A Manifesto for our Mission
By Deacon Keith A Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC
In the wake of the 1973 United States Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade, which relegated an entire class of persons in America (children in the first home of their mothers womb) to the status of property, a "culture" of death and use was unleashed in America and protected by the institutions of government.
However, America is not alone in this paramount error. In fact, given her extraordinary international influence, she has unfortunately spread this error. Such a culture of death and use has been gaining steadily throughout the world.
This kind of "culture of death" views people as products to be used rather than persons to be honored. It erodes the foundation of any just society by denying the pre-eminent right, the right to life. The recognition of that right as fundamental and unalienable must become the polestar of all international and national public policy. Anything less constitutes a disdain for human life as the first right and good of any human society.
It also leads to a rejection of family as the first vital society, promotes a counterfeit notion of freedom as a raw power over others and a callous disregard for the poor.
That is why, as an international movement of Catholics serving the common good we have dedicated our movement to four pillars of participation; life, family, freedom and solidarity with the poor. We will expose oppose these errant social trends in order to propose a new culture of life and civilization of love in their place.
A disdain for the dignity of every human life knows no bounds, touching the entire spectrum of life. . It relegates the elderly and the ill to the status of disposability by misusing words such as "mercy" and phrases such as quality of life" in order to promote euthanasia as acceptable behavior rather than an unspeakable crime.
It is evident in our lack of concern for the weak and vulnerable, the sick, disabled and the elderly. It has turned some efforts of promising medical research into a new kind of Frankenstein laboratory wherein people are the subject of experiments. This disdain has also redefined our language making the once unspeakable sound somehow enlightened. For example, it has promoted the language that now speaks of children in the womb as "products of conception" and human embryonic life as "clumps of cells".
THE YOUR CATHOLIC VOICE MOVEMENT affirms the inviolable dignity of every human life from conception to natural death, at every stage and every age. We are committed to supporting and advancing every legitimate effort to ensure that the dignity of every human person becomes the polestar of all public policy, national and international.
Our position on the dignity of every human person and the sanctity of every life is not a "single issue" commitment but rather constitutes a framework within and against which every other issue will be measured in our educational and advocacy efforts. Without the right to life and the freedom to be born there are no rights or freedoms.
The inalienable right to life is a basic human right and is guaranteed by the natural law that binds all men and women. We affirm the right to life as the first right and the freedom to be born as the first freedom. We are unqualifiedly, unapologetically and enthusiastically pro-life.
We are "Whole Life/Pro-Life." By that we mean that being "Pro-Life" is a way of life, not a single issue, and it has implications across the entire spectrum of life, human rights and social justice issues. Neither is this position simply a "religious" position, in the sense that religious people should "keep it to themselves". This is the fundamental human and civil rights issue of our age.
THE YOUR CATHOLIC VOICE MOVEMENT affirms the inviolable dignity of every human life from conception to natural death, at every stage and every age. We are committed to supporting and advancing every legitimate effort to ensure that the dignity of every human person becomes the polestar of all public policy and is reflected in legal jurisprudence and all legislation, national and international.
THE YOUR CATHOLIC VOICE MOVEMENT will defend the inviolable dignity of every human life, at every age and stage,. We are unqualifiedly committed to restoring legal protections for the youngest humans in the first home of the entire human race, the womb, as well as to the sick, the disabled and the elderly. It is these communities within our human family who should be treated as our most treasured resource.
Finally, THE YOUR CATHOLIC VOICE MOVEMENT supports truly "good" medical science that is scientifically sound and respects the common good; not immoral experimentation parading as medical science. Science, like society, must be placed at the service of the human person, the family and the common good.
By attempting to use the language and legal precedents associated with the concepts of "privacy" as a part of an orchestrated legal and policy strategy, social, cultural, verbal and legal engineers now seek to redefine the very word "family" in many nations and in international forums. If they are successful, they will soon undermine the first vital cell of society and the primary institution upon which civilization itself has been built. This trend reveals a disdain for the family as the building block of healthy civilization. There is also, in some nations, a disturbing trend of using the Courts to remake civil society.
THE YOUR CATHOLIC VOICE MOVEMENT affirms the two- parent, marriage bound family as the foundation of civil society and defends the primacy of the two parent marriage bound family as the first cell of society, the first church, first government, first school, first hospital, first economy, and the first mediating institution of society. A truly just philosophy of government is predicated upon the understanding that the family as the first government and that all other government must first be at its service.
By defending the two- parent, marriage bound family we know that we ensure a stable social order wherein single parent families and others who have suffered from the ravages of the break down of the family can find the greatest support and wherein true compassion for all can be best advanced.
The family as the first and vital cell of society is inseparable from the economic life of persons and the common good of society. From this cornerstone of society we derive the importance of property rights, work, and charity as the foundation of a properly ordered economic system. However, all economic orders, including the market economy, must be ordered toward the service and flourishing of the person, the family and the common good.
We affirm that parents are the first teachers of their children and that all education begins in the home. We support the fundamental educational mission of parents as the first teachers of their children and the right to choose from a full array of options, public, private, parochial and charter schools, no matter what their economic status, as an extension of that educational mission. We support any effective and constitutionally sound efforts to encourage, empower, and support all parents in extending their educational mission, no matter what their economic conditions, through parental choice.
