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Biden: 'My Religion Defines My Life;' Pope: 'There Is a Grave & Clear Oblig to Oppose' Leg Abortion
CNS News ^ | October 12, 2012 | Terence P. Jeffrey

Posted on 10/13/2012 7:42:18 AM PDT by NYer

Vice President Joe Biden gestures during his debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky., C with Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential candidate. (AP Photo/Rick Wilking)
( - Vice President Joe Biden said in Thursday night’s vice presidential debate that life begins at conception, that he accepts the Catholic Church’s position on abortion, and that he believes abortion must be legal.

The Catholic Church's teaching is not only that abortion is always wrong, but also that Catholics in public office have a grave duty to oppose legalizing it while speaking out clearly against it.

The position Biden took on abortion before an audience of many millions in this nationally televised debate was in direct defiance of an ancient moral teaching of the church that has been emphatically restated by the current pope and his immediate predecessor.

Before explaining why he wants aborting unborn children to be legal, Biden told the nation that he had been “a practicing Catholic” his whole life and that his social views had been formed by the church’s teachings “about taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves.”

Vice President Joe Biden making a point at the Oct. 11, 2012, vice presidential debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)“My religion defines who I am, and I have been a practicing Catholic my whole life,” Biden said. “And it has particularly informed my social doctrine. Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves, people who need help.

“With regard to abortion,” he said, “I accept my church’s position on abortion as a, what we call de fide doctrine. Life begins at conception. That’s the church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christian and Muslims and Jews, and I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman.

“I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that, women, that they can’t control their body,” said Biden. “It is a decision between them and their doctor, in my view, and the Supreme Court. I am not going to interfere with that.”

The actual position of the Catholic Church is that any law legalizing the killing of an unborn child is an unjust law that violates the natural law and is, therefore, no law at all. Vice President Biden’s church teaches that it is not acceptable even to obey such laws let alone support them as part of a political campaign.

"Laws which authorize and promote abortion and euthanasia are therefore radically opposed not only to the good of the individual but also to the common good; as such they are completely lacking in authentic juridical validity." Pope John Paul II wrote in his 1995 encyclical letter, Evangelium Vitae.

Vice President Joe Biden at the Oct. 11, 2012, vice presidential debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

"Disregard for the right to life, precisely because it leads to the killing of the person whom society exists to serve, is what most directly conflicts with the possibility of achieving the common good," the pope said. "Consequently, a civil law authorizing abortion or euthanasia ceases by that very fact to be a true, morally binding civil law.

"Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize," said the pope. "There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead 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,'" declared the pope.

In 2002, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict XVI, wrote a "Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life." The note, approved and published by Pope John Paul II, reiterated that Catholic lawmakers have a "grave and clear obligation" to oppose legalized abortion and other attacks on the right to life. Indeed, here the church said it was "impossible" for a Catholic to promote such laws.

“At the same time, legislative proposals are put forward which, heedless of the consequences for the existence and future of human beings with regard to the formation of culture and social behaviour, attack the very inviolability of human life," said this statement of Catholic teaching.

"Catholics, in this difficult situation, have the right and the duty to recall society to a deeper understanding of human life and to the responsibility of everyone in this regard," Cardinal Ratzinger wrote. "John Paul II, continuing the constant teaching of the Church, has reiterated many times that those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a «grave and clear obligation to oppose» any law that attacks human life. For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them."

Cardinal Ratzinger also said in this official Vatican statement that Catholics have a similar inalterable duty to defend the rights of human embryos and the institution of marriage.

“When political activity comes up against moral principles that do not admit of exception, compromise or derogation, the Catholic commitment becomes more evident and laden with responsibility," said the doctrinal note. "In the face of fundamental and inalienable ethical demands,Christians must recognize that what is at stake is the essence of the moral law, which concerns the integral good of the human person. This is the case with laws concerning abortion and euthanasia (not to be confused with the decision to forgo extraordinary treatments, which is morally legitimate). Such laws must defend the basic right to life from conception to natural death.In the same way, it is necessary to recall the duty to respect and protect the rights of the human embryo.

"Analogously," wrote Cardinal Ratzinger, "the family needs to be safeguarded and promoted, based on monogamous marriage between a man and a woman, and protected in its unity and stability in the face of modern laws on divorce: in no way can other forms of cohabitation be placed on the same level as marriage, nor can they receive legal recognition as such.”

Martha Raddatz of ABC News moderated the vice presidential debate. (AP Photo/Michael Reynolds)Biden's explanation of why he is pro-abortion came in response to a question from the debate moderator, Martha Raddatz of ABC News, who specifically made an issue of the fact that both Biden and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan are Catholics.

