The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Quote of the day

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“About 80 percent in this town are Catholic but they’re still voting for Obama. The state is very conservative but everybody pays attention to politics and the issue here like anywhere else is a town that needs jobs. The economy is going to win it out. Just because we are Catholics doesn’t mean we are going to stay with our church.” — Tony Poseno, barber to Scranton Bishop Joseph Martino, explaining why many in staunchly Catholic Scranton — despite the strong words from their bishop — will probably vote for pro-abortion candidate Barack Obama.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(30)
post a comment
Michael Hallman

posted October 31, 2008 at 3:43 pm


It is so sad that people are willing to put the economy before the greatest moral threat of our lifetime. Mr. Poseno summed it up perfectly, they are voting for Obama and abandoning the Church. Sad indeed.



report abuse
 

Deacon Dean

posted October 31, 2008 at 4:04 pm


Sadly it seems that more and more Catholics view authoritative Church teaching as merely “opinion”.



report abuse
 

frival

posted October 31, 2008 at 4:19 pm


We have so, so, so much work to do if people can think like this and not see the fundamental disconnect. To start with, we need to take a page out of St. Thomas’ book and develop calluses on our knees.



report abuse
 

Klaire

posted October 31, 2008 at 5:04 pm


I’m simply stunned by the spiritual blindness of Scranton, ESPECIALLY after such a strong stance by a holy Bishop. If I remember correctly, he even told them they risked their salvation by an Obama vote.I had a similar reaction by a few in my own family, which lead me to ask, “why are you still calling yourself a Catholic.” Let’s just say, that did NOT go over very well.Few parts of PA have had harder economic times than Western PA, and they are the most staunch pro lifers I’ve even known, with a deep Marian devotion. I believe McCain will win PA because of Western PA, consequently, win the election. I’m remain shocked at the blindness of Scanton Catholics, simply shocked.



report abuse
 

xmackiez

posted October 31, 2008 at 6:06 pm


Obviously these people are NOT Catholics. I refer everyone to Bishop Malooly’s letter recently:“The teaching of the Church (on abortion) is clear and not open to debate. Abortion is a grave sin because it is the wrongful taking of an innocent human life. The Church received the tradition opposing abortion from Judaism. In the Greco-Roman world, early Christians were identifiable by their rejection of the common practices of abortion and infanticide.The Didache, probably the earliest Christian writing apart from the New Testament, explicitly condemns abortion without exceptions. It tells us there is a “way of life” and a “way of death” and abortion is a part of the way of death. This has been the consistent teaching of the Church ever since.It was also the position of Protestant reformers without exception. It was the teaching of Pope John XXIII as well as Pope John Paul II. It is the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI and the bishops of the Church, including me as shepherd of this diocese.”



report abuse
 

Deacon Greg Kandra

posted October 31, 2008 at 6:13 pm


Xmackiez…I’d advise caution in labeling people or charging they “aren’t Catholics.” One can be a well-meaning, observant Catholic and still have a badly formed conscience and carry around a lot of bad ideas. Given the pathetic (almost non-existent) state of catechesis over the last 40 years, I’d say that includes much of the last two generations of American Catholics. Dcn. G.



report abuse
 

Wendy

posted October 31, 2008 at 6:38 pm


Just wanted to say that not all of our bishops have strongly indicated that we could not vote for Obama. My bishop said that he would not tell us how to vote and that we should look at the document produced by the US Bishops and the 10 issues outlined with priority to intrinsic evils. He also told us to pray. I think we have to remember that 90% or so of our bishops supported the document as it was written though we’ve had bishops lately knock it.So, many Catholics, whose bishops have not supported or disowned any candidate, will not be disobeying anyone except a bishop from another town that they are not obliged to follow.



