Former Vatican ambassadors launch Catholics for Romney group

I thought this was interesting. From CNA:

Former Vatican ambassadors launch Catholics for Romney group

By Michelle Bauman

Washington D.C., Aug 2, 2012 / 12:05 am (CNA).- A bipartisan group of six former U.S. ambassadors to the Holy See has joined together to support presidential candidate Mitt Romney and is calling on other Catholics to do the same.

The ambassadors said on July 31 that despite their own political differences, they all believe that Mitt Romney “can be a great force for good in this nation.”

They explained that they are united in their support of Romney’s candidacy by the conviction that all Catholics are “called to advance the moral teachings of Christianity in the life of our country.”

Former ambassadors Frank Shakespeare, Tom Melady, Ray Flynn, Jim Nicholson, Francis Rooney and Mary Ann Glendon are the new national co-chairs of the Catholics for Romney coalition.

In a letter to fellow Catholics, the ambassadors said that while they are Democrats, Independents and Republicans, they are “united in faith and in action” with regards to the upcoming election.

“Where the stakes are highest – in the defense of life, liberty, and human dignity – we have a duty to act that is greater and more urgent than allegiance to any political party,” they explained.

The former diplomats – whose years of service range from 1986 to 2009 – said that no matter which issues become the focus of the presidential campaign in coming months, “our concerns lie with fundamental rights, beginning with religious liberty.”


Read the rest there.

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  1. Horatius says:

    I pray the President is about to meet his Waterloo.

  2. acardnal says:

    Amb. Shakespeare attends my parish here in the diocese of Madison.

  3. tonyfernandez says:

    I’m not a Romney supporter at all. Not that I a supporter of politicians at all for that matter, but if I did, Romney is not my guy. His support for the NDAA, his calling for more posturing/wars in the Middle East, and his implicit support of the nationalization of health care are all automatic disqualifiers for me. Oh well. I only hope that our secular government will one day loosen their grip on our lives.

    Psalm 117
    It is good to confide in the Lord, rather than to have confidence in man. It is good to trust in the Lord, rather than to trust in princes.

  4. Sissy says:

    Hi, tonyfernandez; I like the scripture verse you posted. So, do you support President Obama? Or do you think you’ll sit this one out?

  5. JonPatrick says:

    tonyfernandez, if you “hope that our secular government will loosen their grip on our lives”, then by implicitly supporting Obama you can say goodbye to that.

    I have issues with Romney also, I don’t necessarily trust him on life issues or even to repeal ObamaCare, but at least he is not a Marxist and believes in upholding the constitution unlike his opponent.

  6. tonyfernandez says:

    Hi Sissy. I support neither Romney nor Obama. They are both progressives in my mind, and in that sense, enemies of Christianity. The cult that they engender elicits the following and attention that would be better served working for our global church. The progressives of the early 1900s called it the religion of the state. When you look at the fundamental ideas of the progressives, you see no difference between Romney and Obama. Both support state-funded welfare (when this used to be provided by the Christian faithful and the church), both support secular education (when education used to be provided by the church), they both support warfare on a massive scale, etc. I cannot in good conscience vote for either of these politicians. Rather than the enthusiasm for these two, I wish instead that we could see an infusion of vigor back into parish life.

  7. Sissy says:

    tonyfernandez, thank you for your response. I appreciate it. I’m glad you aren’t planning to vote at all, given your convictions. I think it’s the right decision under the circumstances. Maybe you can write-in the name of someone you admire.

  8. Kathy C says:

    Whatever your opinion is on the Christianity of Mormons, a good Mormon has really great Christian values. There is room for legitimate disagreement on the Christian-ness of policies on foreign relations, health care, etc. Don’t let your focus on specific issues blind you to the big picture. Much better a somewhat squishy ally than a deadly enemy. Romney may decide his values lead him in a different direction than the one you’d like him to go in, but he is not your enemy. Make no doubt about it, Obama is your enemy.

  9. Sissy says:

    I agree with you post Kathy C. It has been my experience that Mormons make outstanding neighbors and employees (employers). While I do not agree with their religious beliefs, I do appreciate their sincere efforts to lead ethical lives. Mr. Romney is not my dream candidate either, but he’s a million times better than the alternative.

  10. Facta Non Verba says:

    The most compelling reason to vote for Romney is the federal bench. Romney will appoint strict constructionists to the federal judiciary, including the US Supreme Court.

  11. Sissy says:

    Facta Non Verba: Right you are! On that point alone, it is essential that Romney be elected.

  12. Johnno says:

    Conservative appointments in the courts are no longer a guarantee. Lest we forget it was a conservative Catholic judge who was the swing vote in favor of ObamaCare… err… Tax….

    Anyway, the Republican race ain’t technically over. Ron Paul has enough delgates for the nomination and to speak at Tampa, that is if the illegal anti-democratic activities of the Romney camp allow him to keep his validly elected delagates rather than resort to the Gestapo tactics they’ve currently been employing (after all this, can you honestly trust these folks to run your country either?) so that the establishment endorsed candidate gets to run against Obama, so no matter who wins their communist agendas still moves forward. The U.S. two party system has been hijacked and controlled by interests that don’t favor the American people, and the mainstream media is their happy lapdog. Also pay close attention to the current movement to audit the Federal Reserve.

