Thursday, August 09, 2018

Francis's Death Penalty Heresy: More Abortions, Practical Atheism and the Seamless Garment

Pope John Paul II in a General Audience on April 1999 said:

"The contemporary era has devastating forms of 'theoretical' and 'practical' atheism. Secularism... with its indifference to ultimate questions and... the transcendent." (Vatican.va>hf_jp_ii_ 14041999)

Pope Francis's primary focus on only earthly human dignity which appears to be Kantian practical atheism could be a form of secularism that is "indifferent to ultimate questions and... the transcendent."

The Pope rarely focuses on "ultimate questions and... the transcendent" such as heaven and hell as well as the Last Judgment, but almost always on non-ultimate/transcendent issues that tend to bring leftist pro-abortion politicians into power such as the death penalty, radical environmental issues, leftist economic policies and unlimited immigration.

This form of secularism which uses "rights and dignity" language has brought about the Pope's "pro-life" seamless garment teachings which we will see appears to be a form of Kantian practical atheism.

The upcoming abortion holocaust in Ireland can, to some extent, be blamed on the Irish bishops following Pope Francis's so-called "pro-life" teachings that equates killing innocent human life with pro-abortion politician issues such as the death penalty, leftist immigration policies and radical ecology policies.

Even after the abortion referendum was overwhelming lost, to some extent, due to the seamless garment focus as well as inaction by Francis and the Irish bishops, Dublin Bishop Diarmuil Martin had the gall to call for more Francis seamless garment Kantian practical atheism. Martin said:

"Pro-life means being alongside... economic deprivation, homelessness and marginalization." (Crux, "After abortion loss, Irish prelates look to pope's vision of 'pro-life," May 27, 2017)

The so-called "pro-life" teachings of Francis and the Irish bishops, to some extent, can be blamed for the coming death of thousands even millions of babies

This teachings came about because of their conscious or unconscious Kantian practical atheism which is this world materialistic and tends to exclude the eternal.

The practical atheist philosopher Immanuel Kant while not explicitly denying the existence of God said:

"God is not a being outside me but merely a thought within me." (Fr. Stanley Jaki, "Angels, Apes and Men," page 10)

On October 20, 2017, Dr. Joseph Shaw showed how "conservative" moral Catholic theorists such as Germain Grisez and John Finnis (who reject Thomism according to philosopher Edward Feser for "modern (and especially Kantian) thinking") play into the abortionist game plan and the apparent new Francis plan:

"The Pope speaks in this address with a level of technical precision not always
to be found in his remarks. He says:"

'It is per se contrary to the Gospel, because it entails the willful suppression of a
human life that never ceases to be sacred in the eyes of its Creator and of which –
ultimately – only God is the true judge and guarantor.'

"This logically implies that the 'willful suppression of life' in self-defence and war is also always and everywhere ruled out."

"This aligns his position with that made famous by the American theologian Prof
Germain Grisez (who, as a matter of fact, wrote an open letter to Pope Francis
protesting about the undermining of the teaching of the Church on marriage, with his longstanding collaborator Prof John Finnis). Grisez argues that warfare is morally possible if we think of soldiers not intending to kill, but intending to incapacitate."

"This raises the question of whether Pope Francis or his collaborators would like at
some point to take advantage of another implication of Grisez’s position
. Grisez’s
view is that it is intrinsically wrong to intend to take a life, and that this is always
wrong (even in a just war). On the other hand, it would be permissible to remove anon-viable fetus from the womb, if the intention was not to kill but to remove the fetus from the womb for the sake of the mother’s health. Indeed, to facilitate this removal, it would be permissible to cut the fetus into pieces first.
(See Germain Grisez ‘Towards a consistent Natural-Law ethics of killing’  American Journal of Jurisprudence 15 (1970) p4; cf. Finnis, Boyle, and Grisez Nuclear Deterrence, Morality and Realism (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987) p311)"

"This view was condemned by Pope St John Paul II in Evangelium vitae 62 (cf. §§40,
60, 63). It should be emphasised that Grisez and his collaborators accepted the
position of Evangelium vitae as binding on Catholics.

The condemnation of the death penalty in all circumstance could be part of a
strategy
to adopt this understanding of a consistent pro-life ethic [seamless garment]. While it looks at first like a very strong ‘pro-life’ position, it allows so-called ‘therapeutic abortion’, and
adopting it would enable the Church to make an enormous concession to the
practice of abortion."


