Politics, Proportionalism and Perdition
The differences between previous pontificates and this current papacy are like day and night. The bafflegab of the New Order ignores the authority a pope has to enforce the excommunications of pro-abort Catholics - be they politicians, prelates or voters. But one reason these disciplines are ignored by all is because this pope and the ones he appoints do absolutely NOTHING but confuse issues further as in Ratzinger's N.B. in his memo to the U.S. Bishops.
Consider what a Pope of recent happy memory foretold nearly three-fourths of a century ago as to what would happen to a country who turned their back on God and allowed the holocaust in the womb. Pius XI prophesied that God will have His vengeance. When do you hear this from any of the bishops or pope of the New Order? Don't hold your breath, folks.
"Those who hold the reins of government should not forget that it is the duty of public authority…to defend the lives of the innocent…among whom we must mention in the first plane infants hidden in their mother's womb…And if the public magistrates do not defend them but by their laws and ordinances betray them to death at the hands of doctors and others, let them remember that God is the Judge and Avenger of innocent blood which cries from earth to Heaven." (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii: B67, December 31, 1930)
As many Catholics enter the voting booth six weeks from now, they will be accompanied by an old friend who has been with them for years. This old friend was introduced to them in grade school, reinforced in high school and college, and proclaimed from most pulpits and podiums which they have come across in their lives. Steadily and cunningly, like a deadly serpent, this friend became a mindset, a way of life, a window to solving the most seemingly vexing dilemmas and problems. At first this companion helped them decide what school to choose or what to buy with some money. Now, however, this strategy has infected their moral reasoning and has combined with an already existing lukewarm faith to produce a brew quite deadly to any moral reasoning and judgment capable of following the true doctrines and precepts of our Faith! This old friend is Proportionalism, and it is the narcotic which blurs moral reasoning and intoxicates the faithful.
Consider the controversial letter from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger sent this summer to the USCCB which Cardinal Theodore McCarrick tried to muzzle during their conference in Denver. In this short brief, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith outlined six general principles on the worthiness to receive holy communion, but negated all of that with a Nota Bene at the end - a pathetic cop-out - which read:
A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate's permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic doe not share a candidate's stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presense of proportionate reasons.
Since the New Order Church is so adept at rationalism and ambiguity, I will attempt to define what these words mean in concrete terms.
What is Proportionalism?
Proportionalism is the view that one cannot intuitively or absolutely know the basic good or evil of any action or situation. This philosophy holds that any effective evaluation, including moral ones, demand weighing the good and bad of given choices, actions, or positions, and making judgments based upon the composite good or bad of different moves. Based upon concepts put forth by such thinkers as Plato, Kant, and Rahner, Proportionalism necessitates a duality between mind and body and between body and soul. It rejects the notion that what one does can affect one's eternal destiny. In short, Proportionalism rejects moral absolutes and the idea that anything can be intrinsically evil. While effective for choosing jobs, houses, store purchases, and flavors of ice cream, Proportionalism cannot and should never be applied to moral judgments! When misused as a moral thermometer, Proportionalism turns serious, profound moral choices and judgments into simplistic, superficial, and naïve bean counting.
A Comedy of Errors
When misused as a moral tool, Proportionalism carries a number of associated errors which further infect and degrade moral reasoning. These "partners in crime" present a seemingly ironic, contradictory, yet truly destructive brew of moral confusion.
First, Proportionalism promotes a moral menu view of moral reasoning whereby such decisions are merely a balancing of equal items on a grocery list. According to this view, if John Q supports abortion, homosexual marriage, euthanasia, cloning, and embryonic stem cell research but wants better schools, healthcare, housing, social service programs, cancer research, and a balanced budget, then he is + 1 on our moral grocery list since he favors 5 questionable but 6 desirable issues. It is this kind of dribble which allows people to say that John Kerry is the most Catholic senator because he agrees with U.S. bishops on more points than anyone else! It morally equates protecting wildlife and making thermometers safer with abortion and homosexual marriage!
