Voting in the 2019 General Election

As we prepare to go to the polls in the General Election on 12 December, it is worth reflecting on Church teaching and the principles which should guide us in deciding how to use our vote without violating God’s law.  

Click here to read a guide prepared for American Catholics, which seems to be fairly comprehensive.  I’ve not studied everything on that [EWTN] site, but I have checked out some key topics and I think we will all find it useful, and a source for fruitful discussion.

Below, a video clip from the trial of St Thomas More,  saint and martyr, patron of lawyers and politicians, who has been an inspiration to many, including many who are not Catholics, because of his strong, conscientious insistence that God’s law must always be above any law created by man. 

Comment: 

If the voting guide given in the introduction above still leave you with unanswered questions or doubts,  feel free to ask for clarification on this thread. 

Here, at Catholic Truth, we are apolitical and we discuss politics only in the context of our Catholic duty to be decent members of society, contributing, where possible, to the common good.  Please, therefore engage in discussion in a spirit of respect, bearing in mind that the Church exhorts us to adhere to certain principles but does not dictate that we should support (or not) any particular political party. Our overall aim must be to take care not to offend God in the way we vote; not to support the transgression of His Moral Law.  To this end we pray…

St Thomas More, intercede for us, and for all the politicians participating in the forthcoming election; guide and inspire us in the weeks ahead… Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us.  

Fr Despard: Silent Protest Planned… 

The short (around 15 minutes) protest will be held on 16 November, 12 noon, outside St Gerard’s Church, Fleming road. Bellshill, ML4 1NF

Comment: 

Manifestly, Fr Despard is being treated extremely unfairly, and for what reason?  For whistleblowing.  For seeking to expose the extent of homosexuality within the ranks of the priesthood in Scotland.  He was suspended from the active ministry and threatened with various law suits from individuals who did not follow through on their threats.  The then Bishop, Joseph Devine, promised a thorough investigation into Fr Despard’s claims about homosexual clergy but that has not materialised either.  

It is a disgrace that Fr Despard has been left for six years without a parish; at a time of acute priest shortages, he is not being allowed to live his vocation in service to the people of the Diocese of Motherwell.  Yet, at least one known “gay” activist priest in the same Diocese has been permitted to work with the LGBT+ lobby to ensure that children in Scottish schools are indoctrinated with the “diversity” agenda. 

Bloggers and readers are encouraged to join in the silent protest in support of Fr Despard, which is effectively challenging the Bishop to explain how, on earth, he can justify discriminating against this priest any longer.  

Catholics MUST Be ProLife:Action!(3)

A 4D ultrasound test is a way of reproducing a moving image of your baby inside your womb. The 4D ultrasound uses sound waves to create this moving image. In a 3D ultrasound, you can see a three-dimensional image of your baby. A 4D ultrasound takes this experience to the next level. It creates an effect that is similar to watching a live video. Using this technology, you can see what your baby is doing at that moment inside your womb. In fact, you can even see if your baby is yawning or smiling at that particular moment!

This thread is dedicated to sharing news about pro-life issues.

Where possible, we suggest that bloggers make and respond to calls to action in defence of the unborn child – whether that entails emailing MPs or supporting various vigils etc.
Try not to simply post a link to news – publish an extract and/or make a suggestion about possible action, that will encourage readers to click your link.

Among all the crimes which can be committed against life, procured abortion has characteristics making it particularly serious and deplorable. The Second Vatican Council defines abortion, together with infanticide, as an “unspeakable crime”.54
But today, in many people’s consciences, the perception of its gravity has become progressively obscured. The acceptance of abortion in the popular mind, in behaviour and even in law itself, is a telling sign of an extremely dangerous crisis of the moral sense, which is becoming more and more incapable of distinguishing between good and evil, even when the fundamental right to life is at stake. Given such a grave situation, we need now more than ever to have the courage to look the truth in the eye and to call things by their proper name, without yielding to convenient compromises or to the temptation of self-deception. In this regard the reproach of the Prophet is extremely straightforward: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Is 5:20). Especially in the case of abortion there is a widespread use of ambiguous terminology, such as “interruption of pregnancy”, which tends to hide abortion’s true nature and to attenuate its seriousness in public opinion. Perhaps this linguistic phenomenon is itself a symptom of an uneasiness of conscience. But no word has the power to change the reality of things: procured abortion is the deliberate and direct killing, by whatever means it is carried out, of a human being in the initial phase of his or her existence, extending from conception to birth.

The moral gravity of procured abortion is apparent in all its truth
if we recognize that we are dealing with murder…
Pope John Paul II: Evangelium Vitae – on the Value and Inviolability, of Human Life #58  [Emphasis added]   Click here to read the entire encyclical

To read Pro-Life thread (2) click here

Family Unity… At All Costs?

The central place of the family in society is clearly taught in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Issues surrounding the ideal of family unity is in the news this week, due to the resignation of the Prime Minister’s brother, Jo Johnson, who is both a Member of Parliament and a Government minister. 

Headlines like this (Guardian headline below) have added to the Prime Minister’s woes, as he is attacked on all sides for the crime of trying to do what the majority of us asked him to do in the referendum of 2016 – take us out of the European Union…

The news of Jo Johnson’s resignation reminded me of the dilemma facing all too many Catholics, these days, as they choose, in conscience, to move from attending the new Mass in their local parishes, to attending a traditional Mass elsewhere.  This has led to friction within families, as I’m certain, Jo Johnson’s decision has caused disquiet, to say the least, within his family.  Indeed, on a popular news programme, one commentator opined that he doubted if the brothers “would ever recover from this.” 

