In Pennsylvania's

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Economic Life





Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin has noted that "Vice Presidential Candidate Ryan is aware of Catholic Social Teaching and is very careful to fashion and form his conclusions in accord with the principles mentioned above. Of that I have no doubt" (Subsidiarity, Solidarity, and the Lay Mission, 4/16/12)."  As per Paul Ryan himself, "The Catholic Church offers a rich overview of its thought, summarized in the Compendium of Social Doctrine, to guide Catholics in bringing truth to society’s problems" (Applying Our Enduring Truths to Our Defining Challenge, National Catholic Register, 4/25/12).  As per Chapter Seven of the Compendium, Economic Life,

    “Through the gift of his Spirit and the conversion of hearts, he [Jesus] comes to establish the 'Kingdom of God', so that a new manner of social life is made possible, in justice, brotherhood, solidarity and sharing. The Kingdom inaugurated by Christ perfects the original goodness of the created order and of human activity, which were compromised by sin. Freed from evil and being placed once more in communion with God, man is able to continue the work of Jesus, with the help of his Spirit....
    “economic activity is to be considered and undertaken as a grateful response to the vocation which God holds out for each person....Economic activity and material progress must be placed at the service of man and society....Goods, even when legitimately owned, always have a universal destination....

    “The Fathers of the Church insist more on the need for the conversion and transformation of the consciences of believers than on the need to change the social and political structures of their day….

    “The social doctrine of the Church recognizes the proper role of profit as the first indicator that a business is functioning well....But this does not cloud her awareness…that a business may show a profit while not properly serving society....recourse to usury is to be morally condemned....

    “The Church's social doctrine insists on the need for business owners and management to strive to structure work in such a way so as to promote the family, especially mothers, in the fulfilment of their duties….

    “A truly competitive market is an effective instrument for attaining important objectives of justice…. The free market cannot be judged apart from the ends that it seeks…and the values that it transmits on a societal level....The inversion of the relationship between means and ends, however, can make it degenerate into an inhuman and alienating institution….

    “[The market must] be firmly rooted in its ethical objectives…. The idea that the market alone can be entrusted with the task of supplying every category of goods cannot be shared, because such an idea is based on a reductionist vision of the person and society….Freedom in the economic sector… must be regulated by appropriate legal norms so that it will be placed at the service of integral human freedom....

    "The action of the State and of other public authorities must be consistent with the principle of subsidiarity and create situations favourable to the free exercise of economic activity. It must also be inspired by the principle of solidarity and establish limits for the autonomy of the parties in order to defend those who are weaker.

    “Solidarity without subsidiarity… can easily degenerate into a 'Welfare State', while subsidiarity without solidarity runs the risk of encouraging forms of self-centred localism....
    “Public spending is directed to the common good when certain fundamental principles are observed: • the payment of taxes as part of the duty of solidarity;
    • a reasonable and fair application of taxes;
    • precision and integrity in administering and distributing public resources.

    In the redistribution of resources, public spending must observe the principles of solidarity, equality and making use of talents. It must also pay greater attention to families, designating an adequate amount of resources….
    “The social-economic system must be marked by the twofold presence of public and private activity, including private non-profit activity....State intervention should be characterized by a genuine solidarity, which as such must never be separated from subsidiarity….

    “The phenomenon of consumerism maintains a persistent orientation towards 'having' rather than 'being'…. it is necessary to create 'lifestyles in which the quest for truth, beauty, goodness and communion with others for the sake of common growth are the factors which determine consumer choices, savings and investments'. [John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 36: AAS 83 (1991), 839.]....

“Looking after the common good means making use of the new opportunities for the redistribution of wealth among the different areas of the planet, to the benefit of the underprivileged that until now have been excluded or cast to the sidelines of social and economic progress.[Cf. John Paul II, Address to members of the “Centesimus Annus - Pro Pontifice” Foundation (9 May 1998), 2: L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, 27 May 1998, p. 6.]....

“The Church's social doctrine has time and again called attention to aberrations in the system of international trade,[Cf. Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, 61: AAS 59 (1967), 287.] which often, owing to protectionist policies, discriminates against products coming from poorer countries and hinders the growth of industrial activity in and the transfer of technology to these countries.[Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 43: AAS 80 (1988), 574-575.]....

“‘....we are witnessing the emergence of an alarming gap between a series of new ‘rights’ being promoted in advanced societies – the result of new prosperity and new technologies – and other more basic human rights still not being met, especially in situations of underdevelopment. I am thinking here for example about the right
• to food and drinkable water,
• to housing and security,
• to self-determination and
• independence – which are still far from being guaranteed & realized'.[John Paul II, Message for the 2003 World Day of Peace, 5: AAS 95 (2003), 343.]….

“‘Globalization must not be a new version of colonialism. It must respect the diversity of cultures which, within the universal harmony of peoples, are life's interpretive keys. In particular, it must not deprive the poor of what remains most precious to them, including their religious beliefs and practices, since genuine religious convictions are the clearest manifestation of human freedom'. [John Paul II, Address to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (27 April 2001), 4: AAS 93 (2001), 600.]….

“Solidarity between generations requires that global planning take place according to the principle of the universal destination of goods, which makes it morally illicit and economically counterproductive to burden future generations with the costs involved….

