Obama at Notre Dame: A Perfect Choice to Promote the Culture of Life


More than 55 leading Catholic Bishops, all members of the United
States Catholic Conference of Bishops, are speaking out against the
University of Notre Dame’s decision to host and honor President Barak
Obama at their commencement ceremony on the 17th. Much of their ire is
due to President Obama’s support of the right to choose abortion. And,
indeed coverage of the Bishops’ opposition has largely, and
unfortunately, centered on the issue of abortion, rather than on the
pregnant women who have them. Sixty one percent of women who have
abortions are already mothers and 84 percent of all women become
pregnant and give birth over the course of their lifetimes. While
Bishops criticize the president for being unwilling "to hold human life
as sacred," an examination of the United States Catholic Conference of
Bishop’s (USCCB) public positions in two historic legal cases makes
clear that that the USCCB itself is unwilling to "hold human life as
sacred" when the life belongs to a pregnant woman.

Twenty-two years ago this June, when a District of Columbia court
ordered 27 year-old Angela Carder to undergo cesarean surgery against
her wishes, she said: "I don’t want it done. I don’t want it done." The
unborn child who the surgery was intended to save survived for just two
hours. Carder died two days later with the cesarean listed as a
contributing factor.
In the highly publicized appeal that followed, and that reversed the
order, only two groups defended the forced surgery: one was the United
Catholic Conference — now known as the USCCB.

While the USCCB defended the forced surgery that contributed to a
pregnant woman’s death as "the correct choice," it vigorously opposed
removing Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube because it would lead to her
death. Terri Schiavo who was not pregnant had suffered irreversible
brain damage and had been in a persistent vegetative state for 15
years. Experts who examined her concluded that she had no consciousness
whatsoever, and that there were no treatments that could possibly
improve or reverse her condition. Nevertheless, according to the USCCB,
Schiavo’s condition was anything but futile, describing her as someone
with "cognitive disabilities." The USCCB rejected the notion "that
there are some lives that aren’t worth living."

In contrast, the USCCB explicitly viewed efforts to preserve
Carder’s life as futile and her life as not worth living. According to
the USCCB the forced cesarean surgery was justified because Carder "was
lying very near death" and "had at most one, possibly two days, to
live." At best, "A.C. might have lived 24-48 hours without surgery"
arguing that, "with or without the cesarean operation, A.C. would most
probably die within 24-48 hours of the court hearing." Although Carder
had specifically agreed to treatments that might prolong her life, the
USCCB defended the surgery because the "attempt to save A.C.’s unborn
child properly recognized . . . the futility of improving A.C.’s
situation."

Not only did the USCCB discount the value of Carder’s life, it urged
the court to ignore her pain and the fact that subjecting her to a
c-section — major abdominal surgery — could only make that pain
worse. The USCCB argued that refusing a c-section "could not save her
life or even make it more bearable."

The USCCB did not even object to the fact that Carder was stripped
of due process –the opportunity to have her rights fully reviewed. Her
rights were decided at an emergency hearing, leaving her no opportunity
to select a lawyer, obtain medical records, or find experts. Still, the
USCCB hoped a precedent would be set for the "next case" so that future
courts could similarly force surgery on pregnant women whose rights
would be "decided in the same emergency setting." In contrast, the
USCCB supported legislation to guarantee that Schiavo, who had eight
years of judicial review, would have additional access to the court
system.

In other words, according to the USCCB, eight years of due process
is not enough for someone in a persistent vegetative state, but less
than a day of due process is plenty for a pregnant woman.

In Terri Schiavo’s case, the USCCB argued "every human life has
incalculable worth and meaning, no matter its age or condition." Their
position in the Angela Carder case, one that they have never recanted
and that is embodied in the Religious Directives in force in Catholic
Hospitals across the country, suggests that the one form of life that
does not have incalculable worth or meaning is that of pregnant women.

If it is true that the USCCB in fact prioritizes some lives over
others, and excludes pregnant women from the right to life it claims to
so vehemently defend, Notre Dame should be praised for inviting a
speaker, President Obama, who is committed to promoting a true culture
of life–one that includes and values the women who give that life.

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To schedule an interview with contact director of communications Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • invalid-0

    I feel sorry for the people who impose their beliefs on others. We all have opinions and we all have the right to protest thats why we live in the United States. President Obama is for choice for the American people, you don’t have to agree or disagree but we all have equal rights.
    If the Bishops don’t want to attend graduation not thinking of the students who have kept then clothed, food and shelter thats there right.And what about all the catholics in the world who practice birth control? Isn’t that the same a killing? People need to get a life and start thinking about other people. We all have issues why can’t we look at each other as family instead of the enemy?

    • invalid-0

      It’s just basic. “Get your laws off my body.” How about get the law of the land–Roe v. Wade–off the bodies of unborn babies?

      These most powerless of human beings can’t speak for themselves like the civil rights protesters of the ’60s could, but I have an assignment for you all:

      Try to explain abortion explicitly to the person nearest in age to eligibility for that atrocity: a child. Bring along a picture. What I want from you all is unflinching devotion to your cause. In effect, you are like the person who drops bombs from miles above–you have no sense of the human toll or the meaning of what you support. I have a kind of respect for the combatant who is able to drive the knife in at close range, in hand-to-hand combat. As it is, I don’t respect your viewpoint, because so many of you wouldn’t be able to maintain it in the face of the reality. Those who can are absolutely dead soul-wise, but at least they are dead to the bone, e.g. they have a kind of integrity.

      Naomi Wolf, one of your own, has said as much somewhere. I can’t argue with you anymore because your arguments are too abstract, too divorced from reality. You will never know the reality of what you do (well maybe not never), because you think only in words, and the agonized cry of the innocent human life you kill remains inarticulate and unheard. But life, no matter how inarticulate (remember that many slave owners prohibited their slaves from receiving even the slightest shred of education), will always win. As Martin Luther King wrote from his Birmingham Jail, “the heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands.” Your views just don’t “echo” quite as truly, now, do they (seeing as they require extensive compartmentalization of different ethical criteria for different persons)? Life, on the other hand, is for everyone–for the mother, for the baby. Ethics/morality just don’t happen in a provisional, compartmentalized way.

      Until the decisive victory for life is won, any victory for untruth and death will be a victory that brings no life to the victors. That’s because, in a certain sense, we are allowed to be the creators of our world, and, as Kant asserts, we should consider the ethics of our actions as if what we will becomes universal law. The massacre of innocents necessarily posits an ethical opening, one within which ANY atrocity becomes admissible. That includes the killing of babies, and all the other (less innocent) people on up. And while it may have some immediate advantages for the powerful from a consequentialist standpoint (by the way, we’re all powerful compared to unborn children), abortion is a deal with the devil, and I use that in the colloquial, not the religious, sense. It’s not going to work, not even for those who espouse it. Come on people–you’re quasi-Buddhist, right? Don’t you believe in karma?

      This little assignment with an actual child will get you a little closer to the reality of human life, as you will be speaking with someone who has none of the ability to follow convoluted, maze-like rationalizations. You were like that once…

  • jodi-jacobson

    Lynn,

     

    An incredibly powerful and compelling piece putting together the pieces on hypocritical nature of the positions of the USCCB.

     

    Thank you.
    Jodi Jacobson

  • http://bioethike.com invalid-0

    It is unfortunate that people are misled by the false dichotomy presented by Ms. Paltrow, who would have us believe that in this serious and emotional issue there are only two concerns: the life of the unborn child, and the life of the mother.

    As a Lutheran Christian, I take umbrage that Ms. Paltrow selects only two cases where the USCCB has issued opinions, not doctrines or mandates of practice, and voila! appears to “prove” her thesis: that Catholic bishops “prioritizes some lives over others.” If anything, the Catholic Church has been consistently on the forefront, along with universal Church throughout the ages, in supporting and defending the sickest, the poorest, and the weakest among us.

    Robert at bioethike.com

    • invalid-0

      Can you please go back and read your history of the catholic church? This is the same church that changed its spots on abortion back in 1861, from allowing abortion until quickening to the absolutist hatred and fear of women that it promotes today. These sheltered, cross-dressing, underworked men who run the church and their mouths with everyone else’s money should go back to their sanctuaries and drink their free wine. They already get to live on the parishoner dole and tax-free at that. How odd that people accept advice on marriage, sex and pregnancy from those who are not allowed to have sex, get married and cannot get pregnant. Get real.

      And second, please acknowledge that you are here, in existence, because a generous woman saw fit to house you–for free–for nine months. She didn’t have to do that, not in this pay-to-play society. If we are so bloody concerned about fetuses, let’s issue women considering abortion $250,000 checks to keep the child, and be able to afford to raise it. How much would you contribute to save that precious wittle baby… well, maybe not so precious since there are 7 billion people now on the planet and more all the time. Get out your wallet, or put a sock in it, and none of this “it’s not my baby” crap–if you really love and want to defend the innocent little babies, you’ll give the shirt off your back for them, whether they have your genetic material in them or not. Can’t have it both ways.

    • invalid-0

      “the Catholic Church has been consistently on the forefront… in supporting and defending the sickest, the poorest, and the weakest among us.”

      Sure it has. Like using the money that my mom sacrificed to put in the basket on Sunday to pay off/ cover up the children priests raped and molested. That’s supporting and defending the weakest for ya. And that’s certainly a culture of life– create life so we can molest it.

      It’s easy to place the systematic rape of children by trusted spiritual authorities on the backburner until it affects someone you know personally. Watching priests get transferred to another parish or diocese where they will no doubt molest more children made even my mother leave the church.

      Do bishops prioritize some lives over others? Yes. Especially their own lives and the lives of priests. The children? Not so much from what I’ve seen.

  • invalid-0

    the Catholic Church has been consistently on the forefront, along with universal Church throughout the ages, in supporting and defending the sickest, the poorest, and the weakest among us.

    Certainly we can acknowledge the good works of the universal church while simultaneously recognizing the critical role of the universal church in the devaluation and oppression of half the human race, can we not?

    • invalid-0

      She told me that when the poor and starving would come and knock on the door of the Vatican for help, they were yelled at and told to ‘go away”. Also, there are many stories all over the world about Catholic Priests raping children, especially alter boys and little girls. The latest was in the US, and showed us how these molesting priests are prtected and moved around by the Bishops, to molest again. I wouldn’t trust the Catholic Church to help the poor and innocent. They have lost too much credibility, the latest way being how a raped 9 year old girl in Brazil was treated, after her mother got her an abortion because she was pregnant from her rapist Stepfather with twins. The mother and the child rape victim daughter were excommunicated by the Catholic Church, however, the rapist stepfather can still belong and take Communion! Just a couple of examples of how hypocritical the Catholic Church is with anything that is a “life” issue. I think they operate like women and girls are chattel, good for reproducing only. Life is outside of the womb, not in it, no matter how much the right wing lies and tries to define life their way. Life begins with birth and a certificate saying that a baby is born into life and the world, and that it counts. Until then, it is judged by the majority of society, scientists and biologists as a POTENTIAL life.

  • invalid-0

    …would have us believe that in this serious and emotional issue there are only two concerns: the life of the unborn child, and the life of the mother.

    When discussing reproductive rights and abortion – which is what the Notre Dame nontroversy is about, yes? Claiming that Obama’s (nominally) pro-choice stance is the problem? – what other concerns do you feel we should address? When it comes to the USCCB’s interference with pregnant women, who else’s concerns are you claiming have relevance?

