Archive for the ‘by Deacon Fournier’ Category

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In an effort to save his administration from collapsing under the weight of the controversy caused by the oppressive Health and Human Services (HHS) edict requiring Catholics to violate their conscience, President Obama announced a “compromise”. Unfortunately, the compromise is a thinly veiled smoke and mirrors act of political theater. 

Perhaps hoping to fool the innocent into believing that a crisis has been averted, President Obama announced that the Catholic Church and other Christian organizations and outreaches would no longer be forced to cover sterilization procedures and provide contraception and abortifacients in direct violation of their conscience.

The HHS mandate was widely condemned across the Nation as a blatant attack on the Church. It is a violation of the First Amendment Right to the Free Exercise of Religion. It was also widely condemned as a coercive act which, in effect, compels people to violate their deeply held religious beliefs – and violate their consciences – or face severe government sanction.

However, the Obama “compromise”  announced on Friday, January 10, 2012 has merely shifted the onus of immorality from the religious employer directly to – the religious employer.

The compromise states that Churches and other religious organizations would not have to pay for those services which they find morally objectionable, and that instead those services would be paid for directly by insurance companies.

However, this is still an attack on the Church and her Rights. It merely amounts to exchanging the tiger for the lion in the arena.

TINSTAAFL (There is no such thing as a free lunch)

Unfortunately, this compromise makes fools out of all who hail it as a step in the right direction. The old economic adage and popular slang puts it this way, “there is no such thing as a free lunch.”

The insurance companies are still going to charge the insuring employer for these services, albeit in an indirect manner. That also means religious employers will still be paying for these services, even if only in the form of higher premiums for their employees.

There is another problem, even more severe. One cannot violate the Natural Moral Law, even indirectly. Professor Robert D’ Estro of the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America put it this way, “It’s a shell game.”

So while the compromise may fool the innocent, the Church, ever alert, is expected to maintain its staunch opposition to the edict. The US Bishops have not yet formally responded to the President’s proposed resolution.

However, in a statement, Pro-life, Pro-freedom, and Pro-family Representative, Chris Smith (R-NJ), a Catholic, told Lifesite news, “The so-called new policy is the discredited old policy, dressed up to look like something else. It remains a serious violation of religious freedom. Only the most naïve or gullible would accept this as a change in policy.”

He continued, “The White House Fact Sheet is riddled with doublespeak and contradiction. It states, for example, that religious employers ‘will not’ have to pay for abortion pills, sterilization and contraception, but their ‘insurance companies’ will. Who pays for the insurance policy? The religious employer.”

There should be no mistake on the part of the people who are deeply concerned about this edict. This is a very real battle which is not over. What is at stake is the Right to the Free Exercise of Religion from a Constitutional  perspective. It is a struggle for for the very conscience and soul of the United States.

Compelling the Church to “indirectly” distribute contraceptives – including abortion inducing drugs – and to provide for sterilization – indirectly – is no accomodation.

The resolution of this dispute will decide if America is a Nation which truly recognizes the existence of inalienable rights and respects Religious Freedom. Or, will the current administration take its place with the oppressive regimes of the world who disregard fundamental human rights such as the Right to Life and the Right to Religious Freedom?

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By Keith A. Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Obama 2012 has been launched. Should Catholics Support Him? The answer should be a resounding No!

I write as a private citizen who is a Catholic. I write because I am deeply concerned about the state of the Nation I love. I write because I believe this is the most important election of my lifetime. There is too much at stake. Politics really is “how we govern ourselves.”  As the Obama 2012 Video claims, it begins with us! As for the re-election of President Obama Obama in 2012, the question has now been asked, Should Catholics Support Him? The answer should be a resounding No!

On Monday, April 4, 2011, President Barack Obama announced his re-election campaign with a You Tube video and massive email blast. The title of the video was “It Begins with us.”  It presented a cross section of supporters who pledged their support. For example, there is a young man who was not able to vote in 2008 but will work to re-elect him; an Hispanic family seeking opportunities to live the American dream; and a white Southerner who doesn’t agree with everything the President has done but will support him.

The re-election campaign video used the recycled language of the first campaign. It was a laid back but professionally done piece. Clearly, it is only the first step in what will become a massive and well-funded effort to re-elect this President. Toward the end of the video a statement is made by a woman supporter, “Politics is how we govern ourselves.”