“If the creation of what is called the 'global capital market' has brought benefits, thanks to the fact that the greater mobility of capital allows the productivity sector easier access to resources, on the other hand it has also increased the risk of financial crises. The financial sector, which has seen the volume of financial transactions far surpass that of real transactions, runs the risk of developing according to a mentality that has only itself as a point of reference, without being connected to the real foundations of the economy…..A financial economy that is an end unto itself is destined to contradict its goals....

“The loss of centrality on the part of States must coincide with a greater commitment on the part of the international community to exercise a strong guiding role….The sphere of politics too, just like that of the economy, must be in a position to extend its range of action beyond national boundaries....One of the fundamental tasks of those actively involved in international economic matters is to achieve for mankind an integral development in solidarity....

“Rich countries have shown the ability to create material well-being, but often at the expense of man and the weaker social classes....

“ The life of man, just like the social life of the community, must not be reduced to its materialistic dimension....

“Faced with the rapid advancement of technological and economic progress, and with the equally rapid transformation of the processes of production and consumption, the Magisterium senses the need to propose a great deal of educational and cultural formation”

Monday, August 27, 2012

Human Work

“Some people think the Crucifixion only took place on Calvary.
They better wise up …every time the mob puts the crusher on a good man - tries to stop him from doing his duty as a citizen
- it's a crucifixion. And anybody who sits around and lets it happen - keeps silent about something he knows has happened
- shares the guilt of it just as much as the Roman soldier who pierced the flesh of Our Lord to see if He was dead….


"Every morning when the hiring boss blows his whistle,
Jesus stands alongside you….how does He,
who spoke up without fear against every evil,
feel about your silence?


"You want to know what's wrong with our waterfront? It's the love of a lousy buck. It's making the love of the lousy buck
- the cushy job - more important than the love of man!
It's forgettin' that every fellow down here is your brother in Christ!


"But remember, Christ is always with you
- Christ is in the shape up. He's in the hatch.
He's in the union hall….
And He's saying with all of you, if you do it to the least of mine, you do it to me!”

Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin has noted that "Vice Presidential Candidate Ryan is aware of Catholic Social Teaching and is very careful to fashion and form his conclusions in accord with the principles mentioned above. Of that I have no doubt" (Subsidiarity, Solidarity, and the Lay Mission, 4/16/12)."  As per Paul Ryan himself, "The Catholic Church offers a rich overview of its thought, summarized in the Compendium of Social Doctrine, to guide Catholics in bringing truth to society’s problems" (Applying Our Enduring Truths to Our Defining Challenge, National Catholic Register, 4/25/12).  As per Chapter Six of the Compendium, Human Work:
    “To the first human couple God entrusts the task of subduing the earth and exercising dominion over every living creature (cf. Gen 1:28). The dominion exercised by man over other living creatures, however, is not to be despotic or reckless; on the contrary he is to 'cultivate and care for' (Gen 2:15) the goods created by God....

    “In the Creator's plan, created realities, which are good in themselves, exist for man's use. The wonder of the mystery of man's grandeur makes the psalmist exclaim:
    • 'What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him little less than God, and crown him with glory and honour. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet' (Ps 8:5-7)….

    “Work is part of the original state of man and precedes his fall; it is therefore not a punishment or curse. It becomes toil and pain because of the sin of Adam and Eve, who break their relationship of trust and harmony with God (cf. Gen 3:6-8).... Notwithstanding the sin of our progenitors,… the Creator's plan, the meaning of His creatures — and among these, man, who is called to cultivate and care for creation — remain unaltered.

    “Work has a place of honour because it is a source of riches, or at least of the conditions for a decent life, and is, in principle, an effective instrument against poverty (cf. Pr 10:4)….Work is essential, but it is God — and not work — who is the origin of life and the final goal of man….

    “The apex of biblical teaching on work is the commandment of the Sabbath rest…. Rest gives men and women the possibility to remember and experience anew God's work, from Creation to Redemption, to recognize themselves as his work (cf. Eph 2:10), and to give thanks....

    "In his preaching, Jesus teaches that we should appreciate work.... Jesus teaches man not to be enslaved by work.... Work…[is a] participation not only in the act of creation but also in that of redemption. Those who put up with the difficult rigours of work in union with Jesus cooperate, in a certain sense, with the Son of God in his work of redemption and show that they are disciples of Christ bearing his cross, every day...Christians are called to work not only to provide themselves with bread, but also in acceptance of their poorer neighbours….By his work and industriousness, man — who has a share in the divine art and wisdom — makes creation, the cosmos already ordered by the Father, more beautiful....

    “Work is 'a foundation for the formation of family life, which is a natural right and something that man is called to'.[John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Laborem Exercens, 10: AAS 73 (1981), 600.]....it is necessary that businesses, professional organizations, labour unions and the State promote policies that, from an employment point of view, do not penalize but rather support the family nucleus....

