Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

11/23/2011 (3 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 (3 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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Should Obama be able to use the IRS as a weapon to target conservative opponents? Watch

Image of President Obama has used the IRS as a weapon to target Tea Party and conservative opponents.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It should come as a surprise to no one that fraud and power abuse is rampant in President Obama's White House, and the new scandal fall on the heals of the old IRS tax scandals of the last few years. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Treasury Inspector ... continue reading


The man behind the mess of Obamacare wants you to encourage abortion! Watch

Image of John Gruber, the man behind Obamacare, is an ardent supporter of abortion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The architect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), John Gruber, has made a fool of President Obama and the Democrats in his administration once again. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Gruber has been recorded numerous times admitting that the ACA was written and ... continue reading


Medicare, Social Security - all for illegal immigrants, thanks to Obama Watch

Image of In other words, those who work, which includes payroll taxes -- also known as FICA, as they are collected under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In President Obama's new plan to protect millions of illegal immigrants from deportation, many of these same individuals will be eligible to receive Social Security, Medicare and a wide array of other federal benefits. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Obama's war on America continues with secret Thanksgiving regulations dump Watch

Image of President Obama is going to release a new set of regulations over the Thanksgiving holiday, when many Americans are unlike to notice.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Not content to listen to the voice of the American people after the 2014 midterm election, President Obama is set on continuing his power grab, and forcing his will whether Americans like it or not. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The White House is getting ... continue reading


Sen. Graham: Benghazi report misses information and is 'garbage' Watch

Image of Sen. Graham said he will take a 'hard look' at the new report.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has blasted the Benghazi report recently released by the house Intelligence Committee. Graham says the report, released on Friday, is inaccurate, and called it "full of crap." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Saying he thought "the ... continue reading


Seventh terrorist suspect released from Guantanamo in two weeks; Republicans protest Watch

Image of Muhammad al-Zahrani, became the 13th prisoner released this year and the seventh in just two weeks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Saudi Arabian man has been released from the terrorist holding facility Guantanamo Bay. He was the seventh such suspect in two weeks to have been transferred from the United States to another nation. The practice has created a great hue and cry among Republicans, who ... continue reading


The Immigration Conflagration and the Dangers of a Benevolent Dictator

Image of

By Keith A. Fournier

There is no question that comprehensive immigration reform is needed. Most people acknowledge this as a fact. However, the truth is President Obama could have participated in such reform, and he knows it, by working with the 114th Congress which will soon be sworn ... continue reading


Running out the door, Republicans too busy with Thanksgiving to address laws Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With Thanksgiving turkeys dancing in their heads, many Republican lawmakers are running out the door in lieu of considering a plethora of new legislation. Republican members have discussed resolutions of disapproval and censure. One unnamed lawmaker was ... continue reading


The TOP 10 list of countries where slavery is most prevalent. DO YOU BENEFIT FROM SLAVERY? You might be shocked! Watch

Image of Poor Haitians are commonly enslaved by wealthier family members.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Last week it was announced that some 36 million people around the world live in slavery, a number that is higher than at any time in history. While most Americans feel that slavery is a distant problem, which has little or no effect on their lives, the sad fact is that ... continue reading


Raking in the dough: Obamacare 'architect' worth millions Watch

Image of Jonathan Gruber has a lucrative connection with the Department of Health and Human Services.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Jonathan Gruber's good fortune would make lots of college students change their majors to economics. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, along with his firm Gruber Microsimulation Model has raked in millions. Gruber's chief function is estimating the ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 15:1-4
1 And I saw in heaven another sign, great and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 7-8, 9
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:12-19
12 'But before all this happens, you will be seized ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 26th, 2014 Image

St. John Berchmans
November 26: Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at Diest, Brabant. He ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter