Sunday, November 21, 2010

Is the Pope a Leftie?

There were two stories about Pope Benedict XVI in the "news" this week that had my more liberal friends crowing over. Hey, the Pope finally got "with it" and admitted that we are right about condoms to fight AIDS and socialize medicine!

The bigger story, of course, was Pope approves of condom use. As usual, all the mainstream media attempts to spin this don't consider the context or the actual words spoken. Jeff Miller has a better examination of what really was said. My $0.02 analogy of his position is if an arsonist decides to only torch unoccupied buildings, he is behaving more responsibly than one who torches anything. The pope is not condoning torching of buildings, occupied or not, he is merely confirming that even in performing immoral acts there are degrees of immorality. He is not condoning the use of condoms, but saying that for people who are already in an immoral situation, every aspect that increases potential harm to others compounds the situation.

The other story is Pope says health care is a right. Some people are taking this as a papal endorsement of Obamacare, and a change the Church's teaching on the subject.

There are three things wrong with these arguments. First off, assuming that every word out of the Pope's mouth is related to an American point of view. There are 68 million Catholics in America, which makes us a minority here. Compare that to the 1.2 billion Catholics our Holy Father shepherds and it is silly to think that everything is about American politics.

Secondly, nothing in the letter was out of line with established Church teaching. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says
2288 Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good.

Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the attainment of living-conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance.
Finally, if you read the actual text of the letter in question, the actual thrust of the letter is an appeal to put moral considerations first in providing health care, which is pretty much the antithesis of Obamacare. [translation by google, so excuse the occasional odd wording]
Justice must be among the health agenda of governments and international institutions. Unfortunately, alongside positive and encouraging results, there are opinions and ways of thinking that the wound: I am referring to issues such as those related to the so-called "health reproductive, with the use of artificial breeding techniques involving embryo destruction, or euthanasia legalized. The love of justice, the protection of life from conception to natural death, respect for the dignity of every human being should be sustained and witnessed, even against the tide: the core ethical values are the common heritage of universal morality and the basis of democratic society.
So calm down people. If there's anything to be learned from these stories, it's that you should not trust secular news sources to get such stories right.


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