Monday, October 27, 2008

Deacon Fournier: "Senator Biden, Prop 8, Marriage and the New ‘Know Nothings’"

Deacon Keith Fournier writes at Catholic Online:
... I assert that in our own age there is a new “Know Nothing” movement which really feels the same way, at least as it relates to serious Catholics who refuse to compromise on truth. Ironically, some of its leaders are Catholics themselves. In fact, Catholics in Public Life who openly oppose the infallible teaching of the Church on the dignity of every human life as well as the truth concerning the nature of true marriage.

On June 3, 2003 the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, issued a directive entitled “Considerations regarding Proposals to Give Legal recognition To Unions Between Homosexual persons.” Along with millions of Catholics I received it with gratitude. I remember stopping to pray after my first reading of the document. I thanked the Lord for the clarity, wisdom, pastoral concern, and proper exercise of authority demonstrated by the Catholic Church in addressing one of the most vital issues of our day. The document presented nothing new concerning Marriage and rejected any effort to give equivalent legal status to homosexual unions. It restated the unbroken tradition of the Catholic Christian Church for over two thousand years. It sought to help Bishops and direct Catholics in Public Life: “The present Considerations do not contain new doctrinal elements; they seek rather to reiterate the essential points on this question and provide arguments drawn from reason which could be used by Bishops in preparing more specific interventions, appropriate to the different situations throughout the world, aimed at protecting and promoting the dignity of marriage, the foundation of the family, and the stability of society, of which this institution is a constitutive element. The present Considerations are also intended to give direction to Catholic politicians by indicating the approaches to proposed legislation in this area which would be consistent with Christian conscience”.

***
There is a social and cultural revolutionary movement underway in the United States and beyond. One of its goals is the complete redefinition of the word Marriage and the building of some sort of brave new world. It is led by those on the fringes of the homosexual activist community who want to force legal recognition of homosexual unions and then enforce an equivalency with true marriage using the Police Power of the State. They will stop at nothing less than this legal “equivalency” between homosexual unions and true marriage. In fact, having learned from the evil of the movement to make the taking of innocent life in the womb through abortion “a right”, they are masters with words. They have reframed this anti-marriage movement as a movement for “marriage equality” much like the proponents of abortion succeeded in calling killing the unborn a “choice”. This movement undermines true marriage and the family founded upon it. It is destructive to the civil order and to the common good. However, Catholics must be brutally honest about some in our own house. Purporting to speak for the Church or to promote some “new way”, certain Catholic voices, (some deeply confused or misinformed, others deluded or disingenuous, and still others overtly rebellious) undermine the teaching of our Church, do violence to the truth, cause scandal, injure the common good and put their own souls in jeopardy. The most recent example of this was the action of the candidate for the U.S. Vice Presidency on the Democratic ticket, Senator Joseph Biden. Senator Biden is a Catholic. He appeared on the "Ellen" show, called California Proposition 8 "regressive" and "unfair", indicated he would oppose it if he lived in California and then added that he and running mate Barack Obama opposed a similar initiative nationally.

This was one more example of the infidelity demonstrated by Senator Biden to some of the teaching of his own Church. Already having been corrected for his absolute error in supposedly recounting the Catholic position on when life begins, he has chosen to oppose the Church again on another essential truth, the Catholic commitment to protecting true marriage. He is one of a number of unfaithful Catholic politicians who have already hidden behind a self erected “public/private” dichotomy in rejecting their absolute duty to defend life. They now want to do the same thing by failing to defend true marriage and family. They also engage in sophistry to explain away their error. In taking both of these positions, these Catholic politicians are not only being unfaithful to the truths proclaimed by their own Church, they are undermining the common good. The directive could not have been clearer in speaking to these folks: “When legislation in favor of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral. If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favor of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following ethical indications. When legislation in favor of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.”

***
The Vatican directive made it clear. Just as Catholic politicians MUST unequivocally support the right to life for unborn persons, they must also support true marriage: “When legislation in favor of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral”. Catholics should ask Senator Biden, “What is it about this binding directive from the Holy See that you do not understand?”


[Read the whole thing]
(emphasis in original)

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