April 24, 2014

Pope: Catholic politicians must protect life

Ed. GOA leaders could learn from the moral courage of Pope Benedict. They remained silent when Orthodox Senators Olympia Snowe and Paul Sarbanes voted against a ban on partial birth abortion. See: Senators Sarbanes and Snowe Betray the Moral Heritage of the Orthodox Christian Faith.

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday told U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic who supports abortion rights, that Catholic politicians have a duty to protect life “at all stages of its development,” the Vatican said.

Pelosi is the first top Democrat to meet with Benedict since the election of Barack Obama, who won a majority of the Catholic vote despite differences with the Vatican on abortion.

The Vatican released remarks by the pope to Pelosi, saying Benedict spoke of the church’s teaching “on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.” That is an expression often used by the pope when expressing opposition to abortion.

Benedict said all Catholics—especially legislators, jurists and political leaders—should work to create “a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development.”

Pelosi could not immediately be reached after the 15-minute meeting, which was closed to reporters and photographers. The two met in a small room of a Vatican auditorium after the pope’s weekly public audience.

A number of the bishops in the United States have questioned Pelosi’s stance on abortion, particularly her theological defense of her support for abortion rights.

Benedict has cautiously welcomed the new Democratic administration, although several American cardinals have sharply criticized its support of abortion rights in a break from former President George W. Bush.

Pelosi had meetings with Italian leaders the past few days, including Premier Silvio Berlusconi.

On: Brietbart.

Comments

  1. Back to Recent Comments list  Back to top
    George Michalopulos says:

    I wish our GOAA bishops were as stalwart about the moral rot that is destroying Western Civilization. Instead, they have
    caused the presbytery for the most part to not stick out their necks too much. They’d rather eat at a sumptuous banquet at the Library of Congress and be toasted by high- ranking toadies who happen to have Greek names.

    In truth, we no longer have the right to criticize Catholic doctrine. We are like the son in the parable who says “yes” to his father but declines to do what is asked whereas the RCs are like the son who say “no” but then actually do what is asked. This type of wet-finger-in-the-wind leadership is the result of a millennium of Byzantine bootlickery, which was elevated to a high art during the Turkocratia.

  2. Back to Recent Comments list  Back to top
    Michael Bauman says:

    George, I appreciate your frustration with Orthodox leadership. Be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water. The Dhimmi attitude instilled in so many Orthodox by almost 500 years of Muslim rule and Communist persecution is hard to break.

    I can tell you one thing. If I really want the Church to be what she says she is, I have to be a Christian. If I won’t be, I cannot expect anyone else to be. The temptations that come with the office of bishop are immense. Unless we pray and fast for our bishops, they will fail. I know it would be unlikely that I would bear up under the burden.

    “From whence come conflicts and quarrels among you? Is it not from the lusts that war in your members?” James 4:1
    The whole book of James seems to apply to our troubles
    actually.

    James’ words do not apply to others. They apply to me. Obviously, the problem is not new given the age of James epistle.

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    Eliot Ryan says:

    In truth, we no longer have the right to criticize Catholic doctrine. We are like the son in the parable who says “yes” to his father but declines to do what is asked whereas the RCs are like the son who say “no” but then actually do what is asked.

    As Scott Pennington does, you make some good points but you end up trying to knock down the Orthodoxy. What shall we do? Ask for unification with the Catholics? That is something that Met. Kirill (regarded as a moderniser and the Church’s most able diplomat) would love to hear. It might be on the all-Orthodox Council agenda.

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    Andrew says:

    Lets recall that the youngest pro-abortion Sarbanes spoke at the most recent Clergy Laity Congress. Archbishop Demetrios also could not find the time to join Orthodox Christians in the March for Life even though he was in town for the inauguration…. and lets remember Bishop Savas’celebrating Obama’s election on his blog with the proclamation “This is the Day the Lord has Made!”

    You know I think its safe to say that the if the current GOA administration was around during the time of Lincoln it would have turned a blind eye to Slavery while using flowery words to preach a phony sense of “Cant we all just get along”

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    Joseph says:

    As Scott Pennington does, you make some good points but you end up trying to knock down the Orthodoxy. What shall we do? Ask for unification with the Catholics? That is something that Met. Kirill (regarded as a moderniser and the Church’s most able diplomat) would love to hear. It might be on the all-Orthodox Council agenda.

    How in the world is supporting the life of the unborn a call to union? Met. Jonah certainly manages to defend life without calling for union with the Catholic Church. The editor was not “knock[ing] down Orthodoxy”; he was mirroring a statement that the Ecumenical Patriarch made at the recent pan-Orthodox meeting, as Met. Kallistos Ware has said in recent talks (available on Youtube in fact), as the Orthodox representatives did in co-writing the Statement of the First European Catholic-Orthodox Forum on the theme:‘The Family: A Good for Humanity’, as Fr. Aris Metrakos did at a memorial service for the aborted in California, as other Orthodox hierarchs and clergy have done.

    I would ask you to read about the birth rates of Orthodox in Eastern Europe and the US and of the 64% abortion rate in Russia (latest Touchstone has a good article on this) and ponder whether the Church needs to be more vocal on life issues. The numbers are staggering.

  6. Back to Recent Comments list  Back to top
    Scott Pennington says:

    Eliot,

    Stating the Met. Kirill favors Uniatism is truly delusional.

  7. Back to Recent Comments list  Back to top
    Eliot Ryan says:

    I am truly intrigued by the statement made by Archpriest Nikolay Balashov:

    He reminded that preparations for the Council started in 1960 and after 30 years “unfortunately, they were suspended, but not through the Russian Church fault.” The Preparatory Commission last met about fifteen years ago.