    “The rights of workers, like all other rights, are based on the nature of the human person and on his transcendent dignity. The Church's social Magisterium has seen fit to list some of these rights…:
    • the right to a just wage…
    • the right to rest…
    • the right 'to a working environment and to manufacturing processes which are not harmful to the workers' physical health or to their moral integrity'….
    • the right that one's personality in the workplace should be safeguarded 'without suffering any affront to one's conscience or personal dignity'…
    • the right to appropriate subsidies that are necessary for the subsistence of unemployed workers and their families…
    • the right to a pension and to insurance for old age, sickness, and
    • in case of work-related accidents….
    • the right to social security connected with maternity...
    • the right to assemble and form associations….

    “The Magisterium recognizes the fundamental role played by labour unions….
    'unions may not misuse the tools of contention ….they must overcome the temptation of believing that all workers should be union-members, they must be capable of self-regulation and be able to evaluate the consequences that their decisions will have on the common good….they should not be forced to submit to the decisions of political parties nor be too closely linked to them'"

The Family, the Vital Cell of Society

Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin has noted that "Vice Presidential Candidate Ryan is aware of Catholic Social Teaching and is very careful to fashion and form his conclusions in accord with the principles mentioned above. Of that I have no doubt" (Subsidiarity, Solidarity, and the Lay Mission, 4/16/12)."  As per Paul Ryan himself, "The Catholic Church offers a rich overview of its thought, summarized in the Compendium of Social Doctrine, to guide Catholics in bringing truth to society’s problems" (Applying Our Enduring Truths to Our Defining Challenge, National Catholic Register, 4/25/12).  As per Chapter Five of the Compendium, The Family, the Vital Cell of Society,

     “The family, the natural community in which human social nature is experienced, makes a unique and irreplaceable contribution to the good of society....The family possesses inviolable rights and finds its legitimization in human nature and not in being recognized by the State....
    “Faced with theories that consider gender identity as merely the cultural and social product of the interaction between the community and the individual, independent of personal sexual identity without any reference to the true meaning of sexuality, the Church does not tire of repeating her teaching: 'Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral and spiritual difference and complementarities are oriented towards the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarities, needs and mutual support between the sexes are lived out'…. responsibility for protecting and promoting the family as a fundamental natural institution, precisely in consideration of its vital and essential aspects, falls to the whole of society….

    “Marriage is not a simple agreement to live together but a relationship with a social dimension that is unique with regard to all other relationships, since the family…is the principal instrument for making each person grow in an integral manner and integrating him positively into social life....

    “Homosexual persons are to be fully respected in their human dignity and encouraged to follow God's plan with particular attention in the exercise of chastity. This duty calling for respect does not justify the legitimization of behaviour that is not consistent with moral law, even less does it justify the recognition of a right to marriage between persons of the same sex and its being considered equivalent to the family….

    "All programmes of economic assistance aimed at financing campaigns of sterilization and contraception, as well as the subordination of economic assistance to such campaigns, are to be morally condemned as affronts to the dignity of the person and the family. The answer to questions connected with population growth must instead by sought in simultaneous respect both of sexual morals and of social ethics"

It should be noted that advocacy for both abortion and alternative definitions of marriage appear to be hallmarks of the campaign of Kathy Boockvar, who is challenging Congressman Fitzpatrick in Pa's 8th Congressional District.  Boockvar even faults Fitzpatrick for voting "to defund Planned Parenthood", which is the nations's largest abortion provider.




Principles of the Church’s Social Doctrine

Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin has noted that "Vice Presidential Candidate Ryan is aware of Catholic Social Teaching and is very careful to fashion and form his conclusions in accord with the principles mentioned above. Of that I have no doubt" (Subsidiarity, Solidarity, and the Lay Mission, 4/16/12)."  As per Paul Ryan himself, "The Catholic Church offers a rich overview of its thought, summarized in the Compendium of Social Doctrine, to guide Catholics in bringing truth to society’s problems" (Applying Our Enduring Truths to Our Defining Challenge, National Catholic Register, 4/25/12).  As per Chapter Four of the Compendium, Principles of the Church’s Social Doctrine
    “The permanent principles of the Church's social doctrine constitute the very heart of Catholic social teaching. These are the principles of: 
      the dignity of the human person, ...which is the foundation of all the other principles content of the Church's social doctrine; 
       the common good; 
       subsidiarity; and 
       solidarity.... 
         “The common good of society is not an end in itself; it has value only in reference to attaining the ultimate ends of the person and the universal common good of the whole of creation. God is the ultimate end of his creatures and for no reason may the common good be deprived of its transcendent dimension.... 

         "Each person must have access to the level of well-being necessary for his full development ….  

         “By means of work and making use of the gift of intelligence, people are able to exercise dominion over the earth and make it a fitting home….  

         “Private property is an essential element of an authentically social and democratic economic policy, and…the guarantee of a correct social order.... Christian tradition has never recognized the right to private property as absolute and untouchable ....Private property...is in its essence only an instrument for respecting the principle of the universal destination of goods; in the final analysis,…it is not an end but a means…. 

         “Individual persons may not use their resources without considering the effects that this use will have…they must act in a way that benefits not only themselves and their family but also the common good....New technological and scientific knowledge must be placed at the service of mankind's primary needs …. 
         "The principle of the universal destination of goods requires that the poor, the marginalized and in all cases those whose living conditions interfere with their proper growth should be the focus of particular concern. To this end, the preferential option for the poor should be reaffirmed in all its force…. 

