Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

6/28/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged.

Fr Frank Pavone was not acting hysterically, he was acting pastorally. Nancy Pelosi is wrong about the teaching of the Catholic Church. Fr. Frank Pavone was acting to help Ms. Pelosi - and to prevent her from causing further scandal to the Church which she purports to represent when she makes such reprehensible comments to the public. 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. Consciences are good when they are properly formed in the truth which then leads the person to do what is good.

Nancy Pelosi, Fr Frank Pavone

Nancy Pelosi, Fr Frank Pavone

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/28/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Nancy Pelosi, Fr Frank Pavone, scandal, abortion, pro-life, Right to Life, Open Letter, priests for Life, Deacon Keith Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - My long time friend, Fr. Frank Pavone, received a lot of Press lately because of his open letter to Nancy Pelosi. Thus far, I have stayed out of the fray. I have written extensively about the Congress woman in the past and felt no need to jump in.

But when I read an article entitled House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Warns the War on Women Isn't Over  by Aviva Shen of Think progress, I could no longer remain silent. She offered the following quote from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:

"My faith is very deep and has been my whole life. I love my faith and my faith has nothing to do with whoever he [Father Frank Pavone] is. The arrogance of it all! It's like something ancient, medieval. The Church taught me as I was growing up that every person has a free will and has the responsibility to live up to a moral standard. And I respect women's judgment and values to do that. Whether this priest thinks his judgment should be another woman's judgment is absolutely ridiculous to me. But nonetheless it's what they say."

"I grant the Church where they are on abortion. That's where they are, that's where they have to be. But my faith isn't about what their position is. My faith is about, Christ is my savior, the church is his church, and has nothing to do with Priests for Life. I wouldn't even dignify whatever it is they said. It was a highly emotional statement that they made. If it were more intellectual I might have paid attention to it. He was acting hysterically."

No, Fr Frank Pavone was not acting hysterically, he was acting pastorally. Nancy Pelosi is wrong about the teaching of the Catholic Church. Fr. Frank Pavone was acting with a desire to help Ms. Pelosi - and to prevent her from causing further scandal to the Church which she purports to represent when she makes such reprehensible comments to the public.

Over the years Nancy Pelosi has intentionally misrepresented to people that her position opposing the fundamental human right to life for children in the womb fell within the prerogative of a Catholic exercising what she refers to as her conscience. She has also misrepresented the unbroken teaching of her own Church, held for over two millennia, concerning its opposition to all procured abortion.

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

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 the public about what the Catholic Church teaches concerning conscience. Consciences are only 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 true and good. Not only do our consciences need to be formed, they can become deformed and need to be re-formed.

That is all too evident when we look at the way in which some Catholics like Nancy Pelosi, approach their political participation and public service. They use words like 'intention' to attempt to 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. Nancy Pelosi 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.

People like Nancy Pelosi pretend 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' must include the littlest human persons, children in the womb. There is nothing 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. There has been some poor teaching in the arena of moral theology which left the faithful confused on subjects of profound importance to living as Christians. It has led to people like Ms Pelosi speaking as though our conscience equates with our feelings or is an aspect of our own opinion.

It is time for Nancy Pelosi to come to understand what she called that "conscience thing" in 2011. 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. Consciences are good when they are properly formed in the truth which then leads the person to do what is good. Freedom perfects a human person only when it is exercised in accordance with the truth and furthers what is truly good. 

Finally, it is also time she stopped causing scandal. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, the compilation of teaching which the speaker purports to embrace by virtue of her claim to be in communion with the Church, addresses the subject of scandal with these words:

RESPECT FOR THE DIGNITY OF PERSONS: Respect for the souls of others: SCANDAL

"Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.

"Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep's clothing.

"Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion. Therefore, they are guilty of scandal  who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible." This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger, or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.

"Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!" (CCC #2284-2287)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi intentionally misstates the truth concerning the Catholic position of the necessary unequivocal opposition to abortion as the taking of innocent human life. She misstates the teaching of her Church concerning conscience.  She also commits scandal - and should be exposed when she does.

