Sunday, September 17, 2006

Way to go, [Abp] Joe!

The Archbishop [His Grace, the Most Reverend....somebody scolded me this morning], Joseph Naumann, may be moving slowly with respect to Gov. Sebelius and other prominent Kansans who are exploiting their Catholic identity to evil ends, but there's no doubt in anyone's mind now of his direction--he's moving forward. In the Leaven, he followed up last week's criticism of Killer Kathleen's (fn1) pro-death worldview, with a general column about the duties of Catholics on issues of civil government, notwithstanding the reaction from Dan Watkins and the commie-progressive camp.

The Archbishop crafted an excellent, and unusually clear, statement about the difference between prudential issues and morally indefensible positions: one the likes of which Tod Brown or Raj Mahoney or Howard Hubbard (fn2) could not bring themselves to make. Here's a snippet:
Moreover, as Pope Benedict XVI stated when he served as the cardinal prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Catholics are free to choose from “among the various political opinions that are compatible with faith and the natural moral law, and to select according to their own criteria, what best corresponds to the needs of the common good. ” On most public policy issues, there are a variety of possible strategies and solutions that a Catholic could choose to support or oppose in good conscience: “It is not the Church’s task to set forth specific political solutions — and even less to propose a single solution as the acceptable one — to temporal questions that God has left to the free and responsible judgment of each person. ”2 It is not the church’s role or competency to develop specific proposals for foreign policy, economic development, immigration, taxation, environmental policies, etc.

The church does enunciate moral principles that have a significant bearing on public policy issues. The Catholic must choose, from a variety of possible paths, how best to implement these principles. however, there are some public policy issues that directly pertain to a correct understanding of the dignity of the human person. Regarding these fundamental human rights issues, it is not possible for a diversity of opinion.

Thus, a Catholic in public life cannot in good conscience support or advocate for a policy that gives legal protection to the destruction of innocent human life. Pope John Paul II stated clearly: “Abortion and
euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can legitimize.” Our late Holy Father, referring to the 1974 Declaration on Procured Abortion, reemphasized: “In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it.’” (footnotes removed)

It was a sincere pleasure to see someone in a mitre clearly state the truth, which I'll paraphrase as follows: it's not a seamless garment, there are issues on which Catholics can differ (and I would say, be terribly, but not sinfully, wrong), and there are issues in which error leads everyone--Catholic, heretic or infidel--to perdition.

I won't quibble on this one. Marvellous work, your Grace! Keep moving forward!
fn1: It's Killer Kathleen, not Killer Kathy--not even to her friends-- somebody else told me so this morning)

fn3: Of course by that I mean His Excellency, the Most Rev. Tod Brown, His Eminence, Roger Cardinal Mahony, and His Excellency, the Most Rev. Howard Hubbard.


Dotte said...

If you would like to remind the Gov about her faith, here is the way to do it. um, Be nice! Well try to be.

Curmudgeon said...

Be nice? Maybe I'd better leave that to other folks.

Anonymous said...

Is his Grace willing to excommunicate the governor, and/or deny her Communion? If not, it's just empty words. We need to see "a lot less talk and a lot more ACTION!"

Curmudgeon said...

Naturally I'm not the Abp, nor even close to him, and I don't presume to know his intentions; only his actions so far. And his quick and straightforward follow-up column seems to suggest he has some resolve. This isn't the usual vague post-conciliar double talk; it's more the direct sort his old boss, Abp. Burke, used in the run-up to his stand.

It could be that he's headed in that direction, and he's just playing his hand one card at a time. I'm impatient, of course, to see what he does on the next play. There is reason to hope.

Dotte said...

Hey! maybe I found the church the Gov really belongs to. I think Kerry and Kennedy also.

SleepyBob said...

I did not realize that the Church of Antioch had a branch in KC that meets at the Unitarian Church. In a way, I guess that explains the meeting a few weeks ago where the retired Roman Catholic (choke) bishop was a keynote speaker there. I am surprised that Wolftracker and Curmudgeon did not mention there were independent Catholics that met there.

Curmudgeon said...

As for "independent Catholics," that they're not. They heretics, if not apostates.

And I thought that the Antiochan sect met at Unity Temple, not the Unitarian facilities (there's a difference--there's a schism in their syncreticism--although I'm not sure how one could tell, not having doctrines or anything)

SleepyBob said...

You're right Curmudgeon. They do meet at the Unity Temple. I get Unity and the Unitarian Church confused.

Dust I Am said...

I'm telling you, Krusty, times are definitely looking up for faithful Catholics who need Bishops who can stand the heat from those who oppose the teachings of the Church.

The two Bishops in the Greater KC area seem to be following different paths, but with the same goals. One is brave, direct, and an excellent communicator; the second may be able to accomplish just as much with his good will, intelligence, and resolve. Let's pray daily for both Bishops.

... Dusty

tim r. souder said...

I guess I've always thought that
no matter what a member of the
laity did to hurt the Catholic
Church, that nothing they did
could ever merit their being ex-
communicated; since this would
eliminate that person's ability
to receive the Eucharist.

But lately, I guess, I've had
some second thoughts. If a member
of the laity did something that
would cause OTHERS to stop
receiving the Eucharist, then
perhaps this would then warrant
an ex-communication, or at least
the beginnings of some sort of
proceedings towards the act of

Clearly, an abortion stops
someone from eventually receiving
the Eucharist. Any act made in
support of abortion law could also
be construed as causing others to
stop receiving the Eucharist.
Also, anyone who attacks the
Catholic Church through legislation
or direct attack could also have
ex-communication proceedings
started against them. For this
last sentence, I'm thinking
specifically about blatant
attempts at subverting the holiness
of Jesus the Christ and the
Christian faith through the
production of movies like 'Training
Day', where every violent scene
is replete with crosses,
crucifixes, and images of The
Immaculate Heart of Jesus. And if
you think I've gone bonkers on this
last point, then watch this movie.
It is the direct equivalent of
Leni Riefenstahl's 'Triumph of the

Anyway, these are some of the
things I've been thinking about
lately. I'd appreciate hearing
from others that have experience
in these matters, or who may be
able to point me in the direction
of existing Church documents that
discuss or detail the Church's
position on the subject.

It is no longer possible, in my
opinion, to say that Catholics
are living in ordinary times.
Attacks against Catholics and the
Church are now so commonplace,
that any public defense of the
Church or its members is met with
derisive laughter and incredulity
from people that would be horrified
by a similar attack on any other

What needs to happen next is not
easy to say; but I think the option
of 'doing nothing' has long since
passed us by.