report abuse
 

Klaire

posted October 31, 2008 at 7:11 pm


Dcn. Greg I don’t disagree with you on the pathetic catechisis.However, if someone tells you that they DON’T CARE WHAT the church teaches, would you still call that “bad catechisis?” I ask in sincerity. After all, aren’t all the Protestant secs in point of fact,a result of “bad catechisis?” And don’t many Protestants believe much of what we believe minus the pope? More than anything else I hear from “Obama Catholic” is the rejection of what the church/magesterium teaches or any thought of obedience.I agree with the poor catechisis, but I find it hard to believe that they don’t AT LEAST know that, as Catholics, they are called to Magesterial obedience. I also realize that one good confession could bring them all back.Does a baptised Catholic have to “officially” join another religion to “not be” a Catholic? Again, I ask in sincerity. Thanks



report abuse
 

Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted October 31, 2008 at 7:43 pm


I suppose it is not surprising that so many average Catholics are putting the economy before children’s lives. For, it is obvious that for every pro-life message a Catholic hears he also hears 10’s of thousands of advertisements per month which supposedly are just selling products, but are also selling and promoting at the same time greed, selfishness, envy, avarice, couvetousness, craving, etc.–so what chance does an unborn child have?? Tragically Catholicism- and most of Christianity– has lost the ascetic impulse that used to be part and parcel of early Christianity and which led to the widespread development of hermitages and monasteries to be fortresses in the fight against “the world, the flesh, and the devil” (Oh, how quaint that sounds today!– And how right those early Christians were and, yes, how decadent we have become.)



report abuse
 

gramps

posted October 31, 2008 at 11:49 pm


Far too often the sheep hear the voice muffled or in error. However, on life issues, I cannot believe that anyone that calls themselves Catholic does not know the core central issue of the Catholic Church is life itself. Yes, out in the world we hear a lot of crap, but what Catholic can honestly say they did not know the teaching of the church unless they are so tied up in sin that their conscience no longer exists as the bishops so rightly pointed out to both Biden and Pelosi. Does the economy matter to a dead baby? Does the war in Iraq matter to the 50 million dead babies? Does healthcare matter if you are dead? Mother Angelica said if you say you are worried about your social security check and vote for a pro abortion candidate you are fooling yourself. If they care so little about life that they advocate the murder of a baby, what makes you think they will care about the elderly if they need your check for other priorities? If a person you know does not care about life or see it as a gift from God, can you trust them with your children? Would you hire a person who worked in an abortion clinic as a babysitter for your children?How can you vote for one to be president that so violates the core teaching of your church if you call yourself Catholic. I would say a lot of blue state bishops, priests, and yes deacons are missing in action. This goes far deeper than teaching moments. It goes to simply trying to save the soul of those given to you by God for care.



report abuse
 

Mhari Dubh

posted November 1, 2008 at 2:45 am


I think for most people, sadly, economics is more immediate.Using myself as an example: I don’t know anyone who has had, or who has contemplated having an abortion. (Or, at least, none of the people I know personally has told me they have had or thought about having an abortion.) However, I have been to the grocery store and paid my power bill, my rent, and various and sundry other bills. I work at a small parochial school where the teachers probably have one of the lowest if not the lowest salary scales in our part of the state. We feel the crummy economy as we watch our retirement money shrink (for the moment).Unfortunately I think that the economy is more pressing in the lives of Catholics who spend an hour at church a week.Honestly, one of the only reasons I’m so dialed in to the pro-life “thing” is because I spend so so so so much time in and around the church. Also my internetting brings me to places like this.



report abuse
 

Mr Flapatap

posted November 1, 2008 at 9:14 am


Yeah, like Obama’s policies and “vast” executive experience are going to improve the economy!The worst part is that they are choosing a potential, not guaranteed, economic improvement over a stated, definite, intent to murder more unborn children.



report abuse
 

Scott

posted November 1, 2008 at 10:17 am


After all is said and done (and more is said than done) how does one explain the FACT that abortions increased during Ronald Reagan’s term of office, George H.W. Bush’s term of office, and George W. Bush’s term of office, and declined during Bill Clinton’s term of office?



