Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

11/23/2011 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The problem is that many Catholics do not understand that we must educate our consciences in order to ensure that they conform to the truth as revealed in the Natural Law and expounded upon in Revelation

Not only do our consciences need to be formed, they can also become deformed and regularly need to be re-formed. That is all too evident when we look at the way in which some Catholics, like Nancy Pelosi, approach political participation.She intentionally confuses others about what the Catholic Church teaches concerning conscience. Consciences are "good" when they are properly formed in the truth which leads the person to do what is good. Pelosi does not understand that "conscience thing"

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/23/2011 (4 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Nancy Pelosi, abortion, conscience, health care reform, pro-life, dissent, contraceptive mandate, Deacon Keith Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Over the last several years Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi has intentionally misrepresented that her position opposing the fundamental human right to life for children in the womb fell within the prerogative of a Catholic exercising her "conscience". She has flagrantly misrepresented the unbroken teaching of her own Church for over two millennia concerning its opposition to all procured abortion.

She has been corrected by her Bishop, reminded of the true teaching of the Church by the Pope himself and repeatedly exposed in her error by other Catholics. Her incorrect claims concerning Church history and her overt dissent from the teaching office of the Catholic Church is irrefutable. Yet, she persists in her subterfuge.

Recently, the Lifestyle Section of the Washington Post interviewed the Congresswoman. She was asked about efforts by the leadership of  her own Church to ensure that there are conscience provisions in place to prevent Catholic Hospitals and Doctors from having to dispense contraceptives, (some of which are abortifacients) or perform abortions under the Obama Health Care legislation.

She once again claimed "I'm a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it - but they have this conscience thing".  She went on to assert that Catholic medical professionals who opt out of performing abortions would be "letting women die on the floor." She said that efforts to protect health care providers from violating conscience were "savage." 

This all happened after Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the President of the United States Bishops conference, made these very dangers eminently clear at the recent General Assembly of the Bishops. He also personally visited with the President of the United States to argue for conscience protections! Nancy Pelosi knows this but persists in her public sophistry.

One of the great scandals of our age is Catholics in public life being unfaithful to the teaching of the Church. The Council Fathers in Lumen Gentium (Light to the Nations) used a phrase which has been repeated many times since then in numerous teachings from the contemporary Popes and is a favorite of our own U.S. Bishops. They warned of the "separation between faith and life." They called it one of the "greatest errors of our age". Clearly, it is advanced by Nancy Pelosi. 

Let's cut to the chase, killing our first neighbors in the womb in the name of "choice" is evil, sick and unlawful. It also violates the Natural Law even if the current positive law allows it. It is barbarism. As Catholics we agree that humans are "free" to choose. However we insist that some choices are always wrong. Perhaps the most obvious example is treating an entire class of human persons as property to be used - and killed- rather than a gift to be received. 

As Catholic citizens in the United States of America, we have been able to flourish. That is because the founding documents of this Nation, (even if it took centuries to understand their implications in certain areas), articulated truths derived from the classical Natural Law thinking of Western Christendom.

These truths were set forth in the great philosophical tradition of the Latin Church in St. Thomas Aquinas and derived from the teachings of the early Fathers of the Church. They are the fruit of the tree of liberty whose roots are sunk deeply in the Biblical texts, Old and New Testament.

The American founders insistence upon the existence of "unalienable rights" which are "endowed by a Creator" on every person was inspired by this Jewish and Christian patrimony. The Declaration is the Birth Certificate of the American Republic. Our assertion that there are universally recognized rights, truths and obligations has informed the foundation for the Western understanding of the Rule of Law. It is the source of our liberties.

There is a "Natural Law" which is written on our conscience. That Natural Law is a participation in God's law. It is knowable through the exercise of reason by all men and women, whether they acknowledge God's existence or not. It is that Natural Law which is the measuring stick for any truly just "positive" or "civil" law. When we fail to recognize this we lose our way and we lose our freedom. Our history attests to this.

The words of Section 1733 of the Catholic Catechism remind us "There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom.." A little later in this profound text, the Catechism reminds us that "From its outset, human history attests the wretchedness and oppression born of the human heart in consequence of the abuse of freedom."

Nancy Pelosi seeks to mislead fellow Catholics about the clear teaching of the Catholic Church. She has the arrogance to pretend that in so doing she is acting as a faithful Catholic. She disparages the claim of conscience exemptions for those who refuse to perform abortions or dispense contraceptives - but then tries to take refuge behind the same claim when she opposes the Right to life.

She intentionally confuses others about what the Catholic Church teaches concerning conscience. Consciences are "good" when they are properly formed in the truth which leads the person to do what is good. Freedom "perfects" a human person only when it is exercised in accordance with what is truly good.

Not only do our consciences need to be formed, they can also become deformed and regularly need to be re-formed. That is all too evident when we look at the way in which some Catholics, like Nancy Pelosi, approach political participation. They seek to refer to such words as "intention" to somehow justify their errant behavior in supporting intrinsically evil acts such as procured abortion.

St Paul addressed the early Christians in Rome concerning the implications of misusing the concept of intention in the process of making moral choices. He cautioned them about an approach which argues that evil may be done as long as there is a good intention. "There are those who say: And why not do evil that good may come? Their condemnation is just' (Rom 3:8) Catholics are called to form their consciences in accordance with what is true and then to act morally, that is to act in accordance with that truth.

People like Nancy Pelosi seek to take refuge behind the claim that they support the social justice teachings of the Catholic Church. However, social Justice is an expression of social charity. It affirms the truth concerning our obligations in solidarity to one another. "One another" includes the littlest human persons, children in the womb. There is nothing even remotely "just" about legalized abortion, period.

