Thursday, May 7, 2009

Conservatives Denounce Vatican over Obama

the full article is here:

The Stakes at Notre Dame
Words From Rome Change The Debate on Inviting Obama
By E.J. Dionne Jr.
Thursday, May 7, 2009

We now know that the reaction of right-wing Catholics to Notre Dame's invitation to President Obama falls into the category of "more Catholic than the pope."

To the dismay of many conservatives, the Vatican's own newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, has offered what one antiabortion Catholic blog called "a surprisingly positive assessment of the new president's approach to life issues" -- so positive, in fact, that a spokesman for the National Right to Life Committee was moved to criticize Pope Benedict XVI's daily.

The Vatican newspaper offered its analysis as Catholic liberals and conservatives are battling fiercely over Notre Dame's decision to invite the president as this year's commencement speaker and to grant him an honorary degree. The article will strengthen the liberal claim that the Catholic right's over-the-top response is rooted at least as much in Republican and conservative politics as in concern over the abortion question.

The April 29 essay by Giuseppe Fiorentino, L'Osservatore's frequent foreign affairs contributor, painted Obama as a moderate on many fronts. "Some have accused him of practicing excessive statism," Fiorentino wrote, "if not even of making the country drift toward socialism." But "a calmer analysis," he said, suggests that Obama "has moved with caution." (I rely here on a translation of the article posted yesterday on the Vatican's official Web site.)

On abortion and the other life issues, the article concluded that Obama "does not seem to have established the radical changes that he had aired."

In loosening the rules on federal funding of stem-cell research, the paper noted, Obama did not go as far as many in the antiabortion movement feared he would. "The new guidelines regarding embryonic stem cell research do not in fact follow the [prospective] change of route laid out months ago," Fiorentino wrote. "They do not allow for the creation of new embryos for research or therapy purposes, for cloning or reproductive ends; and federal funds can only be used for experimentation with surplus embryos."

Then came a carefully worded sentence declaring that "these measures do not eliminate the reasons for criticism in the face of unacceptable forms of bioengineering that work against the embryo's human identity, but the new regulations are less permissive than expected."

This restrained view contrasts with charges that Obama is the "most radical pro-abortion president in history," words used earlier this year on the Christian Coalition's Web site. ...

The consternation on the right over the Vatican article was immediate. Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee in the United States, told that L'Osservatore's assessment was "not helpful" and that "there's nothing middle of the road about the substantive policies that this administration is pursuing on life issues."

Rank-and-file Catholics do not share in the conservatives' gloominess. A recent Pew Research Center poll found that two-thirds of Catholics approved of Obama's performance in office. Pew also reported that 50 percent of Catholics thought Notre Dame was right to invite Obama, while only 28 percent said the invitation was wrong. ...

Largely lost in the Notre Dame furor is the extent to which the ferocity on the Catholic right has emboldened moderate and liberal Catholics to fight back.
The current issue of America magazine, published by the Jesuits, includes a sharply worded editorial criticizing the "divisive effects of the new American sectarians" which "have not escaped the notice of the Vatican."

"Their highly partisan political edge has become a matter of concern," the editors write. "That they never demonstrate the same high dudgeon at the compromises, unfulfilled promises and policy disagreements with Republican politicians as with Democratic ones is plain for all to see. It is time to call this one-sided denunciation by its proper name: political partisanship."


shiloh said...

In a nutshell, conservative Catholics, just like conservatives in general are hypocrites! When they start making a big stink! re: Darfur ie world hunger/oppression/genocide, the death penalty, the illegal, dishonest, unholy Iraq war etc. etc. then they will truly be Christians.

Until that time they will remain partisan hacks. As I mentioned recently, all I ask for is consistency in the teachings of the Catholic church and being a closet activist re: one singular issue ie abortion is totally hypocritical er sinful ...

take care, blessings

Offended Catholic said...

Here is a review of the Notre Dame scandal by Fr. Corapi:

Susan said...

Where are the results of the Rasmussen Poll??

Offended Catholic said...

Hello Shiloh, I really don't think it is hypocrisy. There is truly a hierarchy of issues with those being intrinsically evil at the top of the list.

With respect to caring for the poor, it is a matter of HOW you want to care for the poor. Do you want to do it through a bigger Government or would you want to do it through the people or the Church?

The death penalty is not intrinsically evil and the Church allows it in certain circumstances. The Church teaches it should be seldom used but it is not always wrong like abortion is. There is not a single case where a procured direct abortion is permissable in Catholic teaching since this a direct attack on the dignity of an innocent human person.

Whether or not to go to war can be debated but not abortion.

Some wars are justified while others are not. Some acts in war are justified while others are not.

Anonymous said...

Masturbation is an intrinsic evil. Make stopping that the focus of your life.

shiloh said...

