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Keep Your Catholicism a Secret!

June 24, AD2013 27 Comments

Howard

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi has made a fool of herself again in public but just in time, she gives relevance to this article that I have been working on. Do those politicians really have any idea what they are talking about? They claim that their Catholicism is firm, but find it inappropriate to “impose” it on others. They take an active public role that requires them to support the exact opposite basic moral teaching, and — impose it on others.

Are they just crossing their fingers behind their back like a child playing a game? I think that they have talked themselves into believing that this kind of public position can be reasonable. How did this peculiar nonsensical attitude come about?

I am referring to the more visible and persistent ones like Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Joe Biden, Terry McAuliffe former DNC Chairman, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, New York governor Andrew Cuomo…do I have room to continue the list? Pelosi is a special case in that she seems want to revive the old structure that existed during the breakup of the Roman Empire and update it to Princess-bishopric with her “Catholic friends”. It smacks of the later Reformation except the difference is that she supports contra-faith beliefs and Martin Luther objected to them. Biden has indicated that he has pursued a political career keeping his Catholicism [God’s truth] out of it.

I have managed to live a reasonably long life (thank you Lord) and have successfully supported a family and nursed a wife through illness. Retirement income and being reasonably free of illness myself (thank you Lord) has allowed me shift my thinking from mostly survival mode to a more luxurious contemplation mode. In this mode, a person begins to wonder about some of the things he heard in his lifetime, but did not really fully comprehend. Strange sounding ideas coming from adult leaders of our society. So many strange sounding ideas in almost three quarters of a century.

Well it is time to try and understand this one:

Being Catholic and NOT being Catholic at the same time.

Probably the best sources for some understanding would be the sources of authority in politics often referred to for this strange phenomenon, the late Senator Ted Kennedy and his brother fondly known as JFK (John F. Kennedy).

I meet Ted Kennedy briefly years ago when he and his first wife, Joan, were given a tour of the Peace Corps camp Crozier in Puerto Rico. This was 1962 and I was training for a school building project in Gabon, West Africa. He had just been elected to fill his brother’s vacated senate seat, then president John F. Kennedy, in a special election after two years of an appointed “seat warmer” Benjamin A. Smith II. It was necessary to use Mr. Smith strategically because Ted Kennedy was not yet old enough to run.

I recall that there was something unsettling about Kennedy in person. He did not seem to be exceptional and I felt that it was not quite right to run American politics as a family business. Often party and name takes precedence, as George Cabot Lodge II (Republican, also a family carry forward) came the closest to beating Ted Kennedy for this seat.

Ted Kennedy is gone now after a long career in federal government service. I was not a fan of his as you have read, I did however especially admire his brother-in-law Sargent Schriver the first Peace Corps Director, whom I was provilaged to meet and talk with. Shriver was, according to a son, a daily Catholic Mass attendee even when traveling. The three Kennedy brothers (to include Robert F. Kennedy) and Schriver had a strong influence on American life. They are remembered still in recent American history (after JFK’s congressional and senate career) from his presidential win in 1960 to the present day. JFK’s time as president had many good features and I am only concentrating on his Catholicism here as it pertains to politics.

JFK’s Famous Speech.

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference……….. where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind………Whatever issue may come before me as president — on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject — I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressures or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.

(John F. Kennedy, Speech to Greater Houston Ministerial Association, 1960 – bold added to text, selected portions of speech shown)

This speech of John Kennedy appeased those who were afraid of direct involvement in American politics by the Vatican. How he would be an employee of the pope who would call John directly about some passport problem or lack of FBI interest in enforcement of some aspect of Canon law, and John would fix it. Of course this kind of allegiance means that the Protestant ministers of the South would probably have had to leave a message with the White House operator.

But, this speech leaves one wondering exactly what he meant or even if he knew more fully what he was saying. What I think he said is this, His conscience will guide him and if it differs from Church teaching he will disregard that teaching. Was he saying that his conscience was not formed by Catholic teaching? On what magnitude or importance of a problem would he disregard Church teaching? Everything? In other words was he declaring that he would, if elected, ignore God’s law substituting secular thinking and thus lead a large population to ignore the lesson of Genesis 3?

