Health Care, the Sophistry of Nancy Pelosi and that 'Conscience Thing'
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.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Nancy Pelosi, abortion, conscience, health care reform, pro-life, dissent, contraceptive mandate, Deacon Keith Fournier
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