What We Have Here Is a Failure to Communicate (Catholic Teaching)

January 2009

On the 20th of this month, Barack Hussein Obama will be inaugurated as our nation's 44th president. He has been billed as the most extreme pro-abortion president ever. He famously said that he would not want his daughter and her husband "punished" by a baby. Yet 54 percent of Catholics voted for Obama for president. How could that be?

On November 14, 2007, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a longwinded voter guide with a longwinded title: "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States." This document, popularly known as "Faithful Citizenship," meanders through myriad topics in its 90 sections running 43 pages long. As we noted in our February 2008 NOR Note "A Perplexing Political Potpourri," what is so maddening about "Faithful Citizenship" is that it buries the burning political issues of the day under an avalanche of lesser considerations. Abortion shares the stage with such topics as food stamps, agricultural policy, teachers' salaries, unionization, media monopolies, earned-income tax credits, and "care for the earth" -- hardly equivalent concerns.

And so a high-profile "conservative" Catholic like Doug Kmiec, a former dean of Catholic University and former assistant attorney general under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, can make bold to publicly endorse the rabidly anti-life Obama. Kmiec, who instantly became the secular media's new "go-to" guy for Catholic spin on the election, explained at St. John's Seminary in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles that, "except for the abortion issue, Obama and the bishops are talking the same platform."

Even when addressing the "abortion issue," the most crucial issue of our time, in "Faithful Citizenship," the bishops flub it. In a convoluted sequence of sections (#34-36), they say, "A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil such as abortion." On the other hand, "There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate's unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons." And finally, "The voter may decide…to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position." Wrap your head around that!


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New Oxford Notes: January 2009

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It is true that so long as the Bishops do not speak with one voice, the flock will disperse to their favorite corners. However, I do not see how any Catholic who is truly interested in Catholic Teaching could have misunderstood the Church's position on last Nov's vote. One cannot, in good conscience, vote for Obama because he is pro abortion. Actually that is one of a number of issues why a Catholic could not have voted for the dem candidate. I also heard what Doug Kmiec said and do not buy, for one minute, his rationale. My question is why did he refuse to obey Church Teaching? He had to know he was wrong and was instrumental in causing others to stray. You can spin the issues but it never changes the facts of what is truth. Did we really have a failure to communicate (wrt abortion and a vote for Obama) or are Church leaders refusing to admit that most people that call themselves Catholic are not. Even some priests are having problems - either with discerning the truth or being blasted by media for standing up for Church Teaching such as Proposition 8 in CA. And the Church Fathers are agonizingly slow in responding appropriately.
With President-elect Obama, the Church will have another challenge. He seems to carefully parse his words so that one has to ignore what he says and see what he does.
Posted by: awunsch
January 10, 2009 07:57 PM EST
Until out Bishops speak up and excommunicate all the ersatz Catholic politicians and deny them the right to claim to be Catholics, the laity will also do as they please. Our 'teachers' are failing in their jobs which is not to feed the poor and cozy up to the politicos - it's to teach us by word and deed. Posted by: andiamo
January 26, 2009 10:23 AM EST
During the arian heresy, if my memory is not faulty, all of the eastern provices and most of the western provices except for Rome and a few of the western provinces were heretical. A statement attributed to the Father of Orthodoxy, St. Athanasius, was "The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of Bishops".

The USCCB means nothing to me. They have no canonical authority and much of what they issue is worthless. When the Bishops are not in consonance with Rome, and most of them are not, I simply ignore that which is contrary to Rome and correct Catholic teaching. I trust no Jesuit unless I personally know of his orthodoxy. You can easily, in most cases, check the internet. It almost seems as if the Jesuits are a lost cause.

To reiterate, Rome, the Scriptures and the Cathcheism of the Catholic Church should be you guide. Just check your Bishop's position with the aforementioned. As G. K. Chesterton stated "don't be so open minded that your brains fall out" and "Only a live fish can swim against the current, the dead go with it" and "I want a church that moves the world, not one that moves with it".
Posted by: airborneman
January 27, 2009 02:24 PM EST
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