Real Sex vs. the Contraceptive Mentality (Part 2)

Tuesday, June 22, AD 2010

[Continued from Part 1]

Restraint, Relationships and Planning Parenthood

When I say that we “naturally want to avoid having children” at certain times, I would imagine that the image that comes immediately to mind is of birth control, abortion or infanticide, and most traditional societies have seen these in some form or other. However, I’d like to turn our attention to something so basic and so prevalent that we don’t think about it much.

From an anthropological point of view, the entire structure of our romantic and family relationships serves as a way to control childbearing, limiting it to situations in which offspring can be supported. Consider: Requiring that young women remain virgins until marriage ensured that children will not be born without a provider. Nor was the decision to marry, when it came, a strictly individual affair. Marriage was negotiated and approved by the wider families, because the families were in effect committing to help support the new family unit being created. Many cultures also required the husband’s family to pay a “bride price”, not simply as compensation for the lost contribution of the daughter to her own family, but as proof that the husband was of sufficient means to start a family.

Once in place, this set of cultural mores and laws provided an easy way to adjust to want or plenty:

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12 Responses to Real Sex vs. the Contraceptive Mentality (Part 2)

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  • Chastity is very important both in and outside of marriage.

    “And the set of moral and societal norms surrounding marriage provide us with a way to manage that fact responsibly in order to have children only when we believe we can support them.”

    I agree. But, unfortunately our society’s norms and sense of morality has changed over time leading to a deterioration of family values, which has also in turn led to a break up of the traditional family unit.

    Plus, the Catholic Church has been quite remiss in promoting and teaching proper fertility treatment alternatives to IVF that are in line with Catholic teachings.

    But, Fr. Benedict Groeshel did recently host a show on Catholic fertility for couples with fertility issues.

    http://teresamerica.blogspot.com/2010/05/faithful-couple-reflects-on-issues-of.html

  • I wondered if you’d mention Ireland. People think of the Irish as baby-crazy, but that has not always been the case as you say.

  • As a cradle Catholic I agree with your assessment. The only thing I don’t agree with is the use of birth control (aka condom) when your married and don’t want children. My spouse is a Medical Doctor and also disagree with the method the church authorized since it is not as full-proof as birth-control or condom. Let me correct myself hormone birth-control we are also against. My question I guess is why is the church against condoms even in marriage?

  • Marriage requires an openness to procreating and condoms inhibit that openness or are a barrier to that openness.

    Here is chart analyzing all forms of contraception and it shows reasons why the Church is against each form of contraception.

    http://www.usccb.org/prolife/issues/nfp/action.shtml

  • Alex,

    As Teresa says, the Church’s opposition to barrier forms of birth control are based on the understanding that they falsify the procreative nature of the sex act. From a Catholic point of view, there is not a moral difference between the use of hormonal and barrier methods of birth control.

  • Alex,
    While it’s hard to see at a glance because the columns are out of alignment, the chart to which Teresa links gives typical use effectiveness ratings (it’s not specified on the page but it looks to be measured in terms of pregnancies per hundred users) for all methods. Pregnancy rates for the fertility-acceptance methods allowed by the Church are actually lower than they are for barrier contraceptives–quite a bit lower if you exclude the now disused calendar rhythm method.

    These methods do demand a high degree of self-discipline, which many couples are unwilling to impose on themselves.

  • Alex..again…abstaining when the wife is fertile teaches sexual control, which is essential and the reason why couples who utilize NFP don’t divorce or stray.

  • The problem I see with NFP is not the theoretical admissibility of the practice, but with the widespread disregard of the Church’s requirement that such mean be used only for grave reasons.

    Now customarily one does not simply judge his own case– he submits the matter to an independent person. Hence, those having recourse to these methods should be doing so only after consultation with an orthodox spiritual advisor, who can judge the facts of a couple’s situation and determine if there truly is a grave cause for avoiding cooperation in the creation of new life.

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  • Sorry, for my delay in responding back. Thank all of you for the comments. We have looked into this method further and also reading Gregory K. Popcak’s “Holy Sex!” is the ultimate guide to a fulfilling, happy, yet virtuous sexual life.” I have to recommend this book because it does lay out what NFP is in detail and makes it sound so.. much more loving … read the book if anyone was like me… Thanks

Catholic-Islam Dialogue: Reciprocity the Key

Wednesday, May 12, AD 2010

For the past few years I have been taking my Catholic school students over to the nearby Mosque, as part of their World Religions research. It has gone well, everyone is on their best behavior, and it gives the students a chance to hear about Islam from devout Muslims, in their own place of worship. I also have visited the Mosque and Islamic community during the time of my run for public office to speak and dialogue about issues where we would find some common ground. It has all been a very positive experience, but there is one large elephant in the room that must be paid attention to.

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53 Responses to Catholic-Islam Dialogue: Reciprocity the Key

  • Even if we were to accept all of Saudi Arabia as a special case similar to Vatican City, what about the entire rest of the muslim world? The constitutions of Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan all recognize Islamic law as the basis for their legal system, often to the exclusion of anything else. Source: http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/p16600.xml?genre_id=3

  • Good argument. So much for the Vatican-Saudi Arabia comparison. I can understand Mecca, and perhaps Medina, not allowing churches or synagogues, but not Riyadh or the rest of the country. That us like Milan or Venice not allowing non-Catholic places of worship.

  • You are wrong.

    Muhammedanism is a vicious affront to Our Lord and Savior, and a threat to world peace. It has been waging a desultory war against the rest of mankind since about 640 Anno Domini.

    Your ‘good’ muslims are biding their time and financing global terrorism . . .

  • T. Shaw- I take my cue from the Magisterium- dialogue is encouraged, Muslims worship the same God as we- Jews do not worship in full comprehension of the Blessed Trinity- but we do not say they do not worship the One, True God.

    In some very important ways we have much more in common with a faithful Muslim than with a hardened secularist who is pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage and so forth- if we are talking about non-negotiable type issues.

    The problem is the reciprocity of religious liberty- and this is a major, major stumbling block that must be addressed for honest dialogue to take place- otherwise we would do well to suspect that dialogue is a one-way street and infiltration of our society in order to radically curtail our Christian freedom is a real threat to society- so let’s not go too far with our beef against Islam, but let’s stay connected to our Magisterium in how we proceed in relationship to these believers.

  • Tim,

    A good post.

    Though there is one point I disagree with and that is jihad.

    jihad is usually described as an internal struggle inside each man’s heart for moral purity.

    Only within the last couple of decades has this line of thought been thrown around.

    Jihad explicitly does mean the subjugation of non-Muslim nations if they refuse to convert without force.

    There is nothing in the Quran nor the hadiths that state anything close to the Just War Doctrine that we have.

    Just my two cents worth.

  • I work with several devout, normal muslims & I like them. I doubt very much that they’re “biding their time”, for heaven’s sake.
    OTOH, since you’re taking your cues from the Vatican, I hope you explain to your class what the word syncretism means.

  • Vatican Council II indicates that all Jews and Muslims in Rome are on the way to Hell. The Bible, the Church and Vatican Council II says Jews and Muslims need to convert into the Catholic Church to go to Heaven. All of them. Ad Gentes 7 says all people need Catholic Faith and the Baptism of water for salvation. All means everyone with no exceptions.

    Therefore, all must be converted to Him, made known by the Church’s preaching, and all must be incorporated into Him by baptism and into the Church which is His body. For Christ Himself “by stressing in express language the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:5), at the same time confirmed the necessity of the Church, into which men enter by baptism, as by a door.-Ad Gentes 7,Vatican Council II.

    Ad Gentes 7 says those who know about Jesus and the Catholic Church and yet do not enter are on the way to Hell. In Italy Muslims and Jews know about Jesus and the Catholic Church. It is a mortal sin of faith when they do not enter the Catholic Church.

    Therefore those men cannot be saved, who though aware that God, through Jesus Christ founded the Church as something necessary, still do not wish to enter into it, or to persevere in it.-Ad Gentes 7, Vatican Council II

    Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.-Lumen Gentium 14, Vatican Council II

  • Tito- as for jihad- what I was describing is how the Islam rep. describes it when asked about it- also most of the textbooks go with this description over the one you gave. As for Just War Doctrine- that was not their chosen term but it was my own given how they described the militant dimension to jihad- basically that a Muslim population has the right to defend themselves when attacked- which is how many feel about situations in the Middle East as in Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan- they would say that the fighting was provoked by foreign invaders- and the only thing they regret are the terrorist responses against civilian targets. That is their side of things anyway- for me the issue of religious freedom/reciprocity is the one that they could not come up with any kind of decent response, and seem to be hiding from such a dialogue on that front- which is why I think it is important to put stress on it as I believe the Holy Father has strongly suggested-

    to gb- I’m not sure if I’m catching your drift- are you of the view that since the Church teaches that Jews and Muslims worship the same God as we do- despite not having an appreciation for the fullness of the truth of the Blessed Trinity- that this is syncretism- or am I missing your point?

  • CATECHISM, VATICAN COUNCIL II, EX CATHEDRA DOGMA AND CDF INDICATE ALL ROME’S MUSLIMS AND JEWS ARE ON THE WAY TO HELL

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church indicates that de facto non Catholics need to enter the Catholic Church for salvation. It also uses the word all (CCC 836) as does Vatican Council II (Ad Gentes 7).

    CCC 1257 affirms the dogma when it says that the Church knows of no means to eternal beatitude other than the baptism of water. This is a reference to explicit salvation for all with no known exceptions.

    CCC 1257 also says that for salvation God is not restricted to the Sacraments. This must not be interpreted as opposing the dogma or the earlier part of CCC 1257. This is a possibility, ‘in certain circumstances’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949) and we cannot judge any specific cases.

    However, those, who through no fault of their own do not know either the Gospel of Christ or his Church, can achieve salvation by seeking God with a sincere heart and by trying to do God’s will (Second Vatican Council). Although God can lead all people to salvation, the Church still has the duty to evangelize all men.-CCC 848
    Those who are in invincible ignorance can be saved -and this does not conflict with the ex cathedra dogma that everyone with no exception needs to enter the Church to avoid Hell. It is a conceptual, de jure understanding.

    How do we understand this saying from the Church Fathers? All salvation comes from Christ through his Body, the Church which is necessary for salvation because Christ is present in his Church…-CCC846

    Here the Catechism places de jure and defacto salvation together. It does not conflict with the ex cathedra teaching that everyone with no exception needs to enter the Catholic Church .We cannot personally know any cases of a genuine invincible ignorance, baptism of desire or a good conscience.

    The Father wants to reunite all humanity into his Son’s Church. According to St. Augustine and St. Ambrose, the Church was prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saved the world from the flood.-CCC 845
    Here again we have an affirmation of the ex cathedra dogma, the infallible teaching that de facto everyone needs to enter the only Ark of Salvation.

    The dogma, the infallible teaching is that de facto every person needs to enter the Catholic Church, Jesus’ Mystical Body (Colossians) for salvation, with no exceptions, known to us. Pope Pius XII called it the infallible teaching (Letter of the Holy Office 1949).This would apply to non Catholics in Rome.

    If there are exceptions to the ordinary means of salvation which is the baptism of water and Catholic Faith it will be known to God only and Jesus only will judge. So in a sense mentioning it is irrelevant at the level of personal evangelisation personal contact with non-Catholics.

    All men are certainly called to this Catholic unity. The Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ and all mankind belong to or are ordered to Catholic unity.-CCC 836
    Here again we have an affirmation of the ex cathedra dogma and the word all is used as in Ad Gentes 7.

    Here is the ex cathedra dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    1. “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.).

    2. “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 302.).

    3.“The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.) – from the website Catholicism.org and “No Salvation outside the Church”: Link List, the Three Dogmatic Statements Regarding EENS)
    The ex cathedra dogma does not say that ‘those who through no fault of their own do not know either the Gospel or Christ or his Church, or who have a sincere heart’ do not have to enter the Catholic Church to go to Heaven. Everyone has to enter the Church and there are no exceptions. This was the infallible teaching for centuries (Letter of the Holy Office 1949)

    However, those, who through no fault of their own do not know either the Gospel of Christ or his Church, can achieve salvation by seeking God with a sincere heart and by trying to do God’s will (Second Vatican Council). Although God can lead all people to salvation, the Church still has the duty to evangelize all men.-CCC 848
    It means that those who are the exceptions to the baptism of water are rare cases,’ in certain circumstances’, known only to God (Letter of the Holy Office 1949). We cannot judge. So the explicit salvation teaching for all to enter the Church, of the Catechism of the Catholic Church still holds. It is in accord with the dogma.

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church says all people need to enter the Catholic Church to go to Heaven, the Church is the only Ark of Noah that saves in the flood and the Catholic Church knows of no other means to eternal beatitude other than the Baptism of water (which is given to adults who have Catholic Faith).The Catechism says God wants all people to be united into the Catholic Church, it is in the Catholic Church that God wants all people to worship him. So this is a reference to the infallible teaching based on the Bible and Catholic Tradition. It is the teaching of the Magisterium of the past and today.

    Vatican Council II indicates that all Jews and Muslims in Rome and Italy are on the way to Hell. The Bible, the Church and Vatican Council II say Jews and Muslims need to convert into the Catholic Church to go to Heaven. All of them. Ad Gentes 7 says all people need Catholic Faith and the Baptism of water for salvation. All means everyone with no exceptions.

    Therefore, all must be converted to Him, made known by the Church’s preaching, and all must be incorporated into Him by baptism and into the Church which is His body. For Christ Himself “by stressing in express language the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:5), at the same time confirmed the necessity of the Church, into which men enter by baptism, as by a door.-Ad Gentes 7,Vatican Council II.
    Ad Gentes 7 says those who know about Jesus and the Catholic Church and yet do not enter are on the way to Hell. In Italy Muslims and Jews know about Jesus and the Catholic Church. It is a mortal sin of faith when they do not enter the Catholic Church.

    Therefore those men cannot be saved, who though aware that God, through Jesus Christ founded the Church as something necessary, still do not wish to enter into it, or to persevere in it.-Ad Gentes 7, Vatican Council II
    Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.-Lumen Gentium 14, Vatican Council II
    The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican has positively endorsed the ex cathedra dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus in Responses to Some questions regarding certain Aspects of the Doctrine of the Church in which it refers to ‘the traditional doctrine’, ‘according to Catholic doctrine’

    Cardinal William Levada, Prefect, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and Archbishop Angelo Amato, former Secretary, CDF emphasize in Responses to Some questions regarding certain Aspects of the Doctrine of the Church:

    Christ “established here on earth” only one Church and instituted it as a “visible and spiritual community”, that from its beginning and throughout the centuries has always existed and will always exist, and in which alone are found all the elements that Christ himself instituted. “This one Church of Christ, which we confess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic.

    This Church, constituted and organised in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him”.]the word “subsists” can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe… in the “one” Church); and this “one” Church subsists in the Catholic Church.-Responses to Some Questions Regarding certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church.(June 29, 2007)
    So Responses to Some Questions Regarding certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church does not explain are understanding of Church (ecclesiology) as a break from Tradition and extra ecclesiam nulla salus.It repeats the message of Vatican Council II that the Church is a necessity for salvation (Ad Gentes 7, Lumen Gentium 14). We do not separate Jesus from the Church, even though elements of salvation can be present outside the visible boundaries of the church. De facto everyone needs to enter the Catholic Church; it is a necessity for salvation .All non-Catholics need to enter through the ordinary way of salvation which is the baptism of water and Catholic Faith. De facto everyone needs to enter the Church.

    De jure (conceptually, in theory, intellectually, in theology) we could debate or discuss exceptions to the need of salvation, those without the baptism of water. However these are exceptions known only to God. They are unknown to us. They are unknown to us since only Jesus can judge. He will decide.

    Responses states

    “It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church”
    In ‘certain circumstances’ as Pope Pius XII states (Letter of the Holy Office 1949) those with implicit faith, those who are not Catholics ,can be saved (without Catholic Faith and the Baptism of water).So we cannot interpret ‘It follows that these separated churches and Communities….’ as referring to the ordinary way of salvation. Since only in ‘certain circumstances’; exceptionally and known to God only can members of separated Churches and communities be saved without Catholic Faith in the Catholic Church. The ordinary way of salvation is the baptism of water and Catholic Faith. For example the Catechism states that the Catholic Church knows of no way to eternal beatitude other than the baptism of water (given to adults with Catholic Faith). So this is the ordinary way. Yet CCC 1257 also says salvation is not limited to the Sacraments. So here we have the dejure, extraordinary reference to the exceptional means of salvation. In a way it is irrelevant to us since it will be judged only by Jesus.