Because I believe this claim, I write this article. I write without using my clerical title, lest anyone claim I am trying to speak on behalf of the Catholic Church. I could not and do not attempt to do so. I write as a private citizen who is a Catholic. I write because I am deeply concerned about the state of the Nation I love. I write because I believe this is the most important election of my lifetime.

This will be the first of many articles I will write to oppose the re-election of this President. I hope to be able to support an alternative candidate and will be closely watching as alternative candidates emerge, in either major party or in third parties. Efforts to somehow “divorce” social and economic issues will be exposed by my “pen” for the compromise that they really represent. I will only support a candidate who understands why these two can never be separated.

In the “Afterword” of a book entitled “Can a Catholic Support Him?” written to endorse the candidacy of Barack Obama in 2008 and persuade fellow Catholics to do the same, the current  Ambassador to Malta, Doug Kmiec wrote: “Barack Obama has my vote. Your only duty is to cast your own in good conscience. As a Catholic and as an American, you may do so in perfect freedom. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise”.

I published a series of articles back then opposing Ambassador Kmiec’s support of candidate Obama. About his claim in the “Afterword” I wrote “Make no mistake; this is a moral claim. It uses phrases like “good conscience” and “perfect freedom”, which speak to the morality of human action and the acting person. Consciences are “good” when they are properly formed in the truth which then leads the person to do what is good.

Freedom “perfects” (completes) a human person only when it is exercised in accordance with the truth and furthers what is truly good. Back then I personally told Doug back that he had asked the wrong question. The real question was then – and is now – SHOULD a Catholic support him. Then – and even more clearly now after three years of his Presidential leadership – the answer is an unequivocal and unqualified “NO.”

Ambassador Kmiec purported to make a “moral” argument for voting for Obama. He was the “Catholic scholar” they used to win Catholics to the Obama candidacy. They had a “Catholic problem” because their candidate had promised to sign the so called “Freedom of Choice Act” (FOCA) into law as soon as he was elected. So the candidate Obama called abortion a “moral issue” and made noises about making the prevalence of abortion less “necessary.”

Doug Kmiec made self contradicting arguments to justify voting for the candidate, claiming that that in voting for a candidate who supported an intrinsic evil such as abortion on demand he did not “intend” to support that position. Well, we now all know that what happened has been disastrous to those whom Blessed Teresa rightly called “the poorest of the poor,” children in the womb.

He tried to do a “two step” around the obvious contradiction of his position. Purporting to rely on the principle of proportionality, he promoted the error of “proportionalism.”  The Catholic Catechism put it clearly, “There are certain kinds of behavior that are always wrong to choose, because choosing them involves a disorder of the will”. (CCC#1761) Our particular “intentions” must be in accord with right reason.

St Paul addressed the early Christians in Rome concerning the idea that evil may be done as long as there is a good intention. “There are those who say: And why not do evil that good may come? Their condemnation is just’ (Rom 3:8) Catholics are to form their consciences in accordance with what is true and then to act morally, that is to act in accordance with that truth. This is what true freedom is about.

Our Nation has become intoxicated on the wine of a false notion of freedom as a raw power over others who are weaker and a “right” to do whatever one wills. Pope Benedict opined in 2005 concerning legal abortion and creeping euthanasia: “The freedom to kill is not true freedom, but a tyranny that reduces the human being to slavery.” Authentic Human Freedom will never be found in decisions that are made against God and against the Natural Law.

The Pope addressed an assembly of families and coined a phrase “anarchic freedom”: “Today’s various forms of dissolution of marriage, free unions, trial marriages as well as the pseudo-matrimonies between people of the same sex are instead expressions of anarchic freedom which falsely tries to pass itself off as the true liberation of man.” He echoed what the Venerable John Paul II referred to as a “counterfeit” notion of freedom as a right to do whatever one chooses.

For many years I have sought to take the principles found in Catholic Social Doctrine and explain them with reference to four pillars of political, cultural, economic and social participation; life, family, freedom and solidarity.  These principles are not simply “religious.” Rather, they are derived from the Natural Law and offered to all who seek to build a more just social order.

In future articles I will consider the position of candidates, no matter what their political party affiliation, in light of these pillars of participation. For now, let me address just the first two pillars now that President Obama has announced his decision to seek re-election to a second term.

