Peter Kreeft Calls a Spade a Bloody Shovel

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We live in a low, dishonest age where blatant evil is protected with euphemisms.  I take heart whenever anyone stands up against this meretricious trend.  I therefore applaud Dr. Peter Kreeft, Boston College Philosophy Professor and a Catholic convert, for his remarks at a speech sponsored by the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin on the subject of whether a Catholic can be a liberal.  He minced no words when the subject of abortion and the Kennedy clan came up:

During the Q&A, an audience member brought up the Kennedy political  dynasty and how a group of leading theologians and Catholic college professors  had met with Kennedy family members in the mid-1960s and came up with a way for  Catholic politicians to support a pro-abortion rights platform with clear consciences.

Kreeft said these Catholic advisers “told the Kennedys how they could get  away with murder.” Kreeft then made one of his boldest comments of the evening,  suggesting the theologians who first convinced Democratic politicians they could  support abortion rights and remain Catholic did more damage to the Catholic  Church than pedophile priests.

“These were wicked people. These were dishonest people. These were people  who, frankly, loved power more than they loved God,” Kreeft said. “Sorry, that’s  just the way it is. In fact, I’d say these were even worse than the child  molesters — though the immediate damage they did was not as obvious — because  they did it deliberately, it wasn’t a sin of weakness. Sins of power are worse than sins of weakness. Cold, calculating sins — that’s straight from the  devil.”

A few minutes later, the talk over, the crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Go here to read the rest.  Go here for background on this meeting between Catholic theologians and the Kennedy clan.  Keep slugging away pro-lifers, the tide is clearly turning!

15 Responses to Peter Kreeft Calls a Spade a Bloody Shovel

  • Coincidentally, dying milltowns in Massachusetts became a destination for poor immigrants where there was a growth in welfare benefitted lifestyles, with increases for children born to these unmarried beneficiaries. No Mr. & Mrs. or Mother & Father has become commonplace. Gangs of these children form alternate families and battle to the death. Our nation provides not only abortion, but also a means to the destruction of family through legislation. The glamor of evil and its voting block.

  • I love the message — Dr. Kreeft is a great apologist and writer — but was thrown off by the title of this post. To “call a spade a spade” is to call things by their right names without regard for tact or sensibilities, which is what Dr. Kreeft did; am I missing a point or a play on words?

  • it is my way Anthony of underlining what he did. In England that is the way the phrase is expressed and I have always been fond of that usage:

    http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/more/212/

  • Truth!

    God bless Professor Kreeft.

  • Donald
    Your link to the background says that none of the theologians held abortion to be moral but they advised legalization. Could their contradiction revolve around safety. Abortion is never safe for the child …legal or illegal; but illegal abortion is also unsafe for the mother. So could this advice really be rooted in safety though it turned out to be naive in that legalization exponentially increases the number of abortions? But the link has the theologans seeing abortion as immoral not moral. Oddly Augustine and Aquinas held for state’s allowing prostitution lest in Augustine’s view, worse lust takes place…apparently adultery and rape and seduction of non prostitutes. Vatican II seems to have rejected their position though.

  • Very good question, Bill. I do think that whether an immoral act should be criminalized is usually a matter of prudence. But try as I might, I just cannot imagine a justification for the legalization of abortion that does not rely on assigning insufficient gravity to the evil of the act. There is an indifference to the life of the unborn that can only be regarded as either very irrational or very callous.

  • Mike
    I agree with you totally. I’m just wondering whether at that time period the theologians were thinking aggregate abortions would not increase in number and legally done would be death to the child but safety to the mother rather than jeopardy to both. New York City now has the abortion rate of Red China now without its being coerced as in Red China.

  • I know basically zero about Theology. However, I would question anyone who would make murder safer for the killers. I would look up “consequentialism.”

    Plus, I have some highly uncharitable thoughts about them theologists that thunk that way.

  • “So could this advice really be rooted in safety though it turned out to be naive in that legalization exponentially increases the number of abortions?”