We support parents, students, associations, organizations and religious institutions who support and defend the family. We also oppose what undermines the stability of the family. It is through defending and promoting the family that authentic freedom and a restoration of human dignity will be restored.
Many contemporary cultural expressions and societies are infected by a misguided notion of freedom as a raw power over others. Such societies all too often treat persons as products and substitute a misguided notion of license for authentic liberty. This utilitarian trend has led to a loss of a bedrock understanding of basic human dignity and a confused notion of human sexuality that denigrates women (now even children) and views people as objects to be used.
THE YOUR CATHOLIC VOICE MOVEMENT is committed to a fundamental vision of human freedom that is informed by the insights derived from classical Jewish and Christian thought. Freedom has two sides to its reach; both a freedom "from" and a freedom "for." Though we may be free to choose we are never free to make the objects of our choice good or evil, right or wrong. Freedom must be bounded by truth and exercised within a moral constitution. Our capacity to choose is the very essence of the image of God within us. The choices we make have consequences not only individually and personally, but in community. Our exercise of "freedom" must consider the common good of the entire human community to which we are joined. We simply are "our brother (and sister's) keeper."
THE YOUR CATHOLIC VOICE MOVEMENT opposes any efforts to advance or somehow protect the denigration of human persons through trying to protect pornography as a form of "free speech." It is not -"free" - speech, nor does it promote authentic human freedom and flourishing.
At the foundation of our commitment to freedom is our dedication to promoting religious freedom for all men and women. In our branches in America, we embrace the American proposition that religious freedom is best protected by the principles of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and that there should be no establishment of religion in the sense of a Federal or State sponsored Church, which mandates adherence.
However, as an international movement we affirm that religious freedom is a paramount human right that must be respected and protected by any civil government and in the international community. We reject any form of coercion in matters of religious faith and practice. It also has no place in authentic religious expression or practice.
We affirm that religious faith is a human and social "good" and that the values informed by faith as applied to our life together provide a foundation for freedom. We support religious freedom as a basic human right which must be secured and protected by law. Rightly understood and applied, religious freedom means a freedom for religious expression not a freedom from such expression. This entails a freedom for people of all faiths, or no faith, along with all people, to participate in the public conversation and in the public square.
It also underscores our paramount social obligation- a commitment to human solidarity; we simply are "our brother's keeper."
There is a growing callousness in our contemporary culture for those who are truly in need. We have become a culture that fails to hear the "cry of the poor." Some overly centralized efforts to help those in need (even if well intended), in some nations, have not always been the most effective vehicle for fulfilling our obligations in solidarity. Some have relied on an overly centralized approach to governance that have usurped the role of family, other mediating institutions and enterprise through excessive taxation and regulations.
Yet, it is a sign and obligation of any truly just and civilized society to manifest a demonstrated concern for the poor, underprivileged, needy and those who have no voice. There must be both an affirmation of our solidarity with the poor, needy and vulnerable as well as an appropriate implementation of the principles of both solidarity and subsidiarity in discharging that obligation. This convergence will best meet the need and calls for an application of the principles of social and economic justice in governance.
THE YOUR CATHOLIC VOICE MOVEMENT affirms the social obligation of solidarity with the poor and the needy, one that is informed by the insights derived from classical Jewish and Christian thought. We believe that there is both a social obligation and therefore a social mission. This understanding requires that we have a "heart" (in the biblical sense of a fundamental core commitment) for the "poor" in all of their manifestations in our midst. We affirm that an authentic commitment to solidarity entails an obligation to those who have no voice and compassion toward all those in need.
Economic life is not meant solely to multiply the production of material goods and increase profit or power; it is ordered first of all to the service of persons, the family, the entire community and the common good. Just as the intimate connection between the family and society demands that the family participate in society and its development, it also requires that society should not fail in its' fundamental task of respecting and fostering the family.
Truly "free" enterprise, infused with a social conscience, involves free persons and promotes human flourishing. That entails enabling men, women and families to meet their own needs, the needs of the community and the needs of the poor by promoting true freedom within an economy committed to communion, solidarity and authentic liberation.
THE YOUR CATHOLIC VOICE MOVEMENT will give a voice to and defend the poor and those who speak and work on their behalf.
Why a Manifesto?
We recognize that the principles set forth in this manifesto cannot easily be categorized as "right" or "left", "liberal" or "conservative". In fact, we openly reject the labels. Instead we are committed as an international movement to informing our social, economic and political participation by the inter-cultural and timeless principles enshrined in Catholic Social teaching. Yet, they have been like the treasure hidden in a field for too long. As a movement, we fully affirm them
A manifesto is a "public declaration of principles, policies, or intentions." That is what this statement of principles proclaims. We believe that these principles promote the common good. We will propose them as the path to building a more just human society for all men and women and using our growing influence to promote them nationally and internationally.
Deacon Keith Fournier is a married Roman Catholic Deacon, who also serves the Melkite Greek Catholic Church with approval. He is a human rights lawyer and a graduate of the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University, Franciscan University of Steubenville and the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law. He is a co-founder of the Your Catholic Voice Movement. He is also the founder and President of Common Good, an ecumenical movement similarly devoted to the conversion of human culture through four pillars of participation; life, family, freedom and solidarity.
Your Catholic Voice Foundation
http://www.ycvf.org VA, US
Deacon Keith Fournier - Co-Founder, 757 546-9580
Movement, Your Catholic Voice, Life, Family, Freedom, Solidarity
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