  • invalid-0

    Gallup recently released the results of a poll taken between the seventh and the tenth of May this year regarding Americans and their opionions regarding abortion. The findings were as follows:
    Abortion should be legal in all circumstances: 22%
    In most circumstances: 15%
    In only a few circumstances: 37%
    should always be illegal: 23%
    I understand Obama’s opinion is not alarming here at realitycheck.org but out there in the rest of the country, the belief that it should be legal in all circumstances is actually pretty controversial. Obama isn’t just someone who thinks abortion should be legal during the first trimester. He wants it legal for any reason and at any time. Obviously the story of Angela Carder is tragic and obviously no one would have done a c section knowing it would lead to her death. My guess is that other factors had to have been involved in her death. This is certainly the first time I have ever heard of a woman, in a hospital dying of a ceserian section, but we’ve all heard stories about children being born brain damaged because ceserians were delayed. I think the doctors probably did it because it appeared at the time to be the only way they could save them both.

  • invalid-0

    Hello, The Relic.

    Thank you for writing how you feel about abortion.

    We feel that abortion is a fundamental right of women, and that forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term has no place whatsoever in modern society.

    I’m sorry that you don’t share this view, but then, hey—there’s still people out there who think women shouldn’t vote and have a career outside the house. We look forward to the time when women have gained enough respect that the right to their own bodies is not questioned by people like you, and fight the day-to-day battles that will eventually get us there.

    Sincerely,

    –The pro-choice/feminist movement

  • invalid-0

    Actually, I’m an unborn baby, blogging from my mother’s womb. Not many of us have internet service. But hopefully someone will stumble upon this one post.

    Remember, “fundamental rights” always end where another’s life begins. That’s just basic, non-religious law. You have a right to your own body, but not to mine. I realize that I’m speaking in an ideal sense right now, because under the current law, you do have a right to kill me.

    Contrary to what you say, I do think women should have voting/working rights because I believe in a right that actually IS fundamental: the immeasurable dignity of the human person regardless of utility. This IS an absolute right because it extends to ALL persons. Your “rights,” as I mentioned in my post, are necessarily compartmentalized and provisional. They apply to some segments of the population and not to others (i.e. me).

    To be in this debate you need to bone up on your philosophy and argumentation and not just base things on “belief.” Start with Aristotle’s law of non-contradiction and work your way up from there. Once you have something that can be posited as a universal, then you can claim to have arrived at a “fundamental” right. Till then, not so much.

  • invalid-0

    Actually, I’m an unborn baby, blogging from my mother’s womb.

    Really? Cool! I’m a toaster oven, in a row house on Somerset Street. I surf the Web when I’m not browning croissants.

    So, I’ve been wondering: What’s it like to be a single-celled organism, when you just started out? Were there any friendly blood cells around you could play with?

    Contrary to what you say, I do think women should have voting/working rights because I believe in a right that actually IS fundamental: the immeasurable dignity of the human person regardless of utility.

    Unless they’re pregnant and don’t want to be, of course. Then, taking away their options, and forcing them to carry the pregnancy to term is just fine and dandy.

    Some folks believe women shouldn’t vote or work outside the house because of their “immeasurable dignity,” too. They see those sorts of activities as beneath the fairer sex. Why should their minds be sullied with the dirtiness of politics? Obviously, men should “cowboy up” and take on that burden, so that women can live without it, as God intended.

    To be in this debate you need to bone up on your philosophy and argumentation and not just base things on “belief.”

    Oh? So, roleplaying as an anthropomorphized object isn’t good enough?

    Once you have something that can be posited as a universal, then you can claim to have arrived at a “fundamental” right.

    Try this on for size: Women have the right to control their own reproductive system and status. If you are the owner of a uterus, then you are welcome to operate it as you see fit. Other uteruses are not yours to control, however, and if you are not content to have a penis then there are many transgender resources on the Internet that I suggest you look up.

  • invalid-0

    Actually, I’m a transgendered baby in the womb. I’m a woman in the womb. If you kill me I won’t ever get to those working or voting rights. Thus you practice and/or defend the ultimate form of repression/oppression (I don’t know the exact nature of your role in the holocaust of 40 million). So quit masquerading as a defender of the powerless or that you’re “speaking truth to power” or any of that nonsense. Whose rights win out, yours or mine?

    This is why the “rights” you talk about cannot claim to be fundamental or absolute. They are what is known as “provisional” or “contingent.” In a do-or-die case like this, one ethos is going to have to ultimately win out over the other. Everyone’s life is dispensable or no one’s is.

  • invalid-0

    I’m a pre-conceived baby in my daddies loins so don’t forget about us female sperm too. As an unconceived woman I want to exercise my voting rights one day! Denying me your body is repression!

  • invalid-0

    Women – stop repressing those of us unconceived women! Its not ‘your body’.

  • invalid-0

    Sperm or egg alone: not a human being. Doesn’t have biological inevitability like a fertilized egg does. That’s just science. Aren’t you a member of the “party of science”?

  • invalid-0

    Obama believes in freedom of choice for the first two trimesters, the third and last 3 months are dependent upon their being something very wrong with the fetus, or if a woman’s life or health is in trouble. Check your facts! By the way, the US consdtitution gives a woman a right to a safe and legal abortion, NOT hindered by the add ons from anti-choicers in the states. The US Constitution is a federal document. Which is why we need FOCA, to protect those rights for all women, and we will fight for that!

  • invalid-0

    fertilized egg doesn’t have biological inevitability either. none will form into babies by themselves…when kept alive to “grow” in a petri dish they grow into tumors but don’t “develop” along the baby path.

  • invalid-0

    without the continuing interactions of the womans body….no baby happens.

  • invalid-0

    not the USCCB.

    It was the hospital itself which sought to force an immediate delivery, and to that end found a physician who either falsely or negligently testified the fetus had a good chance of survival (none of her physicians thought so)

    Since the hospital’s doctor (again, who had never treated this patient), claimed the fetus could be saved I’m not surprised as to the statement of the USCCB.

    Keep in mind the hospital had to pay a hefty civil settlement as a result of their professional misconduct.

    I doubt you could say the delivery contributed to her death, however, as she was so already ill at the time she could not even testify on her behalf.

    And yes, courts do intervene in the third trimester when they feel the fetus is viable.