    Voting for Romney would be a good strategy to prevent Obama in that he’s definately the lesser of two evils providing you have no other options, but Romney is not reliable, has many similar policies that match Obama, frankly voting him in is only goodmaybe enough to buy you time to come up with other solutions that don’t rely on the government. Or we can pray and support an actual worthy candidate who’s far superior to Romney to get the nomination to run against Obama. Don’t just let the powers that be tell you what 2 candidates you are allowed to vote from. Pick a better man to run against Obama and put a better man in office!

  13. mamajen says:

    Good, I guess, though it’s more than a little troubling that a group of Catholics associated with the Vatican is “bipartisan” and proud of it. I cannot imagine having anything to do with the Democrat party as a faithful Catholic.

  14. Sissy says:

    Johnno, you make good points. But it’s a lead-pipe cinch that Obama is going to appoint justices who will work to limit our freedoms. I think we have a much better chance of getting better justices with Romney. That’s about as far as I would go.

  15. moon1234 says:

    I am with the other posters who see Romney as just another Obama in different clothing. I don’t think he will change ANYTHING if elected. Obama promised “Hope and Change” and look where it got us? Repeal ObamaCare? It will NEVER happen, at least not under a Romney administration.

    Romney was pro-abortion until he was pro-life.
    Romney was pro single payer health care, until he wasn’t
    Romney was anti-2nd Ammendment (Actually signing gun ban bills in his state), until he wasn’t

    These politicians (Obama and Romney) are NOT to be trusted with anything. They are globalists who want to see a world government. They don’t believe in the individual and being able to support one’s self. They are in politicians for the money and power and nothing else.

    Ron Paul was really the only choice this election. I will be writing his name in. He is the only candidate who has PROVEN he will do what he says and we can trust him to do what he says.

    This country will decend into financial collapse during the next administration. It is a foregone conclusion. People are not getting raises, benefits cut, the cost of everything is going up. The government is spending more and more money on war, abortion and death. NONE of this will stop until SOMEONE stands up and says NO MORE.

    Do you think Obama or Romney will veto ANY spending bill on principal? No. They will “compromise” and more innocent people will die. Babylon was destroyed. Rome fell due to economic collapse, just like the US.

    Put your trust in GOD FIRST. We all know what happened to those who elected David their King. They ALL suffered for it!

  16. wmeyer says:

    moon1234: I do not trust either Obama or Romney. That said, the devil we know must be removed. The devil we do not yet know may prove to be less destructive.

    I cannot support those who will abstain from voting, nor those who will vote for a 3rd party. Like it or not, this is functionally a two party system, and votes for a 3rd party candidate generally reduce the strength of the more conservative vote. In other words, a vote for Ron Paul, or other 3rd party is effectively a vote for Obama.

    I am horribly confident that a second Obama term will be the end of the Republic.

  17. mamajen says:


    I share your frustration toward people who either do not vote at all or throw away their vote on a hopeless candidate. The time to support your ideal candidate is in the primaries. If he or she doesn’t make it to the general election, then it’s time to suck it up and do your duty to help elect the best candidate that can win. I am not at all convinced that people who throw away their votes escape culpability the way they think they do. I have never been a fan of Mitt Romney, but he is NOT Obama, and anyone who believes that it makes no difference who is elected is delusional. My husband would love to vote. He’s not a citizen yet, so he can’t. It makes me mad that people who do have that privilege waste it.

  18. Sissy says:

    Agree, mamajen and wmeyer. I figure if I can’t vote for Romney, I can at least vote against Obama.

  19. chantgirl says:

    I have a good number of friends who are libertarian and cannot understand why I will vote for Romney. I have told them that basically Obama is the Emperor and Romney is Darth Vader. Short of an act of God, we aren’t going to change Obama. Romney appears to have a conscience and his ideas have been evolving to the right. While far from my ideal candidate, he is the best shot at destroying the Presidency of Death that we have had, and the best chance of sane Supreme Court Justices.

  20. tonyfernandez says:

    Just a few responses. First about the federal judges. As was mentioned above, it really does not matter. John Roberts is the best example of this. Furthermore, the Republicans do not care about the constitution, just like the Democrats, they just pay lip service to it. After all, when was the last time a war was declared? And secondly, a much more general response. Some of the greatest advancements that our religion bequeathed to society were medicine, education, and charity. Yet look at what has happened to these institutions in the past 100 years. They have been completely nationalized. These were great tools to bring people into the church and get people involved in their faith. Charity was a huge institution and it was used as a tool to fix the lives of people, not just improve their material well-being. Now that it has been taken over by the government, money is given out blindly. Is it any surprise, as a result, that our culture is surely decaying? With education, parochial education and university systems were responsible for the education of many young people, and even offered a great education of the faith. It in any surprise, now that the government has taken it over, that many Catholics can’t even explain transubstantiation? With medicine, this was also used as a tool to bring people into the church and offer a great service at low cost. Is it any surprise, then, that after the government has taken it over, that medicine has been corrupted to serve the doctors, rather than the patients? These are three very pressing issues for me. Everywhere I look the government is looking to squeeze religion out of the functions it has provided for centuries. It is trying to replace religion as the main organizing structure of society and instead doing itself, instituting a kind of religion of the state (and for those who deny such an idea, can anyone tell me when was the last time that a politician was not glorified as some kind of idol but rather seen as the human that he is?). Neither Obama or Romney want to change anything fundamental about our system. Is either one going to abolish the department of education, welfare, medicare, student loans, medical licensing, etc.? Of course not. We only see small differences in tax policy, little difference in foreign policy, no difference with medicine (actions speak louder than words), no difference with economic policy, etc.

