Thursday, January 29, 2009
Personal Aside: On the Need for Pro-Abort Catholic Pols to Splitor Stay to the End and Wind Up on the Spit.
The Value of Owning Up.
In the bad old days of Emperor Nero, a Catholic unlucky enough to be caught at Mass in a catacomb was hauled before a sub-tyrant and told he had to renounce his faith. Many capitulated, as that is the human condition. But at least you knew that the weakling had good intentions but just wilted because of the pressure: so give him a C+. When you came upon an occasional hard-liner who would refuse to capitulate and was beheaded with his skull lifted up on a spike, you would say to yourself: A true believer of masterly courage who mustmustbe in heaven now.
In some bad old days of the Renaissance, Dominican friar Tetzel announced that salvation is gained not by faith alone nor by good works alone but by money (accompanied or unaccompanied by virtue). The clink of a gold coin in his leather purse springs a soul from undergoing painful sand-blasting in Purgatory the coinage he tottered back to Rome with, going to build Saint Peters. Nobody who protested this lost his head but until reform came, some suffered painful rupture with Rome. And if you were there, you would marvel at their refusal to bow to the interim clerical surplice authoritarianism.
We call them the bad old days but they brought out the iron in the soul, so to speak.
Having it Both Ways.
Nowadays, mostnot all--Catholic politicians see no problem in having it both ways trading on the Church in precincts where Catholics are numerous, to say I am one of you and when it is inconvenient to hold the truths in the arena, shrug and say smilingly, there is no absolute truth. I would prefer a Catholic pol who says this is what I believe and why, unafraid of angering the secular multitude and losing his office. I would even respect one who says I disagree with my Church and thus I am leaving her! Refusing to claim the Catholic vote, saying I am not with you on this issue.
Henry Hyde and a handful of lawmakers whom I most admire and of whom I forgive many other failings took the first option declaring in the public square they are Americas servants but Gods first, in the words of Thomas More. I have reported and participated in political affairs for 56 years and thus far am not aware of anyone losing office or failing to gain office by making that commitment. But even if I knew such cases, the public official should be willing to lose his office (as did More). More went on to lose his head, which is not mandated of us although to witness the cowardice of most Catholic politicians you would imagine they are shrinking from the headsman.
The people I shrink from are those Catholics who themselves quake from enunciating such choices but talk around itfearing to voluntarily step away from church stricturesbut instead traipsing up to the altar to receive the Eucharist unworthily, using the sacrament to keep the fiction.
Still, this category I do not despise the most.
They are headed currently by the number one claimant to the presidency, Joe Biden. But since there appears on occasion to be something seriously wrong with the cerebral clockwork with Joe (since he saw FDR on TV console the nation after the 1929 crash) Ill give him a pass since he acts like hes wound too tight.
So I will concentrate on number two.
Nancy Pelosi, Ms. Duplicity.
Nancy Pelosi is a perfect example. An Italian Catholic educated in church schools through college largely pre-Vatican II, she watched her father trade on that connection as mayor of Baltimore. She knows her faith, is not dumb (well she IS but not catechetically) but she is the courtesan who embodies the perfect sell-out. Remember how she instructed us in a television interview that the Church itself had not formed its opinion on abortion, citing Augustine on when life begins? Fallacious and her response was boilerplate from 1964 when Bobby Kennedy and Teddy hired two heretics with roman collars, Charlie Curran and Robert Drinan to help steer the family into murky waters so as to allow them to slip away into pro-abort advocacy while continuing to glide by Church sanction.
The history is clear. Even as early as A.D. 177 Athenagoras said all who use abortifacients ar homicies and will account to God for their abortions as for the killlng of men. Wily old Drinan who later would go to the U.S. House and support partial birth abortion, saw that Augustine who along with his forebears and successors condemned the practice, relied quite understandably on the biology extant at the time and concluded life begins with quickening or movement of the unborn in the womb. Thats when he believed life started. So wily old Drinan, sitting in his hotel room paid for by the Kennedys, concocted that his view was that quickening began life and others denied it, so the Church cannot conclude when life begins.
That was in 1964. Roe which confers abortion as a right through all three trimesters was pronounced I973. So heres what the Kennedys should do, said old Drinan: Augustine wrote one thing, Athenagoras anotherwho knows? The Church isnt sure. And zip youre out of there. Then he collected his fee from the Kennedys and went back to Boston.
