Render Unto Caesar Archbishop Charles Chaput


Four words to those who would be wise: get it, read it. The three excerpts below act as impetus, review, and my own personal sendoff. It is a book I should (but probably won't) re read immediately.

from Render Unto Caesar
Archbishop Charles Chaput

In our day, sanctity-of-life issues are foundational--not because of anyone's "religious" views about abortion, although these are important; but because the act of dehumanizing and killing the unborn child attacks human dignity in a uniquely grave way. Deliberately killing the innocent is always, inexcusably wrong. It sets a pattern of contempt for every other aspect of human dignity. In redefining when human life begins and what is and isn't a human person, the logic behind permissive abortion makes all human right politically contingent. (p. 207)

The lessons of this quasi-religious creed, Brooks suggested, are two: First, "if you really wanted to supercharge the nation, you'd fill it with college students who constantly attend church, but who are skeptical of everything they hear there"; and second, always try to be "the least believing member of one of the more observant sects." (p. 213--referring to current the trend in current American Catholic practice.)

The fact that no ideal or even normally acceptable candidate exists in an election does not absolve us from taking part in it. As Catholic citizens, we need to work for the greatest good. The purpose of cultivating a life of prayer, a relationship with Jesus Christ, and a love for the church is to grow as a Christian disciple--to become the kind of Catholic adult who can properly exercise conscience and good sense in exactly such circumstances. There isn't one "right" answer here. Committed Catholics can make very different but equally valid choices: to vote for the major candidate who most closely fits the moral ideal, to vote for an acceptable third-party candidate who is unlikely to win, or to not vote at all. All of these choices can be legitimate. This is a matter for personal decision not church policy. (230-231)

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on July 21, 2009 7:51 PM.

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