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Mano a Mano

posted by awelborn

Dueling letters in Public Discourse
Kmiec

My dear Archbishop Charles,
I want to thank you publicly for your thoughtful inquiry into how best to build a culture of life in the United States in the coming years. Seeing a small snippet of a YouTube discussion of yours brought back happy memories of sharing a table with you during my deanship at CUA. You are as well spoken a defender of the faith as I remember. That said, you and I do differ on the intent of Cardinal Ratzinger’s instruction of ”proportionate reasons” and as related concepts receive elaboration in Faithful Citizenship. I am fearful that your interpretation will lead many in parishes around the country to neglect what they can do to build up the culture of life through the promotion of the social gospel in its fullest sense. You, I know, are apprehensive about emphasis upon the social gospel that neglects taking steps to align the law with the protection of life. In my judgment, there is no reason these two are in opposition even as the candidates have made them so each in their own way. This requires careful evaluation in the Conference of Bishops.

Chaput

I’m grateful to Prof. Doug Kmiec as well for his letter. While we do not share a friendship and have had little contact in the past, Prof. Kmiec is right about the need for civility in public debate. Since I belong to a growing number of bishops excoriated by blogs on the cultural left–including blogs tied to otherwise respected Catholic publications and to scholars that, in the words of Prof. Kmiec, ”should know better”–I understand his discomfort with the tone of this election.
Nonetheless, good manners do not trump facts, and as an attorney himself, Prof. Kmiec surely knows the importance of candor. ..
snip
Sen. Barack Obama has promised to sign a sweepingly abortion-friendly ”Freedom of Choice” Act; authorize human cloning to produce embryos for stem cell research in which they are killed; cut off funding for prolife pregnancy clinics; and nominate only ”pro-choice” judges to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Maybe all of these commitments are an elegant charade. Maybe I’ve missed a ”prolife” theme in here somewhere. But no matter. Along with many, many other Catholics and prolife citizens, I look forward eagerly to Prof. Kmiec’s vocal advocacy against these profoundly unjust policies.



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Michael Maedoc

posted November 5, 2008 at 5:26 pm


I look forward to a spirited defense of the unborn and a challenge to Obama’s policies from Obama supporters like Kmiec. I hope they can accept the reality that pro-life legislation works. Otherwise, it will a difficult four years.



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Clayton

posted November 5, 2008 at 5:29 pm


Nothing like the truth in love from a good bishop. So refreshing.



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elmo

posted November 5, 2008 at 5:33 pm


Kmiec just got a lesson in why one should not to try and b.s. Abp Chaput. The archbishop’s forthright response cuts through the crap with surgical precision. Would that there were more like Chaput and fewer Kmiecs playing bishop.



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Andrew

posted November 5, 2008 at 5:50 pm


Reading the letters, it sounds like Kmiec extended a hand to work together and resolve these thorny issues and the archbishop slapped it down.
It occurs to me that the outspoken American bishops can either hunker down and keep repeating their ‘drenched in blood’ or ‘party of death’ statements. And make no progress to save one life.
Or engage the community to work to reduce the need for abortion besides through the courts.
But that’s just me.



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Mollie

posted November 5, 2008 at 5:57 pm


It sounds to me like:
1) Kmiec tried to imply a degree of personal relationship with Chaput that does not exist.
2) Kmiec is avoiding the issues and Chaput calls him on it.
Chaput is right. Let Kmiec prove himself. Let’s see what the legislative proposals for the first hundred days are and their potential impact on life,religious freedom and religious institutions.
Maybe Obama and the Congress will propose nothing controversial. But maybe they will – let’s see how Kmiec responds and how soon Obama starts paying serious heed to prolife voices.



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Skeeton

posted November 5, 2008 at 6:02 pm


I sure hope Prof. Kmiec and Abp. Chaput are friends. Otherwise, he’s greeting of “My Dear Archbishop Charles” come across as flippantly infantile. Even so, an argument can be made that friends or not, one should not address an archbishop in this manner publicly. It’s at odds with the dignity of the office. It would be analgous to a sitting U.S. Congressman issuing a controversial public letter to the president that began as “My Dear Friend George…”



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elmo

posted November 5, 2008 at 6:05 pm


Has Kmiec said that he intends to use his influence with Obama to persuade to look at the human rights implication of abortion and embryonic stem cell research? He must have a degree of influence with Obama having delivered the Catholic vote to him.



