Saturday, September 17, 2005


While contemplating about what to cover, I completely forgot about the great 'blogosphere pastime.


My mentor sent me the following link:
(UPDATE 9/27/05: Registration required to access article, but it is free.)

He didn't have time to make remarks about it, but thought I might be able. This a good article for a rookie fisker to entertain. My comments will be in red.
Good Catholics Can Disagree
Yes, we can; but on what and how we do is also important. How does that saying go? "In matters of...."
Most Americans think Catholics are not permitted to think for themselves. Sociologist Andrew Greeley turned up that datum in his research on the persistence of anti-Catholicism in America and reports it in the Sept. 9 issue of Commonweal in a preview of his next book.
Fr. Greeley, we didn't need a study to know about the persistence of anti-Catholicism in America. The claim that Catholics aren't permitted to think for themselves has been around as long as the colonies.
Maybe one, the other or both (Chief Justice Roger Taney and Associate Justice William Brennan) are bad Catholics who either do not know their faith or don't care. Some Catholics gravitate to that explanation, but it's not a good one.
Ah, yes; ignorance and apathy. They are not explanations; they are excuses.
These are serious men, for one thing. And the explanation defies a church that says its members shouldn't try to judge other people's souls.
That's right. We don't have God's ability to judge other people's souls. We do have the ability, however, to judge other people's actions.
Another explanation is that maybe religion is irrelevant to Supreme Court matters. If so, someone should tell the lobbyists on both sides of Judge Roberts' confirmation.
No, only those opposed to to the Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr. being confirmed have made this an issue, because they fear the sand upon which the house of abortion is built may be swept away by the tides of proper judicial review and are using his religious affiliation as an excuse.
The Christian explanation is that when serious people make prudential judgments about complex issues, they may, alas, come down in different places.
Yes, either on the side of Truth or a lie; of right or wrong; of good or evil. While the abortion issue has implications at a deeper level, it is not as complex an issue as people want to make it. Also, note the slight. Catholics are not Christians? (Did I mention something earlier about anti-Catholic biases?)
Just lately, some bishops have proposed abortion as an exception to prudent judgment.
No, some bishops are doing their three-fold mission of preaching, teaching, and governing the Faithful under their care. And why isn't it prudent judgment to not take complete responsibility for your actions by ignoring the fact that conjugal relations create a new human life?
They (the bishops) have denied Communion to some members of Congress for voting wrong as they see it.
Which members? I have not seen any articles regarding this. Communion would be denied because their support of abortion puts them at odds with the Church's teaching. Look at the word. "Common + unity." Their receiving is an injustice and a scandal.
But it was justices, not legislators, who said Congress may not constitutionally restrict abortions. The punished legislators are only not doing what the high court says they may not do.
Rendering unto Caesar? St. Thomas More is not an example of public service?

It's only a matter of time until consistency will force rocket-launching bishops to target judges along with legislators unless the more accommodating bishops convince their zealous peers to step back from the constitutional brink.

Zealous peers? Because they are proclaiming the Truth with courage? Granted, there are bishops who are trying to be more pastoral in dealing with this, but the scandalous behavior of politicians is the poison that is being spread. And the antidotes are there.

The Vatican recently issued a hefty compendium of the church's teaching on a range of social issues from marriage to labor unions to the United Nations to war and peace.

And if you would have read it carefully, as well as what the USCCB published, you would had seen the statement(s) that not all matters carry equal moral weight.

American Catholics, including politicians, have a spotty record for even paying attention, much less acting on the social teachings.

Really? Dorothy Day and Catholic Charities would be surprised to hear that. So would the many of people who quietly go about doing just that.

The difference for abortion seems to be this: While the church proclaims that it supports organized labor and condemns aggressive war, it really, really double Dutch means what it says about abortion.

Catholics can disagree upon the role a labor union has in terms of whether it can promote justice in the workplace and still be in agreement with church teachings regarding that. Catholics can look at the "just war" theory and disagree about the action in Iraq, for an example. Abortion is a objectively immoral act for which there is no "opposing viewpoint".

"Really, really double Dutch," though, has no philosophical nor theological significance.

Back to the point about matters not carrying equal moral weight. And that phrase makes no sense to me. Only because I am not a relativist.

A person has to be born before he can have any of the other rights the church upholds, but saying that is a tautology.

Mr. Blackburn, you have stated the obvious, but missed the point completely. The right to live, to exist, is the first right the Church upholds; all other rights flow from that. A human being, a person, exists at the moment of conception; the "ostrich position" the poor (pro)-choice side takes regarding that is ridiculous. And, by the way, ostriches don't bury their heads in the sand.

The court and Congress are competent to deal with the legalities of abortion, not its morality. Some people see that point as a mere technicality, but it is on such technicalities that American constitutional freedom rests.

Our elected leaders are, in a sense and seemingly by default, the philosopher-kings mentioned in Plato's Republic. They decide what laws will reflect our values. Our laws reflect our morality. And because of an attitude of "what is legal is also moral", the philosophies of relativism and radical individualism reign.

Still, since some bishops have made Communion an issue, Judge Roberts should be smoked out on what he will do if threatened with ecclesiastical penalties if he doesn't vote a certain way on a case before the court.

Why? Senator Kerry didn't answer either.

Americans who think Catholics have to think alike should watch closely when the several Catholics on the Senate Judiciary Committee quiz Judge Roberts. It could prove to be educational.

Not really. We already know how the Catholic members of the SJC think. "I'm personally opposed, but...." They do not see abortion as the injustice it truly is to mother, child, and society. They don't want to impose their morality upon society via legislation, but it is perfectly legitimate for others to impose theirs by judicial fiat. Evil triumphing because good men have done nothing to prevent it.
So, does that mean if we don't agree with those who disagree with the Church, we haven't been using our brains? Sorry. The Church provides answers to which I agree. I do think; therefore, I am like-minded.
Another shining example of the lack of respect for the Church and Her members. Especially in America.

No comments: