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R.I.P. Seamless Garment 1984-2004: Pope Benedict XVI Shreds Bernardin's Fabric of Lies
From CatholicInsight.com ^ | Sep 1, 2004 | Pope Benedict XVI

Posted on 04/27/2005 9:48:42 AM PDT by Diago

With the election of Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Bernardin's misguided Seamless Garment is now officially dead. Designed as a way to promote pro-abortion Catholic democrats with whom the late Cardinal was close, the Seamless Garment sought to deflect attention from the fact the America was slaughtering millions of unborn children each year.

Last Fall, the then Cardinal Ratzinger sent a memo to Cardinal Keeler entitled "Worthiness to receive Holy Communion General principles." This very important document directly refutes the idiocy of the Seamless Garment principle.

_____________________________________________________________

From CatholicInsight.com

Vatican
Worthiness to receive Holy Communion General principles
By Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

Hardcopy Issue Date: September
Online Publication Date: Sep 1, 2004, 16:50

             This statement from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was sent as a memo to Washington’s Cardinal TheodoreMcCarrick in preparation of the June 14 to 18 meeting of American bishops in Colorado. It is part of the discussion about pro-abortion Catholic politicians, and the Church.

Editor

 

1Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision, based on a reasoned judgement regarding one’s worthiness to do so, according to the Church’s objective criteria, asking such questions as: “Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?” The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected (cf. Instruction “Redemptionis sacramentum,” nos. 81, 83).

2The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorise or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a “grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. [...] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it’” (no. 73). Christians have a “grave obligation of conscience not to co-operate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. [...] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it” (no. 74).

3Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

4Apart from an individuals’s judgement about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).

5Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

6When “these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible,” and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, “the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it” (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration “Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics” [2002], nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgement on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.

 

[N.B. A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.]

(Editor: emphasis in text is mine.)



© Copyright 2003-2004 by CatholicInsight.com



TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; General Discusssion; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: abortion; bernardin; pope
With these words, Pope Benedict XVI has shredded the Seamless Garment:

Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

1 posted on 04/27/2005 9:49:28 AM PDT by Diago
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To: Diago

I think we'll see more pro-life libs in the future. However, I think it is probably too late for the Dems to really get back the pro-life vote. My wife always leaned a little liberal, but 30+ years of Death-loving intolerant Dems has caused her to distrust government in general. She no longer has any delusions of a nanny-state being utopia.


2 posted on 04/27/2005 10:01:44 AM PDT by old and tired
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To: Diago
All other concerns pale in comparison with abortion and euthanasia. These actions are an abomination and inconsistent with the faith
3 posted on 04/27/2005 10:09:17 AM PDT by Mikey_1962
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To: old and tired

My husband went from knee-jerk dem (because of what he perceived as social justice issues) to never again dem because of Abortion and Euthanasia...and my father did too (which surprised me even more, as he doesn't have strong religious convictions).

These are just a few of the fruits of the culture of death.


4 posted on 04/27/2005 10:15:00 AM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: Diago

I hope he tells this to the US bishops, who have started an anti-death penalty campaign. Last week's "Prayer of the Faithful" (which is usually full of revolting stuff sent out by "headquarters") had us praying for all "who have died an unjust death as a result of abortion, capital punishment, war, etc..." Aside from the fact that I couldn't figure out what the word "unjust" meant in that context, it was obvious that the good ol'lefty USCCB is trying to put everything on the same level.

This is because many of the bishops, in their heart of hearts, are not really that opposed to abortion, which is why you so rarely hear in mentioned in many dioceses and why they are so eager to hang out with the likes of Kerry.


5 posted on 04/27/2005 10:27:20 AM PDT by livius
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

What irks me more than the obvious here is the fact that Catholic Bishops seem to imply that only Dems are correct on Social Justice Issues. Wrong!

What about the injustices of high taxes, ponzy scheme SS, welfare? Without the Republicans, I couldn't afford to raise my family. Catholic social justice, as classicly understood by Pope Leo XIII, respects and encourages the rights of private property and the INDIVIDUAL pursuit of survival of a man and his family and a reasonable saving of wealth as the fruit of his labor. The Republican Party is what stands for this if you ask me.

My only hope is that more Catholics will embrace conservative economic values. Of course, we can differ on these, but I am tired of the view that Dems have the only answers to social justice concerns. I'm afraid that most Catholics would revert back to the Dems if it weren't for the moral issues.


