- Am pro-life and know that all lives matter :“Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense… (The Church) 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… The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation… These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do represent a concession made by society and the state…” 1Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia: ““Black lives matter because all lives matter — beginning with the poor and marginalized, but including the men and women of all races who put their lives on the line to protect the whole community.”2
- Want immigration policies which join compassion and common sense:
“The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin…Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.” 3“Family‐based Immigration Reform: It currently takes years for family members to be reunited through the family‐based legal immigration system. This leads to family breakdown and, in some cases, illegal immigration. Changes in family‐based immigration should be made to increase the number of family visas available and reduce family reunification waiting times.”4Pope Benedict XVI: “Every state has the right to regulate migration and to enact policies dictated by the general requirements of the common good, albeit always in safeguarding respect for the dignity of each human person.”5
- Understand that marriage did not come from the state; therefore, cannot be defined by the state:
“The parties to a marriage covenant are a baptized man and woman , free to contract marriage, who freely express their consent…”“Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to natural law… Under no circumstances can they be approved… The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity… Homosexual persons are called to chastity…”6
- Believe that the government should only do for us what we cannot do for ourselves: “Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which ‘a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order… The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention.”7“In effect, the federal government has underwritten massive irresponsibility on the part of low-income fathers. They don’t need to act responsibly because the federal government has woven together a massive financial assistance system for single mothers with kids. The result is that multiple generations of low-income Americans have now grown up in neighborhoods almost entirely bereft of a responsible male presence… In fact, spending on these programs has exploded over the past three decades. Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution recently testified that spending on the ten largest federal programs for the poor increased from $126 billion in 1980 to $626 billion in 2011. That’s a $500 billion jump in spending, in real terms (after controlling for inflation). The idea that the entirety of this massive run-up in outlays is off-limits and should not be subject to budgetary scrutiny defies common sense.”8
- Know that freedom of religion does not mean that the practice of faith is to be held hostage inside church walls:
“This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits…”
“Furthermore, society has the right to defend itself against possible abuses committed on the pretext of freedom of religion. It is the special duty of government to provide this protection. However, government is not to act in an arbitrary fashion or in an unfair spirit of partisanship. Its action is to be controlled by juridical norms which are in conformity with the objective moral order…”
“Religious communities also have the right not to be hindered in their public teaching and witness to their faith, whether by the spoken or by the written word…”9
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen: “If by ‘interference in politics’ is meant the interference by the clergy in the political realm of the State, the Church is unalterably opposed to it, for the Church teaches that the State is supreme in the temporal order. But when politics ceases to be politics and begins to be a religion, when it claims supremacy over the soul of man, when it reduces him to a grape for the sake of the wine of Moloch, when it denied both the freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, when it competes with religion on its own ground, the immortal soul that is destined for God, then religion protests. And when it does, its protest is not against politics but against a counter religion that is anti-religious.”10
6. Understand that contraceptives, in vitro fertilization and human cloning are contrary to the dignity of human life because they relegate human reproduction to mere animal breeding:
— Contraception —
“The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).11
“Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection… The right and lawful ordering of birth demands, first of all, that spouses fully recognize and value the true blessings of family life and that they acquire complete mastery over themselves and their emotions. For if with the aid of reason and of free will they are to control their natural drives, there can be no doubt at all of the need for self-denial. Only then will the expression of love, essential to married life, conform to right order. This is especially clear in the practice of periodic continence. Self-discipline of this kind is a shining witness to the chastity of husband and wife and, far from being a hindrance to their love of one another, transforms it by giving it a more truly human character.”12
— In Vitro Fertilization —
“It is quite legitimate, indeed praiseworthy, to try to find ways to overcome infertility. The problem causes great pain and anguish for many married couples. Since children are a wonderful gift of marriage, it is a good thing to try to overcome the obstacles which prevent children from being conceived and born… But the Bible tells us there are limits to acceptable methods for conceiving a child. Recall the story of Noah’s unmarried daughters who tried to get their father drunk so that they might have children by him! Obviously not any means can be used to achieve pregnancy… Obviously, IVF eliminates the marriage act as the means of achieving pregnancy, instead of helping it achieve this natural end. The new life is not engendered through an act of love between husband and wife, but by a laboratory procedure performed by doctors or technicians. Husband and wife are merely sources for the “raw materials” of egg and sperm, which are later manipulated by a technician to cause the sperm to fertilize the egg. Not infrequently, “donor” eggs or sperm are used. This means that the genetic father or mother of the child could well be someone from outside the marriage. .. But even if the egg and sperm come from husband and wife, serious moral problems arise. Invariably several embryos are brought into existence; only those which show the greatest promise of growing to term are implanted in the womb. The others are simply discarded or used for experiments. This is a terrible offense against human life. While a little baby may ultimately be born because of this procedure, other lives are usually snuffed out in the process… Never are they to be used as a means to an end, not even to satisfy the deepest wishes of an infertile couple. Husbands and wives “make love,” they do not “make babies.” They give expression to their love for one another, and a child may or may not be engendered by that act of love. The marital act is not a manufacturing process, and children are not products.”13
— Cloning —
“There are a number of reasons why someone would try to engender a new human life through cloning. None would be morally legitimate. For example, a couple may want to use a cell from a dying child to clone another baby as a way of perpetuating the life of the first child. Obviously, this would not be a continuation of the dying child, but the bringing into being of a new child. The dying child would become the “progenitor” of a new life without having agreed to it; the new child would not be treated as a unique individual with his or her own identity, but as an extension of another person.