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James

posted November 5, 2008 at 6:07 pm


This part of the exchange was certainly odd:
Kmiec: “With respect and in gratitude for your past and I hope continuing friendship . . .”
Chaput: “While we do not share a friendship and have had little contact in the past . . .”



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Samuel J. Howard

posted November 5, 2008 at 6:09 pm


“My Dear Archbishop Charles”?
What happened to “Your Excellency” or “Most Reverend and dear Sir”?



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Sr. Lorraine

posted November 5, 2008 at 6:11 pm


The bishop wrote: “I look forward eagerly to Prof. Kmiec’s vocal advocacy against these profoundly unjust policies.”
***
I’m sorry to be a tad cynical, but I think the bishop will have a long wait.
Kmiec’s position confused some Catholic voters and seduced them into voting for the most pro-abortion president ever. He may be rewarded for that with a position in the new administration. I just can’t fathom how a supposedly pro-lifer could fail to see through Obama’s radicalism on this.



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ken

posted November 5, 2008 at 6:26 pm


Someone get Kmiec an icepack, the archbishop just kicked his butt.



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JohnE

posted November 5, 2008 at 6:48 pm


Was it just me, or did anyone else envision a serpent slithering toward the archbishop while reading Kmiec’s letter, followed by a heal-stomp to the head in response?



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Diane

posted November 5, 2008 at 6:49 pm


Ken – heheheheheee…. ice pack sent.
Sr. Lorraine – I can’t fathom to understand how someone like Kmiec still enjoys good standing in any Catholic institution given his confusion.
When will the bishops start barring people like Kmiec from teaching at Catholic institutions where they lead large numbers of Catholics, mostly young people, into great scandal.
I wrote about this in my post-election commentary: Blessed are they who mourn…
It’s bad enough they pervert the faith on campus, but secular media eats up everything these loop-hole theologians and professors have to offer. And, they are receiving money from a Catholic institution to undermine our own bishops.
When will the madness end?



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mgarbowski

posted November 5, 2008 at 7:04 pm


Adam
You wrote: “It occurs to me that the outspoken American bishops can either hunker down and keep repeating their ‘drenched in blood’ or ‘party of death’ statements. And make no progress to save one life.
Or engage the community to work to reduce the need for abortion besides through the courts.”
Please explain under what circumstances, consistent with Catholic teaching, there is a need for abortion.



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Timothy

posted November 5, 2008 at 7:19 pm


Game, set, match: Chaput.
Hope Kmiec enjoys his seat on some federal bench somewhere. It came at a costly price.
Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight,
And burned is Apollo’s laurel bough,
That sometime grew within this learned man.



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Franklin Jennings

posted November 5, 2008 at 7:26 pm


Andrew,
We must not have read the same letters. Chaput pointed out what Kmiec offered his support to, and what responsibilities that support entails.
He would not be Kmiec’s friend if he did not ask what it profits a man to gain the world and lose his life. This must be the measure of friendship. Do I value the destiny of the other over my own life? Am I willing to be accused of not being nice in order to safeguard the destiny of the other?



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Clayton

posted November 5, 2008 at 8:20 pm


Franklin -
As Chaput pointed out, he and Kmiec do not share a friendship.
Chaput’s gesture was one of charity, not friendship.



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Franklin Jennings

posted November 5, 2008 at 9:02 pm


No, he said they do not share a friendship. That is, that it is not reciprocal. To behave with charity is to behave as a friend. Hopefully, Kmiec will begin to take seriously his end of the relationship.
Subtlety and nuance, nuance and subtlety.



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mgarbowski

posted November 5, 2008 at 9:05 pm


Of course, my comment was directed to Andrew, not Adam. My apologies.