    In a case as here, where the mother is hours or days from death, and the court is told her third-trimester fetus is viable outside the womb, you’re going to see the court intervene to try and save that fetus.

  • invalid-0

    So weak of an argument. Even a vegetarian wouldn’t buy it (they eat unfertilized eggs for a reason).

    But okay, let’s limit ourselves: pull the full-term baby out, jab the surgical scissors in the back of the head, suck out the brains with a vacuum. Let’s limit ourselves to the threshold at which viability, pain, whatever DOES occur. Any of those points of demarcation–you pick it (let’s keep it an unborn woman or transgendered baby, just to intensify the ludicrous incoherence of your argument). What then? By the way, I won’t be checking back for the answer–I can’t take the workings of your diseased mind anymore.

  • invalid-0

    Bilberry Pie in 1865:

    “Let’s consider giving the plantation owners of the south who will be robbed of their slaves $250,000 checks so they don’t go broke. Better, let’s write a check to the poor Irish immigrants who never owned a slave and who are going to suffer even greater abject poverty when the economy of the south collapses.”

    Obviously these are ridiculous arguments on why we should postpone the end of slavery. Most pro-life groups do in fact pour resources into the lives of post-birth babies and their mothers. Intrinsic evil is intrinsic evil–like slavery, it needs to be stopped immediately. And efforts for the good (analogous to Reconstruction?) need to be enhanced.

  • invalid-0

    Bilberry Pie, you are awesome. You’re the kind of pro-choicer who I love. You’re like, “Give me the scissors and vacuum cleaner, I’ll stab ‘em in myself. We got enough snot-nosed kids in this world as it is!” Everyone else is like, “Oh, ‘rights’ this and ‘rights’ that.” You go!

  • invalid-0

    So you didn’t have a real response….otherwise it wouldn’t have just been ‘so weak of an argument’, ‘ludicrous’, etc. Certain vegetarians can put whatever significance they want into an egg and its status (e.g. like vegetarians who won’t buy into egg consumption at all given that even if there is no insemination eggs are still really “fertile” without insemination therefore they cannot be a vegetarian option at all…but you dismiss life before conception). And then you resort to an illustration that ignores fertilized eggs but uses a baby that is born (which was my point that a fertilized egg differs from a baby..it needs continuous interactions of a womans body for a fertilized egg to develop into a baby). By the way, deciding what to eat and what to gestate in ones own body are two different decisions.

  • invalid-0

    Some vegetarians believe that there is no egg that can be said to be without life (whether “infertile” or “fertile”) and therefore no eggs ever are options for vegetarians. But even if one still chooses to draw the line if there is insemination, none of this translates into forcing a woman to continue gestation either.

  • invalid-0

    and about lines being drawn and inevitability… Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. One study has shown that 70% of fertilized eggs slough off with the womans period. Fertilization hardly makes a baby the inevitable result, even when the woman freely is willing to gestate it to full term.

  • invalid-0

    Doesn’t have biological inevitability like a fertilized egg does.

    “Biological inevitability?” Is this a medical term I’m not aware of? Could you flesh out the definition of this a little, seeing as how your entire argument seems to rest on it?

    Because if you’re talking about inevitabilities, then the things that come to mind are death and taxes. The “biological” qualifier narrows it down to the former. Death is the ultimate biological inevitability… so how that translates into a “pro-life” argument isn’t terribly clear.

  • colleen

    The ridiculous and shameless arguments are those which compare the ‘pro-life’ position to that of the abolitionists. Particularly in a thread where your spiritual allies are intent on telling women that our bodies don’t belong to us. 

     Most pro-life groups do in fact pour resources into the lives of post-birth babies and their mothers.

    I’m quite certain that most of the very modest resources y’all are "pouring" into the lives of single mothers and  their children aren’t reaching them. Perhaps the money is going to pay off well deserved lawsuits and to line the pockets of the faithful. What a shame that child rape and venality aren’t ‘intrinsic evils’ like gay marriage and abortion.

    You vote for republicans, men and women who offer up health care for fetuses but not the woman in whose body the fetus resides and certainly not the children after they are born. Republicans are so vile to the poor and to single mothers in particular that they massively cut federal funding to aide them and then cut federal funding for child support enforcement and for the past 30 years have done all they can to punish single mothers. Punishing single mothers is like a sport with republicans, it affords them the illusion of adequacy.It’s perfectly clear that social conservatives despise the poor and their children.

  • invalid-0

    should say ‘still really in the process of becoming “fertile”‘…and they use this to dismiss all use of eggs even where no insemination occurred as there is life in them.

  • invalid-0

    Whoa there tiger(s). Let’s stick with the scissor stab/vacuum suck to the practically-born baby before you guys go off on this vegetarian egg kick for too long. Are these the eddies of thought you spend your time swirling in?

    This is what this kind of arbitrary demarcation of life/not life leads to. Butchering an almost-born baby on the brink of joining the world. Better yet, leaving one that has survived a botched abortion to die. Not talking breakfast anymore are we? We are the proverbial frogs in a slowly boiling pot.

  • invalid-0

    “Biological” means regarding life and “inevitability” means it’s gonna happen. It’s not a medical term. Everyone knows what I mean. Even the person who procures the abortion knows that they are cutting off what (or, more appropriately, who) is going to occur. People don’t react this way to the presence of eggs or sperm inside their body. Quit splicing hairs and wake up. My recommendation for you concrete-operational stage types is to start at partial-birth abortion and work your way back, one day at a time. Don’t even start to grapple with questions of conception–that’s currently “above your pay grade.” One day, when you have the philosophical equipage to consider ethical questions that require abstract reasoning, return to this important question.

  • invalid-0

    “Biological” means regarding life and “inevitability” means it’s gonna happen. It’s not a medical term. Everyone knows what I mean.

    So, if I’m going to have unprotected sex with my wife next Tuesday night, then that means it is biologically inevitable that her egg and one of my sperm will become a person. So, destroying that egg anytime before that point is murder. That’s what you meant, right?

