Once again, the Democratic Catholics ( cringe ) in Congress have decided that, since it's an Election Year (it's always an election year, anymore), it's the right to to re-establish their Catholic credentials. 55 House Democrats issued the "Statement of Principles", which, in part, talks about their pride in being "part of the living Catholic tradition--a tradition that promotes the common good." Hmmm. While this might have flown in the days of Cardinal Bernadin, who tried to elevate matters such as economics, war and poverty to the same moral level as euthanasia and abortion (which isn't done), it's a tougher job now. Not as hard as it should be, but harder.
The document talks about "work [ing] everyday to advance respect for life and the dignity of every human being. We believe that government has a moral purpose." Of course they're not talking about saving babies fromt he abortionist's forceps, or stopping Oregon's assisted suicide law; they're talking about more touchy feely stuff, like "helping the poor and disadvantaged...and making sure that all Americans of every faith are given meaningful opportunities to share in the blessings of this great country." OK, yes, that's part of Catholicism, nay, all Christianity, too. But it's not the big fish.
On the big fish? They write that they do not "celebrate the practice of abortion". Instead, they envisions a world where "every child belongs to a loving family." Well that's great. We'd all like that. So let's just kill them before they're born if a "loving family" isn't going to happen? And how do you know that, anyway? So while saying that they dont' "celebrate" the practice, they "acknowledge and accept the tension that comes with being in disagreement with the Church in some areas." So they're going to talk to American Catholics about them being good Catholics while acknowledging that they're not good Catholics? In speaking about the "primacy of the conscience", it makes me think that someone along the line failed to instruct them on how conscience is formed. The Church doesn't hand out "suggestions". It tells you what is right and what is wrong. failure to follow the Church on what constituents "grave sin" doesn't make you a cool forward thinker. It makes you wrong. Abortion is a "grave sin". Economic injustice is not. While it is not condoned, at all, economic injustice, such as a minimum wage that you may feel is too low, is not the same as killing a baby. It's not the same as condoning euthanasia. Unless you're willing to adopt the essential tenets of Catholicism, you're not Catholic. You're just someone who shares a lot of Catholic beliefs but not the big ones. It would be like being Jewish and saying, "well I keep kosher and I go synangogue, but you know I think the 'Jesus is the Messiah' idea might have some merit."