Wednesday, 15 August 2007

This isn't going to make me many new friends....

I've just been to 'The Cafeteria is Closed' website and been somewhat unsettled with US catholic attitudes towards the forthcoming presidential elections. I felt compelled to put in my farthing's worth.....

Primarily I have the deepest concerns with US catholic attitudes to delegating their democratic executive power in their vote during presidential elections; and fear that through ignorance and poor doctrinal catechesis they are being led astray and technically excommunicating themselves.

Canon law is very specific : Irrespective of the pronouncements from the US conference of Bishops and the meek equivocations leaking out from the Vatican.

Canon 1329§2 In the case of a latae sententiae penalty attached to an offence, accomplices, even though not mentioned in the law or precept, incur the same penalty if, without their assistance, the crime would not have been committed, and if the penalty is of such a nature as to be able to affect them; otherwise, they can be punished with ferendae sententiae penalties.

Judicial murder is a latae sententiae excommunicable act - this includes

a] illegal, unjust war

b] abortion and euthanasia

c] the actuation of capital punishment upon the incarcerated ; this is not congruent with a 'last recourse double-effect' death penalty which prevents immediate direct aggression in order to preserve threatened life [ref. CCC & Evangelium Vitae]

Any catholic who conspires in these actions through their executive democratic vote [i.e. a presidential election differs from all other types of election in that the person, not the party is being given direct power by a voter] is guilty of conspiring in latae sententiae excommunicable acts and may have automatically excommunicated themselves.

I do not understand why the US bishops and cardinals are being so lenient against catholic politicians who have excommunicated themselves [ pro-choice politicians are no longer in communion with the church - merely denying them access to the Blessed Sacrament is tantamount to a leniency which conspires in the act.]

In the last election it was technically canonically impossible for a catholic to vote for either Bush or Kerry. Both have records of conspiring in judicial murder via war, life issues and execution.

What of the next election ?A catholic must not, indeed cannot vote for candidates who conspire in the culture of death.

Secondly I feel I have to refer to both the Gospels and Catholic Social teaching esp. since Rerum Novarum: A catholic is obliged to promote the Corporal and Spiritual works of mercy - and this MUST be a consideration in regards to a social and welfare policy. To those right-wing catholics who wish for small government, low taxation, minimal welfare benefits and oppose universal healthcare and free education; my I remind them that they are in direct contravention of the teaching of Christ in Matthew 25!

Thirdly there are exigencies which must be given due consideration ; the principles of the NRA, pro-nuclear weapons and aggressive foreign policy organizationns, prejudicial groups, or anti-immigration groups, or xenophobic insular societies which promote the lowering of the budget, if not removal of food,aid,medical supplies to our overseas neighbours in the developing world; are NOT conducive to catholic teaching.

We are commanded by Christ to Love our Neighbour and never to demean ourselves by treating any other as a lesser individual, or to promote the wasting of money and resources and manpower on endeavours which are antagonistic and contrary to this.

To clarify, may I remind those who support the NRA or nuclear weapons or a high defence expenditure or an aggressive hawk overseas policy - guns and WMD are designed solely for one purpose - and it is not the promotion of life - a gun is designed to kill via penetration and hydrostatic shock- there is nothing defensive about it - I should think we are aware of the effects of nuclear weapons.

I am deeply saddened that too many US catholic citizens compromise, indeed jeopardise, their faith during these periods leading up to elections; a catholic simply cannot promote or ostensibly vindicate anything which is contrary to their Faith - and this is not because they are in a quandary induced by moral dillemma where the choice is either an intrinsically moral disordered position over a position of pure evil [e.g. I have to vote for the anti-catholic morals republican because the democrat is pro-choice] this is fallacious thinking - A catholic is only morally obliged to vote in an executive election where they can do so without compromising their executive democratic delegative power - to conspire in that which is contrary is not permissible; even though it is during normal non-executive elections [i.e. where you can vote for the 'least worst'].

That opportunity is NOT available to a catholic in an executive election; for they technically conspire in all the policies that are actuated by said president.

