It has been an interesting week in the Catholic world. Many are debating the rectitude of Sen. Kennedy receiving a Church funeral. Personally, I don’t have a problem with Sen. Kennedy receiving a Church funeral…he does seem to have offered SOME evidence of repentance before his death, and perhaps there is more we do not know about.
However, the scandal of the matter is that while Sen. Kennedy’s sins are quite public (in his matter of supporting abortion rights), his repentance (if any) was quite private. For a public sin, the repentance should have also been public. That would have removed the scandal, but it didn’t happen. Also, Sen. Kennedy’s Democratic colleagues were permitted to partially turn the funeral into a canonization and a political circus. THAT should never have happened.
At any rate, give Cardinal O’Malley credit. He has forthrightly met his critics and explained why he attended the funeral. Among other things he says:
We are for the precious gift of life, and our task is to build a civilization of love. We must show those who do not share our belief about life that we care about them. We will stop the practice of abortion by changing the law, and we will be successful in changing the law if we change people’s hearts. We will not change hearts by turning away from people in their time of need and when they are experiencing grief and loss.
These are words worth considering. Love and mercy, not shunning, are more likely to change hearts. However, there is still the issue of scandal - seemingly giving approval and the veneer of acceptability to Sen. Kennedy and those who share his beliefs.
I posted the following on the Cardinal’s blog:
Thank you for giving an explanation – that helps! I agree with most of what you said, especially about showing mercy and love to all.
However, the Mass was overly politicized, and turned into a spectacle canonizing Sen. Kennedy and implying that his actions were generally in accord with Catholic principles.
I guess the question is: is abortion just another issue? Sen. Kennedy has (partial) responsibility for 50 million unborn babies on his soul. If he had maintained a principled pro-life position, things might be very different in America today. To take such a barbaric public position as he did over 35+ years, should have demanded also a public repentance and repudiation of that position.
Also, while we might commend Sen. Kennedy for his compassion for underprivileged Americans (at least for the fraction who survived to be born), let’s be clear that wanting to help the underprivileged does not ipso facto equate to big government programs. Jesus asked individuals to help the poor with personal interaction and love; He didn’t tell us all to band together to create a big government program that efficiently issues checks. Catholic Social teaching is thus not necessarily of a piece with the Democratic party agenda – this is a matter of prudential judgment, and indeed, arguably violates the Catholic principle of subsidiarity.
Your comments do help in alleviating the scandal that this funeral caused in the minds of many. Please continue to make it clear that it was an act of mercy and love to a soul that God created in His own image, and who showed at least SOME sign of repentance, and not in any way an endorsement of his tragic and barbaric support of abortion.
If you haven’t heard, the EEOC has found Belmont Abbey College, a small Catholic school near Charlotte, NC, in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws because its health plan does not pay for oral contraception. They are discriminating against women, according to the EEOC, since only women take birth control pills.
No, that’s not a joke, though it seems like one. Everyone needs to step up and help Belmont Abbey as much as possible. If we don’t, this sort of bullying totalitarian nonsense will spread, and our religious freedoms will be lost. Protest to the EEOC, and stand ready to help Belmont Abbey if and when this goes to the courts.
I’d like to issue a call for folks to post fruits/answered prayers they’ve had through prayer, especially the Rosary and Divine Mercy. I think this would help us to be more faithful to prayer.
As the poet Tennyson said, ““More things are wrought through prayer than this world dreams of”.
Personally, we prayed the Fatima Life Novena along with many of you, and we added some personal intentions, some of which were answered beyond our belief. I also know that when Scott Hahn was on the road to Catholicism, he was quite skeptical of the Rosary, but decided to give it a try, and shot for the moon in asking for something he thought was impossible. Sure enough, his prayer was granted.
Our intentions may not always be granted according to our request (God, after all, knows better than we do), but it is certain that we will gain a measure of protection from evil for ourselves and those dear to us. When we ask according to God’s will (for example, for conversions and the end to abortion), we know that those prayers are heard and acted upon.
Personhood is a dangerous word. It is a legal term, and any time it is used, it is usually used to EXCLUDE a given group of human beings from the group of “persons”. This enables them to be considered property, or to not have the very right to live. Recent examples, of course, include slavery, the Jews and others under Hitler, and now abortion throughout the world.
With advances in science, we should have progressed to the point where all human beings have the right to life and freedom just by virtue of being human beings. Unfortunately, this is not yet the case.
Fortunately, there’s a group called Personhood USA doing some good work in attempting to define the unborn as persons. This approach has already had success in North Dakota, Montana, and Mississippi. Given that it shifts the focus onto the unborn child, it would seem to be a promising strategy. Please check them out, and get involved if you feel so called.
Overpopulation is a myth which is used to push the use of contraception and abortion, especially in the Third World. The good folks at the Population Research Institute have created a short YouTube presentation (below) to expose the overpopulation school of thought as false.
