AMEN! It would seem that our American Catholic Bishops are finally taking a more traditional and morally correct position on the issue of abortion and taking it right to the politicians who are leading American Catholics astray.
I only wish our Bishops took this hard stance long BEFORE the election, say 30 years ago. In fact, this has ALWAYS been the position of the Catholic Church and it has never changed and never will. Personally I'm very proud that the American Catholic Church has has this "re-examination of conscience" and is willing to stand up to these politicians and organizations for not only defying the church teachings, but more importantly in defense of innocent life.
In the past, some of the American Catholic Church leaders mistakenly embraced certain of the more "liberal" politicians and political entities who then gained a foothold amongst the Catholic faithful. But Catholic public leaders and even some "Catholic" organizations need to realize that the do NOT stop being a Catholic when governing, legislating, judging, policing, or whatever and they have a moral responsibility to not lead the people astray away from God's laws and teachings. There is most certainly a higher authority that you will have to answer to.
OK, time for a little Catechism 101:
The Catholic Church bases all of its teachings on Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture (the Bible). The teaching authority of the Catholic Church, called the Magisterium, teaches only from Tradition and Scripture.
Jesus the Christ empowered his Apostles with the Holy Spirit and commanded them to go forth, teach what they witnessed and learned from Him, and create the Catholic Church throughout the world. Very basically, their words became the Sacred Scripture but HOW they lived their lives and HOW they inspired others to live through their examples is our Catholic Sacred Tradition.
Today our Bishops, Cardinals and His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI are descended from that very line of authority and with that same empowerment - to teach and spread the gospel of Jesus through both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Still with me? Hang in there!
The task of interpreting the Word of God rests solely with His Holiness the Pope and with those Bishops in communion with him. Men who have dedicated their lives to Jesus and the careful and deliberate study of those teachings. It is most certainly not a task for some "Cafeteria Catholic" that thinks he or she can interpret it on his or her own according to their own agenda.
Actually, if you take away the teaching authority of the church (the Magisterium) and eliminate Sacred Tradition, what you are left with is only the Bible by itself: Sola Scriptura and that, my friends is the doctrine of the Protestant Church! That one individual can completely interpret the Bible alone with no need of divine inspiration, no sacred tradition, no milennia of collected studies, nothing!
So basically, what it boils down to is this. Any Catholic that defies God's law, as interpreted and taught by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, or causes another to do the same, has sinned against God and is not a Catholic.
God does not exist by our definition...we exist by His.
As St. Augustine reminds us: St. Matthew also cautions us: "And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican" (Matthew 18:17).
Catholic Cardinals and Bishops are now reminding American political leaders, and should remind all American Catholics as well, that you cannot receive Holy Communion if you openly oppose the teachings of the Church. Any Catholic that openly opposes the teachings of the church and is Pro-Choice has by their own choice has excommunicated themselves from receiving Holy Communion.
Since these politicians are so brazen about publicly disobeying the Church and leading the flock astray with their lies and deceptions, perhaps it's time for our Church to be more public about their excommunication. If their public office and their faith are at odds, well that's an ethical dilemma they'll have to deal with. They can either step down from their office or formally renounce their Catholic Faith (they've actually informally done so already).
Perhaps they need a little "motivation" and a more formal and public Papal Excommunication of those more vocal Catholic politicians would help? Maybe that would make a proper example out of those who intentionally lead God's children astray to support the death of innocents.
I urge each and every God fearing and life respecting Catholic to write immediately to your Bishops suggesting just that. My faith is not a popularity contest, it's about obeying the will of God. I'd rather have just ONE true Catholic friend in my life than 100 "Cafeteria Catholics".
May God Bless Each of You!