Vatican condemns Pres. Obama’s reversal of Mexico City Policy

January 27, 2009 by Taylor Marshall  
Filed under Faith, Headlines

Obama tried to reverse the Mexico City “gag rule” against funding overseas agencies that perform or promote abortion. Now the Vatican is blowing the whistle.

Time magazine has the full story.

Hat tip to Dwight Lindley.

               

Newt Gingrich to become Catholic

November 19, 2008 by Taylor Marshall  
Filed under Faith, Headlines, Politics

Newt Gingrich is preparing to enter the Catholic Church at Easter of 2009.

               

American Catholic bishops weighing in on American politics

November 16, 2008 by Eric James Wilson  
Filed under Faith, Headlines, Politics

Last week, the American bishops of the Catholic Church wrapped up a crucial meeting in the midst of what has turned out to be a very busy fall. With hundreds of bishops speaking about the need to vote with properly formed consciences and the extent to which a candidates’ stance on the issue of abortion should inform an individual’s vote, there was great interest in their Fall General Assembly.

It is too early, as some may have expected, for the bishops to address the question which has been hotly debated in Catholic circles. That question is, of course, whether Catholics can vote, in good conscience, for a candidate for office who supports abortion when another, pro-life alternative candidate exists. Of course, this is a terse summary of the situation surrounding Catholics and abortion. A number of similar questions require answers, such as can “Pope John XXIII Catholic” Vice President-Elect Joe Biden and “ardent, practicing Catholic” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi be said to be faithful Catholics despite their efforts to flout Church teachings on critical moral issues?

I think we will all benefit from time to decompress from the effects of the campaign’s heated and divisive rhetoric before we examine these questions as they relate to the Obama Presidency. Indeed, time alone may reveal that President-Elect Obama’s promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) “first thing” as President was political pandering to the radical Left, and his personal ambition and political deftness (as well as our prayers) may drive him to the center on the issue of life. *

Freedom of “Choice” Act

Nevertheless, FOCA, which has become an icon for what amounts to Doomsday for pro-life Americans – a reversal of the Mexico City Policy, elimination of the Hyde Amendment, destruction of conscience clauses – was discussed at some length during the bishops’ meeting. In his closing statement on Wednesday, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), while congratulating Obama, warned that

“FOCA would coerce all Americans into subsidizing and promoting abortion with their tax dollars…Aggressively pro-abortion policies, legislation and executive orders will permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans, and would be seen by many as an attack on the free exercise of their religion.”

Cardinal George and a handful of his brother bishops warned that such actions would leave the Catholic Church no choice but to close the doors of hundreds of Catholic hospitals since they could no longer refuse to provide abortions. This would inevitably result in a serious decimation to millions of Americans’ access to quality health care and would be anything but a boon to women.

Thousands of pro-life doctors would have no choice but to quit practicing medicine because they object to conducting abortions as part of legally required care. Religious leaders would have no choice but to remain silent on abortion because they would be accused of making hate speech since FOCA would federally prohibit any “interference” in abortion. Millions of pro-life Americans would have no choice when their tax dollars and insurance premiums would be used to help others get abortions.

Blessing the unborn

While is may seem that we may be without recourse in the political arena for the time being, the bishops are making efforts to change the culture. During their meeting, the bishops approved the “Blessing of a Child in the Womb,” which reads thus,

“May almighty God, who has created new life now bless the child in your womb. The Lord has brought you the joy of motherhood: May he bless you with a safe and healthy pregnancy. You thank the Lord today for the gift of your child: May he bring you and your child one day to share in the unending joys of heaven.”

This new blessing makes it abundantly clear that the new life created in the womb is, in fact, a child of God, and any family seeking this rite in their church will bear powerful witness to their fellow Catholics about the sanctity of the unborn life. With our nation’s 67 million Catholics in a broad state of disarray on what the Church teaches on various moral issues (viz. Nancy Pelosi, Doug Kmiec, etc.) the bishops are coming to the painful realization that this is not the age of the well-educated laity.

Cutting off ACORN

Lastly, we might file this item in the “better-late-than-never” column, the Chair of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), Bishop Roger Morin, reported that it had not been giving funds to ACORN, the controversial, partisan organization which has been implicated in extensive criminal activity and voter registration fraud, since June. Consequently, no funds from the annual CCHD collection were given to ACORN to register Mickey Mouse and myriad other characters to vote.

Despite these assurances that ACORN will no longer be receiving Church funds, the CCHD reputation is irreparably tarnished and some bishops, like Bishop Robert Baker of Birmingham, Alabma, are refusing to participate in the annual CCHD collection – the chief source of the group’s funds.

It doesn’t seem like anything earth-shattering emerged from the bishops’ meeting, but it did serve to demonstrate that they are steeled for the fight as they lead their flock through this challenging time. And that’s something in which I choose to take comfort.