    I think the advice was rooted in sheer political expediency Bill. Feminism was on the march and was a crucial element in the liberal coalition. I think the late Jesuit Robert Drinan was typical of this ilk. He served in Congress from 1970 to 1981 and was an unfailing pro-abort vote, including public funding of it. Here is an excerpt from a debate he had with Jerry Falwell where the Baptist preacher defends Catholic teaching on abortion and Drinan completely ignores it.

    “FALWELL: It’s shocking to me that you, a Roman Catholic priest, are part of a church that condemns abortion and calls it murder, as your pope did very courageously in America last year, how you could support federal funding for abortion absolutely in contradiction of everything the Church stands for . . . .

    DRINAN: The Supreme Court said that there’s a constitutional right in a couple, or in a woman, to have an abortion. Can the federal government say that we are going to restrict and constrict that particular right? . . .

    FALWELL: If the Congress, the Constitution, and the executive branch all legalized abortion, you and I as men of the cloth have a higher authority, in my opinion, and that is almighty God and the Word of God, and the church we represent. And all three in both instances—your church and mine—condemn abortion as the taking of human life, and I cannot see how you could possibly justify your position as a man of the cloth, repudiating the position of your own church, and voting regularly for federal funding of abortion.

    DRINAN: I have not repudiated the position of my own church. I’ve said thousands of times that abortion is immoral in my judgment and coming out of my tradition, but that this is oversimplified piety, as if everything that the churches hold must in fact be put into American law. . . . A lot of Catholics in the Congress and throughout the country feel that the state should not deny Medicaid funds to people who are entitled to an abortion under the law. . . .

    FALWELL: Your church believes that abortion is murder. . . . Why is it that you don’t support that, and why is [it] that you are constantly voting to pay for something that your church calls immoral? . . .

    DRINAN: I think that there’s a constitutional right granted by the highest tribunal of the nation, and that a member of Congress takes an oath to support that Constitution.

    FALWELL: Do you take the ruling of a Supreme Court above the authority of the Holy Father? . . . The question is, do you believe that the Supreme Court has more authority than your Holy Father does on this issue?

    DRINAN: That’s not the question. The Supreme Court has authority in a field, and . . . we should sustain the Constitution as the Supreme Court has interpreted it, until or unless it’s reversed.”

    Drinan was an unfailing shill for the pro-abort cause after the Pope ordered him not to run again in 1980. Complete contempt is a weak description for my feelings toward Drinan and his fellow pro-abort priests.
    http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2007/04/robert-drinan-infanticide-and-

    In regard to Ted Kennedy I think he was an easy convert to support for abortion on demand. Whatever his public statements regarding abortion, I have no doubt that his private view was probably: “darn convenient.”

  • Donald,
    Read the First Things link….all very bizarre and suggests where Pilosi may have gotten her ideas. I found a Drinan article at Theological Studies (see below) on the topic but it is still hard to find there his implicit “render to Caesar with gusto once Caesar has erred” idea. He cites John Courtney Murray S.J. to the effect that there are many immoral actions that the law does not prohibit …I suppose like eating habits that lead to diabetes and communal expense that some are warning of in our media lately. The devil tricked him in an area that I am not seeing unless it’s in the area in the article at TS where he sees significance (what kind?) in the one third of preborns that die by nature all along the spectrum from failed implantation to miscarriage…and similar observations. Well….God takes many people into the next life through heart attack and tornados….that doesn’t mean we should.

    http://www.ts.mu.edu/content/31/31.1/31.1.6.pdf

  • Years ago at the UN an Australian delegate remarked that it was time to call a spade a spade. In rebuttal, a Russian delegate remarked that calling a spade a spade was all very well for capitalist countries, “but in the Soviet Union we call a spade a shovel”.

  • Great piece! Thank you for offering this message & reflection.

  • Peter Kreeft has the knack Bob of saying the truth out of season, and it is a trait I prize!

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