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Roz

posted November 5, 2008 at 10:14 pm


@ Sr. Lorraine who said: “I’m sorry to be a tad cynical, but I think the bishop will have a long wait.”
I think that is precisely Archbishop Chaput’s expectation, too. There is something reassuring about the Archbishop’s clarity on the substance of the situation. Being co-opted by someone who’s trying to avert consequences by ‘making nice’ would betray a lack of wise leadership. Thankfully, Archbishop Chaput is fresh out of “Lack of Wise Leadership”.



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Gramps

posted November 5, 2008 at 10:49 pm


45% of Catholics that go to mass weekly voted for Obama. this is up from four years before. How can we have an impact when so many who go to mass (already a minority of all Catholics) do not vote pro life? The document the bishops sent out was little help and the silence of so many bishops and positions all over the map said to many Catholics that this as with almost any of our teachings is open to discussion. When will the Church decide to end this type of leadership. No team wins when it has a thousand coachs saying a thousand different things. I thought that was something that made Catholics unique in that we had a Pope. If the bishops do not care or listen, how can we ever change anything. If the Pope and the Magesterium have given us clear teaching and the bishops and priest act as they should, I suspect that this number with those who go to mass at least would go down.
When Christ taught, some walked away. He did not change them or soften the teaching but let them leave. Truth matters and those who live in the world need truth. If the Catholic Church is supposed to be different with areas such as the support of those who legalize abortion, this seems like a very important flaw to correct. We need far more like Bishop Chaput and the few others that spoke out clearly. many of them were way to late and too soft and confusing when they spoke. He was not. We need to pray that one day the Church leadership will awaken from their sleep and send the Kimec and others out with those who said the teaching is too hard.



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Father Benedict

posted November 5, 2008 at 11:04 pm


Chaput for New York – America needs that appointment!



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PNP, OP

posted November 5, 2008 at 11:33 pm


Guessing at someone’s motives for holding a certain position on this or that issue is always dangerous and rarely relevant to the truth of their position. But I am very curious about Kmiec’s motives for his bizarre claim that Obama is pro-life. I get the whole “a better economy helps more people” argument–I get it, but I think it is a completely fraudulent pose when children’s lives are at stake.
We don’t always pass laws criminalizing certain behaviors in order to stop those behaviors. Laws against rape haven’t stopped rape. We criminalize rape to say as a people that rape is a heinous violation of human dignity. We are delighted if one rapist thinks twice about raping someone b/c his crime might land him in jail, but that’s not the whole reason for outlawing the act.
Kmiec made the first step that a lot of Catholics made Nov. 4th in a very short march toward a utilitarian ethic of “best results.” We can hope and pray for best results. But sometimes we just to say NO because NO is the right thing to say. . .regardless of results. Why? Because our souls depend on it.
Fr. Philip, OP



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G

posted November 5, 2008 at 11:35 pm


Andrew, I am not challenging you, I am sincerely asking, which bishops have used the phrases,’drenched in blood’ or ‘party of death,’ and in what context?
(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
Drenched in Blood – Cardinal George in an interview with John Allen and Party of Death – Archbishop Burke



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Marty

posted November 6, 2008 at 12:39 am


In a personal note, the Archbishop concurred with Sr. Lorraine’s contention regarding Kmiec and warned me not to be fooled by his empty and illogical rhetoric. I had written my bishop to thank him for his work these past few months and to acknowledge that my family’s appreciation for all he does to catechize our diocese, our American Church and the fine example he exhibits for other American bishops.
We are very lucky here in Colorado!



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Susan Peterson

posted November 6, 2008 at 7:52 am


Well G certainly knows his sources. Good for him.
And good for Cardinal George and Archbishop Burke for telling it as it is.
And good for Archbishop Chaput for not letting himself be drawn in by Kmiec’s attempts to say lets play nice together now.
Someone above said that he hoped Kmiec enjoys his dearly bought federal judgeship.
Jesus asked, What doth it profit a man if he gain the world but lose his very soul? But for Wales, Richard? For Wales?
Susan Peterson



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Michael Kremer

posted November 6, 2008 at 8:33 am


It seems to me that those who are so quick to judge Kmiec — to assume that he has taken his position on Obama *in order to get an appointment to the federal bench* for crying out loud — ought to calm down and consider whether they know the man at all. When More said “for Wales, Richard?” he was in a position to say that, because he had had ample opportunity to get to know the one to whom he spoke and to judge his character. Does anyone here know Doug Kmiec?



