Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

7/10/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

This requires repentance, metanoia. A turning around. A new start.

The problem with the "practicing Catholic" Melinda Gates is not in her end of desiring to improve the life for everyone.  This is a goal with which we of the household of faith will not be heard to quibble.  The problem is in the means she has selected to achieve that end.  She wants to teach parents in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia that, to "bring every good thing" to their children, they must practice vice.

Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates

Highlights

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/10/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Melinda Gates, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Contraception, Intrinsic Evil, Andrew Greenwell, Gospel of life, Culture of life, Culture of death


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - "To whom much is given, much will be required." (Luke 12:48)  If there is anyone to whom much has been given--at least in wealth, though apparently not in fidelity to Christ and his Church--it is the self-proclaimed "practicing Catholic" Melinda Gates who with her husband Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Sadly, she disappoints.  Instead of using her vast wealth to promote virtue--the real means to human happiness, human development, and social justice--she is using her wealth to promote vice.  To quote St. Augustine: Quanta bona de auro quod habet bonus? quanta mala de auro quod habet malus?  How good is gold in the hands of the good?  How bad is gold in the hands of the bad?

Melinda Gates has recently announced that contraception promotion will be the primary goal of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which, in terms of its financial resources of $34 billion, is the world's largest philanthropic organization.  The supposed "beneficiaries" of her largesse: families in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia who, in her view, need more access and more reliable access to artificial contraception.  The goal: to raise $4 billion to assure that 120 million more women get access to artificial contraception.  "This will be my lifetime's work at the foundation," she claims.

The secular promotion machine, well-oiled by its anti-Catholic animus and big pharma dollars, is churning its wheels and opposing all critics like a juggernaut.  From a well-crafted speech posted on TEDxChange, to an article in Newsweek, to appearances with Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN and Stephen Colbert in the Colbert Report, the propaganda machine is working overtime.  We can expect to hear more from the propaganda machine as everyone gears up to the London Summit on Family Planning on July 11, 2012, where Ms. Gates's vision will be discussed.

Ms. Gates proclaims herself to be a "practicing Catholic," and parades out her Catholic credentials as if they were family heirlooms instead of a living, breathing tradition.  She makes a point of letting people know that her mom's great uncle was a Jesuit priest, and her great aunt a Dominican nun, and that she was educated by a gaggle of apparently "progressive" Ursuline nuns at the Urusline Academy in Dallas.  But where is her devotion to the teaching Church?  Where is her devotion to Peter? Did she ever learn the maxim ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia, ibi Christi est,  where Peter is, there is the Church, there is Christ?

Melinda Gates, our contracepting and contraceptive-embracing "practicing Catholic," shrugs off any criticism from the teaching Church.  She, of course, knows the Church's teaching and knows that what she is promoting goes against the Church's express teaching, so she's not one that can plead invincible ignorance.  We cannot say in the spirit of Christ, "Forgive her, for she knows not what she's doing."  (Cf. Luke 23:34)  She knows exactly what she's doing, how she's doing it, and she has the money to do it.  That is what makes her choice so tragic.  It's what makes it a scandal.

According to Newsweek, Ms. Gates stated that denying the Church's teachings on contraception "was difficult," but in time such rejection "came to seem morally necessary."  It seems that Ms. Gates views the Church's social and moral teachings to be something like a smorgasbord where we can choose food to our liking since she has to "wrestle with which pieces of religion do I use and believe in my life."  Whatever this is, this is not what a "practicing Catholic" does.  The Catholic thing is the whole kit and caboodle.  You don't get to pick and choose what you like. If you do so, you invariably gravitate to the sweets and forget your vegetables.

Apparently, Ms. Gates further finds that the Church's social teachings are inconsistent or at odds.  So she feels she has to reject the contraception "piece" so that she could serve the "other piece of the Catholic mission, which is social justice."  What her concept of "social justice," is rather unclear.

In fact, her social justice doctrine seems spiritually obtuse.  She insists that her contraceptive program is good because she believes "that all lives have equal value."  But this is a massive non-sequitur.  How does the principle that lives have equal value give rise to any possible conclusion on the liciety of contraception?

"We're not going to agree about everything, but that's OK," she tells Dr. Sanjay Gupta in her CNN interview.  Oh such marvelous tolerance exhibited by Ms. Gates to the teaching of the Church and specifically the Pope!  (The prior sentence, of course, is meant to be read with dripping sarcasm.)  In all actuality, such insouciance to Church teaching when an intrinsic evil is involved is nothing short of demonic.  One thinks of the rich young ruler who turned away from Christ.  Had Dr. Gupta been there our rich young ruler might have said something equally self-justifying like, "We're not going to agree about everything, but that's OK." 

No it's not OK.  Methinks that Melinda Gates may have lost her soul.