    My recommendation for you concrete-operational stage types is to start at partial-birth abortion and work your way back, one day at a time. Don’t even start to grapple with questions of conception–that’s currently “above your pay grade.”

    So that’s how we end up with people protesting Plan B as though it were “abortion lite.”

    One day, when you have the philosophical equipage to consider ethical questions that require abstract reasoning, return to this important question.

    Yeah, it’s gonna take a lot of brainwashing to make it somehow seem okay to force women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term. I think I’ll skip the abstract reasoning, and stick with the real, concrete, living and breathing and thinking and feeling women on this one. (You know, the ones that everyone can agree are actual people, unlike the fetuses they carry, whose personhood is an article of faith.) Because you most certainly are not.

  • invalid-0

    Dear Father Pavone,

    First and foremost I want to say that I admire your effort and persistance in doing all you can to promote life. I was glued to the TV set during the months leading up to the dehydration/starvation of Terri Schiavo (Schindler) and know that you were a big spiritual support for both Terri and her family at this time. I was extremely sad that it came to this – instead of leaving Terri’s life in God’s hands – the way it is supposed to be. Meaning, having God take her when He Willed it. I am a firm believer that even if we are hooked up to machines, and our time to leave this earth has come, it will happen. Nothing can stop this. Feeding tubes give us the needed nourishment every human being requires to live. Without food and water, we will die, that is a fact. Simply because a human being requires help in this area, much like the person who needs glasses to help him/her see, or a cane or walker or wheel chair helps people walk (move), a feeding tube helps people get the daily required nourishment. I am sorry that the Catholic Church didn’t speak up a lot louder – make their voices heard.

    Secondly, Father Pavone, I am an avid EWTN watcher – in April 2008, I purchased a new Satelite Receiver for 30 Euro and much to my surprise, saw that I now received EWTN, which I didn’t get before that. (I have lived and worked in Germany since 2000.) Anyway, the station is wonderful and encourages and helps me live out the Catholic faith and its teachings. I was baptised Roman Catholic and attended Catholic Schools (even St. John’s University – Associate’s Degree) all my life and attend daily mass and pray the rosary daily as well.

    With regards to the Notre Dame Commencement Exercises, Father Pavone, I think it is wonderful that you will be at the University and helping students celebrate this achievement in a separate ceremony due to the conflict President Obama’s presence has stirred up at the University. Father Pavone, you have received a copy of the letter I addressed to Father John Jenkins on Friday, April 3, 2009. I have even tried calling the University and left a message on his voice mail, hoping to have the opportunity to speak to him. I felt it was not a bad idea to have President Obama there, giving a Catholic University the opportunity to openly dialogue with President Obama on the direction America and the world is going in by continuing to encourage (through laws) same sex marriage (unions), contraception, abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, Invetro Fertilization and cloning. I was saddened to hear that Father Jenkins would not allow for an open dialogue with the President, when he stated back in April of 2006 that he would not suppress speech on Notre Dame’s Campus. He is going back on his word and that is truly sad.

    Father Pavone, sometimes, I am saddened when the Catholic Church “keeps quiet” about issues like Priests abusing children or adults, or the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, which I wrote about back in 2001/2003 as not being in line with Christian teaching. I felt then and still feel, America was responsible for protecting Americans in America and abroad, but that meant (means) beefing up security at home and abroad, not invading other countries and killing innocent people and destroying so much. And now we are building up what we tore down, which is correct. That was the consequence America was and is faced with. We all know that when we make mistakes (sin), there will be consequences to deal with afterwards. In the same way the Catholic Church speaks out about and against abortion, birth control, same sex marriage and embyonic stem cell research, I wish they would speak up more about the horrific death penalty in the US. How often are innocent people sentenced to death? Isn’t this as bad as killing innocent babies in the womb? Sure it is. In both situations, we are choosing who will die. In Pope John Paul II’s “Catechism of the Catholic Church” (Second Edition) April 1995, under Legitimate defense, #2267, it says “Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor. If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping the the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity with the dignity of the human person. Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm without definitively taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity ‘are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”

    Father Pavone, speaking of consequences, I think the Catholic Church in America has had to deal with the consequences of not addressing problems head on, but rather ignoring or brushing them aside. The issue of Priests abusing children or adults was often brought up to Pastors, Bishops, Cardinals and even the Pope, but correct measures were not taken when they should have been, and Priests continue to ignore the Pope’s teachings till today on so many moral issues. I admire and have a huge respect for Priests and pray for them because I love receiving Jesus Christ in the Eucharist every day and being guided by Jesus’ Shepherds and I pray that America and the world will be blessed with more Priests, but Priests who have the gift of the Spirit known as “Fear of the Lord”. For me this means following the ten Commandments and because I love Jesus so much, I don’t want to continue to hurt him through my sinfulness. Father Pavone, Father Jenkins said the following back in April 2006 (see below) and allowed a Queer Festival and “Vagina Monologues” at the University. Perhaps I am wrong, but Father Pavone, I do not think that was appropriate for a Catholic University (Institution). Should we then be surprised that he would want to present the President of the United States with an honorary award, knowing that the President is enacting legislation to further the abortion issue or same sex marriage in America? This does not surprise me. What surprises me is why the problem was not nipped in the bud early on in Father Jenkins Presidency. If a President of a Catholic School/University makes fun of or allows its members to ridicule the teachings of the Catholic Church, then we are allowing Christ’s Church to act and live as though it belongs to this World. Didn’t Jesus instruct us to do just the opposite? And here is another consequence that the Catholic Church is dealing with: allowing a politician to rule on having a symbol that represents the name of Jesus Christ (IHS – Greek for Jesus) be covered during a Commencement Speech. I am totally dismayed that Georgetown University was bullied (talked into) into this. Here it is a Catholic University and it is made to hide the symbol that represents our Church – that represents everything we believe in. Father Pavone, we should not be surprised at what is happening, because the Catholic Church is allowing it. Why are we afraid of speaking up? Don’t we see that we are going to lose what we have if we do not learn to stand upon God’s Word, allow ourselves to be guided by Him and be His light unto the world. Before we can defend LIFE, perhaps we have to first defend our faith in Jesus Christ (who is THE WAY; THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE), which we are not doing when mocking Jesus by encouraging activities related to homosexual activities at a Catholic University and hiding our Catholic symbols from the world (media) at a Catholic University. The US Catholic Bishops issued a statement in June 2004 saying, “Catholic Colleges should not allow abortion advocates to have a platform to speak to students or be honored with special awards….” Using words like, “should not” certainly sounds like the choice is left up to the University/College. And in addition, a University leader can read this to mean that this involves coming to talk to the students about abortion, not a Graduation Commencement Exercise, where this would most certainly not be addressed. President Jenkens believes that since President Obama is not Catholic, the Guidelines issued by the Bishops do not apply to President Obama. What can be learned from this? The Bishops/Catholic Church have/has to explicitly spell out every directive, leaving no room for personal interpretation.

