Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Bishop Plays Football
Yep, another end-run around Church Teaching

Just when I thought that things were turning around in my old hometown diocese of San Diego... I read the fine print. Looks like Bishop Brom is up to his old tricks of bait and switch.

As I was reading this article from The California Catholic Daily, I was actually heartened about what I was reading. Believe it or not, I was going to do a glowing post on what Bishop Brom has ordered. That is, like I said, until I read the fine print.

Here's some of the article; (emphasis mine) Candidates we cannot “take seriously”
San Diego diocese’s voter’s guide gives little leeway in voting for candidates who support “intrinsic evils”

The Office for Social Ministry of the diocese of San Diego came out with a voter’s guide this month. The guide, "
As a Catholic … How Do I Decide?" says it “does not tell an individual how to vote,” but helps “users form their consciences so that they can make sound moral choices.” The guide has several sections, each dealing with a different area of political and social concern: “Protecting Human Life,” “Marriage and Family,” “Protecting Immigrants and Refugees,” (I wonder if 2241 of the Catechism was even mentioned? You know, the section that says that a nation has the right to control immigration, and that immigrants are obliged to obey the laws of their new nation. No, it wasn't.) “Protecting Workers and Working Poor Families,” “Promoting Health Care,” “Safe and Affordable Housing,” “Protecting Families from the Harm of Pornography,” and “Promoting Global Solidarity. ("Global Solidarity"? Will everyone join me in a rousing chorus of L'Internationale?)

“Protecting Human Life” is by far the longest section of the guide. To the question, “Can a Catholic vote for a candidate who supports abortion, euthanasia, or embryonic stem cell research, that are clearly intrinsic evils?” the guide first responds with the November U.S. bishops’ document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship -- but then itself gives a more uncompromising explanation of it. “A candidate’s position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support,” said the bishops. Immediately following this statement, the San Diego diocesan guide adds, “Put simply, protecting human life is paramount in the political arena, and some evils are so profound and egregious that a reasonable person can not take seriously the candidacy of a person who allows or fosters them.” (I sure was impressed by what I had read so far. Until I read the next paragraph...)

The guide gives the example of a candidate “that was right on every issue except for one. Let’s say, because a candidate was so focused on the safety of constituents, that he or she supported and would work for the use of capital punishment for anyone over the age of 16 that was involved in gang membership or gang criminal activity. “Would or could a voter take seriously a politician supporting this position no matter how ‘right’ he or she was on a host of other issues? Obviously not,” says the guide.
Anyone remember Five Non-Negotiables? In case anyone forgot, they're:
1. Abortion
2. Euthanasia
3. Embryonic Stem Cell Research
4. Human Cloning
5. Homosexual “Marriage”

And no, you don't have to do a double-take. The death penalty isn't listed, no matter what the Office of Social Ministry of San Diego says. Why do they have to do this collusion... this purposeful heavy dose of authentic Catholic teaching, and insert an outright falsehood giving it the impression that it IS authentic Catholic teaching? Please... stop trying to equate helpless unborn children with sadistic killers.

By the way... how many millions has Bishop Brom had to pay out for protecting rapists? And no, I'm not denying the legitimacy nor the validity of Bishop Brom's episcopacy. I just think he's pissed away any and all credibility he ever had. If Bp. Brom REALLY wanted to bring back any credibility to the teaching authority emanating from the Diocese of San Diego... he's step down and allow another to clean-up the disaster he's created.

He's legitimate, just not credible. Kinda like Arius until he finally went off the deep end.


Blogger Patrick said...

I agree with you that the DP is not intrinsic evil. Also I have no great love for Bishop Brom. However, I think you may be misunderstanding what the document says. Read the rest of the sentence.

the use of capital punishment for anyone over the age of 16 that was involved in gang membership or gang criminal activity.

The full sentence does not appear to be referring to capital punishment in general. Rather, it mentions the use of capital punishment for a particular group of people - gang members - for no reason other than the fact they are gang members.

If a candidate for office were to advocate the DP for all people who have red hair and live in New Mexico, we would all agree that they should not be taken seriously. I think that is what this document is trying to say.

1:53 PM  
Blogger DG said...

VSC, grace unto you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

I'm a San Diegan Catholic. I came upon your post here as a subscriber to an search-term ("San Diego") RSS feed generated by CatholicBlogs.com.

I find your post somewhat out-of-line. You're right that Church teaching doesn't place the intrinsic evil of abortion on the same level as the possible evil of capital punishment. You have an excellent point about the Office's letter there: that the writer appears to equate the non-negotiables with the more nuanced teachings.

But the truth remains that Catholics the world over are free to disagree on the morality of the death penalty in all instances. For me as an opponent of capital punishment in California, I think perhaps in more developed nations like our own, this needs to be looked at by many in the pro-life camp with greater Christian charity. See, please, the last paragraph of CCC 2267 which clearly shows that advanced nations should be more careful in using the death penalty. But you're absolutely correct it does not make it black-and-white.

So, as an opponent of capital punishment, does this mean I think the death penalty should be one of Catholics' paramount concerns along with abortion? I would say UNEQUIVOCALLY NO, simply due to the number of deaths we see each year with abortion. But from my perspective (and I believe I am in step with the Church on this), it's not because I don't ALSO despise the state having the authority that is God's own.

Your disillusionment with His Excellency is not unfounded, and I share some of your complaints. I haven't had a chance to read all your posts about him but I pray any personal hurt you have due to his actions (or non-actions) will be healed with time. But he is my vicar and a successor of the apostles, so he is due a level of respect all the same which I don't see in this post.

All said, I think we do not differ too much on our understanding of the teachings of the Church. I personally pray that my tendency toward cafeteria-style religion (or boxing my faith within my own conservative political boundaries, as has been my tendency) is overcome through the grace of God. I pray constantly that I am more Catholic than I am anything else.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit,

(now new regular reader)

4:04 PM  
Blogger Kevin Whiteman said...

I understand what your saying. Hell... I even agree with you to a large degree. What chafes my ass is the context in which they're using it. They slyly throw in the death penalty, giving the impression that we as Catholics must be against it.

I dind what the Diocese of SD did was a bit of bait and switch. Or at least give the impression that we HAVE to be against it.


First off, welcome!

Secondly, as you stated in your posting; See, please, the last paragraph of CCC 2267 which clearly shows that advanced nations should be more careful in using the death penalty. But you're absolutely correct it does not make it black-and-white.

Does that mean that the DP is sinful in America... but not in Bolivia? Since when did sin become dependant upon geography? I'm not trying to be flippant... but do you see what I'm getting at?

And as far as the DP being a "possible evil", well.... that goes for anything that happens to be in the wrong hands. The DP used by an evil government (Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Communist China, et al) most certainly is evil. But as utilized in the US is square with what The Church teaches: rare and only in cases of extreme gravity. By the way, that "modern nations" stuff begins with the word "IF". That's a mighty big if.

Anyhoo, like I said... welcome aboard! It's always good to know there are new Bloglodytes runnin' around!

6:52 PM  

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