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Jacob

posted November 6, 2008 at 8:34 am


Fr. Benedict — AMEN! And perhaps Bpb. Bruskewitz (sp?) could replace Abp. Burke in St. Louis. The Pope should put his best men out front and center.



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Tom

posted November 6, 2008 at 8:35 am


and as an attorney himself, Prof. Kmiec surely knows the importance of candor.
There’s a wrenching non sequitur for you.



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ron chandonia

posted November 6, 2008 at 10:56 am


Kmiec is annoying for the same reason Obama is annoying: Both of them come across as newly minted Ph.D.’s hell-bent on lecturing the ignorant masses into enlightenment. The temptation is simply to dismiss their every thought so as to banish the patronizing tones in which they are phrased. But I think that would be a terrible mistake.
Archbishop Chaput has sometimes been an eloquent spokesman for Catholic social teaching, but I don’t think he ever acknowledged how dreadfully short the US fell in implementing some of the basics of that teaching under the sway of neoconservative economics and foreign policy. The 45% of mass-going Catholics who backed Obama are not necessarily stealth supporters of abortion-on-demand. It’s more likely that they are moral people who grew sick and tired of pointless war and corporate greed–hallmarks of our national life under George W. Bush–and who were convinced that another round of the GOP would mean more of the same.
Insofar as the new Obama administration acts in accord with Catholic teaching on poverty or race or international harmony, it needs praise and support from Catholics. Otherwise, our opposition to their abortion-on-demand proposals will come across as it too often has in the recent past–as covert support for policies and practices that are anything but Christian.



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Paul

posted November 6, 2008 at 11:38 am


Anyone wondering why Chaput does not share a friendship with Kmeic ought to read Kmeic’s article in the National Catholic Reporter out just a few days before his open letter to Chaput, entitled, “Why Archbishop Chaput’s abortion stance is wrong” (http://ncronline3.org/drupal/?q=node/2389). He makes a case for Chaput being more loyal to McCain than he is to the pope. In his criticism of Chaput, Kmeic proposes that he (Kmeic) is voting for Obama because he truly is loyal to Ratzinger’s directives on voting one’s conscience. A few days later, he writes an open letter to Archbishop Chaput calling him “my dear Archbishop Charles” and finishes it with a slick appeal to continued friendship.
Kmeic is a weasel. He’s been pulling the wool over a lot of peoples’ eyes the past few months. He smiles out of one corner of his mouth and curses out of the other. It will indeed be interesting to watch this politician in the next few months.



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Kevin J Jones

posted November 6, 2008 at 12:04 pm


“Someone above said that he hoped Kmiec enjoys his dearly bought federal judgeship. ”
How would the Democratic party be reformed in a pro-life direction without its pro-life supporters trying to angle for these sorts of positions?
We need more prominent pro-life Democrats, but they can only achieve power if they help their fellow party members get elected.
For that matter, we need more pro-life, or at least anti-Roe, federal judges appointed by Democrats.
Say it’s like England forty years after the Norman invasion, and we’re the Saxons. We complain about how oppressed and unrepresented we are, and how illegitimate our rulers are.
But do we then never try to advance into the Norman leadership class by assisting the usurpers who will rule for centuries more?



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Francis X. Maier

posted November 6, 2008 at 1:33 pm


Ron, +cjc has written and spoken scores of times in the last few years on immigration justice, the death penalty, homelessness, etc. He’s written against torture, and he opposed the invasion of Iraq. But the MSM have no interest in any of this. A couple of years ago he preached to 5,000 people here in Colorado on the urgency of helping the poor, and he told his audience — three times — that we “will go to hell” if we ignore the poor. Not one reporter showed up. He also held a press conference on the steps of the state capitol to urge support for legislation on behalf of the poor. Again, not a peep in the local media.
It’s much more convenient for the MSM to keep Chaput safely in the “conservative” zone, the better to marginalize his views on the sanctity of life and marriage.



