You cannot have bishops in the pulpit—long before or the Sunday before the election—as they did in Catholic churches, saying it was a mortal sin to vote for John Kerry.
And as if that were not bad enough:
The Church has a right and obligation to teach values. They don't have a right to restrict freedom of expression.
"Whose freedom of expression is being limited?" asks Dom.
How is a bishop giving his opinion limiting Kerry's freedom of expression? How does it limit the voter's freedom of expression? The Church doesn't have stormtroopers standing outside of polling places taking down the names of Catholics who vote for Kerry...and then carting them away later under the cover of darkness.
The reality is that all the bishop is saying is that God knows who they are voting for and the moral law says we must not provide support for the intentional murder of innocents, that God knows what we are doing and that our actions, including our votes, have moral consequences.
The funny thing, Dom notes, is that the response from the U.S. bishops to CINO Kerry was so tepid.
So few of them even took a stance on Kerry and other pro-abort Catholic pols. How would they react if the majority of bishops were actually courageous enough to do something so countercultural as a united front?
Do you think we'll ever have a chance to find out?
In the aftermath of Senator Kerry’s defeat the Democrats are wondering how it is that the first Catholic nominee for President since 1960, a man who spoke glowingly of rosary beads and his days as an altar boy, lost the Catholic vote, lost the Mass-going Catholic vote by an even larger margin, and lost it by larger margins still in key swing states such as Florida and Ohio.
They have much to ponder, as do all Americans who truly care about life, for it should be clear that a Democratic Party in its current shape is not healthy for America. We need pro-life Democrats to be able to breathe again. This means that we need a Democratic leadership that doesn’t demand that Democrats vote against, among other things, judicial nominees whose only crime is their "deeply held" personal beliefs or a suspected skepticism toward the one dogma in the Democratic Party: that while all other Supreme Court decisions are malleable and must bend to the social and political agenda of the day, RoeCAv. Wade is holy writ.
As Democratic leaders perform their post-election postmortems, let us hope that someone poses the question Bob Casey would have asked: How different might the outcome have been if the Party’s Mario Cuomos, Mark Roches, and Paul Begalas had over the past two decades devoted as much of their passion and public commentary to the "personally opposed" as they have to the "but"?
American Life League has published an ad in today's Washington Times alerting all Catholics, laity and clergy alike, that while the recent elections may be over, the scandal of pro-abortion Catholic public figures and the reception of Holy Communion continues. "With the defeat of the most pro-abortion Catholic public figure to ever seek the White House, many believe that this crisis can now take a backseat," said Judie Brown, president of American Life League. "That couldn't be farther from the truth. The problem is not going away until all of the bishops in the country actively enforce the Church's clear teachings on this matter."
Today's Washington Times ad is being run in conjunction with the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Washington, D.C. "At last year's USCCB meeting in Washington, not one bishop committed to enforce Canon 915 and withhold Holy Communion from pro-abortion Catholic public figures," said Brown. "Going into this year's D.C. meeting, at least 10 bishops have taken very strong positions against this scandal. We pray that all bishops will join these courageous men in defending the faith of the Church."
American Life League's Crusade for the Defense of Our Catholic Church has been actively exposing the scandal of pro-abortion Catholic public figures and the reception of Holy Communion for almost two years now, and will continue the campaign until all U.S. bishops uphold Church teachings. "The Catholic bishops are bound, by their vocation, to teach and defend the faith," said Brown. "This campaign has absolutely nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the clear and simple Catholic teaching that you cannot be both Catholic and pro-abortion."
In the wake of the election and the revelation that those Americans who gave Bush his second term were motivated to do so not for reasons of economics, national security, but moral values, Crooked Timber is discussing the need for Democrats to "shed their inhibitions about talking about faith" and "reconnect with the American heartland."
Problem is, Kerry actually did spend a lot of time talking about his faith. How many times did he remind us that he was an altar boy, or that he carried a rosary in Vietnam? How many times did we hear him quote that verse from James (as if he knew nothing else from the bible)?
But if this election established anything, it's the fact that many Americans had simply heard enough about faith from John Kerry, and no amount of pandering to the pews could conceal the moral incoherence of a "pro-choice" politician with a 100% pro-abortion legislative record proclaiming himself a "good Catholic" in open defiance of the nation's bishops and the moral teachings of his Church. Spin all you want, but that is an ugly fact that played a greater role in this election, and in the minds of Catholic voters, then Democrats would care to admit.
* * *
Looking back at the presidential race, I can think of no more perfect an illustration of Democratic alienation from America's religious voters than the moment during the third debate, when a young woman by the name of Sarah Degenhart asked Senator Kerry whether he could provide her with assurance that he wouldn't use her tax dollars to support abortion.
Kerry responded by professing his "respect" for her question, and the moral convictions that her concern implied. . . . and then he proceeded to defend abortion as a constitutional right, and the necessity to preserve that right with taxpayer dollars. He went on to denounce religious criticism of abortion as a product of "rigid ideological restriction," a phrase he had often used on the campaign trail. And then, to top it off, he informed Ms. Degenhart that she would "do do a better job, I think, of passing on moral responsibility" by abandoning her opposition to taxpayer-funded abortion and embracing his pro-choice stance.
Senator Kerry's complete failure to understand her basic point, and his utter lack of respect for her religious convictions, spoke volumes.
* * *
If Kerry -- and his fellow Democrats -- want to connect to the American heartland, it will not be by talking the talk, but walking the walk.
To do so, they must reconsider their allegiance to -- indeed, completely severe their ties with -- the abortion industry; repudiate those who would sacrifice the unborn in utilitarian pursuit of "scientific progress"; forsake their support of legislative policies in blatant opposition to Judeo-Christian values; recognize what it means to believe in the sanctity of life from conception until death -- and why, with that conviction, many Christians find themselves unable to adopt a corrupt and morally-incoherent stance of "personally opposed, but . . ." when it comes to the deliberate murder of the unborn.
Democrats don't need to talk about "moral values." They must truly understand what it means to embodythem.
Until then, I see no way for Democrats to "heal the divide" or "reconnect with the heartland."
Tired of the constant chatter of the talking heads?
Why not take a break to examine Inside the Vatican's special dossier on issues facing voters in 2004 and beyond,as previously highlighted here.
Here are a few excerpts to whet your appetite:
The very same people who falsely accuse the Church of silence during the Nazi regime and the Holocaust are often the very same people demanding that the Church stay out of current affairs, especially the abortion holocaust and the immoral policies of groups like the United Nations Population Fund. –John Mallon, Contributing Editor, Inside the Vatican
It's a fact that 40 million unborn children have been aborted since 1973. In some way...as Catholics we have to ask ourselves, "What have we done?" If all Catholics would join those Catholics and other people of good will who were working to promote the respect for human life, this situation wouldn't be what it is. –Archbishop Raymond Burke, St. Louis, MO
The "Catholic vote" is, therefore, a nice phrase without much substance. Today, even the bishops of the United States cannot seem to agree that protecting Christ in the Holy Eucharist from sacrilege is serious enough to deny pro-abortion Catholic public figures access to Holy Communion. –Judie Brown, American Life League
In order to win this struggle we must avoid trying to win it. We must do what we do against abortion not because this or that action will secure us a victory but because it is right to perform that action. –Robert McFadden, Human Life Review
What evil could be so grave and widespread as to constitute a "proportionate reason" to support candidates who would preserve and protect the abortion license and even extend it to publicly funded embryo-killing in our nation's labs?
Certainly policies on welfare, national security, the war in Iraq, Social Security or taxes, taken singly or in any combination, do not provide a proportionate reason to vote for a pro-abortion candidate. –Archbishop John Meyer, Newark, NJ
It's a good time to reflect on the meaning of the Kennedy-Cuomo legacy. In brief, it’s OK to be Catholic in public service as long as you're willing to jettison what's inconveniently "Catholic." That's not a compromise. That's a deal with the devil, and it has a balloon payment no nation, no public servant and no voter can afford. –Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
On his first day in office, President John F. Kerry will take Holy Communion from the hand of a Jesuit priest at Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown. Shortly thereafter he will retire to his new office in the White House and proceed to carry out his "personally opposed but" policy toward the deaths of millions of unborn children. –Austin Ruse, Culture of Life Foundation
Without first securing the protection of all human life, it makes no sense to discuss how best to provide for the progress of that life. If life is not first secured, it is pointless to consider other issues. The Declaration of Independence would be severely weakened, if not rendered totally meaningless, if the order of unalienable rights was listed as liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and life. There is no liberty or pursuit of happiness to be had if we do not first recognize that the "inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual." –St. Blog's own Fr. Stephen Hamilton, Pastor, St. Peter's Church, Guymon, OK
WeVoteProLife.com - find information for candidates for Congress and statewide office. (Local races are just as -- perhaps more -- important as the presidency in the struggle to build a culture of life.
As posted on Fidelis by my fellow resident pundit, Barbara Kralis . . .
Presidential candidate Senator John Kerry is urgently pressing uncatechised or "dumbed down" Catholic voters to believe he is a faithful Catholic that best represents the Church's defined teachings. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
He woos the ignorant Catholics, laity, and clergy alike, by reminding them he was an altar boy. Adolf Hitler, a/k/a Adolf Schicklegruber, was also a Catholic altar boy, so this snippet of past religiosity tells us nothing of the man today—except that Kerry certainly has come a long way from being an altar boy.
Furthermore, this "Catholic" demagogue promises in the next sound bite that if elected he will assure that abortion remains legal in the U.S. for another generation. 
In George Orwell's 1984, it was stated, "Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past." John Kerry wants to control everybody's mind with his zigzagging on what he really believes.
Meanwhile, uncatechised Catholics sit in the pews listening to their bishops and pastors tell them Kerry best represents the Church's social teachings. Let us see if this is, in fact, true.
For instance, Kerry supports a woman's right to abortion; advocates embryonic stem cell research; and while he opposes same-sex marriage, he also opposes a constitutional amendment that would forbid such marriages.
In fact, John Kerry's beliefs are antithetical to the most important of all the Catholic Church's infallible teachings on faith and morals and he therefore has automatically separated him from the Catholic community. There is nothing Kerry will not say to get the Catholic vote.
So egregious to authentic Catholicism are Kerry's beliefs that twelve magisterial  Bishops have proclaimed that John Kerry cannot receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion anywhere within their diocesan boundaries. Several other Bishops have strongly warned their flock that if a Catholic were to vote for a candidate who promotes procured abortion, they will be committing a grave, mortal sin. 
While trying to decide an ending for this column, the temptation is too great for me not to use the following quote:
"I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator" [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, p. 46]. Does this sound familiar?
Spoken at the January 21, 2003, NARAL Dinner, John Kerry promised: "I will not overturn Roe v Wade; I will not appoint judges hostile to 'choice;' I will allow poor women to have free abortions; I will never outlaw abortion; I will increase American taxpayer's dollars on population control efforts around the world."
Magisterial means those bishops who teach as the Pope infallibly teaches. This is called the "ordinary Magisterium." If a Bishop or priest teaches contrary to the Magisterium, that Bishop is asked to reconsider his beliefs which are outside of the Catholic community; next the cleric is disciplined and, if necessary, then sanctioned.
The distinguished list of bishops to date (10/7/04) is: Archbishop Raymond L Burke of St. Louis, MO; Archbishop John F. Donoghue Archbishop of Atlanta, GA; Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz of Lincoln NE; Bishop Henry Rene Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, TX; Bishop Robert F. Vasa, Baker, OR; Bishop Joseph Galante of Camden, NJ; Bishop John M. Smith of Trenton, NJ; Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs, CO; Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger of Evansville, IN; Bishop Robert J. Baker Bishop of Charleston, SC; Bishop Peter J. Jugis Bishop of Charlotte, NC; Bishop John Y. Yanta, Bishop of Amarillo, TX.
Monday, November 01, 2004
Bishop Loverde on how to vote as a faithful Catholic
. . . To be a faithful Catholic necessarily means that one is pro-life and not pro-choice. As my brother bishops and I said in our statement "Catholics in Political Life" this past June, "Failing to protect the lives of the innocent and defenseless members of the human race is to sin against justice." To be pro-choice essentially means supporting the right of a woman to terminate the life of her baby, either pre-born or partially born. No Catholic can claim to be a faithful member of the Church while advocating for, or actively supporting, direct attacks on innocent human life. In reality, protecting human life from conception to natural death is more than a Catholic issue. It is an issue of fundamental morality, rooted in both the natural law and the divine law. . . .
. . . In our common life together in society, it is sometimes not possible to avoid entirely all cooperation with evil. This may be the case in electing to office our state and national leaders. In certain circumstances, it is morally permissible to vote for a candidate who supports some immoral practices while opposing other immoral practices. This is called material cooperation with evil. In order for material cooperation to be morally permissible, however, there must be a proportionate reason for such cooperation. Proportionate reason does not mean that each issue carries the same moral weight; intrinsically evil acts such as abortion or research on stem cells taken from human embryos cannot be placed on the same level as debates over war or capital punishment, for example. It is simply not possible to serve and promote the common good of our nation by voting for a candidate who, once in office, will do nothing to limit or restrict the deliberate destruction of innocent human life.
If, however, a candidate supports abortion in a limited number of cases but opposes it otherwise, a Catholic may vote for such a candidate over another, more unsuitable candidate who is unwilling to place any restrictions on abortion. In this case, the voter makes an effort to limit the circumstances in which procured abortion would be deemed legal. This is not a question of choosing a lesser evil, but rather the Catholic, by his or her vote, expresses the intention to limit all the evil that one is able to limit at the time.
Although Bush isn't a Catholic, and not all of his positions are always consistent with Catholic teaching, it is he, not his nominally Catholic opponent, John F. Kerry, who promises to foster and defend the Catholic ethic of life.
At the core of that ethic--and I'll say it bluntly--lies abortion, the life issue that most sharply divides Bush and Kerry. Bush supports at least some restrictions on abortion; Kerry supports almost none. Related to it are the Catholic Church's positions against euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research.
Philip Lawler, editor of Catholic World Report, takes a look at how John Kerry's "Catholicism" will affect the outcome of the election in Mixed Messages.
Patrick O'Hannigan ("The Paragraph Farmer") notes a conflict of ideas between Christianity Todayand Touchstone magazine on "single issue voting", and believes the latter has the upper hand.
If, for example, I was a powerful Senator married to a billionaire who was "not in favor of abortion", but I thought it wrong to work directly against abortion in the legal arena, I might do some or all of the following things:
Work to fund pregnancy crisis centers that provide non-abortion counseling
Work to ease adoption restrictions and promote awareness of the adoption option
Work to encourage strong marriages
Work to encourage abstinence in young people not ready for childbearing
Generously contribute to pregnancy centers
Generously contribute to non-profit adoption agencies
Generously contribute to social welfare organizations working with young mothers
I wonder what Senator Kerry's actual record is in these areas? I'm sure it must be outstanding. Surely a man of such strong faith has made enormous contributions to the areas of public policy and private charity.
As posted by my fellow pundit Barbara Kralis on Fidelis . . .
The Catholic Church possesses the fullness of truth, the complete moral teachings of our age. We thank God for the Magisterium of the Church, for the solemn teaching office of our Pope John Paul II and the Popes before him, and the "ordinary magisterium" or the bishops in communion with him.
Yet, attempts by Church leaders are made every day to sabotage these teachings. Let us look at a number of recent damages:
On August 20, 2004, La Crosse diocese Attorney James G. Birnbaum wrote a letter to diocesan pastors and administrators, advising the pro-life Catholic Answers' 'Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics' was "too narrow to pass legal muster." Attorney Birnbaum, a lector at the diocese's Cathedral, advised the diocese not to allow the voter's guide on parish grounds because it violated tax laws.
Shortly thereafter, documentation was revealed showing this "Catholic" diocesan attorney personally donated thousands of dollars to various pro-abortion Democrat Party candidates since 1997 until June 2004. 
It was reported that Birnbaum donated $6,000 over the past four years to pro-abortion Democrat Congressman Ron Kind, whom the abortion group NARAL reports has l00 percent anti-life voting record.
Why was this attorney, who financially supports legislators who promote procured abortion, allowed to issue a Catholic diocesan legal opinion that prohibited the distribution of an authentically Catholic voter guide?  CWN has reported Birnbaum has recused himself of issuing further tax information to the diocese...but, he will remain as the diocese's attorney on other matters. 
Attorney Birnbaum's actions surely raise questions concerning a personal conflict of interests and distortion of Catholic teachings for political gain. His directive has caused Priests in the diocese to believe they should not be telling their congregations what kind of people they should or should not vote for.
It is important to note that La Crosse's former bishop, Archbishop Raymond Burke, has mandated full distribution of The Voters Guide for Serious Catholics for the year 2004 in his new diocese of St. Louis.
