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« Do politics trump science... | Main | The Magisterium: A precious gift »

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Comments

Carl Hostetter

Let us also pray for the Catholic Church in America. If even half of American Catholics had faithfully heeded the Church's prohibition against voting for pro-abortion candidates, the FOCA would not stand a chance of passage, and Roe v. Wade might well have been overturned in the next 4 years. The power to save millions of lives every year was in our hands, and we let it slip away.

Ressourcement

A Few More Prayers:

- For the Catholics who have blogs which have enabled them to reach hundreds and even thousands of Catholics in the last many months with the message that it is ok to vote for a Pro-choice candidate without proportionate reasons to do so, thus misleading the flock, that they may use their voice for good and that they may properly convey the message of the Church in future elections.

- For Catholics who joined in and voted for the pro-choice presidential candidate at a rate higher than the national average*, that they will repent from their sins if they have willfully and actively disobeyed Christ who still teaches through His Church. (*According to numerous polls, Obama had a 12% lead over McCain, while the national average in some of the same polls was only a 10% lead for Obama over McCain).

- For Priests and Bishops who may have contributed to confusion among Catholics, giving them the impression that they could vote for a pro-choice presidential candidate without proportionate reasons to do so, that they would realize that they have the grave responsibility to teach the truth with clarity.

- For Catholics who directly participated in objective and intrinsic evils by voting against and abortion ban in South Dakota, by voting against the protection of marriage in California and Florida, by voting against parental notification for minors in California, and by voting for the assisted suicide measure in the State of WA, that God would have mercy on their souls and bring them back to the flock of His Son.

- For Catholic web based organizations which made it their mission to elect pro-abortion candidates, that they would use their voices for the good of the Church, and cease from resisting the Holy Spirit.

jn

Kirk

Everyone will likley agree with Mark's thought. I might add that we all should consider fasting, whether that is from food or something else, frequently or infrequently, as we discern in prayer. Traditionally, Wednesdays and Fridays hold pride of place for fasting, though most all of us can find some way to sacrifice each day.

It is sobering to remember our Lord's words that some demons are cast out only by prayer AND fasting. It seems we are facing some demons now, in the form of some of the president-elect's ideas and plans, that require such action.

There but for the grace of God go any one of us.......

Prayer and pennance as Our Blessed Mother has so often told us are the only way we can turn our world back towards our loving God.When the world takes its gaze away from God it begins to sink just as surely as Peter began to sink when he took his eyes off Christ.

Bernie

I can never understand how a Roman Catholic or a Christian from another faith voted for someone who promotes abortion or homosexual unions. Shame on all the Roman Catholic who voted to a abortion party. God have mercy on us for we do not understand.

Mark Brumley

Part of the problem is that while we now have some bishops willing to speak out in a clear and forceful fashion, we have a generation of churchgoing Catholics--I'm talking about the churchgoers now, not the Catholics in name only--who are clueless about their faith and who have little judgment about how to apply it to the world around them. They go along to get along. These are people who may not have been evangelized, and so they are sacramentalized pagans. These are people who have not been catechized so they are spiritual babies having to confront issues that require a mature faith.

We need to make the most of this situation and do what we can to change things. Bishops will have to step up the plate. Priests will, too. And religious. And lay leaders. It is going to take an honest appraisal of the problem. No more happy talk about the Church in the U.S. Yes, we have a priest shortage. You want to know why? Because we have a Christian shortage and a Catholic shortage among Catholics. That's the unvarnished truth. The baptized pagans who occupy so much pew space in our churches have to be converted to Christianity. The liberal-Protestantish Catholicism-lite that substitutes for Catholicism has to be converted to real Catholicism. The bishops have to stop kidding themselves. And they have to be willing to take on their brother bishops when they're part of the problem and they have to be willing to confront their clergy when they are part of the problem.

There is more to be said but this will do for now. Let's all look at our own situation and ask ourselves what needs to be done in our own lives. That may require prayer and sacrifice on our part. It may involve having to confront others--charitably and lovingly, of course. It should get us involved more, if we're not already, in parish life.

