On Rights of Citizens, Part 2

It is obvious that a relaxed stance on immigration and/or the dissolution of borders not only creates a national safety issue, it also serves to undermine the state’s own autonomous sovereignty, thereby gravely violating the rights of its citizens who contribute to its welfare and upon whom they rely.

Indiscriminate amnesty, or amnesty on a large scale, compromises the common good of a nation’s citizenry because it does not provide a forum for proof of allegiance, all the while imposing undue burdens of wealth and resources on the citizens who are now forced to support those who cannot support themselves.

This is a failure in charity, and extends well beyond our Christian maxim of welcoming a stranger; for someone trying to be an upright citizen, and who has responsibilities to one’s own fellow citizens first (especially to members of one’s family), this is not a matter of greed versus generosity.

Although we are not blind to the humanitarian element, there are considerable limitations about what reasonably can be done, especially as this seems to have come about with the sanction of those who have care of the common good, an evident abuse of power. The compromise of a state’s integrity helps no one, and serves to increase the domination of many by a few, leading to greater violations of human rights and many bad fruits if this continues, such as an increase in violent crime, drug and human trafficking, and compromised job markets.

Amnesty, then, is no answer, but part of the problem.

class in english and citizenship, 1943 photograph
Class in English and citizenship, NYC 1943

Instead, those who have care for the common good at a national level, while protecting its citizens, are obliged before God to see that, in establishing a process for citizenship, the expectation of loyalty to the state is understood, which means suitable and truthful education in the history of the nation and a willingness to adapt to the regular method of commerce and language of its citizens. (As a corollary, governors who have the requisite authority are obliged to make efforts to correct errors in this education within its public institutions.)

At the same time, to the degree it is has power and influence, a sovereign nation has some responsibility to put pressure on other sovereign nations to correct themselves where their public policies violate human rights. This can come in various forms, including sanctions.

Nonetheless, willing collaboration with such nations, economically or otherwise, seems to violate the duty to protect the common good; making another sovereign state the resource, economic, or manufacturing slave of another adversely affects the common good of both, as the knowing violation of human rights in one state cannot be used to safeguard the citizens’ rights of another.

Remember that the common good does not mean that day-to-day life in a country is easy, but that its government is respectful of fundamental human rights to life, liberty, and property, and permits its citizens to advance them.

It is not the objective here to advance a specific solution to these complex problems, but rather to give reasons as to the position we ought to take as Catholics.

The more removed or disconnected citizens become with their nation’s past, the more disrespectful or apathetic they become towards their nation, and the more power revolutionaries take to impose new and politically correct versions of its history upon citizens in an effort to undermine the common good and change its trajectory.

The individual sovereignty of our nation is under attack, and our natural law inclination as citizens to love and preserve the identity of our country of allegiance has been violated.

Nonetheless, we must remember that bad rulers are generally sent by God as a chastisement for the sins of a nation, and a solution is found only in the conversion of the people under such rule.

As baptized, we must remember that we are citizens of heaven first, and so for us it begins with the basics of respecting the human rights of all, voting for leaders who will support this, and promoting the common good within the framework of the family, the building-block of any society.

By doing so is the connection re-established with the sacrifices of many in the past to secure the good of a nation and by which, in our own cases as citizens, we stand ready to re-occupy it for love of God, neighbor, and country.

October 29, 2020

On Rights of Citizens, part 1

Immigration has been a hotly contested issue over the past twenty years and the more recent presidential administrations, to the point of becoming a crisis. And it can be argued that widespread illegal immigration can be tantamount to an occupation of sorts, a veritable onslaught to dismantle national sovereignty, blur borders, and establish a new and dependent (or controllable) electorate.

When we look at the Ten Commandments, we note that the first three deal with our duties to God; the last seven deal with our duties to neighbor. The latter are consequences of the first three.

At the top of our duties to neighbor is the Fourth Commandment: Honor thy father and thy mother, which is all about respect for lawful authority, beginning with one’s parents.

The family is the basic building block of a society, of a state; families comprise a state and are therefore prior to it in origin. The government is put in place to see to the true welfare of its constituents, which is called the common good. Therefore, members of a state should rightly expect their government to preserve and protect their true rights so that they can pursue temporal and eternal happiness as a whole. (Notice how God and religion are indeed constituent to common good, and that the state is not the grantor of all rights.)

