Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cardinal Dolan: White House is Strangling Catholic Church

Here is an interview that Cardinal Dolan had on CBS today.




He mentions at the beginning of his interview the legal challenge by 43 groups within the Catholic Church on the religious liberty issue. I recommend Catholic Culture's coverage for the many links added at the bottom.

MICHIGAN BISHOPS JOIN LAWSUIT AGAINST FEDERAL GOV'T

The Michigan bishops were among those suing the federal government, through it's Michigan Catholic Conference.  There is a good amount of information here including the statement, and the lawsuit itself which you can read.

In this link at the Archdiocese of Detroit, are a series of videos where Archbishop Vigneron responds to a number of questions.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RALLY IN DETROIT

Archbishop Vigneron will speak at a religious freedom rally on June 8th.

I know some who feel that the bishops are "wasting their time talking about religious freedom when they should be teaching on contraception".  It's not an "either"/"or" situation.  It's a "both"/"and" situation.  They CAN talk about the threat to religious liberty AND they CAN talk about the Church's true position on things like contraception.  I've already read and heard reports of people saying their priests and pastors are starting to talk about sexual morality like they've not heard before.  This will only increase as we go forward with new crops of priests, much better formed.  

I think it's a serious mistake when people suggest that the bishops shouldn't even be dealing with the religious liberty issue.  Catholics need to understand the clear and present danger to religious freedom here in America, especially come November.

VOTING AND CONSCIENCE

EWTN has a very good set of questions answered concerning voting.  Read the voting guide for Catholics in it's entirety.  It even gets into whether we have a moral obligation to vote. I know some Catholics feel they cannot vote for any candidate unless they are 100% correct on all matters of morality, such as the "life issues".

If one candidate believes in all forms of abortion, including partial-birth abortion and the only other candidate believes in abortion only in cases of rape and incest (still immoral in Catholic teaching), some feel they cannot vote for either candidate.  Here is how Colin Donovan, EWTN's Vice President of Theology, explained it.  First, he gives some background on cooperation in evil.


Formal versus Material Cooperation in EvilVoters are rightly concerned about the degree to which their vote represents cooperation in the evil which a candidate embraces. Obviously, voting for a candidate whose principles exactly coincide with Catholic teaching would eliminate that worry. However, that is a rare, if not non-existent, situation. Even those who embrace Catholic principles may not always apply them correctly. The fact is that most candidates will imperfectly embrace Catholic principles and voting for ANY candidate contains many unknowns about what that candidate believes and will do.
The moral distinction between formal and material cooperation allows Catholics to choose imperfect candidates as the means of limiting evil or preventing the election of a worse candidate. The justification of doing that is described above. Formal cooperation is that degree of cooperation in which my will embraces the evil object of another 's will. Thus, to vote for a candidate because he favors abortion is formal cooperation in his evil political acts. However, to vote for someone in order to limit a greater evil, that is, to restrict in so far as possible the evil that another candidate might do if elected, is to have a good purpose in voting. The voter's will has as its object this limitation of evil and not the evil which the imperfect politician might do in his less than perfect adherence to Catholic moral principles. Such cooperation is called material, and is permitted for a serious reason, such as preventing the election of a worse candidate. [cf. Gospel of Life 74]
The Conscience Vote
Many Catholics are troubled by the idea of a lesser of two evils or material cooperation with evil. They conclude that they can only vote for a person whose position on the gravest issues, such as abortion, coincides exactly with Catholic teaching. To do otherwise is to betray their conscience and God.  

Sometimes this view is based on ignorance of Catholic teaching, a sincere doubt that it is morally permissible to vote for someone who would allow abortion in some circumstances, even if otherwise generally pro-life. It is also perhaps the confusing expression "lesser of two evils," which suggests the choice of evil. As I have explained above, the motive is really the choice of a good, the limitation of evil by a worse candidate. Sometimes this view is motivated by scrupulosity - bad judgment on moral matters as to what is sin or not sin. The resulting fear of moral complicity in the defective pro-life position of a politician makes voting for him morally impossible. This situation is different than ignorance, however, in that the person simply can't get past the fear of sinning, even when they know the truth.  

However, I think it is most frequently motivated by a sincere desire to elect someone whose views they believe coincide best with Church teaching. This is certainly praiseworthy. Yet, human judgments in order to be prudent must take into account all the circumstances. Voting, like politics, involves a practical judgment about how to achieve the desired ends - in this case the end of abortion as soon as possible, the end of partial-birth abortion immediately if possible, and other pro-life political objectives. A consciencevote of this type could be justified if the voter reasonably felt that it could achieve the ends of voting. The question must be asked and answered, however, whether it will bring about the opposite of the goal of voting (the common good) through the election of the worst candidate. That, too, is part of the prudential judgment. In the end every voter must weigh all the factors and vote according to their well-informed conscience, their knowledge of the candidates and the foreseeable consequences of the election of each. 
Answered by Colin B. Donovan, STL







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1 comment:

Nick said...

The Bishops need to remind people about baptismal promises.

That, to me, is the crux of the problem for non-Catholics.

We take for granted our promises, so we know why dissenters are bad.

But non-Catholics don't. They don't understand the promises.