Melinda Gates does not get it.  She thinks that the contraception is but a neutral "tool," the vice to be avoided is promiscuity, and the end to be achieved is relief of poverty.  In her view, contraception does not lead to promiscuity and relieves physical poverty.  While all that is quite debatable, it should be pointed out that Ms. Gates seems only to care about material things.  Not once does Ms. Gates seem concerned about her supposed beneficiaries' moral poverty.  Not once does she talk about improving their virtue.  Not once does she talk about their spiritual souls.

It all makes consummate sense to her.  After all she and Bill used artificial contraception and apparently still use it (she's proud to say that she and Bill will have sex this year in her talk on TEDxChange eliciting guffaws from the crowd), and they are anything but promiscuous and they are exceedingly rich!  It follows that the same good things can be expected from those in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia!  They should all live like Melinda and Bill Gates, at least as it pertains to their sexual mores. 

(By the way, Melinda, having sex while using artificial contraception even within marriage is a mortal sin against chastity, just like promiscuity.) 

What Ms. Gates seems completely oblivious to is that the use of artificial contraception is itself a vice. And so her entire life is apparently dedicated to promoting a vice.  And this is a tragedy.

The problem with Melinda Gates is that she is infected by a virus, a Trojan horse.  That Trojan horse is utilitarianism.  At heart, she does not have a Catholic moral view.  The end of her project is vaguely to help those in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia "bring every good thing" to their children.  "Where is the controversy in that?" she rhetorically asks.  Of course, there is no controversy in the end if the end is defined that way.

The problem with Melinda Gates is not in her end in desiring to improve life for everyone.  This is a goal with which we of the household of faith will not be heard to quibble.  The problem is in the means she has selected to achieve that end.  She wants to teach parents in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia that, to "bring every good thing" to their children, they must practice vice. 

Of course, Melinda Gates does not call it vice.  Like a good technocrat, she calls the vice she's promoting by rather innocuous euphemisms: "tools," "technologies," "interventions," "method."

She can call it what she wants in a transparent effort to suppress her wounded conscience which knows better, but a "practicing Catholic" would know that there are some acts that are intrinsic evils (intrinsece malum).  A "practicing Catholic"--at least one with Melinda Gates's acumen and resources--would know or should know that John Paul II in his encyclical on moral questions Veritatis splendor, ¶ 80, reiterated the existence of such intrinsic evils.

Intrinsic evils are things which we must never do, regardless of the benefit we believe we may get for ourselves or for others by doing them.  The intentional taking of an innocent human life, for example, is an intrinsic evil.  A "practicing Catholic" would know that one may not kill an innocent human being even if it were to save the whole world.  Such a prohibition is exceptionless.  To borrow an example from Honoré de Balzac's story Le Pčre Goriot, the prohibition against murder applies to protect even an old mandarin in China whom we could kill to our advantage and no one's knowledge simply by exerting our will without ever leaving Paris.

A "practicing Catholic" would know that the use of artificial contraception--including the injectable "contraceptive" Depo-Provera which seems to be Ms. Gates's contraception of choice to impose upon those victims of her misguided largesse--is such an intrinsic evil.  Not only is artificial contraception against the natural moral law, it is against the express, unalterable, infallibly-proclaimed, and irreformable teachings of the Church precisely because it is against such natural law, which is to say against the eternal law of God.

(Aside from its medical side effects, which include osteoporosis and cancer and a host of other problems, the "contraceptive" injection Depo-Provera has both contraceptive and abortifacient effects.  Melinda Gates's support for Depo-Provera gives a lie to her claims that she and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation--which has notoriously supported Planned Parenthood and the International Planned Parenthood Federation in the past--is against abortions.)

Surely a "practicing Catholic" with the intellectual and financial resources that Melinda Gates has at her disposal can afford a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (¶ 2370) and understand its teaching which is announced in no uncertain terms: "Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.  These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom.  In contrast, 'every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible' is intrinsically evil."

Does Melinda Gates disrespect the bodies of the folks in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia?  Does she wish to discourage tenderness between the spouses in these regions?  Does she wish to deny them authentic freedom?  Or does she simply wish to spend $4 billion to indoctrinate 120 million people against the teaching of the Church?  Either option seems rather heinous for a "practicing Catholic."

Melinda Gates is infected by a virus, the virus of utilitarianism--the legal ethic that measures everything by cost and benefits and has known of an intrinsic evil, since anything can be justified by the supposed good ends.  Whatever the virus, it has consumed her and her Catholicism.  She is not a "practicing Catholic," regardless of her insistence. 

She could be.  It would be good if she would really be a "practicing Catholic."  It would be better for her own soul if she would be a "practicing Catholic."  It would be better for the souls of the 120 million women in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia that are about to get morally assaulted if she would be a "practicing Catholic."  But to be a "practicing Catholic" means to believe that artificial contraception is an intrinsic evil and that no good--however great--justifies its use.  It also means to try--with God's grace--to abide by that teaching.  It also means that if we have sinned by our use of artificial contraception, we should confess our sins, and God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (cf.  1 John 1:9)

But that requires repentance, metanoia.  A turning around.  A new start.