Offended Catholic said...

As I said in a previous post, more nonsense and total deflection!

OK, this is what you believe, fine, we disagree obviously. I believe the Cleveland Indians may win the World Series again one day. That doesn't make it true or certain that it is gonna happen lol ... ah deflection ;)

As I just mentioned, Thomas Ricks, an Iraq expert, said the Iraq war was the worst military decision in the history of the world as soldiers and civilians continue to die indicating the "surge" was and always will be a total failure! I digress.

btw, politics and religion are a lot alike in that they both use bogus "rationalizations" to "try" to prove unprovable positions/arguments.

take care, blessings

Offended Catholic said...

Anonymous, you are correct masturbation is an intrinsic evil. Your second statement is slanderous. Please know that I will pray for you.

If you are able, please address my comments. I am sure the moderators on this board don't support slandersous remarks and probably like to see you on point with your comments.

Kurt said...


You said "There is truly a hierarchy of issues with those being intrinsically evil at the top of the list."

You also said "Anonymous, you are correct masturbation is an intrinsic evil."

I don't see the slander. It seems you have set things up to say that opposing masturbation is more important than opposing warfare.

Brian said...

Are you guys saying that Offended Catholic is wrong when they say that abortion is considered MORE of an evil than the death penalty or war?

The Bishops, Archbishops, Cardinals and the Pope agree with Offended Catholic so what gives you guys the authority to interpret the teachings of the Church over say the Pope.

Anonymous said...

What about torture being an intrinsic evil - NEVER an option even in a "ticking time-bomb scenerio"?

Kurt said...

Are you guys saying that Offended Catholic is wrong when they say that abortion is considered MORE of an evil than the death penalty or war?I think the point was that he is placing the issue of stopping masturbation above stopping war.

phlojd said...

They deny that they are politically partisan.

They deny that they are religiously sectarian.

They deny that they are consumed with hatred.

They deny those who disagree with them any human decency.

They deny that torture is evil.

They deny that torture is torture.

phlojd said...

And as usual, they think that they are more Catholic than the Pope.

Offended Catholic said...

Here is my point restatedL There is a hierarchy of issues. Direct abortion is always wrong. War and the death penalty are not always wrong. Refer to the CCC for further details.

I only addressed masturbation because one of your supporting anonymous folks brought it up.

I don't think my last comment placed yesterday or possibly the day before was posted. Perhaps if you post that comment it would help clarify some more. I was addressing the slanderous part of the comment and clarified my points on the death of the body versus the death of the soul.

Kurt said...


You are confusing the matter by the repeated use of the term "intrinsic".

Anyway, unjust wars are evil. Catholics and people of good will should oppose them.

You state "The death penalty is not intrinsically evil and the Church allows it in certain circumstances."

Then we should oppose it in those circumstances the Church does not allow it.

We have computer gliches at times. If you had posted soemthing civil and on-topic, please re-post it.

Offended Catholic said...

Kurt, thanks for letting me repost my comment although since I don't save my posts, this is a recreation at best with possibly a few other comments:

Anonymous said: "Make stopping that the focus of your life."

This is the slanderous part of his comment on his reference to masturbation. Don't worry about addressing this as I have thicker skin than that.

With respect to the other part of my comment, I merely stated in summary form that intrinsic evils are always wrong. Unjust wars or unjust actions in war are always wrong. We agree there.

I agree we should oppose the death penalty in most instances. I am with the Church on that issue.

However if one holds that the death penalty is necessary in a given circumstance it is not necessarily sinful and he is within his/her right to hold such a position. Obviously, the Church does not make direct proclamations on each and every death penalty case. There can be legitimate disagreement on the death penalty, whereas direct abortion can never ever be justified and is always each and every time objectively sinful. No room here for legitimate disagreement.

Hope this clarifies.

Kurt said...


Yes, I think you and I are in agreement that unjust wars, most uses of the death penalty and direct abortion are wrong and sinful.

And we are all called to use our judgment to do the best we can to protect the lives endangered from each of these evils.

Offended Catholic said...

Kurt, we are in agreement on the abortion issue and unjust wars. They are always wrong. There can be legitimate disagreement on the use of the death penalty and not sure we are on the same page there.

Kurt said...

Disagree we may, but still united by our faith in the Triune God.

Jeffrey said...

Kurt said, "Disagree we may, but still united by our faith in the Triune God."

No Kurt. Our faith is not the same and I am not united to you by any stretch of the imagination. You have a moderate faith. In THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS Screwtape remarks about how moderate Christianity is not really Christianity at all. The early Christians who went in to face the lions were not moderate they were "insane." You don't really fit in with them. It's not your disagreement with me or with "Offended" that is the problem. It is your disagreement with the Catholic faith that is the problem. I tried to keep this nice so that you'd approve it.