Remote Material Cooperation Explained in a Nutshell

Once again, this year, a majority of US “Catholics” went out to vote and cast their vote for a man who:
a) is a more radical pro-abortionist than NARAL or Hillary Clinton (i.e., he supports outright infanticide by starving born babies to death and says that is necessary for preserving the right to an abortion)
b) is forcing Catholics to pay for other people’s contraceptives and abortifacients
c) is forcing Catholic health care workers to violate their consciences
d) is bringing this country closer and closer to recognizing same sex “marriages”
e) has involved us with several more unjust wars and increased rather than pulled back his predecessor’s policies regarding bombing of civilians, unjust treatment of prisoners, etc.
f) has taken away, with Congress, US citizens’ constitutional right of habeas corpus
g) criticizes people who “cling to their Bibles”
h) says Jesus is just a great moral teacher and not necessarily God incarnate or the only savior
i) is supported by a party that “booed” God at its convention
i) whom Pope Benedict XVI indirectly called an enemy of the Church (he called present administration an enemy of the Church, and commenter on this blog once asserted I was lying because he did not directly name Obama).

I could, of course, go on way past “z” if I wanted to.

These Catholics say this doesn’t matter because (supposedly) those aren’t the reasons they support him (though some at least have the courage to admit they do), but because supposedly their greed for more money (in other words, their worship of Mammon) supersedes those issues in importance. They don’t care that our country is headed for complete bankruptcy, that the government is not going to be able to help those who truly need it if they keep driving it into insolvency with huge debts to pay for pork (such as the pay increase that the Executive and Legislative branches just gave themselves).

These “Catholics” say voting for this puppet of the Freemasons is OK because he “cares for the poor” (hogwash: he was supported and paid for by the richest men in the world, and his policies are only designed to help the rich). When confronted with the Church’s teachings on material cooperation, they say that they’re OK because it’s “remote.” It’s the same justification they use for benefitting from medical procedures developed with embryonic or fetal tissue research.

The problem is that the whole point is “remote” material cooperation is still material cooperation. There are obviously mitigating factors for someone engaging in remote material cooperation, but it’s still cooperation. The remote control doesn’t control the TV any less than the buttons on the TV itself: it just does it from far away.

The classic example of remote material cooperation is the mob: if the only restaurant in town is owned by the Mafia, and you know it, you don’t have much choice but to use that restaurant if you’re in a situation where going to a restaurant is necessary. However, if the only restaurant in town is owned by the Mafia, and you don’t really need to go there, you’re consenting to funding the Mafia’s actions. If there are two restaurants in town, and the Mafia owns one but doesn’t own the other, you’re morally obliged to go with the one that’s not owned by the Mafia.

I always say that people’s attitudes towards remote material cooperation with abortion just show how they really do not believe abortion is the taking of a human life (and thus, under _Evangelium Vitae_, they are heretics). The Nazi soldiers tried at Nuremberg and elsewhere used the infamous defense of “I was only following orders”: they claimed that even though they committed the atrocities themselves, Hitler was to blame, not them (obviously, they had a choice). I don’t know if anyone ever tried those who *voted* for Hitler, but I think most of us would say that those who voted for Hitler are morally culpable for their participation in what he did. Indeed, it has become a popular way for secular liberals to discredit Pope Benedict XVI in that the young Josef Ratzinger was enlisted unwillingly in the “Hitler Youth.”

Most of us would agree that a person who is a supporter of the KKK, even if that person isn’t an active participant, is in some way guilty of encouraging the violence done by the KKK and other hate groups.

Indeed, the very Catholics who insist they can detach their support for Obama from his support for slaughtering babies will say that you’re a schismatic if you show any sympathy for views of the SSPX, so they show their own double standard.

25 responses to “Remote Material Cooperation Explained in a Nutshell

  1. their greed for money? here is a chance for business owners to prove their support. would they risk their business by refusing to have ins. that covers abortion. in other words,risk their income? our income is why we voted for obama even tho abortion is allowed. abortion is optional.and the repubs were in before and didnt outlaw abortion,they wont do it again.

    • Thanks for validating what I said. Abortion is not optional. Catholic are obligated to oppose it. Read Evangelium Vitar.

  2. I do agree partially with Karen though. We have TWO ways to vote in the United States- the traditional way for Government, and the harder, more challenging way for business by who we choose to do business with.

    One reason I like keeping my retirement money in a Knights of Columbus annuity is because I KNOW that the money is not being invested immorally, and there is no remote cooperation with evil.

    I keep saying that Life and Charity should always come before prosperity and greed.