A man or woman might also want to have a baby without getting married or involving a parent of the opposite sex. Some homosexual people have said that cloning would be a perfect way to have children, because they would not have to marry someone of the opposite sex. This would be terribly unfair to the child, depriving him or her of a natural father and mother… Most disturbing of all, some researchers want to use cloning to create human beings solely for experimentation and destruction. They propose to supply genetically matched tissues for treating various diseases by making human embryos from patients’ body cells, then dissecting these developing embryos for their “spare parts.”13
7. The first responsibility of educating children goes to the parents. The parents allow the state to educate their children, not vice versa. Therefore, education policies should be made at the state and local level, not federal:
“Parents are the principal and first educators of their children… ‘The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.’… Parents should teach their children to subordinate the ‘material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones.’… The state may not legitimately usurp the initiative of the spouses, who have the primary responsibility for the procreation and education of their children.” 14
“In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, neither the state nor any larger society should substitute itself for the initiative and responsibility of individuals and intermediary bodies.”15
“Government, in consequence, must acknowledge the right of parents to make a genuinely free choice of schools and of other means of education, and the use of this freedom of choice is not to be made a reason for imposing unjust burdens on parents, whether directly or indirectly. Besides, the right of parents are violated, if their children are forced to attend lessons or instructions which are not in agreement with their religious beliefs, or if a single system of education, from which all religious formation is excluded, is imposed upon all.”16
— Given this, the problem is not with Catholicism, but with the group more accurately called “regressive.”
(emphases in the above quotes were retained from the originals, not added)
1 – Excerpts from paragraphs 2272 and 2273 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing, November 2013.
2 – “USCCB president says violence calls for ‘moment of national reflection’,” by Catholic News Service, http://iobserve.org/2016/07/08/usccb-president-says-violence-calls-for-moment-of-national-reflection/. 7/8/2016.
3 – Excerpt from paragraph 2241, Ibid.
4 – “Catholic Church’s Position on Immigration Reform,” Migration and Refugees Services/ Office of Migration Policy and Public Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/churchteachingonimmigrationreform.cfm, August 2013.
5 – “Immigration: A Principled Catholic Approach Avoids Emotionalism,” by Samuel Gregg, http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/immigration-a-principled-catholic-approach-avoids-emotionalism, 7/25/2014.
6 – Excerpts from paragraph 1625 and 2357-2359 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing, November 2013.
7 – Excerpts from paragraphs 1883 and 1885, Ibid.
8 – “Are Catholics required to support a continually expanding welfare state?,” by Carl E. Olson, http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/1341/are_catholics_required_to_support_a_continually_expanding_welfare_state.aspx, 5/11/2012.
9 – Excerpts from Sections 2, 4 and 7 of “Dignitatis Humanae” (Of Human Dignity) encyclical by Pope Paul VI, http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651207_dignitatis-humanae_en.html, 12/7/1965.
10 – “The Quotable Fulton Sheen,” edited by George J. Marlin, Richard P. Rabatin and John L. Swan, Doubleday, New York, 1989. Quote was found in “Characters of the Passion, New York. P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1946.
11 – Paragraph 2399 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing, November 2013.
12 – From sections 17 and 21 of “Humanae Vitae” (Of Human Life) encyclical by Pope Paul VI, http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae.html, 7/25/1968.
13 – “Begotten Not Made: A Catholic View of Reproductive Technology,” by John M. Haas, PhD, S.T.L., http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/reproductive-technology/begotten-not-made-a-catholic-view-of-reproductive-technology.cfm
14 – Excerpts from paragraphs 1653, 2221, 2223 and 2372 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing, November 2013.
15 – Paragraphs 1894, Ibid.
16 – Excerpt from Section 5 of “Dignitatis Humanae” (Of Human Dignity) encyclical by Pope Paul VI, http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651207_dignitatis-humanae_en.html, 12/7/1965.