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Kissling Cousins

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jul 09, 2005

Catholics for Free Choice's Frances Kissling is alarmed by the new Instrumentum Laboris and its impact on the cerebrum of Joe Biden.

Now as we enter one of the most critical political issues of our time -- the selection of a new Supreme Court Justice -- the new pope has released a working document that gives ammunition to these groups and individuals by intimating that prochoice Catholic policy makers might be committing sin or causing scandal, and thus would not be eligible to receive communion.

"Intimating"? The document (§72) is straightforward: "Some [Catholics] receive Communion while denying the teachings of the Church or publicly supporting immoral choices in life, such as abortion, without thinking that they are committing an act of grave personal dishonesty and causing scandal."

For prochoice Catholics senators, faced with extremely difficult political options regarding protecting the integrity of the constitution and the Courts, this will be a terrible dilemma.

Kissling must have wet herself laughing while penning that line. What pro-abort Catholic pol has ever framed the political problem as a "dilemma"? What pro-abort Catholic pol has ever suggested, however obliquely, that he hoped Democratic party discipline would slacken in the future to permit him to move it in a pro-life direction?

The fact of the matter is that there is wide latitude for American bishops to reject the Vatican notion that prochoice legislators must in every instance and in every way consider no other issue but abortion as they decide on laws or nominees.

"the Vatican notion that prochoice legislators must ..."? I think her trolley jumped the tracks here.

We hope that the majority of American bishops will quickly put to rest this divisive Vatican opinion, reassert their own view that there are indeed legitimate options for Catholic senators evaluating nominees and that all options must be considered as the senators decide on support for or opposition to a candidate.

Well, if their inertness in the face of John Kerry's reception of communion during last summer's campaign is any indication of their views on the matter, the majority of U.S. bishops agrees with Kissling on this point. They won't need to reassert their view because no view was ever asserted in the first place. It's one of those issues that was remanded "for further study" (my guess is they set Joe Imesch the task of cutting photos of communion rails out of back issues of Newsweek, and that he's still working through the late-1990s batch). However, the U.S. bishops aren't shy of confronting governmental outrages against the common weal, and have issued a stern statement against "Operation Restore Order" in Zimbabwe. Interesting, isn't it, how much clearer one's Christian duty in the political order is at a distance of 8,000 miles?

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  • Posted by: - Jul. 10, 2005 1:01 AM ET USA

    "For prochoice Catholics senators, faced with extremely difficult political options regarding protecting the integrity of the constitution and the Courts, this will be a terrible dilemma" What a strange mirror universe. The 1st commandment is "Thou shalt preserve the abortion industry." Those old legacy commandments are dilemmas. "Protecting the Constitution" means protecting Harry Blackmun's sacred pile of rubble from any attempts to put the bricks back into place.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Jul. 09, 2005 10:41 PM ET USA

    Great points, Diogenes. And we can thank Cardinals McCarrick and Mahony for orchestrating the tabling many such issues, remanding them "for further study" until the issues fade into episcopal memories. Has Cardinal McCarrick's retirement been accepted by Rome by fax yet? Let us pray so, for the good of the Church.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Jul. 09, 2005 12:52 PM ET USA

    Speaking of Rogaine, I believe that Senator Biden received hair transplants a few years ago, so I don't believe that there is any follicular impediment to his having the truth enter his mind.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 09, 2005 10:38 AM ET USA

    Poignant contrast, Di. It's the old "splinter vs. plank" phenomenon revisited.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 09, 2005 9:44 AM ET USA

    "Interesting, isn't it, how much clearer one's Christian duty in the political order is at a distance of 8,000 miles?" Once again, Uncle D. nails it. Actually, it's more like a big #10 six-inch quad screw zipped in with a cordless 14 volt drill. This sucker is not coming out!

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