The purpose of the federal government is first and foremost to protect the rights and common good of the citizens it governs. Consequently, the state is responsible for making laws that see to the maintenance and safety of its members, as well as making due provision for the future to ensure that the state continues to exist.

If the state does its job, it has the right to expect allegiance and respect from its members. At the most fundamental level, this entails respect for internal law and external borders by all members of a state, both the governed and the governors.

Internal law sees to the smooth governance of the members. The external borders determine where the jurisdiction of the state extends, and also who benefits from the state’s protection and who does not. In other words, a state exists to provide stability for a particular human society. As a result, those who inhabit a particular state have duties towards it.

This is where the distinction between human rights and rights of citizens is of tremendous importance.

The distinction between human rights and citizen rights is based upon a relation of justice; that is, a relation of mutual obligation and dependence between a government and those governed by it.

All in all, human rights are much broader in scope than citizen rights, as the former pertain to the rights every human being has to life, liberty, and the lawful possession of private property.

Citizen rights, however, are more specified, in that certain human rights require assistance from a specific sovereign government in order to be better realized, all in the interest of promoting the common good, to which we share responsibility, for things we cannot attain individually but collectively.

This includes greater employment opportunities for the able-bodied and able-minded, development of resources for national advancement, the creation of wealth, public safety, police, public health, and national self-defense. Citizen rights are acquired by contract with a state – a state which is determined by borders and common law – and a contract which is entered into either by birth or by choice, under which a citizen is now subject and which a citizen supports.

Since they contribute and since they pledge allegiance to their state – meaning they stand ready to defend it, citizens of a nation alone have rightful and just claim on the benefits from their government.

Therefore, although a state can make due provision for those who may live and work within its borders who are not citizens, it is obliged to ensure that citizens’ rights are not infringed upon by their presence, because that would upset the common good. In considering its relationship then with other sovereign states, especially for purposes of trade, a state must realize, in efforts to preserve and promote human rights for all, that its primary interest is in the protection of the rights of its citizens.

This is what Christ meant when He commanded rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s; these should never be in opposition, since what belongs to Caesar also belongs to God.

A citizen is one who is bound in justice to support the state he lives in, in return for the stability a state should provide. Those who are not citizens of a specific state do not possess any of these rights and entitlements because they are not strictly bound to support it.

So, in virtue of its duty to protect and promote the common good for those under its care and responsibility, a sovereign government has the right to know who its citizens are and also who are non-citizens living within its borders. It has the right to increase or limit the presence of non-citizens, and even certain nationalities of non-citizens for a just cause, including immigration and the process towards legal citizenry.

The citizens have a right to expect this, since they have first claim on the limited resources of a nation. They are the ones who must support the state, so the government also has the right to impose restrictions on the benefits non-citizens receive while living within its jurisdiction.

Thus a government can demand remuneration of some kind from legal non-citizens while, at the same time, extending only limited, albeit just, benefits in return.

October 28, 2020

Enroll in Our 2020 Christmas Card Novena

Yes, that time of year is fast approaching!

This year we’ve streamlined the whole process and made it simple and convenient to get FSSP Christmas cards online.

Just go to our Christmas Card Novena page here: https://fssp.com/novenas/christmas-card-novena/

There you can enroll your loved ones in a Novena of Masses that will be offered for our benefactors from December 17th to 25th at our chapel at the North American headquarters, and offer a donation that will be very important to the Fraternity as we continue to grow above the 300 priests and over 150 seminarians we currently have.

With your gift you will also receive beautiful Christmas cards to let everyone know they will be remembered in the Novena of Masses—and to remind them of the humble Infant Who came to save us all.

Just use the form online to let us know how many 12-card sets you need. (Due to high demand, please call the office if you need more than 9 sets).

October 26, 2020

All Men Are Under the Dominion of Christ

An excerpt from Quas Primas:Encyclical of Pope Pius XI on the Feast of Christ the King

It would be a grave error, on the other hand, to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs, since, by virtue of the absolute empire over all creatures committed to Him by the Father, all things are in His power.

Nevertheless, during His life on earth He refrained from the exercise of such authority, and although He Himself disdained to possess or to care for earthly goods, He did not, nor does He today, interfere with those who possess them. Non eripit mortalia qui regna dat caelestia.

