Carr talk

Took some last minute shuffling of flights owing to Washington winter storm wipeout (and more is on its way), but I have arrived at the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering. The event brings together diocesan and parish-based directors and supporters of social justice and peace offices for some motivational recuperation, capital hill lobbying and general information sharing. They also pore over the domestic and international issues that will be on the agenda in the coming year for folks working in Catholic social ministry. They will have plenty of time to do so this year as we are about to all be snowed in for the week.
I’m particularly sorry to have missed John Carr’s keynote because I wondered if he would respond personally to the attack campaign being launched by the American Life League and confreres (and eagerly embraced by right wing Catholic bloggers) regarding his past participation as board chairman with the Center for Community Change, a national community organizing advocacy, training and support organization. Carr left CCC in 2005 and since then it has adopted some rhetoric and positions at odds with Catholic teaching. Additionally a number of Catholic Campaign for Human Development funded community groups are listed as “partners” by the CCC, though that relationship indicates little more than they may have received CCC training or worked with CCC on specific anti-poverty campaigns, not that they endorse all CCC statements or campaigns.
At first glance the connections drawn by the ALL et al depict a deep ignorance about the nature of community organizing in the United States or its history and offer the kind of head-scratching guilt by association that would be familiar to folks who can remember Sen. Joe McCarthy and the regular House and Senate inquisitions during the Red Scare of the 1950s. Instead of lists of unidentified communist enemies, ALL and allied groups wave embarrassing CCC statements and attempt to backtrack them to assorted USCCB staff. I’m told John Carr only briefly touched on the controversy during his annual keynote speech opening the gathering but other voices from the USCCB have already stepped forward to defend Carr and by extension the USCCB and CCHD.
Carr told me some time after his speech: “I’ve spent my whole life trying to bring together social justice and pro-life, so to be attacked as somehow having undermined that is both unfair and hurtful.”
He was reluctant to say much else about the internet flame war erupting around his reputation except: “I would distinguish between those who have a real concern for the poor and wonder if we’re doing this the right way, those who simply disagree with the priorities and methods of CCHD and [those] who frankly have been attacking the bishops, the conference, the CCHD, and now me and they’ve never found anything good to say about the church’s [anti-poverty] work.
“The idea that the American bishops are soft or lax in their defense of unborn children is just ridiculous. You go down to the march for life . . . and you take away Catholic parishes, Catholic schools, catholic bishops, its not a march it’s a small rally. For people the idea that I’m a secret agent for a prochoice issue just doesn’t fit, and the idea that the America bishops are funding abortions and soft on gay marriage is just ludicrous.”
Carr said he worries the style of the attack suggests that “polarization in public life is now coming over to Catholic life.”
“We don’t need war rooms and attack ads in our community of faith,” he said. “We ought to give each other the benefit of the doubt. We ought to have civil discourse and not assume the worst of each other.
“Their new thing after four days of attacking me is that ‘this is not about John Carr.’ Well, I think that is insightful: This is not about John Carr, this is about the priorities of the poor and whether or not we are going to act on them. . . . When you do bottom up organizing instead of top down, it doesn’t always fit the neat categories but my wish is that people would see what actually happens to people’s lives and communities as a result of this work.”

 

Took some last minute shuffling of flights owing to Washington winter storm wipeout (and more is on its way), but I have arrived at the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering. The event brings together diocesan and parish-based directors and supporters of social justice and peace offices for some motivational recuperation, capital hill lobbying and general information sharing. They also pore over the domestic and international issues that will be on the agenda in the coming year for folks working in Catholic social ministry. They will have plenty of time to do so this year as we are about to all be snowed in for the week.

Advertisement

I’m particularly sorry to have missed John Carr’s keynote because I wondered if he would respond personally to the attack campaign being launched by the American Life League and confreres (and eagerly embraced by right wing Catholic bloggers) regarding his past participation as board chairman with the Center for Community Change, a national community organizing advocacy, training and support organization. Carr left CCC in 2005 and since then it has adopted some rhetoric and positions at odds with Catholic teaching. Additionally a number of Catholic Campaign for Human Development funded community groups are listed as “partners” by the CCC, though that relationship indicates little more than they may have received CCC training or worked with CCC on specific anti-poverty campaigns, not that they endorse all CCC statements or campaigns.

At first glance the connections drawn by the ALL et al depict a deep ignorance about the nature of community organizing in the United States or its history and offer the kind of head-scratching guilt by association that would be familiar to folks who can remember Sen. Joe McCarthy and the regular House and Senate inquisitions during the Red Scare of the 1950s. Instead of lists of unidentified communist enemies, ALL and allied groups wave embarrassing CCC statements and attempt to backtrack them to assorted USCCB staff. I’m told John Carr only briefly touched on the controversy during his annual keynote speech opening the gathering but other voices from the USCCB have already stepped forward to defend Carr and by extension the USCCB and CCHD.

Carr told me some time after his speech: “I’ve spent my whole life trying to bring together social justice and pro-life, so to be attacked as somehow having undermined that is both unfair and hurtful.”

He was reluctant to say much else about the internet flame war erupting around his reputation except: “I would distinguish between those who have a real concern for the poor and wonder if we’re doing this the right way, those who simply disagree with the priorities and methods of CCHD and [those] who frankly have been attacking the bishops, the conference, the CCHD, and now me and they’ve never found anything good to say about the church’s [anti-poverty] work.

