Sunday, August 24, 2008

US Roman Catholics debate the relationship between abortion and politics.

Cranmer is a little pressed for time today, and reproduces this LA Times article in its entirety:

"Pope Benedict XVI has bestowed a key position on an American prelate who was the leader of a faction in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that believes Catholic voters should judge political candidates primarily by their views on abortion. With a presidential election looming, supporters of the separation of church and state can hope that the appointment of Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis as the head of the Vatican's supreme judicial body will defuse the controversy in the church about single-issue voting.

"Burke, an icon of conservative Catholics, is best known as the prelate who announced in 2004 that he would deny Holy Communion to Sen. John Kerry, then the Democratic presidential nominee, because he was pro-choice. Burke's insistence that voting for pro-choice policies is the equivalent of procuring an abortion, and thus disqualification for the sacraments, puts him at one pole of a debate within the U.S. hierarchy. Now in Rome, he reiterated this view this week in a magazine interview.

"At the other pole are churchmen such as Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles and Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, who has been savaged by conservative Catholics for refusing to bar pro-choice Catholics such as Kerry and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from the Communion rail. Asked how he would respond to Catholic politicians who support legalized abortion, Wuerl replied: "Teach. That is what Jesus did."

"Whatever the theological validity of Wuerl's approach, it is consistent with John F. Kennedy's description of the relationship between church and state in his historic address to Protestant ministers in Houston in 1960. Kennedy said: "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the president -- should he be a Catholic -- how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote."

"The debate within the U.S. church over the relationship between abortion and politics extends beyond the issue of Holy Communion for pro-choice politicians. Some bishops believe that Catholic voters should impose an abortion litmus test when they go to the polls; others argue that abortion is only one issue among many, including whether a candidate embraces the church's opposition to capital punishment and racial discrimination.

"The struggle among bishops over this question has resulted in a compromise election guide for Catholic voters. It declares: "As Catholics, we are not single-issue voters. ... Yet a candidate's position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support." That prudent and nuanced view could become especially important if Barack Obama or John McCain chooses a pro-choice Catholic as a running mate. If that occurs, it will be helpful for all concerned if Burke is too busy at the Vatican to enter the fray."

7 Comments:

Blogger mckenzie said...

It is written in Isa 49:1-
LISTEN, O ISLES, UNTO ME; AND HEARKEN, YE PEOPLE, FROM FAR; THE LORD HATH CALLED ME FROM THE WOMB; FROM THE BOWELS OF MY MOTHER HATH HE MADE MENTION OF MY NAME. God knew Isaiah before he was ever born. He knew his name. God forbid, what if someone had tried to abort the prophet Isaiah?

It is written in Lk 1:13-17-
BUT THE ANGEL SAID UNTO HIM, FEAR NOT, ZACHARIAS: FOR THY PRAYER IS HEARD; AND THY WIFE ELISABETH SHALL BEAR THEE A SON, AND THOU SHALT CALL HIS NAME JOHN. AND THOU SHALT HAVE JOY AND GLADNESS; AND MANY SHALL REJOICE AT HIS BIRTH. FOR HE SHALL BE GREAT IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, AND SHALL DRINK NEITHER WINE NOR STRONG DRINK; AND HE SHALL BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, EVEN FROM HIS MOTHER'S WOMB. AND MANY OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL SHALL HE TURN TO THE LORD THEIR GOD. AND HE SHALL GO BEFORE HIM IN THE SPIRIT AND POWER OF ELIAS, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS TO THE CHILDREN, AND THE DISOBEDIENT TO THE WISDOM OF THE JUST; TO MAKE READY A PEOPLE PREPARED FOR THE LORD. God did a miracle. He brought about the conception of John the Baptist. Even before Elizabeth had conceived, God knew about John the Baptist. He knew when he would be born. He knew his name. He knew about the child. He knew all about John’s life. Matthew’s Gospel said of John the Baptist: Mt 11:11-Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist…God forbid, what is someone had tried to abort John the Baptist? Lk 1:44-AND IT CAME TO PASS, THAT, WHEN ELISABETH HEARD THE SALUTATION OF MARY, THE BABE LEAPED IN HER WOMB. Does this mean that the fruit of Elizabeth’s womb was a meaningless mass of cells or was it life? It is clear that the fruit of her womb was a human life that was ordained of God.

