Monday, June 25, 2007

Jesus and the Hard Road

Sometimes he asks us to take it... Touching another third rail by posting about abortion.


The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people,
"Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah?"
-- John 4:28-29

Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

She replied, "No one, sir." Then Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more."
--John 8: 10-11

I don't spend a lot of time posting here about sexual ethics. For one thing, I'm a middle-aged husband and father of six. My single bachelor days are a long, long time behind me, so I'd feel a little silly going on about these things with bloggers who tend to be significantly younger than I am. How am I to know what kind of suffering people have gone through in their lives, and what kind of pain I can cause with a careless remark?

Maybe the fact that I helped out with the diapers for more than 12 straight years takes a little bit of racy gloss off the whole topic of sex. I never thought I'd say this, but I think I may have finally reached the age where it isn't on my mind all the time. Furthermore, as far as my own reading of the Gospel is concerned, I don't think it was an obsessive topic with Jesus either, in his parables or in terms of how he described what the Kingdom of God is like.

Nevertheless, after blogging for over a year, I have to make note of the fact that matters related to sexual ethics still generate a swirl of controversy around the Church, and on the blogs most definitely, so maybe I have to weigh in a little more than I have. I've tried to make this blog a little different from what can be commonly found out there. I've probably been pussy-footing around the topic of abortion too much in particular... Besides, more accurately, abortion is a human rights issue more than a sexual issue. As with homosexuality, I'm not looking for a debate, I'll just express a point of view. It isn't around legality, who you are allowed and not allowed to vote for, what the laws should be in a pluralistic society, etc... Just some thoughts about what it is and what I think Jesus would say.

The Didache is very old. It is one of the earliest Christian documents ever found, and even though it doesn't have canonical status, it can rightly be regarded as a sort of very early Christian catechism. It states quite clearly, in unmistakeable contra-point to the prevailing cultural norms to be found in the Greco-Roman world:
You shall not procure abortion, nor destroy a newborn child"
-- Didache 2:2
Everyone knows the Church's stand on this. On this particular point I am on board entirely. I will never budge on it. I am not lukewarm about it. Here is a personal view being offered, however, based not on encylicals, catechisms, the magisterium, natural law, or anything of that sort, although those must all be taken most seriously. We may not all have the right to read scripture and interpret it any way we like, but I think we all can discern and get a sense of whom Jesus is when we read and meditate on the Gospels. The acronym WWJD has become almost trite, elicits a few chuckles these days, and skirts the real issue of WDJD (What Did Jesus Do), but my WWJD take is this...

Jesus can forgive anything, no matter how many times, but it certainly doesn't mean that he can countenance anything. Jesus reached out to sinners in particular; they were in fact the ones who most needed him as he himself pointed out. The Jesus I read in the Gospels is one who would never turn away a repentant heart, but at the same time, he was a straight talker about what he saw as well. The Samaritan woman at the well, somewhat haughty by virtue of the fact that she was the holder of the water, believed that she was in control of the situation, but Jesus turned it around on her. She thought she held the water that he needed. No, he had the water she needed. He doesn't condemn, he doesn't scold, but he points out calmly and without equivocation that the man she is living in with is not her husband... In another incident, the woman caught in adultery is saved by Jesus with the utmost gentleness and compassion, and although he does not condemn her, he clearly instructs her not to sin again.

To my eyes, Jesus always says yes to life, abundant life for all, and to what is most human in us. He always stands with the vulnerable, the outsider, those who are a burden to others, the powerless, the defenseless, and the voiceless. The voiceless would most certainly include those whom God sees being knitted in their mother's wombs. Destruction, violence, and negative solutions to problems are never his way. In many cases, that way includes picking up a cross and following him. Sometimes it is a hard road he asks us to take in being life-affirming. Try as I might, I cannot imagine a scenario where a woman, no matter how hard pressed she might be by the circumstances, could approach Jesus on this and that his counsel to her would be, yes, terminating the pregnancy would be the acceptable way to go (bear in mind, I'm not talking about a common-sense situation like an ectopic pregnancy, where neither the woman nor the child could possibly survive). I just cannot imagine it.