  3. I am very curious about the passion and certainty on which you write on this topic. I would love to see you provide supporting links for the many assertions you make here, so that I could have more information on them. There also seems to be more anger rather than compassion in your tone. Perhaps I am wrong. It seems to me that God called for love and compassion for all of his children, sinners and… well, sinners alike.

    • Well, yes, the cold-hearted slaughter of 50 million babies with the willing cooperation of “Catholics” does make me rather angry. And I can have compassion for sinners while being angry at those who willingly not only sin but promote sin as virtue and teach heresy. However, my tone is not intended to be angry. I find it interesting that any time liberals encounter opinions they disagree with, they accuse the person of being angry. Maybe it’s that it makes you angry to have your smug, anti-Catholic attitudes challenged?
      As for citations, there’s something called Google. If you really don’t know about all the things I’ve listed, you’re horribly uninformed or brainwashed by the corporate Masonic media.
      Let’s start with this: Barack Obama single-handedly thwarted Illinois’ Born Alive Protection Act, saying that infanticide of babies who survive abortion is necessary to protect the “right to an abortion” that the SCOTUS made up. Alan Keyes, in the 2004 election, said, “Jesus Christ would not vote for Barack Obama” because Obama’s abortion stance is so extreme. Even Hillary Clinton and NARAL refuse to make statements on born alive, one way or the other.
      The DNC had some debate at its convention last year about removing wording about God from its Platform, and when it was announced they were *not* removing God, the attendees booed.
      Obama says if one of his daughters got pregnant by fornicating, he wouldn’t want them “punished” with a baby.
      Pope Benedict, in his ad limina address to the bishops last year, told them that the present administration poses an unprecedented threat to Catholic freedom in this country, between attacks on freedom of conscience, the health care bill, and the gay rights movement.

    • Oh, and G K Chesterton said kindness is the only virtue that remains when a person has lost all convictions.

      • ?? And because you feel you have convictions you have the right to be unkind??

        A Catholic you may have heard of encouraged,”let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting,” and then, “I prefer you to make mistakes in kindness than work miracles in unkindness.” ~Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

      • How delightful did you find today’s second reading?

        “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another…” (Col 3, 12-13)

      • Bl. Teresa also had some harsh things to say about abortion, as well as about Cathollics who desecrate the Host with their hands. The problem is, you’re making rash judgements of me, you hypocrite. I hope you show the same false mercy (you confuse mercy with toleration) towards racists, Nazis, rich people, and rapists that you show baby killers. I for one try to admonish all of them in accordance with the spiritual works of mercy

      • 🙂 Oh, my!

        I have made no judgments of you. I stated that your tone sounded angry, and allowed for the fact that I may have misinterpreted it. You are the one who admitted your anger and spent the remainder of your response calling me names and belittling me – as you have continued to do. You also assume to know my politics and stance on abortion although I have not provided them to you, simply because I disagreed with your judgmental/condemning behaviors.

        And false mercy? Racism, Rape, etc? Really? (And is it enough to judge someone as comparable to these simply because of their financial means?)

        (And are you claiming that Chesterton or Bl. Teresa or you or any of us a greater authority than Christ or the Bible?)

        Again, I simply affirm that your anger and judgment and condemnation do not follow the teachings of Christ or the Church. And your viciousness in justifying them is quite, well, un-Christlike as well. But perhaps you skipped mass today?

      • Listen, this post was written as an explanation of remote material cooperation. It was not written in anger. Your interpretation of my tone was indicative of liberal Catholicism (which is to be found among many who vote Republican, and I noticed the rest of the reading you cherry picked backed me up, including the patron passage of why feminism is a sin. Righteous anger is not a sin. Explanation of Catholic moral teaching is not personal judgement. You might want to take a look at my recent post on Catholics who are not just poorly catechized but subversively catechized.

      • And down the rabbit hole! You intrigue and amuse me! I did not cherry pick the reading. It is the liturgical reading of the day, chosen by those much more authoritative than I! (I didn’t think I needed to clarify that as I was certain you would know.)

        And are you using Col 3,18-21 to justify misogyny? Do you use verses 22-25 to justify the ongoing practices of slavery and human trafficking?

        You believe that Jesus was not really sincere when he admonished judging (Mt 7,1-5) or anger (Mt 5, 21-22) and commanded love of enemies (Mt 5, 43-48)? (Again, you are the one who confirmed my suspicion of anger.)

        “Subversively catechized?” The Archbishops of both archdiocese I have worked for did not seem to think so. However, it is true that the angry, judging, condemning Catholic that you present is much different than the Catholic character of love, compassion and forgiveness that I have always been taught.

        – As an aside, have you been to Lisieux? The Basilica is quite impressive and there may be echoes of Thérèse there, “Let us not be Justices of the Peace, but Angels of Peace.”

