Skip to comments."Catholic" Speaker Pelosi Denies that Catholicism Condemns Abortion
Posted on 08/25/2008 11:46:50 AM PDT by Antioch
In an appearance on the NBC program Meet the Press on Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a self-professed Catholic, denied that the Catholic Church condemns abortion.
Referring to Barack Obama's now-notorious answer to Pastor Rick Warren to the question of when life begins, Meet the Press moderator Tom Brokaw asked Pelosi, "Senator Obama saying the question of when life begins is above his pay grade If he were to come to you and say, 'Help me out here, Madame Speaker. When does life begin?' what would you tell him?"
Pelosi responded by sidestepping the question, appealing to her Catholic faith as the source of her uncertainty.
"I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time," she said. "And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. And Senator - St. Augustine said at three months. We don't know."
Pelosi then said that in her view the question of when life begins is a non-issue in the debate on abortion.
"The point is, is that it shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to choose. Roe v. Wade talks about very clear definitions of when the child - first trimester, certain considerations; second trimester; not so third trimester. There's very clear distinctions. This isn't about abortion on demand, it's about a careful, careful consideration of all factors and - to - that a woman has to make with her doctor and her god."
Brokaw continued to press Pelosi on the question, observing, "The Catholic Church at the moment feels very strongly that it begins at the point of conception."
Pelosi again side-stepped the question, suggesting that the Church's current position is only a recent position and that "over the history of the church, this is an issue of controversy."
The President of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue, responded to Pelosi's statements on Meet the Press, observing that the Church's position on abortion is clear beyond any doubt. "Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: 'Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.'"
He continued, "It also says, 'Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.' Looks like Pelosi didn't study the subject long enough. But not to worry: We are sending her a copy of Catholicism for Dummies today."
Kathryn Jean Lopez, the online editor of National Review, quipped, "It's the blind leading the blind in that party if the 'ardent practicing Catholic' doesn't care when life begins, only that women have the choice to do what they 'choose' (sometimes, thanks to people like Pelosi, not aware of what their choices actually are) whether it's life or not."
Pelosi concluded her appearance by contradicting another doctrine of the Catholic Church by advocating contraception. Contraception is officially condemned by the Catholic Church as "intrinsically evil."
"My Republican colleagues do not support contraception. If you want to reduce the number of abortions, and we all do, we must - it would behoove you to support family planning and, and contraception, you would think," she said. "But that is not the case."
It’s up to Catholics to know the truth and to do the right thing.
Is there any wonder we have pro-abortion individuals like Pelosi, Biden and Kerry? It's almost as if the Catholic Church will do anything not to be perceived as "intolerant," even of those who openly call her teaching a lie, while claiming to be "ardent, practicing Catholics."
Where did they get the idea that "historically" the Catholic Church was not opposed to abortion, if not from apostate elements in the Church?!?
The damage incurred by the uncontrolled revolution of the Vatican II (regardless what the real intent was) can very well cause the Church to split, unimaginable as it may seem, because there are actually self-styled Catholics like Pelosi who believes that she is "orthodox," and who are convinced that the traditionalists are the "apostates" who are trying to "change" the Church.
Some people are "offended" with the "Greek" cross carried by +Benedict XVI, and not to mention his traditional vestments, as if the Church was in apostasy for the past 2,000 years and has only become the "true" Catholic Church in the last 45! After all, the Traditional Catholic Mass was treated as an anathema for all practical purposes during the entire reign of Pope John Paul II (practically one generation!). Is there any wonder there are not more Pelosis and Bidens and Kerrys?
Yes and no. To give the bishops some benefit of the doubt. The only way you will ever know if their bishops have spoken to them is if the politicans drag along a news crew. The bishops won’t publicize it. Maybe they should but they wont.
My comment was not intended to whitewash the Orthodox. You may add Spiro Agnew to your list...besides Paul Tsongas and Michael Dukkakis. WE believe that the path to hell is paved with the heads of the bishops.
American Orthodoxy, especially Greek, Antiochan and to some extent OCA Churches have been heavily "westernized" in some of their practices due to a large number of Protestant converts who make up their congregations.
One will notice "mass Communion" in these Churches, where everyone in the congregation every Sunday received it, even though it is impossible for one priest to confess all these people the night before, and the Church requires Confession, 12-hours fasting and prayer before Communion (as the Catholic Church used to).
Most of these churches will, for example, allow Ethiopian Orthodox to receive Communion, but I have personally seen priests turn down people at the chalice. During the Pope's visit to Turkey, the Ecumenical Patriarch is seen refusing someone.
My point is that once you introduce major changes in the worship, you introduce relativism. And that's precisely what the Vatican II created. No parallel changes were made in the Orthodox Churches.
