John Paul II and Tuesday’s Election

Blessed John Paul II is one of my favorite thinkers. He said quite a few things which I think are worth pondering in light of Tuesday’s election. I’ve listed some of them below for your prayerful reflection.

Have a blessed Sunday.

The Value of Human Beings and Human Life

“The commandment you shall not kill even in its more positive aspects of respecting, loving, and promoting human life, is binding on every individual human being.”~Evangelium Vitae-Gospel of Life Pope John Paul II-1995

“While it is true that the taking of life not yet born or in it’s final stages is sometimes marked by a mistaken sense of altruism and human compassion it cannot be denied that such a culture of death, taken as a whole, betrays a completely individualistic concept of freedom, which ends up by becoming the freedom of ” the strong” against the weak who have no choice but to submit”.~Evangelium Vitae

“Man’s life comes from God: it is his image and imprint, as sharing in his breath of life. God therefore is the sole Lord of this life: Man cannot do with it as he wills.”~Evangelium Vitae

‘The Gospel of life must be proclaimed and human life defended in all places and all times.”~Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics- National Conference of Catholic Bishops (United States) 1998

 

The Family and Same-Sex Marriage

“It is legitimate and necessary to ask oneself if this [gay marriage] is not perhaps part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man.”

“As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.”

“Marriage is an act of will that signifies and involves a mutual gift, which unites the spouses and binds them to their eventual souls, with whom they make up a sole family – a domestic church. ”

“The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish.”

“The family, as the fundamental and essential educating community, is the privileged means for transmitting the religious and cultural values which help the person to acquire his or her own identity. Founded on love and open to the gift of life, the family contains in itself the very future of society; its most special task is to contribute effectively to a future of peace.”

 

Abortion

 “The cemetery of the victims of human cruelty in our century is extended to include yet another vast cemetery, that of the unborn.”

“Finally, true freedom is not advanced in the permissive society, which confuses freedom with licence to do anything whatever and which in the name of freedom proclaims a kind of general amorality. It is a caricature of freedom to claim that people are free to organize their lives with no reference to moral values, and to say that society does not have to ensure the protection and advancement of ethical values. Such an attitude is destructive of freedom and peace. There are many examples of this mistaken idea of freedom, such as the elimination of human life by legalized or generally accepted abortion.”

“Abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, for example, risk reducing the human person to a mere object: life and death to order, as it were!”

 

Euthanasia

“Euthanasia is a grave violation of the law of God, since it is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human person.” ~Evangelium Vitae, 1995

“Similarly, euthanasia and assisted suicide are never acceptable acts of mercy. They always gravely exploit the suffering and desperate, extinguishing life in the name of the “quality of life” itself.”~Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics-National Conference of Catholic Bishops(United States)-1998

“Those who advocate euthanasia have capitalized on people’s confusion, ambivalence and even fear about the use of modern life-prolonging technologies. Being able to choose the time and manner of one’s death, without regard to what is chosen is presented as the ultimate freedom.”~Statement on Euthanasia- National Conference of Catholic Bishops (United States) 1991

“The sickness of a family member, friend or neighbor is a call to Christians to demonstrate true compassion, that gentle and persevering sharing in another’s pain.”~Ad Limina Apostolorum to Bishops of the United States-John Paul II -

 

The Economy

 “Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power … Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of states, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development.”

“The distinctive mark of the Christian, today more than ever, must be love for the poor, the weak, the suffering.”

“I cannot fail to note once again that the poor constitute the modern challenge, especially for the well-off of our planet, where millions of people live in inhuman conditions and many are literally dying of hunger. It is not possible to announce God the Father to these brothers and sisters without taking on the responsibility of building a more just society in the name of Christ.”

“Hence in every case, a just wage is the concrete means of verifying the justice of the economic system… It is not the only means of checking, but it is a particuarly important one and in a sense the key means.”

“Wages must enable the worker and his family to have access to a truly human standard of living in the material, social, cultural and spiritual orders. It is the dignity of the person which constitutes the criterion for judging work, not the other way around.”

 

Walking the Talk

“When freedom does not have a purpose, when it does not wish to know anything about the rule of law engraved in the hearts of men and women, when it does not listen to the voice of conscience, it turns against humanity and society.”

“True holiness does not mean a flight from the world; rather, it lies in the effort to incarnate the Gospel in everyday life, in the family, at school and at work, and in social and political involvement.”

“The evil of our times consists in the first place in a kind of degradation, indeed in a pulverization, of the fundamental uniqueness of each human person.”

“Precisely in an age when the inviolable rights of the person are solemnly proclaimed and the value of life is publicly affirmed, the very right to life is being denied or trampled upon, especially at the more significant moments of existence: the moment of birth and the moment of death.”~Evangelium Vitae

“Forgiveness is above all a personal choice, a decision of the heart to go against the natural instinct to pay back evil with evil.”

  • Sue

    John Paul II changed the face of modern Europe. He was a political genius. We are all better off for his contributions over a long and successful pontificate.

    But he would not have been a good president. As great as he was, his kind of morality would never be accepted in this country. His attitude toward women’s rights was medieval.

    I fear that the closest to his style of leadership would be Paul Ryan. I was dismayed when Ryan would not assure that Roe v. Wade would not be overturned if his ticket won. I am a Catholic for Obama. I don’t want to see women lose the freedoms they have gained even/especially within my lifetime.

    • Ted Seeber

      How can you even call yourself a Catholic when you are bigoted against so many?

  • JJ

    Agee and would like to add that for this election religious freedom is just as paramount. If the government is able to dictate to the Catholic Church (HHS mandate) then there is no religious freedom for anyone here in the U.S. The government can override any religious belief or doctrine.