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braveman7

posted November 6, 2008 at 1:52 pm


The social normalization of abortion is a direct result of feminism. Deal with it!! Stop trying to change God’s will for freedom of personal choice. http://www.SacredWarrior.org



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Amy

posted November 6, 2008 at 4:16 pm


How not to get a post past moderation:
Start it off by saying, “You know, I’m not going to read anyone else’s comments”
…and then continue for over 400 more words.



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scotch meg

posted November 6, 2008 at 5:24 pm


Kevin Jones,
The sad part of trying to position yourself as a prolife Democrat, and hoping to do good and reverse things once you get that appointment, is the following dilemma:
1) Obama has promised to appoint only Roe-friendly judges
2) Do you foreswear yourself in hopes of double-crossing him once appointed?
3) Do you keep the faith (uphold Roe without comment) in hopes of yet higher office?
In other words, at what point do you persuade yourself that Roe ought to be truly upheld in order to obtain the prize appointment that will enable you to reverse it? And do you really think that you can sneak past all the truly pro-abortion people in line, with all that ambition in them which will encourage them to remind everyone very loudly of how you said you were prolife during the election?



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ron chandonia

posted November 6, 2008 at 9:24 pm


Francis X, in my comment on Archbishop Chaput I tried to take into account his very intelligent and sometimes eloquent explanations of Catholic social teaching. But I do not believe he directly confronted the outgoing administration over the failings that drove the GOP from office–a senseless (and seemingly endless) war abroad and an epidemic of corporate greed back home. Both of those matters are violations of our Catholic sense of the common good, and I think they are the main reasons so many practicing Catholics simply refused to vote Republican this time around.
Although I myself would not vote for Obama because of abortion, I could not vote for McCain either. This evening, I had dinner with a large group of Church employees who mentioned that they are putting Obama screensavers on their office computers. I suspect they could not do that in the Denver archdiocese, but I’ll bet many of the employees there feel the same sense of hope and relief that the holier-than-God neocons have been driven away at last.



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TerryC

posted November 6, 2008 at 10:27 pm


Kmeic may very well be a weasel, but I suspect that he like Andrew has bought into the fiction that the numbers of abortions are a result of poverty or financial hardship. Over half of all abortions are performed on women with incomes of over $30,000 a year. Since over 50% of abortions are done on women less that 25 years old it is possible, perhaps even likely, that many of those women in the under $30,000 a year group are teenagers or college students who are dependents of parent who themselves have a higher income.
The majority of abortions are not the result of economic hardship (other than the fact that having kids in expensive and the negative impact of having a child is a lifestyle hit, not an economic hardship hit.) That means a cheaper car or a smaller house, not missing meals or living on the street.
In truth the majority of abortions are the result of a society that supports, nay promotes, at least through it entertainment media, a sexually permissive lifestyle which results in pregnancy.
Alleviating poverty, which is a commendable goal in and of itself, will not reduce abortions. It will not effect abortions at all among the >$30,000 group which has the greater balance of abortions.
The way to reduce abortions is to restrain the permissive lifestyle that promotes abortion as the last resort for failed birth control.
The way to really reduce abortions is to tell the truth. Science, not religion, tells us its a baby. If the biologist and medical doctors could be persuaded to tell the truth from the highest housetops every year. If all those who have been in denial of that fact could be made to realize it how different things would be. Getting a pro-abort to realize its a baby has been the best way to make them change their heart. I do not believe that the few Nietzschian atheists to whom killing infants is alright under some sick survival of the powerful theology could maintain the culture of death on their own. No they are aided by millions who refuse to believe science.
Millions who are in denial about the unborn’s personhood. The election is over. Now is not the time to roll over and wait until 2010 when the next election cycle starts. There are a handful of pro-life Democrats. Start communicating with them. Tell the bishops you appreciate them speaking up before the election. Request that they continue to speak out now that its over. Tell Professor Kmeic and his pro-Obama friends that we, their fellow Catholics expect them to stand up to the new president on life issues.
The most important thing now is to make sure FOCA never becomes law. We can survive four years of bad financial and national policy. We will lose 6 to 8 million babies a year, or more, for a generation if FOCA becomes law.



