Catholic bishops pastoral letter on homosexuality, abortion

We acknowledge the difficulties and challenges of living a moral life that is based on the truth about humanity and, with St. Paul, in humility, we confess: “We are aware that the Law is spiritual; but I am a creature of flesh and blood, sold as a slave to sin.  I do not understand my own behavior; I do not act as I mean to, but I do things that I hate” (Romans 7:14-15).

Yet even with such admission of human weakness and the complexity of the moral decisions facing humankind, the last thing one wants to do is to remove the parameters that enable us to determine objectively between right and wrong, righteous and sinful.

It is in this context that we remind Catholics and all people of good will that a lot can be done in the present climate: by defending the dignity and role of marriage, by practical acts of support to those struggling to accept an unborn child, by insistence upon the right to conscientious objection without discrimination for health-care workers, and by commitment to a legal and moral framework which will respect life.

Society needs to rediscover a concern for the common good, respect for life and the dignity of the human for, at present, we seem to be incapable of making ourselves into the kind of people God wants us to be.

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The Catholic Church has long been criticized as “too dogmatic”.

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The church has long been criticized as “too dogmatic.” Demands are constantly made that it change its 2,000-year-old teachings on marriage, family, sexuality, morality and other matters related to the truth about human beings. But even if others do not agree, the church understands that what it proclaims is revealed truth — the Word of God.

The church’s teachings are timeless. They cannot be changed, even though adherence may be upsetting to some. That the church is built on a rock with fixed beliefs is a positive feature, both because it can withstand the shifting winds of public opinion and because of the cherished content of our faith itself, which fosters love among Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

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Video provides straight talk and expert guidance for Catholic voters on difficult issues of the day

The video runs about 10 minutes, but by 2:10 you should know everything you need to cast a proper vote. – Doug

 Watch the video by Catholic Answers

A study in differences: The state of the Catholic Church – and the world – before Vatican II – and after.

Before Vatican II:

Faith, reason, and grace-giving sacraments … in addition to almost 2,000 years of Catholic tradition, philosophy and scholarship … served to assist Catholics in making rational and morally upright life decisions … for their own sake, for the glory of God, for the good of the Catholic Church, and for the common good of all mankind.

After Vatican II:

Change has come to the Catholic Church. Virtually all that came before is now irrelevant.

Personal conscience … enlightened by modern secular thought … is king.

A disoriented/disordered Magisterium fails to provide a suitable and practical replacement for that which they permitted to be summarily discarded.

Many Catholics no longer have a sound basis for making rational and morally upright life decisions. Ditto for the rest of the world. Corruption abounds … in the Church … and at every level of society. The earth rapidly descends into chaos.

Welcome to the Brave New World!   

Editor’s note: There are some signs of a turn-around. Where there is grace … there is hope!

Those who do evil insist upon the acceptance and even the promotion of evil, on an ever-widening scale.

There is a substantive moral difference between permitting a particular elective practice and forcing everybody to participate in the funding of that practice. One has to be pretty far gone morally to fail to see this distinction. To fail to see it, one must argue something very much like the following:

  1. Practice X is a morally good personal decision.
  2. Therefore, those who embrace Practice X promote the common good.
  3. Therefore, everyone should contribute to the costs of Practice X.
  4. Therefore, anyone who believes Practice X to be immoral should be coerced into paying a share of the costs.

This line of thought includes no fewer than four logical leaps. It begins with the assumption that there can be no legitimate disagreement concerning the value of Practice X. It leaps from that assumption to a further assumption about the common good, and from this second assumption to a third, that the cost of whatever contributes to the common good should be shared by all, and finally from this third assumption to a fourth—that coercion is warranted for those who disagree.

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Editor’s note: Liberalism in itself is evil … so it’s no wonder that liberals typically suffer from a pronounced darkening of the intellect … and are often guilty of blindly following a profoundly deviant moral compass … currently exemplified by Barack Obama and his merry band of left-wing, Marxist/Leninist anarchists.

