Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Catholics Must Choose Candidates Who Oppose Abortion (B.C. Courier Times, 9/9/08)

(The original was submitted under the title, "Turning the Spit)
I’m not sure if it’s an exclusively Irish useage, but “spit” can mean a rod holding meat over an open fire. My Dublin born dad liked to quote George Bernard Shaw: “Put an Irishman on the spit and you can always get another Irishman to turn him.” Ireland has a history of less than fraternal relations among some of its people. As among many peoples, selfish expedience has often triumphed over Ireland’s common good.

Support for the sanctity of human life was “on the fire” during the Democratic Convention. More than happy to turn this spit were Irish-American Catholics Robert Casey, Jr. and Patrick Murphy. Senator Casey and Congressman Murphy were an embarrassment with their fawning support for the militantly pro-abortion Barrack Obama.

Dissenting Catholic clergy have cultivated confusion among Catholics on moral issues, similar to what’s displayed by Casey and Murphy. In our next door diocese of Trenton, Father Ronald Cioffi directs the Office of Social Concerns. According to a July 30th piece in the Times of Trenton, Father Cioffi maintains that Catholics may “vote for a person who is pro-choice if you feel you have a moral reason to support the candidate for his stand on other issues.” The Times piece goes on to say that “a Catholic may vote for an abortion rights supporter, such as Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, if that candidate's views on other moral issues outweigh his abortion stand in the voter's conscience.” In response, Bishop John M. Smith quickly condemned the Times piece. If he truly made the reported remarks, Father Cioffi will hopefully be censored for giving scandal.

Last November the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.” They remind us that “We are a nation founded on ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,’ but the right to life itself is not fully protected, especially for unborn children, the most vulnerable members of the American family....In our nation, ‘abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others’ (Living the Gospel of Life, no. 5)....direct threats to the sanctity and dignity of human life, such as human cloning and destructive research on human embryos, are also intrinsically evil.”

Aware that some Catholics mistakenly think a candidate’s support for abortion can be cancelled out by positions on other matters, the bishops confront this error, head-on. They reject the “moral equivalence that makes no ethical distinctions between different kinds of issues involving human life and dignity.” They forcefully tell us that “The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed.”

Simply put, a Catholic (and any person of good will, for that matter) MUST ALWAYS oppose abortion. Hey, that ain’t convenient if I’ve got national ambitions and want money from deep-pocketed groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood! Such inconvenience has spawned some bizarre comments from politicians, who profess to be Catholic. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi describes herself as an “ardent practicing Catholic.” In an August 24th interview, she claimed the Catholic position on the beginning of life is up for grabs. Every NON-Catholic I know realizes that Pelosi’s “theology” is out of line with Catholic teaching.

Pennsylvania native and Delaware Senator Joe Biden has long defied the teachings of his Church, in regard to the sanctity of human life. Political strategists maintain that Pennsylvania is absolutely crucial for the outcome of this election. They further tell us that the Catholic vote will be absolutely crucial in deciding who comes away with the Keystone electoral votes. If it’s true that Obama chose the hair-plugged Scranton expatriate to appeal to Catholics, we should be profoundly insulted!

While John McCain is certainly not the perfect candidate, his choice of vice president sends a clear message about his readiness to defend the sanctity of human life. Come November, this Irish American Catholic Democrat will enter the voting booth and cast his ballot for John McCain and Sarah Palin. There is no other choice.

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About Me

I am an enormously blessed husband and dad. In regard to my Catholic theological background, I have a certificate in social ministry & a master's degree (moral theology concentration), as well as a catechetical diploma from the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Clergy (Nope, I am not now - nor have I have ever been - a seminarian, deacon, or priest.). I feel particularly proud to have a mandatum. I also have a doctorate in Christian counseling psychology.

And yup, that's me!

And yup, that's me!
(from page 1 of the NY Sun, 3/22/04)

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