         “Christian realism…is cautious…re-garding ideological positions and Messianistic beliefs that sustain the illusion that it is possible to eliminate…poverty completely from this world. This will happen only upon Christ's return….the poor remain entrusted to us and it is this responsibility upon which we shall be judged at the end…. 

         “the practice of charity is not limited to alms-giving but implies addressing the social and political dimensions of the problem of poverty….'When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice' [Saint Gregory the Great]…. 

         "It is impossible to promote the dignity of the person without showing concern for the family, groups, associations, local territorial realities; in short, for that aggregate of economic, social, cultural, sports-oriented, recreational, professional and political expressions to which people spontaneously give life and which make it possible for them to achieve effective social growth.... 

         “The principle of subsidiarity protects people from abuses by higher-level social authority and calls on these same authorities to help individuals and intermediate groups to fulfil their duties....The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to certain forms of centralization, bureaucratization, and welfare assistance and to the unjustified and excessive presence of the State in public mechanisms.... Various circumstances may make it advisable that the State step in to supply certain functions....this institutional substitution must not continue any longer than is absolutely necessary….The characteristic implication of subsidiarity is participation....every democracy must be participative.... 

         "Solidarity highlights in a particular way the intrinsic social nature of the human person, the equality of all in dignity and rights and the common path of individuals and peoples towards an ever more committed unity.... International solidarity too is required by the moral order; peace in the world depends in large part on this.... 

         “The unsurpassed apex of the perspective indicated here is the life of Jesus of Nazareth….In him it is always possible to recognize the living sign of that measureless and transcendent love of God-with-us, who takes on the infirmities of his people, walks with them, saves them and makes them one.... 

         "The Church's social Magisterium constantly calls for the most classical forms of justice to be respected: 
         commutative, 
         distributive and 
         legal justice. 
         Ever greater importance has been given to social justice....  

         "It is from the inner wellspring of love that the values of truth, freedom and justice are born and grow.... No legislation, no system of rules or negotiation will ever succeed in persuading men and peoples to live in unity, brotherhood and peace; no line of reasoning will ever be able to surpass the appeal of love”

        Other than for Rick Santorum, can you name another Catholic politician who dares to use the terms, solidarity and subsidiarity?

          "since we meet today at America’s first Catholic university, I feel it’s important to discuss how, as a Catholic in public life, my own personal thinking on these issues has been guided by my understanding of the Church’s social teaching.

          "Simply put, I do not believe that the preferential option for the poor means a preferential option for big government.

          "Look at the results of the government-centered approach to the war on poverty. One in six Americans are in poverty today – the highest rate in a generation. In this war on poverty, poverty is winning. We need a better approach.

          "To me, this approach should be based on the twin virtues of solidarity and subsidiarity – virtues that, when taken together, revitalize civil society instead of displacing it....

          "
          [Our current] path fails to do justice to either subsidiarity or solidarity. It dissolves the common good of society, and dishonors the dignity of the human person....
          "We put our trust in people, not in government. Our budget incorporates subsidiarity by returning power to individuals, to families, and to communities....

        The Human Person and Human Rights

        Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin has noted that "Vice Presidential Candidate Ryan is aware of Catholic Social Teaching and is very careful to fashion and form his conclusions in accord with the principles mentioned above. Of that I have no doubt" (Subsidiarity, Solidarity, and the Lay Mission, 4/16/12)."  As per Paul Ryan himself, "The Catholic Church offers a rich overview of its thought, summarized in the Compendium of Social Doctrine, to guide Catholics in bringing truth to society’s problems" (Applying Our Enduring Truths to Our Defining Challenge, National Catholic Register, 4/25/12).  As per Chapter Three of the Compendium, The Human Person and Human Rights,

          “The Church sees in men and women, in every person, the living image of God
          “The whole of the Church's social doctrine …develops from the principle that affirms the inviolable dignity of the human person….

          “History attests that it is from the fabric of social relationships that there arise some of the best possibilities for ennobling the human person, but it is also there that lie in wait the most loathsome rejections of human dignity ….God places the human creature at the centre and summit of the created order....
          “Man and woman have the same dignity and are of equal value, not only because they are both, in their differences, created in the image of God, but even more profoundly because the dynamic of reciprocity that gives life to the 'we' in the human couple, is an image of God....

        “the human couple can participate in God's act of creation….The fifth commandment, 'Thou shalt not kill' (Ex 20:13; Deut 5:17), has validity because God alone is Lord of life and death....

        “man and woman find themselves also in the presence of all the other creatures. They can and are obliged to put them at their own service and to enjoy them, but their dominion over the world requires the exercise of responsibility, it is not a freedom of arbitrary and selfish exploitation....

        “This marvellous vision of man's creation by God is inseparable from the tragic appearance of original sin ....The consequences of sin, insofar as it is an act of separation from God, are alienation, that is, the separation of man not only
        • from God but also
        • from himself,
        • from other men and
        • from the world around him....
        “It is not...legitimate or acceptable to understand social sin in a way that…leads to a weakening or the virtual cancellation of the personal component by admitting only social guilt and responsibility. At the bottom of every situation of sin there is always the individual who sins….

