Health Care, the Sophistry of Nancy Pelosi and that 'Conscience Thing'
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"
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 ...
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Politics & Policy News
- Supreme Court: No, you can't ask for proof of citizenship for voter registration
- What happens when the Culture of Surveillance meets the Culture of Corruption?
- Obama tells Charlie Rose Americans are uninformed on NSA program. So why doesn't he inform us?
- Bombshell: Low-level NSA agents can wiretap anyone, even the president, sans warrant
- PRISM precursor programs sparked concerns, potential resignations under Bush
- Facebook, Microsoft reveal number of government requests for your info, but no details
- Whistle-blower Snowden says Obama can still save face after PRISM debacle
- The Culture of Life: Senator Rand Paul gets it right
- Obamacare to cost everybody more than they are paying now
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?