Thursday, September 27, 2012

Preliminary Report: The Teachers are Learning

To kick off my reporting on the Cleveland Diocese “Faithful Citizenship” forum I will call your attention to the following paragraph from the page on the topic.

As CRTL [Cleveland Right to Life] informed LifeNews, the Catholic Church’s directive to give pro-life issues  primary importance in voting decisions was deliberately confused and downplayed. Attendees’ questions aimed at clarifying this teaching were ignored and one presenter even walked out of more than one meeting to signify he would not tolerate dissension on this pro-life point. Despite huge concerns from the Catholic bishops, discussion of the attack on religious liberty was virtually non-existent at the meeting.

I have to say that the presenters at St. Clarence definitely worked hard so that these claims could not be made as credibly about tonight's presentation. Abortion and pro-life issues were mentioned frequently and not always followed by mentioning poverty or other issues. The seriousness and prominence of pro-life issues was manifested to almost an exaggerated degree [I'll explain exactly what I mean by that later.] The HHS Mandate was mentioned frequently and a prayer for religious freedom was passed out. The phrase "Intrinsic Evil" was frequently used with reference to abortion, the Final Judgement was mentioned as well as sins of omission, and official church documents were quoted fairly regularly.

Well, that's the "good news" side of my report. I say in the headline "The Teachers are Learning", and at least they are trying to learn.

I'm thinking about blogging a series of posts on my reflections on what was said tonight and what was not said about the forming consciences and participation in public life. I don't know how many I'll do. I've avoided doing this kind of thing in the past, but now I almost feel compelled to do this. So I'll save the "bad news" for those posts. I haven't changed my mind from my earlier thought that this whole approach to the issue needs to be scrapped.

I'll say one last thing before I retire: if there was an award for true "faithful citizenship", I nominate Molly Smith, head of Cleveland Right to Life. She is forcing clarifications and improvements and that's a start. A much-needed start.


  1. Have you read Bishop Thomas Paprocki's solid assessment of party platforms in the light of the consideration of intrinsic evils? It's excellent .

    Bishop Thomas Paprocki "Think and pray about your vote in upcoming election"

  2. Thank you. I will post a link to it once I review it.

  3. Dear Pauli,
    Would you please come to my daughter's high school, help find the person who drives the car with the "Catholics for Obama" sign, and give him a big slap upside the head?
    Mostly joking,