Archive for August, 2008

My wish already granted

August 25, 2008

[This text lifted from the WDTPRS Blog.]

Denver archbishop slams Pelosi on Church teachings and abortion

.- In a statement eloquently titled “On the Separation of Sense and State,” [God Bless this worthy bishop, if for that phrase alone!] the Archbishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., and his Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley harshly criticized Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for giving a confusing view of the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion, during a Sunday interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” [Read and watch it here.]

“Catholic public leaders inconvenienced by the abortion debate” –says the statement- “tend to take a hard line in talking about the ‘separation of Church and state.’  But their idea of separation often seems to work one way.” 

“In fact, some officials also seem comfortable in the role of theologian. [Nailed it.]  And that warrants some interest, not as a ‘political’ issue, but as a matter of accuracy and justice.”

Archbishop Chaput’s statement recognizes Pelosi as “a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills” but adds that “regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them.”  [regrettably… but with deadly consequences for some!]

During the Meet the Press interview on August 24, Pelosi responded to a question about when human life begins by saying that “as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time.  And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition . . . St. Augustine said at three months.  We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.”

The Archdiocese of Denver argues that since Speaker Pelosi claims to have studied the issue “for a long time,” “she must know very well one of the premier works on the subject, Jesuit John Connery’s Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective (Loyola, 1977). [Step into my ring, and you get what’s coming to you.]

The statement recall’s Connery’s conclusion: “The Christian tradition from the earliest days reveals a firm antiabortion attitude . . . The condemnation of abortion did not depend on and was not limited in any way by theories regarding the time of fetal animation. [Which is what Pelosi’s ever-so-informed observations were based on.]  Even during the many centuries when Church penal and penitential practice was based on the theory of delayed animation, the condemnation of abortion was never affected by it.  Whatever one would want to hold about the time of animation, or when the fetus became a human being in the strict sense of the term, abortion from the time of conception was considered wrong, and the time of animation was never looked on as a moral dividing line between permissible and impermissible abortion.”  [Everyone: memorize this.  Be prepared to repeat that and name the author.  I just put it on my wish list.]

The Archdiocese’s statement also quotes “the blunter words of the great Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer.”

Bonhoeffer, a strong critic and later victim of the Nazi regime in his native Germany wrote that “the destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed on this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.”  [Is it possible to name a dead Lutheran pastor as bishop somewhere in the USA, such as in Washington?  No?  Okay.]

Archbishop Chaput’s statement continues, explaining that, “ardent, practicing Catholics [I love this.  Keep repeating that!  You can hear the stiletto sliding across a rib.] will quickly learn from the historical record that from apostolic times, the Christian tradition overwhelmingly held that abortion was grievously evil.  In the absence of modern medical knowledge, some of the Early Fathers held that abortion was homicide; others that it was tantamount to homicide; and various scholars theorized about when and how the unborn child might be animated or ‘ensouled.’  But none diminished the unique evil of abortion as an attack on life itself, and the early Church closely associated abortion with infanticide. [Which some candidates apparently don’t have a problem with… but I digress.]  In short, from the beginning, the believing Christian community held that abortion was always, gravely wrong.”

Archbishop Chaput also highlighted that “we now know with biological certainty [Note the distinction.] exactly when human life begins.  Thus, today’s religious alibis for abortion and a so-called ‘right to choose’ are nothing more than that – alibis that break radically with historic Christian and Catholic belief.”

“Abortion kills an unborn, developing human life.  It is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions employed to justify it[Archbp. Chaput just called Pelosi’s MTP statement "evil".] Catholics who make excuses for it – whether they’re famous or not – fool only themselves and abuse the fidelity [Archbp. Chaput just said that she committed the sin of public scandal.] of those Catholics who do sincerely seek to follow the Gospel and live their Catholic faith,” the statement adds.

Finally Archbishop Chaput recalls that “the duty of the state and its officials is to serve the common good, which is always rooted in moral truth.  A proper understanding of the ‘separation of Church and state’ does not imply a separation of faith from political life[Exactly.  We must fight those who want to push faith to the margins of the public square.] But of course, it’s always important to know what our faith actually teaches.”

Read the full statement here.

Obama . . . you knew it was coming

August 25, 2008

Curly’s been silent on this year’s election so far, but I have finally been stung to post something (else) on Obama. And Nancy Pelosi. (I hope not to post very often on the election—it’s so depressing.)

The McCain/Obama interviews at Rick Warren’s church seem to have been very revealing of the huge difference between the two’s worldviews. I only saw a few clips, or I would make a more certain assessment. But now one part of Obama’s interview has resurfaced in a Tom Brokaw interview with Nancy Pelosi.

Brokaw shows the clip where Warren asks Obama when a baby gets human rights. Like a true champion of human rights, Obama pretends to recuse himself from the question, saying that whether you are talking theologically or scientifically, it’s “above his pay grade.” How spineless. Obama knows that the only way he can appear to be less than radical about pushing abortion is to talk about it as little as possible. And how dishonest—since pretending to recuse himself, leaving questions of human rights to the experts, is really just another way of saying that he belongs to the abortion lobby.

Brokaw asks Pelosi if she can help Obama out on this question. Pelosi then prefaces her comments by saying that she is an “ardent, practicing Catholic” . . . and concludes that the Church has not decided when life begins. She cites St. Augustine (whom she appears to almost call “Senator Augustine”). But she shows her true allegiance by saying that all of that stuff (that the Church has said) is irrelevant, because Roe v. Wade clearly specifies what can be done during each trimester of pregnancy.

With other Catholic bloggers, I am praying that her bishop, or any bishop, takes her publicly to task for this (at least by denying Communion, which would be sure to make news). People may hold any view they like but “ardent, practicing” Catholics do not oppose—publicly, no less—one of the most basic and longstanding (since 1st-c.) teachings of the Church.

Photography: No talent required

August 16, 2008

I went to a dance competition last night and took some photos. They had an “official photographer” who had a booth set up with on-site photo printing and a space in the corner with a professional backdrop and lighting for formal portraits. Anyway, I looked at this guy’s photo album that was sitting on the table, and can honestly say with 100% objectivity that my photos are a billion times better than his.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at his online albums. Here’s one at random. Then go to my flickr page (the real one, not the one attached to this blog). I know I’ve got lots of room for improvement, esp. in my framing and timing, but somebody should tell this guy that sitting in one place for the whole competition, snapping ultra-wide angle photos with direct flash, is not working. In one album the photographer even uploaded a throwaway shot of his own feet! Unbelievable. This is a professional?

The encounter tells me that there is money to be made in photography, and you don’t even need to be good at it! But I also know that most pros are much much much better than this “pro” and that if you want repeat customers you better not be taking crappy shots like these.