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Time for Integrity July 20, 2008

Posted by Maddog in Politics and Law, Prolife Issues, Religion and Social Issues.
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The newspapers, and especially their columnists, are having a field day writing about Ozamis Archbishop Jesus A. Dosado’s decision to deny Catholic politicians who are pro-abortion and pro-artificial contraception the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Some writers caution of a backlash, warning that decision appears too confrontational, and others seem sympathetic to the affected legislators, as if they were the underdogs. Some would even praise them for taking a principled stand.

But just how principled a stand is that of these politicians? And are the other considerations even relevant? Let’s examine the situation at hand.

Integrity

We are all sinners and are guilty of not living up to all our beliefs. It would seem, however, that these Catholic politicians have radically disconnected their faith from their actions. They claim membership in a Church that emphatically teaches one very fundamental tenet, and then openly announce their support for — and will work to bring about — the opposite. It’s one thing to be privately inconsistent with one’s beliefs, but to do so repeatedly, publicly, without remorse, and to claim that it is right, is another thing altogether. It’s a scandal.

What does that say about their integrity?

Here are the definitions of “integrity” from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

1: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values
2: an unimpaired condition
3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided

“Firm adherence” and “complete or undivided” all imply consistency in belief, word, and deed, don’t they? To have integrity means to behave in accordance with declared and freely held belief.

It’s obvious that these arrogant politicians want to have their cake and it it too. They want to advocate and pass coercive laws that promote and condone abortion and abortifacient contraceptives, while at the same time demand that they be considered Catholics in good standing!

What kind of chicanery is this? A Catholic “in good standing” is one who tries his best to follow the doctrines of the Catholic Church. What kind a Catholic is someone who refuses to believe in Catholic doctrine? Can such a person even be a Catholic except in name only? A How then, can one be in “good standing” with the Church when one promotes laws that are directly contrary to the Catholic doctrine?

Atty. Jose C. Sison, in his article “A bishop’s courageous stand” (July 18, Philippine Star) hit the nail on the head when he wrote:

So Catholic politicians in Congress or in city councils who sponsored and supported these pro abortion measures should not complain if they are denied the Sacraments; or try to sway public opinion against the Church for their predicament. They “should have the integrity to acknowledge” that their stand is contrary to their Faith, and voluntarily refrain from receiving the Sacraments “until they have a change of heart”, as Archbishop Dosado admonished.

Can we expect integrity from these politicians? If we cannot expect such, then why elect them? They will have their day of reckoning.

Common Sense

Dosado’s decision is just plain common sense. Isn’t a bishop supposed to defend the Catholic Faith and its moral teachings? Isn’t abortion a very grave sin accoridng to Catholic teaching? Shouldn’t a bishop decry the cold-blooded murder of the most innocent and helpless human beings — the unborn? And doesn’t the Church also treach that those who are in a state of mortal sin should refrain from receiving the Eucharist?

If the answe to these questions is “yes”, then it seems quite obvious that Dosado’s decison is a moral one, not a political or tactical move that must be calcualted to gain consensus. While we can normally expect a person who is conscious of being in a state of grave sin to refrain from receiving Communion,. someone who repeatedly continues to publicly oppose and violate catholic doctrine can hardly be expected to inhibit himself from Communion. After all, this would be an admission to himself that his action is wrong. It is a bishop’s duty, therefore, to act on such a wanton display deception and disregard for Catholic doctrine by imposing a public restriction: denying them Communion. If a bishop were to turn a blind eye to this behavior, that would be an occasion of public scandal and damaging to the Faith and the flock.

It’s integrity, again.

We need change

Let me repeat: It’s all about integrity. These two-faced politicians got what they deserved. In fact, they didn’t get enough retribution. They should be voted out of office.

We need politicians who will talk and act straight. We need integrity in our government. The Archbishop’s courageous decision will help us in achieving that. We need more men like Archbishop Dosado.

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