6 posted on 04/27/2005 10:27:46 AM PDT by jrny (Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto Decimo Sexto.)
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To: livius
(which is usually full of revolting stuff sent out by "headquarters")

Is that where they come from -- I wondered if it was that or if they were run up by loving hands at home! They seem to vary widely from day to day, but I find -- in every case -- I have to listen attentively to be sure I can in conscience (at least with silent emendation!) join in the "Lord, hear our prayer."

7 posted on 04/27/2005 10:39:05 AM PDT by maryz
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To: Diago
[Note: The following memorandum was sent by Cardinal Ratzinger to Cardinal McCarrick and was made public in the first week of July 2004.]

Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion. General Principles

by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

1. Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision, based on a reasoned judgement regarding one’s worthiness to do so, according to the Church’s objective criteria, asking such questions as: "Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?" The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected (cf. Instruction "Redemptionis Sacramentum," nos. 81, 83).

2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorise or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a "grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. [...] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propoganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it’" (no. 73). Christians have a "grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. [...] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it" (no. 74).

3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

4. Apart from an individuals’s judgement about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).

5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

6. When "these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible," and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, "the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it" (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration "Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics" [2002], nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgement on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.

[N.B. A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.]

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8 posted on 04/27/2005 10:39:35 AM PDT by DBeers (†)
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To: jrny
What irks me more than the obvious here is the fact that Catholic Bishops seem to imply that only Dems are correct on Social Justice Issues.

One bishop (who shall be nameless) actually said in a pastoral letter that we could count our taxes as giving to the poor. (The churches around here don't even seem to have poor boxes anymore. I don't recall an announcement; they just disappeared.)

I read that when C.S. Lewis died, it was found he had been giving two-thirds of his income to the less fortunate -- not to any organization or charity, just to individual people in need that he knew about. No tax break (if there are such in England), no memorial plaques -- just Christian charity.

9 posted on 04/27/2005 10:46:56 AM PDT by maryz
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To: livius
"to put everything on the same level"

I have also noticed the same thing. A couple of years ago our pastor had a young lad from a local Catholic high school give a talk on sweat shops in third world countries. This poor soul went on and on about making sure that we should know where are clothes are made, who is making them etc. I just wanted to stand up and shout that yes sweat shops are not necessarily good, but what about the sancity of life and the killing of the innocents right here in our own country? This young mans energies could have been much better served championing causes against the culture of death then parading on about how we should all check labels of clothes we buy at Walmart!

Needless to say, our pastor seemed pretty embarassed about the whole speech.

10 posted on 04/27/2005 10:54:27 AM PDT by Gerish (Choose God, he has already chosen you.)
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To: Gerish

At least your pastor was embarrassed!

Mine would have been gushing all over him for his "sensitivity and awareness" or some such garbage.


11 posted on 04/27/2005 10:57:09 AM PDT by livius
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To: maryz

Yes, the prayers are almost consistently awful and usually highly political (well, expressing Dem politics) as well. I have to grit my teeth most of the time.


12 posted on 04/27/2005 10:58:16 AM PDT by livius
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To: Diago
When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons

I don't understand what situation would permit someone to vote for a pro-abort? What situation is worse than the innocent mass slaughter of millions of unbaptized babies?

13 posted on 04/27/2005 10:59:58 AM PDT by Judica me
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To: Diago

A HUGE bump!


14 posted on 04/27/2005 11:04:01 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: cpforlife.org; topher; Coleus

Ping!


15 posted on 04/27/2005 11:04:59 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: maryz

The overall issue is that the Church should stop meddling in purely secular affairs. The Church's primary concern is the SPIRITUAL welfare of the world, not the MATERIAL.

Furthermore, some of what these bishops and the Dem party advocate border on being spiritually demaging. If a man cannot reasonably make a living for himself and his family due to over taxation and the like, that is unjust.

Secular affairs need to be governed by the natural law.

They may also decide the remember this:
Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and...all these other things will be added unto you...

Those who are spiritually healthy seem to also be materially sound. Is there a connection? Hmmmmm....
Could it be that the Dems anti-family policies (social and economic) just create more social injustice?


16 posted on 04/27/2005 11:10:25 AM PDT by jrny (Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto Decimo Sexto.)
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To: Judica me
I don't understand what situation would permit someone to vote for a pro-abort?

