I believe in a consistent life ethic

I believe in a consistent life ethic, but I’d rather use Fr. Frank Pavone’s analogy of a house (some issues are foundational; some issues are pillars; some issues are the roof; and some are the walls and decorations) than the “seamless garment” of Eileen Egan and Joseph Cardinal Bernardin. Apparently, Bernardin’s seamless garment tore when he worked to cover up the still-unsolved 1983 murder of a church organist who had documentation of the active homosexual subculture in the Chicago priesthood and was about to go to the media.

Anyway, the Church is very clear that there are times when war and the death penalty are necessary–even Jesus Himself says so (Mt 18:6).

But there is no justification for abortion. There is no justification for killing the disabled. There is no justification for killing people on the basis of religion, race, sexual orientation or gender.

Oh, by the way, in all the complaints about oppressed minorities, and in all the media complaints about the lack of justice for victims of crimes committed *by* priests, when are we going to start hearing about the many crimes committed *against* priests? When are we going to hear about the the murders of Catholic priests by KKK members in the “Old South,” unsolved or otherwise unresolved?

6 responses to “I believe in a consistent life ethic

  1. Hi John, Didn’t know that about KKK. That story about the Church organist sounds very sinister indeed. God bless, Stella

    • I don’t know an exact link, but the story is documented by the now-defunct “Roman Catholic Faithful” (www.rcf.org). Sadly, their founder, Stephen Brady, got completely demoralized and joined the SSPX.

      Back in the early 1980s, an organist in Chicago was going to publicize a file on homosexual priests. He was brutally stabbed in his home, multiple times. A few minutes after the cops arrived, Cardinal Bernardin showed up. He didn’t know the man personally, and he didn’t have any clear reason to be there.

  2. It is a contradiction of terms to claim to have a consistent life ethic and support the death penalty. If one respects life ‘from the womb to the tomb’ one must truly live this in all aspects, no matter what vile crimes a person has committed. Using Matthew 18:6 as a justification for ending one’s life is completely beyond comprehension or common sense. Nowhere in that statement is Jesus implying a passover of permission that we may take human life into our own hands. Human life belongs to God alone – and He alone has the right to give and take life. To do otherwise is to deny His power and His will. There have been a plethora of cases of hardened criminals having powerful conversions from the depths of the prison cell. We should never give up on people – God never does!

    During his 26 years as leader of the Roman Catholic Church, the late Pope John Paul II frequently called for an end to the death penalty. Among his statements on this issue were the following:

    “May the death penalty, an unworthy punishment still used in some countries, be abolished throughout the world.” (Prayer at the Papal Mass at Regina Coeli Prison in Rome, July 9, 2000).

    “A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform. I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.” (Homily at the Papal Mass in the Trans World Dome, St. Louis, Missouri, January 27, 1999).

    • I believe I said that. However, in his 2004 letter to “Cardinal” McCarrick then Cardinal Ratzinger said that the Church grants the State that right, and abortion cannot be subordinated to it

    • JPII’s prudential judgment notwithstanding, the Catholic Church, which is infallible, does not teach that it is intrinsically evil. To say so is to challenge the infallibility of the Church, which is heresy.

      • Lastly, even if it were right to say that abortion, the death penalty and war are morally equivalent–which it is not–the numbers, as I have cited elsewhere in this blog are so drastically different that abortion should still be the #1 priority.
        I have been criticized and “defriended” by many an anti-abortion activist for saying that we need to follow the consistent life ethic teachings of John Paul II, Cardinal O’Connor and Fr. Pavone. However, I also maintain that those issues must be considered in the right priority. I do not support the death penalty, but I recognize that the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church is that it may sometimes be used.

        From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
        2266 The State’s effort to contain the spread of behaviors injurious to human rights and the fundamental rules of civil coexistence corresponds to the requirement of watching over the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime. The primary scope of the penalty is to redress the disorder caused by the offense. When his punishment is voluntarily accepted by the offender, it takes on the value of expiation. Moreover, punishment, in addition to preserving public order and the safety of persons, has a medicinal scope: as far as possible it should contribute to the correction of the offender.[67]

        2267 The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude, presupposing full ascertainment of the identity and responsibility of the offender, recourse to the death penalty, when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor.
        “If, instead, bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.
        “Today, in fact, given the means at the State’s disposal to effectively repress crime by rendering inoffensive the one who has committed it, without depriving him definitively of the possibility of redeeming himself, cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender ‘today … are very rare, if not practically non-existent.’ [68]

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