    If ‘“It follows that these separated churches and Communities…’ was a reference to the ordinary way of salvation then it would contradict Vatican Council II. Since Ad Gentes 7, states “all people” need Catholic Faith and the Baptism of water for salvation. All.

    If de facto we know specifically, personally, that someone in ‘these separated churches and Communities’ can be saved, then it would contradict the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    So dejure, conceptually we know “It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness…’-is possible. De jure (conceptually, in theory, intellectually, in theology) we could debate or discuss this possibility.

    De facto it is clear that there are no exceptions to ‘ Christ “established here on earth” only one Church and instituted it as a “visible and spiritual community”, that from its beginning and throughout the centuries has always existed and will always exist, and in which alone are found all the elements that Christ himself instituted. “This one Church of Christ, which we confess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic.

    De facto (in evangelising, in personal contact with non-Catholics) there is no one who specifically has the baptism of desire, who I know is in invincible ignorance or who I can judge has good conscience.

    We know that all Muslims and Jews in Rome need to enter the Catholic Church to avoid Hell. This has been Catholic teaching for centuries and it is affirmed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Vatican Council II, the ex cathedra dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith document, besides other Church documents and the Bible.

  • The reason I think that the reciprocity of religious freedom is so important is not just so that the small/minority Christian populations may live to see another day- but also so that the Good News of Jesus Christ can lawfully be preached in order to fulfill Christ’s command to His disciples. We are obliged to preach the saving Gospel- yet we are not here to judge- that is Christ’s work- so we cannot go around asking folks- “Are you Saved?” for we are working out our own salvation in fear and trembling. Ours is to witness Christ and His Church to all people everywhere- and the fact that America has chosen to go about doing business as usual with two major nations that have zero respect for religious liberty and the freedom to preach Christ and Church- well that says a whole lot about the powers-that-be in this Land of ours. Of course, some Free Market ideologues will claim that doing business with tyrannical forces- giving mighty tithes to those powers and letting them set upon their own peoples to exploit their labor and “compete” against workers in other lands who have their freedom- that this is all part of God’s plan of free corporate enterprise.

    The question I have is when does engagement really just mask a selling off of your own ideals and morality in the name of Money- the love of which is the root of many evils??

  • Lionel, Vatican II states (in Lumen Gentium 16) that “those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.”

    The same paragraph talks about Jews & Muslims having the possibility of salvation.

  • Another aspect in the dialog with the imam (assuming he’s interested in continuing it) is that Christianity does not compel its followers to force it upon others, nor does it say that we must prohibit other places of worship.

  • I’m not entirely on board with the idea that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. It would require divorcing God from his nature too much — how much of the Christian understanding of God has to do with the Trinity and Incarnation? If Muslims deny those doctrines outright, I don’t see how they’re actually worshipping the same God. The theology is too important to dismiss the differences.

  • ” During the class visits the question of terrorism and jihad always comes up and that isn’t the big problem for the Islamic representative as one might think. They distance themselves from an interpretation of the Qu’ran that allows for the killing of innocents- and jihad is usually described as an internal struggle inside each man’s heart for moral purity. Most Muslims seem to go along with a rough sketch of the Catholic Just War Doctrine, which allows them to support military “resistance” such as in Palestine and elsewhere, but not to agree with all the tactics of warfare conducted as such. Similar to what many Catholics would say about America’s involvement in World War II, but not agreeing that the dropping of nuclear bombs on civilian centers was legitmate. So much for that hot button issue. ”

    Very many mosques in the United States are influenced to a greater or lesser extent by Wahhabism. The great paradox is that whilst both the Republican and Democratic parties in the US, maintain the fiction that Saudi Arabia is an ally of the United States, Saudi Arabia is in fact a committed enemy of the United States.Wahhabism will not accept that any country that ever was under Muslim rule can be legitimately ruled by non-Muslims, it is as simple as that. Since both Spain and America are pledged to mutual defense under the NATO treaty, that from a Wahhabi perspective places America in a state of war with the Muslim Ummah, ( World Wide Muslim Community ),.

    It is inherently dangerous to use the word terrorism in discussion with Muslims, in the way the author of the article may well has used it, for the reason that Muslims who are committed to deception ” taqiyya ” of Christians and other non-Muslims have ample scope for word games in relation to the term ” terrorism “. For example, if asked about 9/11, they might say that they ” unreservedly condemn the terrorism, that occurred on 9/11 “, sounds good doesn’t it, what they could be saying is that they fully support aircraft having been hijacked and crashed in to the Twin Towers of the WTC, NYC, NY and they fully support an aircraft having been hijacked and crashed in to the Pentagon but condemn as an act of terrorism, attempts by the crew and passengers of United Airlines flight 93 to regain control of the aircraft from the hijackers. As regards ” innocents ” in war, one must understand that term within the context of the territorial claims of the Wahhabis, once the US does not recognize Spain as being a rightful part of Islamic territory, all Americans who do not reject the US Government’s position that Spain is not an Islamic territory become legitimate targets for military attacks. The difference between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and al-Qaeda is not one of theology and interpretation of Islam, it is one of tactics. The Saudi religious establishment believe for the present, that more can be achieved with respect to Islamic conquest, by infiltration and manipulation of the enemy through political, ideological, economic and psychological warfare techniques than simple military attacks, whilst al-Qaeda believe more conventional military insurgency techniques are appropriate at this time.

    Undercover Mosque the Return

    By the way with regard to the nuclear weapons used against Japan, it is arguable that more Japanese would have died if the US had sought to bring the war to a conclusion using conventional military methods.

  • Middle East oil is poisoning Western society, since for example the Saudis use a substantial part of their oil revenue to foster interpretations of Islam, which are antagonistic to Western liberal, ( that is ” liberal ” as used in British English, as is quite different to how the term is used in American English ), society. America needs to ramp up alternative energy technologies that will displace oil consumption. One of the arguments that the oil industry uses against supporters of renewables, is that they want people to live in huts, eat porridge and wear clothes made out of grass, simply not true, there is nothing of green freakery in for example sitting down in a restaurant car having a fine meal in a train cruising at 350 miles per hour which is being supplied with electricity by wind turbines.

    TGV world train speed record 3/4/2007 357mph English version

  • From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    •841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”[330]

    This is the basis for any fruitful dialogue- but without reciprocity of religious freedom we would be fools to participate in commerce and provide student visas for those who are serving the brand of Islam that would see the Saudi system of governance as ideal. In fact it is our substantial involvement with Saudi Arabia that actually provokes the bin Laden element- that along with the other biggie- support for Israel over the Palestinians. If our ties to the Saudi leadership was actually leading to religious freedom for Christianity in that country, it would be one thing, but our economic/political ties seem to have the added negative of encouraging the Saudi leaders to continue proving their Islamic bonafides by cracking down on anything non-Islamic and funding Mosques in Rome and supporting radical Islamic causes other than the ones directly targeting the Saudi leaders themselves. We totally played into this during the anti-Soviet era by encouraging Saudi money and Intelligence into Afghanistan-

    Let us do business with Muslim-Majority States that respect religious liberty and allow for Christian free speech and worship, and cut way back on ties with those Muslim States who don;t- this should be a big issue among Christians in this country- but the pragmatists and corporatists are the ones dominating the political and economic decisions.

  • ” Let us do business with Muslim-Majority States that respect religious liberty and allow for Christian free speech and worship, and cut way back on ties with those Muslim States who don;t- this should be a big issue among Christians in this country- but the pragmatists and corporatists are the ones dominating the political and economic decisions. ”

    Some people would argue that the above is a naive dogooder policy but it actually makes a lot of sense from a perspective of hard-nosed realpolitik, national security and the long term financial perspective. My view is that donations from Saudi Arabia to US mosques, educational establishments and pressure groups should attract substantial rates of US taxation and that the US Federal Government should have a discretionary power to withdraw tax exempt status from organizations which accept donations from Saudi Arabia.

    WELSH Guard plays “Darth Vader” for Saudi King

  • Chris we cannot interpret LG 16 as de facto salvation. This would be heresy. It would contradict the ex cathedra dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus and Ad Gentes7 and CCC 836.
    Also there is no de facto baptism of desire that we can know of.Only God can judge cases of implicit faith.
    The popes and Councils knew about implciit faith (baptisms of desire,invincible ignorance etc) and did not interpret it as de facto but de jure salvation. Something we accept in principle, de jure, as a concept, ‘in certain circumstances'(Letter of the Holy Office 1949) and known only to God.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tgICQ9ErVs&hl=it_IT&fs=1&]

  • Tim,
    It is true that we worship the One Creator but the Church teaches that Islam is not a path to salvation and there is no theology which can say that Islam is a path for its members to go to Heaven(CDF, Notification on Fr.Jacques Dupuis s.j 2001).

    There are good things in Islam but there is also the Arian heresy and they are not free from Original Sin.

    Here is a video of a Rosiminian priest in Rome, who celebrates the Novus Ordo Mass in Italian, saying that every Muslim needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church to go to Heaven.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZxeMPNclKU&hl=it_IT&fs=1&]

  • Joseph,
    It is true we Catholics do not force our religion upon others but we do not have the obligation in dialogue, in mutual sharing, to say that Muslims are oriented to Hell according to Vatican Council II, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the ex cathedra dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.
    God wants every Muslim to worship Him in the Catholic Church(CCC) and the Church know of no way to eternal beatitude other than the baptism of water (CCC 1257) given to Catholics with adult faith.
    Here is a video of Catholic priests, who celebrate Mass in Italian and affirm Vatican Council II, also endorsing the dogmatic teachings of the Church.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbWzbKLBu8s&hl=it_IT&fs=1&]

  • ” During the class visits the question of terrorism and jihad always comes up and that isn’t the big problem for the Islamic representative as one might think. They distance themselves from an interpretation of the Qu’ran that allows for the killing of innocents- and jihad is usually described as an internal struggle inside each man’s heart for moral purity. ”

    Anjem Choudary ONLY Muslim are Innocent rest can be Killed

  • I would like to point out that those whom submit to God’s will are called Muslims and their religion is called Islam. Not moslems, moslemism or Mohammedism written in the comments. Muslims do not worship Mohammed (Peace be upon him) nor do Muslims believe he is the founder of Islam. The name Islam and Muslims is what God calls in the Quran, it is not a religion named after a man.

    Muslims believe in Jesus (peace be upon him). They also worship the same God. And regarding why muslims believe Jesus (peace be upon him) is a prophet, and not Son of God or God, is answered in the following links.

    Prophet Jesus and Muhammad (Peace be upon them) in the Holy Quran and Previous Scriptures
    http://theradiantlight.blogspot.com/

    Islam
    http://www.islamreligion.com/

    Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him)
    http://www.rasoulallah.net/

    Quran Tafseer/Explanation meaning
    http://www.searchtruth.com/tafsir/tafsir.php?chapter=1

    By a German diplomat
    http://teachislam.com/dmdocuments/Muhammad_Aman_Hobohm_Islams_Answer_to_Racial_Problem.pdf

    Ihope this comment clear all the wrong misconceptions and stereotypes associated with Islam and its association with terrorism. I encourage you to research the islamic websites provided when obtaining information, and not anti-islamic websites and productions which feed your mind and others with incorrect information and hatred. Those whom produce Anti-Islamic/offensive productions inevitably intend to incite and provoke unrest and intolerance among people of different religious beliefs, and to jeopardize world peace and stability. Hidden under the cover of freedom of expression.

    It says in your scripture “blessed are the peacemakers” I hope there will be better understanding between Jews, Christians and Muslims for peaceful co-existance. We should all be increasing peaceful dialouge, not fueling hatred and extremism.

    …………………….

    Islam is Peace
    Was Islam Spread by the Sword?
    http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/677/

    The Tolerance of the Prophet (peace be upon him) towards Other Religions
    http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/207/viewall/

    Let There Be No Compulsion in Religion
    http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/661/

    The Rights of Non-Muslims in Islam
    http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/374/viewall/

    What Does Islam say About Terorrism
    http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/238 /

  • Were one to compare Vatican city to Mecca and/or Medina, then one is comparing apples-to-apples, except that non-Muslims may not visit those two cities, while anyone can visit the Vatican City.

    I have very few kind things to say or think about Islam, or the Prophet Muhammed. I would not think a thing, however, about a ban on Christian worship, mission or construction in Mecca or Medina. It is rank sophistry, however, for the Iman to compare all of the K.S.A. to Vatican City.

    But then puerile sophistry is par for the course with Islam.

  • Adrian/tryptic

    CATECHISM AND VATICAN COUNCIL II ENDORSE MESSAGE IN CATHEDRAL OF BOLOGNA PAINTING

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church and Vatican Council II indicate that Mohammad was not saved and was oriented to Hell barring the exceptional. The religion he founded-the Catholic Church and the Bible indicates, is not a path to salvation. The Last Judgment by Giovanni da Modena, is a 15 th century fresco in the cathedral of San Petronio, Bologna it shows the Prophet Muhammad being cast into the flames of Hell. This is relevant for inter religious dialogue.

    Catholics do not accept Mohammad as a prophet, nor Islam as a path to salvation. Muslims in general, according to the teachings of Jesus Christ, need Catholic Faith and Baptism to go to Heaven. They need to be baptized in the only Church Jesus founded, to reap the benefits of His Great Sacrifice for all people, Muslims included.

    This is the mercy of God the Father. He provided a way for all people, even before the time of Abraham, to go to Heaven, through the Supreme Sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ.

    PONTIFICIAL COUNCIL FOR INTER RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE, VATICAN

    Islam is not a path to salvation and Muslims need Catholic Faith and Baptism to go to Heaven said Father Felix Muchado, Former Secretary, Council for Inter Religious Dialogue (PCID), Vatican. He was speaking with me at the PCID office near St. Peter’s Square on Tuesday (26.02.2008) morning. He was asked if non-Catholic religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam etc) are not paths to salvation (i.e. to go to Heaven and avoid Hell).He said YES.

    Do non-Catholics need Catholic Faith and Baptism in general, except for the exceptions, to go to Heaven and avoid Hell, he was asked. He answered yes. This was not mentioned in a triumphal sense or with hatred. It was a matter of fact statement.

    Archbishop Angelo Amato, Secretary, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Vatican in an interview in the Italian daily Avvenire has emphasised the importance of Catholic Mission. He quoted the text from the Council Ad Gentes 7, Lumen Gentium 14) which says:

    ˜All must be incorporated into Him by baptism, and into the Church which is His body. For Christ Himself explicit terms affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism (cf.Mk.16:16; Jn.3:5) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism (cf.Mk.16:16; Jn.3:5) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church.

    He was interviewed at the Salesian University, Rome by Gianni Cardinale (Amato: non ce Chiesa senza missione, March 8, 2008, Saturday p. 21, Catholica, Avvenire).

    Archbishop Angelo Amato, CDF, Sec., Vatican was saying that Judaism without the Jewish Savior is not a path to salvation and all Jews in general, need the baptism of water and Catholic Faith.

    MONS.RAFFAELLO MARTINELLI: ISLAM NOT PATH TO SALVATION
    Islam is not a path to salvation and their members need Baptism and Catholic Faith to avoid Hell said Mons. Raffaello Martinelli at his residence on the Via del Corso, on the solemn feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary the Mother of God (Jan1, 2008).

    Mons. Raffaello has since 1980 been working with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Vatican. For the last 23 years he has assisted Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. Mons. Raffaello was also a coordinator in the preparation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.The Archpriest (Primicerio) of the exquisite Basilica dei Ambrogio e Carlo al Corso in Rome he said that the Catholic Church teaches that Islam is not a path to salvation but Muslims can be saved, who are in invincible ignorance and those who die in good faith.

    “Are they saved through their religion?” he was asked to clarify. He answered no. Their religion does not save them.

    “Do they need to enter the Catholic Church to go to Heaven and avoid Hell?”

    He answered yes.

    All Muslims, he said, are called (by God) to enter the Catholic Church.

