First, let's deal with Mark Shea (the patheos blogger) and the issue of gun control. From what I understand, he seems to think that all pro-life people must support gun locks, "smart technology", etc to claim the moniker "pro-life". This article from American Catholic links to Shea's patheos article about it. Because the patheos bloggers are paid based on the number of hits their blogs get, I refuse to post to the patheos article directly. I will, however, link to his Facebook posting.
Here he posts a Catholic News Service article that makes the ridiculous claim that the Catholic Church's position on individual gun ownership is that it should be banned. The basis for that conclusion couldn't be too much more flimsy than it is. The basis is a parenthetical remark in a footnote of the document entitled "Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice". Reminder - the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has no inherent teaching authority at canon law. Certainly no one need take to heart some obscure little footnote in a document.
Now I'll quote from a less-obscure document - called the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Obviously this does bear the weight of the teaching Magisterium. I'll be quoting actual paragraphs as opposed to little footnotes: paragraphs 2263-2265 to be precise.
2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. "The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one's own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not.
2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one's own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:
If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one's own life than of another's.
2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.
The right to self-defense by individuals is a necessary corollary to their inherent right to life. For just as much as an individual has the right to obtain food, shelter, etc to maintain his/her life and that of his/her family's, he/she has the right and even solemn duty to protect him/herself and family from unjust aggression. It stands to reason that this God-given right to self -defense also includes the right to have the means necessary to address threats as they present themselves in this 21st century. Keeping paragraph 2265 in mind, please reread the American Catholic link and consider the predicament in which that young mother found herself. Had she not had ready access to a gun, unencumbered by a "gun lock" or politically-correct clap-trap, she and her baby might well have been murder victims.
Now I may be just speculating, but I think I understand (in part) the motives of the USCCB for jumping on the progressive gun-control bandwagon. Many programs of the USCCB, including CRS, are heavily funded by various governmental agencies. They want to keep those funds flowing. As far as Shea goes, who knows? Knowing, however, that he (and other patheos bloggers) get paid based on their numbers of hits, I will not link directly to him.
But enough of gun control. According to Bishop John Wester of the Diocese of Salt Lake (UT), no one can be called "pro-life" who opposes Medicaid expansion. Of course, who would be funding this Medicaid expansion? Find the nearest mirror and stare into it; there's your answer.
No one who calls themselves Catholic will deny their responsibility to come to the assistance of the needy. The question is how best to do it; on that good people can disagree. That is a matter of prudential judgment. In other words, one can call themselves "pro-life" if they don't agree with the USCCB-like clamoring for more governmental encroachment. Regarding abortion and other intrinsic evils such as contraception, no one can make allowances for them. Certainly no one can be pro-life who accepts the usage of contraceptives and the such.
I and others must continue to call on the carpet those who attempt to use the term "pro-life" to sell their progressive positions.
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