“The idea that the American bishops are soft or lax in their defense of unborn children is just ridiculous. You go down to the march for life . . . and you take away Catholic parishes, Catholic schools, Catholic bishops, its not a march it’s a small rally. For people that know me, the idea that I’m a secret agent for a prochoice issue . . .  and the idea that the America bishops are funding abortions and soft on gay marriage is just ludicrous.”

Carr worries the style of the attack suggests that “polarization in public life is now coming over to Catholic life.”

“We don’t need war rooms and attack ads in our community of faith,” he said. “We ought to give each other the benefit of the doubt. We ought to have civil discourse and not assume the worst of each other.

“Their new thing after four days of attacking me is that ‘this is not about John Carr.’ Well, I think that is insightful: This is not about John Carr, this is about the priorities of the poor and whether or not we are going to act on them. . . . When you do bottom up organizing instead of top down, it doesn’t always fit the neat categories, but my wish is that people would see what actually happens to people’s lives and communities as a result of this work.”

 

Kevin Clarke

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
7 years 8 months ago
Carol:

Thanks so much for your kind thoughts and prayers pledged.
"When the day came that I found out I had been hoodwinked, I felt spiritually violated". Do I ever know. Hardon SJ said the anyone who would lead you away from the teachings of the Church is a "murderer of the Faith". He also said the abortion feeds social decline. We now see where the "follow your conscience" advice has led, haven't we? The damage that has been done to the souls of Catholics in the last 40 years is incalculable. I now feel so strongly about the need for proper Catechesis that I have looking into becoming a Marian Catechist. Like you, as I have stated elsewhere in recent post, I feel like I was led down a dark alley, with a welcome, by the Church; however,Deo Gratias, my mind was heart were re-created the Eucharist and Mary. Mary never leads me astray. I am on these boards to provide provide rebuttal. Some days is is very hard to be Catholic. We need to remember that Christ was crucified because they did not want the Truth. Your voice was great encouragement to me when I needed it.
God Bless You.
Carol McKinley
7 years 8 months ago
Keep at it.  Plant seeds.  Christ will reap the harvest though you may never see it. 
I enjoy reading your posts.
 
 
James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
 
Carol McKinley
7 years 8 months ago
It seems one of my posts documenting the numbers of abortions according to race did not post.  I would encourage people here to use google to find the statistical data.  
Decisions about killing children can neither be tolerated nor respected.  
Indoctrinating women into promiscuity and abortion rather than men owning up to the responsibility of fathering a child is an era to put behind us.  Teaching women how to recognize a man who will be faithful to God, to her and her children  and teaching young boys to revere and respect sexuality enough to reserve it until they are mature enough to take on the responsbilities that come with sexuality - is upon us.
 
http://margaretsanger.blogspot.com/
 
http://wolfpangloss.wordpress.com/2007/12/23/abortion-is-killing-one-out-of-three-black-children-in-the-womb/
 
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2449293/posts?page=8
 
 
7 years 8 months ago
Thank you ,Carol. I needed that. I would also encourage you to keep telling the Truth. No where is it more needed than on this blog.
MICHELLE FRANCL-DONNAY DR
7 years 8 months ago
I downloaded the PDF and searched - none of these speakers are listed in the program for the CSMG.  Not on page 6 (which lists concurrent meetings), not anywhere that my PDF reader's search function would turn up. 
I wonder when we so ruthlessly refuse to give speakers a hearing what we are losing as a Church?  Our voice becomes bland (have you read the Fathers?...there was neither unanimity nor a shying away from the discourse, particularly around critical questions - and sometime quite rancorous discussions) and we lose the chance to explain our position to those on the fence.  As my often wise teen-aged son put it when our diocese refused permission to speak to an author - ''Now Ill go to the bookstore, read the book, but without any context from the Church.''  We are preaching to the choir when we do this, and is that who we are called to proclaim the Good New to? 
Michael Hichborn
7 years 8 months ago
Since he's addressing last weeks' scandalous revelations, maybe he can explain why pro-abortion Paul Booth, pro-homosexual marriage Dr. Diana Hayes, and Vatican-removed Fr. Thomas Reese were given a speaking platform at this gathering?http://www.pewsitter.com/view_news_id_28931.phpIn fact, maybe he can explain what justification can possibly be used to pay dues to the pro-abortion, pro-same-sex marriage Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights?http://insidecatholic.com/Joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7632&Itemid=48
 
 
Michael Hichborn
7 years 8 months ago
Kevin,
You are wrong.  Dr. Diana Hayes, listed on the schedule here:  http://www.usccb.org/jphd/csmg/docs/2010-reg-book.pdf
 
The Catholic Labor Network Gathering is listed on Page 6 here:  http://www.usccb.org/jphd/csmg/docs/2010-program-book.pdf
 
And listed on the schedule for THAT aspect of the Social Ministry Gathering are both Paul Booth and Fr. Thomas Reese, which you can find here:  http://www.usccb.org/jphd/csmg/docs/2010-program-book.pdf
 
But an honest reporter would know (not deny) those things.
 
What possible justification can be offered for Paul Booth to have ANYTHING to do with a USCCB-sponsored event?
 