    He was asked if they are simply just called (optional) to enter the Catholic Church, through the baptism of water, or, are they called to enter the Catholic Church to avoid Hell. He answered that they are called to enter the Catholic Church to avoid Hell.

    The Catholic Church is the Body of Christ he said. The Church is the general, normal way to be saved.

    He made the distinction between the ordinary and extraordinary means of salvation.

    The Church, the Body of Christ is the ordinary means of salvation. So the Baptism of water is needed for all people in general. However through the extraordinary means of salvation Muslims can be saved within Islam. They too are saved by Jesus Christ.

    “Who are these exceptions, saved implicitly through the extraordinary means of salvation?” he said, we do not know. We cannot judge. Only Jesus knows. We cannot say that a particular person is in invincible ignorance, has good faith etc. We humans cannot judge.

    NON CATHOLICS GOING TO HELL DEFINITELY-VATICAN COUNCIL II

    Yet Lumen Gentium N.14 is clear that those non-Catholics who know they should be in the Catholic Church and who have had the Gospel preached to them, and yet do not do so, will go to Hell.

    The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Vatican Council II refer to these non-Catholics going to Hell, definitely.

    We do not know who is in partial communion or full communion, we do not know who is in invincible ignorance or has perfect contrition or has a good conscience-only Jesus does.

    When we meet a Hindu, Buddhist or Muslim we assume that he or she is not saved, not because we know personally but because the Church inspired by the Holy Spirit tells us so.

    So would Mohammad come under the category of exceptions? No. Since he knew. He knew about the Catholic Faith.This is seen in the Koran. He chose not to enter the Catholic Church and formed a new religion. Interestingly, Muslims still pray that he may have peace.

    Jesus however is saying that those Muslims who believe will be saved, those who do not will be condemned (Mk.16: 15-16, Jn.3:5)

    The condemnation is to Hell. It was Dante who described the Inferno he saw.

    Mohammad was among the many people whom the Italian poet Dante Alighieri saw in Hell.

    DANTES EXPERIENCE OF HELL SIMILAR TO CATHOLIC SAINTS

    Dante saw Hell with caves and special tortures for different people. There was fire and water, demons and the presence of Satan. He saw suffering which would never ever end in time. The Catholic saints Teresa of Avila and Maria Faustina Kowalski also describe Hell similarly. Dante’s experience of Hell can also be compared with Sr. Josepha Menendez. It is similar to Hell shown by Our Lady to Sr. Lucia at Fatima.

    The Catholic saints were permitted by God to see Hell while they were alive and were allowed to tell the world about it.

    Dante’s vision was contemplation, said Mons.Marco Frisina, during a series of talks on the Divine Comedy of Dante, given at the Basilica dei Ambrogio e Carlo al Corso, Rome.

    After one of the talks, I spoke to him about the visions of the Catholic saints and how they were similar to that of Dante.

    I asked him, “Was it just contemplation or did Dante really go to Hell?”

    He replied, “Non lo so” (I don’t know)

    Unlike Dante the Catholic saints do not name names. St. Maria Faustina Kowalski recognized in Hell, people whom she knew. So did Sr.Josepha Menendez.

    Most of them in Hell said St. Faustina were really surprised to be there. Surprised! They expected to be in Heaven, once past the Particular Judgment. Were there were those who thought it was enough to be a Jew or Muslim?

    St. Faustina Kowalski and Dante saw demons in Hell and Satan being present to torment the people sent there. St. Teresa of Avila noted the dirty water with reptiles, so did Dante. They both observed there were special places and caves for the demons to torture people forever. Josepha Menendez saw people tortured in a special way in the parts of the body, which they used to sin. So did the Polish saint Maria Kowalska. This was what Dante saw and described.

    Sr. Lucia saw people amidst fire. Dante described many realms with fire. The Bible and the sacred books of other religions also list fire in Hell. However Dante is more explicit and covers a large range of the specific suffering in Hell. Sr. Lucia seemed to be shown, by Our Lady, just one area.

    The Catholic Church tells us that a category of non Christians will go to Hell. That non Christians can go to Hell is clearly said in Vatican Council II and the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    Jesus cautions us about Hell in the New Testament. The road to Hell is wide and many take it He said. This warning was His love for us. The Old Testament and the Psalms have many references to Hell. Isaiah (33) asks who can withstand a devouring fire for eternity. The Quran refers often to Hell.

    The message of Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church is that those non Catholics who have had the Gospel preached to them and who know that the Catholic Church is the one, true Church of God, founded by His Son Jesus Christ, and who yet do not enter through baptism and Catholic Faith will go to Hell (they cannot be saved).

    Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by God through Jesus Christ would refuse to enter her or to remain in her could not be saved. – Decree on the Missionary activity of the Church, Ad Gentes # 7, Vatican Council II

    Mohammad knew about Jesus Christ and the Church Jesus founded. This is clear in the Quran. Yet he refused to enter it. He had the Gospel preached to him. His soul, Catholic teaching indicates is oriented towards Hell.

    Many Muslims who have had the Gospel preached to them, who know that God the Father founded his only Church through his Son Jesus Christ. They know that they need to join this saving-Church because this is what God wants of them. Yet they do not do so. They are oriented towards the Inferno at the time of their death.

    The Bible and the Catechism say that just one mortal sin at the time of death, is enough for a soul to go to eternal death. Muslims, do not have the help of the Catholic Sacraments.

    And whosoever shall keep the whole law but offend in one point is become guilty of all. For he that said: Thou shalt not commit adultery, said also: Thou shalt not kill. Now if thou do not commit adultery, but shalt kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. (James 2:10-11). (Douay-Rheims Bible)

    So there are not only Mortal sins of Faith, which is relevant to Mohammad, but there are also Mortal Sins of morals. The Church specifies which are the mortal sins e.g. committing or encouraging murder-abortion, euthanasia, fornication, homosexuality, fornication.

    There are many Muslims who believe that they are doing good and have a good conscience. With mortal sins of faith and morals they are oriented to Hell, while living as Muslims. This is not what God wants of them.

    The Catholic Church teaches us that the religion Muhammad founded has good things but it is not a path to heaven. It also has errors and deficiencies (Dominus Iesus). It carries the fourth century Arian heresy which denies Jesus is God. It denies the Trinity and the Crucifixion of Jesus.

    THE CATHOLIC CHURCH DOES NOT CONDEMN ANY PROPHET OR RELIGION

    The Catholic Church, however, does not officially name any particular person in Hell. It does not even say that Judas is in Hell (or Heaven) even though Scripture indicates that Judas’ soul is cursefreesite in Hell.

    One can appreciate many good and holy things in the religion Muhammad founded.

    This report here hence is not a condemnation of Muhammad and Islam. Neither does the Catholic Church condemn either.

    The sin of heresy however is a Mortal Sin.

    ‘…those who do not believe will be condemned’ says Jesus (Mk.16:15-16).

    They have chosen their condemnation. They have chosen eternal death. Muhammad, like Gandhi knew about the Catholic Faith. They chose otherwise.

    Muhammad, like Gandhi, was born with Original Sin. Muhammad carried the image of Adam (1 Cor.15:45-49).Through Baptism ‘we bear the image of the heavenly one’- Jesus. Muhammad died with the stain of Original Sin. He could not say that Jesus is Lord. He who cannot say that Jesus is Lord is the Antichrist the Bible says.

    Muhammad’s concept of Heaven is not that of Christians. St. Faustina Marie Kowalski describes her vision of Heaven which is Trinitarian. (N.777Diary). She described Paradise where Catholics are in happiness, amidst great beauty and give praise and glory to the One Triune God. It is a place of pure love for God without the presence of evil. (Whatever ones religion or lack of it, if one is saved it is through Jesus and the Catholic Church, one is a Catholic in Heaven).

    VATICAN COUNCIL SAYS ISLAM NOT PATH TO SALVATION

    Vatican Council II actually says that Judaism, Islam and the other religions are not paths to salvation. (Ad Gentes 7) Their followers need Catholic Faith and Baptism in general, to avoid Hell (Lumen Gentium 14).

    The Council asks us to have “a high regard” for the precepts and doctrines of these religions “which often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men” (Nostra Aetate, N.2), but does not anywhere say that these elements are sufficient for salvation.’-Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, Christ to the World (1981)

    Not to believe in the one God as in Catholic Revelation is idol worship. It is contrary to the First Commandment. Idol worship is to make ones ego a god. It is to make ones badly-formed conscience god (CCC 2104, 2105, 2113, and 2114).It is choosing to worship as one wants to, personally, and not as God wants to be worshipped. We can choose to make television, or the editorial in a particular newspaper are idol, our god. Muslims can choose to stay within their religion, and circle the stone Kaaba, in a religious pilgrimage, in Saudi Arabia.

    REFUSAL OF THE EUCHARIST FOR FIRST CLASS HERESY

    Muslims who know the truth about the Catholic Church and yet choose to remain in the religion Mohammad founded are in heresy. Heresy is a grave sin (CCC#2088).Persistent grave sin; with full knowledge is a Mortal Sin.

    A Catholic in persistent Mortal sin, known to many people, can be refused the Eucharist. It means the loss of Sanctifying Grace. Heresy on this issue, means giving up the right to receive the Eucharist. For a Catholic religious it is giving up the right to celebrate Holy Mass or to canonically hold an office as a Catholic.

    Muslims cannot receive the Holy Eucharist.

    We appreciate all the good and holy things inIslam which are a preparation for the Gospel and entry into the Catholic Church.(Notification,CDF,Dupuis 2001).God loves Muslims.

  • Adrian,
    The Youtube video of Choudry shows that Islam says the same as the Catholic Church, only we said it some 500 plus years before them.We do not advocate violence and war and do not force are Catholic beliefs on any one.
    However the Church does teach that everyone needs to be a member of the Mystical Body of Jesus to go to Heaven and avoid Hell.It is the will of God that everyone be united in the Catholic Church(CCC). The Church is the only Ark of Noah that saves in the flood(CCC),the Church can be compared to a Door in which all must enter for salvation(CCC/Church Fathers).

  • Tim/T.Shaw
    We do not personally say that anyone is going to Hell because we personally know- we don’t. However the Magisterium says that the Imam is on the way to Hell.Since he is educated and knows about the Church and yet does not enter.(Vatican Council II).He also has Original Sin and is oriented to Hell (Ex Cathedra, extra ecclesiam nulla salus).
    So in dialogue would you tell the Imam that the Church teaches that he is oriented to Hell fires?

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1KXFspkG4Y&hl=it_IT&fs=1&]

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjJRCIHNqc4&hl=it_IT&fs=1&]

  • ” The Youtube video of Choudry shows that Islam says the same as the Catholic Church, only we said it some 500 plus years before them.We do not advocate violence and war and do not force are Catholic beliefs on any one. ”

    Dear Lionel Andrades I am well aware that the thinking of the Catholic Church, ( or at least a good part of it ), during the era of the 15th Century had much similarity to the opinions of Mr Choudary but the way you have written your posting makes it ambigious as to whether the Catholic Church has abandoned the position that it is okay to kill people simply because they do not accept elements of Christian theology, for example the divinity of Jesus, when the reality is that the Catholic Church has abandoned enforcing Catholic orthodoxy on others through the sword.

  • Adrian

    We affirm the same orthodoxy as the 15th century(extra ecclesiam nulla salus) but we do not force people to accept our views, neither do we advocate violence.

  • If an adherent of a particular religion, wishes to claim that this or that individual or this or that group will burn in hell fire for all eternity, that is often in of itself of little concern to me. Where it starts to get problematic is in faiths, that do not leave it go to God dispense justice in such matters. This is a particular problem in Islam.

  • Adrian

    Islam believes in Hell with fire just like Catholics. They also believe all of us non Muslims are going there. So they conduct Mission(dawah) to convert us.
    Some do it peacefully others through violence.
    We also believe that Muslims are oriented to Hell unless they convert.So we proclaim are faith peacefully and can even expect to be killed.
    God will dispense justice of course, Hell or Heaven however we still proclaim the hard truths of the Catholic Faith.

  • But not all of us Catholics have the same view on Islam.
    Joan Lewis is the Bureau Chief of EWTN in Rome and over the last few years I have been asking her three questions about Catholic Mission and Salvation and she will not answer them. She can also be heard on Radio Vatican which continues the slander on Fr. Leonard Feeney implying all of us Catholics who agree with him are also heretics.

    To reject the ex cathedra dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus is a mortal sin. So how can Joan Lewis receive the Eucharist at the Church of Santa Susanna Rome and worse still also be a Eucharistic Minister?

    It is possible becaue of the Rector of Santa Susanna Fr.Gregory Apparel, a Paulist Father. In a homily he openly rejected the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus and cited Vatican Council II.After I corresponded with him via e-mail he asked me to stop coming to that Church.

    Joan Lewis would also give the Eucharist to John Allen, a former member of the Church praish council. Allen, at the National Catholic Reporter has rejected the dogma and supported homosexuality,syncretism and other evils.It is all there in public.

    EWTN has a similar policy as the Vatican Radio English Service. Even the Vatican Radio Press Service has been issuing press releases as if they have received a special dispensation from the Church to reject the extra cathdra dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. The rejection of Church teachings and the criticism of the Catholic Church is familiar on Radio Vatican (English).
    They could politey tell you that the Imam does not have to convert.

  • To “World Peace”-

    I’m inclined to give you the space to defend Islam- in fact I think it fair to allow all religions to speak their piece- even go door-to-door to hand out literature or attempt to start a conversation with anybody on the questions that are the most important in life- Is there a God? Has He revealed Himself? What truths have been conveyed from Above? This freedom to speak and share- as long as there is no pressure or harassment conveyed- is what I call religious liberty- along with the right to worship and display articles of one’s faith on their property and selves- this is the whole point of my posting.

    Catholicism promotes religious liberty even as She preaches that the Church has the fullness of the Truth- the fact that Jesus Christ will come again and judge the living and the dead- and so forth- there is no contradiction in holding these two concepts- one that everyone should have religious liberty and two that God has revealed Himself and we have the obligation to preach the Good News in good weather and bad. The United States and most of Europe seems to allow for these two actions to occur simultaneously. Respecting individual consciences and respecting religious adherents to practice and preach their beliefs in public and private- with only minimal interference ideally.

    The problem I would address to “World Peace” is the seeming difficulty in the lack of reciprocity in some key Islamic dominate nations such as Saudi Arabia- if Christians are not free to do what I detail above in Saudi Arabia- why should we allow Islamic adherents to increase in numbers here in the U.S. or receive student visas, and profit mightily from an economic relationship- when the preaching and teachings of Jesus Christ are banned from the lands of Islamic dominance? If Islamic adherents were to be working toward ushering in an era of true religious freedom in their homelands- that would seem to merit a healthy presence in our country- but without that one must be concerned that if or when the numbers change and Islamic adherents become a majority here in the U.S.- would we see a push toward turning the U.S. into a replica Saudi legal state? I prefer not to have to worry about all this- and the situation would be easily rectified if Saudi Arabia and other such states would move in the direction of respecting religious freedom- there are plenty of foreign workers in Saudi Arabia, and I imagine that there are Saudi citizens who are Christians but who fear criminal charges for coming out as Christian. Here in the U.S. Christians converts to Islam are in no way targeted by the laws of our land- why not put your respect for our Christian faith into real terms by proclaiming the need for religious freedom in Saudi Arabia et al? This would be a necessary first step in ensuring that any kind of positive dialogue could take place- otherwise you can speak all you want of the wonderful qualities of Islam but if in fact Islamic nations have zero tolerance for Christian expression, there is no reason for Christians to pursue good faith dialogue with those who apparently do not have the good sense to actually respect our lives and consciences.

  • One question I would posit based upon (CCC 846-848)

    846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

    Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

    847
    This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation.

    848
    “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.