This may seem harsh and irrational and unrealistic ; but there are times when it is neither feasible nor tenable to vote for any candidate as to do so would jeapordise one's faith.

I say to US catholics that they need authentic, sincere, devout, orthodox catholics to come forth and participate in these presidential elections in order for them to be both represented and ABLE to vote.

Otherwise they may compromise their very position within the One,Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.


White Stone Name Seeker said...

This is something I struggle with.
On the one hand I feel that I have an obligation to vote-and could it even be a sin not to?
On the other hand WHO on earth do I vote for (here in the UK)? There isn't a single pro-life, pro-family sensible party-and even if I vote for a local candidate who is at least not as terribly pro-death as the others, he or she is usually pro something unpleasant and immoral that no CHristian can support.
So- is it a good then, NOT to vote?

On the side of the angels said...

No, it is never good not to vote, not voting is a moral disorder; but on occasion it may be the right thing to do - the price may be too high to do otherwise.

Now in normal elections we can exercise the principles of double-effect or dillemma [i.e. voting for the greater good, voting to prevent the worse evil]

But in executive presidential elections the remit is different.
you are voting for a representative who is directly authorised by you. If you are aware of anything that the candidate could do which would be utterly contrary to one's faith, it is virtually impossible to vote for them.

gemoftheocean said...

Catch a clue re: one and three. I expect you think the war in Iraq was "unjust." So is standing by letting another country continue with its mass executions of its own citizens...AND posturing that they have nuclear weapons...especially if they are controlled by Arab hothead dictators. Since you dislike #3 so much you should be kissing US butt for putting that scum out of power. (And thanking your own soldiers in arms too.) Look, every SINGLE entity thought they were readying nukes, and had they used them you'd be bitching (if you were still living) about Uncle Sucker not covering for you.

#3 I know you like to think and preach that Capital punishment has been outlawed morally, 'taint so. It has been some popes OPINIONS that the death sentence shouldn't be carried out -- but that's it. THEIR OPINION.

As a Catholic, I am going to vote, in the primary for Duncan Hunter, the Baptist. The demonrats are an abomination, McPain is for himself, and Giuliani is a pimp. Romney claims to have had a change of heart re: abortion. But I've seen those liberal Republican in name only New England creeps enough to last a lifetime.

In the General Election:
If it comes down to Hitlery vs. Romney, I will have to vote Romney, and I will have to hope he follows through. Fortunately, Bush, whom you apparently despise, managed to put some darned good strict constructionist Catholics on the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Roberts, and Justice Sam Alito. They will rule what the law IS, not make it up to suit their taste. Which does far more for the republic than that pig-in-a-pantsuit Hitlary will ever do, despite her love of rationed socialized medicine that she is trying to force down everyone's throat.

As for gun grabbers. Congrats. Count yourself with Hitler and Stalin...because that's the first thing those guys did too. Easy to shove 6 million Jews in a gas chamber when they don't have guns to defend themselves. All I can say is if some ba$tard decides he's going to crash through my door some night, I'm not going to bother to ask him questions like a:"are you just planning to tie me up and rob my goods" b: A+rape c:A+B+kill me.
What do you do plan on doing? Keep enough chalk on hand so the police can outline your body if -- just in case they run out of chalk?

And I WILL be shooting to kill, because that's the way you do it when someone is coming at you.

(incidently, the crime rate here is lowest where access to guns is the easiest, and crime runs free where the liberal gun grabbing loons roost.)

Karen H. -- San Diego, Ca.

gemoftheocean said...

And furthermore any Muslim domestic terror cells that "get ideas" will not be met with people cowering in their churches awaiting martyrdom at Muslim hands, either, like what happened at St. Sophia in Constantinople. Or is that Islam-bull?

You seem to forget or not know that they US Revolutionary war was triggered by an attempt of British gun grabbing.

Don't mess with Uncle Sam and Uncle Sam won't mess with you.