 
Pearce Shea
7 years 8 months ago
http://www.catholiclabor.org/C-L%20Gath/2010%20Gathering%20Files/C-L_Gath-10.html
 
is the third website Michael means to reference.
Michael Hichborn
7 years 8 months ago
Thanks, Peter!
William Kurtz
7 years 8 months ago
On another blog, Carr was defended by Fr. Frank Pavone, who certainly should pass any test imposed by these ultramontane character assassins.
Michael Hichborn
7 years 8 months ago

Michaelle,
The program book (http://www.usccb.org/jphd/csmg/docs/2010-program-book.pdf) lists The Catholic Labor Network Gathering as a part of the schedule of events on page 6.
The schedule for that event (http://www.catholiclabor.org/C-L%20Gath/2010%20Gathering%20Files/C-L_Gath-10.html) mentions both Reese and Booth.
Kevin, since you don't know who Paul Booth is (as an intrepid reporter, you could have looked him up), I'll give you a brief primer. Paul Booth and his wife Heather Booth (another prominent pro-abortion activist with ties to the National Organization for Women, who helped organize a group called “JANE” in 1965 which helped young women obtain illegal abortions) founded the Midwest Academy a training institute for progressive activists.Paul Booth and his wife have served as host committee members for the National Organization for Women's Intrepid Awards Gala.Currently Paul Booth is executive assistant to the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The AFSCME endorsed the pro-abortion March for Freedom of Choice, held in Washington, D.C. in 2004.So Paul Booth, who is pro-abortion, was invited to this USCCB-sponsored event to sit with John Carr on a panel.  It is customary to pay such people to participate in such a thing, so I would like to know if Booth received any money from the USCCB for this.  But regardless of whether he did or not, I would like to know the USCCB's justification for inviting such an individual to speak to an audience of Catholics.  

Rob Gasper
7 years 8 months ago
Kevin,
You stated, "Carr left CCC in 2005 and since then it has adopted some rhetoric and positions at odds with Catholic teaching."
However, you failed to mention that Tom Chabolla, then Assoc. Director of Programs for the CCHD joined the board later in 2005.  He remained on the Center for Community Change's board throughout the remainder of his time with the CCHD.
Since, by Carr's admission, the CCC became more radically anti-life after he left in 2005, does this reflect poorly on Tom Chabolla?  A response from the CCHD would be welcome on this point.
 
William Lindsey
7 years 8 months ago
Mike, I wonder if you can explain why George W. Bush is going to appear on the platform of the Catholic group Legatus this coming weekend?  In fact, if I'm not mistaken, they're going to give him a pro-life award.
 
Pope John Paul II unequivocally condemned capital punishment as antithetical to pro-life teachings of the Catholic church.
 
George W. Bush supports capital punishment.
 
Why is a Catholic group giving Mr. Bush a pro-life award?
Carol McKinley
7 years 8 months ago
William,
I can explain it. Pope John Paul II's discussions about capital punishment were in accord with the Catechism of the Catholic Church - it is permissible.   Just as war is permissible and killing is permissible in war.  You can support and even engage in killing in a just war or capital punishment and be completely free of sin.   This is why you've never heard any Pope send out guidelines and norms about excommunicating Catholics who are engaged in capital punishment, the war in Iraq, Iran and Afghanastan.  
The same cannot be said about those who promote and engage in abortion.
Getting back to the discussion, John Carr currently oversees the CCHD.Thirty-one (31) CCHD grantees are partners with the Campaign for Community Change (CCC).Among other things CCC organized to stop the Stupak Amendment which would restrict federal funding for most abortions.Neither Carr nor the USCCB have addressed this. Nor have they addressed the charge that after Carr left the CCC’s board of directors, Tom Chabolla, associate director of programs for the CCHD until 2008, joined the board. If John Carr and the USCCB did not know about the proabort legislative history and dissent of the groups they are funneling money into, which has been public information for ten years, their ineptitude makes them ineligible for their roles. If there were dots connecting these groups to slavery or pedophilia, this discussion would not be happening.The USCCB's funding and connection to harmful initiatives that end in the death of children is indefensible.
William Lindsey
7 years 8 months ago
Thanks, Carol.  But I don't think you're representing Pope John Paul II's position on capital punishment accurately.
 
In his encyclical "Evangelium Vitae," he wrote that capital punishment is permissible only "in cases of absolute necessity, in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society.  Today, however, as a result of steady improvement in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent."
 
I do not believe the preceding statements represent the position of former president Bush on capital punishment.  And so I must again ask how a Catholic group can award him a prestigious pro-life award.
 
As you can see, when one opens the discussion about who appears on the platforms of leading Catholic groups, and who receives support from such groups, there may well be discomfiting questions - for many of us - about the lack of support for pro-life principles represented by many conservative and neoconservative figures who show up at these Catholic gatherings.
Carol McKinley
7 years 8 months ago
William,
Jus so you know, I believe the death penalty is barbaric.  I oppose it.
You have John Paul's definition exactly right.   This is also the definition in the Catechism with one caveat, the Church leaves the discernment and discretion about whether the criminal poses a threat to society to those who apply it. 
This means that anyone who has done reasonable diligence as to whether not applying the death penalty in a henious crime would encourage others to commit similar crimes without lethal punishment for them and decided the death penalty should be applied is actually in confirmity with the teachings of the Church.
You and I are entitled to believe these circumstances are rare, but they are actually quite broad.  This makes George Bush completely in confomity with the teachings of the Catholic Church and therefore not scandalous.
As I said, this is the reason why there are no Canons that dole out punishments such as excommunication relative to the death penalty or war.
Back to the USCCB, Catholics faithful to the Magisterium have run out of patience with a Conference who is intercepting the teachings of the Church and making up erroneous interpretations so that people such as yourself become confused. 
When a discussion about who can award who a pro-life award ensues, the Catechism has to be used as the litmus test.  Building straw men only works with people who are not well versed in the Deposit of Faith.  Sadly, that is a large number but you cant fool all of the people all of the time.
 
