Obamacare = Publicly funded abortion.
If you support the Health Plan you are supporting publicly funded abortion.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Some Clarity on the Common Good: Bishop McElroy and Archbishop Chaput
In the October 21 issue of America magazine, our good Auxiliary Bishop Robert McElroy had an article called A Church for the Poor. His Excellency, did not, in my opinion, sufficiently explain why abortion stands apart from other lesser, although critically important, issues. That's not to say he does not unequivocally and completely condemn it.
The meat of the problem with His Excellency's article seems to me to be in this paragraph:
"It is crucial to fully recognize the nature of intrinsic evil and its relationship to the common good. In recent years, however, some arguments have been broadly advanced in Catholic political conversation proposing that issues pertaining to intrinsically evil acts automatically have priority in the public order over all other issues of grave evil, like poverty, war, unjust immigration laws and the lack of restorative justice in the criminal justice system. This has the effect of labeling these other crucial issues of Catholic social teaching “optional” in the minds of many Catholics."
Let's break that down.
His Excellency's first sentence: "It is crucial to fully recognize the nature of intrinsic evil and its relationship to the common good" is of course correct. But there is no definition of or elaboration on that relationship in the article, despite the fact that Bishop McElroy calls it "crucial."
The second sentence reads: "In recent years, however, some arguments have been broadly advanced in Catholic political conversation proposing that issues pertaining to intrinsically evil acts automatically have priority in the public order over all other issues of grave evil, like poverty, war, unjust immigration laws and the lack of restorative justice in the criminal justice system." As will be shown, arguments that "intrinsically evil acts"--particularly abortion--do "automatically have priority in the public order" are correct. Read in the light of his next sentence, it is clear Bishop McElroy does not agree with the "arguments broadly advanced" he describes. But it is still his failure to define what constitutes the "crucial" relationship "of intrinsic evil"--again, particularly abortion--"to the common good" which prevents any light being shed on whether the "arguments broadly advanced" are correct or incorrect.
In the third sentence, His Excellency writes "This has the effect of labeling these other crucial issues of Catholic social teaching 'optional' in the minds of many Catholics." Nowhere in the article does he offer any evidence for this claim. He simply says it, then moves on. But more importantly, once again, His Excellency does not address whether the "arguments broadly advanced" are correct or not (that would require his defining of what constitutes the "crucial" relationship "of intrinsic evil and its relationship to the common good"). His concern here is what effect such arguments will have on those who hear them.
In a fortunate example of synchronicity, a good corrective is at hand. In his weekly message of October 18, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, quoting from the 15 year-old pastoral letter of the U.S. Bishops called Living the Gospel of Life, crisply clarifies the issue. He (or they) gives a definition of the "crucial" relationship "of intrinsic evil and its relationship to the common good":
"Exactly 15 years ago this fall, America’s bishops issued a pastoral letter called Living the Gospel of Life. Even today, with the passage of time, this remains no ordinary Church text. I believed then, and I believe now, that it’s the best document ever issued by the U.S. bishops on the priorities of Catholic engagement in our nation’s public life. In writing it, the bishops sought to apply Pope John Paul II’s great encyclical Evangelium Vitae (“The Gospel of Life”) to the American situation. The heart of their statement, paragraph No. 23, stresses that:
'Opposition to abortion and euthanasia does not excuse indifference to those who suffer from poverty, violence and injustice. Any politics of human life must work to resist the violence of war and the scandal of capital punishment. Any politics of human dignity must seriously address issues of racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education, housing, and health care. Therefore, Catholics should eagerly involve themselves as advocates for the weak and marginalized in all these areas. Catholic public officials are obliged to address each of these issues as they seek to build consistent policies which promote respect for the human person at all stages of life.
'But being ‘right’ in such matters can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life. Indeed, the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the ‘rightness’ of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community. If we understand the human person as the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’ — the living house of God — then these latter issues fall logically into place as the crossbeams and walls of that house. All direct attacks on innocent human life, such as abortion and euthanasia, strike at the house’s foundation. These directly and immediately violate the human person’s most fundamental right — the right to life. Neglect of these issues is the equivalent of building our house on sand. Such attacks cannot help but lull the social conscience in ways ultimately destructive of other human rights.'
This is why the right to life is not merely one among many urgent issues, but rather the foundational one. It provides the cornerstone for a whole architecture of human dignity."
Emphasis added. That's exactly right. An illustrative echo can be found in the unalienable rights of the Declaration of Independence: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. All are valuable, but there is a hierarchy in reality in what those words describe. You can't have liberty unless you already have life. And you can't pursue happiness unless you already have life + liberty. That's the crucial and full recognition "of the nature of intrinsic evil and its relationship to the common good" which Bishop McElroy talks about but does not define.
Fr. Malloy served as a Salesian of Don Bosco. He was the Provincial of the Western and then Eastern Province of the Salesians.
He was president of Don Bosco Technical Institute in San Gabriel, CA. Former pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Surrey, B.C. and then Saints Peter and Paul Church in San Francisco. From its inception until his death he served as the Chaplain of the Walk for Life West Coast. His final earthly posting was at Salesian High School in Richmond, CA, just a stone's throw from where he was born and raised. At age 91, Fr. John died on Wednesday of Holy Week in the Year of our Lord 2013.
Gibbons J. Cooney served as Fr. Malloy's secretary from 2001-2007 at Saints Peter and Paul, San Francisco, and as Father's assistant blogger.