To support the fundamental human right to life for all men and women at every age and stage is not about being a “single issue” voter. Respect for the dignity of every human life is the foundation of any truly just society. The Right to Life is rooted in the Natural Law and forms the basis of our criminal code. It is always and everywhere wrong to take innocent human life. Medical science confirms what our conscience long ago told us, the child in the womb is one of us.

We now operate on him/her while they are in the womb. We prosecute when he or she is killed by a drunk driver. 4D Sonograms reveal what we all know to be true, these are children who are being killed in every procured abortion. It is always and everywhere wrong to take innocent human life. This President is opposed to the Right to Life, thereby favoring abortion on demand and supports funding abortions with tax dollars. The sophistry must be exposed. The President’s re-election must be opposed.

Marriage is a lifelong relationship between a man and a woman intended to form a family through bearing and rearing children. It is the first government, first school, first church, first economy, first mediating institution and the smallest cell of society. This is also revealed in the Natural Law and recognized across cultures.

This administration announced it will no longer defend marriage, rejecting the expressed will of the people in the Defense of Marriage Act. It promotes the demands of those who insist that a legal equivalency be given to sexual partnerships incapable of ever being a marriage. Defending Marriage and the family is the path to securing a future of freedom. This is one of the most important tasks of government. The sophistry must be exposed. The President’s re-election must be opposed.

I will return in future articles throughout this Presidential campaign to address our obligations in solidarity, the application of the social ordering principle of subsidiarity as it relates to good government and the moral basis of both a free market and a free society. I expect the leaders of Obama 2012 to try to find Catholic voices to defend the indefensible. I will not sit idly by if they do.

There is too much at stake. Yes, as the Obama 2012 Video claims, it begins with us!  Presidential Campaign 2012 is now underway. As for the re-election of President Obama Obama in 2012, the question has now been asked. Should Catholics Support Him? The answer should be a resounding No!

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by Deacon Keith Fournier Catholic Online

On Friday December 10, 2010, an article written by Tom Blackwell appeared in Canada’s “National Post” entitled “When is Twins Too Many?” The article told the story of a couple who are part of a growing trend in Western culture:

“Like so many other couples these days, the Toronto-area business executive and her husband put off having children for years as they built successful careers. Both parents were in their 40s – and their first son just over a year old – when this spring the woman became pregnant a second time. Seven weeks in, an ultrasound revealed the Burlington, Ont., resident was carrying twins.

“It came as a complete shock,” said the mother, who asked not to be named. “We’re both career people. If we were going to have three children two years apart, someone else was going to be raising our kids. … All of a sudden our lives as we know them and as we like to lead them, are not going to happen.”

“She soon discovered another option: Doctors could “reduce” the pregnancy from twins to a singleton through a little-known procedure that eliminates selected fetuses – and has become increasingly common in the past two decades amid a boom in the number of multiple pregnancies. Selective reductions are typically carried out for women pregnant with triplets or greater, where the risk of harm or death climbs sharply with each additional fetus.

“The Ontario couple is part of what some experts say is a growing demand for reducing twins to one, fueled more by socio-economic imperatives than medical need, and raising vexing new ethical questions. Experts question whether parents should choose to terminate a fetus just because of the impact the child would have on their lives, and note that even more medically necessary reductions can trigger lifelong angst and even threaten marriages. The mother said the Toronto doctor who eventually did her reduction performs several a month.”

If you recoiled upon reading about this couple choosing to “reduce” – kill – their daughter or son it is because you still have a conscience. However, there is no moral difference between the choice of this couple and the willful abortions committed every day for any reason throughout all nine months of pregnancy in the United States of America and throughout the West. The action of taking the life of an innocent child in the womb is intrinsically evil. It also violates the Natural Law Right to Life making it a crime, even if the positive law of a nation fails to recognize the existence of that Right to Life.

The article interviewed a “counselor” who strives to “help” these parents. She explained she does so in “a nonjudgmental way.” She admits that the trend “saddens and scares” her, and asks, “Is this a healthy thing? We have to ask these questions: Where does it stop? When do children become a commodity?”

The woman who killed her child said she had “no regrets, and believes the option should be openly available to all parents expecting twins.” Here are her exact words, “I’m absolutely sure I did the right thing. I had read some online forums; people were speaking of grieving, feeling a sense of loss. I didn’t feel any of that. Not that I’m a cruel, bitter person … I just didn’t feel I would be able to care for (twins) in a way that I wanted to.”

