Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

11/23/2011 (2 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 (2 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 July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

As hundreds of bills languish on his desk, push is on to 'fire Harry Reid' Watch

Image of The GOP now hopes to use those examples to build a case against Harry Reid and argue that his procedural stranglehold is the reason for the Senate's painful levels of gridlock.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The GOP is now calling for either the resignation or firing of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Republican National Committee is launching a two-week "robo-call" campaign in efforts to nationalize Senate races across battleground states, arguing that each ... continue reading


DOES the President have the unilateral power to legalize illegal aliens? Hoyer: No Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Does U.S. President Barack Obama have the unilateral right to convert countless illegal immigrants to legal status? House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that President Obama "can't legalize" the illegal aliens, but added that the president "can ... continue reading


RATCHETING UP SANCTIONS: U.S. Europe increase sanctions against Russia Watch

Image of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that he is not considering adding new sanctions. Australia lost 28 citizens on Flight MH17. Abbott said that at the moment

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New economic sanctions against key sectors of the Russian economy have been announced by U.S. President Obama. It's all part of Washington's latest efforts to force Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his support for Ukrainian rebels. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'Achievements and contributions… to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy,' Obama celebrates achievements of Muslims Watch

Image of A recent survey found that 72 percent of Muslim-Americans approve of the President, more so than any other religious group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the persecution of Iraqi Christians at the hands of Islamic jihadists continued, President Obama and First Lady Michelle released a statement this past weekend thanking Muslim Americans for their many "achievements and contributions...to building the very ... continue reading


U.S. Bishops say Obama's executive order 'implements discrimination' Watch

Image of Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, pictured, and Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo in a statement noted that the executive order, which will impact a fifth of the U.S. workforce, discriminates against faithful Catholics.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new order by U.S. President Obama that forbids federal contractors from discriminating "on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity," has been denounced by U.S. bishops as "unprecedented and extreme and should be opposed" and, in effect, ... continue reading


Israel harshly critical of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, called 'an Alien' Watch

Image of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's apparent decision to use Qatar as a conduit through which to communicate with Hamas, effectively ditching an earlier Egyptian proposal which the group had rejected has stirred the pot.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United States and Israel have been the staunchest of allies since Israel reached statehood following World War II - but this doesn't mean that the nations have always seen eye-to-eye. Indeed, the right-wing faction of the Israeli government are harshly ... continue reading


President Obama is 'mailing it in', bought the farm - spending lots of time golfing and goofing off Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lackadaisical. That word is used to define "lacking enthusiasm and determination; carelessly lazy." Lackadaisical appears to described U.S. President Barack Obama as of late. The president is pending an awful lot of time playing golf while the nation and the ... continue reading


In President Obama's war on religious freedom the people suffer another loss Watch

Image of A July 21 executive order has dealt a huge blow to the cause of freedom of religion in the United States.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama's July 21 executive order prohibiting discrimination based on sexual-self-identification has lead to strong criticism from several prominent U.S. bishops, calling the executive order "unprecedented and extreme." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Efforts against female genital mutilation could be thwarted by population growth Watch

Image of Due partly to community activism and legislation, the prevalence of FGM, which involves the cutting away of the external female genitalia, and the marriage of girls under the age of 18 has decreased slightly over the last 30 years, UNICEF said.

By Lisa Anderson, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Advances in fighting female genital mutilation, or FGM and child marriage could be offset by population growth unless the rate of progress increases, according to new data released Tuesday by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). (Thomson Reuters ... continue reading


FREE SPEECH VIOLATED: Tea party groups' lawsuit against IRS proceeds Watch

Image of Among the individuals named in the lawsuit is Lois Lerner, who headed the division that processes applications for tax-exempt status at that time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They're not going to take it - and they're taking their claims to court. A federal judge has allowed a lawsuit by 10 tea party groups to move forward against the Internal Revenue Service. The judge rejected a request by the federal government to dismiss all 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, Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
10 A disaster for me, mother, that you bore me to be ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
2 rescue me from evil-doers, from men of violence ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:44-46
44 'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2014 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... 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