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life, recently discussed the issue of dioceses and their attorneys misinterpreting tax laws. Fr. Pavone suggested the following in his October 28 article, "Distorted Citizenship":
Unfortunately, the Church has been fed for decades with legal advice which is far more restrictive of the Church's freedom than the IRS or the FEC has ever been. And this is wrong. Not only are the IRS/FEC restrictions on the Church minimal, but the enforcement policy is even looser. No Church has ever lost its tax exemption by teaching about abortion, or the primacy of the right to life, or the duty of public officials and voters to advance the Culture of Life by voting. No Church has ever lost its tax exemption for doing what it exists to do, namely, convey the teachings of the Church. No Church has ever lost its tax exemption for distributing materials that did not cover a wide-enough range of issues; in fact, no Church has lost its tax exemption for distributing voter guides, period. 
Adding to the obfuscation of truth, the Catholic organization Pax Christi USA is placing ads that speak against infallible magisterial teachings of the Church. Targeting Catholic diocesan newspapers in three states, their ads read: "Catholic voters should not make abortion a single-issue litmus test for candidates."
The Diocese of Pittsburgh's Director of Communications, Robert Lockwood, says the diocese allows the Pax Christi ads because they do not oppose the teachings of the Church  ...and because "Financially, it's been a great assistance to our apostolate." 
Here is more disturbing news. Most recently, the Cardinal Newman Society completed a list of Catholic university employee donations [of $250 or more] to the Bush and Kerry campaigns, as reported to the FEC. The non-partisan study examines ten of the largest Catholic universities. It was revealed that more than 90.24% of the so-called 'Catholic' university employee gifts went to the Kerry campaign, totaling $196,025. The Bush campaign received just 9.75% of total donations, or $21,200. Moreover, a whopping 59.65% of Kerry's donations came from "Catholic" Georgetown University alone, or $116,915. 
Catholic parents, be mindful of what your kiddos are being taught at these so-called Catholic institutions. Alumni, remember this corruption when your alma mater asks you for donations. It would be better to donate your money elsewhere.
Another attempt of Church leaders to sabotage Catholic voters can be found within the worldwide "Catholic" organization of the Maryknoll Society of religious priests, including the Maryknoll Congregation of nuns, and the Maryknoll Mission Association of lay missionaries. Maryknoll is mailing worldwide their 4,000-word election guide. Entitled Impact on Peace, Social Justice and the Integrity of Creation, the voter guide emphases sixteen social issues such as "hunger and food," "water," "biotechnology," "U.S. unilateralism."
Stunningly, not one single word mentions the most preeminent of all human rights, "the right to life of the unborn." Not one word, of the 4,000 words, mentioned "abortion,'" "euthanasia," "embryonic stem cell research," "cloning," or "sodomy."
Another example of obfuscation can always be found with the well-known dissident priest, Fr. Richard McBrien, Chairman of the Theology Department at the Catholic University of Notre Dame. Appearing in his clerical collar on Fox News Channel Wednesday, October 13, 2004, McBrien told millions of viewers that they could vote for someone like a pro-abortion John Kerry. Fr. McBrien clarified his theological confusion:
"The American Catholic Bishops as a body do not follow the approach that's been taken by the archbishops of Denver, St. Louis and Newark and some other Bishops of smaller diocese...[Cardinal Ratzinger] said if someone votes for a candidate for other reasons, well, taking other issues into account as the American Catholic Bishops say they should, we should put everything in a consistent ethic-of- life framework, they said, then it would not be a sin to vote for... the teachings of our Bishops [is] that we have to follow a 'consistent ethic of life.' The proportionate reasons would involve taking other life issues in account... The proportionate reasons would be that you're looking at a candidate and trying to see what that candidate's views and policies are on a broad range of life issues...[the Bishops] have never said that [abortion trumps the other issues]. They have never said that...this is not a card game...there's no trump card." 
Fr. McBrien is a priest of the diocese of Hartford, CT, was one of the original dissenters/signers of Fr. Charles Curran's Statement of Dissent against Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae.
Fr. McBrien's dangerous book Catholicism [condemned by the U.S. bishops in l996]  clothed in dissent contains heretical teachings from Frs. Schillebeeckx and Hans Kung. Why has Fr. McBrien's Hartford bishop not silenced him nor removed him from teaching errors and ambiguities for too many years to our Catholic youth?
Here is another bishop who supports the excellent Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics, Bishop Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix. His spokesman, Mary Jo West, told this writer that Bishop Olmsted is fully allowing the Catholic Answers guides to be distributed in diocesan parishes. Emphasizing the importance of Catholic voters to be fully informed of the Church's teaching, Bishop Olmsted recently said:
The Catholic Church is actively engaged in a wide variety of important public policy issues.... We should do our best to be informed and to support those proposed solutions that seem most likely to be effective. However, when it comes to direct attacks on innocent human life, being right on all the other issues can never justify a wrong choice on this most serious matter.
However, just 117 miles away from Phoenix, in Tucson, AZ, Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas' office told this writer this week they will not allow the Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics to be used in their diocese. Instead, Bishop Kicanas is promoting the confusingFaithful Citizenship guidelines.
Bishop Kicanas held two public meetings recently to explain how Catholic social teaching applies to Catholic voters. "It's not a sin to vote for a pro-abortion candidate if it's because you are supporting that candidate for a wide range of reasons." Oh, by the way, Bishop Kicanas is Chairman of the USCCB Communications Committee. 
San Bernardino's diocesan Director of Office of Social Concerns issued on October 6, 2004 a diocesan directive saying that parishes are to only use material derived from the confusing USCCB's voter guide Faithful Citizenship.
In an interview with Culture and Cosmos, the Director of the Family Life Office of the Arlington, Virginia diocese said, "Faithful Citizenship equates abortion with debt relief. They are not equal." 
