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October 15, 2012 | Volume 87, Number 25

LETTERS

Voters cannot ignore violating church teachings

As Catholics, we have a duty to vote in a way that is consistent with our moral obligations. We begin by examining the positions of the candidates to determine whether any of those positions are intrinsically evil. We must avoid culpable cooperation in that evil.

Does that mean we can’t vote for a candidate who takes a position that is intrinsically evil?

Not necessarily, provided we don’t vote for the candidate with the intention of supporting that position. But we must also have proportionate reasons to justify voting for such a candidate.

Many Catholics would argue that there is no proportionate reason that can outweigh the intrinsic evil of destruction of human life in the womb. Others disagree.

But this year we must add same-sex marriage and the persecution of Catholic business owners and the institutions of Christ’s Church to the list of intrinsic evils embraced by some candidates.

If our Church is forced to choose between violating its fundamental teachings and curtailing its service to the poor, its health care ministry, its adoption services, and its education mission, it seems to me that it is nearly impossible to find proportionate reasons that outweigh both that and the other intrinsic evils noted.

 

USCCB voting guide statement said confusing

It is reported on page 1 of The Catholic Virginian (Oct. 1 issue) that at the Faithful Citizenship program held at St. Bridget’s school, some people felt that the USCCB’s document should show clearer support for candidates who take a stand against abortion. I agree. I find the statement confusing in several ways.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

The Catholic Virginian welcome letters in response to content or faith and moral issues. Letters should be typed or neatly written or in e-mail form. Please include the writer’s full name, address and phone number. We request they not exceed 300 words, focus on one topic, and not make a personal attack on individuals or institutions. Letters may be edited for style, size or content. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of The Catholic Virginian or the Diocese of Richmond.

Letters maybe faxed to: 804-359-5689, mailed to 7800 Carousel Lane, Richmond, VA 23294, or e-mailed to steveneill@catholicvirginian.org.

A Catholic should NOT vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of the intrinsic evil of abortion and not just, “if the voter’s intent is to support that position,” but simply if the voter knows about that position.

If he did so he would be cooperating in a grave moral evil (unless of course the other candidate is equally, or even more strongly, in favor of abortion).

What “other morally grave reasons” could there be to support a candidate who advocates the wholesale, legal killing of innocent babies in the womb?

It would have to be something like his opponent advocating the murder of several million people per year for no reason. . . Fortunately this is not the case in 2012 America.

The statement also confuses when it says Catholics should not vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil “such as abortion or racism.” Neither party’s platform advocates the internment, torture, or execution of people because of the shape of their eyes or color of their skins. So racism is not a great threat to life and limb at this point.

The only people who are in danger of extermination are the unborn. One party’s platform advocates for continued, legal abortion, and the “procedure” — consisting of dismembering the baby by vacuum tube then crushing his skull, if he is small enough, or other even more gruesome ways if he is older than 12 weeks — will be covered by our tax dollars.

There is no discrimination involved there either, by the way. White, Hispanic, Black, Asian babies — all can be killed legally if others will it. It is an equal opportunity slaughter.

read the article »

 

CV chided for ignoring Respect Life issues

I was extremely disappointed in the 1 October issue of The Catholic Virginian. This is the edition that covers the Respect Life Sunday on the church calendar and yet little to almost nothing addressed this critical issue facing our nation.

During the past week, two articles appeared in the mainstream media concerning abortion. First, France has introduced budgets that would make the medical costs of abortions 100 percent reimbursable by their social security system.

Second, the “abortion ship” Langenort which is run by Women on Waves, an organization founded in 1999 by a Dutch doctor to provide abortions to women in countries where the practice is illegal entered the port of Smir, Morocco. It was promptly searched and directed to leave the port. Can there be any question why the Muslims hate the west for trying to export their abortion agenda and flaunt the laws of the nation they visit?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the House Foreign Relations Committee on 22 April 2009 that the phrase “reproductive health” in international documents includes a right to abortion, and that it was official U.S. foreign policy to advocate for abortion rights in other nations.

It sounds like the United States of America is not too far away from France’s position. Following the current administration’s contraceptive and abortifacient debacle, it is not a stretch to believe that they would follow in France’s footsteps with a second term.

But instead of hearing about this, we hear about Germany’s pay to pray program. I only wish that those same bishops, Rome and our own bishops would take as firm a stance regarding abortion.

I believe the issue of sanctity of human life far outweighs the significance of financial contributions.

(Editor: The Catholic Virginian remains firmly committed to a strong stance against abortion and has repeatedly made strong stands against abortion in editorials and commentaries. The Virginia Catholic Conference is also firmly pro-life and against abortion as is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.)

 

Abortion always wrong, reader asserts

“At any given moment, on any issue, there is the possibility that you might be wrong and someone else might be right. Keep that possibility in mind.”

This statement in Tony Magliano’s column appears to deny absolutes. For instance, the statement “Abortion is wrong at all times and in every circumstance” is never incorrect.

It is an absolute truth and one cannot compromise on that fact. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in 2271, “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.”

One should disagree politely when disagreement occurs but there is absolutely no possibility of error when arguing this position in accord with the Church’s teaching. We must, as a society, recognize that absolutes exist, or we will slip into moral relativism.

read the column »

 

Abortion rightfully called ‘intrinsic evil’

After I read the lead article regarding the Faithful Citizenship program in the October 1 issue of the Catholic Virginian, I was more than saddened, more than distressed (to use politically correct terms), I was disgusted.