Raddatz then phrased her question on abortion as if the position these candidates took on the question of whether it ought to be legal to take the life of an unborn child was essentially a denominational and emotional matter, rather than one of rationally applying the immutable natural law--which is expressly referenced in the non-denominational Declaration of Independence signed by the Founding Fathers of this nation--to the question of whether an unborn has the same inalienable right to life as a born child.

"This debate is indeed historic," said Raddatz. "We have two Catholic candidates, first time, on a stage such as this. And I would like to ask you both to tell me what role your religion has played in your own personal views on abortion. Please talk about how you came to that decision. Talk about how your religion played a part in that? And please, this is such an emotional issue for so many people in this country, please talk personally about this if you could?"

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2012debates; 2012veep; biden; catholic; catholicpoliticians; pope; ryan
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To: NYer

Too bad that in the debate— Ryan was not able to call Biden out on his bogus pro-abort version of Catholicism. Ryan would have blown the election if he had and its a shame. Such is political discourse today

41 posted on 10/13/2012 12:30:39 PM PDT by dennisw (Government be yo mamma - Re-elect Barack Obama)
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To: NYer
Joe Biden's Gaffes Call For A Thorough Neurological Examination ~ Forbes

Henry I. Miller, a physician, and the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution,ASKS:

Don’t voters have a right to know whether Biden is ill or merely unlikeable, impulsive and prone to deceitfulness?


42 posted on 10/13/2012 1:00:39 PM PDT by Elle Bee
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To: Elle Bee; ottbmare
Don’t voters have a right to know whether Biden is ill or merely unlikeable, impulsive and prone to deceitfulness?

Freeper ottbmare raised the same question. See post #37.

43 posted on 10/13/2012 1:30:19 PM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer

I agree with you.

44 posted on 10/13/2012 2:27:39 PM PDT by stanne
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To: NYer

Oh, Mario, with whom I am well acquainted, is as scandalous and heretical as any of these dopey non practicing Catholic politicians is much at fault, but by now at least people should be thinking about things, considering whether a politician is the one to follow or th Catechism.

I am sure you do this.

Just saying.

45 posted on 10/13/2012 2:39:38 PM PDT by stanne
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To: stanne

I agree but Ryan did a good job in showing they he is as different from Biden as day is to night. Even down to his manner; he was professional and Biden like a child.

They both claimed their beliefs define them; yet they are both Catholic. Biden looked like the useful fool he is. That would be frowned upon at 19 but not for a man who is 69 - it’s a disgrace.

46 posted on 10/13/2012 3:21:09 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: stanne
by now at least people should be thinking about things, considering whether a politician is the one to follow or the Catechism.

You must have missed my other post, A day of judgment for liberal bishops. The majority of catholics I know (and probably you, as well) are ignorant of their faith. Moreover, they are 'liberated' and will not be dictated to by the Catholic Church. Yet, they consider themselves to be "practicing" catholics and attend mass on Sundays. Then there are the A & P catholics who show up at church on Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Easter and Christmas. They too consider themselves "catholic". We consider them to be "cultural" catholics who were born into a catholic family and were baptized as infants. After First Communion, they were on their own (especially after the bishops left the decision to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, up to the individual.

I am sure you do this.

When I joined my current parish 8+ years ago, I was asked to develop a religious education program and serve as its director. This was intended for the children but, in the process, I discovered something quite interesting about the parents. They too, were ignorant of their faith. I have since been replaced by a liberalized nun and been asked to take over the parish bulletin. As we enter the Year of Faith, I am using the bulletin to educate the parents. Each week, I include an article of faith, keeping it as simple as possible.

BTW, while serving as Director for Religious Education, one parent asked to enroll her 13 y/o daughter in the program. After learning that the child had been baptized, received her First Communion before the Sacrament of Reconciliation (never received - the Albany Diocese is ultra liberal). The dilemma - how to compensate for so much lost time. Having personally been educated decades ago through the Baltimore Catechism, I picked up two copies and worked one on one with her throughout the year. By May, she was ready to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Ironically, in the process, another mother saw the BC on a pew, read through a few pages and was astounded at how much she did not know about her faith! Since then, it has been a personal mission to use whatever means available to educate these parents in their faith since they are the primary educators of their children.

As an aside, I maintain a "catholic ping list" for those interested in following important news stories. I noticed that you are not on that list. Please let me know if you would like to be added. I just posted an article on the Catholic Swing Vote from the Pew Forum and pinged the list. You might find these articles informative and we would value your input, too.

Lastly, I am a member of the parish of St. Ann. Love your freeper name!