Oh, and as for all your social programs. Yes. It's good to give to the poor, but don't let the UN get anywhere near it. The Vatican also got suckered by the UN food-for-oil scandal. A lot of pockets in Europe were lined, and those bastards are still laughing today. I have complete and utter contempt for left-wing so called "euro-elites."

On the side of the angels said...

You haven't listened to a word I, or the Church has said,
I'm very sorry but you've been lied to...
...and however you wish to portray your position, you are NOT going to find any support for it in Church doctrine or moral teaching.

The war in Iraq, also the preceding air raids and genocide through starvation and deprivation of medicines and aid, were evil and grave matter. It was unjust according to catholic teaching, illegal via international law; and therefore must be determined as judicial murder and to conspire in it by giving vocal support or delegating one's executive democratic power to the person who actuated , promoted or supported it is to conspire in a latae sententiae excommunicable act ; irrespective of what your reprehensible morally bankrupt conference of bishops said.

I'm sorry but are you being deliberately obtuse in regard to catholic teaching on the DEATH PENALTY - the catechism categorically states that death is NOT A VALID FORM OF PUNISHMENT.
The only time a state/community has a right to exact a death penalty is to save directly immediately threatened life at the hands of a hostile aggressor - this has absolutely NOTHING to do with state execution ; but is more akin to the acceptability of a state exacting the double effect in shooting a sniper or terrorist - i.e. exacting a death penalty to save life !

As for the rest , I truly apologise that your catholic education and upbringing has been so twisted and deficient into ever allowing you to possibly conceive that any of these positions are conducive to either the gospels or the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church - from the way you talk you are truly american first and catholic somewhere way down the list... and for that I am truly sorry...US catholics have led such a poor example and you have been contaminated with their equivocations...

I suppose in some ways we're all guilty of trying to twist our faith into a shape more suitable for us...may God forgive us for it; it's just in the US, all this politicising and support of violence and irreverent uncaring power - it's so blatantly anathema to all that catholicism stands for!! That US catholics can so glibly accommodate it into their religion and mindframe frankly disgusts me ; but moreso it breaks my heart.

gemoftheocean said...

I'm not remotely impressed by ANY of your arguments. Not a single, solitary one. And, sorry, it is YOU who have been lied to!

I am PERFECTLY within my rights to support the death penalty for heinous crimes and I am perfectly free to think it's just to stop someone who is threatening and posturing to nuke the world.

You have a lot to learn about what a crock and a scam "international law" is. Suckers. Anyone who things the UN is on the up-and-up is leaving in a fool's paradise. It's a home for charlatans. The only good thing is it puts a lot of the crackpots in one place.

But since you're so concerned about "international law" maybe you want to do a little homework how many times the Iraqis (Saddam et al) violated the terms of the 91 cease fire. If you hallucinate that there wasn't an oil-for-food scandal, you are really "out to lunch." The UN finally voted to maintain their own resolutions. This delayed action of "form's sake" giving plenty of time for Saddam to get his assets elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Chirac et all lined their pockets.

On the side of the angels said...