How can a practice that is intrinsically evil such as abortion which violates the fundamental right which makes all other rights possible, be acceptable if the voter’s intent is not to support that position? That’s the stance cafeteria Catholic politicians take when they say that they are personally opposed to abortion but would not prohibit it if elected to office.

What kind of opposition is that? St Paul had a word for it — “rubbish.”

 

Article on German tax said ‘anti-Catholic’

I was disturbed to read such an “anti-Catholic” article (“German bishops defend decree on taxing laity”) in The Catholic Virginian (Oct. 1 issue).

Perhaps the Catholic News Service article’s pro-Protestant slant is simply due to the “lack of knowledge about the German Tax Law,” so let me clarify a few points.

First, part of the money the Germans pay in taxes goes to support the religious church of their choice. This is a mandatory tax. While this portion of the mandatory tax is titled “membership fee,” it is NOT a voluntary membership fee like we in the States would, for example, pay for a gym membership.

One cannot “opt out” of paying this mandatory membership tax, one can only “designate” to where the money goes. This is part of the “restitution for the financial damage done to the religious organizations” during the period leading up to and during WWII.

So if the individual “denounces” their church publically, and says they “no longer wish to be affiliated with the Catholic Church” they then have to designate a different church to support (because all German Tax “membership” monies must, by law, to be allocated to a religious institution).

At this point, it appears (from this article) that the Catholic Church is simply saying “We understand that you have formally renounced membership in the Catholic Church in a very public way to the Government of Germany.”

The Church is simply acknowledging that one of Her members has chosen to seek membership in a Buddist, Muslim, Jewish or other religious institution.

This segment of the German Tax Law was explained to my husband and me by a current German University Professor, last year, when my spouse, a tenured law professor at Marquette University, taught in the Summer Law Program at the Justus Liebig University Giessen, in Giessen, Germany.

The “German bishops defend decree on taxing laity” did not appear in the web edition of The Catholic Virginian.

 

Reader comments on German church tax

In reference to the article “German bishops defend decree on taxing laity” (Oct. 1 issue), taxes and the German system of support of churches, so I understand, is to declare you are a member of a particular denomination and you get taxed.

This system has been in place for several hundred years. Don’t like the tax? Don’t join the church or quit.

The result is a downward spiral in church attendance and membership. The statistics on church membership are at all-time lows.

The October 1 issue of The Catholic Virginian had the German bishops’ answer. Cut those off who don’t pay.

No sacraments, no marriages, no funerals — nothing. Forget those who will not or cannot pay.

These bishops are following the tradition set by their medieval predecessors who sold indulgences.

Will history repeat itself and a Christian reformer arise in Germany?

The “German bishops defend decree on taxing laity” did not appear in the web edition of The Catholic Virginian.

 

Catholics urged: ‘Vote your conscience’

As November 6 draws near, many Americans have rightly focused on the importance of one number — $16 trillion dollars — our federal government’s debt.

This number is important as it translates to a debt of $137,000 per household, debt that our children and grandchildren will have to repay if we don’t. Yet there is an even more important number that appears to have been forgotten in mainstream political discussions.

This forgotten number is 55.5 million — the number of innocent, unborn American children who have lost their lives to abortion since the tragic, misguided Roe v. Wade decision of 1973.

This loss of life is unfathomable. It is over nine times the number of European Jews who died in the Holocaust. These 55.5 million innocent, American lives were lost in our lifetime, under our watch, and because of our inaction.

On the last day, we Catholic Americans will have to stand with the rest of our nation and answer as to why we failed to do everything in our power to help stop this tremendous loss of innocent lives. Matthew 25 tells us that when Christ returns to render final judgment on us, “the people of all the nations will be gathered before him,” and Christ, the Son of Man returning as King, will say “I tell you, whenever you refused to help one of these least important ones, you refused to help me.” We can all do more to help. We as Catholic Virginians must do more to help. Voice your conscience. Take action on your conscience. Vote your conscience.

 

Series on sacraments provide answers

I would like to thank Father Tony Marques and for his article, “We are being saved: The Seven Sacraments.” (Sept. 17th, 2012)

I received a visit from two women asking me if I knew for sure I would go to heaven tonight if I died. Because of the article, I was able to explain with confidence the Catholic Church’s teaching on “being saved.”

Southwest Virginia is approximately 1 percent Catholic. We as an assembly need to be able to answer the, “Are you saved?” question.

This question gets to the theological heart of what makes our faith unique. Father Tony not only helped me answer that question but also connected my answer to the sacraments.

read the article »

 

Magliano columns challenge Christians

In reference to Derek Icenhour’s letter published in the Oct. 1st CV edition regarding Tony Magliano’s article (“Magliano charged with lack of orthodoxy”), my question to Mr.Icenhour is, “do you think that Jesus complied with the orthodoxy of His day? “

Jesus certainly accepted the Jewish Law while at the same time he was renewing it, giving the Law a different interpretation than was commonly held. An example would be: “the Sabbath was made for man; not man for the Sabbath.”

Mr. Icenhour went on to suggest that Mr. Magliano follow his two principles; namely, the ability to consider one might be wrong and the ability to admit one does not know.

Well, the writer might benefit by applying these two principles to himself. Mr. Magliano’s articles (the handful I have read) challenge us to think for ourselves, to step out of the box.

I do commend Mr. Icenhour for reading the article and obviously giving it some thought. Let me say that there are Catholics in our diocese who find articles like those of Mr. Magliano stimulating and challenging as they strive to live the Christian life. <

Finally, I applaud the CV for publishing such articles which give us food for thought and help to broaden our outlook and understanding of Christianity.

read the letter »

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