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MissJean

posted November 7, 2008 at 1:15 am


I, too, was struck by Andrew’s comment about reducing “the NEED for abortion” because plantations NEEDING slave labor didn’t cut it with abolitionists. Should they have waited until the invention of the cotton gin and other agricultural technologies?
Similarly, a great number of murders in my vicinity have been over money or drugs. The murderers believed killing was necessary to survive. Do we suspend the laws against homicide until we change the environment?
I’m trying to point out the obvious: There has to be a “big stick” incentive for the culture to change.
When abortion is legal and cheap (or free), it’s not going to go away. The old argument used to be that when birth control became more effective and cheap (or free), the demand for abortion would drop. Has it? Then there was the conceit that earlier sex education and more in-depth training on using contraceptives would eliminate abortions.
Planned Parenthood has long placed themselves in low-income, minority neighborhoods. They’re all about supplying contraceptives and “education”, so why are they performing so many abortions?



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Glenn Juday

posted November 7, 2008 at 3:28 am


I have to say that this pseudo-justification of Catholic backing for a key implementer of the culture of death is so obtuse only an academic could present it with a straight face. But in the breezy, feigned intimacy of Kmiec’s greeting to Abp. Chaput, likely one of the few courageous men he knows, he has let slip his true level of seriousness. And Kmiec can do so now that the treasure of electoral victory he set his heart on is safely pocketed. But it’s always been clear that this is farce.
The real tragedy is that even the commentary is mostly missing the point.
The political effects of the fundamental teachings of the Catholic faith are entirely secondary. The Church offers one clear perspective on the perennial questions of: Who’s up? Who’s down? Who wins? It is WHO CARES.
These things are transitory.
The real issue here is that Catholics who willfully, and with full knowledge attempt to advance an intrinsic and grave moral evil, even attempting to pervert the Church itself in furtherance of evil, are damning their souls to hell for eternity.
And the Catholic Church is God’s principal instrument to deliver grace for the salvation of souls to avoid such a fate. That’s what it is for. It is not principally a club, although it creates fellowship of common belief and purpose. It is not a debating society, although vigorous debates happen within it. It is not a political vehicle, although it creates a basis for a just polity and the effects of the civic engagement of its members can be decisive.
In fact, the Catholic Church is not really and “it”, it is a she – the bride of Christ.
The Church has always taught that focusing the mind every once in a while on hell is salutary. Apparently, it is a habit that has fallen out of favor in certain academic and commentary circles. But foolhardy, pagan bravado won’t keep hell at bay. There literally is hell to pay. The wages of sin IS death, eternal death.
In this life we can’t know, and don’t need to know, the particulars of hell. But it exists. And anything we can think of, the worst soul-piercing shriek of utter agony and despair, the most convulsive sobs of sorrow, the greatest depth of hopeless, black depression, are nothing, a toe dipped into the ocean, in comparison to the real thing.
Now, for those who don’t have a clue. The Catholic Church doesn’t want you to go to hell. The Church exists to keep you out of hell.
But some people are willfully stubborn. They insist on doing grave moral evil, teaching grave moral evil, justifying grave moral evil. In that case you leave the Church no choice. The Church has to call you on it to pursue its mission, both to you and to innocents.
So have your chuckle, for whatever comfort you can gain from it. But then listen to your spiritual father(s) who are pledged to give witness to the Truth above all. You are at grave risk of damning your soul to hell for eternity. No matter what you think you get in return, it will turn to dust in an instant. Give up your service of evil, there is so little time left. Turn to the good. You can be forgiven, it is not a cliché. But you must act now.



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Marjorie

posted November 7, 2008 at 6:31 am


on November 7, 2008 at 4:57 am40 Marjorie
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
I cry at the absolute naivete of those who think we will be able to have any impact on the leanings of the pro-abortionists in any manner.
Where were the leaders of our church when Ed Kennedy, Nancy Pelosie, Joe Biden, etc., etc., were openly supporting pro-abortion laws? Why were they allowed to remain in the church to influence others with thier poison?
Our leaders are a day late and a dollar short. They should have been speaking frequently and loudly from the pulpit years ago when it may have mattered.
Our last oportunity to influence political outcome may be at the election in two years. That’s IF the Democrats haven’t increased the Liberal ranks of the Supreme Court before then. If they have, we many never have another oportunity to vote, let alone publicly voice our Christian opinions.
I for one believe that life as we know it is coming to an end… The return of Jesus is very near… Praise be to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.



