Wednesday, May 20, 2009

After Some Reflection . . .

I had told myself that I'd wait a couple of days to cool off after the speech(es) this weekend before I posted about it, hence my prior offering about Cardinal Canizares. I needed SOMETHING to take up space in the interim.

I will provide three more posts about the Obama/ND thing. I know folks are tired of it, and there's not much more to say anyway. So it will be one bit on Fr. Jenkins's speech, one on Obama's, and one last one about the bishops involved

For now, I leave you with Archbishop Burke's comments, which I had previously kept silent about because they are that good and sum up my own views pretty well. The text is here at LifeSiteNews.

In the Baltimore Catechism, the virtue of patriotism is joined with filial piety. These essentially connected virtues, in the words of the Catechism, dispose us to honor, love and respect our parents and our country (Revised Baltimore Catechism and Mass, No. 3, New York: Benziger Brothers, Inc., 1949, 1952, no. 135). Surely, the most fundamental expression of patriotism is daily prayer for our homeland, the United States of America, her citizens and her leaders. Our participation in the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast is, I trust, an extraordinary expression of the daily prayer which we all offer for our country, as good Catholics and, therefore, good citizens.

This will be critical in understanding the Jenkins and Obama offerings.

As Catholics, we cannot fail to note, with the greatest sadness, the number of our fellow Catholics, elected or appointed by our President to public office, who cooperate fully in the advancement of a national agenda was is anti-life and anti-family. Most recently, the appointment of a Catholic as Secretary of Health and Human Services, who has openly and persistently cooperated with the industry of procured abortion in our nation, is necessarily a source of the deepest embarrassment to Catholics and a painful reminder of the most serious responsibility of Catholics to uphold the natural moral law, which is the irreplaceable foundation of just relationships among the citizens of our nation. It grieves me to say that the support of anti-life legislation by Catholics in public office is so common that those who are not Catholic have justifiably questioned whether the Church's teaching regarding the inviolable dignity of innocent human life is firm and unchanging. It gives the impression that the Church herself can change the law which God has written on every human heart from the beginning of time and has declared in the Fifth Commandment of the Decalogue: Thou shalt not kill.

This is significant since it deals with the alleged "true" interpretation of the 2004 USCCB statement, which has been used in this context to justify the president's invitation, while it's further implications of how Catholics in public office are carrying out their duties is ignored.

If we are serious about our patriotic duty, then we must pray everyday for our leaders, especially our President, and our nation. We should also practice more fervently our fasting and abstinence for the conversion of our lives and the transformation of our society. If we want to act for the common good, the good of all, in our nation, then we will seek to convert our lives each day to Christ, especially through the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist. Christ desires to announce the Gospel of Life and bring about its saving effects in our nation by the complete conversion of our lives to Him for the sake of all our brothers and sisters, without boundary, and for the sake of the preservation of the sanctuary of human life, marriage and the family.

This is true patriotism.

Catholic educational institutions must devote themselves ever more strenuously to the study of the truths of the faith, addressing them to the moral challenges of our time. In a culture marked by widespread and grave confusion and error about the most fundamental teachings of the moral law, our Catholic schools and universities must be beacons of truth and right conduct. Clearly, the same is true of our Catholic charitable, missionary and healthcare institutions. There can be no place in them for teaching or activities which offend the moral law.

I wonder how seriously this is taken at ND. Not so much, I am sad to say, as the moral law is rejected by more than a couple of its own theology faculty.

Dialogue and respect for differences are not promoted by the compromise and even violation of the natural moral law. The profound granting of an honorary doctorate at Notre Dame University to our President who is as aggressively advancing an anti-life and anti-family agenda is a source of the gravest scandal. Catholic institutions cannot offer any platform to, let alone honor, those who teach and act publicly against the moral law. In a culture which embraces an agenda of death, Catholics and Catholic institutions are necessarily counter-cultural. If we as individuals or our Catholic institutions are not willing to accept the burdens and the suffering necessarily involved in calling our culture to reform, then we are not worthy of the name Catholic.

That first sentence cannot be said enough.

On the contrary, the common good depends upon the active engagement of religious faith in the public forum.

This absolutely must be drilled into the heads of every Catholic. DO NOT LET THEM CONVINCE YOU THAT "COMMON GOOD" MEANS "TEMPORAL GOOD." Common good necessarily entails the well-being of the soul.

Our uncompromising commitment to protect the inviolable dignity of innocent human life and to safeguard the integrity of marriage and the family are not based on peculiar confessional beliefs or practices but on the natural moral law, written on every heart and, therefore, a fundamental part of the Church's moral teaching. At the same time, what is always and everywhere evil cannot be called good for the sake of accomplishing some other good end. All of us must be concerned about a wide range of goods which are important to the life of our nation, but the concern for those goods can never justify the betrayal of the fundamental goods of life itself and the family. We must take care to uproot from our moral thinking any form of relativism, consequentialism and proportionalism, which would lead us into the error of thinking that it is sometimes right to do what is always and everywhere evil.

I fear these last concepts are exactly what is meant when supporters of the invite say "dialogue," even though I firmly believe that many do not understand it to be so.

More to come. . .

1 comment:

Chants a Lot said...

I hope that it is not too speculative to suggest that if every American bishop of the past forty years had the theological integrity and moral courage that Abp. Burke has consistently shown, the ND scandal would never have occurred.