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Thursday, November 20, 2008


Simple soul

It should come as no surprise that the secular press has rushed to print this story It is a blessing that this good priest has maintained his calm in the midst of the subsequent storm I wish Mother Church would meet the media head on and establish a presence in cyberspace to make available authentic catholic teaching from the magisterium where those saturated by modern media and technology would come across it eg My Space Facebook and other trendy cyber spots.I for one never trust any secular media accounts re Church activity and there are even supposedly Catholic sources which cannot be trusted either

El Zorro

I certainly applaud Fr. Newman's zeal for the defense of unborn life, and for the spiritual health of his flock, but I do wish he had included the criterion of "full knowledge" for mortal sin. It is not only a necessary ingredient for mortal sin, but mentioning it also presumes in charity that there are at least some readers who may have voted out of non-culpable ignorance or confusion. I also share Simple soul's general distrust of the secular media, but I think there are some times (e.g. a good bit of the coverage at the time of Pope John Paul II's death) even the secular media gets it right. I don't think Fr. Newman's story is one of those "got it right" moments, however.

Ed Peters

I have less problem with the "full knowledge" aspect of things here (though the arrival of Low Information Voter makes me waver), but what Fr. JSN really dropped the ball on was on distinguishing on TYPES of cooperation. He treated them all the same. Therein, he made it very difficult for natural allies to support him. Clear thinking is mandatory. On the Right, anyway, however much it is ignored on the Left.

Brian Mershon

Fr. Longenecker said: "He could have clarified the matter by adding that, for it to be a serious sin, the Catholic needed to be fully knowledgeable about the Catholic Church's teaching on abortion and Senator Obama's voting record on the issue."

Actually, to be precise, it WAS grave matter. For it to be a MORTAL sin, one needed to have sufficient reflection and full consent of the will. Objectively, the matter was grave. I don't know what a "serious" sin is, but as Catholics we are taught we have venial and mortal sins. The distinction and accuracy of the words is quite important as one cuts oneself off from God and risks eternal damnantion if one is in mortal sin.

Ed Peters

Brian, I risk being picky here, but it's NOT a question of knowledge primarily, it's a question of cooperation. Really.

El Zorro

I agree with Ed that this is primarily a question of cooperation. My only point was that it is always dangerous to TELL a group of people that they NEED to go to confession in order to receive Holy Communion, when it is not certain that full knowledge and/or deliberate consent were present in the act. I think it is better to say, "IF you knew and IF you freely chose..." so that a well-informed examination of conscience may follow and those who need to go to confession will know that they need to go. But, again, I agree with Ed that clarity about cooperation is the primary issue here.

El Zorro

Also, God bless Fr. Newman as he deals with all of the backlash and media coverage. I hope neither he nor others are discouraged at all from preaching the Gospel of Life. I doubt he is, based on his very calm and charitable letters of clarification.

Mark Brumley

It seems that the distinction between voting for someone because of his proabortion stance was not adequately distinguished from voting for someone despite his proabortion stance. The latter is wrong to do, without a proportionate reason, whereas the former is wrong per se--all qualifications about objectivity and on the subjective side, knowledge and consent, being in place.

Ed Peters

MB: exactly. cooperation.
ElZ: from what of JSN I know (which it isn't much, but we canonists fit under a small tent), he'll have no trouble regrouping and plunging into the truth-fray, a bit more nuanced maybe, but just as vigourously. Which is good news for our side.

Dan Deeny

Very many thanks for this information on the abortion business. Fr. Newman deserves our prayers and our support. He seems to be filling the role of Blessed Cardinal von Galen. It is interesting that the German was an aristocrat and a cardinal of the Church, while the American is a simple citizen and a parish priest.

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