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The execrable ‘Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship’ is back May 16, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, priests, scandals, Society.

During the runup to the 2008 election, there was great concern among those who strive to be faithful to the Church in all she believes and proclaims as True, over the “guidance document” the USCCB produced for that election – ‘Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.’  This document was roundly criticized for equivocating on many critical issues, especially the life issues, drawing a false equivolence between torture and the death penalty with abortion.  As a well known (now) Cardinal said at the time, the document was so unclear and so wishy washy that one could conclude that voting for any candidate was acceptable, even the most pro-abort candidate in this nation’s history, Barack Hussein Obama.  Tragically, most Catholics did – about 55%.

In truth, this document is almost pointless – only a tiny percentage of Catholics (about 1%) indicated that they were aware of “Forming Consciences,” and that it would impact their voting practices.  But as a matter of principle, I, and many others, were very disheartened to learn that the USCCB planned to stand pat with the current, equivocating document, instead of producing an updated voting guide which would clarify things like the absolute requirement to oppose any candidate who supports keeping abortion legal.

I don’t know if this was a diocesan requirement, or simply something a local parish decided to do, but I found a 2 page condensed version of ‘Forming Consciences’ in a bulletin this week.  I want to discuss, and I mean fisk, the section on “The Right to Life and the Dignity of the Human Person.”  The text from the document is this:

Human life is sacred. Direct attacks on innocent human beings are never morally acceptable. Within our society, life is under direct attack from abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, and destruction of human embryos from research.  These intrinsic evils must always be opposed.  This teaching also compels us as Catholics to oppose genocide, torture, unjust war, adn the use of the death penalty, as well as to pursue peace and help overcome poverty, racism, and other conditions that demean human life.

The text above was obviously the cobbling together of the views of two radically disparate groups or committees.  The first part sounds like Catholic Doctrine, while the second part sounds like…….something else.  Certainly, Catholics are to oppose genocide (how is that even a political issue, except in the left wing fever swamps of ’08 who claimed the Iraq War was “genocide”?) and unjust war (which, again, is no longer an issue for this country, unless the bishops now oppose the Afghan War Obama is pursuing with even more vigor than Bush).  “Torture” was also a dog whistle for leftists in 2008.  Once again, Obama’s policies are virtually indistinguishable from Bush’s in that regard – there are still renditions, Guantanamo is still open, and now we have a law that says Obama can kill US citizens without trial!   Practically speaking, for this election, torture, unjust war, and genocide are red herrings – they are non-issues between the candidates.

The bit about overcoming “poverty, racism, and other conditions that demean human life………”……..so, now, racism is equivalent to the murder of millions of the unborn?  Poverty…….what are you talking about?  We were just talking about the sanctity of life, and now you throw in poverty?  Whaaaaa?  There is an entire section on the “preferential option” for the poor.  It is difficult to see these statements regarding poverty and racism as anything but allowing those inclined to vote for pro-abort democrats (or Repubniks) to have a cover for doing so. 

I’ve already shown on this site that the death penalty is an issue that is not in any way, shape, or form equivalent to the evil of abortion.  In point of fact, the Church has always declared – de fide – that the state has the power of the sword and the power to take life.  This ‘Forming Consciences’ document is actually opposing Doctrine in this case, because Catholics are not “compelled” to oppose the death penalty as a matter of faith.  As a prudential matter, recent pontiffs have been opposed, but that is a far different thing than the intrinsic – always and everywhere, without exception – evil of abortion.  There is also the vast gulf between the innocent life of the unborn and the value of the life of a convicted murderer. 

It’s a sad document.  I could fisk virtually every section of it.  If the USCCB had not the wherewithal to produce a new, doctrinally correct document for 2012, they should have at the very least buried this sad excuse for moral guidance in their basement.  Instead, it’s being trotted out again, once again undermining the moral authority of the bishops as they try to oppose the Obamacare contraception mandate.

One final note: it’s interesting that this document would be included in a parish bulletin, given that Bishops Farrell and Vann released a joint statement clarifying that these other issues mentioned above were not equivalent to the evil of abortion.  I have to wonder whose idea this was.

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