 
 
Carol McKinley
7 years 8 months ago
 
 
William,
 
"2266 "The efforts of the state to curb the spread of behavior harmful to people's rights and to the basic rules of civil society correspond to the requirement of safeguarding the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and the duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense. Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense. When it is willingly accepted by the guilty party, it assumes the value of expiation. Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people's safety, has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party."
 
The Pope was not trying to trump the Catechism but rather expressing his prudential judgment.  You and I agree with this judgment. 
Others may believe they are protecting the common good by shooting a warning across the bow of others in society when they apply the death penalty to a person who commits a henious crime.  They have the full support of the Deposit of Faith to do so.
Undermining efforts to hold proaborts feet to the fire by claiming George Bush somehow violated any prudential judgment of the Church relative to his position on Captial punishment is erroneous.
 
 
 
William Lindsey
7 years 8 months ago
Thanks, Carol.
 
I'm not confused.  I'm scandalized.
 
I'm scandalized by the decision of a Catholic group to give George W. Bush a prestigious pro-life award.  I'm not scandalized at all by the appearance of Dr. Diana Hayes on the conference program discussed above.
 
If those using the latter event as a wedge to divide American Catholics and mute out witness in the area of social justice continue to promote a "pro-life" ethic that is not consistent in its approach to life issues, they will only succeed in alienating more and more people.
 
Not confusing.  Scandalizing and alienating.  I do not find my understanding of the values of life reflected in the decision to present President Bush with this pro-life award.  Those crying scandal about the USCCB right now are chasing down the wrong scandal altogether, in my view.  They need to be looking at their own household and those with whom they are closely allied in the political and economic sphere, if they want to identify the real scandal for many of us committed to the Catholic values of life.
Carol McKinley
7 years 8 months ago
 
William,
 
I'm sincerely sorry you feel alienated.
I'm a social justice Catholic who also happens to be pro-life.  Let me tell you what is going awry in the Carr/USCCB scenario.  
There are plenty of social justice initiatives that help the poor who have nothing whatsoever to do will inflicting capital punishment on unborn children because they may be an inconvenence to somebody's personal lifestyle. 
I'm afraid you've lost me. I've just cited to you the Catechism, which lay the clear case the Catholic Church supports a legal public authority to safeguard the common good by inflicting capital punishment.
I'm fascinated when people always see some kind of subliminal message to Bush.   Do you realize how many criminals that are convicted and incarcerated in the United States? 
Capital punishment of criminals in the United States IS rare.   Women are being capitally punished by being shot between the eyes for wearing nail polish every day without any outrage whatsoever.
There have been over 50 million babies exterminated by abortion and yet you support a woman who advoates it?
Your definition of "pro-life certainly doesn't match that of the Catholic Church.What should really be scandalizing to you is that George Bush is more in sync with the Church than you are - and he isn't even one.  That would positively drive me crazy if it were me!
 
 
 
 
 
 
William Lindsey
7 years 8 months ago
Carol, you say, "Capital punishment of criminals in the United States IS rare."
 
Are you serious?
 
The website About.com, in its USGovinfo section, says that from 1976, when the death penalty was reconfirmed, to 2000, 683 people were executed in the U.S.  In 2000, Texas, President Bush's home state, executed 40 people.
 
In 2009, according to federal statistics, 52 people were executed in the U.S.  Of those executions, the largest number - 24 were in President Bush's home state of Texas.
 
Rare?  I don't think so.  Sadly. 
 
I am unpersuaded by so-called pro-life Catholics who tell me that one can oppose abortion while maintaining a cavalier attitude towards capital punishment.  In my view, George W. Bush is a conspicuously bad example of the pro-life position.
Carol McKinley
7 years 8 months ago
 
 
I just looked it up.  There were 2,424,279 inmates incarcerated in the United States in 2008. 
That's rare William, by anyone's standards, epecially when you compare it to 50 million executed in the womb.   A new report came out saying 40% of black children are executed by abortion.  This is no more "social justice" than it is "prolife"
In 2009, the prudential judgment of legal authorities found 70 of them should be put to death to deter others from comitting the same crimes or to keep the public safe from ordering deaths while in prison.
Blaming Bush for every execution in Texas really isn't a fair argument.  But even if you did, it still doesn't change the fact that it positively does not conflict with Evangelium Vitae and the Catechism.  
Bush's work trying to prevent anothr 50 million lives from being terminated is quite deserving of an award.
As I said, back to the USCCB, the writing is on the wall.  Catholics are at war with a Conference who has hijacked and twisted the mission of the Roman Catholic Church.  
 
Cheers!
 

Carol McKinley
7 years 8 months ago


70 inmates were deemed a threat to society out of two and one half million incarcerated in the US in 2009.
Do the math.
There is no basis to mischaracterize anyone's spiritual health as inconsistent with the teaching of the Church when it comes to capital punishment. 
You might be surprised to find yourself on the wrong side of the argument if you read a little further in Evangelilum Vitae.