    This is why I can vote for neither of these politicians. Me voting for them would give them the impression that I support what they believe. Since I am vehemently opposed to progressivism and the deification of the state, I cannot vote for either. There is about a dime’s worth of difference between the two. I want a real shift in our political structure. Voting for either once just entrenches us in our status quo, the same status quo that is going to force Catholics to pay for abortions. That is just the beginning of the outright oppression of religion. The more insidious and quiet oppressions have been going on for more than a century.

  21. Facta Non Verba says:

    I think there is much wisdom to the simplistic sounding Buckley Rule: vote for the most conservative, viable candidate.

  22. The Cobbler says:

    ” Much better a somewhat squishy ally than a deadly enemy.”
    Cadswollop; squishy allies are what have opened the gates to our deadly enemies, but our deadly enemies may drive us at least to man up. Certainly one can’t actively support our deadly enemies, as manning up forbids us use of immoral means to any end; but if we would stop flying back to the squish that brought danger upon us whenever we are confronted with danger, we would be the better… in the long run anyway, and as a general rule, not necessarily without exception.

    For with that said, Romney is less unlikely than Obama to appoint supreme court justices with any philosophical or legal sanity, and due to the fact that our courts are judge over our government’s powers in this country that is perhaps the one thing that matters most ultimately (at least this four years, as several members of the supreme court are supposed to retire). As such I’ll recommend a vote for the squishy ally in this case as an exception of sorts, on the grounds that much hinges on the next few years above and beyond what hinges on your average four years in the life of the American nation and it is such circumstance that in it the difference between squishy friend and deadly enemy is unusually pronounced.

  23. Blaine says:

    @mamajen, wmeyer, etc.,

    I’m going to be very gentle about this, and do my very best to be charitable…

    Please don’t tell me to “suck it up and do my duty” to vote for a candidate I can’t trust. I’ve been sucking it up and doing my duty, on active duty in the Navy, since 2000. I drove nine hours today to attend the funeral tomorrow morning for a fallen shipmate who paid the ultimate price doing his duty in a foreign land most of you can’t find on a map. Everyday I work in an environment so dangerous it would make your head spin nd left my family on multiple deployments to miserable third world places because I raised my right hand to support and defend the Constitution for these United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic. It is my sacred right and duty to vote my conscious, and I will.

    Saying Mr. Romney is more conservative than President Obama isn’t enough. Mr. Romney’s record on the Second Amendment, abortion and the scope of government are abysmal (among other things). Not what he says now, but his actions. Also, the statement “not voting republican is essentially a vote for democrat” is an assault to logic. If I vote for neither, I show support for neither. I will not vote democrat, but I will not vote for a neo-conservative either. Oh, and the judge thing. Seriously? Who did President Bush appoint again?

    I don’t tell you who to vote for – don’t you dare presume you have the right to tell me. I will vote in accordance with my conscious, formed by my loyalty to the tenets of my faith and the Constitution which directs the nation I ACTIVELY serve.

    God bless the U.S.A., and God bless you both.

  24. Amy Giglio says:

    I missed Doug Kmiec’s name up there. Was that a typo? ;)

  25. Cathy says:

    While I refuse to give up my vote, I refuse as well to vote for Mr. Romney or Mr. Obama. Please do your homework on third parties, one I am especially interested in is America’s Party. They have a sound platform, and before anyone one says a third party has no chance, please remember that when the Republican Party was formed, it was a third party. Abraham Lincoln, who ran for POTUS in the Republican party did not have full ballot access, but he still won. Please, whatever you do, vote in the election!

  26. ReluctantLiberal says:

    I’m curious. Conservative Catholics, what do you think of both the Vatican and the USCCB declaring health care to be a basic human right?

  27. tonyfernandez says:

    I had not heard that ReluctantLiberal. Have a source? I’m skeptical of how a scarce good can be declared a human right. Rights, by definition, cannot be scarce, or else how could we have a right to them?

  28. ReluctantLiberal says:

    “25. The right to life implies and is linked to other human rights—to the basic goods that every human person needs to live and thrive. All the life issues are connected, for erosion of respect for the life of any individual or group in society necessarily diminishes respect for all life. The moral imperative to respond to the needs of our neighbors—basic needs such as food, shelter, health care, education, and meaningful work—is universally binding on our consciences and may be legitimately fulfilled by a variety of means. Catholics must seek the best ways to respond to these needs. As Blessed Pope John XXIII taught, “[Each of us] has the right to life, to bodily integrity, and to the means which are suitable for the proper development of life; these are primarily food, clothing, shelter, rest, medical care, and, finally, the necessary social services” (Pacem in Terris, no. 11)”

  29. Southern Catholic says:

    Ron Paul isn’t a great choice either, he is “strongly prolife” except in cases of rape or when the gender of the baby is unwanted. Lets not act like Paul hasn’t flipped on many issues, because he has, and he has held positions that contradict his stances.