Liberalism is a sin

Progressive Inhumanity, Part One: The State against the Family

The family, then, is that natural society where individual liberty and the common good are most nearly reconciled.  To deprive it of its rights is to rob people of a great part of what it is to be human.  It is repressive.  The judgment of Pope Leo could hardly be more sternly expressed: “The Socialists, therefore, in setting aside the parent and setting up a State supervision, act against natural justice, and break into pieces the stability of all family life.”

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The common good is to be found not in the discovery of new principles for living, but in the rediscovery of God-given truths about the importance of faith, life and family.

If you have watched a Hollywood movie lately, as I’m sure most of you have, you probably think that Americans don’t have any “traditional family values.” You may think that in America commitment means going on a second date. You may think that every couple in the U.S. lives together. You may think that those few who do get married, quickly get divorced. You may think that most American children are born into broken homes. You may think that most young people are too busy demonstrating against Wall Street to worry about getting an education, or a job.

These may be scenes out of a Hollywood movie, but this is not America. This is not the America that I, and tens of millions of people like me, know. In this other America — the one you don’t hear much about — parents do teach their children traditional family values. Just like my parents taught me.

So what was it like growing up in a traditional American family? What family values did my parents try to instill in me? Let me give you a little of my personal history.

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Submitted by Doria2

Attorney General says the Defense of Marriage Act is the result of vehement enmity, hatred and ill will … so he won’t defend it in court.

The decision by Attorney General Holder not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act raises very grave questions.

Justifying his position, he says that in the congressional debate there were “numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate family relationships.”  He went on to describe this as “animus” (defined by Webster as vehement enmity, hatred, ill will)-violating the Equal Protection Clause.

“Animus” to defend a moral position based on 2,000 years of classical and Christian teaching rooted in reason and scripture?

Holder has embraced the position of Federal Judge Vaughn Walker in California that opposing so-called gay marriage can be “harmful to gays and lesbians.”  But this is like claiming that opposition to polygamy is harmful to polygamists or that laws defining marriage as the union of two people harm those who prefer to live in what are called sexual “triads” or “quadrads.”  Our historic marriage laws harm nobody–they serve husbands, wives, children, and the common good of society.

If the expression of our deepest convictions is treated as animus, our religious liberty is in peril.  We cannot fail to speak the truth even if it is labeled hate speech.

Read more at ManhattanDeclaration.org

Bishop Morlino of the Diocese of Madison, on the Wisconsin union standoff

… To the documents quoted by Archbishop Listecki I would also offer a quotation from the encyclical of Pope John Paul II, Laborem Exercens*, which gives us even more “food for thought” on this matter:

“Just efforts to secure the rights of workers who are united by the same profession should always take into account the limitations imposed by the general economic situation of the country. Union demands cannot be turned into a kind of group or class ‘egoism,’ although they can and should also aim at correcting — with a view to the common good of the whole of society — everything defective in the system of ownership of the means of production or in the way these are managed. Social and socioeconomic life is certainly like a system of ‘connected vessels,’ and every social activity directed towards safeguarding the rights of particular groups should adapt itself to this system.

“In this sense, union activity undoubtedly enters the field of politics, understood as prudent concern for the common good. However, the role of unions is not to ‘play politics’ in the sense that the expression is commonly understood today. Unions do not have the character of political parties struggling for power; they should not be subjected to the decision of political parties or have too close links with them. In fact, in such a situation they easily lose contact with their specific role, which is to secure the just rights of workers within the framework of the common good of the whole of society; instead they become an instrument used for other purposes.”

Read the entire letter

*Click here to read Laborem Exercens on the Vatican website

Father John Trigilio: Civil law is not the supreme law.

The pope is the head of an independent and sovereign nation as well as head of the Roman Catholic Church. As the ruler of the Vatican City, he is subject to no other national laws anymore than the President of the United States would be subject to laws outside America. Even if there were no Vatican City or former Papal States, the pope is supreme head of the Church and his spiritual authority to teach and his supreme authority to govern the Church all over the world has no equal and no superior, save God Himself.