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craig

posted November 7, 2008 at 12:18 pm


I was struck by MissJean’s analogy. Contrary to her assumption, the invention of the cotton gin was an enabler of the slave trade, not a hindrance. Prior to its invention, cotton farming was limited in scale by the inherent difficulty of ginning the product for market. The cotton gin removed that difficulty, and in doing so increased the profitability of large-scale farming and the value of slave labor. The cotton gin acted like ESCR in that regard; it provided a new market for an already-evil practice and extended its stranglehold on the society.



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Momof6

posted November 7, 2008 at 1:47 pm


Archbishop Chaput’s statement did not say or insinuate that social justice and the protection of life is an either/or choice.
As a catholic in the Denver Archdiocese- I have witnessed Archbishop Chaput’s committment to social justice AND protection of the unborn.
It is not the pro-life movement that has abandoned social justice- it is the social justice movement that has abandoned the unborn.
The Archbishop is asking Kmiec to put his money where his mouth is and he responds with a false accusation of the Archbishop and re-statement of his committment to cafeteria catholicism.
It hink we can be sure that nothing can be expected from Kmiec.



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Bill Kurtz

posted November 7, 2008 at 4:51 pm


Forgive me, but I stand with Ron Chandonia. If abortion always trumps every other issue, Archbishop Chaput and others like him can oppose the Iraq War and the death penalty and support immigrants until they are blue in the face- and they will be ignored. If no other issue matters, than their support can always be counted on by those who oppose abortion, no matter how many wrong decisions they make.
I should add that Archbishop Chaput is a thoughtful voice that commands respect and is worthy of full consideration. As for Burke, Finn, Martino, et al, they are James Dobson wannabes who wish Catholics were Southern Baptists. That trio of “political padres” no doubt are well educated in theology, but I wonder if they ever took a political science course in their lives- or could pass one.



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MissJean

posted November 7, 2008 at 7:37 pm


Good catch of my typo, craig. I was talking about the innovation of the cotton gin, not the invention, along with agricultural technologies that followed abolition.
Could you explain your ESCR analogy in a bit more depth? I just spoke with a coleague who supports it (and is happy that Michigan’s Prop. 2 passed). I could use a good analogy. ;)



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craig

posted November 7, 2008 at 11:12 pm


I wouldn’t put too much weight on the analogy. But here’s what I had in mind.
The cotton gin made an industry, and in doing so pumped up the value of slave labor. Without the profitability of the cotton industry, the slave trade would not have had enough buyers for unskilled strong backs, and could not have recouped its costs of bringing them from Africa.
ESCR explicitly seeks to make an industry, and its primary contrast with adult stem cell research is that its raw material, fetal tissue, can be readily supplied as a commodity. Abortion mills are a related industry that happens to generate reliably large quantities of fetal tissue. So ESCR stands to “make a market” for something that is otherwise commercially valueless and would be discarded.



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Franklin Jennings

posted November 9, 2008 at 4:12 pm


Forgive me, but I stand with Bill Kurtz, if you’re knowledge of political science does not impress me, you obviously are just wannabe James Dobsons who wish Catholics were Southern Baptists.



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MissJean

posted November 9, 2008 at 9:20 pm


Ah, I see, Craig. I won’t be using that analogy at all, then. Michigan’s Proposal 2 includes a ban on selling or buying embryos. They can only be obtained when people donate their “leftovers” after implantation.
The whole business is ghastly, dehumanizing, but it’s amazing how few people see it that way.



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hibernicus

posted November 11, 2008 at 1:05 pm


MissJean may be referreing to the twentieth-century invention of mechanical means of cotton-picking which made it unnecessary to have a large unskilled labour-force picking cotton by hand, at which point slavery would have “naturally disappeared (if you see it purely in technical/labourforce terms). I suspect any society would be able to find dirty work the first-class citizens won’t do and (if slavery were regarded as a legitimae “choice” gt slaves to do it).



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