He did not approve of religious groups voting as a block. So what about political groups or blocks? Political party leaders and the numerous special interest group lobbyists in Washington can be allowed to pressure anyone. It is not block action or influence he did not like, it was from a particular group.

So that leaves the question, how does he justify ignoring God’s will and then claiming to want to follow his will by calling himself Catholic? This is an understandable state of human existence when we look to our own lives. We all must examine our consciences and reconcile ourselves to God. But, what we are understanding here is a rule or an accepted behavior being proposed, not a failure to abide. Isn’t what he was saying the same as, I am Catholic when I want to be, and that is acceptable behavior? What about non-negotiable issues? Does this just mean that whatever religious affiliation may have shaped your life, gave it meaning and clarity, doesn’t matter in order to get elected? Or is it true that there is no pretense at all.

Maybe Ted Kennedy Can Help Us Understand Better.

Ted Kennedy gives us some insight into this quandary by trying to fill in some detail. In 1983 (erroneously when last checked attributed to 1969 here) he gave a speech at Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty College regarding religion and politics in America. This speech tries to give a more detailed reasoning in order to ease the conscience of those who wish to trade their religious dogma for a political career.

President Kennedy, who said that “no religious body should seek to impose its will,” also urged religious leaders to state their views and give their commitment when the public debate involved ethical issues. In drawing the line between imposed will and essential witness, we keep church and state separate, and at the same time we recognize that the City of God should speak to the civic duties of men and women.

(Ted Kennedy, Liberty College speech, 1983 – bold added to text)

So, exactly how “imposed will” works in politics I can only guess means the imposition of law as opposed to “witness”, which means just speaking about an issue. If this is so, we are left with not only a Church but religious individuals who are restricted to wanting a law dealing with a moral issue but can’t say so. For example: We can speak about the misery that rape causes but we would be restricted from declaring support for a law against rape! Absurd.

He continues:

The real transgression occurs when religion wants government to tell citizens how to live uniquely personal parts of their lives. The failure of Prohibition proves the futility of such an attempt when a majority or even a substantial minority happens to disagree. Some questions may be inherently individual ones, or people may be sharply divided about whether they are. In such cases, like Prohibition and abortion, the proper role of religion is to appeal to the conscience of the individual, not the coercive power of the state. But there are other questions which are inherently public in nature, which we must decide together as a nation, and where religion and religious values can and should speak to our common conscience. The issue of nuclear war is a compelling example. It is a moral issue; it will be decided by government, not by each individual; and to give any effect to the moral values of their creed, people of faith must speak directly about public policy.

Now Do We Understand?

We have now some understanding of how the Kennedy approach works, you define those things which you consider have to do with the individual only, and declare those things off limits to governmental action – hence you as a government official have no right to interfere regardless of your religions teachings.

Sounds nice and neat until we realize that the declaration that an issue is “uniquely personal” can be faulty according to a person’s faith teaching or any other source of moral understanding. Such is the case with abortion. It is very clear in Catholic teaching that an unborn is a human person that has a right to life, it was clear in 1960 and 1983.

(Catechism of the Catholic Church or CCC)

1959 The natural law, the Creator’s very good work, provides the solid foundation on which man can build the structure of moral rules to guide his choices. It also provides the indispensable moral foundation for building the human community. Finally, it provides the necessary basis for the civil law with which it is connected, whether by a reflection that draws conclusions from its principles, or by additions of a positive and juridical nature.

1960 The precepts of natural law are not perceived by everyone clearly and immediately. In the present situation sinful man needs grace and revelation so moral and religious truths may be known “by everyone with facility, with firm certainty and with no admixture of error.”The natural law provides revealed law and grace with a foundation prepared by God and in accordance with the work of the Spirit.

