Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Monday, September 01, 2008

More Bishops Speak Out About Pelosi

There are more statements coming out about Pelosi's false representation of Catholic teaching on abortion. Since my last post on this Archbishop Weurl of DC sent out a letter to the priests of the Archdiocese of Washington DC asking them to use the homily during "this Sunday’s liturgy as an opportune time to present to the Catholic faithful of this archdiocese a number of elements of our Catholic faith. ...
This is an opportune time simply to reaffirm with all of our Catholic faithful and others who may be interested in what the Church has to say that abortion is and has always been considered a serious evil, that the destruction of innocent human life at any stage is wrong and that it is the task entrusted to the bishops of the Church to proclaim and whatn necessary clarify this constant teaching." It would be interesting to see how many priests listened to him & said something in the homily, let alone accurately presented the truth. (Source: “Clarifications” from Archbp. Wuerl! Priests of Washington DC preach on human life)
The Diocese of Dallas put out a press release with Bishop Kevin Farrell's comments. "Bishop Kevin Farrell of the Diocese of Dallas strongly supports the statement from Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Lori and adds, “I very much respect House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s right to speak to public policy. However, interpreting the teachings of the Church is not in her domain but is entrusted to our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI and to the bishops who are in communion with him. The Catholic Church from the beginning of time has condemned abortion as immoral and contrary to the laws of God.”
Bishop Farrell also went on to direct people to Articles 2270-2271 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. . . "
Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis issued this statement: "“On behalf of the 650,000 Catholics of this Archdiocese, I wish to reinforce what Cardinal Rigali, Bishop Lori of Bridgeport, Conn. and Archbishop Chaput of Denver have said about Speaker Pelosi’s misinterpretation on the question of when life begins. The Church has taught for centuries that life begins at conception and there is no room for misrepresentation of that teaching. In addition, modern medical techniques have been able to confirm what the Church has already known.
“Surely, there may be some Catholic politicians who will take a different interpretation of this Church doctrine during the coming election campaign, but Speaker Pelosi’s remarks underscore once again the need for Catholics, and especially Catholic politicians, to form their consciences according to the moral truths taught by the Catholic Church.”
In his statement, Bishop Jerome E. Listecki of the Diocese of La Crosse said: "That today is the Feast of St. Augustine makes it all the more fitting for me, as Bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse, to exercise my obligation to correct this grave error. And so I join a number of my brother bishops in speaking out." (1 of life's little ironies. I doubt that Pelosi realized that his feast would be a few days after she spoke. It is like God is saying to her: "You lied. & you use St. Augustine to do so. Now here is St. Augustine's revenge.")
He then says: "Let me be clear. To say that there is ambiguity about when human life begins is utterly and completely false, and any Catholic (which Speaker Pelosi professes to be) who tries to interpret Church teaching in such a manner gives scandal and misleads the faithful." (I like how he uses the phrase "professes to be". He is implying that if she were Catholic then she wouldn't be saying what she did.)
He goes on to say: "New human life with distinct DNA begins at conception, and it is science, not theology, which tells us that. Advances in ultrasound and other imaging technology, along with the wonders of prenatal surgery, have only made more visible and poignant that distinct life within the womb.

While it does not belong to the mother, that human life does depend on her care and protection, along with the support and protection of any society that would call itself civil and humane.

It is ironic that, in an age that prides itself on scientific knowledge, there are those whose agenda drives them to invoke misinformed theology to cast doubt on some of the most basic biological truths.

In such a politicized environment of self-serving skepticism and slogans about “choice,” the Church must tirelessly proclaim the truth about the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death. This is all the more urgent when innocent human life is threatened, as it is by abortion, as well as embryonic stem cell research and euthanasia.