    As I said I do not understand who started preparations for the Council in 1960? The Russian Orthodox Church? The communist authorities? The quoted part sounds like a justification for the haste.

    I am trying to guess what the agenda of the “overdue” Council would be.

    The pro -life movement is certainly something to be applauded. The abortion (immorality, addictions,etc) is the symptom of godlessness.

  8. Back to Recent Comments list  Back to top
    George Michalopulos says:

    Michael,

    well-spoken words. I must be a Christian –true. But to be a Christian, I must belong to a community, which is a parish led by a priest who is also one. He in turn must answer to a bishop who is equal to the task.

    I don’t favor union w/ Rome willy-nilly, we’re way beyond that. As for the plain teaching of the Church regarding life, “essential” unity already exists.

    Committed Greek Orthodox laymen must take back their church from worldly bishops and encourage their priests who are on the front lines, and who truly see the dangers to the Christian life. If they can’t, then they must join a jurisdiction that is clear-thinking. If enough leave, then the NYC archdiocese will start getting the message that this isn’t about language, evangelism, whatever, but about swimming to the Ark of Salvation and getting on because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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    Chris Banescu says:

    George has summarized the issue quite nicely when he states: “We are like the son in the parable who says “yes” to his father but declines to do what is asked whereas the RCs are like the son who say “no” but then actually do what is asked.” This is the gist of the problem with the hierarchy’s silence on the defense of life and their failure to criticize Orthodox public servants whose actions on many of the issues, especially wholesale support of abortion, are indistinguishable from the neo-pagan mainstream. What is the point of calling ourselves Orthodox if we are no longer Salt and Light into the World, the whole world around us not just inside the Church building or hall.

    Fr. Alexander Schmemann expressed his concern for this kind of nominalism permeating our faith and the dangers it brings:

    Hence the tragic nominalism which permeates the entire life of the Church and prevents her from fulfilling her essential mission, her task of judging, evaluating, inspiring, changing, transforming the whole life of man, of generating that creative tension between herself and the world which makes her into “the salt of the earth.”

  10. Back to Recent Comments list  Back to top
    Mike Antones says:

    Chris Banescu:

    What is the point of calling ourselves Orthodox if we are no longer Salt and Light into the World

    ,

    Christ left us Judas as a warning that scandals will inevitably come (from within the Church) but woe to those through whom scandals will come. They would have been better off if they would not have been born. If we loose the path so early, what are we going to do when the antichrist comes, convince the rich to give their wealth to the poor and perform false miracles like rising the dead?

    Recall this: But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “This man does not cast out demons, except by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons.” This is how antichrist will work!
    We will believe that he is Christ? Many will believe him and the Gospel will be disregarded.

  11. Back to Recent Comments list  Back to top
    George Michalopulos says:

    Mike, Chris, et al, which is why it’s vitally important that the Church be not conformed to the world. Supercilious nonsense such as was written by Bishop Savvas of Troas in which he praised the election of Obama means that the Church (or at least the GOAA) is already halfway to being compromised and conformed to the world. This will make it doubly difficult to resist the pull of the Antichrist who (let’s face it) is going to be a beatific figure, like Mike says, “raising the dead,” equitably redistributing wealth, and who knows what other miracles? How is the ordinary Orthodox Christian in the pew going to be able to discern his nefarious nature when the episcopate is already in the tank as far as the world is concerned?

  12. Back to Recent Comments list  Back to top
    Eliot Ryan says:

    George Michalopulos:

    You say:

    How is the ordinary Orthodox Christian in the pew going to be able to discern his nefarious nature when the episcopate is already in the tank as far as the world is concerned?

    If we consider ourselves more than “ordinary” Orthodox Christians we should have some sound ideas.

    So far I have seen that you suggest:
    1. modernize the Church. You say: “perhaps modify a few canons in light of modern medical knowledge”
    2. do not criticize the Catholic doctrine.

  13. Back to Recent Comments list  Back to top
    Andrew says:

    You know, I am not so sure the GOA faux eparchal synod and various adminstrators can answer the simple question:

    When does a child receive human rights?

    Maybe the question is above their pay grade?

  14. Back to Recent Comments list  Back to top
    Michael Bauman says:

    Friends, I am not noted as an optimist but I really think that the Church is at the beginning of a time of renewal that will force us to address three significant issues:
    1. We must return to the Traditional understanding of Holy Scripture within the Church and not leave it to the Protestants;
    2. We must overcome the ethno-centric Dhimmi attitude and abolish the Imperial Episcopate;
    3. The restoration of our missonary responsibilities which includes actually attempting to evangelize this country and not run home of mommy or turn to the world at every whip-stitch.

    All three are inter-related

    Given the timeline that tends to unfold in the Church and my age, I don’t expect to see the fruition of any of these works, but I do see them occuring. Let us not forget who actually heads our Church.

    I have to ask myself what I need to do to strengthen myself so that I can be a positive contributor within my own parish and in my interaction with fellow Orthodox.

  15. Back to Recent Comments list  Back to top
    Scott Pennington says:

    Michael,

    As to point three of yours, I agree wholeheartedly.

    I hear some bishops (such as Metropolitan Jonah) talking about some of the right things. Unfortunately, I fear it is just talk. The bishops have it within their collective power to stage a traditionalist revival within the Church in North America. They could change modernist practices and excommunicate those who engaged in notorious misbehavior (such as public support for abortion “rights”). This is every bit as important as missionary work. After all, what are we bringing converts into? Neither the ethnic situation nor the jurisdictional situation particularly concern me, except insofar as they directly affect mission and piety.

    Until the bishops actually begin to act doing these things, it’s all hot air.

    There were three birds sitting on a wire. One of them said, “I’m going to fly away.” How many birds are left?

    Answer: Three. Good intention is not movement.

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