  30. Imrahil says:

    That said, the devil we know must be removed. The devil we do not yet know may prove to be less destructive.

    Without reference to the present question, that does remind me of Hoffmann von Fallersleben:

    “God protect our worthy tyrant, our tyrant Dionys!
    Though of joy his reign is empty, and of sorrows full it is,
    still I pray: Long may he live! Ardent cry my prayer is:
    God protect our worthy tyrant, our tyrant Dionys!”

    An old lady in the temple said this prayer once back then,
    when the tyrant came along, asked what she was doing and
    said: “Pray tell my, dear old lady, what your prayer just has been?”
    “Well, I just went here for praying, for Your Majesty’s sake I went.

    When I was a girl in childhood, oft I worshipped hard to claim
    Oh dear God, give us a better! – but still worse the next was plain
    and there came a second, third one, always worse the tyrants came:
    So what I pray now is only: May God keep us at least the same.”

    (to the tune of Gott erhalte, which is today perhaps best known as the tune of the German anthem)

  31. Sissy says:

    Reluctant Liberal: I read you source material, and it says that “medical care” is a basic human right. And our law already guarantees that. No already born person can be legally denied medical care (although President Obama is on record as saying children who survive abortion should be excepted from that law).
    In the current climate, “health care” has an entirely different meaning. Typically, the government actually means “health insurance”, but sometimes, they mean abortion “services” or sterilizations. I don’t think Catholics consider abortions and sterilizations to be the kind of medical care Pope John XXIII was taking about, do you?

  32. wmeyer says:

    Sissy: Availability of medical care is one of the great canards in this current mess. In California between 1997 and 2004, 44 hospitals closed their doors forever, because they could not continue to provide uncompensated medical care to the flood of illegals which filled their ERs every day.

    My one difficulty with the bishops’ document on religious liberty is their use of the phrase undocumented immigrants. As immigration is a legal status, an immigrant is a person who is in that process. Illegal aliens are what is referred to by the phrase undocumented immigrants. I find it an offensive euphemism, as it is used to obfuscate the issue. In this instance, it masks a turning away from CCC 2241, which clearly documents the right and responsibility of a nation to establish a legal process for acceptance of immigrants, not to demolish borders.

  33. Sissy says:

    wmeyer: If I’m not mistaken, it is the official position of this administration that being in the US without permission is not actually against the law. You’ll notice they say things like “we’ll deport any immigrants who have committed a crime”. They do not acknowledge that being on US soil without permission is a crime in itself. I think Congress needs to clear up this ambiguity. This isn’t my area of law, but a close friend is an immigration lawyer in Miami. She assures me that there is no such thing as an “illegal alien”. I find this astonishing.

  34. wmeyer says:

    Sissy: to the limits of my own understanding, being here illegally is a misdemeanor, which is what they apparently mean is “not a crime”. However, working illegally, procuring and possessing forged identity documents, and using such documents to illegally gain employment are all felonies. Further, my understanding has been that each day an illegal reports for work constitutes a new offense.

    As to immigration lawyers, I remember being told years ago by a lawyer friend that they are the lowest in the pecking order among lawyers.

    It is my opinion that in law school, many confuse their ethical requirement to provide the best possible defense, and being able to argue either side of a case with the notion that right and wrong are mere abstracts.

  35. Sissy says:

    wmeyere: I won’t say what I think of immigration lawyers in general. My friend says they technically call it a “civil” action rather than criminal, and therefore, it is not a “crime”. That’s how they fudge it. You’re right; the first charge (if any) is a misdemeanor, in addition to the other offenses you name above. There are lots of loopholes for those, too. I’ve heard administration officials, specifically Janet Napolitano make the assertion that it’s not “crime” to be in the US without permission. Add to that the fact that the DOJ has advised prosecutors to use “discretion” in the civil actions (translation: don’t initiate them), and you can see why border states like Arizona thought they had to try to do something to address the issue.

  36. Sissy says:

    Amy Giglio said: “I missed Doug Kmiec’s name up there. Was that a typo? ;)”

    I’m guessing Doug is in a monastery somewhere doing penance. I’m sure he’ll be sure to sign up as soon as he finishes.

  37. wmeyer says:

    Sissy: I admire your restraint. ;)

    I continue to believe that CCC 2241 is the most equitable and succinct expression I have read of how immigration issues should be handled, on both sides. One of the things lost in the current arguments is that yes, Virginia, the immigrant or would-be immigrant has responsibilities and obligations, if and when accepted.

  38. Sissy says:

    wmeyer: That’s what I can never understand about US Bishops who go all in for the proposition that illegal immigration should be supported and encouraged in every way possible. I don’t see why all persons present in the US, regardless of status, shouldn’t be held to the same standards.

  39. wmeyer says:

    Sissy: I believe it derives from the nebulous term social justice, a term which makes me scream because it is most commonly used to justify suspending reason in the pursuit of warm fuzzy feelings for the speaker.

  40. PostCatholic says:

    It’s interesting to see Raymond Flynn on that list. He was the Democratic Mayor of Boston before being Clinton’s Vatican Ambassador. I believe that he opposed Romney’s run for Governor of Massachusetts. I guess he’s become more conservative in his age.

  41. Sissy says:

    wmeyer: Agreed. I view the phrase “social justice” on a church website as a warning sign to RUN. It’s code for, well, I don’t need to tell you.