So, the question is, what price family unity?  There are people (in my own circle) who believe that family unity trumps everything else – although, scratch beneath the surface, and often what they really mean is “keeping up the appearance of family unity” trumps everything else.  

Share your thoughts on this – is there a line to be drawn?  Is there a limit to family unity/loyalty?  Look at that Guardian headline again and ask yourself if anything, absolutely anything, should come before family…

 

Would a “Surprise” Brexit be Dishonest?

Comment: 

The determination with which the remainers continue to work  to overturn Brexit – using the excuse of a “catastrophic no deal”  – is a lesson in zeal for us all.   However, if the above short video content [dated yesterday, 15 August] is true, and the Prime Minister is acting to make sure we DO exit on 31 October, with or without the support of Parliament, is that wrong?  A lot of us, if not the entire Catholic Truth blogging community, are Brexiteers to our fingertips, but should we support Boris – “do or die” – to get us out of the EU?   

USA Shootings in Texas & Ohio: Can These Massacres Be Prevented? How?

We discussed the subject of gun ownership in the USA back in 2015  here

Watching the news reports over this weekend, of the mass shootings in two American towns, it is unfathomable to many of us that  people of faith support, and even advocate, gun ownership – perhaps because it has never been the culture here in the UK.  However, in America, it is considered a very important constitutional right to bear arms.  Here’s the young American Jewish commentator, Ben Shapiro, debating the issue with Piers Morgan in 2017…

Comment: 

We know that the gun lobby, big guns business (so to speak), makes it very difficult for politicians to propose a ban on gun ownership, never mind the Second Amendment right to bear arms, cherished by the American people.   My own gut feeling is that, with the extent of the killing sprees now taking place almost routinely across the USA, a President – preparing for possible re-election – who boldly proposed doing whatever is reasonably possible to deal with the problem of widespread gun ownership, would be onto a winner.  Surely, the sheer number of deaths caused this weekend alone, in two different parts of the United States, would be sufficient to cause a change in the American mindset about the Second Amendment? 

Personally, I’d like to see a courageous President move to end widespread gun ownership, by whatever constitutional means are available, and if you agree, let’s hear it.  But if you disagree (and I can already see some of our American bloggers bristling with indignation 😀 ) then please suggest your preferred solution – but make it one that would truly make a difference…

Final thought:  I have a young (teenage) relative who says he would dearly love to move to the USA when he’s finished his education.  I keep reminding him of the two things that would be very different if he did so;  one, the gun culture (don’t get impatient – with anyone! If the bus is late, so be it! If that hamburger is cold, smile at the waiter and tip him/her anyway!) And the second – well, that’s irrelevant to the present discussion, so I’ll leave that hanging there for another day 😀 

For the purposes of this conversation, please, simply answer the questions in the headline –  can these massacres be prevented?  And if so, how

Cardinal Newman – To Be Canonised in October – Traditionalist or Liberal?

From the “liberal” – i.e. anti-Catholic – Tablet, the following predictable commentary: 

“…Given the context, it is appropriate that the English priest will be declared a saint by a pope who has sought to implement Vatican II, and during the synod of bishops assembly on the Amazon, a structure established by Paul VI as the council drew to a close. Newman’s writing on the primary [sic] of conscience, which he described as “the aboriginal Vicar of Christ”, is also echoed in Francis’ family life teaching, Amoris Laetitia, which opens the door for remarried divorcees to receive communion. The pope has said Amoris Laetitia is an attempt to move away from legalistic casuistry, and canonical manuals to a deeper understanding of applying moral laws…”   Source

Typically, by quoting Cardinal Newman’s words on conscience out of context, The Tablet and other liberal outlets omit the following, wholly orthodox, conclusion reached by the Cardinal on the subject: 

“…I observe that conscience is not a judgment upon any speculative truth, any abstract doctrine, but bears immediately on conduct, on something to be done or not done. “Conscience,” says St. Thomas, “is the practical judgment or dictate of reason, by which we judge what hic et nunc is to be done as being good, or to be avoided as evil.” Hence conscience cannot come into direct collision with the Church’s or the Pope’s infallibility; which is engaged in general propositions, and in the condemnation of particular and given errors.” Source

Indeed, the Cardinal’s own words of opposition to the spirit of liberalism, taken from his famous “Biglietto Speech”, make absolutely clear that he detested liberalism in religion…

“…For thirty, forty, fifty years I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of Liberalism in religion. Never did Holy Church need champions against it more sorely than now, when, alas! it is an error overspreading, as a snare, the whole earth; and on this great occasion, when it is natural for one who is in my place to look out upon the world, and upon Holy Church as in it, and upon her future, it will not, I hope, be considered out of place, if I renew the protest against it which I have made so often…”  Click here to read the rest of this speech

Comment:

Prepare, in the months leading up to the canonisation in October, to hear plenty of propaganda about the “liberal” Cardinal Newman from the mainstream “Catholic” media,  with emphasis on his alleged (i.e. non existent) belief that conscience reigns supreme.  Conscience, as peddled by the liberals, of course, is no such thing;  it’s simply the self-centred human mind telling the self-centred human person to do whatever he/she wants, as long as he/she “feels” it’s OK.  Really deep thinking.  But, manifestly, not the thinking of Cardinal Newman.  Just how deceitful does a so-called liberal have to be to twist the Cardinal’s beliefs asbout conscience to mean the precise opposite? 

Your views on that question welcome, but keep the answers (reasonably!) polite. ..If necessary, check out the House Rules before you begin typing 😀

Also, if you have any favourite quotes from the writings of Cardinal Newman, or titles about his life which you would recommend, feel free to post them here.