Tom Blackwell spoke with a New York City obstetrician who has changed his views on performing such “reductions”. He has decided to expand his practice of selectively killing children in the womb, what he called the “procedure.” He explained, “In North America, couples can choose to have an abortion for any reason”. Blackwell ended the article noting how the killing of the children is accomplished, “Fetal reductions are most commonly conducted by inserting an ultrasound-guided needle through the mother’s abdomen and into the uterus, injecting a potassium chloride solution into the chosen fetus or fetuses, stopping their hearts.”

We probably do not want to consider what is really happening here just days before Christmas when we pause to remember the birth of the Child who changed the course of human history. However, we must do so if we ever hope to recover our National soul and respond to the meaning of the Holy Day we celebrate. The Incarnate Word of God became a human person, living life at every age and stage, in the real womb of a real mother. He is identified with every child, at every age and stage. “Selective Reductions” are targeted raids on children using chemical weapons to kill them. They are now entrenched in our current culture of death.

For example, they are a part of In Vitro fertilization. On June 20, 2008 the Vatican released an instruction called “the Dignity of the Human Person” which dealt with “Certain Bioethical Questions”. In the section concerning the deliberate destruction of embryos we read: “The fact that the process of in vitro fertilization very frequently involves the deliberate destruction of embryos was already noted in the Instruction Donum Vitae (The Gift of Life). There were some who maintained that this was due to techniques which were still somewhat imperfect. Subsequent experience has shown, however, that all techniques of in vitro fertilization proceed as if the human embryo were simply a mass of cells to be used, selected and discarded.

“It is true that approximately a third of women who have recourse to artificial procreation succeed in having a baby. It should be recognized, however, that given the proportion between the total number of embryos produced and those eventually born, the number of embryos sacrificed is extremely high. These losses are accepted by the practitioners of in vitro fertilization as the price to be paid for positive results. In reality, it is deeply disturbing that research in this area aims principally at obtaining better results in terms of the percentage of babies born to women who begin the process, but does not manifest a concrete interest in the right to life of each individual embryo.

“It is often objected that the loss of embryos is, in the majority of cases, unintentional or that it happens truly against the will of the parents and physicians. They say that it is a question of risks which are not all that different from those in natural procreation; to seek to generate new life without running any risks would in practice mean doing nothing to transmit it. It is true that not all the losses of embryos in the process of in vitro fertilization have the same relationship to the will of those involved in the procedure. But it is also true that in many cases the abandonment, destruction and loss of embryos are foreseen and willed. Embryos produced in vitro which have defects are directly discarded. Cases are becoming ever more prevalent in which couples who have no fertility problems are using artificial means of procreation in order to engage in genetic selection of their offspring.”

The killing of these “excess” children continues after implantation in the womb of their mother through this heinous procedure referred to as “selective reduction”. It is, in fact, selective execution. Children have become commodities.

In 1987, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued its important direction entitled “Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation”. Among the questions it answered was: “What Respect is due to the human embryo, taking into account his nature and identity?” The answer given by the Magisterium: “The human being must be respected – as a person – from the very first instant of his (her) existence.”

Sometimes when Catholic writers like me quote Church sources, the proponents of calling the killing of children a “right” try to dismiss us by saying this is our “religious position”. The medical facts confirm what our consciences have always told us, that is when we still had consciences; the child in the womb is one of us, our neighbor. We now routinely intervene to operate on her when she is in need. We take 4d Ultrasounds of him and make our greeting cards with them. The child, from the moment of conception is, just like each one of of us, a human person in development. That development continues throughout life. Killing one of these children is killing our innocent neighbor. “Selective reduction” is simply one more example of Orwellian Newspeak.

Years ago I was involved in a new business venture. We built offices and invited guests to help us to dedicate them in prayer. One of the men with whom I was involved in the venture was an Evangelical Protestant leader. He shared some good news with our invited guests; his daughter was expecting her first child. Of course, everyone was happy. Then, without even pausing he told everyone present that she went through In Vitro Fertilization at a nearby clinic. I was appalled, knowing as I do that every In Vitro treatment results in “excess embryos” being killed and that “selective reductions” are often involved. Explaining that to him later was a difficult moment.

