12 July 2009

Catholics in Alliance Muddle the Truth

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend wrote a recent article claiming that President Obama had more in common with most American Catholics than the Pope. For unintended reasons her statement is probably true given that much of the Catholic Church in America has been in de facto schism from Rome for years. Evidence of such belief comes from a statement from the group Catholics in Alliance for the [mythical] Common Good. In an attempt to clarify their position on contraception they put out the following statement,

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good is a lay Catholic organization that works to promote the common good and the broad spectrum of Catholic social teaching. We are committed to confronting the moral scandal of poverty, health care reform, worker justice, ending the death penalty, promoting racial tolerance, and finding common ground on abortion. Catholic social teaching is not about a single issue or narrow ideologies of left or right. However, recent criticisms of Catholics in Alliance have provided the opportunity to clarify our position on contraception as it relates to finding comprehensive solutions to addressing the tragedy of abortion.

Catholics in Alliance has joined other faith-based and secular advocacy organizations to find comprehensive strategies that limit unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and reduce the number of abortions.

While polling and research demonstrate a diverse spectrum of opinion among Catholics, abstinence until marriage is the sexual ideal promoted by the Catholic Church. We believe that Catholic teaching has valuable lessons to offer our instant-gratification culture that often separates sex from loving, committed relationships and frequently treats the sacredness of sexuality as simply another commodity in a marketplace of choices.

Sexual fidelity in marriage and abstinence for young adults are important Catholic virtues to promote. At the same time, Catholics in Alliance also rejects the paralysis of debates that pit proponents of contraception against abstinence advocates. As the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy has stated, research supports a comprehensive approach that includes providing accurate information about contraception and abstinence as complementary, not competing, strategies.

After more than three decades of political stalemate and legal gridlock,the Alliance applauds legislative efforts that are now bringing pro-choice and pro-life leaders together around the urgent need to limit unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and reduce abortions.

These efforts include the Pregnant Women Support Act and the Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act. Applying broad moral principles from a particular faith tradition in a pluralistic democracy enriched by diverse values requires prudential judgment and recognition that politics is the “art of the possible.” Both of these efforts represent essential steps toward finding common ground in service of the common good.

Now we can clearly discern from the previous statement that the "Alliance" wants to have their cake and eat it to. While claiming support for the Catholic position vis a vis contraception they also believe in using contraception to reduce abortion.

The Church has for a long time had to deal with such dissenters. Here is a excerpt from the Inquisitors Manual of Bernard Gui.

Advice concerning the guile and deceit of those who, not wanting to reply clearly and lucidly, do so ambiguously and obscurely.

There are some malicious and crafty people among the beguins who, in order to veil the truth, shield their accomplices and prevent their error and falsity from being discovered, respond so ambiguously, obscurely, generally and confusingly to questions that the clear truth cannot be gathered from their replies. Thus, asked what they believe about some statement or statements proposed to them, they reply, "I believe about this what the holy church of God believes," and they do not wish to speak more explicitly or respond in any other way. In this case, to exclude the ruse they use (or rather abuse) in referring in this way to the church of God, they should diligently, subtly and perspicaciously be asked what they mean by "the church of God," whether they mean the church of God as they understand it; for, as is clear from the errors presented above, they use the phrase "church of God" misleadingly. For they say they themselves and their accomplices are the church of God or are of the church of God. But those who believe differently than they and persecute them they do not consider to be the church of God or part of it.

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