In the speech, Ted Kennedy also tried to provide a set of four rules for determining when it is proper to apply a conscience formed by religious values. This attempt to legislate outside of the legislature, or simply moralize, put Mr. Kennedy in the position of trying to redefine the role of the Church in American life. He also seemed to be creating rules that only apply to religion, it is unclear that if a lawmaker was in favor of Prohibition and was not religious or could have been an atheist, if it would be alright to support Prohibition because he wanted to stop drunkenness and the harm it causes to innocent people.

In the first rule, he cautioned people when speaking from religions authority (such as the Bible), that a person interpret correctly, and gives some examples of his interpretation as a guide to correctness. He proceeded to define what is an acceptable name to give to a religious organization and then he self-righteously warned against being self-righteous.

Second, he says that honest conviction is the only justification a person needs in order to legitimately disagree with the Catholic Church. Of course the Church has a different teaching on this:

CCC 88 – The Church’s Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging the Christian people to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these.

Third, he did not like phantom issues or false charges and he would let us know which was which. Apparently this test was ignored in later election campaigns by most politicians, presumably because it was meant only for religious people.

Fourth, with some justification I think he said we must respect the motives of those who disagree. This advice has also generally been disregarded in later election campaigns as it was in 1983 during the presidencyor Ronald Reagan.

What Have We Learned?

So, I come away from these explanations for a wall of separation between the Catholic life and the rest of the world unconvinced that they are meaningful rules at all! I see those speeches as just generalized appeasement nonsense for political ends that has soaked into the American consciences to her detriment.

I do however like at least one sentence of Ted Kennedy’s speech were he said, “Separation of church and state cannot mean an absolute separation between moral principles and political power.” Did either of them really need to say anything more?

This Man Said It Best of All.

And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. (George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796)

© 2013. Howard Duncan. All Rights Reserved.

About the Author:

Howard Lee Duncan is a senior citizen widower in his 8th decade of life (70s) who was married for 36 years to his only wife Jill. He lives on 40 acres of the Great Basin Desert in an owner built solar powered home. He has three children who have left the nest and are now too far away. After an Episcopalian childhood, his teen years brought on the disease of agnosticism with occasional bouts of atheism. He entered the Church in 2010 and says he has felt at home ever since. His working life included Forest Fire Truck Driver, Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa building schools, Motion Picture Cameraman in industrial films and while in the U.S. Army, production assistant to a Producer in Hollywood, Professional Still Photographer, Photo Lab Technician, Postal Service Letter Carrier, Computer Systems Analyst in business and government, Computer Consulting, Owner of an Internet business, Web site creation. His educational background is mostly self directed reading and experiential but does include; A graduate of the London School of Film Technique, London, England, AA degree in Business Data Processing with an additional course in accounting, Seminars and technical classes. He now spends his days in local parish church work and Right to Life groups, Internet conversations with new friends and old enemies of the Church.

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  • The Ordinary Catholic

    I think one of the biggest mistakes we make is to allow others to frame questions or thoughts in a certain way that insures ambiguity, a false premise or in a subtle fashion, guides those to whom the question is asked down a path that can only be answered favorably on the side of the person asking the question. I would call this(sort of) ‘leading the witness’. Also, why are we allowing another to dictate which rules we need to adhere to in discussing issues? From the start, this puts a person who does have religious convictions behind the 8 ball as to how to argue a position without recourse to his faith formed conscience. Utterly ridiculous.

    An example of this is T. Kennedy’s attempt to set ground rules as to what role a person’s faith has or does not have in politics. Who was T. Kennedy that allowed him to usurp the authority as to control what can be discussed and in what manner, and what is considered acceptable in a debate? He presumed much, especially of his self imposed authority he placed on his mere opinion over the opinions of others. .

    Your quote from George Washington shows us that from its earliest foundation religious faith had a major role in forming our nation and that the founding fathers held religious convictions in high regard rather than the contempt that it now holds from the enlightened ones. Good post Howard.