Dan

Amen.

Neil

I was shocked when I found out that about 75% of Colorado voted against Amendment 48 to the Colorado constitution (at least that was the figure when I went to bed). It would have defined as a person any human being from the moment of fertilization onwards. But later I realized I shouldn't have been surprised, seeing as I saw one pro 48 ad and heard several anti-48 ads misleadingly stating it would outlaw birth control. Only methods that act as abortificients would have been banned. Apparently people care more about their sex lives than small children.

Carl Olson

Well said, Mark. Amen, amen.

Ed Peters

right, guys.

Kirk

While I agree with Mark's admonition, it seems the overwhelming majority of unfaithful laity do not have enough humility to accept the truth and act accordingly, even if every bishop in the country was a carbon copy of Archbishop Chaput.

Matthew

Neil:
I believe the Catholic Bishops (including Chaput) were opposed to Prop 48 in Colorado. I am not exactly sure why. I would appreciate any info that would correct me or clarify the reason behind the opposition if it existed.
Thanks

Carl Hostetter

I would like to propose an open letter to the USCCB on behalf of all the faithful, in which the following two actions are requested of our Bishops:

1) The Bishops will forthwith meet with each and ever Catholic member of Congress and explain to them that under no circumstance may they both vote for the "Freedom of Choice Act" and remain in communion with the Church, and that if they do so they will incur immediate excommunication. Any Catholic member that refuses to meet with the Bishops will nonetheless be considered to have been given fair notice.

2) After the FOCA has been voted upon (regardless of whether it is passed), the Bishops will publicly excommunicate each and every Catholic member of Congress that voted for it.

I can think of no greater scandal to the Church than that its Congressional members that vote for the FOCA should nonetheless be permitted to present themselves for Holy Communion. It is time to stop turning a blind eye to these affronts to our Lord's Body and Blood and to the singal of acceptance of grave sin and disobedience that their continued presence before the Altar sends to parishoner and populace alike.

And if this action causes an outcry and defection among (nominal) "Catholics", so be it: that should help ease the problem of too few Priests.

Terry Carroll

Thank you, Mark, for "telling it like it is."

I wrote something similar (but less well) in my blog posting at http://mrterryc.blogspot.com/2008/10/cardinal-egan-of-new-york-on-abortion.html.

"There is more awareness and willingness to note the valid comparisons between our country's complicity and complacency with the practice of abortion and the policies and practices of Hitler's National Socialist Party. We tolerate "abortion death camps" in our midst just as "Hitler's Willing Executioners" tolerated equally evil death camps in theirs.

"Abortion has become "normalized" in our country, a practice considered morally neutral and immune from judgment. How is it possible that we have become so numb to the evil that is abortion, as did the Germans to the evil policies and practices of Hitler's National Socialists? Abortion is this country's version of "The Holocaust." That any Catholic Bishop would NOT speak out, specifically and unambiguously, against such evil is beyond irresponsible: it is to be yet another accomplice to the evil which we have allowed to become "normalized."

"That NCR, whose middle initial stands for "Catholic," is incapable of seeing the depth of the evil that is abortion is beyond understanding, but fully consistent with those who reject clear and unambiguous Catholic teaching while still feeling the need to identify themselves as "Catholics." Given the literally thousands of other Christian identities available with which to affiliate oneself, why continue to practice and identify oneself as something one is not?

"As I've said on numerous occasions, publicly and privately, I have no interest in "purging" the Catholic Church of those who have ceased to believe what the Catholic Church teaches. I would prefer conversion of heart so that one can participate and identify as a Catholic with intellectual honesty and integrity. Short of that, such "dissidents" should shake the dust from their feet and find more compatible spiritual settings. They do themselves and the Church they love to hate no favors by contributing, not to reform, but implosion from within."

As other commenters here have noted, we would have less of a "priest shortage" if those who aren't really Catholics would give up their pew space. Yes, we would have a smaller, more consisently faithful church community, probably less money to pay for the tools and facilitators of "Catholic-Lite" programs, maybe even fewer church buildings and a need to consolidate parishes, but we would also have a community from which would spring more vocations to the priesthood and set an evangelizing example to the world.