    I would argue that the question of salvation turns on the question of the knowledge or lack thereof and possessed by Muslims concerning the Gospel of Christ or his Church, and the extent to which, their ignorance is vincible or invincible in nature As Pius IX pointed out in paragraph seven (7) of

    7. Here, too, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, it is again necessary to mention and censure a very grave error entrapping some Catholics who believe that it is possible to arrive at eternal salvation although living in error and alienated from the true faith and Catholic unity. Such belief is certainly opposed to Catholic teaching. There are, of course, those who are struggling with invincible ignorance about our most holy religion. Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace. Because God knows, searches and clearly understands the minds, hearts, thoughts, and nature of all, his supreme kindness and clemency do not permit anyone at all who is not guilty of deliberate sin to suffer eternal punishments. Quanto Conficiamur Moerore 10 August 1863 which was reaffirmed in paragraph twenty-three of Mystici Corporis Christi dated 29 June 1943

    23. Nor must one imagine that the Body of the Church, just because it bears the name of Christ, is made up during the days of its earthly pilgrimage only of members conspicuous for their holiness, or that it consists only of those whom God has predestined to eternal happiness. It is owing to the Savior’s infinite mercy that place is allowed in His Mystical Body here below for those whom, of old, He did not exclude from the banquet.[20] For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy. Men may lose charity and divine grace through sin, thus becoming incapable of supernatural merit, and yet not be deprived of all life if they hold fast to faith and Christian hope, and if, illumined from above, they are spurred on by the interior promptings of the Holy Spirit to salutary fear and are moved to prayer and penance for their sins.Mystici Corporis Christi dated 29 June 1943

    We as Catholics must tread carefully when speaking of extra ecclesiam nulla salus. because Pope Pius XII excommunicated Rev. Leonard Feeney 13 February 1953 for adopting a position that was to rigid on the subject. Even though the excommunication was lifted some twenty years later it instructive in the sense that it demonstrates the danger that exists in adopting absolutist positions.

  • Nathan:

    There is no Church document which says that Pope Pius XI excommunicated Fr. Leonard Feeney for heresy. The Letter of the Holy Office (1949) during the pontificate of Pope Pius XI refers to disobedience to Church authorities. The Letter mentions extra ecclesiam nulla salus as ‘the dogma’ and the ‘infallible teaching’.
    Here is the dogma, the infallible teaching.

    1. “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.).
    2. “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 302.).
    3.“The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.)
    There cannot be two positions about the dogma, there is no rigid and non rigid position, there is no absolute and non absolute position, a dogma is a dogma.
    As can be seen from the dogma above Pope Pius XI was saying that every Jew (and Muslim) in Boston needs to convert to avoid Hell.
    The Jewish Left media refer to the rigorist interpretation of the dogma (as if there can be two interpretations) but that is their political position. The stuff of Wikipedia and the New York Times.
    The Catechism and Vatican Council II are in accord with the dogma.
    CCC 847 says all people are saved by Jesus and the Catholic Church. It includes those saved explicitly and those implicitly. It does not rule out everyone de facto having to enter the Church for salvation.
    CCC 847 like Lumen Gentium 16 mentions those who can be saved with implicit faith and who are known only to God. There are no de facto cases of invincible ignorance or the baptism of desire that we can judge or really know of. So 847 does not refer to de facto salvation and is not in contradiction to the dogma. It is a reference to de jure salvation, something we accept in principle and is possible ‘in certain circumstances’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949).
    CCC 848 refers to those saved in invincible ignorance and who are known only to God.
    If salvation depends in particular cases on one’s knowledge or lack of it, in a Muslim, then this is acceptable in principle, de jure and will be judged only by God. The dogma and Ad Gentes 7 says all Muslims, everyone, need to enter the Church to avoid Hell.
    We do not know for example how many Muslims in Rome have the baptism of desire or are in invincible ignorance. However Ad Gentes 7 indicates that they are all on the way to Hell since they know about the Catholic Church and yet do not enter.
    Neither can we say that invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire is the general means of salvation for all Muslims and Jews.The church corrected ‘the theology of religions’ being proposed by the late Fr. Jacques Dupuis S.J (Notification, CDF, 2001)
    After every thing is said and done, debated and argued we have the dogma clear before us.

  • Tim,
    There are blasphemy laws in Pakistan and other Muslim countries.Does the Imam condemn it in public ?

  • Lionel,

    I respectfully disagree Rev. Feeny was excommunicated on 13 February 1953 as proof of his excommunication I submit the declaration of excommunication

    100 Acta Apostolicae Sedis – Commentarium Officiale

    ACTA SS. CONGREGATIONUM SUPREMA SACRA CONGREGATIO S. OFFICII DECRETUM SACERDOS LEONARDUS PEENEY EXCOMMUNICATUS DECLARATUR

    Cum sacerdos Leonardus Feeney, Bostonii (Saint Benedict Center) residens, qui propter graviter denegatam oboedientiam Auctoritati Ecclesiasticae
    a divinis iamdudum suspensus fuerat, non obstantibus iteratis monitionibus et excommunicationis ipso facto incurrendae comminatione, non resipuerit, Emi ac Revmi Patres rebus fidei ac morum tutandis praepositi, in Plenario Conventu Feriae IV, habito die 4 Februarii 1953, eundem excommunicatum cum omnibus iuris effectibus declaraverunt.
    Feria autem V, die 12 Februarii 1953, Ssmus D. N. D. Pius Divina Providentia Papa XII Emorum Patrum decretum adprobavit, confirmavit atque publici iuris fieri iussit.
    Datum Romae, ex Aedibus S. Officii, die xin Februarii a. MCMLIII.
    Marius Crovini, Notarius

  • Lionel, I never said Father Feeny was excommuicated for heresy. I know that he was excommunicated not for heresy but for grave, continuing disobiedence and refusal to submit to Ecclesiastical Authority as demonstrated above. His disobiedience originated with his refusal to conform to the position taken by the Ecclesiastical Authority on the subject of extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

  • We have to avoid the Fundamentalist Christian trap of claiming to full well know God’s will in deciding any particular individual’s ultimate destiny. Church teachings indicate that only Christ can Judge such things- and we believe that Christ is the one who judges all individuals- He is not our personal jesus, He belongs to everyone – or more accurately everyone belongs to Him. We also know that salvation is mysteriously worked out through the Church of Christ which subsists in the Catholic Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ. We know that there are explicit members of good standing who are knowingly and wittingly Catholic, and we know that there are individuals below the age of reason who are nevertheless baptised Christians, and we know through reason and Church teachings that there are those who are separated from God by mortal sin- who are inside and outside of the visible structures of the Catholic Church.

    We also know that there must be an element of “knowing” of one’s sin, and “knowing” that the Catholic Church is really and truly the One, True Church- these elements are where the mystery of each man’s heart and mind kicks in. We should not presuppose that someone is a good sort and is definitely going to or is in heaven, and we should make the automatic opposite assumption that someone is definitely heading to hell- with no qualifiers- just a plain certainty that this or that fellow is going or is in hell. The Pope doesn’t even allow that Judas is for certain in hell- we know that hell exists, we know that Jesus warns of it and many parables suggest that there are many who end up there- but again the bottom line on ultimate status is one that is best left to Jesus Christ Himself. It is hard enough to sort out an official Saint of the Church.

    Now we are obliged to share the Good News with everyone, never assuming that a non-Catholic is necessarily such a good sort that they are heaven-bound no matter their beliefs concerning the Catholic faith. We have a duty to preach the Gospel in season and out. We can allow that children raised in non-Catholic or “bad” Catholic homes will have a more difficult journey when you take in the truth that we are all to honor our mothers and fathers, and when we are led astray by those who are put here to give us the best possible helps- well that makes for a confusing situation- add to that growing up in a society where nearly or very definitely everyone is a non-believer, or an adherent of a different religion, then you can start to appreciate some of the complexities in determining one’s freely chosen beliefs concerning explicit understandings of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II even wrote in his book- Threshold of Hope- of how it was understandable how someone like Gandhi would have troubles in accepting Christianity from the hands of the same forces that oppressed him and his homeland.

    So- I hope to conclude my post with something approaching the true guidance of our Mother Church- we are called to witness for Christ and Church- there is no way to suppress that demand of all disciples of Christ. We must also be gentle as doves, and shrewd as serpents in doing so. We must evangelize with our lives, our words, our works and so forth. But we are called to stop short of making ultimate Judgements on the outcomes of any one man’s soul. We know the prescriptions for holiness as orthodox Catholics- we need to keep pulling the planks out or our own eyes first, but not neglecting to admonish all sin and sinners we encounter- with charity and without coming across as “clanging gongs” full of truth but too little love.

    I am not down with just outright bashing of folks who are Muslim, Jews, Buddhists, or even non-believers in anything Holy. We don’t know that these people who belong to some degree to these other faiths are necessarily going to hell- anymore than we can say with complete certainty- I’m saved, I’m going to heaven- Jesus has no say in the matter- well hold onto your horses. One can use the “Judge Not” Scripture to bad effect, but I think it is to be applied to making these Ultimate Judgments on particular human souls. We can apply good theology and sound reason, and we need to keep abreast of what language and what approaches our Church Hierarchs are activating, so that we can be better witnesses for the Faith. If someone sounds just way too harsh, or way too gentle and wishy-washy, I try to find some speech or talk from the Pope on the subject or watch to see how he conducts himself in the company of non-Catholics. In trying to become little christs, we should draw upon the guidance from our Holy Father- Santo Papa. As such I am pursuing the important issue of reciprocity of religious freedom, without making blanket assertions about all Muslims heading to hell- assuming that they fully understand the implications of not viewing the Catholic Church as Church founded by Jesus Christ to be the provider of the normative means of salvation for universal humanity. I try to step back and appreciate the Mystery of Salvation, and humbly submit my will to God for moral improvement and clearer insight into the human condition. God bless all those of goodwill- I would like to offer non-Catholics a welcome to consider what being Catholic means by reading our Catholic Catechism in it’s entirety, along with reading Holy Scripture, and the Papal Encyclicals on all manner of topics. Welcome!

  • Nathan,
    Here is the English version of the same DECREE:
    I am glad that you agree that he was not excommunicated for heresy.
    He refused to be obedient to the Archbishop of Boston, the ecclesiastical authority, who finally time showed, never affirmed the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.Neither did he issue a clarification when the secular media in Boston repeated that the Catholic Church has changed its teaching on outside the Church there is no salvation.
    Fr.Feeney also refused to go to Rome to defend himself.He was disobedient.

    Pius XII – Decree Excommunicating Leonard Feeney, 13 February 1953

    Prior to the excommunication, Feeney received the following summons to appear before the Holy Office from Cardinal Pizzardo on November 22, 1952.

    The Holy Office has been obliged repeatedly to make your teaching and conduct in the Church the object of its special care and attention, and recently, after having again carefully examined and calmly weighed all the evidence collected in your cause, it has found it necessary to bring this question to a conclusion.

    DECREE

    THE PRIEST LEONARD FEENEY IS DECLARED EXCOMMUNICATED

    Since the priest Leonard Feeney, a resident of Boston (Saint Benedict Center), who for a long time has been suspended a divinis for grave disobedience toward church authority, has not, despite repeated warnings and threats of incurring excommunication ipso facto, come to his senses, the Most Eminent and Reverend Fathers, charged with safeguarding matters of faith and morals, have, in a Plenary Session held on Wednesday 4 February 1953, declared him excommunicated with all the effects of the law.

    On Thursday, 12 February 1953, our Most Holy Lord Pius XII, by Divine Providence Pope, approved and confirmed the decree of the Most Eminent Fathers, and ordered that it be made a matter of public law.

    Given at Rome, at the headquarters of the Holy Office, 13 February 1953.

    Marius Crovini, Notary
    AAS (February 16, 1953) Vol. XXXXV, Page 100
    ___________________________________________________

    Since he was not excommunicated for heresy, the ‘absolutist’, ‘rigorist’ position of the dogma stands. It is the official teaching of the Catholic Church.

  • Tim,
    ‘Making blankt assertions that all Muslims are going to Hell….’
    All Muslims are de facto going to Hell according to the ex cathedra dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus which you still have difficulty in affirming.
    Here is the ex cathedra dogma,once again.

    1. “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215).

    2. “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 302.).

    3.“The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.) – from the website Catholicism.org and “No Salvation outside the Church”: Link List, the Three Dogmatic Statements Regarding EENS
    http://nosalvationoutsideofthecatholicchurch.blogspot.com/)

    The Church does not say that Judas is in Hell and neither does the Church say that he is in Heaven.However the dogma does say that all Muslims are on the way to Hell.
    So when I meet a Muslim I know that he needs to convert since I cannot judge if he has the baptism of desire etc.The Church says that he is oriented to Hell with Original Sin and mortal sins committed in that state.He lacks the Sacraments including that of the baptism of water.

  • What would Scott Hahn say if he mt th Imam ?

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJdigrcFDFc&hl=it_IT&fs=1&]

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu15hXWQ7Qc&hl=it_IT&fs=1&]

  • What would Scott Hahn say if he met the Imam ?

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PtCFSVuKAc&hl=it_IT&fs=1&]

  • VATICAN COUNCIL II SAYS OUTSIDE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH THERE IS NO SALVATION

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6ECtRajdJc&hl=it_IT&fs=1&]

  • FRANCISCAN PRIEST SAYS LUMEN GNTIUM 14 IS THE ORDINARY WAY OF SALVATION

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om0mrS_H4w4&hl=it_IT&fs=1&]

  • Lionel-

    It is agreed that if there is any saving to be done- it is Jesus Christ who is going to do it- He is God- not a mere prophet or holy man. I don’t know that we have a dispute on formal theology because I also agree that the normative means of grace and salvation are found inside the Catholic Church- this is why we must as Catholics witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ and to the truth of the Catholic faith- I think we both agree here. Where we are getting tied up in knots is how do we go about evangelizing Muslims, Jews, Hindus, non-believers and so forth. Your way is to hit them over the proverbial head warning them that they are on the path to hell- that is one means of evangelizing the truth- another way is the way I see witnessed by our modern popes and current Pope- when I read their speeches regarding Muslims I don’t get this over-the-top approach in the way they evangelize- it seems that they are speaking the truth with nuance- recognizing that while the normative means of salvation are the surest path- we cannot exclude the extraordinary Mercy of our Lord.

    If you desire to help someone who has inherited a faith from parents they love and adore- you would do well to enter into an oftentimes slow and difficult dialogue if you hope to convince and convert someone. If you show up on their doorstep and announce to them that their parents are leading them straight to hell and come with us to be saved in the Catholic Church- well I imagine the means of communication will be such that most people will order you off their property and then regard Catholics as rude, insensitive blow-hards who couldn’t possibly have anything in common with a God of Love. You see Love and Truth go together- it is like in courtship- the first thing that may draw you to a woman may be her physical beauty- now you could approach her and say- “hey you’re hot, let’s get married and make babies!”- that may be a dominant thought in your mind, but love brings in the mystery- you show gentleness, patience, kindness, you chase after her- you don’t try to overpower her with logical reasons why she should simply choose you over the other men.

    Evangelization is a loving process as well as a truthful one- if you truly wish to convert someone over to Christ and Church you cannot just overpower them with threats of hell- you may feel good about yourself in telling others the raw truth- but if you approach people with clanging gongs in your voice, your words, your personal bearing- you will not be serving the Good News you are ostensibly trying to convey- at least not very well.

    As a convert to Catholicism myself- I was won over by a friend who was Catholic, who offered a personal life witness and who slowly put me in touch with such things as the papal social encyclicals, and then with Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgies. He could have rushed the process, cut to the chase, and told me- “if you want to be my friend, become a faithful Catholic now and avoid the pits of hell” Well- maybe that approach would have been something common in Jehovah witness circles, but how has that approach been going for them? As Father Corapi says in his conversion tape- “I discovered that the name of God is Mercy”. Many sins are covered by love, how many? We cannot know- Jesus the Just and Merciful will judge all of us- we should all do our best, and learn how best to convey His Name to those in ignorance. We can choose to court the non-Catholics, or we can just try to overpower them with our clubs of Truth. I think that we resort to the clubs only as a last resort, when a society tries to shut down our freedom to be and put into practice our Catholicism- or maybe when a society is engaged in a genocide of the innocents..