report abuse
 

Klaire

posted November 1, 2008 at 10:41 am


One of the many things that amaze me about Obama followers is, in addition to the spiritual blindness, is the “economic blindness.” Econ 101 alone should send out “danger danger alerts” to the Obama plan. If Obama wins, it won’t be long before the “big economic dupe” is obvious, but by that time, it will be too late.After all, it’s all part of the BIG LIE. This past week Michael Medved played a new Obama song that is out there, The OUR FATHER OBAMA, HALLOWED BE THY NAME, THY KINGDOM COME. I kid you not; it’s archived if anyone wants to hear it for themselves.In obedience to my bishop, I pass along his request for all Catholics to make a good confession before election day.



report abuse
 

fedsped

posted November 1, 2008 at 10:54 am


On a similar note, comes the NYTimes with a sympathetic piece on women who feel they have no choice but to abort mainly for economic reasons:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/nyregion/new-jersey/02Rparent.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=winerip%20abortion&st=cse&oref=sloginit pains me that these women feel they have no option. What kind of outreach should we faithful Catholics be doing so they don't feel this way? how have we failed? it goes beyond bad catechesis in my opinion. I have an autistic son myself :)



report abuse
 

frival

posted November 1, 2008 at 1:29 pm


Scott, I’ve heard that repeated by those who wish to excuse their vote for Obama repeatedly but I’ve never seen properly documented studies that corroborate the assertion. Year-over-year fluctuations are completely independent of the person in the White House and the effect of their policies can take years to be felt. FOCA would likely be the one exception given how broad its immediate effect would be, and the abrogation of the Mexico City Policy would have unmeasured effects in other countries.



report abuse
 

Klaire

posted November 1, 2008 at 1:33 pm


Do you think it ever occured to the sages of the NYTimes that IF WE HADN’T KILLED 50 MILLION BABIES, WE WOULD HAVE A LOT MORE REVENUE IN THIS COUNTRY, INCLUDING SOCIAL SECURITY. (Yes I was screaming).I assure you Kathleen, I have worked the streets in front of the abortion centers at least enough to know that economics is probably the LEAST reason women seek abortions. When it is an ecomomic problem, there are endless resources by the Catholics and other Christian groups. The reason must don’t know about them is that most don’t WANT them. If I must be blunt, it all boils down to sex. Most abortions are back up birth control or done for convenience, period. Over half of them are from failed contraception. Most of the altruistic rhetoric you hear is “code” for, “don’t screw up my sex without consequences.” And that’s the plain ugly truth. The job of the left is to “desensitize”, which is what you see happening. It’s also one of the major reasons for ESC research and why you are NOT hearing that it is no longer necessary (it’s also why it was so heavily promoted). I could rattle off countless other “promising” cures in medical research that don’t involve “killing human life.” Jane B Quinn of Newsweek is the ONLY writer to my knowledge to ADMIT that. I just looked for the reference but guess what, it doesn’t come up in a google search anymore. Funny how those thing “disappear.” Well, get used to it, we are headed for “silence.”



report abuse
 

xmackiez

posted November 1, 2008 at 2:24 pm


I respectfully consider the comment about my previous post. We must admit when we are wrong and stand up when we feel we are correct. So, as a descendant of Irish Catholics who endured persecution in their country of birth and who persevered to come to a free country to be left alone in their faithfulness, I MUST stand up and state that disagreeing with Jesus is not something I’m willing to do.Mere mortals do not decide these things. God has overcome the world and will do so again.



report abuse
 

xmackiez

posted November 1, 2008 at 2:30 pm


Scott -I’m not sure your statement is correct about the increases and I have a source I’ll link up in another comment. However, you are omitting that abortion policies/legislation are state by state and therefore would have more to do with the State officials than the president.



