Monday, October 18, 2004

Kerry in Ohio.

Some Catholic Democratic officials arranged a private mass for the Massachusetts senator in Chillicothe, Ohio. Kerry called it a way to "stop the hurly-burly, get away from the wildness" and "have this moment of tranquility."

Father Lawrence Hummer, nevertheless, gave the moment an election-year flavor by criticizing church officials who condemn Catholic politicians who speak out for abortion rights, calling on them to use patient persistence and bring them into the fold.

"It is the task of the church to convince and to encourage through all patience, by word and example, those who do not agree, not to ostracize them or treat them like lepers," Hummer said.

"There are many people who think that the destruction of Iraqi life is as direct an assault on the sacred as is the taking of unborn life. There are many people who regard the death penalty as an admission of the smallness of our nature rather than evidence of our greatness."

"God bless you. Win, will you?" Hummer told Kerry after mass ended.
Question: Why does Father Hummer say "many think the destruction of Iraqi life is as bad as abortion?" in the context of speaking about John Kerry? Hasn't Kerry specifically said that he is against abortion? Doesn't John Kerry specifically say that Life begins at Conception? Does Father Hummer, like so many of us, see right through John Kerry to the core of his belief that abortion is no big deal? Does Father Hummer realize the conflict between saying "Life beings at Conception, I am personally against abortion" and Kerry's plan to harvest frozen embryos for scientific research? And what is the purpose of Father Hummer's statements about "many people believe" this or that? The Catholic Church is most certainly not a democracy...

Here is the Catechism chapter on "Respect for Human Life." We are learning the Catechism in RCIA and we are to accept its teaching, whether we agree or not, we accept and are bound by the laws of the church.

2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,"77 "by the very commission of the offense,"78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

2267 Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically nonexistent."68

2304 Respect for and development of human life require peace. Peace is not merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to maintaining a balance of powers between adversaries. Peace cannot be attained on earth without safeguarding the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of persons and peoples, and the assiduous practice of fraternity. Peace is "the tranquillity of order."98 Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity.99

Well, click here to send a note to Father Hummer's Bishop. Click here to send a note to Father Hummer.

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