Archbishop Harry Flynn of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis forbids the Catholic Answers' Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics. A phone call to the Archdiocesan office revealed that Flynn allows only the USCCB voter guide, Faithful Citizenship.
It was reported byCatholic World News that the diocese's reason for banning the excellent guide, in favor of the confusing USCCB guide, was that they "felt the document was too one-sided...You can only read the document and come to one conclusion," said Dennis McGrath, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese.
The Culture of Life Foundation and Catholic World News reports that "Faithful Citizenship has been criticized even within the Church for placing the paramount issue of abortion on the same moral plane with lesser issues like promoting 'social justice'and 'global solidarity.'" 
Unfortunately, this is the status quo in most U.S. Catholic dioceses.
The laity not only should, but also must, discuss problems of disobedience, errors, and heresy with their pastors and bishops. In fact, Pope Leo XIII declared, "When circumstances make it necessary, it is not prelates alone who have to watch over the integrity of the faith." In addition, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church [Lumen Gentium n.37], Apostolicam Actuositatem [Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity n.2] and The Code of Canon Law n. 212 teach that laity have not only the responsibility but the duty to openly reveal to their bishops their needs and desires fitting for children of God.  In addition, the laity are permitted and even obliged to express their opinion on things that concern the good of the Church.
The Catholic Church's social teachings on the human condition are vast and complete. However, faithful Catholics may legitimately disagree on different points of view and on how to implement these social teachings. One can never disagree on the teachings regarding the right to life of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly. 
"One can never approve of abortion; but it is above all necessary to combat its causes. This includes political action" proclaimed Pope Paul VI 
Pope Pius XI, in his more relevant than ever landmark encyclical, warns—this will give you goose bumps:
Those who hold the reins of government should not forget that it is the duty of public authority...to defend the lives of the innocent...among whom we must mention in the first place infants hidden in the mother's womb. And, if the public magistrates...do not defend them, but by their laws and ordinances betray them to death at the hands of doctors and others, let them remember that God is the Judge and Avenger of innocent blood which cries from earth to heaven. (Casti Connubii n.67).
Only by a return to the order established by God in all our social structures, including obedience to God and His divinely ordained Roman Pontiff, by all public servants, could the way to true peace and true justice in this world be attained. Everything else is a false peace, a false justice. Disobedience by Church leaders to Church teachings contributes to the disorder which rules creation that once subject to Divine Order.
Abortion will not end until the work of the Church is consistent and faithful to the most preeminent of all human rights—the right to life of the unborn.
In the quiet of the voting booth, at long last beyond, the steady din of the hired hands, will the still voice of Catholic consciences recall the silent slaughter that lies behind what Prof. Paul Kengor, writing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, calls the "quiet issue" of the 2004 campaign?
It is the quiet issue of the 2004 presidential election, but it remains etched in the minds of liberals and conservatives, of the most devout secularist and most pious believer: abortion....
Among the left, a John F. Kerry victory would be viewed as not just a win for Democrats but a huge victory for legalized abortion, just as a Bush re-election would be a continuing triumph for forces allied against legalized abortion....
Indeed, a telling difference between Kerry and Bush is how their faith relates to their positions on abortion. Bush believes that a life in the womb is a gift from God that should be protected. Kerry's position is more complicated....
A President John F. Kerry would shape the direction of the court, starting with the U.S. Supreme Court, filling the courts with pro-choice appointments, and rejecting pro-life judges. Kerry would be the most staunchly pro-choice president ever....
The pro-life constituency that would be most crushed by a Kerry victory is Catholics. No other group has so doggedly led the fight to halt abortion, and a potential Catholic president stands poised to undermine that progress. What Pope John Paul II has described as the "culture of life" could be hindered by no less than a practicing Catholic in the Oval Office.
With all due respect, Professor, "a practicing Catholic" would practice the faith and not merely its rhetoric in order to deceive the elect and win the election.
Friday, October 29, 2004
The Political Implications of the 1992 Snubbing of Democratic Governer Bob Casey
. . . my object here is not to declare between Republicans and Democrats but to highlight the cleavage between the Democratic party whose mission Hubert Humphrey defined as standing for "those in the dawn of life, those in the shadows of life, and those in the twilight of life" and the Democratic party of this platform, whose first sentence thumps for the most extreme of all abortion positions: abortion on demand with taxpayer funding. Thumps for it clearly and without apology.
The political consequence of this position is evident every day in our headlines: war on anything that threatens this absolutist stance, whether it be restrictions on federal funding or partial birth abortions, to the maligning and political destruction of judicial nominees deemed to show insufficient piety for the view that Roe is sacrosanct while at the same time every other precedent is for grabs depending on the social or political exigencies of the moment.
John Kerry did not create the abortion test that is today operates to push faithful Catholics off the public square on the grounds that their Catholicity may be deeply held. But John Kerry, like all national Democratic contenders, must be defined by it or become, a la Governor Casey, a stranger in his own land.
From Life of the Party, the first Bob Casey lecture delivered by William McGurn in the Catholic archdiocese of Denver. McGurn spoke of the deliberate and malicious snubbing of pro-life Democratic Governor Bob Casey at the 1992 Democratic National Convention.
A very good address -- one Democrats ought to listen to (but probably won't).
5 Issues That Matter Most: Catholics and the 2004 Election
Catholic Outreach is making available for free downloading their 90-page book "5 Issues That Matter Most: Catholics and the Upcoming Election": "The book offers an easy-to- understand explanation, in a question-and-answer format, of the key issues that are being debated in this election. With its gentle tone and clear answers, The Five Issues That Matter Most is the perfect resource for family members or friends who are still on the fence about the moral issues facing American society today."