47 posted on 10/13/2012 3:43:26 PM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer

You have inspo=ired me re writing for the bulletin. Recently picked up the Magnificat Year of Faith Companion - they’re going fast.

Having taught English in a Cath. Sch. I can tell you that the parents are the ones who need to be educated. The kids are very accepting of truth- not to be confused with malleability and brainwashing.

You read my name correctly, by the way.

Was considering getting onto the ping list just today. Go ahead and include me please.

48 posted on 10/13/2012 3:51:29 PM PDT by stanne
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To: NYer

I heard Gretchen say that, and she’s absolutely right. All in all, I thought Ryan comported himself quite well. I would have liked to have slapped Biden and Raddutz silly, however, but I wasn’t raise to do that either.

49 posted on 10/13/2012 5:10:59 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (Joe Biden is reported to be seeking asylum in a foreign country so he does not have to debate Ryan.)
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To: stanne
Half, if not more, Catholics do not understand this problem. They think the way Biden does. Ryan knows it.

Correct, and once again the responsibility for this lies squarely at the feet of the American episcopate who for 40+ years stood silent while the left took over the church by replacing traditional catholic social teaching with the Marxist theory of "social justice". This is what allows CINOs to comfort themselves into believing they are still "good Catholics".

50 posted on 10/14/2012 8:50:28 AM PDT by AustinBill (consequence is what makes our choices real)
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To: AustinBill

I really have to investigate this. It seems that the Church in the U.S. has been permitting the govt. (or persuading, maybe depending on) to do it’s social justice for it.

Have any of the writers done work on this? I’m sure they have.

I know this pope did a letter on charity in which he talks about subsidiarity. I know the Church does not go for this and it is a U.S. thing, to say nothing of other governments.

51 posted on 10/14/2012 9:52:04 AM PDT by stanne
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To: NYer
"Were there no law, then the crime would be murder. "

Indeed, but who is guilty to be punished for the abortion - mother? doctor? politician? facility? no one?

52 posted on 10/14/2012 11:49:09 AM PDT by ex-snook (without forgiveness there is no Christianity)
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To: stanne
The modern articulation of authentic catholic social teaching dates to Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum which was promulgated in 1891 in the wake of the rise of Marxist and socialist thinking in Europe. The rejection of it, along with Paul VI's equally prescient Humanae Vitae are the keys to understanding the decline of Catholicism in the West.

The key to Catholic social teaching is that charity is an obligation for all Catholics and that this is to be done at the most local possible level, which is why historically individuals and churches have been the champions of the poor whose focus was to help those in need get out of poverty. This is why the church has always had a strong social ministry in education because there is no surer escape from poverty than education.

The evil (and we should not mince words about this) of socialism is that under the guise of "caring" and "concern" it intentionally enslaves the poor by institutionalizing poverty and creating a culture of dependency (conveniently in exchange for votes in democratic governments). As I've mentioned in other posts, true charity is an opening of the heart from which many graces flow to both giver and recipient. Socialist "redistribution", by contrast, is a forced opening of the wallet which only results in resentment on the part of the involuntary "giver" and ingratitude on the part of the entitled recipient.

53 posted on 10/14/2012 1:17:04 PM PDT by AustinBill (consequence is what makes our choices real)
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To: AustinBill

You have given me something to go on. I was aware of the situation with Humanae Vitae. And George Weigel has written on it. I’ll be sure to look into Pope Leo’s Encyclical.

54 posted on 10/14/2012 1:36:00 PM PDT by stanne
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To: ex-snook
Indeed, but who is guilty to be punished for the abortion - mother? doctor? politician? facility? no one?

Were Roe v Wade overturned, all abortion clinics would be closed. That eliminates clinic and politician. Life would revert back to the way it was pre Roe v Wade when abortions were illegal. To obtain one, it was necessary to seek out a doctor willing to risk prosecution, if caught ... or ... fly to a country where abortions are legal. In sum, if the abortion occurred in the US, both the mother and doctor would be held responsible for the crime of murder. Since I am not a lawyer, I cannot narrow this down to the degree of murder.

55 posted on 10/14/2012 2:16:15 PM PDT by NYer
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To: stanne
Also check out the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church which provides a comprehensive reference for all of the Church's social teachings.
56 posted on 10/14/2012 2:35:26 PM PDT by AustinBill (consequence is what makes our choices real)
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To: AustinBill

Oh. I will. But it seems like it’ll be torture.

Felt banners, percussion at Mass, nuns in bad polyester outfits, teaching the “doctrine” of “You’re OK; I’m OK” in religion and joining forces with Mario Cuomo and . . .


57 posted on 10/14/2012 2:43:59 PM PDT by stanne
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