Thus the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men. To use the words of our immortal predecessor, Pope Leo XIII:

“His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ.”

Nor is there any difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ.

In Him is the salvation of the individual, in Him is the salvation of society.

“Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved.”

He is the author of happiness and true prosperity for every man and for every nation.

“For a nation is happy when its citizens are happy. What else is a nation but a number of men living in concord?”

If, therefore, the rulers of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ.

What we said at the beginning of Our Pontificate concerning the decline of public authority, and the lack of respect for the same, is equally true at the present day.

“With God and Jesus Christ,” we said, “excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation.” 

Given at St. Peter’s, Rome, on the eleventh day of the month of December, in the Holy Year 1925, the fourth of our Pontificate.

October 23, 2020

A Promise Kept

For those who watched even short selections of the Senate Judiciary Hearings last week, one had to be impressed with Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s acumen and competency. Her opponents certainly had their work cut out for them. While needing to avoid a repeat of the travesty that surrounded the hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh, how were they to confront someone who should be considered an icon of sorts?

Here we have a woman with a quite accomplished law and judicial career, evidently qualified for the nomination, highly educated, and this all amidst being happily married with seven children, essentially a modern woman who “has it all.” They should have been proud to be in the presence of yet another who has overcome the odds and broken through the barriers our “oppressive patriarchal society” has imposed for so long.

It could not be so with them.

Like the Pharisees who prefaced their attack on Christ with hollow platitudes (cf. Mt. 22:16), with coy remarks of respect they sought to ensnare Barrett, drawing her into debates about how she would rule, to “radicalize her” through their questioning in the hope of making it obvious to everyone in the room that she was somehow untrustworthy to hold such an influential position.

But they were also in another bind.  Having touted religious freedom all these years (although ultimately as a device for freedom from religion), they could not directly express their concerns (alarm) over her deep commitment to Catholicism. They had to keep a cool head about this and pretend that it was a non-issue, lest they betray their hand.

And they could not. No one could.

As the hearings progressed, the situation started to resemble in some ways a most famous trial that happened two thousand years ago.

Back then, our Lord stood before His judges and maintained a calm composure, completely self-possessed to the point that, in the case of the Sanhedrin, it increased their aggravation and hatred, and in the case of Pilate, it increased his admiration and wonder.

Christ answered legitimate questions only from those who held legitimate authority; otherwise, He maintained His peace, even when His character was dragged through mud and His teachings unto everlasting life were twisted and maligned.

We can wonder if Barrett reflected upon this in the days leading up to her hearings.

Her calm demeanor throughout the four-day process was impressive. She prudently avoided answering questions on how she would rule, as such questions were beyond the scope of the hearings. After all, Justices Ginsburg and Kagan did the same in their hearings. As the frustration of her opponents mounted, they repeated the same questions in different ways, to which she gave the same answer.

Unable to cajole her to talk about all the rulings they wanted and pin her down, especially on abortion, they resorted to foolish questions. And although she did give answers to those, and usually brief ones, her composure said far more than her words.

That is how Christ turned the tables on Pilate at every instance; while Pilate had the authority, he knew Christ was in charge of the narrative.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett seems to have accomplished the same, and her witness indeed gave proof to our Lord’s promise, from which we all can take heart and strength: Lay it up therefore into your hearts, not to meditate before how you shall answer. For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to resist and gainsay (Lk. 21:14-15).

Let us pray for her confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Two Episcopal Statements on the Declarations of Pope Francis

We direct our readers to the following two statements:

Cardinal Burke’s statement on the Declarations of Pope Francis Regarding Civil Unions

Statement of Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Diocese of Providence

And we reiterate once again our call for recitation of the Prayer for the Ecclesiastical and Civil Authorities during the month of October.

October 22, 2020

Patriotism – The Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

 

October 21, 2020

Responses to Some Criticisms of Fr. Meeks’ Sermon

After we posted a link last week to a sermon delivered by Fr. Ed Meeks (“Staring into the Abyss”) where he lays out moral principles for Catholics to observe when voting, we received some comments critical of the sermon and our promotion of it.

Fr. Meeks is not a priest of the Fraternity of St. Peter. Nonetheless, as there are traditional teachings of the Magisterium involved in both his sermon and the criticism of it, we thought it beneficial to briefly offer some thoughts on objections that have been raised.