  42. wmeyer says:

    Sissy: Well said. You should probably have a blog of your own ;)

  43. Sissy says:

    wmeyer: Ha ha! Thanks, but I have too much fun reading Fr. Z’s and chatting with his brilliant (mostly) guests.

  44. wmeyer says:

    Sissy, I understand. I spend more time here than in composing for my own.

  45. Sissy says:

    PostCatholic said: re: Raymond Flynn: “I guess he’s become more conservative in his age.”

    With age, comes wisdom.

  46. robtbrown says:

    ReluctantLiberal says:

    I’m curious. Conservative Catholics, what do you think of both the Vatican and the USCCB declaring health care to be a basic human right

    And Catholics have the right to Latin liturgy (which acc to Vat II, would be the majority of masses), well trained priests, and daily mass at every parish (and, no, juridical unification of two parishes into one does not count). Add bishops who keep celibacy, aren’t drunks, don’t use diocesan money to buy silence from a boyfriend, ensure the propagation of Catholic doctrine . . . you get the picture.

    Translation: Bishops have been very good in pointing out the flaws of the laity, but delinquent in addressing their own.

    Re the matter at hand: JXXIII wrote those words when comprehensive health insurance in the US cost no more than $5 a month, before the invention of so many expensive diagnostic and treatment procedures. Although I certainly agree that all people have a certain right to life’s necessary goods (incl health care), nevertheless, some questions are to be raised: Does everyone have equal right to sophisticated, expensive surgical procedures? Does someone like Charles Manson have the right to a heart transplant or coronary bypass surgery? Does a dying man have the right to, say, $300,000 worth of medicare resources in order to prolong his life for 3 months?

  47. robtbrown says:

    Should be: medical not medicare

  48. wmeyer says:

    ReluctantLiberal says:
    I’m curious. Conservative Catholics, what do you think of both the Vatican and the USCCB declaring health care to be a basic human right…

    The difficulty with this is that if health care is a basic human right, then delivery of health care becomes a basic human obligation. Upon whom shall this obligation fall? If upon physicians, then you assert that they must labor without compensation, which is unjust. If upon society at large, then you assert that we must pay a bill which cannot be quantified, which is not only unjust, but totally illogical.

    When free speech is declared a basic right, it implies no such problems. Similarly for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. All these are intangibles. Health care is a real service, tangible, and with real costs.

  49. Cathy says:

    I think we are on the brink of finding out the difference between basic health care and extraordinary intervention by the government/medical/insurance bureaucracies. We keep using the phrase, “affordable health care”, but, in terms of the act that was passed by our government, I don’t think we understand what that phrase means. I am getting older, as well as family and friends, and what I do understand, from experience, is that you do not want to leave a loved one in the hospital or at home by themselves, or even leave a family member acting as an advocate alone with the patient and the medical staff. My sister has been a nurse for more than thirty years. Suddenly, she sees her future not in a hospital setting, but closer to home to provide what will eventually be denied.

  50. ReluctantLiberal says:

    My source material refers to both “medical care” and “health care.” The distinction you’re making doesn’t really exist.

    JXXIII might have written those words a long time ago, but the document I’m citing from the USCCB was published last fall. I’m quite certain that they’re aware of the current cost of health care.

    I don’t know if it’s found in this document, but the Catholic Church has made distinctions between ordinary and extraordinary health interventions (the meaning of ordinary health intervention being defined by both place and time). I think help with medications was on the USCCB’s mind far more than heart surgery.

    So you’re registering disagreement with the USCCB, then? I’m not really interested in your Enlightenment inspired ideas of rights so much as how you deal with the fact that the Catholic Church hierarchy does not share them.

  51. Sissy says:

    Reluctant Liberal, my response was based on the quotation from Pacem in Terris, no 11, which is the authoritative statement. The statement from the USCCB is advisory for American Catholics, but not dogma, isn’t that right? Correct me if I’m wrong about that. The distinction between “health care” and “medical care” (which is what Pacem in Terris referenced) is very significant. Our government has decreed that “health care” includes contraception, abortion, and sterilization. I’ll ask you again: are abortion and sterilization examples of “health care” in your opinion?

  52. Sissy says:

    Cathy said: “you do not want to leave a loved one in the hospital or at home by themselves, or even leave a family member acting as an advocate alone with the patient and the medical staff.”

    This a critical issue, Cathy, that many have not yet realized (fortunately for them). My family has already had to endure the anquish of discovering after the fact that a relative was subjected to the American equivalent of the “Liverpool Pathway”. I’m afraid many more Americans are going to experience this horror. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

  53. wmeyer says:

    ReluctantLiberal: So you’re registering disagreement with the USCCB, then? I’m not really interested in your Enlightenment inspired ideas of rights so much as how you deal with the fact that the Catholic Church hierarchy does not share them.

    This is the sort of response which makes it so tedious to attempt rational discussion with liberals. You’ve indicated a lack of interest at the outset, so reply seems of limited value. As to the hierarchy, it is, so far, a portion of the hierarchy, and the document in question was not promulgated as an infallible teaching.

    There are many who apparently believe they are free to pick and choose which of the infallible teachings they will accept; I do not. That said, I do feel I can reasonably give preference to doctrine over regional documents.