    We have
    now some understanding of how the Kennedy approach works, you define
    those things which you consider have to do with the individual only, and
    declare those things off limits to governmental action – hence you as a
    government official have no right to interfere regardless of your
    religions teachings. – See more at:
    http://catholicstand.com/keep-your-catholicism-a-secret/#sthash.7P16HGfn.dpuf
    We have
    now some understanding of how the Kennedy approach works, you define
    those things which you consider have to do with the individual only, and
    declare those things off limits to governmental action – hence you as a
    government official have no right to interfere regardless of your
    religions teachings. – See more at:
    http://catholicstand.com/keep-your-catholicism-a-secret/#sthash.7P16HGfn.dpuf

    • The Ordinary Catholic

      Not sure what happened but the last two paragraphs don’t belong there.

    • http://stacytrasancos.com/ Stacy Trasancos

      Hmm? You should be able to edit your comment and remove them.

    • The Ordinary Catholic

      Stacy I looked for the ‘edit’ but could not find one. Weird.

  • hammar22

    These people live their own religion which is liberalism. They pretend to be Catholic but you can’t attend Mass one moment and the next praise abortion and planned parenthood which kills children for your tax dollars any moment of the day or night!

    That is the complete opposite of Christ Crucified and blasphemy.

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  • Howard

    Thank you for commenting. In the last election, during a debate, I heard Joe Biden refer to JFK’s speech. We live in a time when there seems to be no shame in ignoring reason – I am assuming that reason is even recognized.

    • guest

      We also live in a time when people we disagree with are lazily dismissed as lacking “reason.” I am anti-abortion myself, but I don’t think it is particularly helpful to impugn pro-choice Catholics as irrational, unless we’re just interested in preaching to the choir. I suspect that the Bidens, Pelosis, Cuomos, etc are actually pretty reasonable people, especially given their success in life. And I often wonder if those of us who are pro-life are perhaps a bit too proud of ourselves. For example, if we believe that abortion is murder, how reasonable is it for the vast majority of us to do almost nothing (other than write letters and pray outside of clinics) to stop it? If our tepid response is not irrational, it may at the very least be described as cowardly.

    • Howard

      I am sure that you have read the sentence where I said that
      I was restricting my comments to the issue I discussed. It would be a mistake to say that I am claiming that any of these people are irrational in all other ways – they may be, I am not claiming that. If Ted Kennedy can spend an entire speech telling others where he thought they were wrong, I see nothing special about his position that would not allow others to do the same. These folks are public officials, their actions are in our name and thus subject to our judgement.

      When these people say out loud at Mass, “…I believe
      in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church….” they are professing
      their belief that our Church teaches since the founding, that She teaches truth through it’s magisterium guided by the Holy Spirit.

      CCC 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.”

      If one of these public servants disagrees with this teaching
      let them say so, and as a consequence be at odds with the Church, but, it is irrational to pretend that they are in agreement when they are not.

    • Howard

      If you understand the history of the pro-life movement you will understand our “tepid” response. Years ago when clinics were bombed and doctors were shot, federal legislation (sponsored by Ted Kennedy by the way) brought the federal government into the issue with prison time as a result.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_Access_to_Clinic_Entrances_Act

      This has caused pro-life persons to moderate their actions or be put out of action.

      We do what we can.

    • guest

      Maybe that is enough for you, but I still wonder for myself if I’m justified in not doing more. If you understand the history of human and civil rights, you know that, to paraphrase a famous line, sometimes the place for a just man is prison. What would our faith be today if St. Paul didn’t demonstrate exactly that. We claim that abortion is the murder of innocent children. If you knew your neighbor was about to kill her young child, would you sit in the house and do nothing? Or just stand outside the door and pray? Or would you bust it down and do your best to save the child? I suppose one could argue that in this scenario, the woman is breaking the law, but with abortions they are not. But then that begs the question, which law is most important to us? God’s or Man’s? I fear that God will judge us for saying the right lines but being too cowardly to back them up.

    • Howard

      You bring up a very good question, one hard to answer with one voice. I will say this, your example is different in this respect, the law and public sympathy will be on your side.

      Just as the federal law I cited is a result of pro-lifers trying to stop legal acts using force, law will be used ever more harshly for future physical involvement. This also will drive public perception of the issue.

      I personally am more comfortable with a the larger view that the sure route to success is in convincing the public using peaceful means, humility as in the 40 Days For Life approach, in order to gain more respect.