For those with the time to read, it takes a more detailed and substantial approach to the issues of abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide, same-sex marriage, stem-cell research and human cloning, by Fr. Frank Pavone (Priests for Life), Fr. Tom Euteneuer of Human Life International, Mark Brumley of Ignatius Press, Kim Marshall of Generation Life, Fr. Tad Pacholczyk of the National Bioethics Center and author Matthew Pinto.
Editor's note: this was originally posted by Greg Sisk to the group blog Mirror of Justice -- as Greg in his most recent post encourages "re-postings of our words on other web sites," in the interest of reasserting the truth of Senator Kerry's militant pro-choice/pro-abortion stance, I'm taking the liberty of reposting Greg's post in full:
The more the information flows in, the more it is confirmed that Senator Kerry's record as a self-proclaimed opponent of those attempting to protect innocent human life is even worse than I at least had originally understood. His own words confirm that he is directly at odds with any understanding of Catholic teaching on the sanctity of unborn human life.
Herewith just a few examples:
In January of last year as he opened his presidential campaign, Senator Kerry spoke to a National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) dinner. Beginning his campaign by touching base with his closest allies in the abortion industry was in itself sadly unremarkable, as Kerry has regularly lent his name and proudly pledged his loyalty to those advancing the war against the unborn. Still, the effusiveness of his words of praise for the abortion advocates and his expressions of contempt for those working to protect unborn human life are astounding. You can read the entire speech here. Below are a couple of excerpts:
With respect to John Kerry's admiration for the pro-abortion movement: "NARAL is without question the front line defense in this struggle and when judgments are made, the judgment is inescapable that Kate Michelman is one of the most effective and important civil rights leaders in our time. Kate has saved more women's lives and liberated more women than almost anyone and taken on more tough fights than anyone else committed to this cause."
As for the pro-life movement, while out of one side of his mouth Kerry said "nothing we say here diminishes or disrespects someone else's belief or morality," he nonetheless blasted those who stand opposed to NARAL: "We need to take on this President and the forces of intolerance on the other side. We need to honestly and candidly take this cause to the country -- speak up and be proud of what we stand for."
Late last year, at a forum on women's issued for Democratic presidential candidates organized by, among others, Planned Parenthood (which operates the largest chain of abortion mills in the country), Senator Kerry again made clear his extreme views on abortion. The transcript of the entire forum can be found here. At that forum, Senator Kerry responded to a question about the President's signing of the ban on partial-birth abortion by saying: "There's no such thing as a quote "partial birth." It is a late term abortion. They've done a very effective job of giving people a sense of fear about it and it's part of their assault on the rights of women in America. It is the first step in their effort – there's nothing partial, may I say, about their effort to undue Roe v. Wade. And I am the only candidate here who has said declaratively, I will support no person to the Supreme Court of the United States whose philosophy is to undue Roe v. Wade. They call it a litmus test; I call it protecting Constitutional rights in America. And we need a president who stands up and does that."
Of course, none of this is a new direction for John Kerry, for whom the abortion cause has been the signal continuity of his political career. He often tells pro-abortion rallies of his pride that his maiden speech in the United States Senate in 1985 was to proclaim his unwavering support for Roe v. Wade.
In another speech to the Senate in 1994, Senator Kerry made clear that he is not merely pro-choice but approves of abortion: "The right thing to do is to treat abortions as exactly what they are -- a medical procedure that any doctor is free to provide and any pregnant woman free to obtain. Consequently, abortions should not have to be performed in tightly guarded clinics on the edge of town; they should be performed and obtained in the same locations as any other medical procedure. . . . [A]bortions need to be moved out of the fringes of medicine and into the mainstream of medical practice." More about his record, together with the suggestion that pro-life Democrats could swing the election to Bush in Pennsylvania, may be found in Professor Paul Kengor's column.
In sum, the more we learn about John Kerry's record on the sanctity of life, the uglier and more despicable it appears. It is no wonder that John Kerry has proven unable to utter even a single word of condemnation of abortion or rebuke to the abortionists. He has never fully expressed any personal opposition to abortion because, well, his own words make clear that he has no genuine qualms about abortion, personally, legally, or politically.
I received an e-mail this morning forwarded from a medical professional in Arizona who felt impelled to share what she knows: that embryonic stem cell research is not under any ban, but is in fact going forward. The key point is that, in her experience, the research is going forward by harvesting embryonic stem cells from umbilical cords and placenta taken after the birth of a child. No destruction of embryos here.
So, in addition to promising research on adult stem cells, there is a way to conduct morally legitimate embryonic stem cell research. But, of course, the Kerry/Edwards ticket has no time for ethical niceties. Rather, consistent with their radical embrace of abortion, Kerry/Edwards now radically embraces a blank check for embryonic stem cell.
What can we say about politicians who recognize no ethical limits, about politicians who will sacrifice unborn children and embryos at will? Two words come to mind: corrupt and idolatrous. The ancient Israelites lived in the midst of pagan peoples accustomed to child sacrifice (see Leviticus 18:21). The Canaanites sacrificed children by burning to the god Molech (see the New Jerusalem Bible's comment on the above verse).
Our own culture has sunk to the level of that ancient barbarism. Kerry and Edwards have a corrupt vision with political power and self-indulgent egoism as the new Molech.
Read Bill Cork's "letter to the principal", which he wrote in response to a school assignment his son was given, "to write a persuasive essay on why he might choose one presidential candidate over the other" -- but without any reference whatsoever to abortion, which the teacher considered to be a "non-issue" in the election.
As Geoff Earle writes in today's issue of The Hill:
Bush's campaign manager, Ken Mehlman, is predicting that Bush will win both the electoral vote and the popular vote on election night. He said the president could prevail even if Kerry were to pull out victories in Pennsylvania and Ohio—an outcome that is a distinct possibility.