7 years 8 months ago
Dear Carol McKinley:

Man, are you a breath of fresh air aound these parts. I am with you. I am also a Catechism quoter. I thought we looked to the Catechism and the Magisterium for answers to complicated questions. You know, so we might know the Truth. You know that expression, "tell it to the hand"? I have got a new one: "tell it to the Catechism".

I have had to instruct myself in my Faith. I read Fr. Hardon SJ and weep with gratitude because I have finally found someone who tells me the Truth-from Heaven. People are starving for the Truth. I devour it as a starving man would. If I had encountered him 30 years ago my life might have been very different. What people do not understand is that souls are at stake. Smarty pants theology might entertain the Jesuits and their confreres. It does not save souls. I thought that saving souls was the business of priests...God Bless Servant of God John Hardon SJ.
7 years 8 months ago
"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, do manfully, and be strengthened." Yep. Be strong in your Faith, Carol.
1 Corinthians 13:16
Carol McKinley
7 years 8 months ago
Pleased to meet you Maria!  Thank you for the welcome!
Sadly, many of us had to go on our own search to find the Deposit of Faith.  
Out of 2 1/2 million people who committed crimes against the common good, if you are unable to contemplate how 52 of them may have been so henious as to meet the requirements that capital punishment was necessary to curb the spread of behavior harmful to people's rights and to the basic rules of civil society correspond to the requirement of safeguarding the common good?
Given the gravity of crimes around us - out of two and a half million - 52 IS rare.  It is not rare enough for me - but there is nothing whatsoever to libel someone's spirituality as inconsistent with the faith.  And to support a woman brought in by the USCCB who is helping shuffle children into death chambers where 50 million of them have been exterminated and say you are not scandalized by it?
I'm sadded by the leadership that has swept people into the river of denial.  You are absolutely right, it is about souls.
I remember trying to buy into the media hype and confusion but I'm a "proof" kind of gal and when I contemplated what was being told to me at local parishes, it just wasn't making sense.  Though i went through my own little period of rebellion, I was blessed with a strong foundation from Catholic schools so when I came back to the faith and heard teachings that just wouldn't sit right in my conscience, I started doing my own research.
The only thing that kept me tethered to truth in my days of rebellion was John Paul II. Though I obviously, many times, thought he was naive "in the real world", I heard what he was saying and it was enough to keep the truth alive in the subterfuge.   I went back to his encyclicals, skeptical but really wanting to know the truth, then the Catechism.  I approached EWTN almost with an attitude to ridicule but had enough foundation by then for the truth to seat itself.  Then, I started reading the Saints writings. 
After all this, when I finally looked around at local parishes, it was heartbreaking to see how many people had been misled.   It is funny - though I realized the USCCB had been misguiding, until this week, I never realized the bigger picture of how it really, as an institution, was the cause of it all.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!
William Lindsey
7 years 8 months ago
"A new report came out saying 40% of black children are executed by abortion."
 
Really, Carol?  Where?  I cited bona fide statistics when I responded to your claim that capital punishment is rare.  Can you please do the same with claims like the preceding?
 
Otherwise, it seems we're not really interested in knowing and pursuing the truth, but in believing what someone - who may well wish to manipulate us politically - is telling us as true.
 
As I mentioned in a discussion to Maria on another thread, the Catholic tradition of thinking about moral issues has always recognized the need to pay attention to truth from both revealed and rational-natural sources.  If God is truth, we have an obligation to pursue the truth wherever we find it.
 
I'm sorry you appear to think that because abortion is legal in this country, that somehow negates our obligation to be concerned about the barbaric, unethical practice of capital punishment.  I don't hear John Paul II saying that at all.
 
And so even though many Catholics who make abortion the sole moral issue of concern nowadays claim to be walking in John Paul's footsteps, I remain not only unconvinced by really turned off by those who ignore what he wrote about capital punishment - and who promote a pro-life ethic that is anything but consistently pro-life in almost any area otehr than abortion.
 
This is why the Catholic position on abortion has had very little influence in American culture.  We don't appeal to sound data as we argue.  We try to impose our position on others without listening carefully to them and reasoning with them.  And, above all, as anyone can see, for many of us, the pro-life position isn't pro-life at all - except when it comes to opposing abortion (though that opposition hardly ever pays attention to the socioeconomic reasons some women feel they have no choice other than abortion).
Carol McKinley
7 years 8 months ago
"As I mentioned in a discussion to Maria on another thread, the Catholic tradition of thinking about moral issues has always recognized the need to pay attention to truth from both revealed and rational-natural sources. If God is truth, we have an obligation to pursue the truth wherever we find it."

Great balls of fire! Don't you see the problem? You've made up your mind to reject the Truth and go a-hunting to find somebody who will confirm you in your rejection of It. Christ died a terrible death on the Cross to leave us a Deposit of Faith so that we would have every resource we need to know the Truth, if we are willing to accept it.


"A new report came out saying 40% of black children are executed by abortion."

Really, Carol? Where? I cited bona fide statistics when I responded to your claim that capital punishment is rare. Can you please do the same with claims like the preceding?"