The Canadian counselor’s question was answered in the West long ago, “When do children become a commodity?” They became a commodity when their killing was legalized. The evil is covered over by deadly, loaded language like “selective reduction” and “choice”. As we pause to celebrate the Birth of the Author of Life, let us be resolved to ending the Culture of Death. It must be our first priority in the coming year. It is time for Catholic Action.

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With regard to the embryo in the womb, science itself highlights its autonomy capable of interaction with the mother, the coordination of biological processes, the continuity of development, the growing complexity of the organism. This is not an accumulation of biological material, but a new living being, dynamic and wonderfully ordered, a new unique human being. So was Jesus in Mary’s womb, so it was for all of us in our mother’s womb. With the ancient Christian writer Tertullian we can say: ” he who will be a man is already one” (Apologeticum IX, 8), there is no reason not to consider him a person from conception. [Pope Benedict XVI]

Protect, Love and Serve Life! Pope’s Homily at Vigil of Prayer for All Nascent Human Life

by Deacon Keith Fournier (Catholic Online)

The Vigil of Advent 2010 began in St. Peter’s Basilica with Pope Benedict XVI leading what was called a “Vigil of Prayer for All Nascent Human Life”. Catholics throughout the world gathered in their local Churches, as well as in homes, monasteries and religious houses all over the world. The global Vigil was requested by Pope Benedict XVI. It underscores the unqualified and unequivocal committment of the Catholic Church to the defense of every human life, from conception, throughout every age and stage, up to and including a natural death.

In his homily, Pope Benedict called the faithful to defend all human life, including embryonic human life. In fact,a human embryo is a human being, in development as we all are. The Pope noted that “there are cultural tendencies that seek to anesthetize consciences with misleading motivations. With regard to the embryo in the womb, science itself highlights its autonomy capable of interaction with the mother, the coordination of biological processes, the continuity of development, the growing complexity of the organism. This is not an accumulation of biological material, but a new living being, dynamic and wonderfully ordered, a new unique human being”.

He cautioned against the growing “darkening of consciences” and proclaimed with clarity and conviction to the whole world that the child in the first home of the whole human race, his or her mothers womb, “has the right not to be treated as an object of possession or something to manipulate at will, not to be reduced to a mere instrument for the benefit of others and their interests. The human person is a good in and of himself and his integral development should always be sought”.

The fathers of the Church referred to the Christian faith, and the sacraments of the church, as “the mysteries”. They are beyond words, inexhaustible in their depth of meaning, like a rich feast that never ends and a deep ocean of wonder into which we are invited to wade. We can never touch the bottom. The Incarnation is the very heart of the Mystery of the entire Christian Faith. The God, who made the whole universe and created man out of the dust of the earth, took on our humanity. He lived in the first home of every human person, His mothers womb.

Those first nine months of His life made every human pregnancy even more profoundly a “mystery”. There was a Redeemer in the womb of Mary! God was an embryonic human person, a “fetus”, and a child in the womb. In the light of this “mystery” every human pregnancy, every womb, every child in the womb, was forever elevated beyond the dignity it already possessed. Also, the extreme evil of abortion is made even more obvious and profane.This Redeemer in the womb, Jesus, began His saving work “in utero” and He identifies with every child in the womb.

We have a great theologian and man of deep faith in the Chair of Peter, Pope Benedict XVI. We offer his entire homily for our global readers as we begin the first full week of Advent, preparing for the Nativity of the Lord. It is well worth prayerfully reflecting upon so that we can enter more fully into the mission of the Church, the defender of every human life.

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Homily of Pope Benedict XVI on the Vigil of Prayer for Nascent Human Life, Advent 2010

Dear brothers and sisters,

With this evening’s celebration, the Lord gives us the grace and joy of opening the new liturgical year beginning with its first stage: Advent, the period that commemorates the coming of God among us. Every beginning brings a special grace, because it is blessed by the Lord. In this Advent period we will once again experience the closeness of the One who created the world, who guides history and cared for us to the point of becoming a man.

This great and fascinating mystery of God with us, moreover of God who becomes one of us, is what we celebrate in the coming weeks journeying towards holy Christmas. During the season of Advent we feel the Church that takes us by the hand and – in the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary – expresses her motherhood allowing us to experience the joyful expectation of the coming of the Lord, who embraces us all in his love that saves and consoles.