I'm sorry but you fail to understand the basic principles of fundamental catholic moral theology.
I repeat that you have absolutely no right to support the execution of those securely incarcerated who bear no immediate or direct threat to society; and everything coming out of the vatican for the past fifty years has confirmed this; because His Holiness Pius XII retracted the statement that 'Inhuman murderers who have lost their humanity deserve to be treated inhumanely' - he had to; as it contradicted Romans 8:38&39, and the proclamations of the sacred councils of Valencia, Arles, Quiercy, Nancy and Trent - something your beloved equivocating cardinal Avery-Dulles forgot to mention when he espoused a justification for execution to the US conference of bishops.
No sin can annihilate human authenticity. Even at the time of the composition of the catechism of Trent execution was considered as an offering of the guilty's life freely as an act of penance - it was not punishment; merely a restitutional sacrifice [which incidentally directly contradicts the teachings of St Paul and St James and the author of Hebrews and the church Fathers that there is no longer any necessity for this form of sacrifice - as Christ 'wiped away all our sins vicarious' [to quote Aeschylus] upon calvary] The proponents of capital punishment were in Error, Innocent III was in error, Leo X was in error, they were personal opinions contrary to the sentiments and ancient teachings of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church exemplified in John chapter 8.
You also have no right to support ANY foreign policy which uses evil men to evil things for your administration abroad - your government funded Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, General Suharto, general Pinochet and every right wing tin pot dictator in Latin and South America...even Pol Pot; and yet you persist in referring to 'Oil for Food' - that is abject hypocrisy ; if you conspire in evil via your democratic vote , you are acting contrarily to your faith.
You may consider me a duped pinko liberal-loving limey who has consorted with mealy-mouthed wimps too often and rolled over cowardly in the face of evil....
Well let me tell you I will confront and address evil wherever I see it, and nowhere more importantly than when my fellow brothers and sisters in the Church abuse and compromise their faith to justify this evil.
Look in the mirror, read your catechism, consult your priest, pray to God for wisdom and discernment, but what's more stop naiively and duplicitously consorting with or promoting people who are seeking to destroy everything the church stands for.

gemoftheocean said...

Interesting that you can peer into the future and determine who is safely "secure" in prison. First you went from "no death penalty ever" is permitted to that.

Know any lotto numbers coming up?

Sorry, sparky, a theology professor I know well tells me I AM allowed to support the death penalty in given circumstances.

As for your faith in the UN and turning a blind eye to corrupt governments, I will pray for you.

Haven't said I can't respect people who argue for NOT using a death penalty. but I reject any attempt to read into the catechism what is simply not there. Now if Benedict the wonderful would like to tell us why he is going to come out and repudiate the catechism of Pius V and Pius X -- if you want to go down the path of arguing that popes have taught in error, be my guest!

Personally, I do not think it a just retribution to give someone who committed mass genocide on his own people the same sentence some goofball in Spain gets for flipping out and killing someone. One could argue to "give the person a chance to repent." I'm with Aquinas...nothing like actually facing the death penalty to make someone "focus."

On the side of the angels said...

Well perhaps you should read a little further Aquinas - In ratio sanans written later in his life he states that those deserving death are in the hands of God [redolent of Socrates' dying words]
As for your allsuions to my support of the UN I don't expect a retraction but I would expect you not to repeat such an untruth - I never made any such assertion, and should you care to search my postings here and elsewhere; you will be fully aware of it.
I don't give two hoots what your theology professor said; he's simply wrong ! But I do care when you twist what I say - the catholic allowance of a death penalty , I repeat , is NOT capital punishment, it is sheer equivocation to imply it is!
Thankyou for your prayers; but I have to re-iterate that certain Popes made statements which were not doctrinal - I've already stated why - they contravene Church Dogma !!!

Run away from all this and excuse your heinous justifications to deny your faith; but please do not expect me to roll over and condone it !

James H said...

I really enjoy your blog . I ahve added it. Let me add something from what I suspect would be viewed as Right wing

I know no one on the right that is for getting rid of Public schools. So if you have had heard this is a exaggerated

A ggod loyal Catholic could have voted for Bush. I know I was campigning for him. THere is a tad more to the death penatly discussion than youi give credance. Also the Federal Govt rarely if ever executes people. THus that really is not a issue for

THere is nothing wrong about lower wanting low taxes. There is a theory that promotes investments and more jobs are created which helps the poor especially.

I am a memeber of the NRA and don't find that at all incompartiable with my Catholic faith.

