On heels of Biden win, bishops to debate Catholics in public life

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c. 2008 Religion News Service WASHINGTON _ Last November, the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved a set of guidelines for Catholics to consider before they went to the voting booth. Only four bishops voted against the 36-page document, called “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.” Then came the 2008 election. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and […]

  • Stella

    Excuse me? What the H.ll is there to debate?? Uphold Church teaching. That’s what Shepherds are supposed to do. Unfortunately, we are suffering with some bishops who do not have to courage to do what their positions calls them to do. And we in the pews know it.

  • Mike

    We the people in the pew are not as stupid as our priests think we are nor are we as complacent. Simply put, abortion is a MORTAL SIN. Yes prelates, do say those words, MORTAL SIN. When in the state of MORTAL SIN, one cannot approach the Holy Eucharist and thus commit a sacrilege. If a prelate allows public figures to receive the Holy Eucharist and scandalize the faithful, it demonstrates that the prelates are no longer interested in SAVING SOULS, and also the MORTAL SIN becomes their own besides. TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN, MUCH WILL BE REQUIRED. Priests and prelates, it’s time to PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH! From the Sacred Scriptures…Ezekiel 3 (17-18)..”Thus the word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel. When you hear a word from my mouth, you shall warn them for me. If I say to the wicked man you shall surely die, and you do not warn him, or speak out to dissuade him from his wicked conduct so that he may live, that wicked man shall die for his sin, BUT I WILL HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS DEATH”.

  • sarah

    It isn’t as if the bishops haven’t been keystone copping it for years and years. Every document that has been designed to correct flaws or present “catholic” teaching more clearly has been filled with loopholes big enough to drive a team of horses through. And yes, the laity knows it and some who cared enough have begged and pleaded with the bishops to “shape up”. The rest just tuned out. If we can figure it out, why can’t they, who have all the grace of their vocation, and are certainly not stupid or uneducated. The uncertain trumpets of the shepherds have betrayed and misled the poor scattered sheep.

  • Diane-Marie

    These pro-abortion so-called Catholics should be denied the Body and Blood of Christ and if they leave the church…so be it. Even our Holy father, Pope Benedict, said the church would be stronger if there were smaller numbers of stronger Catholics than large numbers of waivering ones. This is a no-brainer. These liberal Bishops should be replaced and I wish the Holy Father would do that. We need true priests and Bishops that will adhere to Catholic teaching and there is no compromise.

  • EVE

    I agree with Sarah and with Mike, The Shepherds of the Catholic Church had better get there act together. There CANNOT BE THREE DIVISON OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. If those Bishop do not have the back bone to do what is call from them, may be they should join the American Catholic Church
    there every thing and any thing goes, do not need a back bone. Those Bishop WHO DO HAVE A BACK BONE, need to bring this issue up, it will take a lot courage, but neither we are Roman Catholic or we are not, there cannot be both. OH DO WE ALL NEED TO PRAY AND HARD AND FAST! There will be a split in the Church, It is here, What will our Bishop do?

  • Kevin

    Here’s an idea… TEACH THE FAITH!!!! From grade 1 through adult catechesis.

  • Olivia

    I would much prefer that these bishops be strict with the enforcement of Catholic doctrine and dispatch a few of these politicians so the rest will learn from their example. To be truly Roman Catholic means to follow the doctrine ENTIRELY!

  • s’port

    The bishops are out of time. This election was their last chance. They have no credibility left. Everyone one is on their own now. No one wants to hear their marshmellow ambiguities any more. The only consolation is that bishop-priests and plain-priests can still confect valid sacraments even when in mortal sin, which is how serious their sins of omission and scandal and betrayal have become. Yes, they were given much more and from them much, much more is expected, not just from God, but from all us, mere useful idiots to them. I suggest you do minimize your contact with these cowards, but do not forsake the sacraments. DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY MONEY. Let them move to a storefront church. There are many, many places you can give your tithes that are truly holy, courageous, and orthodox. They only find ways to get it to Obama and his ilk anyway, or use it to maintain their sumptuous standard of living. When they are ready to repent, convert, humble themselves, and make restitution — and back it up with actions — then they can come back. Until then, work around them the best you can; they are the enemy. Read Ezekial 34; it describes these weaklings to a “T” and tells you who to wait for and who to accept as your true shepherd. One final suggestion: disband the USCCB; no longer let them hide in plain site under its umbrella. Have a blessed day!

