Friday, November 14, 2008

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Speaks; Reminds Me They're Lunatics

So, President-Elect Obama has not even taken office yet and he's getting threats from religious groups - play nice or else. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, or NAMBLA for short, has issued a statement. And it wasn't exactly a statement of unabashed congratulations.

The statement...also state[s] that the election was not a referendum on abortion, and will suggest that aggressive abortion-rights polices "would alienate many Americans and be interpreted by many Catholics as an attack on the Church."

An attack on the Catholic Church, you say? Good to know that when your little Papalist sewing circle comes together, you guys don't take things overly personally. But the insanity continues...

"Any one of us here would consider it a privilege to die tomorrow--die tomorrow!--to bring about the end of abortion," Auxiliary Bishop Robert Hermann of St. Louis said during a press conference at the Bishops’ conference in Baltimore.

Good thing we go hunting for religious extremists in Tikrit. They're so hard to find here in America. They're hiding in plain sight - in Baltimore. Although, to be fair, you can send the Army and the National Guard to Anwar Province, but they'll be damned if they're traipsing into the Inner Harbor or Towson. That city is a shithole, yo.

But Bishop Joseph Martino offered a sinister message to the new administration. Martino runs the Popa Nostra in Scranton, PA - and he had a message for Lunchpail Joe Biden: you're pro-choice, then don't come 'round here no mo'.

"I cannot have the vice president coming to Scranton and saying he learned his values there when those values are utterly against those of the Catholic Church," Martino said.

As I had always suspected, the Catholic Church runs Scranton - and with an iron fist, no less. As Bishop Martino makes clear, if you learned your values in Scranton, you learned them from the Catholic Church. Period. Joe Biden is Roman Catholic and grew up in Scranton. Thus, everything Joe Biden knows from his time in Scranton came from the Roman Catholic church. There is simply no possible way that Senator/VP-Elect Biden could have learned something somewhere other than in his pew on Sunday. Frankly, I'm not even sure why he bothered to go to school Monday through Friday. In Scranton, Sunday is the only day that matters where it comes to learning your life-lessons.

Just another message from Crazytown, USA. Peace be with you, and also with you. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

(NOTE: Perhaps Bishop Martino should simply be happy to see one of his own back in the White House, seeing as how Mr. Biden is the first Catholic ever elected to serve as Vice President. You don't see the Muslims dumping on Senator Obama, do you???)


An assist to DP on this one, but apparently in Greenville, South Carolina, if you attend St. Mary's Catholic Church and you voted for Obama, you have some explaining to do. To God, that is.

The priest at St. Mary's Catholic Church in downtown Greenville has told parishioners that those who voted for Barack Obama placed themselves under divine judgment because of his stance on abortion and shouldn't receive Holy Communion until they've done penance.

That sounds to me like any Catholic who voted for O is on the outs with the Trinity. So it must be a small number, right? I mean, even though his running mate was a Catholic, the abortion thing must have been a deal-breaker for all those Papalists out there, right?

At issue for the church locally and nationwide are exit polls showing 54 percent of self-described Catholics voted for Obama, as well as a growing rift in the lifestyle and voting patterns between practicing and non-practicing Catholics.

D'oh! Good thing they didn't call their parishioners who voted Democratic evil or anything though. Kept it respectful-like...

In a letter posted on St. Mary's Web site, Newman wrote that "voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exists constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil."

But Reverend Newman goes on, and I can't even tell you, it's a screamer. I can't upstage the man - let's Warner Wolf it. To the videotape:

Newman calls abortion the "chief battleground" in the so-called culture wars, and different from "prudential" matters such as health care, education or the war on terror. A Catholic who gets an abortion, encourages one or assists in the procedure is automatically excommunicated from the church, Newman said, a penalty he said doesn't apply to other forms of killing.

Now, I want to make sure I read this right: Let's say my mother, a practicing Catholic, drives someone - let's say they're a cracked-out former student who comes to her for help - to the doctor where that woman intends to and then gets an abortion. This would be, arguably, encouraging an abortion. According to Reverend Newman, my mother, who has attended church virtually every week of her life and is actually a real-life believer in the faith (not many of those around these days), worked with handicapped and mentally disabled children as a profession, and - unlike I would wager Reverend Newman - has actually met a Pope, is automatically excommunicated by the Church. However, conversely, let's say she gets tired of my father chewing with his mouth open (which, let's be honest, the whole family is pretty tired of) and stabs him to death with a kitchen knife... she is not automatically excommunicated. She might be, but not a dispositive act. That's what you're saying here? That's what you're selling me? That's the blue plate special today?


Nope, I have nothing else. I'm finished. Turn out the lights when you leave.
(note: I try to avoid bringing my mother into things, but she's a very good example of a practicing, faithful and non-lapsed Catholic who also happens to have a functional brain. Reverend Newman, not as much.)


Defective Pants said...

I will have more on this later, but I'd like to note a few things that do not constitute war on the Catholic church:

-Capital punishment

And the church wonders why people are leaving in droves.

Defective Pants said...

Nonpracticing (does that make me former?) Catholic here, and saddened to see where the church is headed.

It is almost like the Catholic Church is trying to drive people away. As I will link below, the Pope has even said that excommunications for political beliefs are allowed by Canon law. He also, before he was Pope, said that politicians who do not alter their stance or abstain from receiving communion "must" be denied it.

Maybe some priests will choose to ignore Canon law as interpreted by the Pope and stay out of the political pants of their congregation. But the fact that a person can be excommunicated under canon law or denied communion for a political belief is going to do nothing but push more people away.

I think people remain loyal Catholics find great value in the church - what attracts them is the best of its actions, tolerance, inclusiveness and teachings. The benefits that the Catholic faith provides to them far outweigh what church doctrines they disagree with. What I do not think the church realizes is that less and less people are getting the same type of grounding in that faith that long-standing loyal Catholics had. For those people, or people that question their faith because of what they see as the direction of the church, looking past stated doctrines and canon law by relying on the faith that, in practice, denials of communion or excommunication won't happen, just isn't a feasible option. The church is doing itself a disservice by alienating people for political beliefs.

Here's the link to the Church's positions on excommunication and denied communion to pro-choice members.

1. Politicians who support abortion rights risk excommunication from the church and should not receive communion. "Pope Benedict on Wednesday warned Catholic politicians they risked excommunication from the Church and should not receive communion if they support abortion."
The Pope said "Yes, this excommunication was not an arbitrary one but is allowed by Canon (church) law which says that the killing of an innocent child is incompatible with receiving communion, which is receiving the body of Christ," he said about the stance of Church authorities to excommunicate the parliamentarians who supported the vote."

2. Refusing communion to pro-abortion politions is a "doctrine of the church."
The document which appeared in the pages of the Italian paper L'Espresso claiming to be Vatican Cardinal Ratzinger's paper giving direction to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the question of pro-abortion Catholic politicians and communion has been confirmed as authentic. In a letter sent to Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Cardinal Ratzinger confirms he did compose the document "Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion."

In fact, Ratzinger, who heads the most important congregation in the Vatican, says in the letter that the document was to "clarify the doctrine of the Church on this specific issue." In the documents, the Vatican Cardinal noted clearly that pro-abortion politicians, who will not alter their stand or abstain from communion after being instructed by church leaders, "must" be refused communion.

Pat Bateman said...

I want to be excommunicated. How can I make that happen? Especially if I'm not actually a Catholic. It just sounds cool.

"You hear about Bateman? Yeah - excommunicated."

"Really?! No shit!! That's crazy!!"