    President Obama, it is my hope and prayer, that since you yourself are very much aware of everything surrounding your presence at Notre Dame on Sunday, May 17th – that you yourself will give the students and those in attendance the chance to dialogue with you. Afterall, you are a President who wants to dialogue with the people he is leading – here is your chance – go for it!!!!

    Father Jenkins (who I am copying), I am truly disappointed that you have not kept your word “not to suppress speech on your campus” denying the students’ request for dialogue on the issues surrounding the University’s invitation to President Obama, saying, “conditions for constructive dialogue simply do not exist” and that students could disregard your earlier invitations to meet with you”. You are going against your own words right now – not allowing the President of the United States to hear what Catholic students believe about the moral issues plaguing our society/world today. What are you afraid of Father Jenkins? Do you belong to a world that fears one another rather than God? Do you buy into the “politically correct” way of addressing moral issues or do you address these issues based on your deeply rooted faith in God’s Word? This is a sad day for the Catholic Church because you are confusing not only the sheep in your fold, but many sheep all over the world! Father Pavone, President Jenkins, and President Obama, I will be praying for all of you tomorrow. May Jesus Christ put the words on your tongue as you send Notre Dame’s graduates out into the world to be fruitful, to multiply and to be prosperous!

    In Christ Jesus,
    Tori

    On January 23, 2006, Fr. Jenkins addressed the faculty concerning ([1]) “Academic Freedom and Catholic Character” in which he expressed concern about “issues arising from the Notre Dame Queer Film Festival and the Vagina Monologues”, and “the deeper issues they raise regarding academic freedom and Notre Dame’s “character as a Catholic university”.

    Then, after much heated debate on campus, on April 5, 2006, Jenkins issued a closing statement, declaring the he was “very determined that we not suppress speech on this campus”, and was also “determined that we never suppress or neglect the Gospel that inspired this University”, saying that “[a]s long as the Gospel message and the Catholic intellectual tradition are appropriately represented, we can welcome any serious debate on any thoughtful position here at Notre Dame.”

    The Bishop of Fort Wayne, Rev. John Michael D’Arcy, expressed strong opposition to Notre Dame’s hosting of the events on its campus and stated he was “deeply saddened” by Jenkins’ policy.[4] Also, Notre Dame law professor Charles E. Rice called for Jenkins to resign.[5] Professor Rice had in the past also requested resignations from former university Provost Rev. Jamest T. Burtchaell, CSC (1977), and former university Presidents Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, CSC (1983) and Rev. Edward Malloy, CSC (2001).[citation needed]

  • invalid-0

    “Even the person who procures the abortion knows that they are cutting off what (or, more appropriately, who) is going to occur. People don’t react this way to the presence of eggs or sperm inside their body.”

    Yes they do, its called spermicide, condoms, Plan B, etc. Its precisely that reason they take it to kill or stop sperm, etc. According to Guttmacher almost 90% of women who are at risk of becoming pregnant are using contraceptives – a very high reaction rate.

  • invalid-0

    90% is for women who are at risk of becoming pregnant with an unintended pregnancy in the US.

  • invalid-0

    Not an article of faith. An article of reason. Basic philosophy. Aristotle’s Law of Non-Contradiction, which is gold standard for all philosophy, including all modern. A philosophy must be coherent within itself. Yours is not. Can’t kill women in the womb and say you’re standing up for them in real life. Now, admittedly, Aristotle believed that “the presence of life and sensation will be the mark of division between right and wrong,” i.e. that we should have the abortion before the human being can feel pain (7-14 weeks). I disagree with him, for reasons too lengthy to discuss, but I’ll take it over the wide swath of “rights” you propose.

    By the way, your assuming that a fetus is not a person is also an article of faith, in the sense that it cannot be demonstrated empirically to the satisfaction of your opponents. I admit the same is true of my claim. In the absence of a consensus way of determining the point of demarcation at which life began, we are thrown back on the hierarchy of values, in other words, which value is more important, more fundamental–life or choice? Right now, choice is the value that is given greater protection under the law, but it’s obvious that life is more fundamental (meaning foundation-al) because choice presupposes life, that is, there has to be a living person in order to make a choice. Life, however, does not depend on choice–to give an extreme example, I can be a slave and still have life. Thus, life is an absolute value; choice or freedom is a dependent or contigent one. This fact is also obvious in that we take away people’s choices all the time, PRECISELY WHEN THEY INFRINGE ON THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS. “But I want to mass murder 40 million innocents!” Sorry, you can’t. “But I want to have slaves.” Sorry, not your choice; it involves other human beings.

  • invalid-0

    So carry your convictions through to the logical conclusions. If, as you believe, biological life trumps all considerations, and given what we now know about the impact of maternal habits and activities on successful pregnancy outcomes, how far are you willing to go in circumscribing the lives of women to protect the pregnancy?

    Have yet to get a coherent response from and anti-choicer, and I’m not holding my breath that one will be forthcoming from you, anonymous.