      • I admitted to being angered by your condescending tone and by the evil of abortion. Would those archbishops have names like Mahony or Gumbleton? Again, sin is to be condemned. Who said anything about misogyny? You cherry picked one verse out of a long reading. A fundamentalist, ignore everything else Jesus said, approach to one verse about not judging is the epitome of liberal catholicism. I think Pope Benedict and Cardinal Burke, would disagree very strongly with your codependent misinterpretation of mercy. I have never called for judgement, except excommunication, against anyone. I just try to fight the insidious errors of the Culture of Death and point out where Catholics who support it are wrong. You only have a problem with that because to some degree you’ve adopted Modernism.

      • Ah, the backpedaling… It was condescending when I asked about references/links and wondered about your emotion?

        Is there something else in the reading that contradicts the verses I quoted? No.

        And I will be sure to ask PB & CB when next we chat! But in the meantime, I will continue to ask a higher authority and listen to His answer.

      • I have never backpedalled. Yes, it was condescending of you to dismiss a philosophical argument with claims about my emotional state or to demand citations of a blog post. Yes, in the reading St. Paul speaks of our duty to admonish one another. Oh, and as a Catholic, you’re obliged to obey the Church. You can’t dismiss Catholic moral teaching by claiming God told you something different, even through Scripture.

      • Oh, dear! The defensive/aggressive position you always take…

        I claimed nothing about your emotional state. I said that your words sounded angry (and allowed for a different truth) which is a different approach to sinners than I have been taught, both by Scripture and by the Church. And I did not demand, I said that I would have liked it had there been links. (I was interested in reading more of what you had brought up. Yet you were more interested in critiquing me than helping me to learn more.)

        The reading that I didn’t feel needed to be quoted in full, because we had been talking of kindness before I heard it, continues by telling us to “admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” – Through song and praise and gratitude, not through criticism and condemnation.

        Is there a Catholic moral teaching that claims judgment, criticism and condemnation of sinners are required over compassion and forgiveness? Not in any teaching I have heard or read.

      • You sure claim to know a lot about me. Your defense of Catholics who support Obams speaks for itself. I don’t know what Scriptures you’re reading.

      • I have claimed nothing more than how you have behaved in this one interaction. One that has surprised me. And I never once defended anyone’s vote.

        Had you not heard/read the passages from Colossians or Matthew before? I gave you citation for each reading that I spoke of.

      • Yes, I have read them, as well as the many passages that say *to* judge on matters of spiritual of moral significance, the articles which explain Jesus means not condemning (which I haven’t done) and not judging on superficial matters. I also note how well educated you claim to be about the faith, yet you brag on your site about questioning, disobedience and apostasy.

      • There is no bragging on my site or in any of my words. I tell simply of where I am and where I have been. I commend you if you have never questioned and never disobeyed – it is better than even the apostles could do.

        (And yet we both know that this is wrong, because you have publicly criticized the Bishops as well.)

        And because I am well educated about the something does not mean that I must agree with it. (I happen to also be particularly educated about such things as domestic and sexual violence and modern slavery, issues that I find to be abhorrent.)

        One of the greatest issues that I have with the Catholic Practice in America today is that I believe it is becoming less and less true to Christ. That somewhere things like nationalism and dictation and divisiveness became more important than faith and nurturing and unity.

        You may have had an opportunity to change that belief today. You did not do it.

      • Read your blog. I suggest an exorcist

  4. Quite curious again. Clearly you have not noted that I do not have any anti-Catholic attitudes (quite the contrary), and could therefore not be smug about them. I am anti-hate. And anti-judgment. It was Jesus himself that called us to recognize our universal sinfulness, that not one of us is in a position to cast aspersions at another and must therefore avoid condemnation (John 8,1-7).

    Nor is any one of us in a position to know if another person recognizes the sinfulness of their act. The CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church) states clearly that “Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent.” ( It goes on to teach that “Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense.” (

    It is noteworthy that the CCC has individual paragraphs on the grave sins of anger (2302), hatred (2302), malice (1860), sins against hope (2091), and sins against love (2094). It also describes “rash judgment” as “an offense against truth” (2477-78). You may want to search for them at the above source.

    Finally, I asked about references gently, not because I cannot use Google, or am ignorant of the assertions you make, but because it is a necessary component of responsible authoring.

    Peace and understanding to you.

  5. Yikes… Sorry about that. Not sure how that happened… Great and blessed day to you, in any case.

  6. I feel that people who support abortions and gay marriages are mentally unhealthy.To call them names and try to belittle them isnt helping.Pity is the emotion called for here, i believe. Talking to them or even stating that they are mentally unheathly may help ,cuz no one wants to be viewed as mentally unhealthy….i m just saying.

  7. (i mean) talking to them as if they are mentally may help.

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