Separation of Church and State

One comment stated that the sermon was unethical in that it violates the separation of church and state.

Separation of Church and state means that the Constitution of the United States prohibits the federal government from declaring a national religion. However, this does not mean that politics are to be free from the influence of religion; such would be impractical, as everyone is motivated by some religious conviction. (Even an atheist is motivated by the rejection of organized religion, which amounts to a creed of its own, and he would lobby accordingly.) The Declaration of Independence admits of the existence of God, and the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that belong to all persons in virtue of being created by Him. So while we render to Caesar what is his, what Caesar has also belongs to God.

The Catholic Church, as founded by Jesus Christ, has moral authority and rights over her subjects; that is, the baptized, and has the responsibility to form their consciences in accordance with natural law and divine. Such promotes a virtuous citizenry (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2246 ff., on the political community and the Church).

Reciprocally, a Catholic first owes allegiance to the Church, and so must live in a way as to promote the Church’s mission within the country he lives. Therefore, a pastor is fully within his right to instruct the faithful entrusted to his care about the moral principles involved when it comes to voting, to point out the hierarchy of moral issues that must be observed, and where a party or candidate, especially one who claims to be Catholic, fails in these regards. A Catholic who conscientiously observes these when he votes serves then to render to God what is His while he renders to Caesar; these two can never be separated.

Purported Exceptions to the Immorality of Abortion

Another comment tries to admit moral exceptions for abortion in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother. Even though these are difficult circumstances surrounding a pregnancy, the Magisterium has never permitted for these exceptions, stating unequivocally in the Catechism:

“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.” (cf. CCC, 2270 ff.)

Abortion is at all times an intrinsically evil act against the most fundamental moral principle on the sanctity of all human life. No circumstance can change that. The unborn are truly the least amongst us, and to protect their right to life is indeed to love them as ourselves; therefore, candidates or parties that directly promote abortion find themselves in direct opposition to the perennial teaching of the Church.

The Condemnation of Socialism

Still another comment dismisses Fr. Meeks’ criticism of socialism as a mere dog whistle for the political right.

The Catholic Church has always rejected socialism since its emergence on the world stage in the nineteenth century, because it is fundamentally atheistic and rejects the right to private ownership of property. All the Popes from Pius IX to Benedict XVI have condemned it. In his social encyclical Quadragesimo Anno (1920), Pope Pius XI states:

“If socialism, like all errors, contains some truth (which, moreover, the supreme pontiffs have never denied), it is based nevertheless on a theory of human society peculiar to itself and irreconcilable with true Christianity. Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.” (n. 120).

The Catechism states:

“The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modern times with ‘communism’ or ‘socialism’” (cf. CCC, 2425, 2401).

On Divisiveness in Moral Teaching

Finally, a fourth comment suggests that the sermon is “divisive.”

While it is true that we all wish to live in relative harmony, we should recall the prophecy of Simeon in regards to our Lord: Behold this Child is set for the fall and resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted.  (Lk. 2:34)

Christ says that He will set nation against nation, father against son, mother against daughter (cf. Lk. 12:53); the eighth Beatitude tells us to expect persecution on His account (Mt. 5:11). Christ indicates that the peace He brings is dependent upon acceptance of the truth about Himself as being true God (Jn. 14:27), that His words and commandments are to everlasting life (Jn. 6:64), and that truth can be difficult (Jn. 6:61).

So as we try to bear patiently with differences of perspective, charity demands that Catholics uphold all Church teachings in witness to Christ, come what may. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Mt. 5:19). While we love the sinner, we cannot condone the error.

The moral non-negotiables: the sanctity of life, the sanctity of marriage, and the liberty of Catholics to practice our religion, are things Catholics cannot disagree on and so may cause strain within a mixed community. A Catholic candidate is not exempt from this, and has an even greater moral obligation to uphold them for the sake of the common good, the integral good of the human person, and the promotion of the Church’s mission for the salvation of souls, all of which are never in opposition.

 

 

 

Which Invisible Enemy?

Throughout the pandemic this year, we have often heard the words “invisible enemy” describing the virus in the efforts to combat it.

While things have loosened up somewhat, we still hear that this invisible enemy still threatens, and that things could change for the worse at any moment. Perhaps they will.

