Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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How will Benedict XVI play in Pennsylvania?

This seems to be Howard Fineman’s big question. He’s not sure, though, as he puts it, the promotion of the candidacy of pro-life Democrat Bob Casey, Jr. to challenge conservative Catholic stalwart Rick Santorum suggests that the Democrats "didn’t want to have to take on the GOP, the White House and the Church at the same time—at least on the issue of abortion—in a state where the electorate is nearly 50 percent Catholic."

By the by, Fineman also offers a misleading characterization of then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s advice to Catholic voters in the last election cycle. Here’s Fineman:

In his writings and interviews, the former Cardinal Ratzinger declared that politicians who support abortion rights should be turned away—and that it is a sin for Catholic voters to support a pro-choice candidate if their main reason for doing so is the candidate’s abortion views.

Here’s Ratzinger:

A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.

Gee, this means that Catholics are permitted to use their prudence in weighing the pros and cons of candidates, so long as they do not make approval of abortion and euthanasia the principal reason for supporting a candidate, a much more nuanced and subtle position than Fineman wants to attribute to the new Pope.

I’m shocked!

Discussions - 1 Comment

"[P]roportionate reasons" must mean an issue, or an array of issues of GREATER moral weight than that of abortion.

For the Catholic Church, it’s almost impossible to find such an issue, or such a constellation of other issues that would allow overlooking a politician’s stand on abortion, the legalized, and ritualized slaughter of the innocent.

There may appear to be nuance in the position of Ratzinger, and to a minor extent, there is. But ultimately the Church is going to have to confront left of center Catholics on abortion. There is no getting away from it, Bishops, {most of whom are Democrats} may be able to dodge the issue for a while longer. But it is looming large on the horizon.

Either the issue IS as grave as the Church says it is, or the Church will continue to accomodate Leftist Catholics, who utter endless lip service about abortion, all the while conniving at its increased incidence.



Ratzinger needs to tell the Bishops: "Fish, or cut bait."

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