Sunday, November 4, 2012

Are You a Catholic Hypocrite?

 The Challenge of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

Healing The Blind Man by Edy Legrand.
I'm a Catholic convert. That means I came into the Roman Catholic Church voluntarily as an adult rather than being born in the Church. I came into the Church during the the Easter Vigil, 1998, shortly after receiving my Ph.D. which was a significant component and part of the process of my embracing Catholicism. My doctoral research that led to my dissertation involved the study and formalization of informal logic, or fallacy logic. The dissertation has nothing to do with theology or Christian doctrine. But there were unintended consequences. The 3+ years of research and writing revealed to me the inconsistency of Protestant theology and gave me historical names and theories of reason and faith that surprisingly and suddenly marginalized the rubrics (and some central doctrines) of Protestantism. It's not my intent to go into those here, as I've discussed them other places, most notably in my 26 biographical posts on logic at Trying to Fly With One Wing.

 You Can't Promote Evil Doers and Be Catholic

One of the things I learned is that you can't really call yourself Catholic when you disagree with the teachings and declared positions of the Church. When you disagree with the Church's stance on teachings, doctrine, or public policy you in effect become a "protester" — the root concept behind Protestantism. I once had a pastor-priest (now retired, thankfully) that supported (quietly but clearly) the ordination of women and homosexual marriage, and publicly railed in homilies on the lack of charitable giving by the United States to those in need overseas. He refused to be corrected that the U.S. gave more to humanitarian efforts than the next ten national combined, and that in times of crises U.S. private giving always topped the government's contributions. On the grave moral issues he kept is opinions quiet in the pulpit, but privately he'd make his opinion known. We left that parish. He was a Protestant and he should not have been a Catholic priest. He was a Catholic Hypocrite.

This Election (November 6, 2012)

This election brings to the forefront (to those that want to truthfully engage themselves with the Church) the issue of voting with a well-formed conscience for candidates that support issues with grave moral consequences. My wife and I have met and communicated with both Catholic laypeople and Catholic ordained leaders, who seem to believe they can be authentically Catholic and ignore or even despise what the Church teaches about our responsibilities as Catholic in society. These people, even the ordained, are Catholic Hypocrites.

A downloadable mp3 audio message from the Michigan Catholic Conference on Faithful Citizenship begins this way:
As Catholics we have the responsibility to vote with a well-formed conscience. On Tuesday November 6, Michigan Catholics will vote for politicians and issues that will shape the moral fiber of our state and country. ... Legislators write laws that impact our families and the common good. etc. ...defending human life and religious liberty are critical.
There are numerous efforts by the Church, in print,  in homilies and public forums that clearly inform consciences that there are some issues that are more important than others, just as all sins ARE NOT the same in weight and consequence. Some are gravely morally evil, and others are minor in nature.

Three Grave Moral Evils

Among the three gravely moral evils that the Church tells us must guide our voting are:
a. Protection of life, from conception to natural death. (abortion)
b. The sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman (homosexual "marriage")
c. Repressing religious liberties (regulations that force the Church to sin)
Those three issues are not negotiable or debatable in their intrinsic evil. The current Democrat platform and this administration's support of abortion, gay marriage, and their active infringement on religious liberties by requiring Church institutions to violate their moral conscience with respect to "life" issues are gravely and intrinsically evil. The Republican platform protects life, marriage and religious liberties. What is not considered gravely evil, or even wrong, are the policies of the Republican party to care for the poor through an emphasis on personal responsibility while keeping in place various safety nets for the destitute. Yet, some Catholic leaders and laypersons ignore the grave evils promoted by the Democratic platform and hide behind a pretense that Republicans repress the poor and minorities, as if being rich was the greater evil.

Laissez-faire Capitalism is Good for the Poor

In other posts I've deconstructed this fallacious notion that the rich are bad and hurt the poor. It is the rich that pay for the welfare state through taxes (90% of the tax base is paid by the rich), it is the rich that support benevolent institutions charities and Churches, it is the rich that create jobs.  And it is the rich that see it as their personal responsibility to be generous not the governments.  Indeed, if more of the capable poor were to form their conscious to think like the rich, they'd cease to be poor.  I've written elsewhere on the Rich vs. the Poor. I also recommend the writings of Ayn Rand, particularly Atlas Shrugged to further proof that Laissez-faire capitalism does more for the poor than any government every can.

Do Good and Avoid Evil

In the PDF link at the top of this post, and here (The Challenge of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship) under the heading DOING GOOD AND AVOIDING EVIL you'll find this:
As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate’s position on a
single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support. Yet 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.
Your Choice: Fight Evil or Be Tolerant of Evil

If you are a Catholic, especially one that has heard this message in sermons, or been exposed to the bulletin insert linked above, and particularly if you are a priest or deacon, if you vote for candidates whose platforms endorse abortion, gay marriage, or the restriction of religious liberties by forcing sinful acts on religious institutions and individuals... you are a hypocrite. There will be consequences in this life and the next for all of our actions that are contrary to Natural Law, Biblical teachings, and particularly if you refuse to form your conscience in according with what is good, true, and beautiful.

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