The statistics are such general knowledge that I'm surprised this is the first you've heard of them but I'll be happy to gather up and site them later this evening. Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood has racist history I believe you will find shocking. The abortion commercial during the Superbowl may have a whole new meaning for you.

I'm glad to know you realize that immoral laws are imposed upon a nation. I wholeheartedly disagree with you that the Catholic position on killing infants has had very little influence on American culture. The statistics aren't on your side on that one. There simply are not "that many of you" who are holding onto "reasoning" that Roe v. Wade kills another human being who has a right to live.

Socioeconomic reasons is anothe way of saying men who are promiscuous and irresponsible will not step up to the plate and take ownership and responsibility for his children. Women need to be empowered to change that. Brainwashing them into promiscuity at puberty and handing them the money for abortions they will regret when they realize they killed their own flesh and blood is a dynamic that will go to the graves with the Woodstock generation. There is a new crop of women.

Dred Scott gave citizens the right to own slaves but people had the fortitude to stampede the injustice.

I want to restate that you're "bona-fide sources" exclude the rationale in the Catechism to make your case that 52 cases of crimes out of 2 and 1/2 million is not an infintisimmal number. I'll bet you dollars to donuts if we were talking about giving you 52 dollars or two and a half million, you'd be much better able to see how small the 52 dollars is in comparison?

Happy Feast of our Lady of Lourdes!




William Kurtz
7 years 8 months ago
I'm somewhat surprised that the back and forth over whether George W. Bush should receive a pro-life award hasn't included his (arguably) greatest offense: launching the shameful Iraq War.
I'll anticipate the defense: He appointed pro-life Supreme Court justices.
In that case, how many dead or crippled American soldiers, and how many dead Iraqis, is a Supreme Court justice worth?
William Lindsey
7 years 8 months ago
Carol, thanks.  I completely agree.  I agree that it's a serious problem when we let our ideological and political presuppositions drive us, as we try to make up our minds about moral issues.
 
And it's a serious problem when we don't search for the truth - wherever it's to be found - and either choose bogus facts or accept those facts from unreliable sources, which happen to confirm our preconceived ideas.
 
Moral thinking is hard work, especially in the Catholic tradition, which insists that we hold faith and reason together, and honor truth that comes from any and all sources, since God is the author of all truth.
 
Bill, thanks for your comment.  I agree with you.  I am stressing the capital punishment point because John Paul II is so explicit about it - and yet those now seeking to attack the USCCB for lack of orthodoxy so frequently find ways to cast JPII's words about capital punishment over their shoulders, as they shout about those who appear on USCCB-sponsored programs.
 
What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, it seems to me.  This drive to attack the USCCB is clearly being led by well-funded political (and religious) groups whose real goal is to neutralize Catholic social teaching in the socioeconomic sphere.  The maliciousness of this activity, its overt partical political intent, and its willingness to play fast and loose with the truth while claiming its opponents distort the truth, is disconcerting.
7 years 8 months ago
"Abortion kills more African American women than AIDS,violent crimes, accidents, cancer and Heart Disease combined". (blackgenocide.org).
William Lindsey
7 years 8 months ago
Thank you for the data, Maria.  Can you please explain your final statement, "Abortion kills more African American women than AIDS,violent crimes, accidents, cancer and Heart Disease combined."
 
First, the statement is entirely unclear.  If more African-American women are dying as a result of having had an abortion, rather than from the other causes, your argument seems to point to the need for safe, legal abortion rather then back-room abortion.
 
If this is an argument about the gender of the fetuses being aborted, then it's an extremely dubious statement, even if we assume that we can estimate the number of female fetuses aborted as half of the total of African-American female fetuses. 
 
It might help if you gave some attention to well-researched studies of the abortion-as-black-genocide myth and who is promoting this myth and circulating outrageously wrong information to try to make the myth stick.  For a start, I suggest you have a look at Right Wing Watch's critique of the website you cite, BlackGenocide.org.
 
I have not seen one scrap of data anywhere to supoort the statement previously made in this thread, "A new report came out saying 40% of black children are executed by abortion."  Again, the statement is not even clear-40% of black children where?  In what time frame?  It is clear to me that this statement is not in the least credible.
 
I am opposed to abortion.  I am pro-life.  But I will continue to maintain that if our pro-life ethic is persuasive and morally correct, it needs to stand on its own and be defended by reason and respectful discussion in the civil sphere.  When we lie to try to promote our pro-life ethic, we implicitly say that the rationale for this ethic is weak.
 
And in the public sphere, those seeking to understand the pro-life ethic will have every right to ask how one can credibly oppose abortion while not opposing capital punishment, war, and the manifold other threats to the value of life in our culture.
 
Please think about the positions you are defending.  You speak with astonishing confidence about "the grave sinfulness of contraception."  Given that we know from reliable data that the vast majority of married Catholics in the Western world accept (and often practice) artificial contraception, do you mean to say that the vast majority of believers are headed to hell?
 
Again: our tradition at its best has always valued both reason and revelation when we discuss moral issues.  We dishonor the tradition when we ignore one or the other.  And the catechism is not an answer book to be used in isolation from all the valuable studies of issues done in the secular world, to which we also have to pay attention - if we expect our moral positions to be well-grounded and compelling to those outside our faith community. 
 