I think that Jesus would hear with love, compassion, and complete understanding whatever the fear, desperation, subjugation or hardship around the situation might happen to be (btw, I have lots of weaknesses and may be hypocritical in some ways, but I'm no pretend plaster saint hypocrite who's never lived in the real world; I know what such fear can be), but to me, Jesus is always looking for us to stand firm in trust and faith, and not necessarily the easiest way out.

Look also at his own situation for a clue. His mother Mary, probably no more than 14 or 15 years old... Betrothed, yet pregnant. She had absolutely everything to lose. Everything to lose, perhaps even her own life, yet she trusted God completely and said yes. Conceived after being visited by angel? Who could believe such a story? Joseph kept quiet, but do you ever wonder how quiet it really was in a small town? Is it possible that Jesus grow up surrounded by rumor, whisperings, mutterings, and innuendo about his paternity? The fact that rumors later came up about "Pantera" the Roman soldier leads one to believe that this pregnancy may not have been a secret in Nazareth.

Fascinating and often quite unexpected the way God works... The very fact that God became incarnate through a young unwed mother in difficult straights should not be a sign that is lost upon us.

26 comments:

crystal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
crystal said...

Sorry about the delete - I guess I'm so conflicted on this issue I don't really know waht to think.

Marie said...

Hello Jeff:)

I think this if the fist time I have visted your blog, I dont know why I have not visited it before?

I agree with what you have written but I also believe that the Catholic Church needs to take a stronger stand against 'catholic' politicians who legislate for abortion rights.

A bit off topic here. I read a piece earlier today by a revisionist historian who described allied soldiers of WW2 as 'war criminals' this incensed me! So I wrote MY own thoughts on this.

Peace and blessings to you Jeff:)

Marie

Garpu the Fork said...

Welcome back!

I'm in complete agreement...but I also think that just banning it wholesale without any provisions to take care of the mothers or babies isn't in everyone's best interests. I'd rather see abortion made unnecessary than illegal.

Deacon Denny said...

Nice blog, Jeff. I agree with you about looking at things from the WDJD perspective -- it's helpful.

It's a prickly topic. Actually, for all of Crystal's reluctance, I think the article she originally posted on 6/13 by Tom Reese (former editor of America magazine) was excellent. It included the following quote:


"In talking about abortion, it is important to distinguish a person’s position on the morality of abortion from a person’s position on whether the state should criminalize abortion. A person who feels that there is nothing wrong with abortion is clearly taking a position contrary to the position of the Catholic Church. But it is a separate question whether abortions should be criminalized.

"Many canon lawyers and moralists believe that a politician could be against abortions and still oppose criminalizing it for prudential reasons, for example, because he believes such laws would be unenforceable, divisive and politically unrealistic. He may believe that a more realistic approach is to enact programs (healthcare, childcare, welfare, employment) that will reduce the number of abortions by giving women a real choice, by empowering them to say yes to life. These politicians point to the fact that there were fewer abortions during the Clinton Administration than during the Bush Administration. Raising the minimum wage, for example, would reduce more abortions than outlawing partial birth abortions. Such a politician could say, 'I am opposed to abortion and will do everything possible to reduce the number of abortions short of putting women and doctors in jail.'"

I think that's where I am.

Someone really close to me once made the decision to have an abortion. It ripped me up quite a bit, but I wouldn't make the decision to stop loving and caring about her.

Liam said...

Jeff,

It is brave of you to wander into the minefield. I will someday write my post about how I feel about this issue, when I work it out a bit more. For now, I think I'd agree with Deacon Denny.