As to Iraq , Catholics need to get remember it is no longer the day before the invasion and start thinking about other issues now involving the war

On the side of the angels said...

a] Capital punishment is judicial murder - if a person has murdered once using the law; they will invariably do it again. How many were executed during secure incarceration when President Bush was governor of Texas - a few being mentally incompetent and underage - one man on death row actually had a defence attorney fall asleep during trial, admitting he was high on cocaine and what did George Bush do ? Make jokes about it ! The man inaugurated an illegal war grounded upon the fabrication of lies. Not only that , I lived in the US at the time - remember when Saddam was arrested and every news channel showed footage of 9-11 and whitehouse representatives said 'we've got the guy - the victims of the twin towers can finally receive justice.' these were lies and if a man lies once and murders once unrepentantly we are forbidden from supporting him.

b] 92% of all US gun deaths that occur in the home are the occupiers; accidents involving children, intruders grabbing the gun away from the householder, etc. More people die in the US from gun related incidents than in rest of the whole western world. Do you truly think it is safe or conducive to your faih to risk the lives of others by promoting a culture which axiomatically leads to more death !???

What is the function of lower taxation ? to ensure the rich get richer and the poor have to pay more of the tax revenue via indirect taxation; ostensibly they may have more money in their pocket but they have to pay through the nose for everything including education and healthcare; and for those who cannot pay ? 46 million without health insurance in a civilised nation is a crime against humanity. People die or live in agony around you because they cannot afford transplants or operations- women abort because they cannot afford even the cheapest $9000 maternity and birth charges. The elderly are financially crippled paying for medication. And when you consider that every government you've had for decades spends trillions on protectionist policies on defence and aeronautics industries while people live in slums and tin shacks and have to impoverish themselves to be educated and medically treated ? Think about this dude..especially next time you hear of someone with medical insurance taking the kids to the emergency room because the kids have a cold while someone without it screams in agony waiting at the back of the queue [yes I have seen this first hand!]

Your minimum wage is reprehensible and farcical ; and technically [if you refer to Aristotle] is a form of slavery !

Lower taxes means there are less funds for every form of welfare or civic program to benefit the public as a whole - why are scandinavian people, who pay the highest taxes, the happiest people in the world ? [irrespective of Ingmar Bergman films]

As for the war in Iraq, no we should never forget how it arose and was actuated ; because pehaps in a few years time the US catholics may en masse yet again conspire in an unjust war against Iran and compromise their faith in the process.

It's wrong, and church leaders and pastors should be decrying and denouncing it from the pulpit - unfortunately they are too scared of the cafeteria catholics who stupidly think that a smaller government and lower taxation and a 'rugged' defence policy and a 'stringent' foreign policy is conducive to loving God and neighbour - May I state categorically that it most definitely isn't !

James H said...

I am not buying that George Bush entered Iraq on a fabrications of lies. Also people can shout "illegal" war all they want but that is a subject of legitimate debate.

As to the death sentence let me clear. Even as AS Republican I am not very pro death sentence. Pretty much I am for it in extreme situation. I would fit war criminals and terrorist as a big one. I do not think it opposes Catholicism to execute those people when holding them could just cause more problems and dangers. Just see Israel.

ALso as I have noted, state mandated execution is not really a Federal issue. It happens rarely and in fact has only happened once as to a dangerous domestic terroist recently. Despite all the talk of Bush and Execution you will note that none of the people that we have captured including with AQ have been executed. State mandated execution is a matter for the individual states and must be fought there if people disagree.

As to guns the US Const allows for the right to bear arms. I see no good people trying to circumvent that by having Courts ignore it. IF that happens what is next. Accidents happen in the home all the time. Guns are kust a small part of that. Catholics as well as others have a right to self defense. I live way out in the country. I don't have the luxugury of having the police right now the street. Alcohol causes more problems than guns. Shall we ban that!!

LEt em engage your Health Care argument. First the 46 million without health care is a little misleading. Many of those are without it for a short period of time. I am not going to endorse the "Crimes Against Humanity" rethoric. Words mean something and calling every bad situation a Crime against humanity does not help.

THe fact is that health care has little to do with abortion rates. As we saw in the illegal immigration debate non US citizens here illegally can have that taken care of. We are footing the bill for that. Hospital cannot ignore emergency care and often at very good hospitals in the USA people are on transplants list that lack good insurance. It should also be noted that we right wingers are not ignoring this problem. We recently a huge expansion in Health care by making sure the Precription medication is available for the elederaly. Gov Romney who is one of the frontrunners for the GOP nomination got universal health care in his state or something close to it. The person I am supporting for PResident recognizes it is a problem. We are not for getting rid of medicare or other programs. THe key is there is a debate of how to make health care accessable to all. THe debate is how to get there.