  • s’port

    An afterthought:

    “If you don’t do anything, you make no mistakes, and nobody gets upset with you.” — Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Diocese of Venice, FL

    I’m sure he has no problem getting his people up at 4 in the morning to “kill” to follow him. Does your bishop sound like this one too? I know mine does. I give him NO money, no time, no talent.

  • taad

    The line in the sand is coming. We are facing the Freedom of Choice Act. I say the bishops need to set the standard on this one. If any Catholic Politician votes for ANY PART of the FOCA, it should be a public excommunication. Period. Don’t let them try to work this one. The end game of the Freedom of Choice Act is not to pass the entire bill, but just certain parts of it. That way they can say they voted pro-life. Watch and see, it’s a bait and switch.

  • Dinie Reid

    We, the laity, scold the bishops for not taking a stronger stand on educating Catholics on the evils of voting for pro-abortionists politicians. However, not much has been said in holding priests accountable for THEIR silence. Priests are in much closer contact with Catholics than Bishops. I talked with many Catholics and I hear a similiar story. Why are the priest so cowardly in preaching to their congregations on the sins of voting for pro-abortion politicians? What a scandal this is in our Catholic Church! They will be answerable to God some day!

  • Unkle Zen

    It is seriously laughable what Biden and Pelosi propose. How dare those two think they have the spiritual and moral authority and insight to contradict The Bible. They should be thrown out of the church.

    Look, there are lots of churches that support Pro-Choice….they should find one and join up. But if you have the conviction and desire to call yourself a Catholic then stick to the dogma…..and how they DARE cross the threshold of a Catholic Church and take part in Communion with their hearts filled with sin. If you don’t have the faith, fortitude, strenght and conviction to follow the principles of the Catholic faith….then take your pathetic obfuscations to another whore house of worship.

    Shame on them for thinking they are on par with God…..they need to repent…..

  • Joe Mama

    Excuse me Your Excellency Archbishop Myers,
    if you think the problem is NOT with the document “faithful Citizenship”, then you obviously have not read it or do not understand the issue. How can something go for PAGES without describing the basic tenet of “the conscience”, the basic evil of abortion, and the inherent clean divide between a RIGHT choice and a WRONG choice? How can it do all that and NOT be THE VERY ROOT of the problem?

  • JWDT

    Leaders who do not display and or command leadership are not leaders. Bishops are our spiritual and moral leaders. Most have shown little or no public homage to Christ the King, therefore they have uncrowned Him for us. I pray for our Bishops and Priests to do and say the correct thing. Unfortunately, they all seem to follow something else, not sure what it is. As for Archbishop Meyer’s analogy of the Faithful Citizen to the 2nd Vatican Council and the many different interpretations that followed….how appropriate, the one document/council all claim to follow, but do not heed, kind of makes you wonder if either no one truly believes in it or either part of the analogy has anything to offer.

  • Anne

    Perhaps it might be insightful to carefully consider these quotes regarding the sanctity of life. Yes, the Fathers of the Church actually didn’t have a problem speaking out!

    Quotations from the early Church Fathers
    on the Sanctity of Human Life

    The Didache ca 120 AD
    “Thou shalt not murder a child by abortion.” 2:2
    “The Way of Death is filled with people who are … murderers of children and abortionists of God’s creatures.” 5:1-2

    The Epistle or Barnabas ca 125 AD
    “Thou shalt love thy neighbor more than thy own life. Thou shalt not murder a child by abortion.” 19:5

    The Apocalypse of Peter ca 135
    “I saw a gorge in which the discharge and excrement of the tortured ran down and became like a lake. There sat women, and the discharge came up to their throats; and opposite them sat many children, who were born prematurely, weeping. And from them went forth rays of fire and smote the women on the eyes. These were those who produced children outside of marriage and who procured abortions.” -26
    “Those who slew the unborn children will be tortured forever, for God wills it to so.” -2:264