7 years 8 months ago

William:
I aplologize for the mistake. The statement should read:"Abortion kills more African American CHILDREN than AIDS,violent crimes, accidents, cancer and Heart Disease combined".
I will try to address your concerns, one by one:
(1) You do not like that stats from blackgenocide.org. You challenge Carol's assertion re percentage of African America who have abortions. I offer this argument: Guttmacher Institue has its own agenda and it is not protection of life; however,they provide stats every four years and are considered the most reliable.
• Black women are 4.8 times as likely as non-Hispanic white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are 2.7 times as likely.
• 37.1% of all abortions are performed on black women who make up only 14% of the total population of U.S. women of child-bearing age.
(2) You state: "When we lie to try to promote our pro-life ethic, we implicitly say that the rationale for this ethic is weak". William, I think we have to assume good Faith here. I do not think anyone is intentionally lying. I am not.
(3)You state: "And in the public sphere, those seeking to understand the pro-life ethic will have every right to ask how one can credibly oppose abortion while not opposing capital punishment, war, and the manifold other threats to the value of life in our culture". You are quite right. And, we should be able to defend the Faith. William, you did not like the fact that I support the teachings of the Catholic Church w/ reagrd to capitol punishment. You seem to ignore it.
Space does not allow me to address what you refer to as "war, and the manifold other threats to the value of life in our culture". I will take up your last concern, with regard to the"grave sinfulness and contraception" in a separate post.
William: I have noticed that when we discuss Homosexuality the conversation devolves into a discussion about heraphrodites. When we discuss abortion, the discussion devoloves into a conversation about the evils of Capitol Punishment. In each instance, I sense you fleeing from the Truth , in search of loopholes, as it were. As if finding fault in the arguments of those who support the teachings of the Church is the great victory. Should not our victory be in Christ who gave us the Truth. I don't say these things to offend or hurt you. The Catechism is my answer book. I look to the Magisterium to sift through what comes to us in the secular world. Part of the problem with the Catholic CHhurch now is that people do not believe in Papal Primacy. William, Truth is enlightened by reason; however, when I set myself up as the arbiter or moral Truth, I am in danger. I am at risk of believing what the secular world would have me believe.

William Lindsey
7 years 8 months ago
Maria, I did not intend to accuse you of misrepresenting the truth.  If what I wrote suggested that, please forgive me for the clumsiness of my statement.  I do think that some of those promoting positions that are more political than religious re: these issues sometimes deliberately distort the truth in order to mislead people of faith in these areas.
 
Thank you for your solicitude about my connection to salvific truth.  I take it seriously.  As I've said when we've discussed issues on these threads before, we do seem to have different ecclesiologies.  I do not see the two poles you describe so clearly - either absolute uncritical acceptance of any papal statement or complete subjectivity.  I think that we live our lives of faith seeking to understand the complex, multivalent truth of the tradition and to apply it in our personal faith journeys as faithfully as possible.  Choosing a few teachings of the papacy or catechism and turning those into unquestionable norms - while we ignore many other teachings, some of which stand in tension with the few we have chosen - seems far too easy to me.  It seems like a cop-out that doesn't give sufficient respect to the minds God has chosen to give us.
 
I also find it very difficult to understand how you can be jubilant about the possible health care reform in this country (you've written in that vein on these threads), and at the same time say you are concerned about abortions by women of color.  If there is a higher incidence of abortions among African-American and Latina women than among white women, that higher incidence surely reflects economic distress and lack of adequate health care for many struggling people in this country.
 
You have told me in various ways on these threads that you belong to the church in a way I don't, Maria.  And you may well be right.  I find myself unable to live comfortably with some of the positions espoused by some of my fellow Catholics nowadays, because they strike me as uninformed at best and downright cruel at worst.  Perhaps you're right: the church doesn't belong to me or those raising the kind of questions I am raising.
 
But it is the church itseld that has taught me to ask questions, and to recognize that lack of thought and uncritical acceptance of bogus information fed to us by ideologues can often cause us to engage in horrible cruelty, including cruelty for which we even imagine we have divine sanction.
Carol McKinley
7 years 8 months ago
William,
"Again: our tradition at its best has always valued both reason and revelation when we discuss moral issues.  We dishonor the tradition when we ignore one or the other."
Where are you getting this stuff from?!!
There is no tradition in the Authentic Catholic Church that has ever told anyone to value "reason" if it contradicts revelation.  Nor has the authentic Catholic Church has never taught anyone to go to sources that contradict the Catechism to seek answers to your questions.   
The Church teaches us to "test everything".  The formula for finding out if it is truth is to use the litmus test of the Catechism because it is the  divinely revealed explanation of Scripture. 
Anyone who has ever given your answers to your questions that contradict the Catechism is not a source of truth.
Period.
The Bush tripe has exhausted itself.  The people have seen the change we can believe in and Ted Kennedy has lost his seat to a Republican in Massachusetts and the Obamas are up to the eyeballs the snow that debunks "global warming". 
Given the millions and millions of criminals in the history of this country that have committed henious crimes against the number who have been put to death are infintisimal.  Infintisimal is rare.  This is all moot, because the Catechism grants permission for legal authorities to make those decisions.  
In terms of "the war", I can say for the record for any veteran reading this now or in the future, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the men and women who took up arms to defend their country after radical Muslim terrorists wiped out the twin towers in New York.   Your sacrifice to leave your own country and family keep the terrorists in hiding and on the run in their own country have saved us all from the rubble of another 911.    This is as life-giving and as pro-life as it gets. 
 