Marie, I'm certain there are politicians out there on either side of various issues that call themselves "Catholic" (or "Methodist" or "Jewish") and really reflect very little on what that means. That is a question for their conscience. For others I am sure balancing their personal beliefs and legislating in a multicultural society is an agonizing tight-wire act. There are a number of issues in which I don't agree with the hierarchical church, but I am a devoted Catholic. I for one would not appreciate having my Catholic identity bracketed in quotation marks.

Winnipeg Catholic said...

Well done. A very succinct post on the topic! B

Winnipeg Catholic said...

Someone really close to me once made the decision to have an abortion. It ripped me up quite a bit, but I wouldn't make the decision to stop loving and caring about her.

Me too Deacon, although it was a 'him' procuring and abetting an abortion. And I so desparately wanted him to experience fatherhood, which I know he'd have been great at.

Jeff said...

Ahhhh, I knew I should have taken that hiatus...

Crys,

You've become such a close and important friend to me over the past year, and my most frequent correspondent over that time. I can't begin to tell you how much it took out of me last week when we weren't in accord on this last week on your blog. I have to honestly tell you that I really had to question whether or not what I am trying to accomplish here is at all viable. Is it really true that left is left, and right is right, and never the twain shall meet? Crys, what is it about Jesus that I'm seeing that you are not, and vice-versa? Sorry to be public about it... To borrow a phrase - Here I stand. I can do no other.

Hello Marie,

Welcome. You are Paula's friend, correct? I remember you weren't feeling well once, I hope you are doing better. Poor Paula, I have the bad manners to keep getting in scrapes with people on her blog. Welcome. I know your blog is high on magisterial fidelity and apologetics. I hope you appreciate that this space is often frequented by those who question, debate, and discuss certain things, but are faithful Catholics in the main.

I agree with you, I don't think it's at all fair or accurate to describe Allied soldiers in WWII as war criminals. It was a war in which the Axis powers targeted civilians from the very begining ( and in fact had already rehearsed it elsewhere), and grew so out of control and so horrific that unjust means were being used all around, especially by the end of it. War is always a horrible and ugly thing, and to keep it restricted to the Just War principles that had been laid out by Augustine and Aquinas is exceedingly difficult. That's why it is important to always try to avoid getting into them as best as possible.

I understand your frustration with certain Catholic politicians. Personally, I don't like seeing the Eucharist used as a political tool or a weapon, but I do realize that the local bishop does have the authority to discern in these kinds of things. I wouldn't want them to see them start denying the Eucharist to people, because then I'm afraid it will trickle down to how people vote, and that is just the type of thing that Know-Nothing Anti-Catholic Nativists always accused the Catholic Church of having up her sleeves... but I take your point. Too many Catholic politicians pay the barest of lip service to this issue and hide behind their party platform without addressing the issue directly or honestly. Others do engage it honestly, as Deacon Denny and Liam described above.

There are many of course, who would like to see the Eucharist denied to them, but I can see how that would cause resentment and confusion among those who wouldn't be able to understand why the Eucharist wasn't denied to murdering dictators like Auguste Pinochet too.


Garpu, Denny, Liam,

Thanks for the well-thought out remarks. I'm always curious as to how the earliest Christians who weren't in power looked at these things. It seems to me that they would have set themselves apart in contra-distinction to the laws of the Roman Empire, setting a standard for themselves to live by and model to others, without necessarily fighting to change the laws. After Constantine, of course, that all changed... We grew used to Christendom. I keep remembering this early Christian quote, I think it was from Justin Martyr - "The role of the Christian is not to conquer but to convince." Still, there are innocent lives to protect... It's a thorny problem.

In typical triangulating fashion, Bill Clinton said regarding abortion, "Safe, legal, and rare."

Now, I understand the whole back-alley problem, but in practical terms, did this just mean "legal, no matter what"? What happened to "rare"? Is anyone in either party serious about making it "rare", or are there too many vested interests determined to keep it "common" for political and profit-motive reasons?

What can this society do, really do, to come to a consensus, and to make "rare" or even "non-existent" a reality?

cowboyangel said...