That bit of sophist legerdemain bounced around with variations since then. Bobby died before the issue came aborning but when he needed to split from the regulars in the pews and still keep tentacles in the Irish precincts, Teddy gave it variations citing Chuck Curran who by then was a full-fledged heretic, old Augustine, shrugged his shoulders and said Catholics were scot-free.
Then theres MoneyAh Dickie Cushing.
The spineless, compliant and supplicant Boston church of the nearest link to Archbishop Thomas Cramner who with trembling hands re-wrote church law to cede all to Henry VIII Cardinal ichard Cushing of Boston gave the Kennedys a wink and there was no reproach. Cushing was the first prelate to actively tell Massachusetts Catholic legislators they could vote for birth control and dont give their conscience a bother. He had a wreath of white hair, a lovely brogue and a stammer the stammerah-ah-ah-ahkept us at the Capitol front until our noses turned blue when JFK was sworn in. In the press box I watched while the stooped old fraud kept talking about the Kennedy beneficence to th Church....the ah-ah-ah money-ah! We all stomped our feet and implored old Joe to toss the trained seal some money-ah and let us get on with it.
Cushing and money-ah started the trend in Massachusetts and elsewhere of handsome, sturdy broths of Irish lads voting for abortion and trooping to the altar rail before lecturing the Holy Name Society on Sunday mornings.
Cushing should be turning on the rotisserie spit now for the 1,455th time. Unlike you, Eminence, we up here are trying to stay warm: how are you enjoying the heat?
But its Speaker Pelosi who is the perfect duplicitous hostess with the mostess.
You remember her on Meet the Press when asked how she squared her pro-abort votes with her Churchs views. She had talking points and up pops old Augustine who thought life begins at quickening.
The Church cant decide, so who are we to draw a final judgment, she said, looking at the camera with those enlarged Botox peepers.
And here she is again-- discussing the get this stimulus package with George Stephanapoulos, who says, Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that `stimulus? He meant how is giving out rubbers stimulating?
Pelosi: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for childrens health, education, and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of thoseone of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and the federal government.
In other words money will convince the poor not to have kids and not burden us taxpayers. Nancy Mathus Pelosi as the Wall Street Journal said. The Mathusian doctrine has long been a hoaxthe last dinosaur believing that was old man Rockefeller who gave much of his dough to population control outfits so that he and his rich friends would not be bothered to support them on the private doleor be taxed to support the public dole.
That comes later. But for now, let me count them un-inconclusively:
Dickie Durbin Richard M. Daley Congressmen Luis Gutierrez,and the state officials, from the topPatrick Quinn, Lisa Madigan, Danny Hynes, Emil Jones (he is no longer senate president), Todd Stroger. I am confused about Mike Madigan. When last I checked he wriggles like a fish that has just been nettedvoting pro-life consonant with his southwest side district yet standing there, laconic, red-haired Irish while his caucus and step-daughter get his warm support for all sorts of anti-social ways.
And Judy Baar Topinka, of course, who gives off ethnic-flavored palaver meant to amuse, then divert us as she kicks up dust to obscure she was once strongly pro-life but abandoned it to get ahead. One tough lady! Yeah, right. Continuing to Christine Radogno whose drive to get the Senate Republican job was funded by her good friend Terry Cosgrove of Personal PAC (I believe although could be wrong, himself a former Catholic or a currently fashionably latent one).
Whom did I forget?
But pro-abort, politician Catholics unwilling to tell the Church theyll bow out (an honorable thing to do, sparing themselves sacrilege by continuing to receive the sacrament), instead using it to advance themselveseven these, my belly recoils from but doesnt regurgitate. Where I come close to losing my lunch are the priests and bishops who enable them. I do not include Cardinal George in this category. It seems to me he is doing enough publicly now to draw the line. Yes, I am satisfied but dont make me attend his disquisitions on anything as I have had enough of parsing and hair-splitting from 1555 N. State Parkway to last a lifetime of prelates.
The one whom I have in mind is surely the Cardinal Richelieu of our time (his being retired inconsequential as when he shows up there comes wafting from him a stench ofwell skip it). He withheld Ratzingers letter to the U. S. bishops on withholding communion from pro-abort pols because he is one himself. He presided at the funeral of who else Tim Russert and assuredly I will gladly wage $20 at the forthcoming funeral of Ted Kennedy. Do you know whom I have in mind? See if you do. There he will be in his rich crimson, the red conferred by the popes to symbolize the willingness to be martyred for Christ. I will stop now as I am getting sick.
Enough. But more anon.