Carol McKinley
7 years 8 months ago
The racist mission of Planned Parenthood is well documented. Sanger, a white woman who loathed her tax money being wasted on the poor, advocated Nazi-style exterminations of undesirables. She was in cahoots with the Klu Klux KlanSanger's strategy for Planned Parenthood includes using blacks as props:
We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don't want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population. and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members." Margaret Sanger's December 19, 1939 letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, 255 Adams Street, Milton,
Planned Parenthood is always claiming to be empowering women when they are actually dis-empowering them.

"There's a lot of talk leading up to the Super Bowl about an ad focused on sports and family," James says. "The ad features a great football player, Tim Tebow and his loving mother, discussing a difficult medical decision she made for her family," he says. "I respect and honor Mrs. Tebow's decision."
"I want my daughters to live in a world where everyone's decisions are respected," adds Joyner.

 
7 years 8 months ago
Carol: Thanks for last post re the petition. Great arguments, Carol.

Dear William:

I know that it must seem to you that those who defend the teachings of the Church are ideaologues. I can see that you seek the Truth and that you have a very kindly spirit. I do not usually do this. I was raised in an extremely Catholic family, Evelyn Waughish Catholic. Two of my Aunts were nuns. Jesuits practically lived in our house. We took them on vacation. I went to Georgetown Visitation, a then cloistered convent, in DC.

Despite all of that, I lived a life besotted with sin. I mean, an avalanche of sin. My sins are multitudinous. I have suffered from all manner of illness and loss. Serious illness. Serious loss. I am signing this post so am reluctant to provide in depth detail. I really have not attempted to describe this before.

I have been unemployed for 5 months. I started going to Mass frequently-but not daily- before I was laid off. I developed an attraction to the Saints and started to read with voracity. I developed a peculiar attraction for the Church.Then, after getting laid off, I started going to daily Mass-and have gone daily since then-w/ exception since all the snow. I started going to Adoration. I started saying the Rosary. I started to understand, without reading anything, how evil contraception and abortion are. I started reading John Hardon SJ. I am in as bad a situation as I have ever been in , at least where finances are concerned. I started having dreams-like understanding that the Holy Spirit integartes the personality. I started dreaming about importance of reparation and the need to be born from above. What point am I trying to make? We come to understand some things only though the Eucharist. There are things we can only come to understand through conversion of heart. This happens through the Eucharist and Mary. Say the rosary and she will tell you everything. After some time I went to Confession. There is nothing that so blinds like sin. I was in a state of mortal sin and so the I was easy prey for the Evil One and could not "see". The heart has to be changed. We have to pray for our minds to be enlightended. Christ said: You can do nothing without me. This is not to be understood as a metaphor. The Eucharist and Confession give us sanctifying grace. Our Lady can teach better than a theologian. I understand things I never understood before.
Some things we cannot get from doctrine/books/theology.It all happens in the heart. I can't explain this. Something just compelled me to write this. God Bless.
Carol McKinley
7 years 8 months ago
Maria,
Thank you for sharing your story.  I (and I'm sure others reading) will keep your job hunt in our prayers.  I join you in your profession as a sinner.  I held onto deep resentment about several teachings (and disiplines) of the Church for many years. (Contraception, women's ordination mostly).  Local parish dissent confirmed me in my sins for years (including priests refusing to absolve with a nudge and a wink about the "understanding" that contraception is really no longer a sin in the Catholic Church - etc. tripe of that sort).  When the day came that I found out I had been hoodwinked, I felt spiritually violated.  Conned.  This is what has inspired me for over a decade to free others from the delusions they're being fed at their local parish.   The same reasons inspire me to join in unraveling the USCCB.  They have surplanted the Authentic Roman Catholic Church in America.  They are the major source of leading multitudes away (including you, me and William) from Christ's Church.
I wholeheartedly join you in the surrender to the Eucharist - Eucharistic devotion and the Sacrament of Confession as the brain food that woke me out of my slumber.  That, and a true desire to want to please God rather than win arguments about doctrine over things I was personally rebelling against. 
I admire your work here.  Keep plugging away at it.   Little by little, lights are being turned on to the realization that the fire inside of us that burns is love - love for Christ and love for those being ripped away from Him with the tripe coming out of the USCCB. 
Great day to both of you!
 
 
 

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

It is astonishing to think that God would choose to enter the world this way: as a fragile newborn who could not even hold up his own head without help.
Ginny Kubitz MoyerOctober 20, 2017
Protestors rally to support Temporary Protected Status near the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sept. 26. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
Around 200,000 Salvadorans and 57,000 Hondurans have been residing in the United States for more than 15 years under Temporary Protected Status. But that status is set to expire in early 2018.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 20, 2017
At the heart of Anne Frank’s life and witness is a hopeful faith in humanity.
Leo J. O'Donovan, S.J.October 20, 2017
Forensic police work on the main road in Bidnija, Malta, which leads to Daphne Caruana Galizias house, looking for evidence on the blast that killed the journalist as she was leaving her home, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. Caruana Galizia, a harsh critic of Maltese Premier Joseph Muscat, and who reported extensively on corruption on Malta, was killed by a car bomb on Monday. (AP Photo/Rene Rossignaud)
Rarely does the death of a private citizen elicit a formal letter of condolence from the Pope.