Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I just had the pleasure of seeing a great example of anti-Catholic writing on another blog ( Sad how so many can distort the teaching of the Church. It is the typical nonsense that claims the Church is telling candidates and politicians how to vote. The Church does not deny the right of any particular politician to vote his conscience. The Church has just clearly stated that for a Catholic to publicly support a "woman's right" to abortion puts one in opposition to the clear and consistent teaching of the the Church, and therefore, that person should not receive the Eucharist. Catholic politicians are certainly free to take any position on any particular issue, but, when a position is taken that puts them at odds with what the Church has clearly defined as a grave moral evil, then they have several options. They can leave the Church, reform their belief, or not receive the Eucharist. One can choose to not be a Catholic. But the nature of Catholicism is that one does not by himself have the option of deciding what actions are sinful. Perhaps Joe Biden (and Pelosi) would be happier as a Methodist.


I am not sure how a faithful Catholic can justify a vote for Obama. He is a man that is clearly pro-abortion. He does not know if a child in the womb is entitled to the rights of a person. Apparently the subject is above his pay grade. His votes and actions and his support of abortion tell us otherwise. He believes the child in the womb has no rights. If he is unsure, then why would he not err on the side of caution and say that until we can answer the question of whether the child in the womb is a person, we must not permit abortion. For if the answer is determined that the child is a person, then to do anything to destroy that life would be a great evil. Even if one is sympathetic to Obama's politics, his abortion position should make it obvious that no Catholic in good conscience can support him.


The beauty of the Catholic Church is her authority. The pope and the magisterium protect the Christian from falling into error. It is clear that Peter had a place of primacy when one reads the gospels. He is the one that Jesus renamed from Simon to Peter. He is truly the rock. His confession in Matthew 16 is more than a confession of faith. Some of our separated brothers and sisters fail to read the relevant passages as a whole. It is Simon (soon to be Peter) that correctly answers the question of Jesus' true identity. After his identification Jesus confers the power of the keys. The promise of the keys is given to Peter alone, to no one else. The pope as the apostolic successor of Peter has those keys today. The notion of apostolic succession is not an invention of the Church. We see apostolic succession clearly demonstrated in Acts 1, 15-26. The reason we Catholics are so excited at times when in the presence of the pope is not because of him but because of who he is. He is the apostolic successor of Peter.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


There is a logic to Catholicism. While the innumerable protestant denominations struggle with issues such as embryonic stem cell research, abortion, same sex marriage, the Catholic Church has the advantage of the papacy which can speak to these and other issues by virtue of the apostolic authority of the successor of Peter. Even if one denies the notion of that succession, one must admit that the appeal of the apostolic succession and authority is a plus if true. Christ established the Church and said the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, that He would be with it always. Did He desire that the Christianity would be split into countless factions, each with their own monopoly on truth? I am convinced the answer is no. I think if one reads the earliest fathers of the Church, he or she will see that the primacy of Peter and his successors is evident. It is one of the reasons intelligent men and women throughout history have embraced the Church (Augustine, Edith Stein, G.K. Chesterton, Malcolm Muggeridge, Thomas Merton, John Henry Newman: converts all).


But will Biden even read the statement?

WASHINGTON - Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William E. Lori, chairman, U.S. Bishops Committee on Doctrine, issued the following statement:
Recently we had a duty to clarify the Catholic Church’s constant teaching against abortion, to correct misrepresentations of that teaching by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on “Meet the Press” (see: here). On September 7, again on “Meet the Press,” Senator Joseph Biden made some statements about that teaching that also deserve a response.
Senator Biden did not claim that Catholic teaching allows or has ever allowed abortion. He said rightly that human life begins “at the moment of conception,” and that Catholics and others who recognize this should not be required by others to pay for abortions with their taxes.
However, the Senator’s claim that the beginning of human life is a “personal and private” matter of religious faith, one which cannot be “imposed” on others, does not reflect Catholic teaching. The Church teaches that the obligation to protect unborn human life rests on the answer to two questions, neither of which is private or specifically religious.
The first is a biological question: When does a new human life begin? When is there a new living organism of the human species, distinct from mother and father and ready to develop and mature if given a nurturing environment? While ancient thinkers had little verifiable knowledge to help them answer this question, today embryology textbooks confirm that a new human life begins at conception (see The Catholic Church does not teach this as a matter of faith; it acknowledges it as a matter of objective fact.
The second is a moral question, with legal and political consequences: Which living members of the human species should be seen as having fundamental human rights, such as a right not to be killed? The Catholic Church’s answer is: Everybody. No human being should be treated as lacking human rights, and we have no business dividing humanity into those who are valuable enough to warrant protection and those who are not. Even this is not solely a Catholic teaching, but a principle of natural law accessible to all people of good will. The framers of the Declaration of Independence pointed to the same basic truth by speaking of inalienable rights, bestowed on all members of the human race not by any human power, but by their Creator. Those who hold a narrower and more exclusionary view have the burden of explaining why we should divide humanity into the moral “haves” and “have-nots,” and why their particular choice of where to draw that line can be sustained in a pluralistic society. Such views pose a serious threat to the dignity and rights of other poor and vulnerable members of the human family who need and deserve our respect and protection.
While in past centuries biological knowledge was often inaccurate, modern science leaves no excuse for anyone to deny the humanity of the unborn child. Protection of innocent human life is not an imposition of personal religious conviction but a demand of justice.