While our hearts reach out towards the annual celebration of the birth of Christ, the Church’s liturgy directs our gaze to the final goal: our encounter with the Lord in the splendour of glory. This is why we, in every Eucharist, “announce his death, proclaim his resurrection until he comes again” we hold vigil in prayer. The liturgy does not cease to encourage and support us, putting on our lips, in the days of Advent, the cry with which the whole Bible concludes, the last page of the Revelation of Saint John: “Come, Lord Jesus “(22:20).

Dear brothers and sisters, our coming together this evening to begin the Advent journey is enriched by another important reason: with the entire Church, we want to solemnly celebrate a prayer vigil for unborn life. I wish to express my thanks to all who have taken up this invitation and those who are specifically dedicated to welcoming and safeguarding human life in different situations of fragility, especially in its early days and in its early stages.

The beginning of the liturgical year helps us to relive the expectation of God made flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, God who makes himself small, He becomes a child, it speaks to us of the coming of a God who is near, who wanted to experience the life of man, from the very beginning, to save it completely, fully. And so the mystery of the Incarnation of the Lord and the beginning of human life are intimately connected and in harmony with each other within the one saving plan of God, the Lord of life of each and every one of us. The Incarnation reveals to us, with intense light and in an amazing way, that every human life has an incomparable, a most elevated dignity.

Man has an unmistakable originality compared to all other living beings that inhabit the earth. He presents himself as a unique and singular entity, endowed with intelligence and free will, as well as being composed of a material reality. He lives simultaneously and inseparably in the spiritual dimension and the corporal dimension. This is also suggested in the text of the First letter to the Thessalonians which was just proclaimed: “May the God of peace himself – St. Paul writes – “make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ “(5:23).

Therefore, we are spirit, soul and body. We are part of this world, tied to the possibilities and limits of our material condition, at the same time we are open to an infinite horizon, able to converse with God and to welcome Him in us. We operate in earthly realities and through them we can perceive the presence of God and seek Him, truth, goodness and absolute beauty. We savour fragments of life and happiness and we long for total fulfilment.

God loves us so deeply, totally, without distinction, He calls us to friendship with him, He makes us part of a reality beyond all imagination, thought and word; His own divine life. With emotion and gratitude we acknowledge the value of the incomparable dignity of every human person and the great responsibility we have toward all. ” Christ, the final Adam, – says the Second Vatican Council – by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear…. by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man. “(Gaudium et Spes, 22).

Believing in Jesus Christ also means having a new outlook on man, a look of trust and hope. Moreover, experience itself and reason show that the human being is a subject capable of discernment, self-conscious and free, unique and irreplaceable, the summit of all earthly things, that must be recognized in his innate value and always accepted with respect and love. He has the right not to be treated as an object of possession or something to manipulate at will, not to be reduced to a mere instrument for the benefit of others and their interests.

The human person is a good in and of himself and his integral development should always be sought. Love for all, if it is sincere, naturally tends to become a preferential attention to the weakest and poorest. In this vein we find the Church’s concern for the unborn, the most fragile, the most threatened by the selfishness of adults and the darkening of consciences. The Church continually reiterates what was declared by the Second Vatican Council against abortion and all violations of unborn life: “from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care ” (ibid., n. 51).

There are cultural tendencies that seek to anesthetize consciences with misleading motivations. With regard to the embryo in the womb, science itself highlights its autonomy capable of interaction with the mother, the coordination of biological processes, the continuity of development, the growing complexity of the organism. This is not an accumulation of biological material, but a new living being, dynamic and wonderfully ordered, a new unique human being. So was Jesus in Mary’s womb, so it was for all of us in our mother’s womb. With the ancient Christian writer Tertullian we can say: ” he who will be a man is already one” (Apologeticum IX, 8), there is no reason not to consider him a person from conception.

Unfortunately, even after birth, the lives of children continue to be exposed to abandonment, hunger, poverty, disease, abuse, violence or exploitation. The many violations of their rights that are committed in the world sorely hurt the conscience of every man of good will. Before the sad landscape of the injustices committed against human life, before and after birth, I make mine Pope John Paul II’s passionate appeal to the responsibility of each and every individual:

“respect, protect, love and serve life, every human life! Only in this direction will you find justice, development, true freedom, peace and happiness!”(Encyclical Evangelium vitae, 5). I urge the protagonists of politics, economic and social communications to do everything in their power to promote a culture which respects human life, to provide favorable conditions and support networks for the reception and development of life.