Democracies and republics work well for the common good and are much, much better than socialist, fascist or communist forms of government. Yet the world has seen both good and bad examples of monarchy throughout history, so we cannot infallibly say democratic republics are the only moral way to govern. If democracy was the perfect form, Jesus would have founded His Church with such a structure. He chose, rather, a hierarchical system, with the pope as head and the bishops to assist him. That is why we cannot fall into the trap of thinking all democratic-republic governments are impeccable. Slavery, segregation and abortion all took place within a democratic republic. In comparison, our current form of government works well and better than the alternatives.

Read more at Matt C. Abbott’s Column

Quiz: What do Sarah Palin, Dan Quayle, and Pope Benedict have in common?


The Pope, the Palins, and the Pursuit of True Happiness.

Subsidiarity: the light on the path that our leaders need to follow.

The Catholic doctrine of subsidiarity is precisely what is needed. If a Tea Party Manifesto is created, its cornerstone should be the time-tested Catholic principle of subsidiarity.

In the political context, the principle of subsidiarity states that political decisions and other matters generally should be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church (Sec. 1882 – 1883) clearly instructs Catholics to look to subsidiarity to protect against excessive intervention by the state which threatens personal freedom and initiative.  This principle safeguards the ideals of limited government and personal freedom and stands squarely opposed to the welfare state’s goals of centralization and bureaucracy.

In the broader social context, subsidiarity stresses the importance of the real common good and the values of family, life, liberty and community.

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Priest to Catholic voters: Stop being stupid!

Catholics, even though we live in a country and are citizens of that country, have a higher calling and responsibility to God and to our neighbor to promote God’s truth even when others hate it, reject it, and hate us for proclaiming it. We are citizens in an earthly realm, but more importantly we are citizens of the new kingdom of heaven with Jesus as the Lord, His laws as our prime way of life, and called to live them and to promote them even to unbelievers.

We live in a society where many people with power, possessions, and prestige are promoting ideas that are not founded in Christ. In order to promote their ideas over ours, they tell us we must stay in our churches, keep our religion to ourselves, and that their idea of separation of the church from the state (which does not exist in our American Constitution as they say it does) trumps any ideas we might have, so we have to shut up.

And Catholics sheepishly keep quiet and vote for men and women who promote evil.

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Pope Leo XIII Decried Socialism, 150 Years Later The USCCB Embraces It

Such destructive thinking needs to be addressed as it runs contrary to natural law and the laws of God. Furthermore the Bishops, as they manifest culturally and politically via the USCCB, are not only socialists, but function regularly as statist agents. They do not shout for socialism; they just enact it and applaud its ongoing construction. They should be assessed not by what they advocate, but by what they achieve and destroy.

Read the article

Read 7 of the most important Catholic social Encyclicals

Liberals and progressives at USCCB have exchanged the Catholic principle of subsidiarity for socialist stateism

For anyone who needs a reminder of what this principle (of subsidiarity) means, here’s what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says (CCC 1883):

Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which ‘a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co- ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good’.

It’s important to note that subsidiarity is not an “anti-government” or “anti-state” principle. Indeed it affirms that there is a role for government because (1) there are some things that only governments can and should do and (2) sometimes the state does need to intervene when other communities are unable to cope temporarily with their particular responsibilities. Nor, it should be added, does subsidiarity always translate into the very same policy-positions, precisely because some elements of the common good are in a constant state of flux.

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Pope Benedict sets Pelosi straight

.- House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s photo-op with Pope Benedict XVI turned sour when the Pontiff used the 15-minute meeting to reaffirm the teachings of the Catholic Church on the right to life and the duty to protect the unborn.

“His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in co-operation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development.”

Click here for the rest of the story

More on this from LifeSiteNews.com

Background information from CNA

Cardinal George and the USCCB About Obama and Abortion

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BALTIMORE–Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), voiced hope for the Obama Administration but pointed to possible obstacles to our desired unity, in a Nov. 12 statement at the end of the annual fall assembly of the USCCB.

“The bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States
welcome this moment of historic transition and look forward to working with President-elect Obama and the members of the new Congress for the common good of all,” he said.

