US Catholics and Abortion – What is Compromise?
Rich Giesman, May 31, 2009
Webster defines compromise as “a settlement of differences reached by mutual concessions.” Based on Webster, compromise doesn’t exist without concessions. To compromise on some issues can make allies of mortal enemies, but depending on the concessions, a degrading or complete loss of one's principles or values is possible. Considering compromises in one’s faith values or Christian beliefs, that loss of principles may involve the selling of one's own soul. Therefore, analyzing and understanding exactly what concessions are involved is imperative. During an examination of conscience we may ask ourselves, “Is a moral principle or commandment being watered down, trivialized, or eliminated?” “Am I negatively affecting the life, health or property of another?” “Am I justifying my conclusion or action based on my personal judgment of a good end which is produced via evil means?”
Of course, life is full of compromises; they are a necessary part of our social, economic, health, family and religious life. But some compromises result in a good, others in an evil. One type of evil compromise is produced when we affect the lives of others by conceding that which does not fall under our authority. For example, given that all life belongs to God, as human beings we clearly lack the authority to put the lives of others on the bargaining table – for any reason. Yet today we find some, even leaders of the Catholic Church in the US, who masquerade as servants of God while making evil compromises. They compromise the lives of the unborn in exchange for political friendships and favors, avoiding the risk of criticism, or reducing or avoiding their family’s, friend’s, or associate’s guilt feelings resulting from their involvement in abortion. The most obvious compromises of the faith involve “Catholic” pro-abortion politicians and other high-profile “Catholics.” Rarely are these compromises public, but the winks, nods and deals between the participants are undeniable. Our obligation, as Christian faithful, is to expose them (Eph 5:11, Canon Law 212-3). Like Pope Paul VI we must say, “I did not betray the truth.”
One example of evil compromise was recently made public in the Wall Street Journal. It amounted to trading the lives of millions of unborn babies for political votes and dollars. Pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians and Jesuit clergy were in bed together on the deal. “In the early ‘70s, US Democratic politicians first figured out that the powerful abortion lobby could fill their campaign coffers (and attract new liberal voters). They also began to realize that, despite the Catholic Church's teachings to the contrary, its bishops and priests had ended their public role of responding negatively to those who promoted a pro-abortion agenda. At a meeting at the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, Mass., in the summer of 1964, the Kennedy family and its advisers and allies were coached by leading theologians and Catholic college professors on how to accept and promote abortion with a “clear conscience.” It was their consensus that Catholic politicians might tolerate legislation that would permit abortion under the condition that voting against the bill would lead to greater perils to social peace and order.” I never did find what the Jesuits considered “greater perils.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123086375678148323.html Didn’t the Jesuits realize what Jesus meant when He said, “No servant can serve two masters. . .You cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13)?
Let’s not act surprised at the above news. We actually find compromises in the faith all around us almost every day. Serious compromises in Catholic teaching by “Catholic” clergy, university professors, politicians and laity are frequent and many cause human lives to be conceded – by the millions – in addition to scandal, and loss of souls. Jesus warned us about scandalizing others and disregarding His commandments (Mat 5:19, 18:6).
Because of these compromises, the unborn, our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ, are persecuted by evil abortionists, pro-abortion lawmakers and now a pro-abortion, pro-infanticide president. For a moment, think about this persecution. Pre-born babies are interrupted in their warm and supposedly safe home, their limbs are torn from their little bodies, their blood splattered within their mother’s womb, their little head crushed, their lifeless body separated from their mother and then thrown into the trash and burned. Clearly abortion is a self-inflicted cancer which attacks society from within.
Those in favor of this terrorist treatment feel that pro-lifers should compromise their values and seek “common ground.” Would those same proponents seek “common ground” by trivializing slavery, physical abuse of women and children or terrorist torture? I think not. They don’t seem to recognize that each and every aborted baby represents a failure of the human race to extend love and life to one of its own. Attempts to dialog and compromise between pro-aborts and faithful Catholics can only result in further trivializing the grotesque killings of innocent unborn babies. The implication is that their lives are bargaining chips and that kind of thinking is a major scandal in the Catholic community. In a sense, even when we describe this act by a politically correct word, we water down or trivialize the evil associated with killing a human being, and we, to some degree, scandalize others. Using abstract words like euthanasia or abortion compromises what is actually the intentional killing of a family member and makes it sound so much less evil - almost acceptable.
When King Herod wanted to marry his brother’s wife, Herodias, did John the Baptist compromise and concede his beliefs? Did Elijah seek “common ground” with King Ahab or did the parents of the Holy Innocents “dialog” with King Herod concerning their murdered babies? During Jesus’ temptation in the desert, did He ask to compromise or find “common ground” with Satan? On the contrary, Jesus condemned those who compromise – the lukewarm (Rev. 3:16) – and those who corrupt the faith, calling them vipers, hypocrites, fools, serpents, blind guides, and false prophets. Babies are made in the image and likeness of God and are therefore holy. Jesus taught us not to “give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine " (Mat 7:6). He also cautioned us not to mistreat children saying, “Do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father" (Mat 18:10).
