Wednesday, May 12, 2010

An Open Letter to Speaker Pelosi

From Jennifer Hartline at Catholic Online and My Chocolate Heart

Jennifer Hartline does not shrink from telling it like it is, and stands toe to toe here electronically with the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who alleges that she is a devout Catholic.  What Mrs. Hartline has to say can be found in its original form and context here at Catholic Online and here at My Chocolate Heart, though I have reproduced it below.

Recently, I have been having a change of heart about how to deal with things that I THINK are out of line with God's word as I understand it, and as I seek to comprehend the Catholic Church teachings of His Word.

Over 20 years ago, I met Father Santos Mendoza at St. Jude's Chapel in downtown Dallas, TX, and there is a story to tell about going to confession to him then.  But, something else is afoot that takes me back to him, and his holiness.  He gave my friend, Deacon Chuck Stillwell a prayer to pray for all situations really, that came back to my prayer partners and me a few weeks back.
That prayer is appropriate here for the Speaker of the House, because we frankly do not know the state of her soul, nor the specifics of her needs in prayer.  We could pray for conversion for her, but there is an arrogance in that prayer.  We've got it.  She doesn't.   No, praying for her needs requires humility of our own hearts.

So, here is the prayer that Father Mondoza taught us through our friend.  Please pray it for Ms. Pelosi.:
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in your love for Nancy Pelosi (10X)
Sacred Heart of Jesus, fill me with your blood.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in your love for Nancy Pelosi (10X)
Sacred Heart of Jesus, fill me with your blood.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in your love for Nancy Pelosi (10X)
Sacred Heart of Jesus, fill me with your blood.
This prayer presupposes and accepts that God has a better handle on the needs of Speaker Pelosi than we do, and that God loves her, every bit as much as he does you or me.  By trusting in that love that He has for her, we are inviting Him to do His will with her, and when we add to that, that we ask Him to fill us with His blood, we are accepting the humility that is our lack of understanding of the particular situation for which we are praying.

Here is what my sister in Christ wrote:
Madam Speaker,

In the interest of honesty, I will say up front that I’m not a supporter of yours.  I am a woman who deeply loves the Church you claim as your own, and I am disgusted at your most recent attempt to exert your power under the guise of Christian love.  The political games you play are bad enough, but your public perversion of the Catholic faith simply cannot go unanswered.
Your platform gives you a nationwide microphone; your political authority can lead the ignorant and the gullible to think that you speak with authority on matters of faith as well.  You do not.  In another profession, your errant views might only go as far as your immediate friends and family, but due to your position, your error can potentially spread like a deadly virus among thousands.

You are misleading people, Ms. Pelosi, and in my opinion, you take a rather cheeky satisfaction in doing so.  I read your remarks from the Catholic Community Conference on Capitol Hill last week, and the nicest way I can say it is: you sure have a lot of nerve.

You told those gathered that Catholics who opposed your version of immigration reform needed to be reminded that this is “a manifestation of our living the gospels.”  You let it be known that you felt the need to instruct the bishops, cardinals and archbishops on what they should say to their congregations regarding immigration reform.  You, who obstinately refuse to heed the instruction and correction of your own bishop, as well as many other bishops, regarding your public actions and statements concerning the teachings of the Church, now establish yourself as an authority on the Church’s role in matters near and dear to your heart.

You stated with shocking audacity that “We have to respect that dignity and worth of the individual and recognize that the Church has an important role to play in that.”  Your hypocrisy is simply staggering!  You see no obligation to recognize the dignity and worth of the preborn child in the womb – only the dignity and worth of the post-born person who can applaud and cast a vote in your favor.

Where was your conviction that we must respect the dignity and worth of the individual when you insisted, “To me it isn’t even a question.[of being a faithful Catholic while being pro-abortion]  God has given us free will.  We’re all responsible for our actions.  If you don’t want an abortion, you don’t believe in it, then don’t have one.  But don’t tell somebody else what they can do in terms of honoring their responsibilities.” (Newsweek magazine interview Oct 2006)  Funny… I never knew that honoring my responsibilities meant I could kill a baby.  And I certainly never knew that it was a “choice” my Church and my God would support.

In case you’ve forgotten, here was Bishop Vasa’s reply to your errant statement: 

“It is categorically impossible for the same person to state that he or she believes simultaneously both what the Catholic Church teaches and that abortion is just a choice…Furthermore, it is an unjust choice which is diametrically opposed to the clear and consistent teaching of the Catholic Church as well as to the clear and consistent teaching of God Himself in the Ten Commandments.  The direct, intentional taking of the life of an innocent human being is inhumane and unjust.  It is not just a choice!”

Where was your conviction that we must respect the dignity and worth of the individual during the health care reform debates when the Catholic bishops spoke out in unison against the federal funding of abortion?  Oh yes – your reply was denial.  “No taxpayer funding of abortion in here, no sir!”  No one with an ounce of common sense believed that patronizing lie.  We all knew it was in there as well as you did.
But again, let’s not pretend that protecting a tiny, powerless, still-forming child is the same thing as protecting a voter.  Surely even the Church must understand that as a politician, you have to have your priorities straight.  It’s your survival in Washington that matters.

After all, there’s nothing to be gained personally by insisting on the dignity and worth of the person in the womb.  They can’t do anything for you; they must simply be served – lovingly and without repayment.  They don’t generate income for decades, and by the time they can vote, it’ll be someone else’s election.  There’s nothing in it for you now, and far too much money from the abortion lobby at stake.  Yeah, those babies simply cost way too much.

Time and time again, you deny the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception, deny that we have an obligation to the preborn as fellow human beings, and even try to deceive the public by claiming the Church herself is unclear about when life begins, so therefore, you are justified in defending the “right” to abortion.

You believe what serves you, when it serves you.  You twist what you can to benefit your purpose and make your position stronger and sadly, you are aided by dissident Catholics like Sr. Carol Keehan, Catholics for Choice, and others who ignore or flat-out contradict Church teaching.  You speak of our command to “live the gospels” and even hitch a ride on St. Francis of Assisi’s call to “Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words.”  Yet you routinely use your words to subvert Church teaching, to publicly disobey Church leaders, and mislead the faithful.

You’re hardly alone in this.  Pathetically, Washington is full of so-called Catholics who have no interest in living an authentic Catholic faith.  They are determined to write their own version of Catholicism; one that’s “tolerant” and encourages “choice.”  They want a Catholic faith that has very few, if any, lines clearly drawn between what’s right and what’s wrong.  They prefer a Church that stays out of the public eye and the public ear, and lowers its expectations regarding the lives of its followers.  They preach a Jesus who doesn’t ask very much.

The fact is, the Church is breathtakingly clear on matters of life, marriage and sexuality, and the family as the foundation of society.  Human life is sacred from conception to natural death and only God can give life or take life away.  Marriage is between one man and one woman for life.  Sex is good and holy and only morally right within the bonds of marriage.  The family – father, mother, and child – must be protected and nourished as the true foundation for society; for as the family goes, so goes our nation.

Not the sort of rhetoric that gets you elected these days, is it?  If political power is what you want, fine.  Go for it.  But stop trying to use the Church for cover, because your actions consistently deny the faith you claim is so dear to you.  I wish you and every other self-described Catholic in Washington would make up your minds to either live the faith the Church actually teaches or live for the world’s applause and power.  You can’t have it both ways. 

Here is your real choice, Ms. Pelosi: 

“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse – the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods…”  Deuteronomy 11:26-28

“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him.”  Deuteronomy 30:19-20

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