  • Howard

    Fr. Pavone on Fox News and a letter to N. Pelosi this last weekend.

    “A public servant should know the difference between serving the public and killing the public.”

    http://www.lifenews.com/2013/06/24/priest-challenges-pelosi-condemn-abortion-or-quit-the-catholic-church/

  • Diane McKelva

    ‘hammer22′ ….nailed it. Pardon the pun…. you said, “These people live their own religion which is liberalism.” Amen! And Howard, excellent read. Really makes you stop and think about how these Catholic politicians can reconcile their allegiance.

    • Howard

      Thanks Diane.

    • guest

      I don’t think hammer22 nailed it at all. People go to mass and then leave to commit sins all the time. Since when is going to mass somehow a perfect prescription for not making any mistakes or not misunderstanding doctrine or not succumbing to the temptations of this world? The notion that hammer22 and others have the authority to judge that liberal Catholics are just “pretending” to have faith may very likely be a sign of sinful arrogance. Let us meet our liberal Catholic brethren where they are and do our best to change their minds, including – and most importantly, praying for them. When I read all the attacks on liberal Catholics on this site, I wonder what would happen if we spent as much time praying for liberal Catholics as we do insulting them.

    • Diane McKelva

      Thank you for commenting. However, please allow me to clarify…..I do not judge, Guest. Sidebar to this discussion….. I do know that not all people who attend Church go there to find God or salvation. I have had professional people admit to me quite proudly that they only joined a particular parish, because of the “great connections” for business or political gain. That’s not to say that every politician or successful businessman does the same. Yet, “pretending” to have faith serves some people.

      No one here is casting judgment. To judge someone requires you also sentence them to punishment. No one here does that. We only share observations and engage in discussions intended to grow in knowledge and understanding. Of course, we pray for fellow Catholics who are conflicted in their faith. There is a distinct dichotomy in the character of anyone who says “I’m Catholic and I’m Liberal.” The two entities are in direct opposition to one another. It’s tantamount to saying, “I’m Pro-Life, but support abortion under certain circumstances.” Then you can’t be Pro-Life with conditions. You can’t be Catholic with conditions either.

      That’s all we are saying here. If you are Catholic and support a Liberal agenda, you are not an authentic Catholic. You are a self-proclaimed Cafeteria Catholic. You are redefining your faith to suit your agenda. That’s not how it works.

      People who serve in public office and who are professed Catholics really need to think long and hard before using their Catholic faith as a prism to diffuse the light of their agenda. Nancy Pelosi does it quite well. She tries to justify her position by reminding people that she’s a Catholic when her position is diametrically opposed to Church doctrine. It’s as if she feels that she has the power to change the Church’s position on matters. If anything, her stance and comments further confuse a perplexed Christian community who see Catholic’s in a dim light.

      Again, those who serve in public office have a moral obligation to serve God first, not man. That statement is Scriptural.

      What do you think?

    • guest

      Thanks for your clarification. I don’t really understand why someone has to have power of punishment in order to “judge,” but this is probably just a matter of semantics. The comment was claiming to know the heart of every “liberal” Catholic and labeling them “pretenders.” It is an insult that can’t possibly be based on knowledge of every “liberal” Catholic.

      In general your view of the conflict between Liberalism and Catholicism strikes me as too simplistic. As I read the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church and encyclicals dealing with political issues, I don’t see a Church that is wholly antagonistic to liberal ideas – quite the opposite in fact. The USCCB often takes positions – on issues like economic justice, workers’ rights, health care, immigration, etc. which are more “liberal” than conservative.

      And as I listen to people like Nancy Pelosi on issues like abortion, I don’t hear them claiming to have the power to change Church doctrine. I hear them trying to navigate complicated waters of being a Catholic politician in a religiously diverse country. I don’t agree with their conclusion on abortion policy, but I don’t feel qualified to tell her and others they are not real Catholics. And I wouldn’t tell all the conservative Catholic pundits that rail against Catholic positions on torture, weapons of mass destruction, just war, unions, immigration, and the social safety net that they aren’t Catholic either.

