American Catholics should work to present a ProLife platform that stands in theological opposition to all political plans that use legislative loopholes to fulfill the agendas that are contrary to our Catholic beliefs.
by Hugh J.McNichol | Source: Catholic.net
The United States House of Representatives confirmed the disregard they collectively hold for the intrinsic value of all human life from conception until natural death. With the vote that propelled the House Bill on Health Care towards the desk of President Obama for his signature into law illustrates the breach of trust towards all ProLife Advocates that sought for changes to the language of the controversial legislation. The fallacy of a legally binding Executive Order on the part of President Obama that promised assurances that would prevent funding for procurement of abortions is quite frankly the partisan incentive that is the equivalent of a smoke and mirrors parlor trick. From the perspective of reality, an executive order issued by a sitting President is subject to any number of modifications, including a repeal by the same President that issued the order. In a legislative perspective, it only offered an appeasement to the fence sitting Democrats in order to garner their votes and collective support. The fact of the matter is clearly this: there is no such thing as a ProLife Democrat as a result of this pending legislation. There are only Democrats that appear to be ProLife in the most remote sense of the ideal.
The developing examinations of the legislation will indeed show there are many loopholes which will permit the funding of abortive procedures through covert nuances of legislative manipulation by both the White House and the collective Congress. Catholics, that fervently believe in the absolute sanctity of all human life should now clamor from the depths of our Catholic souls for Divine guidance in having this legislation overturned and or modified in the same fervor we have sought the overturn of Roe vs. Wade.
I recently wrote about the disparity that exists between two separate groups of women religious in the United States regarding the interpretation of the Catholic morality of this legislation, namely the opposition of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious to this legislation; and the support of The Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The latter group supports the legislation despite the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops public opposition to the Obama Health Care Plan. While each group has a obligation to follow a well formed conscience in the support or opposition to the legislative package, there is a larger and more important issue that looms over the Catholic perspective of this legislation; What group speaks for the moral authority of the Catholic Church in the United States, is it the collective American Catholic Bishops, or is it the collective confraternity of Catholic Women Religious.
Caught in the middle of the struggle are the millions of faithful American Catholic that are hearing different messages from both seemingly Catholic groups of authority. From the perspective of the confused Catholic, the opposition of the American Bishops to the Obama legislation would imply there is some objective point contained within the legislation that is contrary to Catholic moral and ethical norms. However, the same Catholics are confused by the affirmation of the women religious in the United States in conjunction with spokespersons of Catholic Health Care and ancillary services. What group of periti should Catholics follow? Should the average Catholic take the prima facia teachings of the American Bishops? Should the average Catholic follow the leadership of Catholic Health Care providers and the endorsement of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious? Which group legitimately reflects the authentic teachings of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church?
The Tea Party Movement that is evolving throughout the United States should perhaps now take hold in the lives of informed Catholics in the United States and indeed the world. It is not acceptable for any group of Catholic believers to continue to ignore the critically important social, political and moral issues that are swirling around our Catholic Church.
The reform of the American health care plan is indicative of the real vacuum of leadership that exists in the hierarchy of the American Catholic Church. The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops needs to find its voice and loudly proclaim all of the precepts of the Gospel message, not just the ones that are politically advantageous for the American Catholic hierarchy. They need to be the moral and ethical voice of strong leadership that guides all Catholics, including clergy; religious and laity in a solidary position that calls all Catholics to a collective understanding of what is the authentic teaching of the Magisterium. This teaching voice cannot be divided by partisan groups of female religious against male bishops, ordained against laity or similar groups in opposition to each other simply because they have different Catholic agendas.
The proverbial Catholic crates of tea have been tossed over the side and are floating in the harbors of the United States Catholic communities. American Catholics need to start demanding answers and clarification from their Bishops, Religious and fellow Catholics when deciding the political waters, we as a faithful group of individuals should follow.
Collectively all of the parties that maintain their Catholic allegiance need to start communicating among each other and reconcile all of our differences so that collectively American Catholics can with moral, ethical and pastoral confidence present a ProLife platform that stands in theological opposition to all political plans that use legislative loopholes to fulfill the agendas that are contrary to our Catholic beliefs.
About the Author
HughJ.McNichol is a Catholic author and journalist writing on Catholic topics and issues. He attended Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where he studied both philosophy and theology. He writes frequently at http://verbumcarofactumest.blogspot.com & http://nothing-left-unsaid.blogspot.com . Hugh writes about his Irish Catholic upbringing and educational experiences at http://graysferrygrapevine.blogspot.com . He has contributed works to Catholic News Agency, Catholic Online, The Irish Catholic, Dublin, the British Broadcasting Company, London and the Philadelphia Bulletin, Catholic Exchange, Pewsitter.com, Blogger News Network & The Catholic Business Journal and CatholicMom.com. Write to Hugh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The problem, as I see it, is defining exactly what we are fighting against in the abortion battle. Too often, the pro-choice option is used as a means to stride both sides of the fence. HOwever, it must be noted what exactly the choice is. It is not merely the option to choose to keep abortion legal. There is a deeper and far more meaningful significance to this issue for it involves the choice between 2 diametrically opposed options: repentance or discipline. As a nation, are we going to stop this genocide and place ourselves at God's mercy or as a nation, led by those in authority, are we going to opt for God's discipline? That is the real choice facing us and until more people understand this, I fear for the future.