"Is should be noted that the great majority of abortions are carried out under the
justification of the ‘health of the mother’
, whether physical or mental, and while
Grisez would insist that few could be truly justified on his theory, it would not be easy
for legislators to distinguish which were and which were not. The practical result of
adopting this approach would be the end of the Catholic campaign against legal
abortion, and the resolution of the confrontation between the Church and the world on this most explosive of issues."

"In short, the implications for the pro-life movement would be catastrophic."
(LifeSiteNews interview on the ‘Death Penalty’ address of Pope Francis with Dr.
Joseph Shaw, Oxford professor.
October 20, 2017 and Edward Feser.blogspot.com, "Catholicism, conservativism and capital punishment," March 30, 2010)
 
On February 11, 2011, Catholic philosopher Feser said the "Grisez-Finnis approach to natural law" and Francis's new death penalty teaching was "simply incompatible with biblical revelation, traditional Catholic moral teaching, and traditional natural law theory"or in other words heresy:

"The results of the “Grinnis” approach are in some cases not only obscure, but decidedly untraditional.  For example, “new natural lawyers” often hold, not only that it is better not to impose the death penalty (something many Catholic moralists have held over the centuries, Pope John Paul II being the most famous example), but that the death penalty is always and intrinsically immoral – a claim that is simply incompatible with biblical revelation, traditional Catholic moral teaching, and traditional natural law theory.  (Tollefsen and I debated this issue several years ago when we were co-bloggers at the now defunct Right Reason group blog.  You can find his statement of his position here and my reply here, courtesy of the Wayback Machine.)"
[http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/02/live-action-lying-and-natural-law.html?m=1)]

Feser explains why the Francis teaching is Orwellian error and contradicts past teachings :

"Pope Francis, by contrast, wants the Catechism to teach that capital punishment ought never to be used... he justifies this change not on prudential grounds, but 'so as to better reflect the development of doctrine.'"

"... Nor does the letter from the CDF [Francis's Vatican doctrine office] explain how the new teaching can be consistent with the teaching of scripture, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and previous popes. Merely asserting the new language "develops" rather than "contradicts" past teachings does not make it so. The CDF is not Orwell's Ministry of Truth, and a pope is not Humpty Dumpty, able by fiat to make words mean whatever he wants them to. Slapping the label "development" onto a contradiction doesn't transform it into a non-contradiction."
(First Things, "Pope Francis and Capital Punishment," August, 3 2018)


Again, according to Catholic ethics Professor Joseph Bessette, Francis is contradicting the two immediate previous popes before him:

"In 2004,...then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - the pope's own chief doctrinal officer, later to become Pope Benedict XVI - stated unambiguously that:"

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about... applying the death penalty." (Catholic World Report, "Why the Church cannot Reverse Past Teaching on Capital Punishment," June, 7 2017)


Sadly and ironically, many pro-life Catholics are defending this teaching by irrationally saying it doesn't contradict irreformable dogma or that it is prudential or it is ambiguous not realizing that they are defending the seamless garment, more abortions and practical atheism.

Francis's Secretary of State Pietro Parolin a few days before Francis announced his new teaching let the cat out of the bag. Parolin profusely praised the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin signaling more upcoming support of his centerpiece teaching: the seamless garment.

The seamless garment teaches that there is moral equivalence between prudential social issues "where there can be legitimate diversity of opinion" as Ratzinger taught and abortion which is a grave sin where there can't be diversity of opinion.

One example of this teaching would be teaching that the murder of the unborn babies and the push for unrestricted mass immigration which Francis recently taught in his Gaudete et Exsultate are morally equivalent.

It is probable that Francis knows the vast majority of the new immigrants vote for the abortion party, the Democrats which leads to more legalized abortion.

Another example of the seamless garment would be to make murder of the unborn babies equivalent to not voting for the death penalty heresy of making capital punishment inadmissible or not allowed.

As Research Director for the Acton Institute Dr. Samuel Gregg put it:

"The 'seamless garment'... provide[d] 'cover' for Catholic politicians who supported legalized abortion."
(Catholic World Report, "The Consistent - and not so Seamless - Ethic of Life," August 13, 2015)

Feser and Bessette in their book "By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed" show that the evidence shows that the best way to get more abortions and practical atheism is to support ending the death penalty:

"[S]ome... claim... abolition of capital punishment will contribute to 'building a culture of life'... As far as we can see, there is no evidence whatsoever for this claim, and compelling evidence against it. Abortion and euthanasia were much rarer in Western societies when capital punishment was more common, and they have become more common in Western society precisely as support for capital punishment has diminished."