Our Divine Liturgy remains practically unchanged from the 4th century. The extant changes include the location of the pre-sanctified Gifts, the full iconostasis, certain petitions were added, including the one "It is Meet..." concerning the Theotokos (not found in the 3rd century St. Basil's Divine Liturgy, but only in the 4th century St. John Chrysostom's shorter version).
The practice of administering both Body and Blood mixed in the chalice was a 6th century addition. In some typikons certain prayers by the priest are made versus populi (i.e. the Ambo prayer), some are read silently, other aloud, some use a curtain during the Consecration symbolizing the Mystery, etc. But the Divine Liturgy (what used to be called the Holy Mass in the Catholic Church) remain essentially unchanged.
If someone approaches the chalice to receive Communion and believes things contrary to the Church the burden is on his soul. If he openly calls Church teachings a lie and receives Communion, it's to the condemnation fo the priest who administer the Communion .
All in all, the Church has to do her part and the believers theirs. If the Chursh fails to do her part, it is on her conscience.
The answer is likely that the too many priests and bishops are really practicing Liberation Theologists. Their god is Karl Marx. Liberal/Marxist politicians like Pelosi and Biden are their priests and priestesses.
I’m serious, a couple years ago, I had never heard the term.
As long as Pelosi and others like her can publicly disagree with the Vatican without any repercussions, the message to all Catholics is: believe and do whatever you feel is right; the Church will not censure you.
Totally right on. Here’s Pelosi’s view on priests refusing communion to pro-abort politicians:
I think some of it is regional, she said, It depends on the bishop of a certain region, and, fortunately for me, communion has not been withheld and Im a regular communicant, so that would be a severe blow to me if that were the case.
Since when is refusing communion a private decision of a priest/bishop? Is there anything that's not left to individual interpretation?
I understand that the Church would try to warn and educate before taking a drastic step, but her priest/bishop continues to provide communion for her despite the fact that she continues to publicly profess that which the Church condemns.
And what does it make of the whole concept of Communion? Is there no confession required before receiving Communion? And what is confession if not repentance? Once we repent, we never go back. Otherwise it's not repentance.
The Communion has been reduced to a feel-good "Jesus pill" for the week, like some magic medication you take on a schedule that will heal you regardless if you follow the physician's advice or not, or whether you continue to do what originally made you sick.
The only thing I can conclude from all this is that there is a notable and conscious apostasy among Catholic believers and Catholic clergy (which is not to say there isn't any in the Orthodox Church as well).
That's not good news. That's not good for the Church.
Me neither! And it made me feel a little deficient in my faith as well. I was so happy to hear that St. Teresa was one of the few women in that small group. Uh-oh....can’t remember which Teresa that was, oh well, I need to fix that. Can you imagine meeting all these wonderful people in heaven and having to say...now you are who again?
>>...now you are who again?
I have to agree there!
Well you can judge a parish by how many people don’t go up for communion. Gratefully, we have a sizable minority who simply kneel and pray-they know full well they must not be in a state of mortal sin to receive. If you’re not going to confession every two weeks at least, you’re lying to yourself and to God. I see it in those suburban parishes with their systematic row by row pew emptying and extraordinary “minister” roll call. As if 100% of parishioners are in a state of grace at any one time. Right. I lay the blame on our de facto heretical mini-magisteriums (aka National Bishops Conferences, the perfect place for liberal clergy to attack the Church without consequence.
In a way, yes, absolutely.
Gratefully, we have a sizable minority who simply kneel and pray-they know full well they must not be in a state of mortal sin to receive
Thanks God! and may He keep such orthodox community in His grace.
If youre not going to confession every two weeks at least, youre lying to yourself and to God
As my priest said to someone: "If you have nothing to confess, then you don't need the Eucharist!"
I see it in those suburban parishes with their systematic row by row pew emptying and extraordinary minister roll call.
It's shocking! You will see it in urban Orthodox churches as well! You won't see it in those ethnocentric, old-country churches, such as Russian, Serbian, etc. or in monasteries. You will also notice more women who are covered in church then in those urban ones (it's that urban "pride" you know).
As if 100% of parishioners are in a state of grace at any one time. Right. I lay the blame on our de facto heretical mini-magisteriums
The priests are under pressure to keep parishioners; it's a numbers game. And bishops are foremost in exerting such pressure as if quantity and not quality is what matters.