Jeff,

I don't think an answer is ever going to come on this issue from the political parties. It's going to have come from the ground up. We are a society composed of 300 million people from many different cultural, ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. We're going to have to find a new way to discuss and wrestle with this issue, because I don't think it's been handled well so far, and reversing Roe vs Wade won't resolve the situation either. In fact, that will only intensify the deep animosity on both sides. Until people who hold various beliefs on the issue can sit down and talk to each other without hatred and mistrust, I'm not sure anything's ever going to change. You can't connect and work with people you demonize. I doubt that any politicians have the creativity, patience or moral will to try and work out a way to make abortion rare that would satisfy both sides. I do think we as human beings do have what it takes to accomplish that. But there's a lot of forgiveness, mercy and understanding that needs to take place.

Personally, I don't like the Church using the body and blood of Christ as a political tool either. Where will it end? Who gets to decide? The bishop where I live was involved in covering up for child moelsters. How does he have the spiritual authority to refuse communion to someone because they vote a certain way? No, I get whiffs of fascist Spain.

There are paths open to us to find a better way on this issue. It's up to us to choose them.

Marie said...

Hello Liam:)

when I know a 'catholic' politician has willfully voted FOR abortion I will use 'quotation' marks.

Jeff:)

yes Paula is a dear friend and a lovely faithfilled lady:).
Abortion is an emotive topic. But I would like to ask...If a woman went to Mass and told a Priest BEFORE Mass that she had just undergone an abortion and she is NOT sorry or repentive and refuses The Sacrament of Penance....What is the situation? Would the Priest deny her the Eucharist? And IF so what is the difference between the woman and the politician who VOTES for it?

This issue confuses me..as many would condemn the woman and yet VOTE for PRO-Choice candidates.

Peace and blessings.

Marie

crystal said...

Jeff,

I was upset too that we disagreed. I've been thinking about what you posred, also about your comment about your wife and mother-in-law.

I have been a woman for a lot longer than I've been a catholic, and from early on I saw this issue as men telling women what they could or couldn't do with their bodies. I didn't see early fetuses as people. When I used to read the words "pro-life" I saw visions of hypocrits who felt fine about the death penalty, war, and in extreme cases, killing abortion docs, and bombing clinics.

But I have actually changed my views a lot, though it may not seem so. I agree with Denny and Liam and Fr. Reese - that may seem far from your stance, but it's just as far from the one I used to hold.

My feelings have changed because of the differing views of people I have come to respect, like you.

crystal said...

Oh, and about Jesus - I haven't ever had the nerve to talk to him on this subject ... our views of him probably aren't very different.

crystal said...

PS - tell Liam that "hypocrit" was a typo - I know how to spell :-)

Mike McG... said...

I so admire Crystal and Jeff for sharing the pain they experience from being in different places on this neuralgic issue. Progress could be made on this issue if your exchange were the rule rather than the exception.

I totally affirm Cowboyangel's comments. There needs to be a safe, centrist place where people can let down their hair and consider 'out of the box' formulations without fear of being demonized.

In another venue I suggested possible points of convergence. Predictably those most entrenched weren't buying. (Ever notice how very similar they are in style of discourse?) But I was able to obtain endorsements from a couple of centrists. I'd be interested in the comments of AunEstamosVivos commentators. So here goes:

Could we at least agree on these propositions?
...that abortion presents complicated moral and political issues and bumper sticker solutions are out of place?
...that our moral judgments and our political judgments may not necessarily converge, but then again can't be entirely segregated?
...that abortion kills fetuses, and is thus profoundly morally suspect?
...that advocating for the legal protection of the unborn is an entirely understandable response to their vulnerability?
...and yet, that no law will prevent a woman determined to abort from doing so?
...that, as a result, fetal protection may not be achievable via imposition of law?
...that unplanned pregnancies can be profoundly devastating to the woman involved?
...that abortion prohibition requires restrictions on the sphere of autonomy that is increasingly taken for granted?
...that such prohibition is problematic since it imposes a heavy burden on women, whose autonomy has often been denied, and is often enacted by men who have proven to be all too interested in controlling women?
...that there are times when fetal claims to life outweigh maternal claims to autonomy?
...that there are times when they do not?
...that prolife advocates oversell the utility of abortion restrictions unaccompanied by change of heart?
...that prochoice advocates underappreciate the ability of the law to shape behavior and the ramifications, both personal and social, of unrestricted abortion?
...that both prolife and prochoice advocates feel beseiged and misunderstood and, as a result, tend to adopt ever more rigid positions?
...that there is a third, centrist voice that rarely gets heard in conversations about the 'third rail.'
...that this voice needs to be heard?