The Catechism summarizes the duties of both civil authorities and of good citizens in its Section entitled "Life in Christ" at Sections 2234-2246. The problem is that many Catholics do not understand that we must educate our consciences in order to ensure that they conform to the truth as revealed in the Natural Law and expounded upon in Revelation.

There has been some poor teaching in the arena of moral theology which has left the faithful confused on subjects of profound importance to living as Christians. It has led to people speaking as though our "conscience" somehow equates with our "feelings" or is an aspect of our own opinion.

Not only do our consciences need to be formed, they can become deformed - and regularly need to be re-formed. That is all too evident when we look at the way in which Catholics like Nancy Pelosi approach political participation.

She supports policy positions which are directly at odds with the teaching of her Church and the Natural Law on the dignity of every human life from conception to natural death. It is time for Nancy Pelosi to understand that "conscience thing", for her own sake - and the common good of the Nation she was elected to serve. 

---


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 Politics & Policy

Trump, Sanders win with commanding leads in New Hampshire - but what happens next? Watch

Image of Trump and Sanders easily won the New Hampshire primary with large margins.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Both Trump and Sanders are riding high this morning following stunning victories in New Hampshire. Republicans reported massive turnout, shattering any previous turnout record. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The New Hampshire primary has finished with Donald ... continue reading


Deal with the Devil or practical politics? Is there a pro-life case for Bernie Sanders? Watch

Image of Would a pro-life strategy that involves Bernie Sanders be a deal with the devil, or a practical strategy?

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A lot of Catholics like Bernie Sanders. Recently, we saw an outpouring of support of the candidate in the comments under an excellent article written by Deacon Keith Fournier. Many Catholics appreciate Sander's stance on some social issues - after all, he is a ... continue reading


Bernie Sanders surprises many with sudden surge in New Hampshire Watch

Image of Maintaining a low profile for presidential candidate Bernie sanders is more difficult now, as he comes to the forefront. Photo courtesy of Reuters.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Seen by many as a humble Senator with big ideas, the relatively unknown, until recently, Bernie Sanders seemed at first to pose no threat to Hilary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential race. That has changed noticeably - Sanders is ... continue reading


What's going on with the New Hampshire primary? Watch

Image of New Hampshire kicked off the primaries this year and so far Bernie Sanders is in the lead (iStock).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The first votes have been cast in the New Hampshire primary. In keeping with tradition, the voting began at midnight, as it has for every primary since 1960.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Today marks the beginning of an exciting political shift in the ... continue reading


CURTAIN CALLED: GOP debate starts hilariously as candidates fail to appear on cue Watch

Image of When candidates Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush's names were announced, the two men were still blocking their way. Sneaking past, Jeb grinned and bumped Donald Trump. Photo courtesy of ABC News.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It is a bit trivial to say about such an important event - but the GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire this weekend could have done with a bit more rehearsal. Candidate Ben Carson came out too early, Donald Trump stood with Carson, and candidates Marco ... continue reading


'Faith is the great cure for fear': Obama speaks at annual National Prayer Breakfast in WA Watch

Image of At the annual National Prayer Breakfast, Obama spoke against Muslim stereotypes and hatred (AP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

During the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, President Barack Obama spoke of God, fear and love. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At the breakfast, both Democrats and republicans set aside their differences to build relationships based on their ... continue reading


After Iowa fail, Donald Trump vows to 'beat the ____ out of ISIS' Watch

Image of Many noted that Donald Trump seemed unusually subdued in New Hampshire. He claimed that he remained optimistic after his second place finish in the Iowa primary. Photo courtesy of Reuters.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

While he faced defeat in the Iowa caucuses, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump was full of his usual bluster in New Hampshire. Never one to mince words, he vowed to "beat the ___ out of ISIS" if he was elected president. LOS ANGELS, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


'Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa, he stole it': Trump furiously rants on Twitter about Cruz's win demanding a new Iowa 'election' Watch

Image of Donald Trump calls for a new election or to nullify Cruz's results (Reuters).

By Thomas Heed (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

When news of the Cruz campaign "mistake" concerning Ben Carson at the Iowa caucus reached Donald Trump, he was furious. The business tycoon took to Twitter to call for a new election or to nullify Cruz's results. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Despite his initial ... continue reading


Republican Candidate Drops Out of Presidential Race: But who was it? Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Following a disappointing show in the Iowa caucus, with only 4.5 percent of the votes, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has officially dropped out of the 2016 presidential race. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "It's been an incredible honor to run a principled campaign ... continue reading


Political sabotage: Ted Cruz pleads GUILTY to wronging Ben Carson at Iowa caucus Watch

Image of Ted Cruz admitted his campaign started the lie that Ben Carson was dropping out of the race prior to the Iowa caucus (NY Times).

By Thomas Heed (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In a shocking admission, Ted Cruz admits his staff spread rumors of Ben Carson dropping out of the runnings just before the Iowa caucus voting began. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As previously reported, the Iowa caucus was filled with surprises that included ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy 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 for Sunday, February 14, 2016
  • Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?
  • 5 of the best non-traditional ways to celebrate Valentine's Day
  • Saint Valentine and why we offer roses
  • Stations of the Cross - Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to ...
  • St. Valentine: Saint of the Day for Sunday, February 14, 2016
  • Prayer in Time of Anger HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 58:9-14
9 Then you will cry for help and Yahweh will answer; you will call and he ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Prayer Of David] Listen to me, Yahweh, answer me, for I am poor and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:27-32
27 When he went out after this, he noticed a tax collector, Levi by name, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 13th, 2016 Image

St. Catherine de Ricci
February 13: St. Catherine was born in Florence in 1522. Her ... Read More