        “Social sin is every sin committed against the justice due in relations between
        • individuals,…
        • the individual and the community, and…
        • the community and the individual.
        Social too is every sin against the rights of the human person…
        • the right to life, including that of life in the womb, and
        • every sin against the physical integrity of the individual;
        • every sin against the freedom of others, especially against the supreme freedom to believe in God and worship him; and
        • every sin against the dignity and honour of one's neighbour.
        Every sin against the common good and its demands…is also social sin....

        "The doctrine of original sin....encourages men and women not to remain in guilt and not to take guilt lightly, continuously seeking scapegoats in other people and justification in the environment, in heredity, in institutions, in structures and in relationships. This is a teaching that unmasks such deceptions. The doctrine of the universality of sin, however, must not be separated from the consciousness of the universality of salvation in Jesus Christ.....

        “According to the New Testament, all creation, together indeed with all humanity, awaits the Redeemer….
          “Man was created by God in unity of body and soul....the body, which has been promised the resurrection, will also share in glory....reason and free will are linked with all the bodily and sense faculties....following the wound of sin, man experiences the rebellion of his body and the perverse inclinations of his heart; he must always keep careful watch over these lest he become enslaved to them and become a victim of a purely earthly vision....Neither the spiritualism that despises the reality of the body nor the materialism that considers the spirit a mere manifestation of the material do justice to the complex nature, to the totality or to the unity of the human being....

          "The human person is…intelligent and conscious….However, it is not intellect, consciousness and freedom that define the person, rather it is the person who is the basis of the acts of intellect, consciousness and freedom....

          “A just society can become a reality only when it is based on the respect of the transcendent dignity of the human person....

          "Man can turn to good only in freedom, which God has given to him as one of the highest signs of his image....But his freedom is not unlimited: it must halt before the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil', for it is called to accept the moral law given by God….

          “The truth concerning good and evil is recognized in a practical and concrete manner by the judgment of conscience, which leads to the acceptance of responsibility....The natural law expresses the dignity of the person and lays the foundations of the person's fundamental duties.... The natural law offers a foundation prepared by God for the revealed law and Grace, in full harmony with the work of the Spirit….

          "The Incarnation of the Son of God shows the equality of all people with regard to dignity ....this is the ultimate foundation of the radical equality and brotherhood among all people….

          “Woman is the complement of man, as man is the complement of woman: man and woman complete each other mutually, not only from a physical and psychological point of view, but also ontologically.... 'to this "unity of the two" God has entrusted not only the work of procreation and family life, but the creation of history itself' [John Paul II, Letter to Women, 8: AAS 87 (1995), 808.]'….

        “The ultimate source of human rights is not found in the mere will of human beings, in the reality of the State, in public powers, but in man himself and in God his Creator.... Pope John Paul II has drawn up a list…in the Encyclical Centesimus Annus:
        • 'the right to life…;
        • the right to live in a united family and in a moral environment conducive to the growth of the child's personality;
        • the right to develop one's intelligence and freedom in seeking and knowing the truth;
        • the right to share in the work which makes wise use of the earth's material resources, and to derive from that work the means to support oneself and one's dependents; and
        • the right freely to establish a family, to have and to rear children through the responsible exercise of one's sexuality [Note: This does NOT mean that there is a “right” to have a child; NO ONE (including husbands and wives) has a “right” to use illegitimate means to have children.]
        In a certain sense, the source and synthesis of these rights is religious freedom, understood as the right to live in the truth of one's faith and in conformity with one's transcendent dignity as a person….the right to life, from conception to its natural end…is the condition for the exercise of all other rights and, in particular, implies the illicitness of every form of procured abortion and of euthanasia....

        "The solemn proclamation of human rights is contradicted by a painful reality of violations,
        • wars and violence of every kind…,
        • genocides and mass deportations,…
        • ever new forms of slavery such as
          trafficking in human beings,
          child soldiers, the exploitation of workers,
          illegal drug trafficking,
          prostitution"


        The Church's Mission and Social Doctrine

        As per Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin: "Vice Presidential Candidate Ryan is aware of Catholic Social Teaching and is very careful to fashion and form his conclusions in accord with the principles mentioned above. Of that I have no doubt" (Subsidiarity, Solidarity, and the Lay Mission, 4/16/12)."  As per Paul Ryan himself, "The Catholic Church offers a rich overview of its thought, summarized in the Compendium of Social Doctrine, to guide Catholics in bringing truth to society’s problems" (Applying Our Enduring Truths to Our Defining Challenge, National Catholic Register, 4/25/12).  As per Chapter Two of the Compendium, The Church's Mission and Social Doctrine:

          “In the midst of mankind and in the world she [the Church] is the sacrament of God's love and, therefore, of the most splendid hope, which inspires and sustains every authentic undertaking for and commitment to human liberation and advancement…. With her social teaching the Church seeks to proclaim the Gospel and make it present in the complex network of social relations....
          “The Church has the right to be a teacher for mankind, a teacher of the truth of faith....Men and women must respond to the gift of salvation not with a partial, abstract or merely verbal acceptance, but with the whole of their lives — in every relationship that defines life....This right of the Church is at the same time a duty, because she cannot forsake this responsibility without denying herself and her fidelity to Christ....