To the Virgin Mary, who welcomed the Son of God made man with faith, with her maternal womb, with loving care, with nurturing support and vibrant with love, we entrust our commitment and prayer in favour of unborn life . We do in the liturgy – which is the place where we live the truth and where truth lives with us – worshiping the divine Eucharist, we contemplate Christ’s body, that body who took flesh from Mary by the Holy Spirit, and from her was born in Bethlehem for our salvation. Ave, verum Corpus, natum de Maria Virgine!

RELATED: A human embryo is a human person

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My reflection at the time.

Deacon Fournier today.


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STUPAK: “The Pope and the Catholic faith does not control Catholic legislators. We must vote reflective of our districts and our beliefs.”

For the record, that (and his vote) is not my idea of faithful Catholicism or heroism.

More Stupak here: http://www.ccgaction.org/node/787

and here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/watercooler/2010/mar/24/stupak-pope-doesnt-control-catholic-lawmakers/

I beg everyone to cease making excuses for people who are not 100 percent prolife in thought, word and deed!

We can’t defend the teachings of Christ and his Church and also defend those who oppose them. We can’t contribute to the confusion and claim to be faithful Catholics.

Read Untangling the confusion about the Church by Bishop Morlino.

I obviously do not agree with the opinion piece below and, for obvious reasons, feel it necessary to state so.

Health Care Bill: Bart Stupak ‘Limits the Harm’

By Deacon Keith Fournier
3/21/2010

http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=35879

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Speaker Pelosi’s Bishop Corrects Her Once Again. Call to Catholic Action.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online

[The social ordering principles contained within Catholic Social teaching of the Church are not simply “private” religious matters. They are profoundly public. They outline the parameters of civilized behaviour. They help to explain what is good about the experiment in ordered liberty called the United States of America. The subterfuge of the Speaker of the House of Representatives concerning the Foundational and Fundamental first right, the Right to Life, and the first freedom, the freedom to be born, is dangerous to the future of our Republic.]

One of the great scandals of our age is the leadership of some of our fellow Catholics in public life who are unfaithful to the teaching of our Church and betray their public trust. Sadly, they demonstrate the danger warned of in the last great ecumenical council of our Church, Vatican II.

The Council Fathers in their document on the Christian mission – Lumen Gentium, “Light to the Nations – used a phrase which has been repeated many times since then in numerous teachings from the contemporary Popes and is a favorite of our own U.S. Bishops. They warned of the “separation between faith and life.” They called it one of the “greatest errors of our age”. And, so it truly is… advanced with the help of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and some other Catholics in public life.

In his prophetic Encyclical Letter entitled “The Gospel of Life” John Paul II wrote concerning a “perverse idea of freedom” as a raw power over others. He reaffirmed the “essential link” between freedom and truth. This connection is the beating heart of morality and common sense. In “The Splendor of Truth” he proclaimed that “freedom itself needs to be set free” from the lie of the current age. He exposed the counterfeit notions of freedom, the rotted fruit of the new paganism, materialism and nihilism which calls itself “progressivism” when it it is actually regressivism.

Authentic faithful Christians – and especially Catholic Christians who have the wealth of the teaching office of the “Social Magisterium” of the Church – must now become the champions of freedom in this age. Millions are depending upon our courage to resist the lies of this current deluded age and rebuild the Western vision of a free society.

We must insist upon the essential connection between freedom, truth and responsibility to prevent the continued descent of the West into a new paganism masquerading as “freedom.” The horrors which will be unleashed in the name of a “freedom” which is a lie are evident in the blood of all those killed through procured abortions since Roe. Let’s cut to the chase, killing our first neighbors in the womb in the name of “choice” is evil, sick and unlawful.

It also violates the Natural Law even if the current positive law allows it. It is barbarism. As Christians we agree that humans are “free” to choose. However we insist that some choices are always wrong. Perhaps the most obvious example is the lie that a nation can treat an entire class of human persons as property to be used – and killed- rather than a gift to be received and recognized as our neighbors, and still claim to be free and just.

As Catholic Christians who are citizens in this experiment in ordered liberty called the United States of America, we have been able to flourish. That is because the founding documents of this Nation, (even if it took centuries to understand their implications in certain areas), articulated truths derived from the classical Natural Law thinking of Western Christendom.