Jesus exhorted the faithful not to follow the example of those whose deeds do not conform to their teaching, and who sit on the chair of Moses. “Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice” (Mat 23:2-3). The Catholic Church has produced a number of documents which provide guidance for the clergy and laity concerning abortion, euthanasia and other non-negotiable issues. Excerpts of six of them have been included in the appendix for your convenience. They are, 1) Living the Gospel of Life, A Challenge to American Catholics, 2) Catholics in Political Life, 3) Canon Law 915, 4)Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion, and 5) Canon Law 212-1. They will be referred to in the following sections, 6) Dogmatic Constitution of the Church – Lumen Gentium.
Cardinal McCarrick Compromises the Faith
“Some of us take the position that while it is essential to ask a Catholic politician to be faithful to the cause of human life, his or her responsibility does not end there. (The compromise begins.) The defense of human dignity is also a priority for us.” So Cardinal McCarrick, going against the USCCB document Living the Gospel of Life, A Challenge to American Catholic paragraph 23, has raised human dignity to the level of human life itself. Then using a quote by Cardinal Avery Dulles, he listed why the Church is “reluctant” to discipline pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians, even when “their positions are morally indefensible.” The Cardinal, even though he didn’t defend the politicians, was very willing to give them a pass, thereby putting many more unborn babies’ lives in the grasp of the abortionists. He sacrificed these lives on the altar of compromise in exchange for the support of Catholic education and the care of the poor. He traded the lives of the unborn to avoid the 1) bishops being “accused” of trying to coerce the politician’s conscience, 2) bishops being accused of trying to meddle in the political process, and 3) fear of “alienating judges, legislators and public administrators.” And I thought Cardinals wore RED as a sign of willingness to shed their blood for the faith. http://www.cccb.ca/site/content/view/2364/1062/lang,eng/ See Catholic Teaching #1, #4, #5 and #6 in the Appendix.
US Bishops Compromise Canon 915 (See Catholic Teaching #3, #5 and #6 in the Appendix.)
Archbishop Wuerl - Refuses to deny communion to pro-abortion speaker Pelosi. He insists Canon 915 is not to be used as Pope Benedict and Archbishop Burke have insisted. Another clear scandal and compromise - http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/may/09050613.html
Bishop W. Francis Malooly has expanded on his previous comments that he will not deny communion to Vice-President Joe Biden because of his pro-abortion position. LifeNews.com Editor December 7, 2008
Notre Dame – Previously The Flagship “Catholic” University – Compromises the Faith
Of course we have all heard of the major compromise and disobedient behavior of the Notre Dame Board and its President, Fr. John Jenkins, by inviting Barrack Obama to speak and receive an honorary degree at the 2009 commencement exercises (http://www.notredamescandal.com). Why doesn’t Bishop D’Arcy take away the priestly faculties of Fr. Jenkins and Notre Dame’s other unfaithful priests? See Catholic Teaching #2 and #5 in the Appendix.
Many other so-called “Catholic” universities have committed similar violations. These are but a very few: pro-abortion Senator Hillary Clinton was invited to St. Mary’s University, San Antonio Archdiocese, February 2008; pro-infanticide president Obama was invited to Georgetown University where they even covered “HIS,” a symbol of the name of Jesus Christ, for his talk - April, 2009; Erie diocese Bishop Trautman, former USCCB President, said he was “disappointed” that the Mercyhurst Catholic College hosted Senator Hillary Clinton – April, 2008; the Catholic University of San Francisco's student health plan covers abortion – December 2008. See Catholic Teaching #2 and #5 in the Appendix.
Catholic University Professors Compromise the Faith
M. Cathleen Kaveny, a Professor of Law and Theology at the University of Notre Dame and one of the three high profile self-described pro-life Catholics who supported Barack Obama for president, has made the case in an article published by the Jesuit weekly magazine “America,” that abortion is indeed an intrinsic evil, but that it is still okay to vote for pro-abortion candidates, since “intrinsic evil,” may not be “grave” enough. Kaveny has joined Professors Douglas W. Kmiec and Nicholas P. Cafardi in trying to make a Catholic case for Barack Obama, despite his 100 percent pro-abortion record. Washington DC, Oct 19, 2008 / 02:00 pm (CNA) Pray tell professors, what is it that the Church defines as more grave than abortion? See Catholic Teaching #1 and #5 in the Appendix.
Our obligation, as Catholics, is to expose life-threatening compromises in the faith (Eph 5:11, Canon Law 212-3). We must not betray the truth.
# 2 Excerpt from the US Bishops’ Document Catholics in Political Life
# 3 Canon Law 915
# 4 Abortion is Not Like War and Capitol Punishment – Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, wrote about the relative moral importance of the issues of war, poverty, capital punishment, and abortion, in his famous letter to the American bishops during the 2004 campaign:
# 5 Canon Law 212-1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.
# 6 Dogmatic Constitution on the Church - Vatican Council II - LUMEN GENTIUM, Chapter III