27 August 2008

Thanks, Nancy!

Phil Lawler wrote a great commentary at CatholicCulture.org, to the effect that Speaker Pelosi's gaffe has given the pro-life movement, and the Catholic hierarchy, a golden opportunity:

Thank you, Nancy Pelosi!

by Phil Lawler, August 27, 2008

Thank you, Nancy Pelosi!

In the course of your memorable interview with Tom Brokaw, Madam Speaker, you accomplished several things that battle-weary pro-life activists might have considered impossible.

1. You introduced an argument so profoundly stupid that not even pro-abortion editorialists could accept it.


In a Los Angeles Times column that was thoroughly sympathetic toward the proponents of legal abortion, and hostile to the teaching of the Catholic Church, Tim Rutten nevertheless found it necessary to distance himself from your line of thought. "If Pelosi had half a wit about her," Rutten wrote, before suggesting what he considered a more plausible approach. Liberals feel obliged to offer different arguments, because they recognize your argument as a sure loser.


3. You prompted American bishops to issue clear teaching statements on abortion and the duties of Catholic political actors.

Denver's Archbishop Charles Chaput might have felt lonely, as he took a courageous public stand against the notion that loyal Catholics can plausibly support unrestricted abortion. With Archbishop Raymond Burke having been promoted from the St. Louis archdiocese to a key Vatican post, no other metropolitan archbishop in the US was prepared to take such an unequivocal stand. But you, Madam Speaker, changed that.

Within hours of your television interview, the Archbishop of Washington had issued a public statement correcting you. The cardinal-archbishop of Philadelphia weighed in, and the chairman of the US bishops' committee on doctrine, and the cardinal-archbishop of New York. Now American bishops are competing with each other to issue the strongest, clearest explanation of Catholic voters' duties. That competition can only serve to advance the pro-life cause, and the cause of Catholic orthodoxy.

4. You ensured that abortion would remain a major issue throughout this year's presidential campaign.

At the Saddleback Forum, when he was asked whether human life begins at conception, Barack Obama wisely tried to wriggle out of the question. But his exit line-- that the issue was "above my pay grade"-- was awkward and unsatisfactory, and other interviewers began to press the question, making life difficult for your party's presidential nominee. Then you, Madam Speaker, plunged headlong into the rhetorical whirlpool, and redoubled public interest in the question of abortion-- and, more particularly, the question of when human life begins.


Since truth is on our side, we pro-lifers welcome that public debate. Especially because…

5. You focused public attention on a scientific fact that proponents of "choice" cannot explain away.

St. Augustine was wrong about fetal development. We all know that today. Intelligent readers still consult St. Augustine's theological opinions, but his scientific hypotheses are completely untenable in light of the scientific evidence.

And what is that evidence? I'm glad you asked. Have you seen the stunning, beautiful pictures of a fetus developing inside the womb? Something is moving there; something is alive. If it isn't a human, what is it? And if it is a human, why does it have no human rights?

These are questions that pro-lifers have asked for years. Thanks to you, Nancy Pelosi, the questions are being asked again this campaign season.


StGuyFawkes said...

The real significance of Pelosi's statement is that it situates itself so beautifully right within the text of Canon 751.

Previous attempts to bring Catholic choicers into line required Bishops to climb through a jungle gym of tendentious arguments about the duty of a Catholic Politician not to "indirectly" participate in the evil of abortion through his failure to legislate against it.

That's using the same argument Catholic moralist use against Abortion doctors, abortion nurses, or the boyfriend who drives the girl to the clinic. They perform abortion or participate in it directly or indirectly.

Stretching the moral responsibility from the murderer's knife to the guy who votes down a bill to stop the knife is sound reasoning. But it is complex.

Moreover, it allows Choicer Catholics to muddle the debate with argumetns about separation of Church and State and a hundred other things.

The TRUE BEAUTY of Pelosi's comments is that she makes herself vulnerable to excommunication under an entirely different piece of Canon Law.

In a manner completely free of political reference she has stated for the record that as a Catholic she happens not to believe what the CHurch believes.

Watch closely folks. This is way, way different than the usual "personally opposed" but "I believe in choice" argument.

Nancy is saying flat out that she is NOT personally opposed to abortion.

This is a very different claim than that of Mario Cuomo or Joe Biden or Claire McCaskill.

Nancy dropped the regular script and just admitted heresy.

Now with a reinvigorated (thank you ARCHB. Burke) Canon 751, the canon used against Louise Lears and Marek Bozek, it should be easy work to discipline Nancy Pelosi without any reference to politics.

The girl just basically came out and said she's not really on the same page as the Vatican.


Folks, if they don't nail her on this then I give up. This is an excommunication case served on a platter. They don't have to deal with the junk about how they are interfering with an election, they don't have to argue about the political craft and the proper use of ends and means. All they have to do is say about Nancy Pelosi what Archbishop Burke said regarding Louise Lears: she has failed to maintain a Truth de Fide tenenda.

She has failed to uphold a necessary Catholic truth.

A very much simplified case.

If her Bishop doesn't act on it then he needs a phone call from Rome.

Maybe I'm guilty of the sin of despair but I don't belive that phone call will come.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

I didn't realize that...now that I think about it, you're absolutely right....