      By the way, why is it always Nancy Pelosi or the Kennedys or other Democrats? Why don’t people attack guys like Giuliani more often- a pro-abortionist for most of his political career who also lived with a homosexual couple while going through his divorce? Somehow he and other conservative Catholics seem to be spared the harsh words so often. Similarly, where was all the outrage when Paul Ryan said he would promote the position of his running mate vis-a-vis abortion, which would have allowed for a large number of exceptions, ie, murders? Why wasn’t he widely accused of not being Catholic for compromising his personal position?

      The problem is we need to stop pretending that our Faith can be pidgeon-holed into the American political paradigm of liberal and conservative. Everything you said about Catholic and Liberal can be said about Catholic and Conservative, depending on the issue.

    • Howard

      Guest, I think what Diane is referring to is Matthew 7:1-5, “Judge not, that you be not judged.”, where we have the lesson on how to judge others. We must decide behaviors and consider issues in our lives, this requires judging. We must be careful that when we judge others we understand that God will apply the same reward to us if we are also guilty.

      Regarding Pelosi, it is very clear that she is assuming the power to DECLARE not only Church doctrine but dogma. Her approach to religion is the same one she uses in politics, what “man” thinks is best is what should prevail. In other words lets take a vote on the issue. This comes through her statements loudly.

    • Guest

      Pelosi is not declaring dogma. I’m not defending her position, but your characterization of her is absurd. She’s a politician in a religiously pluralistic society and her opinion about what religious principles should be enforced by law differs from yours and mine. That’s it. It’s bad enough that she’s promoting abortion, but we don’t have to turn her into a wacko who thinks she sits on the throne of St. Peter. And again Pelosi is singled out and conservatives get a pass. When we single out only Democrats or Liberals, we look like we are also guilty of putting politics over religion.

    • Howard

      A reporter asked Pelosi recently regarding the Gosnell
      case, “What’s the moral difference between 26 weeks elective
      abortion and killing of that same infant born alive?”

      Her answer, “As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics.”

      She is saying to non-Catholics that she is being a good Catholic in this attitude. It directly contradicts the magisterium, gives scandal, and insists that her judgement is final regarding dogma. This is the prerogative of the Chair of St. Peter.

      She has repeatedly preached the case of “women’s choice”, code for the legal right to kill her unborn child. It is exactly what I have discussed above in my article. Politics is not
      exempt from God’s reach. These people are trying to create a separate morality (sacred ground) that is defined by law, and ultimately defined by man. She is openly at odds with Church teaching about more than this issue.

      Liberal and Conservative are generally used descriptions
      of the political population. They are very accurate in today’s
      climate. General terms are not meant to be perfectly descriptive, just reasonably so. The subjects of my article are the ones who stand out today in politics that I feel have and have had the most influence. If you would like to criticize a conservative that is as prominent, I have no problem. The issue is the important thing.

    • Guest

      I agree that it gives scandal, but it sounds to me like she’s trying to avoid the issue, not make a declaration of dogma. But I think we’re veering into a silly battle of semantics here. You say that your subjects are those that stand out “today”, yet your article is largely historical in nature. So to be fair (and not overly ideological), I would think Rudy Giuliani’s stance on abortion, and living with a gay couple while going through a divorce would merit at least a footnote. Doesn’t it give scandal that he would receive communion while promoting abortion rights AND marrying for a third time without the proper annulments? Somehow among most conservative Catholics his scandals get mostly just a wink and a nod. I would also include Paul Ryan, who said he would promote his running mates’ much softer line on abortion rather than his Catholic one. Obviously this is not as severe as Pelosi or Giuliani’s error, but since we’re talking about murder here, it’s serious enough. And if we were to venture into just war territory (CCC2307-2317), and the Church’s admonition against torture, weapons of mass destruction, etc., we could find all sorts of conservative politicians giving scandal with their words and deeds.

    • Howard

      Whoa Guest, I’m not writing the history of the world here.