report abuse
 

joan

posted November 1, 2008 at 2:30 pm


Really, it is very simple.Who do you love? If you really love Jesus, if He really is your Lord and Saviour, your God, your Everything, you would think and act as Jesus wants you to.How does Jesus feel about abortion?What is the mind of Christ? Obviously,alot of people do not know Jesus . It seems we have alot of protestants and catholics who think abortion is ok to allow[tolerate].They REALLY donot know Jesus.Remember Jesus said *Depart from me, you evil doers.I never knew you.*The HOLY Spirit guides the believer into all truth.Not part truth or the “liberals” truth. People just do not love Jesus.



report abuse
 

Chris Sullivan

posted November 1, 2008 at 3:15 pm


I think that the economics is a very pro-life position.As we slide deeper into recession, family economics will influence many crisis pregnancy decisions.Those voting for a social and economic position of support to the poor and the low paid are voting for a pro-life position because such policies will reduce abortions.And they will save more lives in the next term of government than all the posturing about repealing Roe vs Wade or stopping FOCA.God Bless



report abuse
 

Scott

posted November 1, 2008 at 4:31 pm


Frival, you can find much of the information you are seeking at this address: http://www.catholicsinalliance.org/files/CACG_Final.pdf . These are facts. “It is a matter of fact, not opinion, that abortions increased under President Ronald Reagan and peaked during both Bush Administrations. “In contrast,” Fr. Reese (America Magazine) points out, “during the Clinton Administration the number of abortions fell significantly,” because legislation, which Republicans have generally opposed, dealt with abortion’s underlying causes.”



report abuse
 

Klaire

posted November 1, 2008 at 11:03 pm


Scott, do you realize the influence that congressman Henry Hyde had under Bill Clinton?On behalf of the late great Congressman Henry Hyde, the most eloquent and pro life Congressman in US history (he died a year ago this month), let us not forget that he served under Bill Clinton. Here’s a sample of one of his appeals before congress: “When the time comes as it surely will, when we face that awesome moment, the final judgment, I’ve often thought, as Fulton Sheen wrote, that it is a terrible moment of loneliness. You have no advocates, you are there alone standing before God and a terror will rip through your soul like nothing you can imagine. But I really think that those in the pro-life movement will not be alone. I think there will be a chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world and they will plead for everyone who has been in this movement. They will say to God, “Spare him because he loved us,” and God will look at you and say not, “Did you succeed?” but “Did you try?”‘ Another little important fact(s) not mentioned is this: It was once legal to use fetal tissue for research in the US (the polio vaccine was developed via fetal kidney tissue resulting in an a US Nobel prize-1954). When Reagan took office, and abortion was legal, he made the fetal tissue research illegal — the “slippery slope” was evolving (Scientists wanted to use fetal cells for TREATMENT of Parkinson’s Disease -1988). Reagan stopped it. Along came Bill Clinton, and one of the first things he did was to lift the ban for fetal tissue research. Subsequently, we all know what George Bush did and what Obama will undo. McCain is a wildcard albeit unlikely, for several reasons, to relift the ban



report abuse
 

Tina aka Snupnjake

posted November 2, 2008 at 1:16 am


I agree with Chris. I think if the economy worsens, abortions will skyrocket. Even if abortion is made illegal, it will not stop it. Desperate women will do desperate things.I wonder if there is any information on the miscarriage rate or accident rate of pregnant women during the Great Depression?What bothers me is that making abortion illegal will not stop those with means. They will just fly to another country to have the abortion.



report abuse
 

Tina aka Snupnjake

posted November 2, 2008 at 1:36 am


After some thought, I have a question. There is the Born Alive Act that is supposed to require medical care for babies who survive abortion attempts. My question is who does the baby belong to if it actually survives? If the mother didn’t want the baby in the first place…? Does the mother then lose parental rights? Do we really want to leave a baby with a mother that just tried to kill it?Additionally, and not to bring only economic concerns into the picture, but I would assume most of these babies that survive abortion would be pre-term, which leads to all sorts of medical problems, many of which are long-term and life-long. Who is going to take care of these babies? Who is going to pay for these babies’ medical care? My god-daughter needed to spend some time in neo-natal and the hospital bills were incredibly expensive.