  • As far I am aware World Peace and please correct me if I am wrong, internet websites did not exist at the time of the revelation of the Noble Koran to the Prophet Mohammad PBUH by the Archangel Gabriel, what you have provided in your links to the web site
    http://www.islamreligion.com
    is links to a website, not to Islam as you apparently claim to be the case. You may sincerely believe the pages on that website represent the most accurate and correct interpretation of Islam but there would be very many Muslims who would disagree with various things on those pages. This is not some esoteric technical argument about how many angels could dance on the point of a needle but can be literally a life and death issue for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. For example, some Wahhabi clerics will declare Shi’ite Muslim clergy to be apostates and within the Wahhabi frame of reference, apostasy from Islam carries the death penalty. One thing I am particularly interested in respect of that website, is I could not see who the people are, who are operating it nor could I find what interpretation of Islam they subscribe to, maybe those things are clearly posted, if so could you provide a link or links to a places or places on that website where such matters are detailed.

  • Tim,
    We both agree that the normative means for salvation is Jesus and the Catholic Church.
    My focus has been on doctrine and dogma.
    There can be different approaches to evanglisation.The Holy Spirit can guide us.
    For the sake of peace we cannot change the teachings of the Church.
    There is confusion when you say ‘while the normative means of salvation are the surest path we cannot exclude the extraordinary Mercy of Our Lord’. This seems a rejection of Catholic doctrine, it is also ‘playing God’.
    We can choose different ways and times for presenting Catholic doctrine but the doctrine must be clear to us.In this case ALL Muslims are on the way to Hell.

    Tim,I am glad that you responded to the Holy Spirit and became a Catholic in a way that was appealing to you.Love and Truth go together and with gentleness,kindness and patience we can keep affirming the difficult truths of our faith.
    Usually in answer to a question, or in a polite matter of fact way we can say that the Church teaches that all Muslims ( and Jews etc) are presently on the way to Hell.You can smile kindly and speak it gently.And if your met with anger still be gracious but get the message across like St.Paul.

  • VATICAN APPROVED BOOK INDICATES ALL MUSLIMS IN ROME ON THE WAY TO HELL

    ALSO AFFIRMS OUTSIDE THE CHURCH NO SALVATION WITHOUT DENYING THAT DE FACTO EVERYONE NEEDS TO ENTER THE CHURCH TO GO TO HEAVEN

    An apologetic book in Italian published by the Vatican press ( Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2008) and approved by Bishop Luigi Morelli, Bishop at the Rome Vicariate (Vicariato) indicates all Muslims in Rome need to convert to avoid Hell.

    50 Argomenti di Attualita by Raffaello Martinelli ( p.98 Cristo SI, Chiesa, No?) states those persons cannot be saved who know the Church has been founded by Christ and is necessary for salvation and yet do not enter. This passage is from Vatican Council II, Ad Gentes 7.

    Muslims in Rome know about Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. They are all oriented to Hell.

    The book also explains outside the Church there is no salvation(p.98,99) as, all people saved explicitly and implicitly by Jesus and the Church (Compendium of the Catechism,171).So it does not negate the centuries of teaching that de facto everyone with no caption needs to enter the Catholic Church to avoid Hell and go to Heaven.

    Here is the ex cathedra dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.
    1. “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215).

    2. “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 302.).

    3.“The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.) – from the website Catholicism.org and “No Salvation outside the Church”: Link List, the Three Dogmatic Statements Regarding EENS: http://nosalvationoutsideofthecatholicchurch.blogspot.com/ )
    The dogma is saying that all Muslims in Rome and elsewhere in the world need to convert to avoid Hell. This is also the message of Vatican Council II (Ad Gentes 7).

    Ad Gentes 7 says ALL need to enter the Church for salvation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church 836 also says ALL need to enter the Church. Muslims have Original Sin and need the Sacraments for salvation.
    The dogma is saying that all Muslims in Rome and elsewhere in the world need to convert to avoid Hell. This is also the message of Vatican Council II (Ad Gentes 7).

    Ad Gentes 7 says ALL need to enter the Church for salvation. The Catechism 836 also says ALL need to enter the Church.

    The ex cathedra dogma is not contradicted by Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium 16 said Fr. George Puthoor on a YouTube video. Fr. George Puthoor is a Rosiminian priest at the Basilica of San Ambrogio and Carlo, via del Corso, Rome. The book is available at the entrance of the basilica.

    Since Lumen Gentium 16 (invincible ignorance) refers to a concept only and not to de facto salvation it is not opposed to the Catholic infallible teaching that all non Catholics are oriented to Hell.

    Those who are in invincible ignorance or who have the baptism of desire are known to God only.There is no de facto baptism of desire that we can know of.

    Fr. Gorge Puthoor removed ambiguity in the book which could suggest Muslims all over the world are not oriented to Hell because some could be in invincible ignorance or have the baptism of desire that we can de facto know of.

    We do not know de jure (in principle) the number of cases presently with the baptism of desire in Rome. Neither do we know de facto the number of baptism of cases which exists presently in Rome. Nor do we know if there really are any cases of the baptism of desire presently.

    Mons. Raffaello Martinelli was recently appointed a bishop of Frascati, Italy. The Rosiminian priests and sisters continue to manage the basilica of San Carlo and Ambrogio via del Corso. The book is available free of cost along with apologetical pamphlets in different languages.
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2010/05/vatican-approved-book-indicates-all.html#links

  • MONSIGNOR WHO SAID ISLAM NOT A PATH TO SALVATION APPOINTED BISHOP OF FRASCATI, ITALY

    Mons. Raffaello Martinelli has been appointed Bishop of Frascati, Italy. In an interview he had mentioned that Islam is not a path to salvation and that Muslims needed to enter the Catholic Church to avoid Hell.( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9L5202FYCMs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCyWwQSHatc )

    In his book on apologetics, Argomenti d?Attualità in forma dialogica,Frammenti di Verità Cattolica. Come la Chiesa considera le religioni non –cristiane? P.54 (2006) he indicates that Muslims need to enter the Catholic Church for salvation according to the teachings of the Church.

    Raffaello Martinelli (born June 21, 1948) is an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church.

    He was born in Villa d’Almè, and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Bergamo on April 8, 1972. He served as bureau chief at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    On July 2, 2009, he was appointed Bishop of Frascati by Pope Benedict XVI.He received his episcopal consecration on the following September 12 from Benedict XVI, with Cardinals Tarcisio Bertone and William Levada serving as co-consecrators, at St. Peter’s Basilica- Wikipidia

  • i am from pakistan i love america to help pk and afghanistan

  • i love usa to helping pk by us aid

  • Pingback: How about protesting for a church in Saudi Arabia? « Daily Page
  • There is a more workable analogy with Saudia Arabia, taken from history: the Papal States.

    I don’t know nearly enough of the details of the laws and how that sovereign state was run before it was dismantled in the 19th century, but it would make a more realistic comparison with contemporary Saudia Arabia as an actual theocratic country. While obviously not approving of religious intolerance in the latter country, personally I would be wary of condemning everything about it with too broad a stroke, lest I shoot myself in the Catholic foot.

Set Me Free (From Ideologies) Part 3

Thursday, May 6, AD 2010

The Catholic Church is the biggest defender and promoter of the large traditional family. This endorsement of large families is something that tests the loyalties of ideologues because the Church doesn’t conform to liberal or conservative political pressures.  The more-or-less typical liberal ideologue seems to take on the ideal of saving the global environment by way of discouraging the Church’s teachings on Life and Family issues.  The more-or-less conservative ideologue often takes on the approach to economic theory that goes something like- “you breed em’ you feed em'”. I don’t find much support for either of these hard positions in the actual teachings and guidance given us via Christ’s Church.

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12 Responses to Set Me Free (From Ideologies) Part 3

  • “The right to property is closely connected with the existence of families, which protect themselves from need thanks to savings and to the building up of property.”

    Perhaps also an argument against the Estate Tax.

  • Phillip- I think the estate tax is an interesting one in that it is – at the fed level- directed only at multimillionaire holdings, with exemptions for operational family farm estates and small businesses- and it is a tax that has strange bedfellows- I read a good book on preserving the estate tax by Bill Gates Sr. and Chuck Collins- Wealth and our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes- there are many who feel that extreme inheritances tend to create an aristocratic presence that undermines the meritocracy element in American society which was in part a reaction against the old Euro-aristocracies.

  • Actually I will defer as you may be correct. But you also may be wrong on how much businesses and small farms are protected. For example:

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/taxes/small-business-owners-face-estate-tax-dilemma/19349404/

    It might not be the Gates’ children only that are affected. But I will let others who have more expertise in this address.

  • Perhaps the ammendments to the law discussed in the bill above were passed.

  • Regarding the estate tax, I like Greg Mankiw’s thought experiment on it:

    Consider the story of twin brothers – Spendthrift Sam and Frugal Frank. Each starts a dot-com after college and sells the business a few years later, accumulating a $10 million nest egg. Sam then lives the high life, enjoying expensive vacations and throwing lavish parties. Frank, meanwhile, lives more modestly. He keeps his fortune invested in the economy, where it finances capital accumulation, new technologies, and economic growth. He wants to leave most of his money to his children, grandchildren, nephews, and nieces.

    Now ask yourself: Which millionaire should pay higher taxes?… What principle of social justice says that Frank should be penalized for his frugality? None that I know of.

  • I don’t want this entry to become all about the estate tax debate- I will just end it here with the recommendation to anyone wanting to go deeper with that one to find the Gate’s book I mentioned above and offer a critique of the many arguments and proofs he lays out there for that particular tax. So, if you want to debate the tax please someone write up their own entry and/or do a short critique of the book’s main points if you have time for the research.

  • Fair enough, but the estate tax is an instructive example of why it’s difficult to make blanket policy prescriptions based on CST. Clearly, the argument against plutocracy works in favor of the tax, but Mankiw’s horizontal equity illustration goes against it. CST does not cut neatly across party/ideological lines as some would have you believe.

  • Without getting into exactly what form(s) of taxation are best- what about the proposals from the Church on having subsidies for families to reach a true family wage, and having remuneration for domestic work- I’m thinking mostly of stay at home moms working hard taking proper care of the kids and abode- what about these specific ideas?

  • About the only safe thing that one can say about tax policy derived from CST is that taxes should not unnecessarily burden the poor. After that it is pretty much all prudential.

    The example of family farms regarding the EGT is a good one. Such farms are subject to the same exemption as any other estate assets. Until this year 3.5MM and back down to 1MM I think next year. Is that exemption too low? Why? Are farms different from other businesses, aside from all too common romantic attractions? Wouldn’t most Americans love to own a $1MM farm?

    The risk of plutocratic cross-generational wealth accumulation is belied by the real facts, which are that family wealth becomes less concentrated and generally diminishes over generations. Ask the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Kennedys, Dukes, etc.

    This is not to say that the EGT cannot be justified, but the arguments are less stark. It is true that there is something a bit unappealing about children and grandchildren living off the hard work of their ancestors, but those ancestors may well have under taken the initiatives they did precisely because of a desire to take care of their progeny. After all they choose their heirs.

    Similar problems abound with income taxes. While ability to pay is certainly a valid factor in the calculus of tax fairness, one cannot dismiss that disparities in that factor have a substantial choice component. While most everyone wants to be rich, few people are willing to undertake the combination of risk, hard work, and discipline required. It is easier to let the other guy do it and just slice off a piece.

  • I for one, as a hardworking mother at home, would most definitely like to see some sort of recognition that what we do is real work.

    Socializing and nurturing children; providing their earliest (and some would say most crucial) formation as human beings and citizens; guiding and directing their habits, hygiene, and studies; teaching them the fundamental skills to cope with danger, challenge, and the unexpected; watching over their nutrition, environment, and exercise … The list of what I do goes on and on. A day-care worker doesn’t do everything I do, and what she/he does isn’t done as efficiently because the time to do it comes only in pieces.

    These are important tasks. Stay-at-home parents should be able to do them without having to pay for the privilege.

    Finally, families create stability in a culture, and tax laws, just like all other laws, ought to recognize that fact and adjust accordingly.

  • Sibyl,

    I agree completely. In the abstract, the state should promote the traditional family structure. The larger the family, the greater should be the benefits. Special loans or grants should be given by banks for family businesses or any sort of family financial endeavor.

    Ultimately, though, Christian families must come to rely on each other. So the state should not enshrine the nuclear family, which in my view can become a restrictive fifedom for domineering parents.

    I hate to use that stupid line, but it is true that “it takes a village” – its just that it takes a Christian village, a Catholic village, a community and a parish rooted in traditional Christianity. It doesn’t take the socialist welfare state that Hillary Clinton was talking about.

    I’m not an old man but I’ve seen enough to know that many couples struggle financially in vain. If they would loosen their grip on “their property”, their territory, “their” children (which even good people in today’s society treat more and more like possessions or pets), then many of their problems could be resolved.

    This is how the Mexican community often operates; many families sharing resources. Of course the families are usually related. Its why they can be relatively poor and still out-breed blacks and Caucasians in the United States. They don’t have “more kids than they can afford” – they share burdens among themselves.

    We don’t need to rely on blood relations the way a lot of ethnic communities do. We have a spiritual community; the Body of Christ. But we don’t use it. We are all afraid of one another, afraid to “impose”, afraid to “overstep”, afraid to “offend”, afraid to offer ourselves. If you aren’t completely self-sufficient, you’re a “loser.” You can turn to the anonymous state for help without being judged.

    This is a problem in attitude we need to address. One day, if I have the resources, I will start my own Christian community. Nothing fancy – just encourage Christian families with the same values to live on the same street, send their kids to the same school (or possibly establish a private homeschool), maybe even jointly own a local business together, and see where it goes. It will have to be a community where people trust one another, where parents trust other parents to watch and teach their children for a day (and how much better would that be than some atheist from the teacher’s union pushing homosexual propaganda?).

    Sorry to ramble on. I just believe Christians should voluntarily renounce individualism and materialism.

  • Joe- I’m pretty much with you- I have been dreaming of starting or joining some kind of family monastic movement such as you described- I also wrote up a Catholic Education vision document which hasn’t made it very high in the food chain as of yet- where part of it is to create businesses in Catholic schools along the lines of lasermonks.com, I envision different types of consumer products being made and sold in Catholic communities and schools- bringing much needed monetary resources into Catholic schools which are reeling from steep tuition charges and an over-reliance on a few wealthy benefactors.

    As for the whole State welfare dilemma- I think it is made more complex by our embrace of the global economy whereupon the corporate culture has moved into highly mobile mode, picking up and moving around the country and world- the worker bees must keep up- and so we move about the country, pulling up stakes and putting more and more distance between immediate and extended family members- and one result has been that families and even neighbors are less likely to have formed the deeper bonds of friendship, trust and so forth, so we don’t feel comfortable asking for help from even our parish families because of that body-soul thing- grace builds upon nature- and though we share a spiritual communion we are simultaneously caught up in our cultural milieu that has us moving around, and busily attending to all the other time-takers in life- commuting time, kids activities, face time with our own spouses and children, and down time after stressful work days- what is lacking is the time to spend just hanging out in community at our parishes developing the purely human relationships where we actually know each other;s life circumstances and then feel the call to help or seek help in immediate things like financial crisis and so forth- as it is, if I get laid off chances are the house is put up for sale and the job search becomes a national one because you have to move with the tide of job opps- for good or ill this puts more of us into situations where government funded safety nets are very important- when you have more kids, you need more assurances- not everyone is going to have the call/vocation to start a business from scratch or have some unique talent that translates readily into a fabulous market position in the economy of the moment.

Save Your Marriage!

Wednesday, November 11, AD 2009

Emotionally riveting song and video for me- I have been blessed to discover the value of my own family- and I vow everyday not to screw it up and make the little ones pay the price for my mistakes. Hang tough little families out there- prayer is like a rock that anchors me to what is good and holy in my life. My wife and kids are the highlight of my day, my nightmare is to think of my life right now without them.

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4 Responses to Save Your Marriage!

On Vacation

Thursday, June 18, AD 2009

On Vacation

I’m on vacation this week with my family.  Yesterday my wife and I took the kids to Brookfield Zoo, something we have been doing since 1998 when the kids were quite young .  I hope that my three sophisticated teenagers still enjoy it and are not just humoring dear old Dad.  My wife and I certainly still love going to the zoo.  A few observations:

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5 Responses to On Vacation

  • I grew up in Berwyn, IL and frequently visited the zoo throughout my childhood. It is indeed an “only in America!” type of place. I’ll have to go back and visit one of these days!

  • Is the pic of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza?

    Good posting.

  • Yep and thanks Tito.