It is written in Lk 1:26-32-
AND IN THE SIXTH MONTH THE ANGEL GABRIEL WAS SENT FROM GOD UNTO A CITY OF GALILEE, NAMED NAZARETH, TO A VIRGIN ESPOUSED TO A MAN WHOSE NAME WAS JOSEPH, OF THE HOUSE OF DAVID; AND THE VIRGIN'S NAME WAS MARY. AND THE ANGEL CAME IN UNTO HER, AND SAID, HAIL, THOU THAT ART HIGHLY FAVOURED, THE LORD IS WITH THEE: BLESSED ART THOU AMONG WOMEN. AND WHEN SHE SAW HIM, SHE WAS TROUBLED AT HIS SAYING, AND CAST IN HER MIND WHAT MANNER OF SALUTATION THIS SHOULD BE. AND THE ANGEL SAID UNTO HER, FEAR NOT, MARY: FOR THOU HAST FOUND FAVOUR WITH GOD. AND, BEHOLD, THOU SHALT CONCEIVE IN THY WOMB, AND BRING FORTH A SON, AND SHALT CALL HIS NAME JESUS. HE SHALL BE GREAT, AND SHALL BE CALLED THE SON OF THE HIGHEST: AND THE LORD GOD SHALL GIVE UNTO HIM THE THRONE OF HIS FATHER DAVID. The angel is announcing the birth of Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. The coming of the Messiah was foretold back in Genesis 3:15. The miraculous conception, the name, childhood, adulthood, death, and resurrection of the Messiah was foreknown and foreordained of God. Jn 3:16-FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE. God forbid, what if someone had tried to abort the Son of God? What if someone had tried to abort Mary, the mother of Jesus. What if someone had tried to abort "YOU."

God’s Word and medical science have both proven that the fruit of the womb is a totally separate person from the mother. As already mentioned: Ps 127:3-CHILDREN ARE AN HERITAGE OF THE LORD: AND THE FRUIT OF THE WOMB IS HIS REWARD. It is part of God’s covenant of life. Consider carefully what God’s Word has said. It is written: Pv 3:7-8-BE NOT WISE IN THINE OWN EYES: FEAR THE LORD, AND DEPART FROM EVIL. IT SHALL BE HEALTH TO THY NAVEL, AND MARROW TO THY BONES. Pv 16:6-7…BY THE FEAR OF THE LORD MEN DEPART FROM EVIL. WHEN A MAN'S WAYS PLEASE THE LORD, HE MAKETH EVEN HIS ENEMIES TO BE AT PEACE WITH HIM. Pv 16:17-THE HIGHWAY OF THE UPRIGHT IS TO DEPART FROM EVIL: HE THAT KEEPETH HIS WAY PRESERVETH HIS SOUL. Lk 13:3-I TELL YOU, NAY: BUT, EXCEPT YE REPENT, YE SHALL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH.

If you are reading this and contemplating having an abortion—stop. Do not do it. If you have already done it, there is still hope. If you will repent and receive Jesus Christ by faith as your Lord and Savior, He will forgive you. God loves you!

24 August 2008 at 14:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God IS shaping the world.

24 August 2008 at 15:12  
Blogger Morgan Hen (Morgan the Old) said...

My Dear Dr Cranmer,

This has always been a problem in the US Roman Church. No one definate policy on admitting pro abortion politicians to the sacraments.

BTW I have linked your honorable blog to my unworthy one!

24 August 2008 at 18:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cranmer, I don't log into your venerable blog for the thoughts of the LA Times. I want your thoughts, that's what I pay for, so pull your finger out and make time to write them down.

24 August 2008 at 18:58  
Anonymous Portwyne said...

Slightly off-thread but I wonder if Archbishop Burke has felt it necessary to have a word with Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor re his reception of Tony Blair into the Roman church?

Reading the article referenced in the post the Archbishop makes the Church's position crystal clear.

He states that when a prominent public figure who has upheld abortion rights is allowed to receive Communion the scandal is compounded: "leading people to think that the public act that this person is doing," a sin, "which until now everyone believed was a serious sin, is really not that serious."

When Murphy-O'Connor shared the Eucharist with Blair he seemed to have no such reservations and exemplified perfectly the pragmatic hypocrisy of Roman Catholicism with its willingness to relieve the rich and powerful of the strictures it places on the mass of its followers.

It will be truly interesting to see if Archbishop Burke's words are anything more than hot air - I am not holding my breath!

24 August 2008 at 19:03  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

i cant wait , fox news "LIVE INQUISITION" , with red hot pokers and wracking

24 August 2008 at 23:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The US public wants separation of church and state. They want want the US religious leaders to remain outside of the political debate. Yet it is the politician who identifies himself as being a Baptist, a Catholic, a Jew etc. Why? Because he is pandering for votes. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops should say Mr. Biden is a catholic in name only since he fails to abide by the Church's teachings. The Bishops need to cut the dead wood and stop having a distinction based on economic privilege.

26 August 2008 at 10:21  

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