          "The object of the Church's social doctrine is essentially the same that constitutes the reason for its existence: the human person called to salvation, and as such entrusted by Christ to the Church's care and responsibility....at play in society are the dignity and rights of the person, and peace in the relationships between persons and between communities of persons….the Church's social doctrine has the task of proclamation, but also of denunciation....

          "The first recipient of the Church's social doctrine is the Church community in its entire membership, because everyone has social responsibilities that must be fulfilled....This social doctrine implies as well responsibilities regarding the building, organization and functioning of society, that is to say, political, economic and administrative obligations — obligations of a secular nature — which belong to the lay faithful, not to priests or religious. These responsibilities belong to the laity in a distinctive manner, by reason of the secular condition of their state of life, and of the secular nature of their vocation"


        Pa SB 3 - a "Back to School" Update

        The "Insurance Exchanges" of the 'Affordable Care Act" ("Obamacare")

        "In 2014, individuals and employees of small businesses will have access to affordable coverage through a new competitive private health insurance market – State-based Affordable Insurance Exchanges" (HealthCare.gov).  Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, chair of the USCCB's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, warns that "some states implementing the Affordable Care Act have begun to claim that they can force all private health plans on their exchanges to cover elective abortion as an 'essential health benefit'" (7/17/12).  Surprisingly little attention has been paid to Pennsylvania's potential ability to prevent abortion coverage in its exchange! 

        Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and Senate Bill 3 

        As explained by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (6/29/12), "Now that it is known that the Affordable Care Act will stand, Pennsylvania must take action to prevent abortion coverage in the insurance exchanges.  Senate Bill 3...would prohibit insurance providers that participate in the insurance exchanges created by the federal health care reform law from covering elective abortion services."  As detailed by the Pennsylvania Family Institute (6/29/12): "Senate Bill 3 would prohibit abortion coverage (with certain...Medicaid exceptions) from being offered in Pennsylvania’s 'health insurance exchanges.' Without SB3, everyone who purchases insurance through a Pennsylvania exchange will be paying an additional premium for abortion coverage."

        "Without SB3, everyone who purchases insurance through a Pennsylvania exchange will be paying an additional premium for abortion coverage."

        Way back on 6/7/11, SB 3 passed the Pennsylvania Senate by a vote of 37 to 12.  Rather than simply put SB 3 up for a vote in the House, an identical bill with a different number was introduced; Pennsylvania HB 1977 passed the House by a vote on 146 to 45 on 12/12/11.  Subsequently, both bills languished....

        The Pa Catholic Conference, the Pa Family Institute, the Pro Life Federation, and the Pro-Life Coalition of Pa were among those copied on a 7/24/12 letter to House Majority Leader Mike Turzai from leaders of the Pro Life Caucus in the Pa House:
        • "On behalf of the Pro-Life Caucus Leaders and Members and the various Pro-Life and Family Groups in Pennsylvania, we respectfully ask you to place SB 3 on the voting calendar to be voted upon when we return to Harrisburg the week of Septemer 24th....As you are well aware, SB 3 is legislation that already passed the Senate and can move straight to the Governor's office for his signature.  The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision...only demands we move quickly on the Abortion coverage issues"

        Urge Turzai to bring SB 3 to a vote and Support the Pro Life Caucus 

        Let's appeal to our representatives, who voted favorably on HB 1977, to join us in urging House Majority Leader Rep Mike Turzai (717-772-9943; 412-369-2230; mturzai@pahousegop.com) to bring SB 3 to a vote!  Please also ask them to contact Rep. Jerry Stern of the Pro Life Caucus to show support (717-787-9020; 814-695-2398; 814-684-6092; jstern@pahousegop.com)  From Bucks County, those representatives are: 

        We need SB 3 passed and signed by Gov. Corbett.  We need this protection for our consciences!  

        Sunday, August 26, 2012

        God's Plan of Love for Humanity

        As per Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin: "Vice Presidential Candidate Ryan is aware of Catholic Social Teaching and is very careful to fashion and form his conclusions in accord with the principles....Of that I have no doubt" (Subsidiarity, Solidarity, and the Lay Mission, 4/16/12). 

        As per Paul Ryan himself, "The Catholic Church offers a rich overview of its thought, summarized in the Compendium of Social Doctrine, to guide Catholics in bringing truth to society’s problems" (Applying Our Enduring Truths to Our Defining Challenge, National Catholic Register, 4/25/12).  As per Chapter 1 of the Compendium,
          “Moral existence is a response to the Lord's loving initiative. It is the acknowledgment and homage given to God and a worship of thanksgiving. It is cooperation with the plan God pursues in history'.
          “The Ten Commandments, which constitute an extraordinary path of life and indicate the surest way for living in freedom from slavery to sin, contain a privileged expression of the natural law....
          “the principles of justice and social solidarity are inspired by the gratuitousness of the salvific event wrought by God, and that they do not have a merely corrective value but must rather become…the normative points of reference....
          "God freely confers being and life on everything that exists. Man and woman, created in his image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:26-27), are for that very reason called to be the visible sign and the effective instrument of divine gratuitousness….