To clearly proclaim and defend this truth is my duty as your Bishop, part of my task to form consciences for faithful citizenship. It is also the duty of all the faithful, as we work together to foster a culture of life.
" (It is good to hear him say this. Unfortunately it is a task that way too many bishops fall short in doing.)
Bishop Edward J. Slattery of the Diocese of Tulsa starts out his statement by saying: "I wish to join with the chorus of bishops, plus the many elected officials and citizens of good-will across the country who have reacted with astonished outrage to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comments last Sunday in an interview with Tom Brokaw. In these confusing and scandalous assertions, Madame Speaker alleged that the Catholic Church’s position on the morality of abortion has changed through the centuries. This is false."
After a short history of the Church's teaching the Bishop says: "Mrs. Pelosi claims to be an ‘ardent, practicing Catholic’ who has ‘studied (the issue) for a long time,’ but in presuming to articulate the Church’s teaching, the Speaker of the House has seriously misrepresented the history and nature of the Church’s moral stance.  Perhaps her intention was to justify her long-standing position as a ‘pro-abortion’ politician by claiming a non-existent ambiguity in the moral teaching of the Church. Perhaps her desire was to convince Catholics that the unjust taking of the life of an unborn child can be justified as long as it is handled “respectfully.”" He says that Pelosi "claims to be" a practicing Catholic. He goes on to prove that she is anything but.)
Now he issues a warning: "I pray that every Catholic will recognize the danger implicit in this kind of faulty reasoning and I want to take this opportunity to articulate simply and clearly the Church’s unchanging position in this matter:" which he then goes on to do.
After calling on Catholic voters to take their responsibility as citizens seriously, he explains why. "At present the moral danger posed to our nation by its callous disregard of human life threatens to destroy the foundations of our society. If the fundamental right of the unborn to life is disregarded, every other human right is at risk for all of us. This is clearly attested to in our own society where the legalization of abortion thirty-five years ago has so degraded our respect for human life that many situations which require respect for the person have deteriorated before our eyes, from war to health care, to women’s rights, to violence on our streets and in our neighborhood, to infanticide and euthanasia."
"This is not a private issue - 40 million babies have been killed since abortion became legal in this country. Nor is this a political or civil conversation from which the Church is excluded because of the constitutional separation of Church and state. Neither is the right to life a merely “Catholic position” which Catholics would legitimately refrain from imposing upon others."
"Abortion is a moral issue, and the Church claims an unbridled right to speak on this issue and to remind those who will vote in the November elections that the intrinsic evil of abortion is determined - neither by law nor by man’s decision - but by God Who has written this into the core of our human nature."(So much for seperation of Church & state & imposing morality.)

"Do not be confused or misled. In the election ahead, the issue of pro-life vs. pro-abortion will be the highest and most critical issue facing the electorate, more important than the economy, terrorism or even the war in Iraq. I ask you to pray before you vote and to vote to preserve life.
" (It is good to see him undermine the claims that other issues are just as important as the stand on abortion. They aren't & he makes it clear that they aren't. As to how many will listen, that is another question.)
After Mass yesterday I was talking to Connie Hardie about Pelosi's statement & the bishops repsonses. She pointed out something Pelosi said that I had heard but glossed over. Nancy Pelosi also talks about the Dems promoting birth control as a means of reducing the number of abortions. Connie has a way of catching things that many of us miss & this is 1 of them. She said that she had noticed how in all the statements about Pelosi that she had read, they just mentioned her comments on abortion, not her comments on contraception.
I got to thinking that she was right. I didn't remember seeing anything on contraception. But since it wasn't on my radar as I was originally reading the statements, I decided to go back & check it out myself, not that I doubted her, but to be able to confirm it with my own eyes if questioned.
I found that some of them mentioned embryonic stem cell research. Bishop Murphy of Rockville Centre does point out what the Dem platform says on artificial contraception. But he fails to mention that Pelosi brought that up in her comments as a good thing to be used in reducing abortion. "I am sure she is a fine person and I know she is a woman of talent. The platform of the Democratic Party stands or falls on its own words, although it has eliminated the word “rare” as one of their goals about abortion and it continues to propagate the false idea that more contraception leads to fewer abortions. The fact is exactly the opposite, as Pope Paul VI correctly foresaw." Only a couple of others had some wording that could be seen as even hinting at why artificial contraception is wrong. However, none of them came out & said it was wrong, let alone called Pelosi to task for saying it.
Meanwhile, here in DBQ, Archbishop Hanus remains silent. I would hope for more, but given his silence on PP I am not holding my breath waiting. As for our Archdiocosen newspaper, The Witness, I knew this would be too bing for them to ignore. The question: " how far back would they bury it? The answer: Page 17. They did have it listed on the "inside this issue" box on the front page.
So what did they put on the front page where it should have been? 1 of the 2 stories made sense at it has a local connection. It was the "above the fold" story. It was about the 21 August session to close the diocesan process for the beatification of Venerable Samuel Mazzuchelli OP. Given his DBQ connections it made sense.
What was the other story "below the fold"? A panel discussion of immigration at the Democratic National Convention last week. I won't go into all the left wing BS that was in the article & how it fails to mention that much of what those on the panel are for is contrary to authentic Catholic social teaching. So where are the bishops on this? Oh wait! A huge number of the bishops actually disent from what the Church really teaches in this area. So they aren't going to say anything. In fact I highly suspect that many bishops are POed at Pelosi for putting them in an embarrassing situation, re: abortion, that they would just as soon ignore as well. I will credit the article with using the term "illegal immigrants"
I suspect that God will be sure that abortion & the other Pro-Life issues remain on the front burner more than the US Bishops & Dems would like it to be. & I hope I am right. We are at a crossroads. We can continue to allow this country to go off the edge & destroy itself by surrendering wholeheartedly to the "culture of death". Or we can turn away & start building the "Culture of Life" that God wants for us. Getting us to do so may include us having to deal with a little chastisement as I have said before. I'm not thrilled with that idea, but whatever God needs to do &/or allow to get us to respond I will accept. & if we don't listen we can't say God didn't warn us. He has, loud & clear through Scripture, many orthodox priests & others of us who see the signs of the times & are issuing the warning.


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