  • I’m not generally a fan of Picasso’s work, but his Don Quixote is one of my favorite pieces of art (I like his bullfighting scenes as well).

    When my wife and I were dating a decade ago, she and her mother and sister went to Spain for a week. She asked me if I wanted her to bring me back anything. I printed out a picture of the above work of art and told her that I wanted a t-shirt with that on it and the word “Espana” beneath it.

    She actually found exactly what I wanted and brought it back to me.

  • Don Quixote sums up nicely both the glory of Spain, seeking to accomplish the seemingly impossible and stunningly doing so more than once, and also the difficulty that Spaniards have often had throughout their history in dealing with this frame of reality.

Tortured Credibility

Friday, May 22, AD 2009

It has become an oft repeated trope of Catholics who are on the left or the self-consciously-unclassifiable portions of the American political spectrum that the pro-life movement has suffered a catastrophic loss of credibility because of its association with the Republican Party, and thence with the Iraq War and the use of torture on Al Qaeda detainees. Until the pro-life movement distances itself from the Republican Party and all of the pro-life leadership who have defended the Iraq War and/or the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on detainees, the argument goes, the pro-life movement will have no moral authority and will be the laughing stock of enlightened Catholics everywhere.

Regardless of what one thinks about the Iraq War and torture (myself, I continue to support the former but oppose the latter) I’m not sure that this claim works very well. Further, I think that those who make it often fail to recognize the extent to which it cuts both ways.

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42 Responses to Tortured Credibility

  • I don’t think being “pro-life” will lose credibility because the position is True, but “pro-lifers” who associate with other violations against human dignity might.

    Personally, I do not understand how a thoughtful Catholic can support the Iraq War. I’ve yet to really hear air tight moral justifications for it, and if memory serves the entire run up to the invasion reeked of jumping the gun while post 9/11 emotions still ran high. Not exactly conditions for sober decision-making.

    The decision was not only an act of aggression, it was unconstitutional and a strategic blunder. It put us on the road to bankruptcy and rather than secure our safety I believe it to be contributing to an environment for further violent conflict. The truth is, almost a decade out from 9/11 and we were given Saddam Hussein on a platter instead of Osama bin Laden.

    The fact of this occurring under a Republican administration is rather irrelevant. If party actually mattered the war funds would have been taken away by the Democratic congress at any time after 2006. Now, half a year into Obama’s tenure and the line on withdraw is “give us three years”.

    The fact that this messy war has tainted other Republican “values” is not surprising. Look at everyone suddenly crying out that capitalism has failed!

    I would expect that if Obama does not end the war in a satisfactory way by the next election, or if there is a new conflict in Pakistan or Africa… leftist values too will begin to be dragged down. Voters will become sick of everything he says, just like Bush. The anti-war left would likely be as deflated and the pro-life right.

    If you ask me its the insanity of tribalism at work. If you take the “us vs. them” two party system and combine it with the general ignorance… well what do you expect? And besides, its not as if people on the genuine left and the genuine right really make it into power, is it?

    The war was never about securing the American people. It was however, about securing the American federal government; it dominance and control. Thats something both center-left and center-right can agree on. Ironically, they are losing both bit by bit, British-style.

    To this day I believe that the path to regain power is within Republican hands: all they have to do is repudiate the war. Maybe change their name, too. 🙂

    As far as the pro-Life movement is concerned… I do indeed think it is in their best interest to grow beyond the party. I think they have to if they are looking to build majorities that can withstand the back-and-forth of American politics.

    Most libertarians seem to be pro-choice, which is mind-boggling. There’s room there to grow a little bit.

    Pro-lifers do not need a majority of Democrats on their side. Just enough to make the larger party think twice when it comes to abortion legislation. They have to consider which piper they are going to pay. If abortion were more often argued in terms of the civil rights movement, perhaps left-leaning politicians could be persuaded.

    I guess, Darwin, my broader point is – none of it matters. Its tit-for-tat politics and none of the influential players are interested in moral consistency, just majority-building. By defending the Republican alignment of values or that the pro-life movement is perfectly at home where it is, you’re playing into the hands of pollsters and politicians.

    Or, perhaps I made no sense, even to myself.

  • Personally, I do not understand how a thoughtful Catholic can support the Iraq War. I’ve yet to really hear air tight moral justifications for it, and if memory serves the entire run up to the invasion reeked of jumping the gun while post 9/11 emotions still ran high. Not exactly conditions for sober decision-making.

    Well, I think I can at least claim to have been sober, in that I’d supported forcibly removing Hussein from power ever since 1991. I considered it profoundly immoral for Bush Sr. to have called on the people of Iraq to rise up against their dictator, with the implicit promise that the US would support them, and then leave them to die in the hundreds of thousands instead. I would have supported an invasion at any time since then, and I considered it to be justified, given that Iraq had never satisfactorily obeyed the 1991 cease fire anyway. If Clinton had been willing to get rid of Hussein at any point during his term, I would have supported that.

    I do think that the WMD justification was poor at best. Yes, there was a general belief (even among Iraq’s military) that they had chemical weapons. But they were not a great threat to us. However, given that I’d been in support of deposing Hussein for over ten years already, I didn’t consider the punitive justification a major obstacle to what seemed long overdue already.

    But, I can certainly understand why other Catholics would believe differently.

    By defending the Republican alignment of values or that the pro-life movement is perfectly at home where it is, you’re playing into the hands of pollsters and politicians.

    I don’t know that I’m so much defending the status who as pointing out that it’s hardly surprising to anyone. There are parts of the GOP platform that I absolutely disagree with (I’d support open borders) but I don’t think anyone does himself any favor by getting all worked up over where the current alignments are. It’s ludicrous to claim that the pro-life movement has lost credibility as a result of being associated with the GOP in a way that immigration reform and opposition to the death penalty haven’t as a result of being associated with the Democrats. All are known to be highly partisan agendas with established bases of support, and pretending that’s news to anyone does not strike me as doing one credit. Even if one would appreciate realignment.

  • “It’s ludicrous to claim that the pro-life movement has lost credibility as a result of being associated with the GOP in a way that immigration reform and opposition to the death penalty haven’t as a result of being associated with the Democrats. ”

    I suppose it would depend on how you see credibility. The movement is philosophically credible by being moral and constitutionally correct. But politically I can see how some would say they’ve lost credibility in terms of their ability to win elections, win court cases and influence legislation. If a movement is going to cast its lot with one party, then its goals are inevitably tied to the success or failure of unrelated issues. Only the thick-headed would exclusively equate political success to intellectual legitimacy.

  • Anthony,

    If a movement is going to cast its lot with one party, then its goals are inevitably tied to the success or failure of unrelated issues

    the movement has no choice but to cast it’s lot with one party since the other party is diametrically opposed to it’s principles and has rejected it outright.

    You’re not proposing some ridiculous third-party option, are you?

    The suggestion that some sort of post facto repudiation of the Iraq war will make even the slightest difference in the next election is living in the past, open your eyes and look forward. Whatever the key issue of 2010 and 2012, it will not be Iraq 2003-2008.

  • The suggestion that some sort of post facto repudiation of the Iraq war will make even the slightest difference in the next election is living in the past, open your eyes and look forward. Whatever the key issue of 2010 and 2012, it will not be Iraq 2003-2008.

    This is due to american historical amnesia, of course.

  • Rather a reaction to the coming Obama Crash. Unless there is a major terrorist attack, and I wouldn’t rule that out, the economy will be the overriding issue in 2010 and 2012 and the signs are not good currently for Obamanomics.

  • Michael I,

    what Donald said. But also, the American people realize that right or wrong the Iraq invasion was a bipartisan decision that most of the people agreed with as well. Their disatisfaction was almost entirely due to the poor state of affairs until it was rectified by the surge which President Bush (R) ordered at the recommendation of General Petreus (R?), and the urging of Senator McCain (R), and the majority of the Republican party. The main thing people will think about with regard to Iraq will be that it was won by the Republicans before Obama took over, or that Obama snapped defeat from the jaws of victory, very unlikely since he kept on the Robert Gates(R) to ensure that it wouldn’t happen.

    Donald is exactly right, the issue of 2010 and 2012 will not be Iraq 2003-2008. If I had to predict, sadly, it will be economic malaise, inflation, crushing federal deficits, massive tax increases, and quite possibly devastating terrorist attacks or other security issues (Russia, Iran, North Korea, take your pick).

  • “the movement has no choice but to cast it’s lot with one party since the other party is diametrically opposed to it’s principles and has rejected it outright.”

    I think the point is not whether or not the choices, in the short-term, of what seemed best for the survival of the movement is correct. After Roe v. Wade, the Democrats became increasingly dominated by pro-choice politicians, supported by the abortion-minded groups, etc. The GOP was very welcoming.

    I think the point of the criticism (right or wrong) is that possibly unforeseen affects are what we’re experiencing now.

    I think he is saying that the pro-life movement by making itself dependent solely on the success of a single party has made its own success contingent on that party. If positions predominantly accepted by that party are, largely down-the-list, against one’s best judgments of what better achieves justice then despite their pro-life convictions, some will feel disenfranchised and/or uncomfortable or even alienated by the rest of pro-lifers, some, not all, of which give a blind stamp of approval to the platform because of the party’s stance on life issues.

    And because this issue has divided itself across party lines, it appears to be a partisan issue when it really should not be.

    I posted a link from a story in the Human Life Review a while back talking about trouble pro-life Democratic candidates had in receiving funds, despite their records, from pro-life groups; other problems included Republican candidates being endorsed over pro-life Democrats with untainted abortion records — though, as far as I know, this hasn’t happened so much on the federal, rather than, state level. It’s why people — rightly or wrongly — say that some pro-life groups might as well be Republican PACs.

    Another problematic case is the fact that pro-life Democrats are so “diaspora” and not collectively organized at the local levels that it makes it rather difficult, even for principled, pro-life Democrats to actually launch a campaign. They don’t have the resources, even for those who are unequivocally pro-life. Some settle and work in the trenches for pro-life groups or other justice causes. Others simply — and I imagine this happened during the Reagan years — became Republicans.

    As a result, it is very very difficult for the pro-life movement to enter the realm of the Left because fellow pro-lifers are suspicious, perhaps with valid reason, to suspect “double talk” or false pro-life credentials.

    However, this very reality, I think makes the pro-life movement a house divided against itself while the pro-choice movements is moving in lock-step and that’s the source of their temporal victories.

    Now, I’m sure no one is saying that a one-party pro-life party is the way to go to. Some are hesitant, I’m sure for valid reasons, that it is difficult, or even counter-productive, to support self-described “pro-life Democrats.” Perhaps they’re right.

    However, here are my criticisms — some valid, perhaps some not. Everyone will have to judge for themselves.

    When Reagan was the president, the pro-life movement gained quite a bit of ground. Yet, the Clinton Administration quickly turned the direction of abortion and bioethical policies the other way. The Bush Administration was eight years of undoing the damage done by the Clinton Administration and restoring and adding new pro-life policies. Now we’re in another reversal.

    This tit-for-tat can keep going, or the other party can be infiltrated from within. There has not been much ground on this made, necessarily, but the organization Republicans for Choice (http://www.republicansforchoice.com/) are all but invisible. After the election, I’ve read a many articles and seen many people claiming that it was the “values-sector” of the party driving out moderates with their alleged extremism and litmus tests. I’m not making their argument; I am simply stating their assertions. The GOP, as seen, has no problem recruiting pro-choice Republicans to run for office (more than likely in liberal districts) to win office. I suppose the thinking is that it’s better to have someone with you 90% of the time then 0%.

    This reality tried to manifest itself in the 2008 GOP presidential primaries. The pro-life movement responded forcefully — not for the best candidate in my view — but responded nonetheless. Yet, I cannot help but wonder: what if?

    What would happen if the GOP with its new RNC Chair, Mr. Steele, so committed to “inclusion” and diversity and non-application of litmus tests went in a different direction? What if, God forbid, at some point, the pro-life movement split between viable candidates and all pro-choice and socially moderate Republicans concerned with fiscal conservatism, not cultural values, line up behind a single, less-than-pro-life candidate?

    I think that’s the bind. What is a pro-life person to do in this situation? Surely, a hypothetical, cynical GOP strategist might ask: would they really go to the other party? If this did occur: what would you do? Some I imagine would put a protest vote and not vote at all. Others would vote for the GOP, take what they can, and work to change the case next time. But it would surely be a source of division and debate: a house divided against itself. It seems that if voting is a moral obligation, then, one can’t simply sit at home and let good pro-life Republicans lose their seats and more pro-choice seats be taken in Congress by the Democratic party. What about pro-life Governors? What about the Presidency? The latter of two who appoint judges (depending on the State) and can realistically set a judicial seat in the pro-choice camp for perhaps a generation. Right now, that’s the scare with Obama’s SC nominee coming. Surely it would be better — and on this no one disagrees — that power can exchange between the parties and there would be little concern over nominee’s abortion positions.

    It seems that the success of the pro-life movement rises and falls with the GOP. I think it’s problematic.

    I don’t think it’s nonsense per se to envision Republican strategists, pure pragmatists, to realize that abortion is a potent electoral tool and not so much a human rights issue. This isn’t to say that there are several candid and sincere pro-life Republicans serving in public office.

    In the last 40 years, there have been only 2 Democratic appointments to the Supreme Court. Reagan chose two nominees that ended up being pro-choice and so did Bush I. Seven of the nine Justices since Roe have been made by Republicans and the pro-life movement has not garnered the votes needed by the court in order to get a 5-4 majority.

    This goes back to the question of pro-life Democrats. I think many Democrats who are pro-life cannot garner the resources or support to make it to office. The Democratic party won’t fund pro-life candidates, but rather would search for pro-choice candidates — anyone — to run in opposition to such candidates in primaries. That’s the key. A pro-life Democrat might do fine in a general elections against a Republican. In recent decades, they usually win. But rather it is the Democratic primary is an incredible challenge because of a lack of resources to compete against their fellow party-members who are singling them out surely over abortion. The GOP doesn’t hesitate to fund it’s pro-choice candidates: primaries are fair game. Let the voters decide.

    The list of pro-life Democrats who had high political ambitions who realized this reality is growing. Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Jesse Jackson, Joe Biden, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Dennis Kucinich, and many more were all at one point pro-life.

    Now certainly there change of conviction is morally incorrect and a reflection of poor character and courage. Many of such candidates do so for political expediency; others remain “pro-life,” but compromise their position and “moderate themselves” to win some base votes that they otherwise cannot win office without. Some later become explicitly pro-choice; others try to uphold the pro-life facade. Surely, the cooperation in evil doesn’t justify such actions. However, I think the fact that this occurs reflects a support that is not there, not just for cowards who will compromise, but for those who genuinely will seek office and never win it because they aren’t willing to sell out their principles.

    Yet, it just makes me wonder, if a pro-life Democrat launched an exploratory committee to seek the presidency and actually made it onto the ballot for the Democratic primary, how many pro-life groups or pro-life Americans, might actually extend help in resources for such a candidate to survive the assaults of NARAL, Emily’s List, and Planned Parenthood which is without a doubt the most organized, financed political movement in the U.S.? I’m skeptical of the number of people who would cross over from the GOP and cast their vote to ensure the pro-life candidate wins. I’m sure they have their reasons for it as well.

    I’m not sure anything I’ve said is valid or just my jumbled, ramblings.

    Perhaps, my most controversial thought is this…

    I won’t say it is a double standard.

    I just will say I dislike the reality. It seems that to be authentically a pro-life Democrat you must support Republican candidates, even with the most strident conviction that these candidates will not work fervently, or even with passion, to curtail the horror of abortion — but are rather giving you lip service. Right or wrong, I believe this to be the case. Yet, if you vote for or support pro-life Democratic candidates, some, again, not all, will see this as a moral compromise and support for “pseudo-pro-life” candidates. To such candidates, much scrutiny is given; but this same critical eye is not extended to the pro-life politicians in the GOP; it seems to me, perhaps, I’m wrong, they get quite a bypass. Nor do such individuals see any sort of necessity in helping such candidates win and defeat pro-choice candidates in a party direly in need of pro-life presence.

    Pro-life Democrats can never achieve leaders seats on committees and roles of leadership if they aren’t greater in number to be a force not to be thrown around.