These truths were set forth in the great philosophical tradition of the Latin Church in St. Thomas Aquinas, but they find their origin in the teachings of the early Fathers of the “Patristic” age of the Church. They are the fruit of the tree of real liberty whose roots are sunk deeply in the Biblical texts, Old and New Testament.

For example, the American founders insistence upon the existence of “unalienable rights” which are “endowed by a Creator” on every human person was inspired. The Declaration is the Birth Certificate of the American Republic. Our acceptance of the existence of universally recognized rights, truths and obligations has informed the foundation for the Western understanding of the Rule of Law. It is also the source of of our true liberties.

The insistence that fundamental human rights are not conferred by Civil Government but endowed by God is what made Western Civilization flourish. It still serves as a beacon of hope for the entire world. There is a “Natural Law” which is written on our conscience. That Natural Law is a participation in God’s law. It is knowable through the exercise of reason by all men and women, whether they acknowledge God’s existence or not. It is that Natural Law which is the measuring stick for any truly just “positive” or “civil” law. When we fail to recognize this we lose our way and we lose our freedom. Our history attests to this.

The substitution of license for liberty is what John Paul II had in mind when he warned of “a notion of freedom, which exalts the isolated individual in an absolute way, and gives no place to solidarity, to openness to others and service of them.” As he prophetically cautioned, it results from the “eclipse of the sense of God and of man typical of a social and cultural climate dominated by secularism.” That is what has infected our beloved Nation. …

The Catechism of the Catholic Church in its section on “Man’s Freedom” articulates the classical Jewish and Christian vision of the human person created in the Image of God. We have a capacity for freedom which is modeled on God’s freedom and must be exercised in relationship to truth and with a mind toward our neighbors to whom we owe an obligation in solidarity. In other words, we must always choose what is good and true.

The words of Section 1733 of the Catholic Catechism hit the “nail on the head” to use a colloquialism: “ There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom….” A little later in this profound text, the Catechism reminds us that “From its outset, human history attests the wretchedness and oppression born of the human heart in consequence of the abuse of freedom.”

Senator Nancy Pelosi has been corrected so many times by her Bishop it is beginning to irritate many. Yet, she persists in a flagrant disregard for the teaching of the Church she professes to be a member of. She also evidences an intention to mislead her fellow Catholics about the unquestionably clear teaching of that Church. Faithful Catholics profess that this teaching concerning the responsibilities of of human freedom, such as not killing one another, is not simply a matter for only Catholics but constitute an absolute obligation for any just society.

The social ordering principles contained within Catholic Social teaching of the Church are not simply “private” religious matters. They are profoundly public. They outline the parameters of civilized behaviour. They help to explain what is good about the experiment in ordered liberty called the United States of America. The subterfuge of the Speaker of the House of Representatives concerning the Foundational and Fundamental first right, the Right to Life, and the first freedom, the freedom to be born, is dangerous to the future of our Republic.

It strikes at the core of what constitutes human freedom. It is a refutation of the truth concerning solidarity – our responsibilities to one another as neighbors. It denies the very existence of a “Natural Law” which can be known by all men and women through the exercise of reason and which is the foundation of Civil Law itself. Yet, she persistsin her deceit. She has the arrogance to pretend that in so doing she is acting as a faithful Catholic. This was recently shown in her shameful interview with Eleanor Clift in Newsweek magazine. (Dec. 21, 2009)

Archbishop George H. Niederauer in a well written piece entitled “Free Will, Conscience and Moral Choice: What Catholics believe” has once again corrected the Speaker, a member of his flock. I believe that he did so out of pastoral concern and Christian love. We publish his entire column below as our first related story. His article is a lesson in Morality. We ask all of our readers to please read it carefully. Then go to the Sacred Scriptures and to the Catholic Catechism. There you find the truth concerning what constitutes the real Catholic Christian faith. Not the errors and the false public witness of the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Do not let Speaker Nancy Pelosi or any unfaithful Catholics in public life continue to confuse you. Yes, continue to pray for the Speaker but resist her lies and oppose their evil effects. Do not be intimidated, Set Freedom free. Defend the truth against those who lie about the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church. That includes some Catholics in public life. This proper correction by the Bishop of the Speaker is another Call to a new Catholic Action!

Archbishop Corrects Nancy Pelosi: Free Will, Conscience and Moral Choice

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