Second, Proportionalism promotes moral segmentation even while it equates morally diverse concepts. It allows people to rationalize that they are not voting for Kerry the Pro-Abortion or Pro-sodomite politician, but rather Kerry the labor or immigration politician. Obviously, this kind of thinking is naïve and deceptive since a vote for Kerry is a vote for abortion and homosexual rights as much as it is for labor or immigration!
Third, Proportionalism rejects moral absolutes and advocates the notion that anything can be justified given the right circumstances and/or intentions. According to this view, the Holy Martyrs were fools because they could have saved their lives (a high priority) by merely pretending to praise a pagan god (a mere symbolic gesture). Proportionalism tells us that, if life is so important, then these martyrs should have valued their own lives more than some superficial (in their mind) concept. Our True Faith tells us that there are certain moral absolutes and that some things are intrinsically evil no matter what we think or what situation we are in.
Fourth, Proportionalism promotes a blurred moral analysis which elevates the individual to his or her own ultimate moral judge. It is this kind of thinking which allowed one writer attempting to justify a woman's reasons for aborting her child to say, "I do not see the reason for hell, yet" Such an arrogant and self-absorbed view of moral determination stems from the notion that what is right or wrong is up to me and that nobody can tell me what is right or wrong.
Fifth and Finally, Proportionalism promotes a distorted view of moral distance based on erroneous definitions critical concepts in moral theology. The Proportionalist argues that the person voting for a Pro-Abortion politician is remotely distant from any wrong associated with abortion if he is voting for that candidate for other reasons rather than abortion. After all, the proportionalist argues, the voter is not aborting a baby, he is not paying the abortionist, he is not demonstrating in front of Planned Parenthood! Why, the voter is merely voting for a person based on some other reasons and cannot be blamed for the spilling of innocent blood, right? The Proportionist argues that the abortionist and the mother might have proximate material cooperation in the evil since they brought it about, but the voter electing the candidate who facilitated that abortion has only participated in remote material cooperation due to physical and even philosophical distance from the abortion itself. Not only is the voter nowhere near the abortion clinic, (physical distance), but he may not have voted for that candidate because of his abortion position but rather because of his labor position (philosophical distance). Cardinal Ratzinger, Andrew Greeley, the liberal priest and sociologist, and even the supposedly brave Archbishop Raymond Burke have, in one way or another, justified voting for Pro-Abortion candidates based on this kind of thinking.
True moral remoteness is based on being unaware or ignorant of any wrong present in an act and is the only situation where voting for a Pro-Abortion candidate would be morally acceptable. In other words, if I vote for X because X has lied and said that he is against abortion but when X takes over he champions abortion, I am not morally responsible since I was unaware of X's true intentions. Where I am aware that evil may result from my vote, my actions are not truly morally remote and therefore I bear some responsibility for that evil. If a Pro-Abortion candidate is not elected, he or she cannot contribute to the spread and continuation of immoral laws such as those protecting abortion. By not voting for such people or voting for their opponents, one is standing up against abortion legislation.
The absurdity of the above remote/distant argument is easily shown by the following example. Suppose I help someone find a job in an explosives company knowing that this person will give me their car in return which will then allow me to get a job where a car is required. If I know that this person is a terrorist planning to use that job to obtain explosives and kill innocent people I cannot justify my actions in helping him get the job by saying that I was not helping him because he wanted to kill innocents but because I wanted a car and a job! The only moral way out would be if I did not know that this person was a terrorist thereby relieving me of any responsibility for his later evil.
Likewise, it is absurd to argue that I am voting for Kerry for his education position while knowing that he protects the murder of the innocent unborn!