    So, at the end of the day, pro-life Democrats seem to have a responsibility to ensure that Republican candidates beat pro-choice Democrats; yet, the issue of pushing their party in a more pro-life direction, seems to be an issue that is sort of “their problem” — and I cannot see how this current reality doesn’t lend itself to helping the Republican party politically. It maintains its hold on a crucial voting bloc.

    So, not so surprisingly, I agree, at least, in part with critics that the pro-life movement in some respects behaves like a Republican PAC.

    As it so happens, two parties that are pro-life forces competition, competition produces results. It seems then that pro-life Democrats are a potent tool for pro-life success. Even from 2000 to 2006, not a piece of pro-life legislation could pass through Congress without the remaining pro-life Democrats to neutralize and overcome pro-choice Republican votes.

  • But also, the American people realize that right or wrong the Iraq invasion was a bipartisan decision that most of the people agreed with as well.

    Not true, and also irrelevant.

  • “the movement has no choice but to cast it’s lot with one party since the other party is diametrically opposed to it’s principles and has rejected it outright.

    You’re not proposing some ridiculous third-party option, are you?”

    No, I’m proposing that we patiently persuade… a lost art in the United States.

    There has to also be a way that makes the pro-life cause and Democratic political interests better partners. Recall that after 2004, some Democrats began to wonder aloud (perhaps not seriously, but still) of becoming more friendly to the pro-life side of things. I had hoped the “Blue Dog” Democrats might be a moderating force, but not so it seems..

    Though, a third party would always be welcome in my view, however unlikely. It will never happen until enough disillusioned but still caring individuals decided to organize and work to breakdown election rules.

    “The main thing people will think about with regard to Iraq will be that it was won by the Republicans before Obama took over”

    I don’t agree. I think people will see it as an expensive mess (fiscally and morally) by Republicans that had to be cleaned up with more expenses by Republicans.

    And in the not-to-distant future they will see that Obama is carrying on that proud tradition, just in a lefty, Oprah-y way with nice posters and logos. Whether they have the courage to see past it remains to be seen.

    “The suggestion that some sort of post facto repudiation of the Iraq war will make even the slightest difference in the next election is living in the past, open your eyes and look forward. Whatever the key issue of 2010 and 2012, it will not be Iraq 2003-2008.”

    You’re joking right? If they don’t repudiate it then why would those of us who can remember past last week believe them ever again? I used to be fairly Republican 8 years ago. I’ll never vote for either major party again unless there is fundamental changes in attitude. I don’t care how naive or idealistic it is. We’re Catholic, for pete’s sake. We’re supposed to be better than this.

    The Republicans either lied, were incompetent or made bad judgement. All are good reasons to be kept from power as long as possible. “The Surge” no matter how militarily successful is irrelevant to the underlying issues that got us into the situation in the first place. If “winning” in Iraq looks the same as our perpetual “victories” in Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Germany, etc. then… no thanks.

    Don’t get me wrong… the Democrats are guilty of all that too!

    “Donald is exactly right, the issue of 2010 and 2012 will not be Iraq 2003-2008. If I had to predict, sadly, it will be economic malaise, inflation, crushing federal deficits, massive tax increases, and quite possibly devastating terrorist attacks or other security issues (Russia, Iran, North Korea, take your pick).”

    The Iraq war is not over, so it is not “2003-2008”, its “2003-present”. Its Obama’s War now, just like Afghanistan and his little games in Pakistan.

    I agree that economic issues are going to be the issue. But gee, I wonder what contributed to this mess… perhaps our ludicrously expensive foreign policy based on principled values like bribery or blowing things up.

    Will inflation be the issue? Of course, thanks to the billions spent, borrowed or created at the start of Bush’s term and exponentially increased under Obama.

    If a “security issue” (real, imagined or just for fun) does come up, you can bet that they’ll sell it as beneficial to our economic woes. Which is like saying WWII ended the Great Depression (it didn’t). Or perhaps they’ll say that this war (presuming its Iran) will be cheaper because the troops are already there! The cannons can be adjusted just a few degrees further east!

    I must say… if there is another “devastating” terrorist attack and the U.S. goes into another post-9/11 funk of spending and shooting…I’m not certain the “Republic” can survive in anyway thats worth describing as free.

  • Anthony, I agree. Despite my own previous assumptions, I’m not so sure I’ll be crossing over and helping the GOP in 2010; maybe not in 2012.

    I might have a straight down the line Pope Benedict XVI ballot.

  • “I might have a straight down the line Pope Benedict XVI ballot.”

    My mind is being tragically torn into a million pieces that the very thought of Pope Benedict XVI, Vicar of Christ, Bishop of Rome… and POTUS!

    Thomas Jefferson would be very, VERY disappointed!

  • If you say you won’t support pro-life Republicans in 2010 or 2012 for office against pro-abortion Democrats… what’s the logical conclusion?

    If you say you don’t want the Republicans back in power any time soon, and you’re not insane enough to think that somehow a magical third party will take sweep the congress in 2010 and the presidency in 2012, then the only conclusion is you prefer the RADICALLY pro-abortion Democrats.

    If you don’t see the strategy of supporting the Republican party straight ticket, then vote your conscience on each legitimate candidate on his own merits. That’s the ONLY moral option.

  • I said I’d write in candidates.

  • Michael J. Iafrate,

    Not true, and also irrelevant.

    Of course it’s true, 70% of the population supported the invasion, and both parties with a very few exceptions.

    Relevence? It’s relevent to the point of what will happen in 2010/2012.

    Anthony,

    No, I’m proposing that we patiently persuade… a lost art in the United States.

    I agree, we should patiently pursuade the luke-warm to be on fire for pro-life, and for the pro-abortion to be pro-life or at least luke-warm. THis applies to either party of course. Franly though, you can have a much greater influence on Republican platforms that you like or don’t like than you will on dropping abortion from the Democrat platform. THere is just a lot more tolerence for dissenting views in the Republican party.

    “The main thing people will think about with regard to Iraq will be that it was won by the Republicans before Obama took over”

    I don’t agree. I think people will see it as an expensive mess (fiscally and morally) by Republicans that had to be cleaned up with more expenses by Republicans.

    I don’t think most people really have as short a memory as you do about the invasion (bipartisan and popular support), if their memory is short they’ll probably only remember that we won (unless Obama snatches defeat from the jaws of victory, and that they’ll REALLY remember. Expensive? In 2003-2008 terms perhaps, but it is so small compared to Obama’s spending sprees it will not really factor on the decision.

    You’re joking right? If they don’t repudiate it then why would those of us who can remember past last week believe them ever again? I used to be fairly Republican 8 years ago. I’ll never vote for either major party again unless there is fundamental changes in attitude. I don’t care how naive or idealistic it is. We’re Catholic, for pete’s sake. We’re supposed to be better than this.

    Actually you may not be aware but there are bigger things at stake than a popularly supported invasion in 2003, the Church is pretty clear on this, abortion is a much more serious issue. 40 million murdered innocents and counting… no comparison.

    The Republicans either lied, were incompetent or made bad judgement. All are good reasons to be kept from power as long as possible. “The Surge” no matter how militarily successful is irrelevant to the underlying issues that got us into the situation in the first place. If “winning” in Iraq looks the same as our perpetual “victories” in Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Germany, etc. then… no thanks.

    Shame on you.

    The Iraq war is not over, so it is not “2003-2008?, its “2003-present”. Its Obama’s War now, just like Afghanistan and his little games in Pakistan.

    That’s my point, Iraq war, initiated under popular support, waged by the Republicans (poorly at times, but later brilliantly and successfully) from 2003-2008. The wrap-up is Obama’s to screw-up, it will not help him if he lets the job be finished properly, but it will devastate him if he screws it up.

    I agree that economic issues are going to be the issue. But gee, I wonder what contributed to this mess… perhaps our ludicrously expensive foreign policy based on principled values like bribery or blowing things up.

    Have you actually looked at military spending as % of federal spending or GDP? It’s tiny. Other “foreign policy” spending is money that’s been wasted for decades, nothing new here, I’d drop most of it immediately.

    If a “security issue” (real, imagined or just for fun) does come up, you can bet that they’ll sell it as beneficial to our economic woes. Which is like saying WWII ended the Great Depression (it didn’t). Or perhaps they’ll say that this war (presuming its Iran) will be cheaper because the troops are already there! The cannons can be adjusted just a few degrees further east!

    I must say… if there is another “devastating” terrorist attack and the U.S. goes into another post-9/11 funk of spending and shooting…I’m not certain the “Republic” can survive in anyway thats worth describing as free.

    are you a pacifist? I’m wondering, because you seem to make no distinction between just and unjust wars, ie. real = just, imagined, or just for fun = unjust.

  • Eric Brown,

    I said I’d write in candidates.

    let me get this straight. You consider your objections to the Republican platform to be on such a morally equal level to abortion, even when balanced against the alternative’s incredibly immoral policies… that you would vote AGAINST a viable and authentically pro-life candidate in your congressional district, or for president?

    Think about your position here, it’s untennable. If there is a viable and authentically pro-life candidate you have a moral obligation to support him. In the case of two less than authentically pro-life candidates the Church leaves your conscience to measure the best course, but not when one of them is authentically pro-life.

  • Well, I voted for quite a few Republicans in 2008 and not without a lot of hesitation.

    However, the problem is, that I don’t take at face value that the GOP and Republicans are “authentically” pro-life. Better on abortion than Democrats by far, but not per se…

    And I am not sure if it is a Catholic moral obligation to vote straight ticket Republican.

    I might have reservations to cooperate in the scheme, but I’m not opposed to doing it.

    Read my earlier post.

  • “Actually you may not be aware but there are bigger things at stake than a popularly supported invasion in 2003, the Church is pretty clear on this, abortion is a much more serious issue.”

    Killing is killing. Maybe you’re capable of making value distinctions between innocent, unborn children and innocent Iraqi lives (unless you’re convinced none are innocent), but I’m not.

    The “bigger picture” you refer to is only a numbers game. But the result is the same: death, unintended consequences and damage to human dignity.

    “Shame on you.”

    I’m going to explain myself rather than take that personally. This is the internet after all.

    Our intervention in Japan and Germany is not over. We’re still there, in one capacity or another. And we shouldn’t be, regardless of whether the Germans or the Japanese wish us to be. Here it is 60 years after a terrible and bloody war and American treasure is still being sent abroad to places in which the native peoples are more than capable of taking responsibility for themselves.

    Oh yeah, and dropping two atomic bombs? Morally reprehensible. Nothing to be proud of about that. I can’t imagine Christ doing anything other than weeping.

    So sorry, I’m not going to take The History Channel view of American “victory”.

    “Have you actually looked at military spending as % of federal spending or GDP? It’s tiny. Other “foreign policy” spending is money that’s been wasted for decades, nothing new here, I’d drop most of it immediately.”

    Its a trillion dollar war now, Matt. Plus untold losses on the Iraqi side and an incalculable amount lost in terms of productivity. Who cares about percentages at that point?

    If that money had to be spent, it would have been better but towards meeting our burdensome domestic obligations. The bills are adding up…

    By other “foreign policy” spending… do you mean wasted things like… diplomats?! Linguists?! Negotiators?! You know, the guys that try to resolve problems without killing someone. 🙂

    I’ll give you one thing, if you’d get us out of the U.N. I’d back you up. Thats some prime property here in Manhattan I’d love to see sold off.

    “are you a pacifist? I’m wondering, because you seem to make no distinction between just and unjust wars, ie. real = just, imagined, or just for fun = unjust.”

    I don’t consider myself a pacifist. I do however, believe that the threshold for a just war is extremely high and rarely reached. Additionally, in cases where it is justly reached rarely is it justly executed. I have the same attitude towards the death penalty.

    The American Revolution and The Southern War for Independence to my mind were justified. (I also want to include The Texas Revolution, but my memory is a bit faded on it) Our involvement in WWII was justified, but I think we should have no delusions about the politics that lead up to our entering the war. I also believe portions of how WWII was executed were unjust.

    The Spanish-American War, WWI (a special shout-out here), the Korean War, Vietnam, Gulf War I and II etc. are unjust wars in my view.

    The current war in Afghanistan should have been formally declared after 9-11, with victory clearly defined. My opinion has been that it should have been declared specifically against Al-Qaeda, since they did the same to us in the late 90s. War against the state of Afghanistan should only have been declared if they chose to continue material support to Al-Qaeda.

  • I think the issue is less guilt by association than it is the fact that association can draw you into defending things that really shouldn’t be defended. Over the past month, for example, folks at EWTN, First Things, Inside Catholic and the American Life League have defended the use of torture (or enhanced interrogation, or whatever they’re calling it these days). They didn’t have to do that, and I suspect that if the sides had been reversed (with Dems largely supporting these methods and Repubs opposed) that they wouldn’t have done so. But there’s something about politics that makes people feel that they need to “defend their team” regardless of the system.

    To some extent this may be inherent in the nature of politics (if it weren’t for this political ‘team spirit’ I doubt you could get very many people to participate in the political process or even vote). And it certainly applies on the left as well as on the right. But the danger is real.

  • Blackadder is correct.

  • In the last 40 years, there have been only 2 Democratic appointments to the Supreme Court. Reagan chose two nominees that ended up being pro-choice and so did Bush I. Seven of the nine Justices since Roe have been made by Republicans and the pro-life movement has not garnered the votes needed by the court in order to get a 5-4 majority.

    In the interests of precision it should be that George Bush – pere made just two appointments to the Court, one of which worked out badly. Please also note that Republican presidents have had to maneuver eight of their last 12 court appointments past a legislature controlled by the political opposition. This reality has been salient with regard to the tenure of Anthony Kennedy and David Souter. One might also note the list of registered Democrats who have sat on the Court since 1969 (one of which was nominated by Gen. Eisenhower):

    1. William O. Douglas
    2. William J. Brennan, Jr.
    3. Byron White
    4. Thurgood Marshall
    5. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
    6. Steven Breyer

    Not one of them had to run an obstacle course erected by a Republican Senate. Only one of these (White) ever showed much resistance to enactment by judicial ukase of whatever the prevailing ethos was in Georgetown (and it is doubtful that Mr. Justice White’s most controversial acts of refusal would have been regarded as remarkable either in the legal professoriate or among politicians at the time he was appointed in 1962). Seven of the twelve Republican appointments have been failures, in part because of negligence (Gerald Ford’s and George Bush-pere’s), incompetence (that of Richard Nixon, John Mitchell, and John Dean), and in part because (it is reasonable to surmise) of successful deception by the candidate in question (Sandra Day O’Connor).

    What is a more interesting question is why Mr. Brown would have more than a laconic interest in the competition between the two parties with regard to any other nexus of issues. Both parties are promoters of some version of the mixed economy. The Democratic Party is a reliable ally (the Republicans merely acquiescent) in the promotion of the designs of the social work industry, the organized appetite of academia, the teacher’s colleges, and the public employee unions. Certain subcultures within the population appear to be tribal Democrats). Why should these distinctions excite Mr. Brown’s loyalty?

  • Anthony, I think a lot of it depends on whose ox is being gored. Being partly of Cuban ancestry, I would take issue with your statement that the Spanish American war was unjustified–or at least, that element within it that consisted of Cuban citizens fighting to rout their foreign rulers. And while my Southern creds are impeccable, I confess that I remain deeply divided about the legitimacy of the Wah of Nawthun Agression–particularly the nasty little bit of Confederate adventuring in Charleston Harbor that set off the whole powder keg.

    I am glad to see, however, that you have no false illusions about WWII. Though there is no doubt in my mind that it was justified, I have often reflected recently that the brutality inflicted by all sides–Allies included–in that conflict, makes the sturm und drang about the Iraq War seem doubly ridiculous.

  • Art,

    Then it seems then that more careful vetting would be something GOP presidents should work on and pro-life advocates should strongly affirm that they desire anti-Roe judges and won’t settle for compromises.

    Even in the 1980s, the Democratic party was markedly pro-choice, but there were still a few pro-life Democratic votes in the Senate and I don’t think it was filibuster proof. I’d have to look into that; I’m not so sure if compromise and “moderate” candidates was so necessary.

    Agreed, however, that O’Connor was successful. I must say that I’ve been disappointed with the most recent women firsts — Supreme Court Justice, Secretary of State, Speaker of the House, to be particular. They were all pro-choice…so sad.