But we always live with the possibility of things changing drastically at any moment. The Christian should remember that.

For this life will pass, and we must keep our eyes on eternity no matter what befalls us. All is a means to an end.

Fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mt. 10:28)

In these uncertain times, we have the certainty of eternity – to be spent either in heaven or in hell.

How different the world would be if everyone responded with similar concern about the far more powerful invisible enemy Christ warns about.

For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul? (Mt. 16:26)

October 20, 2020

Shaken Reeds

There is a short political ad from the Biden campaign (usually imposed before a YouTube video) where presidential candidate Joseph Biden talks about the place of his Catholic faith in his life. Research into the origin of the ad revealed that all the voiceover we hear of Mr. Biden is taken from his 2015 video interview with Fr. Matt Malone, SJ, of America Magazine, the media arm of the Jesuits.

While the interview is cordial and non-confrontational, it reveals a great deal about how he understands Roman Catholicism. Keeping in mind our Lord’s warning about building houses upon sand, Mr. Biden seems to organize his faith – and its expression – around the theme that “everyone should be treated with dignity,” which he says is at the heart of Catholic social doctrine. Along with that, we have “the obligation to fight against the abuse of power” in all its forms, which he considers the cardinal sin of humanity, an impression made upon him by his late father, whom we pray may rest in peace.

Now at face value, we will not find many people who would disagree with this; we all want everyone to be treated with dignity and respect as fellow human beings. But these platitudes have little depth.

If we dig a little bit below the surface, a question that arises is just how does Mr. Biden understand the mission of the Church? Why does the Catholic Church exist at all?

Since he goes on to say that “all confessional faiths” share in this goal (do they really?), where does he place Catholicism in the mix? Is it just one among many “equal” faiths, one among many “equal” paths to God?

Furthermore, when it comes to the person of Jesus Christ, citing encounters our Lord had with figures like Mary Magdalene and lepers, Mr. Biden explains that our Lord is “the embodiment of what God wants us to do. All Christ did is consistent generically with what we are supposed to do – treat everyone with dignity.”

Now while Christ did say Learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart,  and while He did also say Love your neighbor as yourself, this vague idea of our Lord prompts an even more important and critical question: is Jesus Christ true God or not?

All these questions are quite legitimate because Mr. Biden, a declared practicing Catholic, is a public servant running for the highest office in the United States. Keep in mind that morals follow from doctrine: what a person believes determines how he acts. So while accounting for human weakness, the more firmly a man holds to a set of doctrine, the more he will strive to act consistently with it.

The contrary is equally true; the more a man deliberately acts contrary to his beliefs, the more those beliefs are eroded, changed, and ultimately abandoned. This readily applies to anyone: no one is without religion; everyone follows a creed, and everyone acts based upon it (even an atheist).

Therefore, it is most normal to want to know how seriously Mr. Biden believes, because it is legitimately expected that the Catholic Faith inform how Mr. Biden intends to govern if he were elected to the presidency.

Indeed there has been a long historical prejudice in this country over Catholic citizens holding high public office because of a Catholic’s allegiance to a “foreign power” known as the Pope and Magisterium.

But the Papacy is not a temporal authority in its essence; it is a spiritual and moral authority which originates in Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, with the express purpose and mission of guiding all souls towards repentance from sin and eternal life based upon the revelation of Christ.

Therefore, the Church is there to guide the administration and exercise of temporal power, to call out its abuse, but never to usurp it. While mindful of our Lord’s words to render to Caesar what is his, and to God what is God’s, the Church insists that, if there is a conflict between the two, the problem must be on the side of Caesar.

The Church’s very existence indicates that there is a hierarchy of power within the cosmos, and so the Church rightfully expects her children (that is, the baptized) to respect this reality, imposing a grave moral obligation to act accordingly in genuine observance of the order of the Great Commandment, and this most especially in the case where a person has been given care of the common good. You are the light of the world Christ told His Apostles (Mt. 5:14). We must be witnesses of the Light (cf. Jn. 12:36) for no one lights a candle (that is, receives Baptism) and then hides it under a bushel basket; rather it is placed on a lampstand in order to give light to the whole house. (Mt. 5:15) And recall further the sorry fate of the man who received a talent and buried it (cf. Mt. 25:24).

This naturally unsettles public servants who have more concern for the things of Caesar than for God’s.

