DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     August 28-30, 1998     vol. 9, no. 169


To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE

    INTRODUCTION      "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns. In this issue, she takes issue with the mentality of looking the other way when moral wrong is obvious - especially when it concerns the man who holds the highest office of the land and claims that his affairs are a private matter. Not with God they are not. And for the American people it isn't a question of privacy, but secrecy at the citizens' expense. This she explains in her column PRIVACY OR SECRECY? THAT’S THE QUESTION!.

         Her column, along with columns by Father John Hampsch, C.M.F. and Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv., provide effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www.heartofmaryministry.com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy@aol.com by e-mail.


          The news media report that many Americans are tired of hearing about the Clinton/Lewinsky affair. It is reported that whatever the President does in his private life is his business and that such matters should be between him and his family.

          I concur that everyone has a right to a certain amount of privacy, however, when circumstances include lying under oath, obstructing justice, looking the American people straight in the eye (via reporters) and lying to the whole world, the breakdown of trust to the American people, and YEARS of sexual predatoriousness, then the matter becomes my business - our business - the business of the American people, who voted him into the highest office of the land. (I didn’t vote for him either time, but I’m stuck with him. I could not in conscience vote for a man that could see nothing wrong with killing an unborn, (even full-term) baby by literally having its brains vacuumed out of its head.)

          I think it is wrong for Americans not to give a “hoot” about Clinton’s grave unfaithfulness. Somehow it doesn’t seem that his personal betrayal of his wife (for years, as he did finally admit to having an affair with Jennifer Flowers that lasted 12 years, by the way), can be overlooked by a nation whose top leader can justify such evil. Remember last week I wrote that a person has ONE conscience which operates for him in both his public actions as well as his private actions.

          If a President of the United States can cheat on his wife so very many times, could he not also cheat on his country? Think about it! His wife should be the most important earthly person in his life. If he can “betray” her, could he not betray his country? If he can lie, looking the country square in the eye, could he not lie the same way in other matters? If his conscience is so calloused that he could commit these acts in private, then beware! The “lapse of judgment” which he acknowledged in his “regret” speech, is very capable of “lapsing in matters regarding the leading of our nation.

          The Italians have a saying. It’s a little gross, but a lot of things Italians say can be categorized that way. (I’m of Italian descent, so I’m including myself.) The saying is: “The fish smells from the head.”

          In other words, catch a fish, lay it on the ground, and in its death, it begins to smell from the head first.

          The leader of any organization sets the tone. I’ve seen this over and again in Religious life. Jesus was right when he called us “sheep,” because sheep are very good at following, not leading.

          IF the majority of people in our country have adopted the attitude that "Well, everyone lies about sex!" and thereby excuses the President for his actions, then I think our country is in a worse moral state than I had thought.

          In his “regret” speech, the President said the matter was “private.” I think he really meant that he wanted it to be SECRET. Because once a President deliberately lies to Americans, the matter becomes their business and therefore cannot be personal to him and his family alone.

          God help us. And God bless you, the reader.

August 28-30, 1998       volume 9, no. 169


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