  • http://advocatesforpregnantwomen.org invalid-0

    In fact, none of Angela Carder’s attending physicians supported the cesarean surgery and when the surgery was finally ordered, none would perform it. The hospital had to find another doctor willing to carry it out. Among the things that are clear from the record in the case was that the surgery was ordered in spite of her objections and the shared belief that the cesarean surgery on this seriously ill pregnant woman could result in her death. The attorney appointed to represent the ‘unborn child” argued that Angela’s rights did not matter and the trial court agreed. On the ultimate appeal, the court overturned the trial court’s decision, concluding that women do not lose their civil rights — including their own right to life once they become pregnant.
    Lynn Paltrow
    National Advocates for Pregnant Women

  • http://advocatesforpregnantwomen.org invalid-0

    In fact, none of Angela Carder’s attending physicians supported the cesarean surgery and when the surgery was finally ordered, none would perform it. The hospital had to find another doctor willing to carry it out. Among the things that are clear from the record in the case was that the surgery was ordered in spite of her objections and the shared belief that the cesarean surgery on this seriously ill pregnant woman could result in her death. The attorney appointed to represent the ‘unborn child” argued that Angela’s rights did not matter and the trial court agreed. On the ultimate appeal, the court overturned the trial court’s decision, concluding that women do not lose their civil rights — including their own right to life once they become pregnant.
    Lynn Paltrow
    National Advocates for Pregnant Women

  • http://advocatesforpregnantwomen.org invalid-0

    In fact, none of Angela Carder’s attending physicians supported the cesarean surgery and when the surgery was finally ordered, none would perform it. The hospital had to find another doctor willing to carry it out. Among the things that are clear from the record in the case was that the surgery was ordered in spite of her objections and the shared belief that the cesarean surgery on this seriously ill pregnant woman could result in her death. The attorney appointed to represent the ‘unborn child” argued that Angela’s rights did not matter and the trial court agreed. On the ultimate appeal, the court overturned the trial court’s decision, concluding that women do not lose their civil rights — including their own right to life once they become pregnant.
    Lynn Paltrow
    National Advocates for Pregnant Women

  • invalid-0

    Not an article of faith. An article of reason. Basic philosophy. Aristotle’s Law of Non-Contradiction, which is gold standard for all philosophy, including all modern.

    Is that the B.S. you have to swallow to be able to think a fertilized egg is a human person?

    By the way, your assuming that a fetus is not a person is also an article of faith, in the sense that it cannot be demonstrated empirically to the satisfaction of your opponents. I admit the same is true of my claim. In the absence of a consensus way of determining the point of demarcation at which life began, we are thrown back on the hierarchy of values, in other words, which value is more important, more fundamental–life or choice? Right now, choice is the value that is given greater protection under the law

    Yes, because this is a free country. You are free to believe what you want to believe, as am I, and we are both free to make our own decisions on matters of faith.

    Right now, choice is the value that is given greater protection under the law, but it’s obvious that life is more fundamental (meaning foundation-al) because choice presupposes life, that is, there …

    So if I need a kidney transplant, and you happen to be a match, then I can compel you to give up one of your kidneys to save my life. Wait, what’s that? You don’t want to give up a kidney? But life is more fundamental than choice! So fork it over, bub.

    “But I want to mass murder 40 million innocents!” Sorry, you can’t. “But I want to have slaves.” Sorry, not your choice; it involves other human beings.

    “I want to force women to carry their pregnancies to term, whether they want to or not!” Sorry buddy, you don’t get to make that call.

  • mellankelly1

     Can’t kill women in the womb and say you’re standing up for them in real life.

    Um… a woman is an adult female person. Let us be very clear, a woman does not exist "in the womb", the womb exists in the woman.

    that we should have the abortion before the human being can feel pain (7-14 weeks).

    You are misinformed. Try obtaining your information from non-biased, medically sound sources (Mayo Clinic, etc.) it is not possible for an embryo/fetus at that point in gestation to "feel" anything.

    By the way, your assuming that a fetus is not a person is also an article of faith

    This assumption (your word) has been shared by every society that has ever existed… the zygote, embryo &/or fetus has never, in history, been considered a person. Much like the ova and sperm have never been considered people.

    which value is more important, more fundamental–life or choice?

    Nice try… the value that is "more important, more fundamental" is the life of the individual woman. Women are moral, competent people capable of determining the course of their own pregnancies without any "help" from anonymous posters on the Internet. Make no mistake, this issue is about the value of women’s lives.

    This fact is also obvious in that we take away people’s choices all the time, PRECISELY WHEN THEY INFRINGE ON THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS.

    Which is precisely why the government and/or some other third party (this includes "anonymous from the Internet") do not get to make choices for pregnant women… it infringes upon the rights of pregnant women (unless you believe that we suddenly lose our rights immediately upon becoming pregnant.)

    Sorry, not your choice

    I couldn’t have put it better myself.

  • invalid-0

    (unless you believe that we suddenly lose our rights immediately upon becoming pregnant.)

    Yet this is precisely what anti-choicers DO advocate. And the only response to date is: stripping women of their civil rights is not the intent of anti-choice legislation, so therefore women will not be stripped of their civil rights. Un peu bizarre.

  • progo35

     Jan-the Vatican did not excommunicate anyone, the Brazillian Bishop did, and the Vatican rescinded it, moreover, the nine year old rape victim was never excommunicated, the doctor and her mother were. I’m glad that that Vaticn rescinded the excommunication, but your facts are a bit skewed here. 

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    You will find some vegetarians that do eat and/or remove fertilized eggs from the nests of the chickens they own (the latter as population control to stop them from being brooded and hatching into chicks – also having ethical concerns about the treatment of males elsewhere they decide to keep males around and alive which results in the fertilization). These vegetarians do not believe in treating each fertilized egg as if it were the same as a chick and also understand it takes the incubation process to make it into a chick.