Well, there you have it, for both of us! As you have observed for a while, and commented on in your previous post, the Catholic Church can be seen going out of its way to be accommodating and not "intolerant" of other groups, even groups that hate the Church. To some extent, so have the Orthodox. I think a lot of this over-accomodation stems from the Sacramental nature of our two Church structures, our basic take on grace and the Sacraments, and, by derivation, our "apparently" exclusivist outlook on salvation. We do not believe in salvation via altar calls, nor do we subscribe to "sola Scriptura" schemes, or, going the other way any form of universalism, for that matter. This makes us appear very rigid and exclusivist to the majority of American Christians who are neither Catholic nor Orthodox. This can be wearing on all concerned in an atmosphere where, in the secular sense, we all generally do not have trouble "getting along." So, over time, there is a strong temptation to trying to go the extra mile to find whatever lowest common denominator might be out there, in order to get our religious and secular lives more in sync with those of our Protestant neighbors. That, it seems to me, is the root of accommodationism.
The same principal applies in Europe, only there it is more along the lines of accommodationism in relation to pure secularists. And it shows! The Church there is even more inclined to syncretistic nonsense than even we are!
As Americans, we are disinclined to come-across as deliberately insulting to our Protestant neighbors, the ones we work with, hang out at the golf/sports/civic club with, and generally socialize with amicably. Yet our theology seems mighty off-putting to them when we start talking about sanctifying grace being necessary for salvation, and that grace being found, primarily, in the Sacraments that Protestants do not have. On a purely human view, we can understand how this can be insulting and "uncomfortable." Therefore, there is a tendency, wherever possible, to minimize (or even "broom" altogether) the differences Catholics have with Protestants over salvation issues and other points of difference. I suspect that the Orthodox are becoming more susceptible to this pressure, too. Perhaps they are just not as far down the line yet, being a smaller proportion of the population and therefore less inclined to chuck their "distinctiveness."
But, I also think that Catholics, at least, are beginning to see that the benefits of overly-cozy ecumenism with Protestants are really almost non-existent. Very little has been gained, while much stands in danger of being permanently lost (here in the West, anyway). Even our bishops are, I think, beginning to see the point! This Pelosi business (although dealing with a putative "Catholic") illustrates my contention. The Church is afraid of alienating some of its Leftist membership, and also afraid of bad PR within the non-Catholic population. The verbal smackdown of Pelosi by several bishops signals that they are less afraid of "what people will say" than perhaps they were in the recent past. They fear alienating the Catholic extreme-Left somewhat less than before. They also seem to be less concerned with general public opinion, among the whole crowd of Catholics and non-Catholics. The alliance of convenience with mainstream Protestants is coming to an end, as the Catholic bishops see they've been made suckers and fools for years with extreme Leftists. It's gotten them nothing over the years, and, what little they think they got, they now realize they might be mere months away from having it all stripped away from them by their very own "allies." Once the Dems gain total control of all three branches, watch the scales suddenly fall off the eyes of Catholic bishops everywhere in this country! We may not go back to the early 1900s mentality entirely, but we will stop trying to be "all things to all men," and will teach the Faith with full vigor again, seeking to make converts, and not mere alliances of convenience. You'll see in a few years... I imagine you folks will stop going down the same road, too. Earlier, probably, since you are not as far down that road to begin with.
I love B16’s cross. Is it Greek in origin?
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And I agree, it's time to stop.
We may not go back to the early 1900s mentality entirely, but we will stop trying to be "all things to all men," and will teach the Faith with full vigor again, seeking to make converts, and not mere alliances of convenience. You'll see in a few years... I imagine you folks will stop going down the same road, too. Earlier, probably, since you are not as far down that road to begin with.
Spot on. Being "all things to all men" was maybe possible for +Paul, but that is above our pay grade. The East gave up on ecumenism a decade ago. If +Paul believed in ecumenism he would not have written a single Epistle.
Monasteries and European churches never fully accepted ecumenism anyway, treating it more as heresy than anything else.
Protestantism is a choice. We can talk to them, we may even cooperate with them on some basic matters, but we don't believe the same thing as they do. No one said it was easy being Catholic/Orthodox. It's a struggle. We don't sell reservations to heaven.
Making a distinction between Protestants and secularists is a matter of degree and not of kind. Protestant America is essentially a secular country because there is no penaltythey are all "saved."
I don't know. The East does use similar crosses, but that is a Church tradition to be found in both the East and the West. Both Churches also use simple crosses, and Russians have a simple, tripple cross, which many Orthodox churches use as well.
+Benedict XVI is a patristic pope. He sees the Church, and rightfully so, as an unbroken tradition that can never be "outdated" and therefore everything the Churhc produced is always "valid," and "current," just like the catholic and orthodox faith that was believed everywhere and always.
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Posted on 08/26/2008 4:29:15 PM PDT by tcg