    I am not one of these doom and gloomers but my personal opinion is that if religious freedom fails here in the U.S. it will begin the worldwide persecution of the Catholic Church. The U.S. is a safe haven for all Christian denominations (indeed all religions) and is a shining example to the world for the right of religious freedom. If religious freedom fails here in the U.S. – governments worldwide will take notice and be further emboldened in persecuting Christians and use the U.S. government’s actions to validate their attempts to control a denomination, e.g. China’s interference in the Catholic Church.

    For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
    Eph. 6:12

  • Patrick Michael

    “His kind of morality” is Catholic morality. And it was accepted in the West up until the 1970′s. Hardly medieval.

    But even if Catholicism isn’t accepted by the majority of Americans, does that make the Scriptures, Holy Tradition, and Jesus Christ irrelevant? No. Look at the Christians who lived during the time of Nero, they were obviously the minority and persecuted for it.

    The HHS mandate and the current administration’s attacks on religious freedom should be enough for a Catholic to understand that voting for Obama is not only gravely sinful, as he is pro-abortion and pro-homosexual marriage, but also bodes ill for the Church in America.

  • http://ackans.com Mr. V

    Abortion is an intrinsic evil. You can’t support abortion and yet claim to be holding to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

  • Sue

    I said that John Paul II’s attitude toward women’s rights was medieval. I said his kind of morality would never be accepted in this country. I didn’t say it was medieval just not acceptable in this country.

    • savvy

      No it was not medieval. Have you read Theology of the Body or Love and Responsibility?

    • http://ackans.com Mr. V.

      I strongly disagree. His kind of morality is not acceptable? To who? You? You hardly speak for all Americans. His kind of morality is not only acceptable, but held to by a great many people across the nation, men and women, Catholic and Protestant, by every race and ethnicity, and across social status.

      • Sue

        His kind of morality is not acceptable to any couple that wants to live together before marrying, gays who want to marry, women who want the choice of whether to start a family or not, etc. These things are not condemned in an open and free society.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          Blessed John Paul II was speaking as the religious leader of 1 billion people. He was also telling them the truth. There is nothing wrong with that. If you choose to disagree with him, that is your choice. But the condemnation I’m hearing is coming from you. You sound as if you are condemning the Holy Father for adhering to Christian morality in his teaching. You seem to think that he should instead adhere to your opinions in his teaching. I have read quite a lot of Blessed John Paul’s writings, and I have never read a single word he wrote that condemns anyone.

          Follow your opinions if you want, but do not claim that everyone everywhere who chooses another path is “condemning” people by saying the plain truth of their beliefs.

        • Ted Seeber

          They are all condemned by a truly open and free society, because they all CAUSE HARM and ARE NOT LOVE.

    • Ted Seeber

      His attitude towards women’s rights was that they should be allowed to be women.

      Contrast that with the feminists, who seem to want them all to be sterilized.

  • Bill S

    I will remember this election as one in which some (but not all) Catholics actually believed that it was a mortal sin to vote to re-elect the president of the United States. That’s got to be unprecedented.

    • http://ackans.com Mr. V.

      You’re missing the point, Bill. The issue is not about politics, it’s about good and evil. Voting to re-elect the president is not a mortal sin. Supporting the evil of abortion is an intrinsic evil.

      And it’s not unprecendented for people to have strong morals and beliefs and to live by them. I guess that seems strange in an era where all too many people don’t believe in much of anything except having a good time, but it’s not unprecedented.

      • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

        Well, voting to re-elect the President could be a mortal sin, depending on the reasoning. For that matter, voting for Romney could theoretically be a mortal sin too, depending on the reasoning (though it is not likely in reality)

        If the wholehearted support and defense of a million plus babies being murdered isn’t enough to convince one not to vote for Obama, I would say that one is very much submerged in error and darkness. Of course, that does not mean it’s a mortal sin to act consistently on one’s deeply erroneous beliefs.

        • http://ackans.com Mr. V.

          Dave,

          true. What I was trying to say is that people like Bill like to twist things around and make it sound like we’re saying voting and politics are mortal sins. They’re trying to mock and make light of Catholic beliefs by so doing.

          Bill is essentially mocking Catholics by saying “it’s a mortal sin to re-elect the President?”
          It’s the supporting of abortion that’s a mortal sin. Voting for a politician that promotes abortion is supporting abortion. It’s not the bare act of voting itself that’s a mortal sin, it’s the purposeful support of abortion that is.

          • Sue

            I’m confused. Is it or is it not a mortal sin if my sole reason for selecting Obama over Romney is because Romney would appoint Supreme Court justices who would vote to reverse Roe v. Wade? That is the biggest difference I see between them.

            • Rebecca Hamilton

              So far as I’m concerned, that is far from the biggest difference between them. In fact, I don’t expect Governor Romney, if he should become President Romney, to overturn Roe v Wade at all.

              In answer to your question, I’m not a priest or a theologian, but my blunt answer is, of course you are committing a mortal sin if you cast your vote for the sole purpose of enabling abortion. I am so certain because, back in my pro choice days, I did this myself. It is a mortal sin. My strong advice to you is do not do it.

            • Ted Seeber

              If that is the only difference you see between them, then you see no difference between them. Republican appointees upheld Roe V Wade in PP v Casey. There is NO chance whatsoever that a Republican appointee to the Supreme Court will do otherwise.

    • Ted Seeber

      Nope. Happened before. In the 1880s, when the Know Nothings were strongly anti-Catholic.

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