"... Meanwhile, those who are most strongly opposed to capital punishment tend also to be strongly opposed to traditional morality and traditional religious belief. Precisely because of this opposition, though, opponents of capital punishment will also tend (again, not always, but in general) to support abortion and euthanasia. So, the suggestion that opposition to capital punishment is a natural part of 'building a culture of life' appears to be neither true to the sociological facts, nor at all plausible in light of the radical incompatible philosophical, moral, or religious premises that underlie most opposition to abortion and euthanasia, on the one hand, and most opposition to capital punishment on the other." (Pages 201 - 202)


Justice Antonin Scalia showed, also, that practical atheism leads to "the modern view that the death penalty is immoral":

"So it is no accident, I think, that the modern view that the death penalty is immoral is centered in the West. That has little to do with the fact that the West has a Christian tradition, and everything to do with the fact that the West is the home of democracy. Indeed, it seems to me that the more Christian a country is the less likely it is to regard the death penalty as immoral. Abolition has taken its firmest hold in post-Christian Europe, and has least support in the church-going United States. I attribute that to the fact that, for the believing Christian, death is no big deal. Intentionally killing an innocent person is a big deal: it is a grave sin, which causes one to lose his soul. But losing this life, in exchange for the next?"
[https://www.firstthings.com/article/2002/05/gods-justice-and-ours]

Scholar Douglas A. Ollivant has shown that the "rights and dignity" language used by Francis and the Grisez-Finnis school leads to the "rights and dignity of each person replac[ing] moral and theological virtues... an emphasis on personal autonomy or personal identity diminish[ing]... dependence of the creature on the Creator, original sin, grace, and a natural law ."

In this part of the academic article "[Kantian philosophy] Categorical imperatives impair Christianity in culture" by Douglas A. Ollivant it is explained that Kantian practical atheism infiltrated Catholicism and gives a background, to some extent, to why the protection of the unborn ended in Ireland.(July 20, 2010, Religion and Liberty, Volume 13, Number 4):

"In his must-read Christian Faith and Modern Democracy, Robert Kraynak introduces us to the concept of 'Kantian Christianity.' [1] Kraynak claims that the 'Kantian influence on modern Christianity is … deep and pervasive.'” 

"What he means is that Christian thinkers no longer speak about culture and politics in terms of the more enduring principles of moral virtue, law, and the common good but now focus on social justice, understood as solely the immediate, material rights and dignity of the human person." 

"Moreover, they have drastically reduced the role of prudence in politics accepted under the historical Christian anthropological understanding, which has recognized a variety of political regimes depending on the circumstances. This historical understanding also acknowledged the harsh realities of the political realm in a fallen (albeit redeemed) world, and the difficulties and agonies involved in fashioning a just or moral response to contingent events." 

"Instead of prudential judgments, Kraynak maintains that we now hear only moralistic pronouncements about peace and justice that severely limit the range of (legitimately recognized) political options."

"Kraynak maintains that Kantian Christianity has seeped into the language of contemporary Christians even though contemporary Christians do not seem to have a full understanding of the underlying anthropology that comes with it." 

"The rights and dignity of each person replaces moral and theological virtues: rational and spiritual perfection. Further, an emphasis on personal autonomy or personal identity diminishes long-established Christian teachings about the dependence of the creature on the Creator, original sin, grace, and a natural law through which human beings may share or “participate” in eternal law."

"... But to speak of a “culture of life” – if used simply to express a “seamless garment” univocal defense against any taking of life – has become a [Kantian philosophy] categorical imperative. For instance, the core of what we might call the “Bernadin project” is that Christians (in this case Catholics) must dogmatically oppose and fight against any early termination of human life. But this understanding fails to see that there may be an important, and even a critical, difference between a true culture of life and a “culture of merely life.” The former taking into account the authentic existence of human beings within not only the material realm, but also the immaterial, the spiritual; the latter limiting human existence to the breathing of the air in this temporal world only."


"... To quote at length from Kraynak:
'Proclaiming a right to life easily turns into the claim that biological existence is sacred or that mere life has absolute value, regardless of whether it is the life of an innocent unborn child, or the life of a heinous criminal. And the claim that life is a “right” diminishes the claim that life is a “gift” from God: How can a gift be a right? Proclaiming a right to life eventually leads to the mistaken idea of a “seamless garment of life” that is indistinguishable from complete pacifism or a total ban on taking life, including animal life, even for just and necessary causes. It also makes one forget that the good life, not to mention the afterlife, is a greater good than merely being alive in the present world – an unintended but significant depreciation of Christian otherworldliness. [5]'"
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church. 

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