    On another note —

    I am a Democrat because I agree predominantly with the party’s platform. And I feel that I simply wouldn’t fit in with the GOP. I practically diverge away on every issue.

    In regard to competition, my only point was that if the Democratic Party had a pro-life plank, the GOP couldn’t half-ass deliver on its promises or fail to give abortion the priority it deserves because pro-life advocates could find a home and place in the Democratic Party. Therefore, competition would increase and the party’s would try to out do each other — but the effect of that is real progress in stopping abortion.

    In other words, the tit-for-tat of pro-choice vs. pro-life means one Administration puts in place pro-abortion policies, another Administration rolls it back, then again, and again. Progress is very slow; if this were not the case, then progress would quicken.

    My feeling on this is that the pro-life movement because of the grave evil of legalized murder doesn’t have the luxury to make up strategy as it goes. I happen to think our current strategy is too tied up in one party. People can disagree; but I think my reasons are valid. Thanks.

  • cminor – Wars for political independence usually to my mind are justified. Or perhaps I just have soft spot for people who wish to be left alone and chart their own course. As I’ve argued over in the past – I believe there is great value behind the principle of secession.

    What I object to in my list of unjust wars is the element of military intervention. Its one thing to philosophically support foreigners, or offer them peaceful-oriented material support (food, medical aide, etc. – mostly for civilians). Violent intervention is a bridge too far. I’m one of those guys who think neutrality is a legitimate and respectable response to foreign wars, especially ones at great geographical distance.

    Eric –

    I’m of the personal view that if the Democrats did have a pro-life bench they would be wildly successful and almost impossible to defeat.

    Granted I’m not a Democrat and never will be. The concerns that their platform addresses I might have heart for, but their solutions more often than not have unintended or misunderstood consequences. LBJ’s Great Society, for example, was anything but. FDR’s social security has contributed ironically to making us less financially secure. These policies, sold to the American public as being in line with liberty, over time make the population dependent – and I would even say pawns or slaves – to the state.

    The Democrats are in essence the party of social and economic intervention. The Republicans are a party of moral intervention and militarism. When politically convenient or necessary, both parties will swap philosophies.

  • Wars for political independence usually to my mind are justified. Or perhaps I just have soft spot for people who wish to be left alone and chart their own course. As I’ve argued over in the past – I believe there is great value behind the principle of secession.

    Interesting. In most ways, I think I would tend to say the exact opposite.

    Indeed, one of the American wars I have more difficulty justifying is the Revolution. And my sympathies in the Civil War are definitely with the North.

  • The Republicans are a party of moral intervention and militarism.

    that’s the talking points anyway. In reality, the Republicans as a policy advocate for intervention in the cause of justice, to protect the lives and rights of the citizens. As to militarism, look again, far more military interventions under Clinton than under Bush or Reagan. Regime change in Iraq was a Democrat policy also.

    Eric,

    I am a Democrat because I agree predominantly with the party’s platform.

    Wow. That’s quite a statement since many of their platform items are contrary to Catholic teaching.

    – abortion
    – contraception
    – secularism
    – limiting the rights of parents to educate their children

  • Matt,

    Last time I checked, party platforms are quite long lists.

    National security policies (which covers an array of issues), foreign policy (again an array of issues), health care, public funding of education, energy, taxes, fighting poverty through private and public sector solutions, and the list goes on.

    If you consider the whole of the platform, I agree with the vast majority of the points.

    Lastly, I don’t think anywhere in the party platform does it state we support “secularism.”

    I’m not saying that many Democrats have a wonderful understanding of the idea of separation of Church and State, but that’s flat out not in the platform.

    I didn’t say I agree with every point of the platform.

    If we had a point list and went down the party platform of each party and I had to respond ‘agree’ or ‘disagree’ — the Democrats would win. Ask me to vote between candidates and probably not.

    Matt, could you really work on not being so overly aggressive and condescending as a commenter? Seriously. It’s not really in this post, but there are more charitable and engaging ways to address people.

    You could have said quoted my comment and asked:

    “Eric, could you clarify what you mean here? A few tenets of the Democratic platform contradict Catholic teaching.”

    That’s very charitable and not so assuming.

    I’m sure we’re all guilty, but we argue on this blog so much about “good” Catholics and “bad” Catholics, let’s strive to actually imitate Jesus.

  • Darwin –

    Perhaps living in Texas will influence your outlook. Certainly myself having been born and raised in Houston I experienced a subculture in America that took pride in its republican sovereignty as a historical footnote. However, Texas by and large is mostly just ‘bark and no bite’ when it comes to independence. Post-Civil War they’ve been properly beaten into submission and made to feel guilty (like the rest of the South) for ever daring to give Washington the screw.

    In the case of both The American Revolution and The Civil War the ultimate goal was not destruction of the enemy but merely her expulsion. If the South succeeded in gaining independence, perhaps the war would have been known as ‘The Southern Revolution’ or ‘The Second American Revolution’. Had both the above conflicts been genuine ‘civil wars’ I would think the endgame would involve usurping power in London and Washington D.C.

    Thats all I’ll say… I’m already too far off topic.

  • The American Revolution and The Civil War the ultimate goal was not destruction of the enemy

    The ‘enemy’ in the first case was the legitimate central government.

    As for the second, I think one can argue that secession was permissible as a matter of positive law. The thing is, both the continued subjection of the slaves and the effort necessary to discontinue that involved the use of force.

  • ****
    that’s the talking points anyway. In reality, the Republicans as a policy advocate for intervention in the cause of justice, to protect the lives and rights of the citizens. As to militarism, look again, far more military interventions under Clinton than under Bush or Reagan. Regime change in Iraq was a Democrat policy also.
    ****

    Matt,

    Maybe I’m being dimwitted, but I think you just responded to my ‘talking points’ with your own set.

    The Republican record is atrocious, especially when it comes to the litmus test of a strict reading of the Constitution and following what I can only presume are Jeffersonian principles. On matters of free speech, spending, declarations of war, states rights and social/government programs they have not lived up to their speeches. They pick and choose which rights and which liberties and which kind of justice just as much as Democrats.

    Our politicians are ‘Cafeteria Constitutionalists’ if I can paraphrase.

    Clinton might indeed have more military interventions (Somalia, Kosovo, Iraq immediately spring to mind), but the cost was no where near that of Bush II. My ‘militarism’ reference is more geared toward the current state of the party and the cultural attitudes attracted to it.

    Like I said above, those described philosophies are also quickly swapped depending on the political weather. Right now, for instance, the Republicans have become much better on a variety of issues. The problem is they have zero credibility.

  • *****
    The ‘enemy’ in the first case was the legitimate central government.

    As for the second, I think one can argue that secession was permissible as a matter of positive law. The thing is, both the continued subjection of the slaves and the effort necessary to discontinue that involved the use of force.
    *****

    I’d love to debate all these points, but it is another topic thread. Unless we have permission to go free-for-all. 🙂

  • Anthony,

    Following the self-indulgent principle of “it’s my thread so I’ll take if off topic if I feel like it”, because this strikes me as an interesting topic:

    I guess the hang-up for me is that as a conservative (and also looking at Church just war teaching) that regional independence (or national self determination, or call it what you will) is not an absolute good. In the case of the American Revolution, it strikes me that the injustices being imposed by the British were arguably very small compared to the evils of a drawn out war. Though the political philosophy of the American founding fathers strikes me as sufficiently far superior to that of the British empire that I an strongly tempted to say it was worth it anyway.

    In the case of the Civil War, I’m mildly sympathetic to states rights, but the stand was only being taken over states rights in order to insist on slavery. In that regard, I would happily have carried a rifle for the Union.

    Still, interesting conversation. I hope you’ll be around next week when I post my review (possibly multi part) of Empires of Trust. That should generate some interesting conversation.

    Blackadder,

    I think you’re right on tribalism. The temptation seems to have been too strong for some pro-life advocates to defend what they should not. Though at the same time — I don’t necessarily see the mistakes of those people as discrediting the movement as a whole. Or at least, it should not do so in the eyes of people who have long been used to swallowing the bitter pill of abortion support in the leaders they look up to on various “social justice” issues.

  • *****
    The ‘enemy’ in the first case was the legitimate central government.
    *****

    I don’t think I’ve heard anyone argue that the British crown was illegitimate, just tyrannical. The grievance, as I remember, was basically that a.) the crown’s actions were unjust and economically destructive, and b.) there was not sufficient representation in Parliament for the American colonies to voluntarily submit if they wanted to.

    Had those matters been better negotiated I would not have seen much cause for political separation. But they weren’t, so in my view it was justifiable to expel the threat to life, liberty and property and replace it with a better suited form of governance. It was time, as they say, to ‘appeal to heaven’.

    With regard to the war between the states its messier and more complicated, but similar to the situation with Britain.

    Let me first say that slavery is as reprehensible as abortion, contrary to any conception of liberty and should be rejected at all times and by all peoples. Were I living in America circa the 1850s, 1860s I would have been anti-slavery, but at peace with Southern secession.

    I often wonder if perhaps by allowing the South to secede, in time slavery could still have been done away with; particularly if Southern states sought to rejoin the Union at a later date. That way we could avoid the half million American deaths and a century of racial and and cultural resentment that is the Civil War’s sad legacy.

    I do not believe that slavery was the exclusive issue at stake in the Civil War. Not every individual fought for the same reason. If truly the war was one of liberation and not one of radically changing our Union’s understanding simultaneously, then permitting secession followed by an invasive mission to free slaves would have made more sense. Abolishing slavery in those states that did not secede would also have been more consistent on the part of the Union. Buying slaves and freeing them would also have made more sense. But both sides dug in… there had to be more to it than the lone moral debate over slavery.

    The South, in my view had a natural and popular desire to dissolve a political arrangement; no matter how imperfect or disgusting their own house could be. (Slavery, if I recall rightly, was enshrined in the CSA Constitution).

    Also I believe there to be legitimate historical and philosophical arguments over Lincoln’s goals at the war’s outset and the role tariffs and taxation played in further aggravating the conflict. Pro-Union historians who concede certain points about Lincoln usually argue that the president grew into being ‘The Great Emancipator’ over the course of the war thus legitimizing the “it was all about slavery” view. But if that is to be allowed then it could also be allowed that for the South what began as a wrong-headed defense of slavery grew into a larger and legitimate cause for political liberty.

    Its a real historical shame that the principle of ‘state’s rights’ – or rather a deference to local government – is tainted by the stench of slavery. Perhaps its only fitting that large, federal government is duly being connected to the stink of abortion, euthanasia, war and economic foolishness.

    *****
    I guess the hang-up for me is that as a conservative (and also looking at Church just war teaching) that regional independence (or national self determination, or call it what you will) is not an absolute good.
    *****

    I’m not certain there is much to say from the Church’s perspective and I only have a few, sketchy thoughts here.

    For one, after life, liberty is a natural and necessary condition in order for mankind to pursue good. I tend to think that if liberty is abridged (either by a state or individual) it further complicates pursuing a moral good via moral means. An individual or a people placed in a desperate situation they’re likely going to react desperately I’d imagine. The slave is legitimate in his revolt against the master, just as the South had legitimacy in its desire to no longer be under Washington’s growing power.

    Second, and perhaps more telling, concerns the general attitude towards ‘the State’. Where as I see the Church as a ‘higher’ form of institution that teaches and loves (however imperfectly some times), the State is considerably lower or lowest in my estimation. Indeed, I find it positively parasitical and unproductive.

    I would note that this does not mean I am not patriotic. I love my country. I love its peoples, my family, my friends, its lands, its culture and even its intellectual traditions. I cannot transfer that love to the State, indeed I find love of state to be dangerous and inescapably competitive with the things I ought to love (my neighbor, my God, etc.).

    Were I to run for office, my platform would likely be to tie the federal government’s hands as much as possible and follow the Constitution to the letter – even when inconvenient.

  • As has been remarked, parliamentary representation in Britain prior to 1832 was quite haphazard – – rotten boroughs, pocket boroughs, dominacy of Lords over Commons, &c. The lack of assignment of representation to the colonies was an aspect of that. (To this day, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, and the residuum of overseas colonies do not have such representation). Why a series of excise taxes should spark a territorial revolt is an interesting question, from a sociological standpoint. Excises on paint and paper and tea may be good or bad policy. Such does not ‘tyranny’ make.

    Lincoln’s original motivations are an historical question. My purpose was to make a rough and ready statement as to why I would conceive of the use of force in that circumstance as legitimate.

    Personally, I think the U.S. Constitution is manifestly defective and should be scrapped.

  • I did not know about the sketchy representation in Parliament. Huh… the more you know!

  • Anthony

    As to Lincoln and the Civil War

    As a Southern one hears that often the Victors write hisotry. However as to the Civil War I often find the losers(we southerners) have often wrote it or “rewrote it” with amazing success. This was whiched one of its climaxes when Woodrow Wilson was elected and suddenly that horrid film he screened became the offical line

    First there is no evidence that Slavery would have gone away. It seemed to be growing by leaps and bounds in Texas. That was once a Catholic NO SLAVE STATE. It is without a doubt that SOuthern Leadership wanted a slave empire. Their constant designs on Cuba and Central America a prime example. In fact a slave Manifest Destiny with desgins on California. I suspect if things had gone differently if DC had been captured and even Philly I am not so sure that areas like New Mexico and Arizona to say the least would have been given back. There was consideravle Confederate action in New Mexico for example and the COnfederate recognized a Arizona Seccesionist Govt

    As to the “growing Federal Power” if you look at the Seccession Declarations of the States SLAVERY was the issue. While a few threw in talk of light houses and the occasional tariff this was the prime concern

    Southerners had used Federal Power quite a bit. They imposed a gag rule on Slavery in Congress, the mails could be censured of anti slavery things. Also what they wanted in the end was a Federal Slave Code. That would have been the largest exapnsion of Federal Power ever. In fact it was largely on this that the SOutherners broke with the Democrat party on that fateful day in Charleston at the Democrat Convention

  • First there is no evidence that Slavery would have gone away.

    Counter-factual speculation is somewhat idle. However, it ought be noted that the abolition of slavery in the United States was appended to the abolition of hereditary subjection all over Europe and Russia over the period running from 1789 through 1864. (Admittedly, serfdom is a qualitatively different institution). Also, I believe that the abolition of slavery in Brazil was enacted just a few years after the close of the American Civil War.

  • Well, the boll weevil would have done in the cotton industry one way or another, so retaining large quantities of slave labor would have become considerably less profitable for one major export at least. Importing new slave labor would also have become increasingly difficult and unprofitable, considering that standard practice on the big plantations in immediately antebellum Georgia and the deep South was to work slaves more or less to death over several years and then replace them. Slave escapes would likely have largely emptied border states (maybe we’d have a wall down the middle of the continent!) There might still be slavery, but not to the same extent as before; likely the system would have gotten extremely draconian before finally starting to fizzle, however.

    Currently I live in a South that, all things considered, is in pretty good shape. If a war (that we started) is what it took to bring the abomination that was slavery to an earlier close and my Confederate forefathers had to lose it so that this corner of the country wouldn’t degenerate into a demagogue-ridden third world state, though they haunt me for saying it, it’s just as well.

    For the record, I got the full Southern version of history in grade school. The victors didn’t write it all.

  • BTW Anthony, what other issues governed the decision to secede to anywhere near the degree of slavery? Please.

  • My favorite history of the Civil War was written by Shelby Foote, and the best study of command in the Civil War, Lee’s Lieutenants, was written by Douglas Southall Freeman. When it comes to the Civil War, the Southern viewpoint has produced myriad first class histories.

  • “BTW Anthony, what other issues governed the decision to secede to anywhere near the degree of slavery? Please.”

    I never said slavery was not part of it. My view has always been that the debate over slavery poured into a lager crisis over the meaning of the Union.

    I merely reject the argument that the Civil War was exclusively over that acute issue. The question of both liberty for slaves, political liberty for the Southern States and the Union’s meaning under the Constitution.

    You can’t disconnect the slave issue from its Constitutional aspects, its economic aspects any more than you can its moral ones. I’d also add that as one who leans rather libertarian the lens through which I’m viewing things is liberty itself. Questions of authority are antithetical. Why can’t one believe that slaves should be free and Southern states free? It seems rather “American” to me.