Might this be a starting place for conversation?

Liam said...

Mike,

I think that your starting out propositions are excellent and very well-thought out.

Crystal,

I have had a similar experience. Of course, I was never a woman, but I was an atheist for a long time and mainly understood the abortion issue from the pro-choice position. Now although I do not support criminalizing abortion, I understand the people of good will on both sides much better now.

Btw, my new Firefox spellchecks everything I type into the browser now -- good, because I'm a lousy typist. For example, "spellchecks" is apparently not a word.

Marie,

Well, why would the woman tell the priest? Is it in confession? If she confesses a sin but refuses to feel repentant, obviously he shouldn't give her penitence, because that's how it works. Communion, for me, is another issue. I don't think the priest should ever be the one to decide who's holy enough to have communion, and I think this is true on a individual parish level as well as on the level of bishops and politicians. Jeff's point about Pinochet and William's about his local bishop are well taken. There's a lot of sin to go around.

What about politicians who support the death penalty? What about war and poverty? I've heard the whole Catholic Answers "non-negotiable issues" line, but I think it's inconsistent. As I said, I think a Catholic politician (without quotation marks) can be on both sides of a number of issues.

I agree a lot of people who condemn the woman in your example. I would recommend a reading of the Gospels to see what Jesus says about how to treat sinners. Of course, Jeff already dealt with this in his original post.

crystal said...

Communion, for me, is another issue. I don't think the priest should ever be the one to decide who's holy enough to have communion

I agree with this, and I think this was the reason for Tom Reese's statemwnt that Denny quoted. It's sort of off topic, but another case where communion is sometimes denied (and I think wrongly denied) is when a parishener is gay and supports gay issues.

Jeff said...

Thanks for all the great comments, guys. I think we would all do well to heed the advice of William and Mike in the way we respond to this.

I'll put some replies of my own up when I get a chance. I don't feel right about doing it today...

Strangely, I got a call at work today from an old dear friend of mine. She had a D & C today. She was 8 weeks in, but the ultrasounds last week showed no heartbeat, and things were starting to break up. She's pretty shaken up over the loss of the baby and the whole procedure. Please pray for her and her husband.

Jeff said...

Hi Marie,

If a woman went to Mass and told a Priest BEFORE Mass that she had just undergone an abortion and she is NOT sorry or repentive and refuses The Sacrament of Penance....What is the situation? Would the Priest deny her the Eucharist? And IF so what is the difference between the woman and the politician who VOTES for it?

It's a little hard for me to make the analogy, because I have a hard time imagining the context in which a woman would do this. Why would she tell a priest that she'd had an abortion, that she's not sorry, refuses penance, but that she would still go up to receive the Eucharist? As an act of defiance? In order to be contumacious? Is that the link you are trying to make between her and the Catholic politician?

I think each one of us is responsible on our own for being in a state of grace before receiving the Eucharist. I don't think it's really up to the priest to make that determination. That is up to our own consciences. As St. Paul says, if you eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ unworthily, you bring condemnation down upon your own head. Now, you may have a point that in the case of the politician, the fact that he is a well-known public figure makes it somewhat different in that he can provoke scandal with what he's doing.