In words Melinda Gates would understand, it would require her to reboot.

-----

Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He is married with three children.  He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum.  You can contact Andrew at agreenwell@harris-greenwell.com.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More U.S.

Lower Your Nets For a Catch! We Are All Called to Evangelize Watch

Image of Lower your nets for a catch

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The New Evangelization is meant to bring about an authentic renewal of the Church so that she can then undertake a new missionary outreach to the whole world. Only a Church fully alive in the Lord and filled with His Spirit can carry out such an evangelical ... continue reading


'Church ladies' finally force phony priest in Los Angeles to authorities Watch

Image of Erwin Mena  was arrested by Los Angeles police for allegedly impersonating a Roman Catholic priest and on suspicion of grand theft (Los Angeles Times).

By Mary Rezac, CNA/EWTN News

For months, Erwin Mena donned vestments, called himself "Padre," and convinced Southern California Catholics that he was a priest, police say. Los Angeles, Calif. (CNA/EWTN News) - He was good at it, too, reportedly. He attended seminary in El Salvador for a time ... continue reading


Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis to Meet in Cuba in Historic Move of the Holy Spirit Watch

Image of Orthodox Christian Patriarch Kirill and Catholic Christian Pope Francis

By Deacon Keith Fournier

This meeting of the Primates of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, after a long preparation, will be the first in history and will mark an important stage in relations between the two Churches. The Holy See and the Moscow Patriarchate hope that ... continue reading


'Deeply disturbing': ANOTHER Planned Parenthood video has been released by the Center for Medical Progress (Warning: Graphic Content) Watch

Image of Yet another undercover video featuring the horrors of Planned Parenthood's illegal acts has been released (Leda Oreskovich).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released another video featuring Planned Parenthood officials casually - and even happily - discussing the revolting practice of murdering infants in the womb then mercilessly cutting them to pieces for profit. Meanwhile, after ... continue reading


Phony priest celebrated masses, funerals and performed marriages - for more than 20 years! Watch

Image of Operating out of St. Ignatius of Loyola in northeastern Los Angeles, Erwin Mena allegedly sold tickets to a pilgrimage to visit New York to see the Pope during his visit to the United States last year (Facebook).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

He might have talked a good talk and walked a good walk, but authorities finally caught up with fifty-nine-year-old Erwin Mena, who posed as a priest for more than 20 years in Los Angeles. Mena was arrested and will enjoy a lot of time in small rooms - with bars on the ... continue reading


'Christian Refugees 2 Christian Nations, Muslim Refugees 2 Muslim Nations, That's Only Fair': Protesters rally in Missoula County Courthouse Watch

Image of Protesters stand in snow (not pictured) to stand against new influx of refugees into America (AP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In an effort to ease the strain on other countries who have accempted several thousand refugees, the Obama administration plans to send refugees to smaller Montana cities. Over 120 Montana citizens faced snow and ice on Monday to protest outside the Missoula County ... continue reading


Why did secret Muslim Obama visit a controversial mosque? Watch

Image of Why is Obama visiting a mosque with questionable ties?

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

President Obama is visiting a controversial mosque in Baltimore today, one that has ties to Islamic extremism. Even fellow Muslims are upset that he chose the Islamic Society of Baltimore for his visit, when he could have chosen more "moderate" mosques. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


In the minds of murderers: 9/11 began with a small question and grew to a national tragedy Watch

Image of 9/11 was based on a flight that crashed into the sea (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The horrific tragedy of 9/11 was reportedly started when Osama bin Laden heard of the murder-suicide on EgyptAir Flight 990. The plane's pilot crashed into the ocean, prompting bin Laden to wonder why he didn't choose to crash into a building. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


What does the Super Bowl have to do with the Catholic Church? Watch

Image of

By CNA/EWTN News

Who else is facing off during the Super Bowl? Catholic Charities. Whether fans are rooting for the Denver Broncos or the Carolina Panthers in the upcoming NFL Super Bowl 50, Catholic Charities of Denver, Colorado, and Charlotte, South Carolina are uniting to host ... continue reading


Did the Groundhog see his shadow? 6 fun facts about Groundhog Day you never knew before Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The fate between winter and spring anxiously awaited the arrival of the weather-predicting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil. The furry groundhog emerged from his hole on February 2 in search of a shadow ... that he never found. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 6:1-2, 3-8
1 In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord seated on a high and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8
1 [Of David] I thank you, Yahweh, with all my heart, for you have ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:1-11
1 Now it happened that he was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 15:1-11
1 I want to make quite clear to you, brothers, what the message of the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 7th, 2016 Image

St. Moses
February 7: Arab hermit and bishop who is called "the Apostle ... Read More