      My historical references are the ones that have had the most influence on today’s politicians. JFK’s speech is still used as an authority today – I gave the example in a comment box about Joe Biden in the 2012 election. I had no intent to
      make a broad article about the history of politics and the Church, I went over the desired size as is.

      I rarely hear Rudy Giuliani’s name mentioned. He may be important to New York City but I live far from there and really don’t care. Yesterday he testified before the House Homeland Security Committee and I guess that was appropriate because he was mayor during the 9/11 troubles. I abhor any public display of his personal problems and certainly can see how his soul would be in danger. If he becomes an
      influence as great as the people I mentioned, I will certainly
      discuss him also. He is not making national policy or anywhere near the position of power as Pelosi.

      With her, it is a problem of understanding her not semantics. “I don’t think it (abortion) should have anything to do with politics.” is a statement that declares that if your morality is supported by or derived from the Catholic Church then a moral judgment that deals with abortion is not valid in
      politics. That is a statement that also declares in the same way that politics is exempt from sin. This is not the first time she has stepped in do-do making statements that give the impression that she is free to make her own determination of sin.

      I think you are trying to give her a pass, she does not deserve one.

    • Howard

      This email was sent today from 40 Days
      For Life. It is encouraging to those who only pray.

      “Dear Howard,

      Since the last 40 Days for Life ended in March, four
      more abortion centers — which were sites of 40 Days
      for Life campaigns — have CLOSED their doors for good!

      Shortly after the campaign, volunteers learned that a
      late-term abortion facility in Sacramento, California
      — where multiple 40 Days for Life prayer vigils had
      been held outside — had gone out of business.

      Just a few weeks later, a Planned Parenthood abortion
      center in Kenmore, Washington — where two 40 Days for
      Life vigils have been held outside — announced its
      permanent closure.

      Then an abortion center in Toledo, Ohio … that had
      seen SIX 40 Days for Life vigils in the public right-
      of-way outside … turned out the lights and locked
      the doors.

      And then it was a Fairfax, Virginia abortion facility
      … where TEN 40 Days for Life campaigns were held.

      All of them — CLOSED! To God be the glory!

      That now makes 37 abortion facilities … where people
      of faith have prayed and fasted outside during 40 Days
      for Life vigils … that have shut down.”

    • Diane McKelva

      Guest, you said, “The problem is we need to stop pretending that our Faith can be pidgeon-holed into the American political paradigm of liberal and conservative. Everything you said about Catholic and Liberal can be said about Catholic and Conservative, depending on the issue.”

      Personally, I don’t presume to know anyone’s heart or ulterior motive in politics or life. However, I do know that whether you call yourself Catholic, Protestant, Liberal, Conservative, Democrat, Republican or Libertarian, you can only serve one master. And that master is either God, man or yourself.

      Paul wrote to the Colossians (3:23-24) – – – “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

      We all have a duty, an obligation, a divine calling, to service God first. Scripture tells us that we cannot serve two masters. Likewise, it just doesn’t congeal that someone can support abortion, the killing of the innocents, and say that they are Catholic, believe in Christ and his teachings.

      In discussing this topic with you, you have made me stop and give greater thought to the real issue here. So many people want to push a square peg into a round hole. They seem driven by the fact that if they push hard and long enough the two pieces will fit. However, there is no conceivable way that a Catholic who supports and promotes a liberal agenda can have their eyes focused clearly on Christ. Thus, they are not doing God’s work, but man’s work. They are striving to make all things equal in this world, when clearly Scripture tells us that are no equals. God comes first and last. Thus God’s teachings will always overrule man’s agenda.

      I trust that this discussion has given you food for thought, as it has done for me. I will continue to pray for discernment on this topic and perhaps produce an article with more findings.

      Peace be with you,
      Diane ^i^

    • Guest

      Thanks for your thoughts. I agree with just about all of it, but am befuddled as to why you insist on singling out liberals, and thus imply that one could promote a conservative agenda and be clearly focused on Christ. I certainly agree that conservatives are on the right side of the crucial abortion and marriage debates, but there are many other issues the Church cares about.
      Peace be with you too.