report abuse
 

Dan

posted November 2, 2008 at 7:18 am


let’s face it, most people Catholics included are materialists. They don’t anticipate any consequences for their actions. “Fear of the Lord” to “I’ll be the Judge of that”. As Bishop Chaput told these voters ” Good Luck, you’re going to need it”.



report abuse
 

pam j

posted November 2, 2008 at 6:20 pm


Chris and SNUP,The FOCA will completely change the abortion issue. The argument that it will reduce abortions defies logic. We won’t have to wait for the economy to worsen in order to witness abortion skyrocketing. The FOCA will negate every restriction that pro-life supporters have fought for…including late-term, partial birth abortion and infanticide when the Born Alive Infant Protection Act is repealed. It will also affect free speech and threaten to imprison priests and Bishops. Just look at Canada’s recent election to see the repercussions. With the Congress as it stands, the FOCA will arrive on Barack Obama’s desk within his first 100 days. He has already promised Planned Parenthood. For the sake of over 47 million innocents and counting…..please vote for life….born and unborn! Our Lady of America pray for us!



report abuse
 

Rebecca

posted November 2, 2008 at 6:49 pm


http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/2008/09/23/TrendsWomenAbortions-wTables.pdf gives you the actual chart on increases and decreases. According to the Guttmacher Institute, “Overall rates of abortion in the United States peaked soon after the procedure was legalized in 1973, remained fairly constant through the 1980s, and have declined steadily since then.” I don’t see where one could say that abortions have increased over the last eight years, considering that is statistically simply not true. The legality of abortion in relation to numbers of abortions cannot be underestimated; that would totally discount the vast increase after 1973 that nearly doubled the abortion rate.Regarding specifics about Obama, true, the economy might be better under him. But with his statement that he would not continue for funding for crisis pregnancy centers but would allow tax dollars to be used for abortions, I find it difficult to argue that the abortion rate would decline under his policies or even that he is genuinely trying to reduce the number of abortions (http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2007/12/21/sen-barack-obamas-reproductive-health-questionnaire). To vote for Obama as a Catholic would thus mean to find an alternative proportionate reason.



report abuse
 

gramps

posted November 2, 2008 at 9:40 pm


OK. so you are voting for obama for econmonic reasons. Better economy will bring less abortions. More wealth redistribution from the job producers to those who need jobs. Well, unless you failed to notice, Obama has a plan for the energy industry that includes a plan to make the coal industry go bankrupt or pass on huge costs to the user. He wants to create an environment where the people see so high a price for any form of energy that they force their representatives to pass legislation for green solutions. However, if you remove coal, and you will not drill, and you bow down to every environmental nut case, it will take you 10 years at least to see anything in the pipeline and during those years, you will not be able to afford to heat your house, pay for the high pump prices, and oh yeah, give twice as much in taxes needed to help those who cannot afford these prices. Yeah baby, we will see more people seeking abortion for economic reasons under obama, not less.



report abuse
 

Cavaliere

posted November 3, 2008 at 9:25 am


Let us remeber that most abortions are a consequence of immoral acts to begin with. (I’m not judging anyone here but we do need to call it what it is if we can hope to end it.) It is also a product of a greater contraceptive mentality that includes many who otherwise consider themselves pro-life. Often it is a boyfriend or husband who encourages the abortion because they don’t want to deal with the responsibility. Many times the women has the abortion because the family pressures her because it occured outside marriage. These women are frequently cut off from family support and consequently economics plays a role. Another problem is one that was referred to earlier and is that many women are unsure of where to get support. There are many crisis pregnancy centers and support programs to help women deal with a crisis pregnancy but they don’t know how to get connected. Too often all they know is Planned Parenthood and we know where that leads. Economics alone will not solve these problems.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives!

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below.

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The immediate aftermath of the storm for this class would be

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy.

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.