Fast Tube by Casper
More information can be found at this site.
Congress is, as we speak, debating health care reform. While the advisability of this is debatable in itself, there is one thing that we MUST take action on. Right now, Democrats are trying to sneak federal funding for abortion in to the health care reform bill, and that is UNACCEPTABLE. If successful, this would be as bad as, maybe worse than FOCA. Studies have shown that government funding of abortion increases the abortion rate by at least 20%.
Unless we all act by contacting our elected representatives now, WE will be footing the bill for abortions, to the tune of millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of abortions. Please contact your Congressman and your two Senators!
One might phrase their letter to say that most people are opposed to abortion and even MORE people are opposed to having their tax money go to pay for them. However you phrase your letter, please contact them today! You should be able to find your representatives using our “Contact” section on the main website.
The pro-abortion side likes to keep its aims couched in euphemisms as much as possible. However, once in a while, the truth comes out and we see that the eugenic origins of the pro-abortion and pro-contraception movements are still there behind the curtain.
Witness a certain Supreme Court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in the New York Times:
Q: Are you talking about the distances women have to travel because in parts of the country, abortion is essentially unavailable, because there are so few doctors and clinics that do the procedure? And also, the lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women?
JUSTICE GINSBURG: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.
There it is - the particular problem which abortion was to solve was that of too much population growth in “populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” It’s supremely ironic that our first minority President is resolutely committed to abortion when it is abortion that is killing off a high percentage of African-Americans. African-Americans have abortions at rates 5 times higher than the white population, with an estimated 14+ million abortions among African-Americans having occurred since 1973.
This also points out another ugly truth that Planned Parenthood and the rest of the pro-abortion movement want to keep hidden at all costs - abortion and contraception came out of the same hellish ideology that brought us Adolf Hitler - Darwinism. I’m not talking about believing in evolution necessarily; that is allowable according to Church teaching. However, Darwin posited that there is good genetic stock and bad genetic stock, and we all know about the “survival of the fittest” catchphrase. For his followers, then, it became an imperative to help those carrying the good genes proliferate as much as possible, while those carrying the “bad genes” should be stamped out whenever possible. Abortion and the gas chamber were simply different means to this end.
Today, the “bad” people who should be weeded out as much as possible are the poor, and those with genetic deformities, rather than certain races, but the principle remains exactly the same.
Hat tip to Creative Minority Report.
Here are some words to meditate upon during this season in which we celebrate our independence. The words were written by Samuel Adams (1722-1803), one of the Architects of the United States of America:
A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy… While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued, but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader…If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.
The word about Rosaries for Life continues to get out there, slowly but surely, and I want to thank those of you who have pledged, and especially those of you who have gone beyond pledging to spreading the word about Rosaries for Life.
We really all need to be doing this….not necessarily talking about Rosaries for Life (though that would be greatly appreciated), but emphasizing the importance, indeed the foundational nature, of prayer. Our pro-life efforts, our Catholic evangelization, our very efforts to raise our families will go nowhere fast (and probably will go backwards) without a foundation of prayer!
Americans are, in general, not a very prayerful people. This needs to be changed, NOW, as signs of general societal breakdown are on the increase. One can’t spend much time learning about the types of activities which are common in today’s youth culture without wondering how much time we have left as a nation.
Still, our nation was founded on basic Christian principles, and God has been merciful to us. Time has not yet run out, so let us take advantage of God’s mercy while we still can. “Now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor 6:2)
Though the blog has been silent lately (mea culpa), our plans have still been percolating. In the near future, I’ll be writing about Pres. Obama’s “Common Ground Initiative” and towards the end of July, we’ll be bringing the Rosaries for Life message to EWTN, and sharing our mission with Archbishop Burke if at all possible.
If you haven’t heard it already, abortionist George Tiller, one of the few who performed partial birth abortions in the United States, was murdered today while attending his Lutheran Church(!?).
At Rosaries for Life, of course, we totally deplore such violence. Violence and injustice cannot be solved by more violence and injustice. Also, the murderer sent Mr. Tiller to face his Maker with very little chance to repent for his sins. That is not the mark of a true Christian. Please pray for the soul of Mr. Tiller.
At this point, we do not even know for sure if the murderer was part of the anti-abortion movement. (Of course, obviously, he was not truly pro-life.) At any rate, now we must pray even harder that this violent action does not harm the pro-life movement as a whole, and that pro-life advocates as a whole are not seen as “terrorists” because of this.
I close with a quote from the late John Cardinal O’Connor (hat tip to Mark Shea):
If anyone has an urge to kill someone at an abortion clinic, they should shoot me. … It’s madness. It discredits the right-to-life movement. Murder is murder. It’s madness. You cannot prevent killing by killing.