I actually hear what you are saying with great sympathy, Marie. There are a lot of things I wish our local bishops would speak up about, but unfortunately, National Bishop's Conferences are a lot less poweful and independent than they used to be. Over the last couple of decades their influence haas been minimized as more and more decision making power is being centralized in Rome. I think there is a danger that Rome can tread too heavily here.

Although I'm quite sympathetic to what you are saying, I'd like you to consider a couple of things, both in what you have heard from others here and what I will add. I believe you are a former Lutheran, is that correct? If that is the case, I'm sure you understand how the Catholic mind is perceived in the imagination of many Protestants. "They don't think for themselves, they just do what the Pope tells them to do."

Were the Protestant nativists ranging from the “Know Nothing Party” to the Ku Klux Klan to Paul Blanshard to Samuel P. Huntington correct when they asserted that Catholics and Catholic values do not belong in the United States? Were they right in asserting that we should never should have been allowed into this country , and under no circumstances should we have been given the right to vote, since we “owed our allegiance to a foreign potenate”? If so, should so many Catholic servicemen have laid down their lives fighting under the flag of this country?

I reality, that has never been how Catholics have lived out their faith in this country. There has only been one Catholic elected President in this country's history, and I don't forsee it happening again any time soon. In my opinion, JFK handled the religious matter brilliantly. Look here how he handled himself brilliantly before all these turkeys down at the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, in front of all these guys who expected him to grovel in front of them.

For the record, I have voted Republican in every presidential election since 1984, becuase of the Pro-Life cause, even though I was raised in a staunchly Democratic household. As time goes by, however, I am feeling increasingly as if I've been had, and in addition, the country has been turning in an increasingly dangerous and isolated direction. I don't think I can do this anymore.

Part of my unease is cause by the fact that even the traditional, Christian, family values espoused by the GOP are not Catholic values. They are evangelical, and even fundamentalist values. Fundamentalists are usually more anti-Catholic than even the most militant secularists. I'll have no hand in helping them dominate the country.

Why should we let the Democratic Party be controlled exclusively by the far left Pro-Choice elements? The risks and costs of being completely excluded from one dominant party are all too obvious. Part of what I'm trying to do here is explore the possibility of seeing if Pro-Life people can really exist in the Democratic party, because I think the Democratic party has a much more natural affinity for being a home for Catholics than the GOP does. The current alignment is weird.

Jeff said...

Mike,

Well, it turned into a discussion about the law and politics even though I wasn't looking for that. I guess we deal with what is thrust upon us, though. :-)

I'll start out by taking my own crack at your questions. Others can feel free to weigh in as well...

Could we at least agree on these propositions?

...that abortion presents complicated moral and political issues and bumper sticker solutions are out of place?

Yes. I despise bumper-sticker politics.

...that our moral judgments and our political judgments may not necessarily converge, but then again can't be entirely segregated?

Yes.

...that abortion kills fetuses, and is thus profoundly morally suspect?

Yes, "suspect" at the very least.

...that advocating for the legal protection of the unborn is an entirely understandable response to their vulnerability?

Yes.

...and yet, that no law will prevent a woman determined to abort from doing so?

I've come to believe this.

...that, as a result, fetal protection may not be achievable via imposition of law?

Not necessarily. The current laws don't reflect the consensus of where we are as a people.

I think some protection is possible.

...that unplanned pregnancies can be profoundly devastating to the woman involved?

Yes.

...that abortion prohibition requires restrictions on the sphere of autonomy that is increasingly taken for granted?

Yes, although the landscape under our feet may have shifted a bit since you were last time you involved in this kind of initiative.

...that such prohibition is problematic since it imposes a heavy burden on women, whose autonomy has often been denied, and is often enacted by men who have proven to be all too interested in controlling women?

Yes... Although the most hardcore activists on both side tend to be women.

...that there are times when fetal claims to life outweigh maternal claims to autonomy?

Yes, but in life and death issues, we'll hear all kinds of opinions.

...that there are times when they do not?

Yes, see above.

...that prolife advocates oversell the utility of abortion restrictions unaccompanied by change of heart?