* I readily admit this is, perhaps, too optimistic since his “Transition Team” website, change.gov, gives the following statement in President-Elect Obama’s “Women Agenda”: “Barack Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women’s rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in that case.” (http://change.gov/agenda/women_agenda/)

               

Eric Wilson reflects on Obama’s win last night

November 5, 2008 by Eric James Wilson  
Filed under Uncategorized

Last night, as the networks began announcing Obama’s win, I started to sense the uphill battle we will face as Catholics, Christians, and Americans in promoting a culture of life for the next four years.  The Church, in many quarters, has failed to provide the clarion call for that which we must hold dear.  During the campaign, Obama promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) into law upon reaching the White House.  Should he make good on this promise, the consciences of millions of Americans will be violated – an overreach for which nobody will ever have a mandate.  Lastly, I found it tragically ironic that while we were reflecting, as a nation, on the racial progress represented by the historic election, that roughly one third of our country’s African Americans are not alive to witness it because they have been killed through legal abortion.

               

Cardinal Rigali warns against voting for Pro-Abortion candidate

October 24, 2008 by Taylor Marshall  
Filed under Faith, Headlines, Politics

Another Catholic bishop has spoken out against Catholics voting for pro-abortion candidates, this time its a cardinal!

The Catholic hierarchy is teaching with a united voice that faithful Catholics cannot and must not vote for “pro-choice” candidates for political office. The Pope has stated it and the American bishops are repeating it. To vote for a “pro-choice” candidate is to deny the fundamental doctrine of Catholicism: that man is made in the image of God and as such has a right to life from the moment of conception.

Justin Cardinal Rigali is the Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia. You can read his full statement here: Faithful Citizenship and Respect for Life.

Excerpt:

At this moment in our country’s history, defense of innocent human life is a moral responsibility for all of us. The same God who thundered from Mount Sinai: “Thou shalt not kill,” thunders still. When life in the womb is destroyed, God thunders: “This is a child!” When by the most barbaric means, unworthy of any civilized people, the brain of a child is sucked out of his or her head by a vacuum, God thunders: “This is a child!” When a baby is left to die of exposure on a shelf because of a failed abortion, and this is considered a “right” by any leader, God, the Source of all law and authority, thunders: “This is a child!” When we are faced with every modern means of education and communication, in addition to the law placed in our hearts at creation, no one, and most especially, no Catholic, can ever say: “I did not know.”

Hat tip: Clint Rain

               

Pope speaks against modern Godless societies

October 5, 2008 by Taylor Marshall  
Filed under Faith, Headlines


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Meeting at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome (the site of the Apostle Paul’s burial), Pope Benedict XVI discussed the importance of Bible study and the collapse of Christian culture:

“Today, nations once rich in faith and vocations are losing their own identity, under the harmful and destructive influence of a certain modern culture.”

Pope Benedict has also convened a synod to discuss the Catholic Church’s persecution under the anti-Catholic policies of communist China.

               

Denver Bishops confront Sen. Biden

September 9, 2008 by Taylor Marshall  
Filed under Faith


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Archbishop Charles Chaput and Auxiliary Bishop James Conley of Denver have released a statement in response to the abortion comments of Senator Joseph Biden on Sunday’s edition of NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Joseph Biden is Barack Obama’s running mate on the Democratic presidential ticket.

To Catholics of the Archdiocese of Denver:

When Catholics serve on the national stage, their actions and words impact the faith of Catholics around the country. As a result, they open themselves to legitimate scrutiny by local Catholics and local bishops on matters of Catholic belief. In 2008, although NBC probably didn’t intend it, Meet the Press has become a national window on the flawed moral reasoning of some Catholic public servants.

On August 24, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, describing herself as an ardent, practicing Catholic, misrepresented the overwhelming body of Catholic teaching against abortion to the show’s nationwide audience, while defending her “pro-choice” abortion views. On September 7, Sen. Joseph Biden compounded the problem to the same Meet the Press audience.

Sen. Biden is a man of distinguished public service. That doesn’t excuse poor logic or bad facts. Asked when life begins, Sen. Biden said that, “it’s a personal and private issue.” But in reality, modern biology knows exactly when human life begins: at the moment of conception. Religion has nothing to do with it. People might argue when human “personhood” begins – though that leads public policy in very dangerous directions – but no one can any longer claim that the beginning of life is a matter of religious opinion.

Sen. Biden also confused the nature of pluralism. Real pluralism thrives on healthy, non-violent disagreement; it requires an environment where people of conviction will struggle respectfully but vigorously to advance their beliefs. In his interview, the senator observed that other people with strong religious views disagree with the Catholic approach to abortion. It’s certainly true that we need to acknowledge the views of other people and compromise whenever possible – but not at the expense of a developing child’s right to life. Abortion is a foundational issue; it is not an issue like housing policy or the price of foreign oil. It always involves the intentional killing of an innocent life, and it is always, grievously wrong. If, as Sen. Biden said, “I’m prepared as a matter of faith [emphasis added] to accept that life begins at the moment of conception,” then he is not merely wrong about the science of new life; he also fails to defend the innocent life he already knows is there.

