The Doctor Is In

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All the empires and the kingdoms have failed because of this inherent and continual weakness, that they were founded by strong men and upon strong men. But this one thing, the historic Christian Church, was founded on a weak man, and for this reason is indestructible. For no chain is stronger than its weakest link.
--G.K. Chesterton--

Speaking Truth to Power

November 10th, 2009 · 3 Comments

From Hewitt:

Bishop Thomas Tobin opens a can of whoop-ass on Congressman Patrick Kennedy, on his “I’m pro-choice and a good Catholic, too” shtick:

“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” Well, in fact, Congressman, in a way it does. …

There’s lots of canonical and theological verbiage there, Congressman, but what it means is that if you don’t accept the teachings of the Church your communion with the Church is flawed, or in your own words, makes you “less of a Catholic.”

But let’s get down to a more practical question; let’s approach it this way: What does it mean, really, to be a Catholic? After all, being a Catholic has to mean something, right?

Well, in simple terms … being a Catholic means that you’re part of a faith community that possesses a clearly defined authority and doctrine, obligations and expectations. It means that you believe and accept the teachings of the Church, especially on essential matters of faith and morals; that you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish; that you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly; that you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially.

Congressman, I’m not sure whether or not you fulfill the basic requirements of being a Catholic, so let me ask: Do you accept the teachings of the Church on essential matters of faith and morals, including our stance on abortion? Do you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish? Do you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly? Do you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially?

In your letter you say that you “embrace your faith.” Terrific. But if you don’t fulfill the basic requirements of membership, what is it exactly that makes you a Catholic? Your baptism as an infant? Your family ties? Your cultural heritage?

Bravo. Look, if you’re pro-choice, fine. But spare us the hypocrisy of claiming to be a “faithful Catholic” and pro-abortion at the same time. That dog won’t hunt, and it’s long past time our vaunted political leadership got called on it.

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Tags: Abortion · Ethics · Faith & Religion · Politics & Culture · Postmodernism

3 comments so far ↓


  • JessM // Nov 10, 2009 at 1:54 PM

    Yes, indeed. I suppose the Catholic Church knows that it’s in need of a painful pruning but at least those of us left, if we be few, can stand in faith and trust together. We shall have the courage of lions for what’s being drawn forth to be faced.

    Nice to see you back, Dr. Bob! jess

  • Helen // Nov 12, 2009 at 5:16 PM

    AMEN to that!

  • Lena // Nov 15, 2009 at 1:52 PM

    Congressman Kennedy isn’t alone. My Protestant “brothers and sisters” need to look up the definition of “hypocrisy” as well. I truly believe that the only salvation for our country is to elect men and women who have solid moral and religious principles.

    It is time for Americans who hold fast to their faith, to begin calling out more and more politicians who fail to exhibit the “family values” and “faith in God” upon which they built their campaign platforms. It is time to start the process of removing politicians from their elected seats, when they fail to uphold the values of the majority, in order to placate the minority!

    I believe we should do as the president said and
    “CALL ‘EM OUT”!— Lena