I would imagine that at least one situation would be that in which there's no anti-abort on the ballot! You can go for the lesser of two evils.

17 posted on 04/27/2005 11:12:31 AM PDT by maryz
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To: jrny
Those who are spiritually healthy seem to also be materially sound. Is there a connection? Hmmmmm....

You mean like Dives and Lazarus . . . oh, wait -- that goes the other way!

18 posted on 04/27/2005 11:21:52 AM PDT by maryz
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To: jrny
The overall issue is that the Church should stop meddling in purely secular affairs. The Church's primary concern is the SPIRITUAL welfare of the world, not the MATERIAL

Uh oh! -- Better not read the prophets!

Your neat categories will be upset.

The ***Bible*** regularly rants against those who opress the poor.

And, NO, I am not a liberal democrat.

19 posted on 04/27/2005 11:46:10 AM PDT by newberger (The amazing thing about communication is that it ever occurs at all!)
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To: maryz
I would imagine that at least one situation would be that in which there's no anti-abort on the ballot! You can go for the lesser of two evils.

You can always write in the name of your favorite priest. I can't imagine how a Catholic could say "I'll vote for the pro-abort who will cut my taxes as opposed to the pro-abort who will raise taxes". That's being an accomplice to murder and should never be acceptable.

20 posted on 04/27/2005 11:46:28 AM PDT by Judica me
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To: maryz
would imagine that at least one situation would be that in which there's no anti-abort on the ballot! You can go for the lesser of two evils.

How about just not voting? Works for me.
21 posted on 04/27/2005 11:50:10 AM PDT by te lucis ("A Catholic likes using his mind on his Faith, like burnishing a treasure." -Bp. Richard Williamson)
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To: newberger

I did say the Church's PRIMARY Concern was the Spiritual Welfare.

The responsibility to perform Corporal Works of mercy falls upon the individuals and communities who are closest to those in need. Subsidiarity in other words.

Government bureaucracies create more injustice than the injustices they purport to heal.


22 posted on 04/27/2005 11:55:18 AM PDT by jrny (Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto Decimo Sexto.)
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To: Judica me
I can't imagine how a Catholic could say "I'll vote for the pro-abort who will cut my taxes as opposed to the pro-abort who will raise taxes".

How about "I'll vote for the pro-abort who will insist on a conscience clause for hospitals as opposed to the pro-abort who thinks that shouldn't be allowed."

23 posted on 04/27/2005 12:39:43 PM PDT by maryz
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To: te lucis
How about just not voting? Works for me.

If that's how you're comfortable, fine. But someone is going to be elected and deciding things for all of us. My own feeling is that it's better to vote for the least harmful.

24 posted on 04/27/2005 12:48:03 PM PDT by maryz
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To: old and tired

I always thought that the "Seamless garment" thing was put forward by liberal Catholics not so much in defense of pro-abortion Catholic pols, but as an argument against those who could be against abortion but support capital punishment.


25 posted on 04/27/2005 1:24:29 PM PDT by brooklyn dave (Catholic school survivor and proud of it.)
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To: brooklyn dave
I always thought that the "Seamless garment" thing was put forward by liberal Catholics not so much in defense of pro-abortion Catholic pols, but as an argument against those who could be against abortion but support capital punishment.

An interesting history of the seamless garment can be found here:

http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/politics/pg0020.html

A brief excerpt follows:

Cuomo's sophistry

On September 13, 1984, barely one year after Cardinal Bernardin announced his seamless garment project, Cuomo delivered his famous speech on abortion at the University of Notre Dame. At the time, Cuomo was the leader of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and a much-touted presidential possibility. The central point of his speech was to claim that while he “personally” accepted, and lived by, the Church’s teaching on abortion, he considered it wrong to deny his fellow citizens, including many who did not accept the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, the choice of whether to have an abortion.

Noting that the Church does not insist that every immoral action be prohibited by law, Cuomo depicted the question of abortion’s legal treatment as a matter of prudence akin to the range of questions with which the seamless garment was concerned. It was a question on which, he suggested, reasonable people, including reasonable Catholics, could disagree. According to Cuomo, what made a politician truly pro-life and truly someone prepared to act in the spirit of the Catholic teaching was not his opposition to legal abortion or its public funding. Though Cuomo acknowledged the bishops’ clear teaching on those issues, it was, rather, the politician’s stance on the whole range of sanctity and quality of life issues. And here, he implied, liberal Democrats, such as himself, who shared the bishops’ stated positions on capital punishment, welfare, housing, taxation, defense spending, and international human rights policy had records far superior to those of pro-life conservatives whose only specific areas of policy agreement with the bishops had to do with abortion and related issues.

