73. “# Comment by Charivari Rob — 12 July 2009 @ 4:25 pm”

    How was the meeting historic? It was the first meeting Obama has had with a head of state who wasn’t impressed.

  74. Michae. says:

    He can set up a welfare program that will pay poor women to have babies.

  75. mrteachersir says:


    Obama did say on Father’s Day that “fatherhood doesn’t end at conception” and he proceeded to implore men to be better fathers.

    I really have no clue what he meant, though. If he is saying that a man is a father after a baby has been conceived, then obviously, life begins at conception, and he knowingly supports murder. He can’t have meant that, or he is made to look like a fool. So, assuming that he didn’t mean that a man is a father after a baby is conceived, I really don’t know what he meant.

  76. Patrick says:

    Appropos of President Obama’s immediate predecessor who supposedly does not understand how Catholics think:

    (1) He put up two Catholic justices and he is the primary reason there is now a majority Catholic Supreme Court.

    (2) The Roe regime is now one vote from being overturned.

    What can Obama do to reduce abortions?

    (1) Nominate a non-activist justice

    (2) Tell the Democrats the truth: They will have no lasting governing majority until they stop trying to ram social liberalism down the country’s throat. They have a majority for now, but that involved getting nearly everyone who is not a conservative into their camp. It will not last. For New Dealism to live, Roe must die.

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