Dumb and Dumber
Despite the deadly danger of many bacteria and viruses, these organisms cannot develop and thrive unless they are incubated and fed by the proper environment. Likewise, destructive philosophies such as Proportionalism require the right social, moral, and political ingredients to develop and fester. All that is required is one part New Order thinking and one part Catholic stupidity and you have the right conditions for Proportionalism to grow. The Pro-Abortion Democratic Party has successfully enticed many Catholics dumbed-down by years of relativism, secularism, modernism, New Age thinking, rampant ecumenism, feminism, pro-sodomite propaganda, and liberal media and entertainment. Many dumbed-down Catholics think that favoring contraception, abortion, divorce, remarriage, missing Mass, female priests, homosexual priests, and rejection of The Real Presence does not disqualify someone from being a "good" Catholic. These dumb Catholics are victims of a Church which has increasingly sought acceptance by the world over loyalty to Christ. Dumb and confused, these clueless souls are easy prey to the liberal propaganda of Proportionalism sold by a party which 50 years ago was Pro-life, Pro-family, and Pro-America. Traditional Catholic ties to the Democratic Party no longer exist, yet many clueless Catholics are still fawning at Kerry and friends like 40s schoolgirls watching a Frank Sinatra concert. The only thing dumber than a Pro-Kerry Catholic is such a Catholic buying the dribble of Proportionalism which Kerry and his ilk, including the Vatican II hierarchy, are trying to sell!
The Real Problem
The only way that so many Faithful could become so dumb so fast is by cooperation of a clergy which is similarly clueless or, more likely, insidiously complicit in the crime itself. The sure and steady infection of clergy ranks with liberal, modernist, radical members who advocate Proportionalism and other evils has merely led the sheep down stupidville at an even more alarming rate. Like moral Pied Piper Prelates leading the innocent, the ignorant, the lazy, and the confused down the road to perdition, these shady shepherds have betrayed their mission and muddled their purpose. In truth, there would be no debate, no issue, no confusion, and perhaps no John Kerry if the Church Hierarchy would stand as one defending the Truths of The Faith and enforcing its precepts. Instead, we have confused cowards who hide behind vague notions of fairness and balance, who dribble poetically about social justice and overall good, and who babble about greater moral maturity and openness when they should be saying No! to abortion and No! to any politician who defends abortion, Period! Do not hold your breath waiting for the clergy to guide you from the podium toward Christ. Rather, consider heading the opposite direction in most of what they tell you to do and fall back on what the Church, through her Living Magisterium - that encompasses two millennia - has always taught. Then think for yourself about the wisdom of the true shepherds who guided souls for so many centuries, and it will be much easier leaving the Modernists behind. Don't worry about hearing anything from them: their silence continues to be deafening! The hierarchy of the New Order have proven they are not protecting the flocks. Don't trust them! Period!
Pope Pius XI, in his encyclical Casti Connubii of December 31, 1930 on Christian Marriage, has a sobering message for Americans today - politicians, prelates, and people who have forgotten God and His Laws:
"Those who hold the reins of government should not forget that it is the duty of public authority…to defend the lives of the innocent…among whom we must mention in the first plane infants hidden in their mother's womb…And if the public magistrates do not defend them but by their laws and ordinances betray them to death at the hands of doctors and others, let them remember that God is the Judge and Avenger of innocent blood which cries from earth to Heaven" (Casti Connubii: B67).
In addition to the obvious importance of this election to Pro-Life, Pro-family, Pro-marriage, and above all Pro-God causes, it may very well be both a referendum and a litmus test to show just how dumb the dumb have gotten at the bloodied hands of legislators and the complicit clergy who silently serve them sacramentally or otherwise!
Editor's Note: Heaven is once again under attack by those who would seek to ignore and overthrow God's majesty and authority. Gabriel Garnica, educator and attorney, submits regular insights and commentaries to remind and help guide readers toward a deeper and more assertive faith. Touching on topics and issues ranging from personal faith, doctrine, education, scripture, the media, family life, morality, and values, Gabriel's notes are music to traditional ears but unpleasant tones to those who have bought into the misguided notions so prevalent and spreading in today's Catholic world.