    Clement of Alexandria ca 150-180
    “Our whole life can go on in observation of the laws of nature, if we gain dominion over our desires from the beginning and if we do not kill, by various means of a perverse art, the human offspring, born according to the designs of divine providence; for these women who, if order to hide their immorality, use abortive drugs which expel the child completely dead, abort at the same time their own human feelings.” -Paedagogus 2

    St. Athenagoras ca 765

    “We say that women who induce abortions are murderers, and will have to give account of it to God. For the same person, would not regard the child in the womb as a living being and therefore an object of God’s care and then kill it…. But we are altogether consistent in our conduct. We obey reason and do not override it.” -Legatio 35

    Tertullian ca 160-240
    “For us [Christians] we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb, while as yet the human being derives blood from other parts of the body for its sustenance. To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter when you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to birth. That is a man which is going to be one: you have the fruit already in the seed.” -Apology 9:6
    “They [John and Jesus] were both alive while still in the womb. Elizabeth rejoiced as the infant leaped in her womb; Mary glorifies the Lord because Christ within inspired her. Each mother recognizes her child and is known by her child who is alive, being not merely souls but also spirits.”
    -De A ninta 26:4

    Nlititicilis Felix ca 180-225
    “There are women who swallow drugs to stifle in their own womb the beginnings of a man to be – committing infanticide before they even give birth to the infant.” -Octavius

    St. Hippolytus ca 170-236
    “Reputed believes began to resort to drugs for producing Sterility and to gird themselves round, so as to expel what was conceived on account of their not wanting to have a child either by a slave or by any paltry fellow, for the sake of their family and excessive wealth. Behold, into how great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by inculcating adultery and murder at the same time.” -Refutation of all Heresies 9:7

    Council of Eivira ca 305
    “If a woman becomes pregnant by committing adultery, While her husband is absent, and after the act she destroys the child, it is proper to keep her from communion until death, because she has doubled her crime.” -Canon 63

    St. Basil the Great ca 330-379
    “She who has deliberately destroyed a fetus has to pay the penalty of murder…. here it is not only the child to be born that is vindicated, but also the woman herself who made an attempt against her own life, because usually the women die in such attempts. Furthermore, added to this is the destruction of the child, another murder.” -Letter 188:2
    “Moreover, those, too, who give drugs causing abortion are deliberate murderers themselves, as well as those receiving the poison which kills the- fetus.” -Letter 188:2

    St. Ambrose of Milan ca 339-397
    The wealthy, in order that their inheritance may not be divided among several, deny in the very womb their own progeny. By use of’ parricidal mixtures they snuff out the fruit of their wombs in the genital organs themselves. In this way life is taken away before it is born …. Who except man himself has taught us ways of repudiating children?” -Hexameron

    St. Jerome ca 342-420
    “They drink potions to ensure sterility and are guilty of murdering a human being not yet conceived. Some, when they learn that they are with child through sin, practice abortion by the use of drugs. Frequently they die themselves and are brought before the rulers of the lower world guilty of three crimes: suicide, adultery against Christ, and murder of an unborn child.” -Letter 22:13

    The Apostolic Constitutions ca 380
    “Thou shalt not slay the child by causing abortion, nor kill that which is begotten. For everything that is shaped, and his received a soul from God, if slain, it shall be avenged, as being unjustly destroyed.” ,-7:3

    St. John Chrysostom ca 340-407
    “Why sow where the ground makes it its care to destroy the fruit? Where there are many efforts at abortion? Where there is murder before the birth? For you do not even let the harlot remain a mere harlot, but make her a murderer also. You see how drunkenness leads to whoredom, whoredom to adultery, adultery to murder; or rather something even worse than murder. For I have no real name to give it, since it does not destroy the thing born but prevents its being born. Why then do you abuse the gift of God and fight with His laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the place of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter? -Homily 24 on Romans

    For those who would say that the very early Church was silent on the question of abortion, even the few select quotations quoted above from the Church Fathers give witness to the contrary.