  54. Sissy says:

    Reluctant Liberal said: “So you’re registering disagreement with the USCCB, then?”

    Is it impermissible to attach greater weight to a document written by a Pope than it’s interpretation by some portion of the USCCB? I’m a new Catholic; someone help me here.

  55. ReluctantLiberal says:

    We’re not really talking about my opinion. We’re talking about the Bishops’ opinion, and I don’t really think they would include those services as “health care,” and yet they still used that term. And if you only want me to refer to Pacem in Terris (which I find odd, since neither document was proclaimed infallibly, and the agreement of hundreds of bishops doesn’t seem much less worthy of note to me than the word of one Pope), then I refer you to, “the means which are suitable for the proper development of life.” This phrase would seem to indicate that more is required than simply being treated when you go to the emergency room, which is all that is currently required by law.

    Furthermore, JXXIII’s words were almost certainly translated from another language, which means making fine distinctions will almost certainly lead you into error unless you’re familiar with the original language. Again, I say the distinction you’re making does not exist.

  56. Sissy says:

    But Reluctant Liberal, “the means which are suitable for the proper development of life” is rather vague and subjective. I might think owning a MacBook Pro and free internet is necessary for the proper development of life. And the government (which is in charge of defining this “health care” the USCCB was asking for, says that abortion and sterilization are health care. You asked how conservatives feel about the USCCB statement and the quote from Pope John XXIII. And we told you: medical care is already provided as a right, and I can assure you, it goes far beyond emergency treatment.
    But the much more nebulous term “health care” that is being promoted today isn’t health care at all, as it turns out. You’re right: now that the USCCB has discovered to it’s horror what this administration thinks “health care” includes, they are suddenly upset. At any rate, I think your original question has been answered. You, on the other hand, have not answered my question: is abortion “health care”?

  57. PostCatholic says:

    Sissy, I think in Ray Flynn’s case it’s more likely to be senility with age, but it is nevertheless interesting to see him hop the fence. I think his anti-abortion politics must have made the difference.

  58. ReluctantLiberal says:

    I’m not willing to let the government define the terms the USCCB uses. I really don’t understand why you are.

    Subjectivity and vagueness allow for open discussion of issues that the bishops don’t want overstep their expertise on. Just because you find something the Catholic Church says vague doesn’t mean you get to ignore it.

    So what does “medical care” (or whatever Latin or Italian term was originally used) mean, then? What needs should “Catholics seek the best means” to respond to?

    If the woman and child will die if an abortion is not performed, then yes, that’s medical care. I don’t really see what my views about abortion have to do with this though. I don’t like Obamacare, I just find it hypocritical that conservative Catholics are frequently out of step with the bishops about defining “medical care” as a human right.

  59. Supertradmum says:

    ReluctantLiberal, the publications of the USCCB are opinions and not binding unless they contain and promulgate Vatican teaching. What is binding is Church doctrine from the Vatican. There are levels of the Teaching Magisterium of the Church. When the bishops write on social welfare, war, economics, etc., they are giving an opinion as a regional bishops’ conference which should be based on Vatican documents.

    The parts which cover the statements of the Curia, the various departments, called congregations are here listed.
    Doctrine of the Faith
    Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”
    Pontifical Biblical Commission
    International Theological Commission
    Interdicasterial Commission for the Catechism of the Catholic Church
    Oriental Churches
    Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
    Causes of Saints
    Evangelization of Peoples
    Pontifical Mission Societies
    (International Secretariats)
    Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
    Catholic Education
    Commission for Latin America

    As to the USCCB, I suggest you read all what they have published and compare their notes with Vatican documents. You might be a bit surprised.

    The heresy of Americanism is alive and well in America.

  60. Supertradmum says:

    wmeyer, A re-elected Obama will be the end of the Republic and if people can’t see it, they just don’t want to…

  61. Sissy says:

    Reluctant Liberal, the USCCB has been agitating for the government to provide universal “health care”. Which means the only definition that will apply is the one government chooses. Do you really think the USCCB is going to get their preferred definition enacted into law? If that is what they thought, they got a rude shock from Secretary Sebelious, didn’t they? Medical care, in the common sense usage Pope John XXIII would have intended meant “medical treatment”. And that is what individuals living in the US get when they need it.

    I’m assuming you aren’t in the medical profession, or you would know that an endless procession of obstetricians testified before a Congressional committee that there is never any medical situation under which a “woman will die if an abortion is not performed”. A woman might require a treatment that can potentially kill her unborn child. That is not an abortion. Our government has expressly decreed that an abortion for any reason or no reason is “health care”.

    In your last sentence, you completely changed the argument. Now you are accusing conservative Catholics of hypocrisy because they don’t agree with the USCCB that “medical care” is a human right. But your premise is unfair on two grounds. 1) I already told you that I do agree medical care is a human right, and pointed out to you that it is the law of the land (so what’s your beef?) and 2) the USCCB has not been arguing for medical care as a human right at all – that’s already a right in the US. The USCCB was arguing for government “health care” which they now have. I do NOT agree that what this government calls health care actually is, and neither do the Bishops! So, I guess the Bishops themselves are hypocrites according to your way of thinking. They don’t think abortion is health care, either, and want women to be “denied” these “services”. Go figure.