The presence of a serious Catholic in their midst who has the supernatural courage to act based upon the Church’s teachings is both a threat and indictment.

This does not mean that a Catholic president, or legislator, or judge should suddenly proclaim Catholicism to be the national religion of our country. In a system such as ours, that could be considered an abuse of power since it runs contrary to the Constitution, something the Church tolerates. No, the arrangement is not ideal, but under this government the Church at least can exist and have some influence, although we see this threatened for various reasons nowadays.

But what it does mean is that a Catholic president has the moral obligation to attempt to rid our land of immoral and evil laws and organizations on account of his profession of Faith, while also promoting the influence of the Church and her welfare. If a Catholic candidate is on record in support of evil laws and organizations, either personally or by affiliation with a political party whose official platform supports these, he has a moral obligation to recant, abandon the party if he cannot immediately change it, and do whatever is within his power to correct any damage he has caused.

This begins with the most fundamental of rights, the right to life, and that right being safeguarded in all times and circumstances to the weakest and most vulnerable – the unborn. To say that there are more pressing moral and social issues that plague our country is to completely miss the point; poisoning the river at its source poisons the lake into which it flows.

There is a hierarchy of moral issues, and so a grave error on the fundamental right to life poisons how all life is regarded and demands correction, especially from a Catholic who has been given the power or influence from God, the source of all authority, to attempt to do so. What about “treating everyone with dignity” and “fighting abuse of power?”

We recall California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s remark a few years ago to Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Catholic mother of seven, that “the dogma [Catholicism] lives loudly within you.” Sen. Feinstein prefaced her remark by saying “dogma and law are two different things” and dogma “is a concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years.”

Evidently this is a reference to abortion.

On this precise subject, Mr. Biden stated in his interview, and has not since recanted, that while “he is prepared to accept de fide doctrine [that is, he is personally opposed to abortion], he is not prepared to impose a ‘rigid’ – not ‘rigid’ because that sounds pejorative –  rather a ‘precise’ view born of his faith upon others.”

However, this is not as if Mr. Biden would impose on everyone belief in the Holy Trinity. Raymond Cardinal Burke in an interview on EWTN states that “abortion is not a confessional belief but has to do with the natural law.”

Let us remember that nature and revelation have the same source – God – and so the two can never be opposed; Sen. Feinstein is incorrect then, because law is related to dogma, as law is an expression of it.

Self-evident truths such as life and liberty are a type of dogma; laws flow from that. Faith in the Incarnation should make those even more self-evident. In virtue of having the gift of the Catholic Faith through Baptism, Mr. Biden should have a firmer conviction and certainty of the natural law right every human being has to life. His private “belief” in this matter cannot be divorced from his public policy; he cannot observe a public stance that is either directly contrary or indifferent to it without committing grave sin and causing scandal.

He publicly claims that abortion is the law of the land and that he will do all he can to make sure it stays that way; therefore, any Catholic who supports him, or aligns oneself with a political party that supports him, would be in proximate cooperation with evil and would commit a grave sin, regardless if someone says he or she is “personally opposed to it” also.

The stance on life is not a disagreement in perspective or approach between political parties.

It is a moral absolute that admits no compromise, and is the issue that must rise to the top on election day. Abortion, which is the ugly daughter of a contraceptive and divorce-happy culture, must be eradicated, along with its own ugly daughters of pornography, prostitution, sex trafficking, and child exploitation.

So while Mr. Biden’s interview reveals a somewhat poor catechesis about what the Church is, we cannot help but wonder if his radical disregard, after so many years, of the Church’s (and the natural law’s) moral teaching on life has adversely affected and eroded how he should believe.

Where is his moral compass then? Can he even have one? Is Jesus Christ True God and True Man, who died on a Cross and rose from the dead, to Joseph Biden?

Or is Jesus Christ just some philanthropist who came to teach us how to be “nice” to each other without pricking the conscience about the silent screams in the background?

Is Mr. Biden more a reed shaken in the wind of public opinion, a product of political ambition, in stark contrast to the fortuitous and convicted John the Baptist whom Herod had to put to death when his warnings became inconvenient?

Pray that Mr. Biden comes to see and amend the profound error of his ways lest, like Herod, he renders himself incapable of being someone Christ can talk to.

October 16, 2020