          “It is in the free action of God the Creator that we find the very meaning of creation, even if it has been distorted by the experience of sin…. Disobedience to God means hiding from his loving countenance and seeking to control one's life and action in the world. Breaking the relation of communion with God causes a rupture in the internal unity of the human person, in the relations of communion between man and woman and of the harmonious relations between mankind and other creatures….


          "In Jesus Christ the decisive event of the history of God with mankind is fulfilled…. The love that inspires Jesus' ministry among men is the love that he has experienced in his intimate union with the Father ....Jesus announces the liberating mercy of God to those whom he meets on his way, beginning with the poor, the marginalized, the sinners. He invites all to follow him because he is the first to obey God's plan of love, and He does so in a most singular way, as God's envoy in the world....Jesus' followers are called to live like him and, after his Passover of death and resurrection, to live also in him and by him, thanks to the super-abundant gift of the Holy Spirit….


          "Christian revelation shines a new light on the identity, the vocation and the ultimate destiny of the human person & the human race….Human activity, when it aims at promoting the integral dignity and vocation of the person, the quality of living conditions and the meeting in solidarity of peoples and nations, is in accordance with the plan of God….

          “[To man and woman], as the culmination of creation, the Creator has entrusted the task of ordering created nature according to his design (cf. Gen 1:28)….The salvation offered in its fullness to men in Jesus Christ by God the Father's initiative, and brought about and transmitted by the work of the Holy Spirit, is salvation for all people and of the whole person: it is universal and integral salvation....The salvation offered by God to his children requires their free response and acceptance. It is in this that faith consists....

          “The universality and integrality of the salvation wrought by Christ makes indissoluble the link between the relationship that the person is called to have with God and the responsibility he has towards his neighbour in the concrete circumstances of history. This is sensed, though not always without some confusion or misunderstanding, in humanity's universal quest for truth and meaning”

        The Compendium is composed of twelve chapters and a conclusion:

        Part One
        Chapter 1, God's Plan of Love for Humanity
        Chapter 2, The Church's Mission & Social Doctrine
        Chapter 3, The Human Person and Human Rights
        Chapter 4, Principles of the Church's Social Doctrine

        Part Two
        Chapter 5, The Family, the Vital Cell of Society
        Chapter 6, Human Work
        Chapter 7, Economic Life
        Chapter 8, Political Community
        Chapter 9, The International Community
        Chapter 10, Safeguarding the Environment
        Chapter 11, The Promotion of Peace

        Part Three
        Chapter 12, Social Doctrine & Ecclesial Action

        Conclusion, For a Civilization of Love

        The Defense of Life and of Marriage/Family

        The Defense of Life at Its Most Vulnerable

        Representatives Paul Ryan and Mike Fitzpatrick should both be applauded for their recent "yea" votes on H R 3803, the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (Since a 2/3 majority was needed, the shameful votes of colleagues like Bob Brady (1st), Chaka Fattah (2nd), Allyson Schwartz (13th), Michael F. Doyle (14th), and Charles Dent (15th - this required voting against the majority of his party) carried the day.).

        The Defense of Marriage

        As per the National Organization for Marriage, "The House of Representatives has voted 247-166 to prohibit the Department of Defense from using taxpayer dollars to violate the Defense of Marriage Act, with 17 Democrats joining all but 5 Republicans in support of the measure."  Once again, Representatives Paul Ryan and Mike Fitzpatrick should both be applauded for their recent votes on this matter.

        As per a 6/14/12 address to his brother bishops by the Most Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, chairman of the USCCB's Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage (and new archbishop of San Francisco):
          "the love of husband and wife is a decisive gift for the world, and it calls for stewardship and responsibility...."At the federal level, recent negative court decisions concerning both the federal Defense of Marriage Act as well as California’s Proposition 8 now open the door for both DOMA and Prop 8 to go before the Supreme Court....

          "President Obama has now voiced his official support for the redefinition of marriage in the law....
          "[The] 'New Family Structures Study'....has surveyed a very large, nationally-representative, and random sample of American young adults (ages 18 to 39) who were raised in different family or home environments, including homes with a parent in a same-sex relationship, as well as single-parent families, step-families, adoptive families and families where the children were raised by their biological parents married to each other.

          "
          the study’s principal investigator, Dr. Mark Regnerus [notes]....several significant statistical differences when comparing young adults who were raised in an intact home with their married, biological parents and young adults raised in other home environments....
          "this study has been noted to empirically call into question other studies with smaller & more restrictive sample sizes that have purported to show that there are no differences between father-mother parenting & other arrangements  ....Dr. Loren Marks...reviewed fifty-nine (59) previous studies cited by the American Psychological Association (APA)....

          "social science continues to affirm that children thrive and do best with their mother and father in an intact home. The protection of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is a work of justice and is foundational to the good of all, especially for those most vulnerable among us, our children. It is the way of true compassion—love in truth and truth in love. Our young people are hungry for this truth and are in a position to witness to it in a uniquely powerful way."

        Saturday, August 25, 2012

        "It is the role of bishops and priests to teach principles of our faith, such that those who seek elected offices, if they are Catholics, are to form their consciences according to these principles about particular policy issues."

        "It is the role of bishops and priests to teach principles of our faith, such that those who seek elected offices, if they are Catholics, are to form their consciences according to these principles about particular policy issues.