Yes, but I hope this has been changing in the last few years.

...that prochoice advocates underappreciate the ability of the law to shape behavior and the ramifications, both personal and social, of unrestricted abortion?

Yes.

...that both prolife and prochoice advocates feel beseiged and misunderstood and, as a result, tend to adopt ever more rigid positions?

Yes.

...that there is a third, centrist voice that rarely gets heard in conversations about the 'third rail.'

I hope so.

...that this voice needs to be heard?

Most definitely.

Mike McG... said...

Jeff: I endorse all of the caveats you made. There is a "seamless garment" center; now if it can only get heard.

Apropos of your comment to Marie, I visited this weekend with a college classmate and his wife who are in the very place you mentioned. For the past 20 years + they've voted Republican on the strength of that party's opposition to abortion. Their opposition has not lessened but their revulsion with other Republican policies combined with their belief that administration prolife sensibilities are wafer thin occasion this response: no more!

Marie said...

Jeff:)

I suppose to me it is a matter of Principles. Why have a Catechism if Catholics ignore it?

When catholic gay activists attend Mass wearing 'Gay Pride' pink T-Shirts...Why does Cardinal Pell refuse to give them the Eucharist?

I am sure the catholics who are active homosexuals have consulted their conscience and find NO reason that they should NOT receive the Eucharist. If we are ONLY to consult OUR own individual conscience then WHY does Cardinal Pell refuse these homosexual men and women the Eucharist?

As for my Lutheran background. I actually only spent 3 years in that faith. I was bought up with NO religion, but was raised up by very Victorian parents who brought us up to have principles and morals. I became a Christian at age 30.

I believe that those who legislate for abortions are going against God's Law and are instead compromising and simply 'following the worldly'. Did NOT some 'catholic' politicians vote FOR post partial abortions?

Perhaps if St. Thomas More had also followed the politics of the day and compromised his Principles he would have died in bed, rather than lose his head. Instead he placed his beliefs and principles ABOVE self preservation.

"You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the new born to perish".(CCC 2271)

Anyway we may disagree on some issues, Jeff:) but thankyou for your understanding and kindness.

Peace and blessings to you:)

Marie

Jeff said...

Hi Marie,

When catholic gay activists attend Mass wearing 'Gay Pride' pink T-Shirts...Why does Cardinal Pell refuse to give them the Eucharist?

Cardinal Pell certainly has his boosters and his critics over this, but in this case I'd say he did it because the protestors were trying to use the Eucharist for political purposes. They were making a show out of it. I don't like seeing the Eucharist being politicized, either by the Rainbow Sash or by the bishops.

I take your Thomas More point Marie. I understand your point of view very well. I have many close friends who feel exactly the same way, and my own wife would probably tend to agree with you more on this than she would with me. I've been a Catholic a long time, I've done conservative apologetics, I'm well versed on every point of view. What I'm trying to explore here is the possibility of trying to inculcate some Catholic values into the Democratic Pary and the body politic as a whole. There are trends, however, inside and outside of the Church that give me pause. Politically speaking, there are too many inconsistencies and compromises to suit MY Thomas More level of conscience by supporting the Republicans blindly and unquestioningly.

There is more than one way to evangelize. There is a place for yours, and I believe, a place for mine as well.

Thank you for the respectful dialogue, and God Bless.

Marie said...

Jeff:) hello

I have actually enjoyed this vigorous discussion. It shows me that even though two may disagree it can be done with courtesy on both sides:).

I respect your view as well:)

Peace and blessings to you

Marie

Paula said...

dear Jeff,
This is off topic.
I am so busy with what is going now in my life that i have little time to really blog. I am not upset on you.:-). I always welcome your comments. Miss my good blogging days. I will try to visit more often your blog.

Jeff said...

Hi Paula! :-)

Nor am I upset with you.

Don't worry, I understand busyness completely.

Love you last few posts! Great stuff... Take care.

-J