He said that “the unity desired by President-elect Obama and
all Americans at this moment of crisis will be impossible to achieve,” if the administration’ s policies increase abortions.

“Aggressive pro-abortion policies, legislation and executive orders will permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans, and would be seen by many as an attack on the free exercise of their religion.”

“We express again our great desire to work with all those who cherish to common good of our nation,” he added. “The common good is not the sum total of individual interests: it is achieved in the working out of a common life based upon good reason and good will for all.”

Cardinal George’s remarks follow.

STATEMENT of the President
of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


“If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do its builders labor; if the Lord does not watch over the city, in vain does the watchman keep vigil.” (Psalm 127, vs. 1)

The Bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States welcome this moment of historic transition and look forward to working with President-elect Obama and the members of the new Congress for the common good of all.

Because of the Church’s history and the scope of her ministries in this country, we want to continue our work for economic justice and opportunity for all; our efforts to reform laws around immigration and the situation of the undocumented; our provision of better education and adequate health care for all, especially for women and children; our desire to safeguard religious freedom and foster peace at home and abroad.

The Church is intent on doing good and will continue to cooperate gladly with the government and all others working for these goods. The fundamental good is life itself, a gift from God and our parents. A
good state protects the lives of all. Legal protection for those members of the human family waiting to be born in this country was removed when the Supreme Court decided Roe vs. Wade in 1973.

This was bad law. The danger the Bishops see at this moment is that a bad court decision will be enshrined in bad legislation that is more radical than the 1973 Supreme Court decision itself.

In the last Congress, a Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) was introduced that would, if brought forward in the same form today, outlaw any “interference” in providing abortion at will. It would deprive the American people in all fifty states of the freedom they now have to enact modest restraints and regulations on the abortion industry.

FOCA would coerce all Americans into subsidizing and promoting abortion with their tax dollars. It would counteract any and all sincere efforts by government and others of good will to reduce the number of abortions in our country.

Parental notification and informed consent precautions would be outlawed, as would be laws banning procedures such as partial-birth abortion and protecting infants born alive after a failed abortion. Abortion clinics would be deregulated. The Hyde Amendment restricting the federal funding of abortions would be abrogated. FOCA would have lethal consequences for prenatal human life.

FOCA would have an equally destructive effect on the freedom of conscience of doctors, nurses and health care workers whose personal convictions do not permit them to cooperate in the private killing of unborn children. It would threaten Catholic health care institutions and Catholic Charities. It would be an evil law that would further divide our country, and the Church should be intent on opposing evil.

On this issue, the legal protection of the unborn, the bishops are of one mind with Catholics and others of good will. They are also pastors who have listened to women whose lives have been diminished because they believed they had no choice but to abort a baby.

Abortion is a medical procedure that kills, and the psychological and spiritual consequences are written in the sorrow and depression of many women and men. The bishops are single-minded because they are, first of all, single-hearted.

The recent election was principally decided out of concern for the economy, for the loss of jobs and homes and financial security for families, here and around the world. If the election is misinterpreted ideologically as a referendum on abortion, the unity desired by President-elect Obama and all Americans at this moment of crisis will be impossible to achieve.

Abortion kills not only unborn children; it destroys constitutional order and the common good, which is assured only when the life of every human being is legally protected. Aggressively pro-abortion policies, legislation and executive orders will permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans, and would be seen by many as an attack on the free exercise of their religion.

This statement is written at the request and direction of all the Bishops, who also want to thank all those in politics who work with good will to protect the lives of the most vulnerable among us. Those in public life do so, sometimes, at the cost of great sacrifice to themselves and their families; and we are grateful. We express again our great desire to work with all those who cherish the common good of our nation.

The common good is not the sum total of individual desires and interests; it is achieved in the working out of a common life based upon good reason and good will for all.

Our prayers accompany President-elect Obama and his family and those who are cooperating with him to assure a smooth transition in government. Many issues demand immediate attention on the part of our elected “watchman.” (Psalm 127)

May God bless him and our country.