"Baptized pagans" need to be evangelized and incorporated into full communion with the Church, or intellectual and spiritual honesty demands that they find more compatible church homes.

In what real sense can we be said to be "in communion with one another" at Eucharist when we don't all, clergy and laity alike, believe what the Catholic Church teaches to be true? It becomes more than troubling when you can't even take it for granted that your local pastor, priest, bishop or consecrated religious are, in fact, Catholic in belief and practice. Think of the state of the Church when we can actually wonder whether a Catholic priest, or a Catholic bishop, or a Catholic sister, is Catholic??!!

We need to worry about a LOT more than dissident "Catholic" politicians and public figures. We need to worry about our leaders and ourselves just as much.

Karen

The reason the unfaithful laity won't listen to the bishops is that the bishops have spent every moment since Humanae Vitae making sure the laity understand that what the Church teaches is no longer important.

I've been a Catholic for 16 years now and I have never once heard a priest say a word about birth control. I've heard exactly one homily about abortion. The laity are where they are BECAUSE of the bishops. It was the bishops, not the laity, who emptied the seminaries. It was the bishops, not the laity, who put our children at risk by protecting predators. Was it the laity funding ACORN? I don't think so. Where was my bishop this past Sunday, two days before we were to vote for president and Prop 2 (Florida) and at my parish, there was nothing in the bulletin and the "homily" was "Don't Worry Be Happy" -- the priest explained that we all worry too much. Then he played "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on his clarinet. Then he moved into the second half of Mass -- music and lyrics by Father. We left as he was teaching the congregation how to do the call & response nursery school ditty "Blessed be God" as he raised the paten and went into business for himself.

Was that the fault of the laity?

I agree, I'm ready to key all the cars in the parking lot with Obama bumper stickers. But the laity were LED off the cliff, for decades.

I am not convinced that 50% of the U.S. bishops even believe what the Church teaches. I would love to see some proof, or even a good argument.

I wrote all of this, not nearly as eloquently as Mark, over at my own blog: http://somehavehats.typepad.com/some_have_hats/2008/11/what-an-obama-presidency-means-to-catholics.html

Kirk

Sure, Karen. You make several good points and some I would articulate differently. However, I am focusing on the fact that all the sound teaching in the world goes a long way, but only receptivitiy closes the deal. I think we have a quite unreceptive laity, and the bishops need to dig in deep. This will take time, and it is worth taking.

As one thought, how about bishops teaching RCIA classes at their cathedrals? Imagine knowing you will access to the bishop at a specified time and place for several months. He would be able to spend great amounts of time teaching, answering questions and being confronted.

Karen

Carl: Let me know if you need signers for that letter. I can round up a few.

jn: you forgot the Jesuits. I think nine-and-a-half out of ten of them voted for Obama.

Ressourcement

Karen,

I completely disagree with your commentary. The problem with Catholicism in this Country isn't a lack of leadership, but a lack of ears that will listen and hearts that will respond. Most Catholics don't even show up to hear first, and when I say "hear", I am talking about a million more things than attending mass on Sunday and listening to a Homily--a homily which is intended to be a commentary on the Scripture passages of the day.

It is far to easy to criticize the Bishops and priests for the outright ignorance of all Catholics. When Adam and Eve started pointing fingers in the Garden, God didn't buy it then, and He isn't going to buy it at Judgment.

Catholics need to stop blaming others, and start blaming themselves.

Justin N.

Ressourcement

Karen,

Unless you have a stat to point to which would support your public claim that "9-10 Jesuits supported Obama", then your comments are not helpful and, more, than only further confuse the many, many Catholics who believe the Jesuits are "bad", yet have no substantial reasons for saying so. Finally, if unsupported, it may constitute as slander. Think about it.

jn

Carl Hostetter

Thanks, Karen. I was actually hoping someone prominent -- a popular author/blogger for an important Catholic imprint, for example ;) -- would organize and lead the open letter effort, since that would carry much more weight.


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