    Remember and reflect on these beautiful words of the Bible –
    “I knew you before you were even in the womb…..” In eternal splendor, before the dawn of light on earth, I have begotten you; From the womb before the dawn I begot you (Psalm 110); In the beginning; before time began, the Word was God; In Him everything in heaven and on earth was created, things visible and invisible (Col. 1:12-20); All were created through Him, all were created for Him, and in Him everything continues in being; The Eternal Life that was present to the Father and visible to us (1 John 1). There can be no greater Love than this!

  • Martha

    Beautiful, Anne! I am going to copy the information you provided for future reference if it is o.k. with you.

    Our Lady of Guadalupe, save the little ones.

  • Bryan

    Not to be trivial, I recall a line from the movie of the Scarlet Pimpernel with Leslie Howard. Sir Percy made a comment that I think applies to the Rev. Reese’s summation that “I don’t think it will be all that bad…”. Sir Percy said ” There is nothing so bad, as something that is not so bad.” Amid all the good scripture quoted in these comments sometimes a simple statement can sum up the polite accomadtions our bishops and clergy would make to avoid controversy or difficult decisions.

  • Ursula Huber Rea

    I pray that our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, will issue a formal statement to put any doubt to rest. Yes, we were given free will by our Savior and God – but the Church with few who follow His teachings is a better church than one which takes no stand. Thank you Anne – I, too, will save your wonderful e-mail. God bless us all.

  • Barb

    The consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the pope and all the bishops of the world in union with him would bring us the end of these legalized evils. That is the only way the peace promised us would come about.

  • Jeff Johnson, Collegeville

    This election is a heartbreaking disaster. Pro life initiatives all across the map were all defeated.

    Last Tuesday, America took several large steps away from Christ, and to my horror millions of Catholics forgot who they were, and voted to continue the dark bloodshed that is abortion.

    We all learn at Garabandal Spain in the early sixties that many priests, bishops and cardinals are leading souls to perdition, and this is precisely what happened here.

    May God have mercy on this once great country.

  • Joe

    Everybody, cheer up! All hope is not lost. The relentless pendulum will now swing back.

    We should do everything possible to limit the damage the next two years, while working to engineer the most brutal sweep of the Democrats and abortionists as is possible in the 2010 midterm elections.

    We did it in 1994 with Bill Clinton and we can do it again this time, perhaps even on a larger scale.

  • Carolyn

    We, as Caholics, pray for an end to the scourge of abortion, and then, in the time of this recent election when there are Democrats who are absolutely pro-abortion, and even blantantly insist that there is no sin – and publicly testify to the fact that there is no sin – then we, as Catholics, are told that there is no problem in voting for a political candidate – Democrats- who are for abortion.

    This is a mystery to me. And further more there is scandal.

    I totally applaud those American Bishops who courageously spoke the truth, and humbly pray that these, and ALL, Bishops will continue to say the truth: that abortion is the killing of unborn children, and a sin.

    I agree with the comments of fellow Catholics, that there needs to be the teaching of truth in our Churches.

    It is the TRUTH that will make us FREE.

  • Richard Blanchard

    I keep reading that the Catholic vote was 45% to 50% for “that man”…
    The reasoning given is a fairly pat response. The teaching of the Church is not accepted. The bishops teaching authority is not accepted. The confusion of the statement by the USCCB on the issue voting for a pro-abotion candidate and so on.

    The real meat of the matter is this. It is time that the Holy Father, the Bishops,and the priests stress over and over that the fundamental aspect of the whole of the Catholic Faith. And what is this?

    On matters of faith and morals it is God, the Father, speaking thur Christ His Son and guidance of the Holy Spirit, who teaches all of us from the Pope down to the lowliest of the faithful. When one does not accept a teaching of the Holy Father, the bishops in union with the Holy Father, one is really not accepting what God is teaching. And if this is the case, then the line ought to be drawn in the sand.——All who accept God’s teaching, live in the community of His Church. All who do not, then leave. Find a life elsewhere. In the meantime, those of us who, by the grace of God do accept His teaching, will pray that somehow those who reject God will come to see the light.