Cuomo prides himself on being something of an intellectual, and there is no denying that he is a bright fellow. He must know then that, at its root, this is utter nonsense. He must be aware that the Church’s teaching on abortion truly does “translate” straightforwardly into a specific public policy — the unborn, like the rest of us, are to be afforded equal protection under law; abortion is to be generally prohibited and never publicly promoted — in a way that her teachings regarding care for the poor or the requirement of fairness in distributing tax liability, for example, simply do not. But the fact is that Cuomo brilliantly exploited Bernardin’s seamless garment teaching, and the USCC’s practice of adopting specific positions on a wide range of policy questions, to undermine the bishops’ efforts to give the right to life the priority it deserves in a society in which more than a million unborn human beings are destroyed by abortion every year.

Cuomo’s Notre Dame speech provided a virtual playbook for pro-abortion Catholic politicians who wished to claim that their public support for “the right to choose” abortion was not inconsistent with their personal moral opposition to deliberate feticide. It taught liberal politicians of every religious persuasion how to explain to Catholic constituents that their differences with the bishops over the particular issue of abortion are overshadowed by their broad agreement with the bishops across the wide range of “quality of life” issues. It relieved much of the internal and external tension experienced by public men and women, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who wanted to be pro-life and pro-choice at the same time.

26 posted on 04/27/2005 1:42:43 PM PDT by Diago
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To: Diago


This story is available at: http://www.cathnews.com/news/412/120.php

US theologian calls for ´seamless garment´ approach to life issues


Notre Dame theology professor Fr Richard McBrien has attacked bishops who hold a pro-life position on selective issues, claiming that they negate the importance of other concerns such as capital punishment, just war, or social justice.

Writing in his syndicated column, Fr McBrien outlined his argument that all issues concerning the dignity of human life – including abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, war, social justice and human rights – carry equal moral weight, and should therefore have equal influence on a Catholic voter´s decision.

McBrien wrote that this approach is the one adopted by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops in the statement "Faithful Citizenship” published in October 2003, in the run-up to this year´s elections.

He criticised what he called a "significant minority in the bishops´ conference”, "some of whose number played a highly visible role in the recent U.S. election,” who say that "abortion is the only life-issue that matters --- to the point where it is said to ‘trump´ all others.”

He also pointed out that the emerging backlash against the "seamless garment” theory is evident in the fact that "many bishops apparently broke with precedent last month and withheld their votes from Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, Washington, one of ten candidates for Conference president.”

SOURCE
Fr. McBrien attacks pro-life bishops in syndicated column (Catholic News Agency 17/12/04)

LINKS
Essays in Theology - Richard P. McBrien


SOURCES - FULL STORIES

21 Dec 2004

27 posted on 04/27/2005 1:50:43 PM PDT by Diago
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To: Diago

Didn't Cardinal Bernardin request a known, homosexual men's choir to sing at his funeral?


28 posted on 04/27/2005 6:57:43 PM PDT by Coleus (God Bless our New Pope, Benedict XVI)
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To: Coleus

29 posted on 04/27/2005 7:01:41 PM PDT by te lucis ("A Catholic likes using his mind on his Faith, like burnishing a treasure." -Bp. Richard Williamson)
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To: Diago
CHAPTER 84 THE SEAMLESS GARMENT: DEATH FOR THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT
American Life League

Straight Guy with the Catholic Eye: Priest parades 'seamless garment' while students walk for life

"Catholic" John Kerry's 'seamless garment'

The Legacy of Cardinal Bernardin’s Common Ground Seamless Garment, Which is a Rag!

Attorney: Bernardin lied, visited crime scene/ Why did Wisconsin priest commit suicide?

John Kerry’s ‘Seamless Garment’

Seamless Garment or Political Comforter?

Militant Secularists Even-Handed Yardsticks

A Primer on Canon 915

30 posted on 04/27/2005 9:39:38 PM PDT by Coleus (God Bless our New Pope, Benedict XVI)
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