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To: sinkspur
The control the church has is to cut the person off from rituals the person finds important and significant. It is not easy to leave a religion one has belonged to for a lifetime, and the church knows this. The risk is that a politician will vote because of the kind of blackmail seen in this case.

The church's blackmail weakens its moral authority. I appears as though the church itself does not believe any punishment in the afterlife will be sufficient; rather, punishment in this life is necessary.
23 posted on 01/11/2004 6:44:13 PM PST by BikerNYC
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To: BikerNYC
I appears as though the church itself does not believe any punishment in the afterlife will be sufficient; rather, punishment in this life is necessary.

I'm not a Catholic, but in my opinion it has nothing at all to do with that. Christ laid down specific procedures to go through with a wayward brother. If all else fails the person is to be treated "like a tax collector." God wants members of his church to behave in a certain way while on earth. I have no idea if Congressman Obey truly belives or not - and that may be his biggest problem.

26 posted on 01/11/2004 6:47:35 PM PST by Zack Nguyen
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To: BikerNYC
The church's blackmail weakens its moral authority. I appears as though the church itself does not believe any punishment in the afterlife will be sufficient; rather, punishment in this life is necessary.

It's not blackmail; no one is forced to belong to the Catholic Church.

Catholic politicians who openly support and vote for abortion give other Catholics the impression that abortion is just dandy.

Abortion is a violation of the moral law and is condemned by the Catholic Church. So the Church, in order to prevent the scandal of a Catholic politician contravening a Church law, publicly, is beginning to say that Catholic politicians are free to vote for abortion, but are no longer free to call themselves Catholics.

Life's full of all kinds of choices, some easy some painful. This is a painful one, but politicians must make it.

27 posted on 01/11/2004 6:48:24 PM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: BikerNYC
" The church's blackmail weakens its moral authority. I appears as though the church itself does not believe any punishment in the afterlife will be sufficient; rather, punishment in this life is necessary."

It is not blackmail. The Catholic church has a responsibility. To turn and look away from one who claims to be a member then have that same person proceed to go against the church's moral teachings is akin to being an accessory to a crime.

28 posted on 01/11/2004 6:50:41 PM PST by Tench_Coxe
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To: BikerNYC
If the Church does not discipline its members, it betrays Christ and its members. The members of His body do not have teaching authority, that is reserved for the shepherds of the flock who possess the teaching authority bestowed upon them by prior successors of Christ. The bishops have too long ignored their duty, themselves risking Christ's condemnation. It IS about time that they slap secularists publicly for the outrages perpetrated against the innocent.

Regards.

30 posted on 01/11/2004 6:54:34 PM PST by TheGeezer
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To: BikerNYC
Actually, a politician who votes for abortion and then goes to church to receive communion is, in the phrase I remember from the Book of Common Prayer in the days when I was an Epicopalian, "eating and drinking damnation to himself." Catholics believe that Holy Communion is the Body and Blood of Christ, and if a person receives communion in a state of mortal sin he is only making things much worse for himself.

Catholics also believe that anyone who "procures and abortion," which presumably applies to politicians whose votes make abortion and abortion funding possible, is automatically excommunicated. It is a false kindness for a bishop not to warn someone that they are risking damnation.

If you don't believe that, fine, but then you have no business being a Catholic.
31 posted on 01/11/2004 6:57:57 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: BikerNYC
Blackmail? Well I suppose so, but then I guess you'd say no church(in the broadest sense of the word) can't tell anyone what they should/need to believe to be a member.
49 posted on 01/11/2004 8:29:40 PM PST by Valin (We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.)
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To: BikerNYC
The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is a grave sin (= very wrong). It also teaches that someone who does something very wrong (= grave sin) will be harmed by abusing the sacrament of Communion. With those two teachings in place, if it admits to communion someone who advocates abortion, it harms that person.

Further, if it admits such a person, it weakens its teaching by seeming to say "we didn't really mean it." So it harms other people who need to see that it means what it says.

I know people, clergyfolk, who have left particular denominations over matters of conscience, sometimes incurring financial loss and the enmity of family and friends. It wasn't easy for them, but they did it.

They didn't think the church they left was wrong for sticking to its guns generally. They thought it picked the wrong guns to stick to.

But your argument seems to come down to, "If the church is consistent and sticks to its guns, that's blackmail." Is it blackmail for the Church to have an opinion about right and wrong, or to act on its opinion, or what? If the Church excommunicated someone who advocated slavery or persecuting Jews, would that be blackmail?

A group assembling, as the constitution says it has a right to do, says that they have certain requirements for members of that group. That's not blackmail.

If I marry THIS woman and am faithful to her, I am not thereby blackmailing all hordes of women clamoring to share my bed. If I buy a GM truck, I am not blackmailing Ford. If I start or join a golf club, I am not blackmailing bridge players. If I think abortion is very wrong, I am not blackmailing abortionists any more than they are blackmailing me when they do their filthy work. It is not blackmail when I reach a moral conclusion and act on it -- seems to me.

If my parents and siblings and wife and child turned out to be in favor of persecuting Jews, it would be hard for me to renounce them, but I would not be a victim of blackmail, except in a figurative and imprecise sense. If the politician's support for abortion costs him the approval of his denomination, then if he is a man of principle, he should leave the denomination. Yes it may be hard. But what good are principles if they are renounced when they prove difficult to uphold?

What am I missing in your point of view?

54 posted on 01/11/2004 8:34:36 PM PST by Mad Dawg (S&W 686P, Cougar 8357, Sigs - P226, P239.)
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To: BikerNYC
It is hardly blackmail. If I were to divorce and take up publicly with another woman, the Church would , must, refuse me the Sacraments unless or until I change my direction. That is hardly blackmailing me.

The only problem facing the Bishop of Milwaukee is that the other bishops of the American church are not doing the same thing.

BTW are you aware that in 1963 Louisiana Democratic leader Leander Perez was excommunciated by the Archbishop of New Orleans for publicly decrying the diocese's decision to integrate its schools. That action was widely praised by the Liberal elites in the U.S., and there was no ex cathedra teaching to compel the bishop to integrate the schools. It was a matter of the bishop's own sense of justice. Here the Bishop of Milwaukee has the guidance of two Popes, Paul VI amd John PaulII, speaking ex cathedra to guide his direction. Blackmail indeed. Disagree with the Church's view on abortion, but don't publicly facilitate the practice of abortion and expect to remain a Catholic in the eyes of the Church.

58 posted on 01/11/2004 8:42:04 PM PST by xkaydet65
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To: BikerNYC
It's called church discipline. A factor of church life
that has been seldom seen in the sunday Mornin social club
of the modern church -- a factor of church life common in
early America--as rare as being washed in the blood of
Christ is to the modern American rice Christian
65 posted on 01/12/2004 6:32:15 AM PST by StonyBurk
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