Lower taxation has more effects than making the rich richer / It also stimulates investment which stimulates the economy which helps the poor. I am for a sane taxation system. I also oppose tax plans that hurt the poor which is one reason why I am not a big propoent of taxes on foods and other items. Whenever that comes up I weight that. Also lets be clear. When Federal Taxes go up that affects the governement of 50 states.

As to Iran. I hope to God nothing happens there. THere are Iranian forces in Iraq right now. I know my buddy was on leave and was telling me this 6 months ago. Despite that the Coalition forces have show3ed much restraint. Even though there actions are killing Coalition troops and Iraqis. I pray to Gd the conflict with Iran is resolved peacefully. However let me challenge you. I fail to see how you can call a future possible conflict with IRan unjust when we can't know what facts will present themselves in the future. That does not seem like good reasoning

Beleive it or not many of us really weigh these issues and are not Cafertia Catholics. However if people wish to judge us from the outset as being that I can't do much about it.

Anyway again like your blog and I shall be highlighting it today

I think some of the art and pictures on here are quite something. I might disagree with you on certain issues but I agree with the line on your blog. In this age we all need to be looking for a Radical Orthodox Catholicism in The New Millennium

Will Cubbedge said...

"has been some popes OPINIONS that the death sentence shouldn't be carried out -- but that's it. THEIR OPINION."

More exactly, it was the supposition of the late John Paul II that, in the modern nation state, conditions were such that the circumstances which would make the death penalty necessary were rare, if not non-existent.

Some would say this leaves a tiny crack open in the first world nations for the death penalty. An old law professor of mine, for instance, supposed we caught Bin Laden, sentenced him to life in prison in solitary confinement, and left him there. Would he not, through his lawyer and Imam (the two people to whom access could not be denied, even if he were in "the hole") continue to run his terrorist network? Could it be, then, that the only way to eliminate the threat that this person posed to society would be to execute him?

But, as a jurist, I would propose another, more common scenario: a man rapes and kills, is convicted, and sentenced to life in prison (in a state that has no death penalty.) In some states, and, considering the federal courts, in some districts, a trial judge and jury can not dig a hole deep enough to hold the rapist/murderer that an appeals court or progressive executive cannot, in their turn, dig him out of. Google Willie Horton if you want to know more. The sum of my ramble is this: The state of jurisprudence in the US is not so advanced as to assure a life sentence will detain a dangerous person for the rest of his life. Therefore, even accepting the opinion of the late pope, there is still need of a death penalty in the United States in some cases.

Will Cubbedge said...

"How many were executed during secure incarceration when President Bush was governor of Texas"

Quite a few. But in Texas there is very little a governor can do about it.

Texas law restricts executive clemency in capital cases to granting a thirty (maybe 60 or 90, but I think it is thirty) day extension on the execution. That's it. While other states give their executives full sovereign power of clemency and pardon, Texas gives these powers in capital cases to a committee of the State Department of Justice.

So President Bush, as governor, really didn't have much to do with executions in Texas.


Will Cubbedge said...

On the Death Penalty and Capital Punishment:

They are one and the same.

I point you to John Hardon, S.J., for clarification.


On the side of the angels said...

I'm sorry but they aren't !!!
Irrespective of what dictionaries, or certain theologians or commentators say they are now split along certain lines.
The US especially may equivocate the death penalty with capital punishment and most academic sentiments may consider an equivalence - but that option for us is GONE!!!
The catechism is categorical !
Death is NOT a valid form of punishment.
therefore any execution is never to be deemed as a form of punishment but must be enacted as a form of self-defence of the community against a hostile aggressor directly threatening life; it is a death penalty enacted to preserve or protect life and NOT a punishment.

Therefore we cannot ever, ever, ever, call it capital punishment - as it most definitely isn't !!!