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Hudson and Fournier: Catholic Countdown to Election 2102, Day 28. Joy Allen and Morally Coherent Catholics
By Deal W. Hudson & Keith A. Fournier
October 9th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Morally coherent Catholics insist that there are moral truths which should inform our life together in every truly just and free society and fundamental human rights which must be recognized as rightfully belonging to all men and women. Catholics are not one more "interest group" which can be pandered to or push called
WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Joy Allen, a Catholic from Pittsburgh, appeared Monday on Fox & Friends, telling the story of the two calls she received from the Obama campaign. Those callers -- "practicing Catholics voting for Obama" -- both read from the same script stating Obama was not pro-abortion and Planned Parenthood did not promote abortion. The callers, both women, also praised the so-called "Nuns-on-the-Bus."
But, each call ended with the following question, "How can you support a "Mormon" who does not believe in Jesus Christ?" Allen responded by saying she was supporting Mitt Romney and would never support a pro-abortion politician like President Obama. Joy Allen's story, first reported here at Catholic Online, was described by the Obama campaign as "categorically false." The question remains whether the campaign, after Monday's interview, will be challenged by the media again on these push calls.
Watch this video and make up your own mind who is telling the truth. The interviewers, understandably, are more interested in the anti-Mormon question than the misrepresentations of Obama and the Catholic faith, but it's to Allen's credit that she witnessed to the truth of her faith, clearly and emphatically. Joy Allen is a courageous and morally coherent Catholic. One cannot be a morally coherent Catholic and hold what is euphemistically called a "pro-choice" position on abortion or fail to defend true marriage and the family and society founded upon it.
Catholics will determine the outcome of this election if we act in a manner which is "morally coherent". The phrase "morally coherent" was used in an instruction released in 2002 entitled a "Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life" issued by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It was directed to "the Bishops of the Catholic Church and, in a particular way, to Catholic politicians and all lay members of the faithful called to participate in the political life of democratic societies." Here is an excerpt:
"The social doctrine of the Church is not an intrusion into the government of individual countries. It is a question of the lay Catholic's duty to be morally coherent, found within one's conscience, which is one and indivisible. "There cannot be two parallel lives in their existence: on the one hand, the so-called 'spiritual life', with its values and demands; and on the other, the so-called 'secular' life, that is, life in a family, at work, in social responsibilities, in the responsibilities of public life and in culture. The branch, engrafted to the vine which is Christ, bears its fruit in every sphere of existence and activity."
"In fact, every area of the lay faithful's lives, as different as they are, enters into the plan of God, who desires that these very areas be the 'places in time' where the love of Christ is revealed and realized for both the glory of the Father and service of others. Living and acting in conformity with one's own conscience on questions of politics is not slavish acceptance of positions alien to politics or some kind of 'confessionalism', but rather the way in which Christians offer their concrete contribution so that, through political life, society will become more just and more consistent with the dignity of the human person."
Insisting that the fundamental Human Right to Life be recognized in the positive or civil law of the Nation is not about engaging in single issue politics. Human rights - such as the Natural Law Right to Life - and human freedoms - such as the freedom to be born - are goods of human persons. When there is no human person to exercise them all the rhetoric extolling them is nothing but empty air and sloganeering. Nor is our position only a matter of our adherence to our religious beliefs. It is a response to the truth as revealed by the Natural Law and confirmed by medical science. The Child in the womb is our neighbor. It is always and everywhere wrong to take innocent human life. The child in the womb is innocent human life. It is thus wrong to intentionally kill him or her through procured abortion.
The embryonic human person, the child in the womb, the disabled, the needy and the elderly are all members of our human family. We can never condone their intentional killing. It is never a moral choice but a crime, whether the positive law prosecutes it or not. Our clear opposition to the judicial manufacture of a "right" to take innocent human life in the womb must never take a back seat to any other concern in the public policy arena. The failure to hear the cry of the child in the womb while mouthing the language of caring for the poor is unbridled hypocrisy.
The same is true for marriage. The same Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Catholic Church explained in 2003, "The Church's teaching on marriage and on the complementarity of the sexes reiterates a truth that is evident to right reason and recognized as such by all the major cultures of the world. Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose."
"No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to cooperate with God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives."
The truth about marriage is also revealed by the Natural Law. To limit marriage to heterosexual couples is not discriminatory now, nor has it ever been. Homosexual couples cannot bring into existence what marriage intends by its very definition. To confer the benefits that have been conferred in the past only to stable married couples and families to homosexual paramours is bad public policy. To state this is not to be "anti-gay". It is to defend marriage.
Civil institutions do not create marriage nor can they create a "right" to marry for those who are incapable of marriage. Government has long regulated marriage for the common good. For example, the ban on polygamy and age requirements were enforced in order to ensure that there was a mature decision at the basis of the Marriage contract. Heterosexual marriage, procreation, and the nurturing of children form the foundation for the family, and the family forms the foundation of civil society.
Morally coherent Catholics acknowledge that there is a Natural Law, "present in the heart of each man and established by reason." This law "is universal in its precepts and its authority extends to all men. It expresses the dignity of the person and determines the basis for his fundamental rights and duties." (Catechism of the Catholic Church# 1956)
Morally coherent Catholics insist that there are moral truths which should inform our life together in every truly just and free society and fundamental human rights which must be recognized as rightfully belonging to all men and women. Catholics are not one more "interest group" which can be pandered to or push called. Morally Coherent Catholic Voters like Joy Allen may soon become the real story of the 2012 US Presidential election.
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