"I am confident we're going to win Ohio and Florida," Mehlman said at a Christian Science Monitor lunch yesterday. He said Bush was "in the ball game" in Michigan and Pennsylvania, ahead in Wisconsin and Iowa, and "very close" in New Mexico. "All of these are states that were blue last time that are now within the margin of error today," Mehlman said.
As we enter the closing stretch of the presidential race, "both candidates are spending their last days trying to fire up their own supporters while also trying to pick off wavering supporters from their opponents," Australia's Financial Reviewreports.
Scott Stanzel, a spokesman for the Bush campaign, said this is why the president was holding a bus tour in the more rural, western half of Wisconsin. "It's an area of the state where we feel we have room for improvement," Stanzel said. "Western Wisconsin is home to many conservative Democrats who share the president's values. That includes the sanctity of marriage and right to life. Kerry is 'out of step' here."
While Bush did three campaign stops in Wisconsin, he also flew out to Iowa for another day of stumping in that state and the strategy was the same. In his appearance in Dubuque, Bush planned to try to appeal to conservative Catholic voters who dislike Kerry's pro-choice stance, Stanzel said.
With all this in mind, let's take a closer look at how the Catholic vote is shaping up in two key battleground states.
President Bush wrapped up a two-day blitz of Iowa in Dubuque on Tuesday with a sharp indictment of Democrat John Kerry's record on cultural issues..."The final clear choice in this election is on the values that are crucial to keeping our families strong. And here, my opponent and I are miles apart," Bush said at a late-afternoon rally at the Grand River Center.
"I believe marriage is a sacred commitment, a pillar of our civilization....But Senator Kerry was part of an out-of-the-mainstream minority that voted against the Defense of Marriage Act," Bush said, prompting a chorus of boos from 4,500 supporters at the rally. "Republicans and Democrats came together and agreed we should ban the brutal practice of partial-birth abortion....But my opponent was part of an out-of-the-mainstream minority that voted against the ban."
On his second campaign stop in Democrat-heavy Dubuque, Bush was hoping to improve on the support he received in 2000 by focusing on issues critical to some of the city's large Roman Catholic population.
In 2000, Democrat Al Gore beat Bush by about 6,000 votes in Dubuque County, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 10,000. Bush aides said they hoped to suppress Kerry's support among devout Roman Catholics, who disagree with Kerry's support for abortion rights and his opposition to a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. Bush opposes abortion rights and has called for an amendment banning gay marriage.
Kerry's campaign said Bush's emphasis on cultural issues was an attempt to divide and distract voters. ("Bush Accents Values, Taxes,"The DesMoines Register, October 27, 2004)
Bush lost Iowa to Gore by 4,144 votes, less than one-third of a percentage point, in 2000.
Voters who "take[their] Christianity seriously" are "a prime target of President George W. Bush's campaign."
He is counting on religious voters—especially women—to win a state that Democrat John Kerry can't afford to lose. And unlike 2000, when he lost here by four points, Bush operatives have been organizing almost pew by pew....
Bush's "values" push has persuaded some Democrats. "Abortion is above all other issues for me," Sandy Beveridge said at her door. "I don't think I can vote for Kerry."...
As part of his appeal to the state's huge Catholic population, Bush recently was granted an audience with Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, who, like many bishops, had said Catholics had "a duty and responsibility" to back candidates who upheld church teachings on "life" issues. Kerry's response was to say he "respects" his church and its leaders, "but I respectfully disagree."
Bush has volunteers in every one of the state's 1,000 Catholic parishes. This weekend, as part of a huge get-out-the-vote effort that didn't exist in 2000, volunteers will hand out pamphlets at churches that compare the candidates' positions on a variety of issues, from abortion to tax cuts for children in religious schools.
"If you follow the teachings of the Catholic church, you can't vote for Kerry," said Rob Gleason, who runs Bush's Catholic outreach in Pennsylvania. "I was stunned that [Al] Gore got the majority of Catholic votes here. We're doing every thing we can to make sure that doesn't happen again."...
Bush has a prayer here in part because of inroads with Democratic Catholics and evangelicals. If Bush wins this state, and thus the presidency, he literally can thank God—and thousands of volunteers who spread his and Bush's word. It would mean Bush's religious strategy netted more new voters than it repelled. It would mean his gamble paid off. ("Strategy Could Turn Women Off," Newsday, October 27, 2004)
Florida Bishops are collectively reminding their parishioners to vote . . . and countering the misleading notion that all issues on the table "are of equal importance" in this election:
From a moral perspective, the issues of concern are not always of equal importance or urgency. Some are more fundamental and therefore more pressing than others. Pope John Paul II reminds us in the Gospel of Life, "It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop."
In our preparation, each of us should measure candidates and proposed constitutional amendments by how they will safeguard or diminish the life, dignity and rights of the human person. Dignity and rights have no meaning for the person who has been denied life. We should inform the candidates that our values impel us to insist -- because of our Lord's own witness to the sacredness of human life -- that the killing of an unborn child or vulnerable adult is always intrinsically evil and can never be justified.
Norma McCorvey, the former plaintiff in the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision, has endorsed President Bush in his re-election bid.
"This year I am going to vote to re-elect President Bush, because he is committed to the cause of life and wants our nation to make room to welcome and protect every unborn child," McCorvey said.
"Unless we do that, we can never have a world of social justice," the former Jane Roe added. "I urge all my pro-life friends to likewise vote for the President."
And here's a bit of trivia I didn't know:
McCorvey became a Christian in 1995 and renounced her part in the Roe v. Wade decision. She now heads up Roe No More, an organization dedicated to overturning the landmark case. Father Frank Pavone [of Priests for Life] is the priest who facilitated McCorvey's conversion to Catholicism in 1998.