  62. LisaP. says:

    “I’m curious. Conservative Catholics, what do you think of both the Vatican and the USCCB declaring health care to be a basic human right…”

    One distinction, neither has declared anything to be a human right. They have declared that in their opinion certain things are human rights.

    You know, the old important perspective distinction — God gives rights, humans only recognize or fail to recognize them.

    I freely grant that I have little respect for what I’ve seen of the corporate personal opinions of American bishops in the last decade or more. I find the behavior and attitude of many of them to be as un-followable as any of the worst pre-Reformation Church leaders once were. I consider myself faithful to the teachings of Christ as passed through both scripture and the Church’s Magesterium. I would sincerely like to be able to look to any religious in the Catholic Church and consider his or her personal opinion well-considered and faithful, and be able to model my opinion on his or hers, but I have unfortunately not found this to be the case. You’re welcome to hold the opinion that this makes me a somewhat lesser Catholic, of course.

    I appreciate the quote you post, I have not read that encyclical and I should.

    [Each of us] has the right to life, to bodily integrity, and to the means which are suitable for the proper development of life; these are primarily food, clothing, shelter, rest, medical care, and, finally, the necessary social services” (Pacem in Terris, no. 11)”

    I find the bracketing interesting, anyone know what the real text is that it replaces? If we’re debating the meaning of terms like “care”, does anyone know the original language of this passage before translation? In any case, it seems to me self-evident that the Holy Father did not intend his reference to food to mean the government should buy everyone’s groceries, so I don’t know why his reference to medical care should mean he thinks a civil government should pay for everyone’s aspirins and doctor visits. I think many hard-core conservatives have a problem with even a safety net in social services — no government welfare assistance at all — and it seems this argues against that point of view, pointing out that as a society there is an obligation to work corporately to make sure the poor and weak do not starve or die for lack of antibiotics — which, of course, we already do. Even this, of course, a good Catholic is “allowed” to disagree with, but I don’t find it too much of a hurdle to go with a safety net system.

    So, that’s this conservative Catholic’s take on your question.

  63. Supertradmum says:

    Since 1848, Popes have declared on “human rights”, including freedom of education, labor laws, health, food, freedom from war, marriage, and of course, pro-life. The list is too long here, but look at the more recent addresses to the UN, apostolic letters and some encyclicals by Benedict XVII, John Paul II, Paul VI, John XXIII, Pius XII, and of course, Leo XIII, who should be canonized. There are more.

  64. LisaP. says:

    I’ll bow to folks better at language than myself, but to me the construction “declaring health care to be” implied the bishops were designating it as a right.

    Certainly I might over-read (or even just plain read stuff wrong).

  65. wmeyer says:

    LisaP: You have read it correctly. However, as SuperTradMum said: “…the publications of the USCCB are opinions and not binding unless they contain and promulgate Vatican teaching. What is binding is Church doctrine from the Vatican.”

    The opinions of the bishops are always of interest, but we are not bound to obedience by them.

    Even the pope, unless he intends to speak infallibly, is not binding us in his messages. There are particular formulations which the popes have used when putting forth an infallible teaching. An example, from Pope Pius XII is this:
    “Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which We have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.” — from Munificentissimus Deus, 1950

  66. Supertradmum says:

    wmeyer, however, and you know this, the signed and not leaked-too-early (remember the fiasco last fall) documents of the congregations have some binding on us. For example, Dominus Iesus and Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life…give us real and serious re-statements and update clarifications of old truths.

  67. Sissy says:

    I think maybe Reluctant Liberal incorrectly assumed that faithful Catholics are obligated to give as much weight and obedience to the declarations of Bishops as we do to the writings of the Pope. Otherwise, I can’t image why he thinks it’s “hypocritical” to assent to the latter but not necessarily the former. He doesn’t seem to realize that these two categories of writings are of unequal weight, as both wmeyer and Suprtradmum have tried to explain.

  68. wmeyer says:

    Supertradmum, yes, but thanks for the reminder about Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life, a document every Catholic in the U.S. should read, as the New Age perversions are so pervasive.

    Sissy, the further from Rome, the less the weight, in very rough terms. Keep in mind that we are all sinners, and all can make mistakes. It is instructive to study the history of the Church. Have you learned of Pope Honorius? He who was anathematized years after his death? Have you read of the many heresies, the schisms, and the frightening numbers of clergy who erred? All this is simply another reason we must learn all we can of our faith, of the long traditions, the essential dogma, councils, and so on.

  69. @Supertradmum,

    You wrote:

    the publications of the USCCB are opinions and not binding unless they contain and promulgate Vatican teaching.”

    As a relatively new Catholic, I am somewhat hesitant to weigh in, but it is my understanding that, in addition to those reiterating what is promulgated as binding by the Vatican, the published opinions of the USCCB are also binding in some significant degree if they are affirmed as such by one’s own Bishop, and are not if not so affirmed. If they are not so affirmed, they remain matters for personal reflection, and (often) prudential judgment. Anyone may fell free to correct me if I am mistaken in this understanding, but I seem to recall that this very issue has come up explicitly within the past year or so.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  70. acardnal says:

    The writings of the Vicar of Christ have more weight because he is gifted with special charisms. Bishops Conferences are not so gifted. Everyone should reading the writings of the popes! There are no special graces associated with the deliberations of the ecclesiastical conferences of bishops. Nor do they determine truth with regard to faith and morals.

