Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Desperate Foolable Nonsense

The Curt Jester on "Unformed Conscience"
Paul has some good commentary on the statement of Fifty-five Catholic who are Democrats (or is that Democrats who are Catholic) and members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

E.J. Dionne Jr. writes:
What's significant is that this is not a statement from pro-choice Catholics trying to "reframe" the abortion question. The signatories include some of the staunchest opponents of abortion in the House, including Reps. Bart Stupak, Dale Kildee, Tim Holden, James Oberstar and James Langevin.

In other words, Democrats on both sides of the abortion question worry that it is crowding out all other concerns. And in very polite language, the Catholic Democrats suggest that their bishops allow them some room to disagree. "In all these issues, we seek the church's guidance and assistance but believe also in the primacy of conscience," they write in an echo of Kennedy. "In recognizing the church's role in providing moral leadership, we acknowledge and accept the tension that comes from being in disagreement with the church in some areas."
Have you ever heard "primacy of conscience" invoked which wasn't immediately followed by some excuse to deny some part of the Catholic faith? Definitely at odds with Blessed John Cardinal Newman's "the voice of God in the nature and heart of man " The voice of God does not say that you can murder his children.
While I share the Jester's outrage, I can't say I'm surprised. This latest shell game by Foolables desperate to carry Moloch-Worshippers' water illustrates one of the Church's longest internal struggles. That would be between the conflict between the complementary authorities of ecclesial and secular leaders. Once again, secular leaders want to decide the internal matters of the Catholic Church, even though they have no charism or legitimacy to do so. Of course, they have to frame it as a "religious liberty" issue and make it about "separation of Church and State."

What this is about is reclaiming the Catholic vote. Seeing all of reality through the paradigm of politics, the Democratic Representatives look at their 2006 dilemna. They lost 55% of the weekly church-going Catholic vote. They desperately need that back if they're to reclaim Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008. They look at the USCCB, the various positions the conference and its like-minded fellow travelers like Network, and they figure, "Hey, we agree with them on more than we disagree. Surely, we can shake them into some kind of compromise." Thus, they now release the latest saber rattle. They long for the US Bishops to let them flaunt clear moral teaching and 2,000 years of witness, and yet still call themselves Catholics in good standing.

All this will accomplish is to harden the resolve of those enspined Bishops--and perhaps poor some steel down the backs of others. The Congressional Democrats that signed this proclaimation effectively demand the right to usurp the Bishops' just authority to lead and teach the Faithful. I don't think too many Bishops will be in a hurry to aid and abett them.

These Foolables can bleah all they want. They won't get to embrace their Catholicism as a political marketing tool. Communion with Christ in his Body is worth far too much to cheapen it with such theatrics. May they understand that someday.