You can find Norma's account of her conversion to the Catholic faith here.
My faith, and the faith I have seen in the lives of so many Americans, also teaches me that, "Whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me." That means we have a moral obligation to one another, to the forgotten, and to those who live in the shadows. This is a moral obligation at the heart of all our great religious traditions. It is also the vision of America: "E Pluribus Unum." The ethical test of a good society is how it treats its most vulnerable members.
"Whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me." So I guess then John Kerry is admitting that he is aborting Jesus and chopping Jesus up to get at his stem-cells.
Who among us is more vulnerable today than the 8 million Americans who are out of work? Who is more vulnerable than the 45 million Americans without health insurance? Who is more vulnerable than the parents who have to choose between food and medicine for their children?
I guess he can't see the forest because of all the abortion clinics in the way. Chris Burgwald also posts on that statement with:
This is who, Senator: the 43 million people we have allowed to be killed since abortion was legalized in 1973. That's 4000 people a day, today, Senator. Where are you for those vulnerable?
I know there are some Bishops who have suggested that as a public official I must cast votes or take public positions - on issues like a woman's right to choose and stem cell research - that carry out the tenets of the Catholic Church. I love my Church; I respect the Bishops; but I respectfully disagree.
"Personally opposed" and yet speaks of a women's right to choose. I would hate to see the rhetoric if he was "personally for". Elaine of My Domestic Church says "I won't mention that I think Kerry is an H******" Well for the record I don't think John Kerry is a heretic. A heretic actually believes in the falsehoods they profess. If the core constituents of the Democratic party were pro-life is there any doubt that John Kerry would also then be pro-life?
"Ornery American" and science-fiction writer Orson Scott Card questions Kerry's faith ("in science"):
We already knew Kerry had a plan for everything -- ending the war, not getting in the war in the first place, getting allies to join us in the war, saving Social Security, lowering taxes, vastly increasing spending, cutting the deficit in half.
You know. Miracles.
But who knew that Kerry and Edwards could cause the crippled to rise up and walk?
I don't think that has ever been promised in a political campaign before.
I was amused when Kerry said, during the second debate, "I believe in science."
That was a pretty clear contrast with George W. Bush, who believes in God.
. . . and the reasoning behind Kerry's opposition to "rigid ideological restrictions" -- that is to say, Christian -- on abortion:
When Kerry really believes something is wrong, he does not hesitate to call for laws to ban it. What he's really saying is that it's illegitimate to ban something you believe is wrong if -- and only if -- your belief in its wrongness comes from your religion.
So in his worldview, only religious people are forbidden to impose their beliefs about right and wrong on others. As long as you have no religion behind you, you can force your beliefs about right and wrong on anybody you want.
John Kerry says he's against "disenfranchising" people.
He really means, "except for people who believe their view of morality comes from God." Those people can just sit down and shut up, while the unbelievers make all the laws that rule their lives.
As we enter the last week before the presidential campaign, it struck me last night at a Sunday evening Mass that something is changing for the better in our Church: people are getting bolder in resisting the Culture of Death. Before the beginning of the quasi-youth Mass with its contemporary music, the young female singer urged us to vote for God's choice in the election and then proceeded to sing a song about the tragedy of abortion.
After the Mass, pro-life volunteers handed out their pro-life voting guides as people exited the door. The setting was a very large middle class, suburban parish in a strongly Democratic and pro-union part of Michigan.
Of course, this experience is anecdotal. But it matches what we have seen on the internet, in newspaper advertisements, in the form of a highly publicized canon law complaint boldly filed against Kerry, in the questions directed by ordinary citizens toward the candidates in the town hall presidential debate, in the outspoken bishops and archbishops who have denied Communion to Kerry, and in the articulate and aggressive election year posture of Archbishop Chaput in Denver. What all these actions have in common is that the ambiguity and pusillanimity of the past are wearing thin with many pro-life Catholics. We are in a cultural war, and faithful Catholics are ready to rumble.
People, young and old, are bolder and less inhibited in expressing support for life and for marriage. This boldness did not come from the U.S. Bishops Conference or from a diocesan workshop or roundtable discussion.
And this boldness certainly did not come from the liberal precincts of heterodox Catholic ivory towers and their in-house academic theologians and canon lawyers. In my opinion, this new boldness among faithful Catholics comes from the Holy Spirit. Finally, we have a good example of the authentic workings of the sense of the truly faithful, from the bottom up.
Almighty God, all things are in Your hands: our nation, our communities, our families, our lives.
In this time of great decision, bless our country and its people. Prosper the efforts of the just and true, and thwart the purposes of the unjust and dishonest. Preserve our land from violence and turmoil, and keep our relationships decent and respectful.
Inspire voters, legislators, executives, and judges so our country may be a land where morality is furthered by law and authority; where life is protected, marriage respected, and family supported; where the innocent are spared, and the guilty punished; where justice is tempered by mercy, and mercy fortified by justice.
Help us to keep the United States of America a land where the rule of law and respect for individual dignity are the legal foundation of a just order.
My personal prayer addendum:
And, dear Lord, we pray that in the next presidential election we might have a candidate whom we could support wholeheartedly, without moral or mental reservation, rather than one whom we feel duty bound to vote against in defence of every scrap of moral deceny that yet remains in our once Christian nation.
Please share Lane's Novena with family, friends, and readers who share our love for God and country.
Ongoing commentary by the editors of CatholicKerryWatch
Sen. John Kerry stands with Kate Michelman (right) President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Since 1995, Michelman's group has given Kerry a 100% rating for his voting record to defend abortion.