Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Fr. Pavone

"Cardinal Ratzinger explicitly states the opposite of what some are saying, namely, that we can elect pro-abortion candidates just because we like their other positions. Moreover, the Cardinal explicitly declares in the same letter that other issues do not carry the same weight as abortion.

"More to the point, however, it is a classic abuse of religion that people will invoke a religious authority to justify violence. There is no act of violence more brutal, or claiming more victims than abortion. It kills 4000 children daily in the United States alone. Practitioners admit under oath that they dismember and decapitate these babies. If people try to equate that with other issues by misquoting a Vatican Cardinal, they are guilty of the most shameless type of abuse of religion -- the same kind of abuse used to justify burning people at the stake. Only this time, we're talking about babies."

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blog organizer, Can you please post as major item. thanks!

This is a good article. Please send to all Catholics you know. Plus a link under the article to all Weigel's pieces - some good ones on
Iraq. Key stuff.
* * *

Cardinal Ratzinger and the conscience of Catholic voters
By George Weigel
Posted: Wednesday, September 29, 2004

ARTICLE
The Catholic Difference
http://www.eppc.org/publications/pubID.2177/pub_detail.asp

Sound-bite politics usually make a hash of technical theological distinctions. That's what happened in the recent flurry of reporting and commentary on two sentences penned by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
in a letter he offered to the U.S. bishops as a "fraternal service," just prior to their June meeting; the letter was intended to clarify
the question of a Catholic's worthiness to receive communion.

Here is what Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:

"A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation with evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate's permissive stance on abortion or euthanasia. When a
Catholic does not share the candidate's stance in favor of abortion or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the
presence of proportionate reasons."

Applying this, tendentiously, to the question of Catholic voters'responsibilities, the Detroit Free Press concluded that "anti-abortion Catholics can support pro-choice candidates, as long as they
agree with the candidate on a range of other issues." The Washington Post headlined its story, "Catholic Voters Given Leeway on Abortion Rights Issue."

Well, not quite.

"Formal cooperation with evil" is a technical phrase, underscoring
that the pro-abortion Catholic voter, by embracing the abortion
license and furthering it, is thereby cooperating in the death of
innocents, which is always gravely evil. Pro–life Catholic voters who
vote for pro-abortion candidates despite the candidates' pro-abortion
stance do not deliberately advance the death of innocents through
abortion (thus "remote material cooperation"). But the crucial
questions – largely missing from press coverage of the cardinal's
letter – remain: When is this morally justifiable? What are
the "proportionate reasons" that would lead a pro-life voter to
conclude that a pro-abortion candidate's unacceptable position on the
life issues can, in effect, be bracketed?

I can imagine one such situation: when the choice is between two pro-
abortion candidates, and a voter opts for the pro-abortion candidate
of a pro-life party in order to keep that pro-life party in control
of Congress. That was the case in my own Congressional district for
years. But that is not the situation that Catholic voters face in the
current presidential contest or in most Congressional races.

Why does the Church stress the priority of the life issues? Because
it is always a grave evil to take the life of an innocent human
being. Because the rule of law is jeopardized and the public moral
culture that makes democracy possible is corrupted when moral wrongs
are declared "rights." Because democracy cannot long endure when one
class of citizens arrogates to itself the "right" to declare other
human beings outside the community of common protection and concern.

That is what the Dred Scott decision did in 1858: it declared
Americans of African descent outside the boundaries of the law's
protection. That is what Roe v. Wade did in 1973: it declared unborn
human beings outside the boundaries of the law's protection. Roe is
Dred Scott for our time, because the right-to-life of every human
being from conception until natural death is the crucial civil rights
issue of our time.

So here's the real question Cardinal Ratzinger's letter raised: What
would possibly be the "proportionate reasons" that would cause a
Catholic to vote, with a clear and well-formed conscience, for a
candidate who's terribly wrong side on the great civil rights issue
of the day? Because you agree with that candidate on the minimum
wage? On the appropriate level of Medicare premiums? On whether the
highest federal tax rate should be 36% or 38% or 40%?

In his letter, Ratzinger also wrote that "Not all moral issues have
the same weight as abortion and euthanasia....There may be a
legitimate diversity of opinion, even among Catholics, about waging
war or applying the death penalty, but not, however, with regard to
abortion and euthanasia." The "proportionate reasons" for pro-life
Catholics to support pro-abortion candidates must be very, very
weighty indeed. Catholics considering a vote for pro-abortion
candidates, as well as those who are spinning Cardinal Ratzinger's
letter for partisan ends, must define what those reasons would be.

