Washington DC, Nov 17, 2008 / 02:27 pm (CNA).- Cardinal James Francis Stafford, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See, delivered a lecture on Thursday saying that the future under President-elect Obama will echo Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane. Criticizing Obama as “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic,” he went on to speak about a decline in respect for human life and the need for Catholics to return to the values of marriage and human dignity.This follows a series of comments and scoldings from priests like Fr. Jay Scott Newman of Greenville, South Carolina, who "told parishioners that those who voted for Barack Obama placed themselves under divine judgment because of his stance on abortion and should not receive Holy Communion until they've done penance."
Delivered at the Catholic University of America, the cardinal’s lecture was titled “Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul,” the student university paper The Tower reports. Hosted by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, his words focused upon Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, whose fortieth anniversary is marked this year.
Commenting on the results of the recent presidential election, Cardinal Stafford said on Election Day “America suffered a cultural earthquake.” The cardinal argued that President-elect Obama had campaigned on an “extremist anti-life platform” and predicted that the near future would be a time of trial.
“If 1968 was the year of America’s ‘suicide attempt,’ 2008 is the year of America’s exhaustion,” he said, contrasting the year of Humane Vitae’s promulgation with this election year.
“For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden,” Cardinal Stafford told his audience. Catholics who weep the “hot, angry tears of betrayal” should try to identify with Jesus, who during his agony in the garden was “sick because of love.”
The cardinal attributed America’s decline to the Supreme Court’s decisions such as the 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which imposed permissive abortion laws nationwide.
“Its scrupulous meanness has had catastrophic effects upon the unity and integrity of the American republic,” Cardinal Stafford commented, according to The Tower.
His theological remarks centered upon man’s relationship with God and man’s place in society.
“Man is a sacred element of secular life,” he said, arguing that therefore “man should not be held to a supreme power of state, and a person’s life cannot ultimately be controlled by government.”
Cardinal Stafford also touched on the state of the family, saying that the truest reflection of the relationship between the believer and God is the relationship between husband and wife, and that contraceptive use does not fit within that relationship.
TIME Magazine suggests the Pope may clash with Obama on abortion.
Meanwhile, in the archipelago, the fight over the Reproductive Health Bill in the House has been fierce and ongoing for months. Though clearly favored by the public in overwhelming numbers (according to opinion surveys), the bill is facing rough sailing, even if it has nothing to do with legalizing or decriminalizing abortion.
From the Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines website:
The Catholic bishop's hierarchy made a stern warning Friday against “misleading” surveys in favor of the controversial Reproductive Health bill. Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, Episcopal Commission on Family and Life chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said it’s a “mind-conditioning” strategy of those behind the bill.Well if anyone knows about MIND CONDITIONING it's these guys. So they're fighting back by beefing up catechism lessons where the kids can get some honest to goodness truth in proselytizing.
What I am truly waiting for from Manila's Mullahs however, is some honest reflection on the Pope's own recent apologies for clergy sexual abuse (Newsweek) of parishioners and defenseless young men and women. And look at this from Der Spiegel
The child sex abuse scandal in the US Catholic Church first came to light in 2002. Since then the church has paid out $2 billion in compensation settlements to victims.Wow! That's a lot of PEDOPHILIA, your reverences!
Please join the lively debate and discussion on this topic over at Filipino Voices
Is the Reproductive Health Bill Unconstitutional
Resolved: That Abortion Be Decriminalized
Remove the Anti-poor Bans on Divorce and Abortion
When Does Human Life Begin?
The Catholic Magisterium on Contraception
Support the Reproductive Health Bill
Some Fallacies in the Reproductive Health Bill Debate
We'd love to hear your opinion on this crucial national issue.