    There are multiple vegetarians amongst the comments at this link who do this.

    http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=5095&p=1

  • invalid-0

    ENO0UGH WITH THE FIGHTING AND THE TROLLING!!! ALL BOTH SIDES OF THIS DEBATE WANT TO DO IS FIGHT AND FIGHT AND FIGHT UNTIL … GUESS WHAT? THE ENTIRE HUMAN RACE IS EXTINCT! GET A GRIP! LET’S AGREE TO DISAGREE, SHALL WE?

    NO TWO PEOPLE ARE ALIKE. WE ALL COME FROM DIFFERING PLACES OF VALUES AND WE EXPRESS OUR THOUGHTS AND SELVES BASED UPON WHATEVER VALUES WE CAME FROM AND HAVE EXPERIENCED FIRSTHAND.

    OUR PRESIDENT OBAMA IS RIGHT. IT’S TIME TO OPEN OUR MINDS AND HEARTS AND START HAVING THOUGHTFUL (BUT NOT SO INTELLIGENT THAT THE AVERAGE PERSON CANNOT UNDERSTAND A WORD YOU ARE SAYING. QUOTING FROM PHILOSOPHY DOES NOT SCORE POINTS) CONVERSATIONS ON LIFE AND CHOICE AND MEDICALLY CORRECT PROCEDURES THAT SAVE LIVES. WE MUST ALSO LISTEN (difficult as it may sound to some of you) TO THE PRO-LIFE VIEWPOINTS THAT WANT TO SAVE LIVES, BUT DO NOT WISH TO HELP KEEP THEM LIVING. THEY NEED TO BE CONVINCED THAT TO BE TRULY PRO-LIFE, THEY MUST ADVOCATE FOR THE FULL LIVES OF LIVING PEOPLE. NOT JUST BIRTHING THEM FOR THE SAKE OF BIRTHING THEM, EVEN AT THE EXPENSE OF THE MOTHER’S LIFE. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH CANNOT SURVIVE ON THEIR CURRENT RHETORIC AND TEACHINGS THAT ARE OUT-DATED HUNDREDS OF YEARS. NO RELIGION AT ALL OWNS AND RUNS PEOPLE’S BODIES, AS MUCH AS THEY SAY THAT THEY DO.

    I AM PRO-CHOICE FOR A REAL-LIFE REASON. I AM AN ADVOCATE OF MEDICALLY CORRECT PROCEDURES THAT SAVE LIVING LIVES–BETTERING LIVES. I AM ALSO AN ADVOCATE OF PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE. OUR CURRENT SYSTEM IS CORRUPT (THANKS TO BOTH BUSH AND REGAN ADMINISTRATIONS, NOT AT ALL THE OBAMA ONE) AND IS ABOUT GREED, GREED, GREED. THE WIDE-SCREEN TV, MCMANSION HOME, AND GAS-GUZZLING SUV ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN SHOPPING AT THE FARMERS MARKET FOR REAL, HEALTHFUL FOOD THAT FEEDS BODIES AND MINDS.

    PLEASE DO NOT GET ME WRONG OR CALL ME A HYPOCRITE. YOU AT RH REALITY CHECK ARE DOING WONDERFUL THINGS IN DISPUTING THE MYTHS THE RADICALLY PRO-LIFE SIDES SPEW 24/7.

    HOWEVER, IN THE REAL WORLD I CANNOT FULLY AVOID RELIGIOUS RIGHT VIEWPOINTS. ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS HAPPENS TO BE PRO-LIFE. BUT WE NEVER ACT LIKE TWO-YEAR-OLDS FIGHTING OVER THE ISSUE ALL THE TIME. WE HAVE AGREED – AND AGREE TO THIS DAY – TO WALK HAND-IN-HAND DISAGREEING. WHY CANNOT THE REST OF YOU, NO MATTER WHAT SIDES OF THE ISSUE YOU ARE ON?

    IN ALL … KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

    (My apologies for the all-caps. Some of us who are committed to choice with an open mind and heart are really getting fed up with all this fighting that does nothing but encourage more fighting. The world does not revolve around any one person. We are a community and it’s time to start learning how to get along in actually making some form of societal progress work for us and benefit us in our lifetimes. One thing you can do – If your local government official is not doing anything in your best interest, you can start by campaigning for ousting that official out of office next year – or even this year if him/her is up for election this year.

    Another thing you can do … get away from your computer for awhile and actually start talking to people in your own communities. It takes one community at a time to change the world.)

  • http://ayfphk.com invalid-0
  • http://www.briefcasestore.com invalid-0

    I think people should just use protection but besides that i dont think its easy for a pregnant woman to get an abortion. If i was a woman i thinkg it would be very hard to decide to get one but of course it depends on the circumstance. If its an accident then i think the right thing to do is to keep the baby, if your not ready to take care of a baby you can alway give it to family that can untill you get back on you feet or just be careful in the first place and make him wear a condom. Having a baby is no joke so befor your about to have sex think of what can happen. The only reason that a woman should get an abortion is if she gets tragicly raped god fobid and ends up prednant in the process then i thinkg its ok to get one, and the rapist should get the electric chair or worse. Speaking of that i think the American justice system should give the death sentence to any rapist or child molester. Did you know child molesters get less than 2 years in jail, but murderers get 25 to life. I dont get it. I will show more respect to a murderer than to a child molester or rapist, like i said i think they should get the electric chair the gas chamber is too soft.

  • invalid-0

    You say this…

    If its an accident then i think the right thing to do is to keep the baby

    …but then you say this:

    The only reason that a woman should get an abortion is if she gets tragicly raped god fobid and ends up prednant in the process then i thinkg its ok to get one

    Why do you think it is okay for a woman to have an abortion if she were raped, but not if she had an “accident?” What is so different about those two cases that makes an abortion right, or wrong?

    (It’s a little bit like a restaurant owner saying, “You may eat here if you drove in on I-95. But if you came in on Route 3, then I’m sorry, but you’ll have to go somewhere else.” What’s the point?)

  • saitb

    Protection is the only way to go with the population the way it is going to explode within couple of years. Unfotunately nature is going to interfare with us humans with a decies or catastrophy in the world.
    -sait