  • jose

    I’ve read most of the comments regarding the decisions the bishops made and the sheep answers .
    Boy would Christ be sad and ashamed for those who wish our new elected be not allowed the sacrament of communion and wish to excommunicated. They also feel that Obama was the worst thing for america.
    Commentors you are hypocrites . You also supported Bush on Iraq and other bush crimes against our constitution which has destroyed lives as you well know. Get your heads out of the sand. Nobody likes abortion. Why makes you the judge. Remember what Jesus said.”judge not less you be judge” Mr Biden made it clear that a women owns her body , not catholic church nor the us government or YOU. In other words MYOB. If they go to hell because of their behavior it’s they who would have made the choice.
    For ones the country has elected a president that can unite this country and the world nations where maybe with mutual understanding and cooperation the proper control and reduction of abortion can be realized. Grow up you devout Catholics.. so we need another Martin Luther to fix the church teachings. Be human and get a life like Jesus wanted you to be. good loving . For those who still want to be bigots..i feel sorry for ya and hope before you die that you will see the light
    God bless america and the real Catholics

  • Diane-Marie

    The new elected as you call them are committing mortal sin receiving the Body and Blood of Christ when they believe and support and will vote on the slaughter of innocent children. The bible says it is better for you to have a millstone tied around your neck and be thrown into the sea than to harm one of his little children. We are also allowed to judge. The Bible says as Christians we must go to the person who has sinned and tell them to repent. If they do not listen bring another person with you and talk to them again. These politicians have been talked to by their Bishops. They still continue their ways. They do have free will to decide to go to hell, but the baby is not the property of a woman. It grows within her, but the Lord knew you before you were formed. The Virgin Mary knew she carried the Savior in her womb and he leapt with joy upon visiting Elizabeth. This unborn child has its own DNA and genetic make-up unlike its mother’s. If abortion is not wrong then why are democrats including Obama saying they will work towards reducing them, which is an oxymoron since they support increasing them through FOCA. Obama is not going to unite us. He is going to divide us even more by his liberalism and the immorality he wants to bring onto us through legislation. Us Devout Catholics as you want to call us are just that. We will stand up for what is right and what Jesus would do. He certainly would not stand by and watch one of his dear innocents be torn apart, burned alive or partially born and killed.
    Martin Luther did not fix the church as you state. He left the church and now his mess has made hundreds of separate denominations with no clear unity. The Catholic Church has stayed solid for 2000 years. May God Bless you and May God give you understanding in your errors.

  • Barbara Giordano

    Why would a Bishop deny the Body of Christ to someone who profanes Him with their public words? Why “make a scene”?
    Not ONLY is our mission to teach and guard the deposit of faith; it is also to Remember and Celebrate and Preserve and Cherish the One Who Lives among us in Eucharist! We cannot allow public belittlement of Him Whom we honor and love and obey. We cannot allow the example to be set, we cannot condone profanity under the guise of ‘tolerance’.

    I would never stand by and allow someone to spit on my mother or my father or my brother or sister. Shall we allow dissenting politicians to do the same to Jesus, in front of the entire Family of God? I say: Never. Bishops: Please say the same!!!

  • rr

    Hitler had the gas chambers. Lenin/Stalin had the Gulag, and starvation camps. The Modern era has slice/dice abortion mills. All acts of Satan and his minions. Jesus our Savior was a union of sperm-a one celled living organism, coming supernaturally from the Holy Ghost(The Holy Ghost came upon her)and egg of a virginal woman needing union-Life! God begotten, not made, but in the virginal womb growing towards redemption of mankind.