Theirs is a difficult task.


Link to othe Weigel pieces:
http://www.eppc.org/scholars/scholarID.14,type.1/pub_list.asp

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Organizer, Please post as major item. This is a good article. Please send to all Catholics you know. Plus a link under the article to all Weigel's pieces - some good ones on Iraq. Key stuff.
* * *

Cardinal Ratzinger and the conscience of Catholic voters
By George Weigel
Posted: Wednesday, September 29, 2004

ARTICLE
The Catholic Difference
http://www.eppc.org/publications/pubID.2177/pub_detail.asp

Sound-bite politics usually make a hash of technical theological
distinctions. That's what happened in the recent flurry of reporting
and commentary on two sentences penned by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
in a letter he offered to the U.S. bishops as a "fraternal service,"
just prior to their June meeting; the letter was intended to clarify
the question of a Catholic's worthiness to receive communion.

Here is what Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:

"A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation with evil, and so
unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to
deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the
candidate's permissive stance on abortion or euthanasia. When a
Catholic does not share the candidate's stance in favor of abortion
or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is
considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the
presence of proportionate reasons."

Applying this, tendentiously, to the question of Catholic voters'
responsibilities, the Detroit Free Press concluded that "anti-
abortion Catholics can support pro-choice candidates, as long as they
agree with the candidate on a range of other issues." The Washington
Post headlined its story, "Catholic Voters Given Leeway on Abortion
Rights Issue."

Well, not quite.

"Formal cooperation with evil" is a technical phrase, underscoring
that the pro-abortion Catholic voter, by embracing the abortion
license and furthering it, is thereby cooperating in the death of
innocents, which is always gravely evil. Pro–life Catholic voters who
vote for pro-abortion candidates despite the candidates' pro-abortion
stance do not deliberately advance the death of innocents through
abortion (thus "remote material cooperation"). But the crucial
questions – largely missing from press coverage of the cardinal's
letter – remain: When is this morally justifiable? What are
the "proportionate reasons" that would lead a pro-life voter to
conclude that a pro-abortion candidate's unacceptable position on the
life issues can, in effect, be bracketed?

I can imagine one such situation: when the choice is between two pro-
abortion candidates, and a voter opts for the pro-abortion candidate
of a pro-life party in order to keep that pro-life party in control
of Congress. That was the case in my own Congressional district for
years. But that is not the situation that Catholic voters face in the
current presidential contest or in most Congressional races.

Why does the Church stress the priority of the life issues? Because
it is always a grave evil to take the life of an innocent human
being. Because the rule of law is jeopardized and the public moral
culture that makes democracy possible is corrupted when moral wrongs
are declared "rights." Because democracy cannot long endure when one
class of citizens arrogates to itself the "right" to declare other
human beings outside the community of common protection and concern.

That is what the Dred Scott decision did in 1858: it declared
Americans of African descent outside the boundaries of the law's
protection. That is what Roe v. Wade did in 1973: it declared unborn
human beings outside the boundaries of the law's protection. Roe is
Dred Scott for our time, because the right-to-life of every human
being from conception until natural death is the crucial civil rights
issue of our time.

So here's the real question Cardinal Ratzinger's letter raised: What
would possibly be the "proportionate reasons" that would cause a
Catholic to vote, with a clear and well-formed conscience, for a
candidate who's terribly wrong side on the great civil rights issue
of the day? Because you agree with that candidate on the minimum
wage? On the appropriate level of Medicare premiums? On whether the
highest federal tax rate should be 36% or 38% or 40%?

In his letter, Ratzinger also wrote that "Not all moral issues have
the same weight as abortion and euthanasia....There may be a
legitimate diversity of opinion, even among Catholics, about waging
war or applying the death penalty, but not, however, with regard to
abortion and euthanasia." The "proportionate reasons" for pro-life
Catholics to support pro-abortion candidates must be very, very
weighty indeed. Catholics considering a vote for pro-abortion
candidates, as well as those who are spinning Cardinal Ratzinger's
letter for partisan ends, must define what those reasons would be.

Theirs is a difficult task.



http://www.eppc.org/scholars/scholarID.14,type.1/pub_list.asp

5:55 PM  

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