---


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


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

'You have to know who your enemy is' Downplaying and mislabling Islamic extremism is a dangerous path for the U.S. Watch

Image of Islamic extremism is terrorism, it is not simply criminal conduct.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Obama administration refuses to acknowledge the terrorism attacks around the world for what it is, Islamic extremism. This blatant disregard of the real problem can be harmful for the country. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Secretary of State, John Kerry was ... continue reading


Striking back at the Dems! Koch brothers allocate nearly ONE BILLION DOLLARS for 2016 presidential race Watch

Image of David Koch, one of the leaders of a political action network that has the monetary power to spend hundreds of millions on political races.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It seems the Koch brothers have no plans to ease their political spending habits in 2015, as top officials in the brothers' political network released a budget of $889 million to be spent on the vast political network ahead of the 2016 presidential race. LOS ... continue reading


Turning off spigot: Obama aims to possessively guard oil-rich Alaskan coastline from development Watch

Image of Alaska's coastal plain has been at the center of a fight between conservationists and advocates of greater energy exploration in the U.S. for a very long time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Just because there's been relief at the corner gas pump doesn't mean that the United States won't need any more oil in the near future - far from it. As such, many are infuriated that U.S. President Barack Obama seeks to designate the vast majority of Alaska's ... continue reading


And the field gets thicker! Rubio joins Bush, Romney, Walker and Christie as 2016 presidential hopeful Watch

Image of Marco Rubio, a Senator from Florida may be crafting a campaign team for a potential 2016 bid.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A fifth Republican is making noise that could be interpreted as intent to make a 2016 presidential run. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Florida Senator Marco Rubio is possibly gathering a campaign team, planning out a slew of state visits starting in February, and ... continue reading


Scott Walker enters the 2016 Republican nomination ring with speech attacking Obama's failed policies Watch

Image of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker gave a speech in Iowa, a move which may put him in the running for the Republican nomination.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney may have been the first Republicans to make it clear-though still unofficial-that they intend to run for the Republican nomination in 2016, but ... continue reading


Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney hold summit meeting: Are they plotting election strategy? Watch

Image of There have been stories in a number of outlets that Jeb Bush proposed the meeting weeks ago, in order to thank Mitt Romney for his past party leadership.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former governors Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are having a summit meeting. The meeting will be in Utah. Speculation swirls about what the meeting will entail. Some GOP party officials hope "the two former governors will find a way to avoid competing presidential campaigns ... continue reading


An average of 27 late-term abortions happen every day in the United States; the bill to protect the unborn from this cruel pain was dramatically dropped by the GOP Watch

Image of 10,000 babies are killed each year through late-term abortions.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An estimated 10,000 unborn babies are killed each year through late-term abortions. This averages out to 27.4 abortions taking place 20 weeks or later per day or 1.14 per hour, according to the Congressional Budget Office. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pain ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone on Pope Francis, Politics, and Catholic Social teaching Watch

Image of Fr Frank Pavone - Fidelity to the Gospel requires that we be able to prophetically challenge the positions of all political parties, and that our loyalty to Christ and his teaching supersedes our loyalty to any political party, although such loyalties are not per se incompatible with being a Christian.

By Matt C. Abbott

It remains true that the right to life is the most fundamental right and that the duty to defend it is a more urgent priority than other social justice priorities. But to what extent that fact helps or hurts a political party depends upon the party, and his ... continue reading


President Obama fiercely hits the country with proposed $320 billion tax hike, explained in his annual State of the Union Watch

Image of Obama plans on spending his remaining two years in office helping the middle class experience the prosperity of the recovery.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two years before President Obama's departure, he has vowed to spend his remaining time "playing offense." In his annual State of the Union, Obama will address his proposal to increase tax hikes on America's "one percent." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Parts ... continue reading


Attorney General Eric Holder denounced as 'coward' and 'hypocrite' by former FBI agent Watch

Image of A former FBI agent says that Attorney General Eric Holder has used the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former FBI agent K. Dee McCown, who left the agency in 2008, has written a strong letter to Attorney General Eric Holder where McKown denounces Holder as a "coward" and a "hypocrite." McCown says he was compelled to write after the shooting deaths of two New ... 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, Hebrews 10:19-25
19 We have then, brothers, complete confidence ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:21-25
21 He also said to them, 'Is a lamp brought in to be ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 29th, 2015 Image

Sts. Sarbelius & Barbea
January 29: Two martyrs, brother and sister, who were put to death at Edessa ... 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