As the senator said in his interview, he has opposed public funding for abortions. To his great credit, he also backed a successful ban on partial-birth abortions. But his strong support for the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade and the false “right” to abortion it enshrines, can’t be excused by any serious Catholic. Support for Roe and the “right to choose” an abortion simply masks what abortion is, and what abortion does. Roe is bad law. As long as it stands, it prevents returning the abortion issue to the states where it belongs, so that the American people can decide its future through fair debate and legislation.

In his Meet the Press interview, Sen. Biden used a morally exhausted argument that American Catholics have been hearing for 40 years: i.e., that Catholics can’t “impose” their religiously based views on the rest of the country. But resistance to abortion is a matter of human rights, not religious opinion. And the senator knows very well as a lawmaker that all law involves the imposition of some people’s convictions on everyone else. That is the nature of the law. American Catholics have allowed themselves to be bullied into accepting the destruction of more than a million developing unborn children a year. Other people have imposed their “pro-choice” beliefs on American society without any remorse for decades.

If we claim to be Catholic, then American Catholics, including public officials who describe themselves as Catholic, need to act accordingly. We need to put an end to Roe and the industry of permissive abortion it enables. Otherwise all of us – from senators and members of Congress, to Catholic laypeople in the pews – fail not only as believers and disciples, but also as citizens.

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Denver

+James D. Conley
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver

               

Catholic Bishops respond to Nancy Pelosi

September 7, 2008 by Taylor Marshall  
Filed under Faith


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The American Papist has created a list of Catholic Bishops who have issued statements about remarks made by Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Meet The Press.

Here is the complete list of American bishops who have responded to Nancy Pelosi’s comments so far:

1. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver was the first American bishop to respond
2. Bishop James Conley, his auxiliary, joined him
3. Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington DC responded twice, first in a press release and second in a statement to The Hill. He has also appeared on Fox News, I am told.
4. Cardinal Justin Regali of Philadelphia, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued this statement through the USCCB website…
5. Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, chairman of the Committee on Doctrine, joined him
6. Cardinal Edward Egan of New York publised a strongly worded statement of his own
7. Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo issued a letter correcting Pelosi’s claims
8. Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh
9. Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs have chimed-in
10. Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio, CNA reports has added his voice …
11. Bishop Oscar Cantu, his auxiliary bishop, has joined him
12. Bishop William Murphy of Rockville has published an extensive letter
13. Bishop Edward Slatter of Tulsa adds himself to the list
14. Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas has joined the USCCB’s efforts
15. Bishop Gregory Aymond of Austin is on-board
16. Bishop James Slattery of Tulsa has a detailed response
17. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston mentions the USCCB on his blog
18. Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando has written at length
19. Archbishop John Nienstedt of Saint Paul/Minneapolis challenges Pelosi’s statement
20. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, President of the US Bishops, has weighed-in
21. Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, OR publishes in the Catholic Sentinel
22. Bishop Jerome Listecki of La Crosse, WI responds in a word document
23. Bishop Joseph Gossman of Raleigh, N C responds to the misrepresentation
24. Bishop Richard Lennon of Cleveland, OH will comment in his September 5th column
25. Bishop Ralph Nickless of Sioux City, IA has one of the very best responses I’ve read
26. Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco has invited Pelosi to a “conversation

Hat tip to What Does The Prayer Really Say? by

               

The Catholic Case against Obama

August 12, 2008 by Taylor Marshall  
Filed under Faith


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Barack Obama has not only voted in favor of abortion, he has voted in favor of partial-birth abortion.* Not only has he voted in favor of partial-birth abortion, he has voted in favor of post-partum infanticide.

Pat Buchanan has just written a pithy little piece entitled “A Catholic Case against Barack“. It’s very informative from a Catholic point of view. Take this for example:

Thrice in the Illinois legislature, Obama helped block a bill that was designed solely to protect the life of infants already born, and outside the womb, who had miraculously survived the attempt to kill them during an abortion. Thrice, Obama voted to let doctors and nurses allow these tiny human beings die of neglect and be tossed out with the medical waste.

I’ll probably catch flack for this, but how is a man who resolutely supports infanticide any better than a man who wanted to slay the Jewish population of Germany?

America is currently a major provider for the world’s abortion. President Obama would only increase the slaughter.

Read Buchanan’s article: “A Catholic Case against Barack

Hat tip to Matthew Hatcher.

* Partial-Birth Abortion: The late-term procedure known as partial-birth abortion, where the baby’s skull is stabbed with scissors in the birth canal and the brains are sucked out to end its life swiftly and ease passage of the corpse.