Saturday, April 04, 2009

Two Issues of Sadness

Recently as I have been reading the blogs two topics have lit the blogosphere ablaze. But I decided not to respond immediately, but rather to ruminate on them. Those who read the blogs listed on my blogroll will have certainly encountered them: The Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale's sermon praising abortion as a blessing, and the decision by Notre Dame to invite President Obama to speak.

The first was most disturbing to me ... (click for more)

The first was most disturbing to me. It was actually originally posted on another Blogger site: Sermons by Katherine Ragsdale. There it had an August 2008 date, and the one she has on her site now has a 2007 date. The date is important because Father Z pointed to Diogenes on April Fools Day. And when one reads the document, can one be in any doubt of why I might want to check the date? It makes me sick to even copy and paste the root of her commentary, but it is simply this: "Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done." Yes, that's right. Sick, isn't it?

I mean I find it difficult to even describe what this. But one thing is clear, it is objectively evil. Now, please understand I am saying the content and not the person. Given the distance of time that has occurred, we cannot safely make judgements on the content of others' souls. But the words as they exist on the page are evil. It is a pity that the original page was deleted, because some of the comments were instructive. Several commentators identified themselves as "pro-choice," but even they were appalled at the sentiments described. Partly that is because of what the pro-life community has long said and the well-meaning segments of the "pro-choice" community have denied even to themselves, that there are such people who want more abortions not fewer. She begins her piece noting that the Democrats have dropped the "safe, legal, and rare" language from their platform. Now, we know from the text she wants them to be safe, and she clearly wants abortions to remain legal. So that leaves only the rare to which she must object. If she doesn't want them to be rare ...

But obviously a desire to see murder -- and yes we can objectively say that abortion is murder since the foetus in the womb has all the necessary qualities of a human being and murder is the needless killing of a human -- more frequently carried out is not the only thing evil about this. The idea that anything could be blessed about this is shocking. Some of her examples suggest to me she has no idea what blessings are. Take one of her examples: for a woman in poverty the abortion is a blessing. Surely, it's a tragedy ... two tragedies! One that anyone should have to live in such abject poverty, but that a death is the only option for her (or so she thinks). Surely that's calamitous. Surely that is reprehensible. Surely that is everything but blessed. All of her other examples are of the same ilk. Far from blessed they are tragedies. That anyone should think that a death is the only available solution is a source of tears not glad tidings.

But why? Why can this speech be filled with such obvious evil? Or to put it in the terms of St Augustine, be so lacking in Good? I think you will want to read Pr. Lehmann's take. For he is right. We cannot be surprised that Good is lacking when Christ Himself seems to be as distant from the sermon as one can get.


Since it is on the same subject of abortion, I will comment briefly on the Obama Invite. Now numerous members of the Episcopate have already commented. Two of the most notable are Cardinal DiNardo's, Archbishop Nienstedt's and Archbishop Beltran's responses. Although, they are by no means the only ones. People are rightly up-in-arms over this, because as ND is the most pre-eminent Ostensibly Catholic University or College (OCUC for short). And as an OCUC, one staffed by the Holy Cross Fathers no less, there is a presumption that one will make at least a passing attempt at being ... Catholic ... and teaching what the Catholic Church teaches ... But the self-same Adversary who moved behind the Reverend Ragsdale's sermon is also trying to do his worst in our Church. And this is why he has contrived to have arguably the most pro-abortion President in American History come to the pre-eminent OCUC in America. It is the Adversary's hope to push Christ further out. So it is not surprising that "Jesus wept" -

I am fairly staggered that President Obama, incidentally, has done more for this one constituency than even fixing the economy. One would think the latter should be more pressing, but dead babies can't vote, and the pro-abortion lobby are extremely powerful. But, Catholics also contributed to his victory, perhaps as much as the pro-abortionists. Are we now feeling buyer's remorse?

My own personal take is similar to Father Z's, we should take out television ads praising him for clearly so identifying with what the Catholic Church holds, in much the same way people did to President Bush over his Bob Jones appearance.

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