Monday, August 30, 2004

Catholic Social Teachings and President Bush

I want to take some time during convention week and write about how President Bush's views and political stands are very much in line with Catholic Social Teachings (CST). Using the major themes as laid out by the USCCB document, Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions, Reflections of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, I hope to show how President Bush, as the foremost political authority in our country seeks the common good. The Church teaches principles specific enough to identify what's right and wrong, but general enough to allow the laity to work out the details of temporal life in conformity with those principles. So, how best to meet the common good is always going to be a matter of debate. What is not up to debate is how the Church defines the common good.

The common good consists of three essential elements: respect for and promotion of the fundamental rights of the person; prosperity, or the development of the spiritual and temporal goods of society; the peace and security of the group and of its members. CCC 1925

To suggest, as so many Kerry Catholic do, that the president and Republicans look to empower the rich at the expense of the common good, is to not know CST and to make some age-old assumptions about Republicans which are false. Looking at the president's views and actions on education, immigration, healthcare, care for the poor, as well as his strong pro-life positions and execution of the war against terror, one should see how his approach seeks the common good.

The major themes as laid out in Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions, Reflections of the U.S. Catholic Bishops are:

Life and Dignity of the Human Person
Call to Family, Community, and Participation
Rights and Responsibilities
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
Solidarity
Care for God's Creation

Again, I will show how President Bush's vision fits in the framework of these themes throughout the week. I welcome everyone's comments.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you guys certainly do like picking and choosing what 'message' you want to hear, dontcha? Why not read USSCB statement on Political Life? Nah, their agenda doesn't fit what you're tryna sell.

2:58 PM  
Blogger David said...

It's not a question of picking or choosing. The bishops deserve our respect and attention. I have stated that before. But, they are not perfect and the conference is run by lay men and women who I believe have an agenda which does not always follow the bishops wishes and muddles Church teachings in a way which is confusing or misleading. That needs pointed out. The document, Sharing Catholic Social Teaching, points out how CST has not been taught to us and I think the themes laid out in it are one way to frame these teachings with President Bush's stands.

4:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a minute... you're saying the Bishops are not perfect; are you saying the Church and the Pope are not perfect either? The statements they make are fallible? Wow, that must mean that we can pick and choose what we think is expedient for our own cause! Thanks for clearing that up!

12:03 PM  
Blogger David said...

Nice try. All humans are fallible, even the Pope! Yet there is a distinct difference when the bishops speak about opposing abortion and supporting farm subsidies. I believe if the bishops think there is some moral equivalance here then they are mistaken. This does not mean they are wrong when they say Catholics must oppose abortion, it just means they are wrong about equating farm subsidies with abortion, and they seem to do that with the presidential survey.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice try. All humans are fallible, even the Pope! Yet there is a distinct difference when the bishops speak about opposing abortion and supporting farm subsidies. I believe if the bishops think there is some moral equivalance here then they are mistaken. This does not mean they are wrong when they say Catholics must oppose abortion, it just means they are wrong about equating farm subsidies with abortion, and they seem to do that with the presidential survey.

Actually, you are wrong. The First Vatican Council decreed, to all Catholics who wished not to be excommunicated, the primacy of the pope and of papal infallibility. So, either the Catholic Church is wrong, or you are. As far as moral equivalency goes, I trust the United States Council of Catholic Bishops more than I trust you.

4:07 PM  
Blogger David said...

Actually infallibility does not apply when the bishops state their position on such things as farm subsidies.
Vatican II explained the doctrine of infallibility as follows: "Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they can nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly. This is so, even when they are dispersed around the world, provided that while maintaining the bond of unity among themselves and with Peter’s successor, and while teaching authentically on a matter of faith or morals, they concur in a single viewpoint as the one which must be held conclusively. This authority is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church. Their definitions must then be adhered to with the submission of faith" (Lumen Gentium 25).

Are farm subsidies and FCC regulations in some way morals taught by the universal Church. I think not.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Are farm subsidies and FCC regulations in some way morals taught by the universal Church. I think not."

I'm not an expert on either- but what does this have to do with the discussion here? If you want to stay on topic, rebut my original post. If yer saying that the Vatican, or more nominally, the USCCB, does not offer good Catholic Church-backed advice about Catholicism in Political Life, then say so and don't pick and choose out-of-context statements they make. I'd be pissed if I was being misused like this post does to USCCB statements. If you think the USCCB are in error and opposed to the Catholic Church in their statements on Political Life, then write a letter to Ratzinger.

7:49 PM  
Blogger David said...

I thought I was addressing your original point. The USCCB is capable of giving "good Catholic Church-backed advice about Catholicism in Political Life", but they often do not. Sorry you have such a problem with that. Again, I am referring to a document published by the conference which calls for the need to better educate Catholics about the Church's social teachings. This document's themes reflect the universal teachings of the Church. It does not make mush of them by seeming to equate things like farm subsidies with abortion. That is the distinction I make. I am not "picking and choosing" like Kerry Catholics do when they ignore Church teachings on marriage and the dignity of human life. And there will be no letters to Cardinal Ratzinger. I am hoping he reads the blog.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lol, I'm sure Ratzinger has nothing better to do than read this blog. You know, I'm guessing Ratzinger endorses the USCCB's statement on Catholics in Political Life, and that USCCB got tacit approval for it. It's obvious that the writer of this post has some problem with the statement. It's the writer of this post that does the picking and choosing when it goes directly against the statement from the USCCB, which again is endorsed by the Catholic Church. I myself don't have a problem with the USCCB's statement; however, the writer of this post does.

2:43 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home