  • gerald wester

    If it is accurate that 54% of Catholics voted for a man who can’t determine when life begins, (above his pay grade) then there is no discernible difference between Catholics and non-Catholics on the life issues. If there is no difference in the outcome then it must follow that our Bishops have failed to establish a case for their continuing in the role of shepherding their flocks. In all faithfulness to their Master, they should be honest enough to admit their collective inability and announce a plan to systematically retire over the next four years so that our Pope can appoint a new breed of bishops who are not afraid to lose their tax exempt status while defending the defenseless in their mothers’ wombs. I won’t hold my breath that anything good will come our of Baltimore just as I wouldn’t expect a diseased tree to yield healthy fruit. But retirement is a morally authentic option and should be considered.

  • Steve Katz

    “I pray that our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, will issue a formal statement to put any doubt to rest.”

    Fat chance, Ursala, because our “Holy” Father is even worse than his timid, feckless bishops!! The day after the election, the Vatican’s OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER ran a glowing front page editorial on Obama, praising Americans for making “a choice that unites.” Can you believe this gibberish, coming straight from the Vatican: “America proved that it…is truly the land where anything can be achieved. America is truly the land of the new frontier, a frontier ever new and dynamic, able to conquer fractions and divisions that even a short while ago appeared insurmountable.”

    If that not enough, THE HOLY FATHER HIMSELF sent Obama a congratulatory message on the night of the election!! Does he not realize this is THE SAME AS congratulating HITLER or STALIN!!!???

    How can we possible have hope for our bishops when the “Vicar of Christ” is working for the OTHER SIDE?!!

  • Bill Brown

    When divine light is not present in a soul darkness is.

  • jose

    Dear saint Diane-Marie
    Kudos on your reply to my comments..you will hear from me in a couple of days while i consult my angel. Please when you refer to bible sayings , include the chapter etc. so i can verify what you quoted..it should be at the tip of your tongue you devout catholic

  • Diane-Marie

    Dear Jose,
    I think it is great you consult with your angel. We all have a guardian angel and it pleases me that you hold yours in high regard.
    I did not include the Bible verses because I wrongly assumed by the way you were writing that you would know them. Here they are….Mark 9:42 in the American Standard version of the Bible states that “Whoever causes one of these little ones to stumble, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” As far as going to a person who sins check out Matthew 18:15-17…In Matthew 18 Jesus talks about if you have animosity between you and your brother, you ought to go to them. And, matter of fact, let me see, you can go to verse 15: Moreover if your brother shall trespass against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he will hear you, you have gained your brother; but if he will not hear you – now he might say ‘you’re judging me’, but Jesus doesn’t say that – Instead he says if he will not hear you, take with you one or two more representatives from the church, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word might be established. If he neglects to hear them, tell it to the church. If he neglects to hear the church, let him be a heathen or an infidel, a publican. He’s to be cast out in other words. As far as the Lord knowing you before you were born: Check out Jeremiah 1:5
    “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” As far as John the Baptist leaping in the womb at the visitation of Jesus in the womb of Mary…check out Luke 1:41-44
    Jesus had to be somewhere within the first trimester of pregnancy the time when 88 percent of the abortions in our nation are performed when John “leapt in the womb” at the arrival of the Savior.
    As far as profaning Christ by receiving the Holy Eucharist under sin check out 1Corintihians 11:27-29 “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.
    As a closing note I would never and have never thought of myself as a saint, but I am devout. If you look in the dictionary you will find devout means deeply religious; “a god-fearing and law-abiding people”
    It also means sincere and reverent. I do not know why you would think calling someone “Devout” would be an insult. I am proud of that. The Bible scriptures I just quoted you were are at the tip of my tongue. That is where I get my strength…The Lord and the Word of God. May God Bless you

  • Alexandra

    Church from State. But then again who really cares anymore right? I personally believe it’s not anyone’s right to tell women what they can do to their body. It’s your belief, keep it that way.

  • Alexandra, hello. God has spoken to you about how to treat yourself, His child. No, it is not your body in the end. Always His. Although He did give you Free Will to do as you please and to follow anyone. It’s not just my/our belief, it’s the fact. May I ask what brought you to this discussion group? Your comment implies that you don’t care any more about…..? People do care – it may just seem fashionable from time to time to act as if we don’t. Been there, done that. Hugs, and prayers. Ursula