Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Pastor Speaks the Truth

Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

9 November 2008

Dear Friends in Christ,

We the People have spoken, and the 44th President of the United States will
be Barack Hussein Obama. This election ends a political process that started two
years ago and which has revealed deep and bitter divisions within the United
States and also within the Catholic Church in the United States. This division
is sometimes called a “Culture War,” by which is meant a heated clash between
two radically different and incompatible conceptions of how we should order our
common life together, the public life that constitutes civil society. And the
chief battleground in this culture war for the past 30 years has been abortion,
which one side regards as a murderous abomination that cries out to Heaven for
vengeance and the other side regards as a fundamental human right that must be
protected in laws enforced by the authority of the state. Between these two
visions of the use of lethal violence against the unborn there can be no
negotiation or conciliation, and now our nation has chosen for its chief
executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United
States Senate or to run for president. We must also take note of the fact that
this election was effectively decided by the votes of self-described (but not
practicing) Catholics, the majority of whom cast their ballots for
President-elect Obama.

In response to this, I am obliged by my duty as your shepherd to make two

1. Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative
exits constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics
who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ’s Church and
under the judgment of divine law. Persons in this condition should not receive
Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of
Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation.

2. Barack Obama, although we must always and everywhere disagree with him
over abortion, has been duly elected the next President of the United States,
and after he takes the Oath of Office next January 20th, he will hold legitimate
authority in this nation. For this reason, we are obliged by Scriptural precept
to pray for him and to cooperate with him whenever conscience does not bind us
otherwise. Let us hope and pray that the responsibilities of the presidency and
the grace of God will awaken in the conscience of this extraordinarily gifted
man an awareness that the unholy slaughter of children in this nation is the
greatest threat to the peace and security of the United States and constitutes a
clear and present danger to the common good. In the time of President Obama’s
service to our country, let us pray for him in the words of a prayer found in
the Roman Missal:

God our Father, all earthly powers must serve you. Help our President-elect,
Barack Obama, to fulfill his responsibilities worthily and well. By honoring and
striving to please you at all times, may he secure peace and freedom for the
people entrusted to him. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.


Father J. Scott Newman, St. Mary’s in Greenville, SC

thanks to Fr. Zuhlsdorf of WDTPRS

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thirty Pieces of Silver

While on pilgrimage, we learned of the results of the Presidential election in the USA. Almost everywhere we go in Portugal, France or Spain, nearly all Europeans congratulate us and express their gratitude that America has broken the racial barrier to the White House.

The deserved and rightful joy and pride, however, of the first African-American to be elected to the highest office in the nation, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and the President of the United States, is painfully eclipsed by his undeniable and vocal support for abortion. How sad that this historic moment is tarnished and stained by the blood of innocent children. Candidate Obama openly, frequently and clearly stated his support and intent to sign FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act) which would unravel all or at least most of the progress made by Pro-Lifers to restrict, constrain and diminish abortions.

Senator Obama rejected the ban on partial birth abortion. He supports Roe v. Wade. He supports FOCA. Yet, many Europeans like him because he opposed the war in Iraq and promises to bring the troops home ASAP. The anti-war and anti-Bush factions like him for the same reasons. Some agreed with his economic proposals; others liked his health care plan.

Pundits tell us that Senator John McClain lost the election partially for the war and for his association with GW but most propose that it was his economic strategy (or lack thereof) which cost him the presidency.

What I find disconcerting and disturbing is the high number of Catholics who allegedly voted for Senator Barak Obama despite his position on abortion. Senator John McClain, despite his obvious shortcomings, has a better trach record of being Pro-Life and for supporting Pro-Life legislation.

IF some Catholics voted for Obama merely to save their 401K, then what is the difference had they been given thirty pieces of silver? Both are blood money and innocent blood at that.

The only time a Catholic can morally vote for a pro-choice candidate is when there is no viable pro-life opponent running against him/her. But we had a pro-life alternative, albeit not perfect, but more anti-bortion than Obama.

The courageous Bishops who enunciated this moral teaching preached to deaf ears, sad to say. While we are not one issue voters, there is a hierarchy of goods, values ans principles, which must be respected. The RIGHT TO LIFE outweighs all other issues, no matter how serious or important.

Now that there is a PRO-ABORTION Catholic Vice President, the US Bishops have a once in a lifetime opportunity. Senator Joe Biden has stated unequivocally he knows abortion is wrong as life begins at conception BUT he also vehemently supports Roe v. Wade and will always support legal abortions. He and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and all Congressmen and Senators who refuse to repent and abandon their support for abortion must be denied Holy Communion AND face the real possibility of EXCOMMUNICATION. If the Vice President and the Speaker flagrantly show contempt for the Moral Law and Magisterial teaching which condemn abortion, they cause great scandal when they approach Holy Comunion.

Certainly, they deserve a chance to repent and recant, but if unrepentant, then the Vice President and Speaker and all politicians who overtly, consistently and obstinantly suport abortion must be excommunicated.

These extreme measures are regrettable but necessary since our people do not realize that to refuse to protect the innocent unborn, we greatly offend God. Economic crises are indeed serious matters but the slaughter of millions of innocent unborn human lives is another holocaust.

I pray that President Elect Obama and Vice President Elect Joe Biden repent and change their position on abortion. Former pro-slavery politicians did it before; former pro-segregationalist did too. Former pr-choicers can become pro-lifers. Meantime, we must make a stand for those who have no one else to speak for them.

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