Thursday, September 09, 2004

Proportionally Pro-Abort Politicians

Cardinal Ratzinger recently made a statement in a letter to the US bishops about "proportionate reasons" possibly justifying a vote for a pro-abortion candidate.

Some Catholics, including Fr. Andrew Greeley, have taken that to grant a broad license to vote for pro-aborts as long as you can come up with some issue you feel more strongly about than abortion.

This interpretation of Cardinal Ratzinger, and Church teaching, is almost perfectly wrong. It's so wrong as to be a caricature of the Cardinal's statement.

I intended to blog on this issue, but now I don't have to, because Apologist Extraordinaire Jimmy Akin has answered Fr. Greeley and the rest, by explaining the doctrine which Cardinal Ratzinger assumed (perhaps imprudently) everyone would understand he was referring to when he used the phrase "proportionate reasons".

As Jimmy wrote:
Many Catholics were at a loss to understand the Cardinal’s statement. “Has Ratzinger lost his mind?” some wondered. “Isn’t he departing from sound Catholic theology?”

Others, including well-known dissidents, pounced on the statement as vindication for their cause and wrote newspaper columns trumpeting it as proof that in the Vatican’s view it is okay to vote for pro-abortion politicians as long as you don’t share their pro-abortion view. In other words, a voter can be “personally opposed but . . .”

Both responses fail to do justice to the Cardinal’s remark. Contrary to the first response, he is not departing from the established principles of Catholic moral theology. In fact, he is emphasizing them. Contrary to the second response, he is not offering an easy pretext for voting for pro-abort politicians.

Go read the rest. This is a "must" read.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Cultural Elites Promote Death

A new movie recently screened at the Venice Film Festival represents the latest effort to glorify death and those who promote it.

The movie, "Mar Adentro" ("Out to Sea"), is the story of a man who fought for the right to die after an accident paralyzed him.

The movie "was greeted with enthusiastic applause at a preview showing for the press, giving it an early lead in the competition for the Golden Lion."

It tells the fictionalized story of Ramon Sampedro, a Galician sailor who was paralyzed from the neck down in a diving accident at the age of 25. He campaigned for the next three decades for the right to die then took his own life.

Sampedro became an international symbol for those who advocated euthanasia.

This is how the Culture of Death advances. The "beautiful people" adopt an idea, and soon it becomes de rigeur among the chattering classes. Then it becomes part of the Received Wisdom of the editorial board of the New York Times. Then the engine of popular culture popularizes it and makes it look attractive by wrapping it in an image of heroism, opposing entrenched forces of medieval superstition and obscurantism, etc.

And the people who produce popular culture are very good at what they do, so they frequently succeed.

This happened with contraception and abortion, it's happening now with gay "rights" and same-sex marriage, and now it's happening with euthanasia.

When are we Catholics going to wake up to and address the power of the culture around us? When are we going to start providing an antidote to the poison?