Friday, October 03, 2008

Bishop Blair: "Faithful Citizenship Revisited"

Toledo Bishop Leonard P. Blair writes in the October issue of The Catholic Chronicle:
"Faithful Citizenship Revisited"

Written by Leonard P. Blair, Bishop of Toledo
Friday, 03 October 2008

Over the last 30 years or more there has been a great upheaval in the life of our society. Consensus about fundamental moral issues has broken down, for example, with regard to the protection of unborn life and the very definition of marriage and family.

In the Catholic Church this tidal wave of cultural and social change has given rise to a situation in which some people claim to be Roman Catholic and yet dissent from fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church. Sometimes they do this in a public manner that is scandalous, sometimes out of ignorance of what their own church believes and teaches, and other times not.

Recently, in anticipation of the November elections, we have witnessed the spectacle of certain politicians who say they are Catholic yet publicly misrepresent the history and content of church teaching. Our U.S. Bishops’ Conference, as well as several bishops individually, were compelled to respond to this intrusion of politicians into the teaching office of the church.

Lest anyone be misled, it bears repeating that "since the first century the church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion." (Catechism, no. 2271) The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council defined abortion, together with infanticide, as an "unspeakable crime." (Gaudium et Spes, no. 51) And, "while in past centuries biological knowledge was often inaccurate, modern science leaves no excuse for anyone to deny the humanity of an unborn child. Protection of innocent human life is not an imposition of personal religious conviction but a demand of justice." (USCCB, 9/9/08)

As moral teachers and leaders, what we bishops are calling for is a political engagement by the Catholic people "shaped by the moral convictions of well formed consciences and focused on the dignity of every human being, the pursuit of the common good, and the protection of the weak and the vulnerable."

I encourage everyone to consult the bishops’ teaching document Faithful Citizenship on the diocesan or USCCB Web sites. It calls attention to seven key themes of moral concern to the electorate. Not surprisingly, first and fundamental to everything else is the right to life and the dignity of the human person; then the call that everyone has to family, community and participation; the morality of both rights and responsibilities; an option for the poor and vulnerable; the dignity and rights of workers; human, global solidarity; and caring for God’s creation...

[Read the whole thing]
Related election coverage in the October issue of The Catholic Chronicle:
  • Faithful Citizenship
  • Programs educate voters on ‘Faithful Citizenship’
  • Consistent ethic of life encompasses spectrum of issues

  • Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Bishop Blair: "Truly Grave Moral Reasons" and "Serious Moral Soul-Searching" Before "Could Be Morally Permissible" to Vote for Pro-Abortion Candidate

    Bishop Blair Calls Upon Voters to Examine Consciences

    Bishop Blair to Speak on "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship"

    Bishop Blair Urges Toledo-Area Catholics to Reject Domestic-Partner Registry

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    At 10/04/2008 1:11 PM, Blogger Adrienne said...

    How funny. I was just on the diocese website reading a bunch of Bishop Blair's articles. He seems to be rather active and authentically Catholic. That would be a welcome change for us as our present Bishop is a bit “off the page.”

    I have become so enamored of the Old West End of Toledo that my upcoming trip seems like eons away. Norwalk is quite beautiful, too. I shall come and visit you in Norwalk (if that’s ok with you?)


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