Monday, August 25, 2008

Nancy Pelosi v. Roman Catholic Church

I am pretty new at following the activities of the Church. Frankly, I ignored them for most of my life. And I accept full responsibility for any ill effect that that negligence may have had upon the fate of the Church these past fifty years or so.

Frankly, I have been very depressed about it. Sometimes, the Church just doesn't seem to take any action when its enemies fire their blunderbusses.

Today, we started to fire back.

Nancy Pelosi, the imperious Speaker of the do-nothing House of Representatives in the 100th Congress, was interviewed on Meet the Press on Sunday and stated that as an "ardent practicing Catholic" she knew that the Church really had no knowledge or opinion of when life begins. What can you expect from a "catholic" who depends upon abortionists, pornographers, sodomites, and the like for her support as a representative from San Francisco.

This morning, swashbuckling raider, the Church's first line of defense, Bill Donohue of New York's Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights fired his opening salvo, accusing Pelosi of denying what her religion teaches. Obama, Pelosi's candidate for President of the United States, was shifty enough to confess that he wasn't paid to know those things. Pelosi just lied, or demonstrated that she was a bad student. Read it here.

Donohue generally finds himself to be virtually the lone warrior when taking on opponents of the Church. That was not the case today. My morale was greatly raised to read the opinions of the following supporters of the concept of life beginning at conception.

Archbishop Charles Chaput O.S.F. Cap. of Denver, the site of the Democratic Convention taking place right now, blasted Pelosi for her Meet the Press statement in his statement entitled "On the Separation of Sense and State." Father John Zuhlsdorf (Father "Z") comments on the Catholic News Agency's reporting on it here.

Abp. Chaput, challenged Pelosi's wishful historical view of abortion with names, dates and sources: "Even during the many centuries when Church penal and penitential practice was based on the theory of delayed animation, the condemnation of abortion was never affected by it. Whatever one would want to hold about the time of animation, or when the fetus became a human being in the strict sense of the term, abortion from the time of conception was considered wrong, and the time of animation was never looked on as a moral dividing line between permissible and impermissible abortion.”

"Ardent, practicing Catholics [Pelosi's description of herself]
will quickly learn from the historical record that from apostolic times, the Christian tradition overwhelmingly held that abortion was grievously evil."

We now know with biological certainty
exactly when human life begins. Thus, today’s religious alibis for abortion and a so-called ‘right to choose’ are nothing more than that – alibis that break radically with historic Christian and Catholic belief.”

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of the National Review Online, published her thoughts on Pelosi's Meet the Press appearance, supporting Archbishop Chaput and pointing out that while Pelosi seems to doubt the dogma of transubstantion, whereby the substance of the bread and wine in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass indeed become the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ and her personal catechism would make the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court abortion decision a sacred doctrine, to be treated as a dogma. Father "Z" comments on Lopez' column here.

Radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh spent an hour going over Pelosi's appearance. Spluttering in an attempt to describe Pelosi's statement, he said he has "often wondered, is she genuinely this uneducated, uninformed, silly, stupid, whatever—and I’ve concluded there isn’t a word to describe the status of her brain."

Columnist Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal wrote on Barack Obama's "pay grade" obfuscation when asked about when life begins. Her comments are still echoing around the battlefield of Archbishop Chaput, Donohue, Lopez and Limbaugh, firing off not a few zingers.

"How about "Let the baby live?. . . We know when life begins. Everyone who ever bought a pack of condoms knows when life begins. To put it another way, with conception something begins. What do you think it is? A car? A 1948 Buick? If you want to argue whether legal abortion is morally defensible, have at it and go to it, but Mr. Obama's answers here seemed to me strange and disturbing."

Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia and Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, speaking for the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops also quickly released a statement, that, among other things, contained this:

"The Church has always taught that human life deserves respect from its very beginning and that procured abortion is a grave moral evil. In the Middle Ages, uninformed and inadequate theories about embryology led some theologians to speculate that specifically human life capable of receiving an immortal soul may not exist until a few weeks into pregnancy. While in canon law these theories led to a distinction in penalties between very early and later abortions, the Church’s moral teaching never justified or permitted abortion at any stage of development. These mistaken biological theories became obsolete over 150 years ago when scientists discovered that a new human individual comes into being from the union of sperm and egg at fertilization." Rocco Palmo

Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., released the following statement:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear: the current teaching of the Catholic Church on human life and abortion is the same teaching as it was 2,000 years ago. The Catechism reads:

“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception…Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.” (Catechism, 2270-2271)
Rocco Palmo

I'm feeling much better about the Church in its role as combattant tonight! How about you?


Margaret said...

Don't forget Minnesota's own Ed Morrissey's post here

which Limbaugh used as the basis for his criticism of Pelosi.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Margaret!

I did see a link to that and forgot to follow it. Is that "Captain Ed?"

Does he have a new website?

Margaret said...

Yes, Ed no longer blogs at captain's quarters he has joined the group blog over at