        "However, the formation of conscience regarding particular policy issues is different depending on how fundamental to the ecology of human nature or the Catholic faith a particular issue is. Some of the most fundamental issues for the formation of a Catholic conscience are as follows: sacredness of human life from conception to natural death, marriage, religious freedom and freedom of conscience, and a right to private property.

        "Violations of the above involve intrinsic evil — that is, an evil which cannot be justified by any circumstances whatsoever. These evils are examples of direct pollution of the ecology of human nature and can be discerned as such by human reason alone. Thus, all people of good will who wish to follow human reason should deplore any and all violations in the above areas, without exception. The violations would be: abortion, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, same-sex marriage, government-coerced secularism, and socialism....

        "A Catholic conscience can never take exception to the prohibition of actions which are intrinsically evil. Nor may a conscience well-formed by reason or the Catholic faith ever choose to vote for someone who clearly, consistently, persistently promotes that which is intrinsically evil.

        "However, a conscience well-formed according to reason or the Catholic faith, must also make choices where intrinsic evil is not involved. How best to care for the poor is probably the finest current example of this, though another would be how best to create jobs at a time when so many are suffering from the ravages of unemployment....

        "No one is contesting here anyone’s right to the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, etc. Nor is anyone contesting someone’s right to work and so provide for self and family. However there can be difference according to how best to follow the principles which the Church offers.

        "Making decisions as to the best political strategies, the best policy means, to achieve a goal, is the mission of lay people, not bishops or priests. As Pope Benedict himself has said, a just society and a just state is the achievement of politics, not the Church. And therefore Catholic laymen and women who are familiar with the principles dictated by human reason and the ecology of human nature, or non-Catholics who are also bound by these same principles, are in a position to arrive at differing conclusions as to what the best means are for the implementation of these principles — that is, 'lay mission' for Catholics....

        "Vice Presidential Candidate Ryan is aware of Catholic Social Teaching and is very careful to fashion and form his conclusions in accord with the principles mentioned above. Of that I have no doubt" (Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino, Diocese of Madison, 4/16/12)"


        Sunday, August 19, 2012

        Though it may not have been deliberate, a recent piece by Jenn Giroux (Renew America, 8/9/12) brought to mind a history of unfortunate connections between the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Brooklyn, production of "The Godfather," and organized crime....








        "The last scene in The Godfather comes to mind. As a newborn baby is baptized and the words of the priest are being heard praying the sacred words of the sacrament, the viewer is visually walked through the calculated killings of each one of the mob family leaders. The open display of hypocrisy in this intermingling of good and evil was startling and unforgettable" (Jenn Giroux, Renew America, 8/9/12)






        "President Obama's attending a Catholic Charity to benefit women and their babies is a gross display of such hypocrisy....


        "The number of 'women and their babies' that have been wounded and aborted through both surgical and chemical abortions as a result of President Obama's policies and actions here at home and around the globe are beyond epidemic numbers. Giving this man a platform at such a high profile Catholic event even outdoes the embarrassment of having seen him speak at Notre Dame because this is being done with the blessing of America's highest ranking Cardinal.

        "Additionally, this will cause massive confusion among Catholics. It allows President Obama to further signal that he's just one of the guys paling around with notable Catholics that like him and like his policies.

        "We are standing at the most serious moral point in our nation's history. We have a President and his administration that have begun the persecution of Catholic institutions and employers while violating their rights to religious liberty for the first time in American history. He supports and pushes every form of birth control and abortion both within the United States and across the world. And he is the first President to openly endorse and advocate for same-sex marriage!! There is no moral justification for an evening of 'good humor and good fellowship' with a President or anyone who by their very actions spit into the face of Jesus Christ and His Church.

        "As the highest ranking Cardinal in the United States and President of the Board of the Smith Foundation, Cardinal Dolan can put a stop to this. It is an embarrassment to him and our Catholic Church.

        "The 'tradition' of inviting the Presidential nominees to this charity dinner does not trump the morality of our nation.

        "Cardinal Dolan, we feel betrayed.

        "Please send a message to the world that the actions of this President are too egregious and immoral for a night of 'good humor and good fellowship.'

        "Three words, Cardinal.

        "Please.

        "'Cancel the dinner.'"

        "Your credibility in telling Catholics to resist this immoral and unconstitutional Obama birth control mandate is riding on it" (Jenn Giroux, Renew America, 8/9/12).


        Unfortunately, a successor of the apostles can still make imprudent judgements in the exercise of his office.

        The 10 Commandments

        The Beatitudes (from "Jesus of Nazareth")

        Christifideles Laici

        Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

        Our representation in D.C....

        Click the below image, to check on the status of federal legislation:
        Click the below images, to ascertain what pro-life and pro-marriage/family legislation is being sponsored or co-sponsored (as well as what legislation is NOT being sponsored or co-sponsored):
        https://www.congress.gov/member/brian-fitzpatrick/F000466?q={%22search%22:[%22brian+fitzpatrick%22]}&r=1

        To check U.S. House votes:

        To check U.S. Senate votes:

        Contacts:

        Bucks County in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

        Bucks County in the Pennsylvania Senate

        Contacting Our Governor

        717 787 2500 or governor@pa.gov.

        Contacting Our Bishops