    I do not give much weight to the statements of bishops conferences. Read again what you wrote:
    “the published opinions of the USCCB are also binding in some significant degree if they are affirmed as such by one’s own Bishop, and are not if not so affirmed. ” Does that make any sense?? If one bishop agrees with the statement then it is truthful. But if another bishop in your neighboring diocese does not then it is not truthful. Just saying. . . . .

  71. robtbrown says:

    ReluctantLiberal says,

    JXXIII might have written those words a long time ago, but the document I’m citing from the USCCB was published last fall. I’m quite certain that they’re aware of the current cost of health care.

    Of course, it was published last fall, nevertheless, the text from Pacem in terris is cited as an authority, which you implicity conceded is less valid.

    I don’t know if it’s found in this document, but the Catholic Church has made distinctions between ordinary and extraordinary health interventions (the meaning of ordinary health intervention being defined by both place and time). I think help with medications was on the USCCB’s mind far more than heart surgery.

    I wasn’t clear. I was not referring to extraordinary interventions but rather mostly to procedures such as surgeries and chemotherapy on terminal patients. And I don’t pretend to know the “mind” of the USCCB.

    I do think, however, that when bishops start dealing with moral matters that find their way into political prescriptions (rather than proscriptions), the result sometimes is a pie-in-the-sky text that doesn’t reflect much thought. Another example is “paying a living wage”.

  72. NescioQuid says:

    I’m interested to know what all you American readers here think of Bobby Jindal as VP for Romney. He seems to have solid healthcare reform ideas, is credited with great intelligence, and is a solid Catholic I hear. (A convert from Hinduism – no less interesting.)

  73. Sissy says:

    Hi NescioQuid: I’m not from Louisiana, so I have no firsthand information about what sort of job Governor Jindal has done. My friends from that state like him, and feel he has done well.

    He wouldn’t be my preference for VP, even though I agree with your evaluation. My reason for not choosing him would be that he doesn’t bring any additional votes with him, in my opinion. Louisiana is already a lock for Romney. So, I don’t see him adding a lot to the ticket, at least, not as much as another choice might. As a Virginian, my own choice would be our governor, Bob McDonnell, who is also a faithful Catholic, ardently pro-life (naturally), a good job creator, and a successful manager with executive experience and a strong energy policy. Virginia is the swing-state of all swing-states, and he is very popular here. Few VPs often don’t make the difference in actually bringing a significant number of votes along with them, but I think he might be the rare exception. So, in my personal opinion (admittedly biased), I favor Governor McDonnell. My gut tells me it will be a Midwesterner. We’ll see in a few weeks.

  74. Dave N. says:

    It’s one thing to hold your nose and vote for Romney and another entirely to actively run around supporting him. I used to have a lot of respect for Mary Ann Glendon too. How sad.

    Anyone who is naive enough to swallow the hoohaa that is spouted in the Book of Mormon—and who knows if Romney is a true believer, but it seems so—would make a scary president indeed.

    We have entered the political twilight zone.

  75. LisaP. says:

    I will be voting for Romney, but I have to confess if Jindal were on the ticket I’d do it smiling. May have me fooled, but he seems like a pretty outstanding guy.

  76. wmeyer says:

    Dave N.: Supporting Romney, whether or not one holds one’s nose, is the only viable path offered for removing Obama, which task is essential. Our choices are these:
    Obama second term by direct vote
    Obama second term by voting for 3rd party candidate
    Romney by vote, as means of removing Obama

    I know of only one precedent for a dramatic third party sweep, and that was the election of Bob Rae’s majority government in Ontario, Canada in 1990. What made it possible was a sudden huge decline in support for the incumbents. What makes it impossible here is the entrenched memberships in our two major parties, people who are exceedingly unlikely to register a protest vote.

  77. Dave N. says:


    Simply removing Obama from the presidency will not be the panacea for the U.S. that that Republican leaders have been making it out to be since 2009; our problems run much, much deeper than who is occupying the oval office. As one popular eCard has noted, this election is like trying to pick which STD you would prefer to have.

    It’s extremely difficult for me to see how prominent Catholics such as those listed in the article can reconcile the idea of Romney as “a great force for good in this nation” when the Book of Mormon explicitly condemns Christian churches, states their “founder is the devil,” and I think given the thinly-veiled stereotypical language used, most particularly condemns the Catholic Church. Ponder 1 Nephi 14:9-13 for example; I’m not seeing where exactly the Book of Mormon advances “the moral teachings of Christianity” and I don’t understand how Catholics could actively campaign for someone who is gullible enough to have bought into such nonsense, apparently hook, line and sinker. If the system has brought us no one to vote for, then there is no one to vote for. Such has been the case many times in history.

  78. Supertradmum says:

    Jack Aubrey in the movie…Master and Commander: “Do you not know that in the service … one must always choose the lesser of two weevils?”

    Romney would not destroy the republic on purpose. Obama wills to do so.

  79. Dave N. says:

    I think one of points of being a Christian is to not intentionally choose evil at all—greater or lesser.

    As for choosing weevils, I have no expertise.

  80. Imrahil says:

    I think one of points of being a Christian is to not intentionally choose evil at all.

    But to vote for somebody does not mean to acclaim him totally. Roughly said, a Christian may but must not vote for the lesser evil.

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