Catholic Twits for Granholm has four new members.
And they're clergy, too. Oh, joy.
These guys need to be swiftly and publicly disciplined.
Their invocation of "conscience trumps all" is profoundly deceptive, as is their failure to cite authoritative Church teaching like the Catechism of the Catholic Church or the more recent Living the Gospel of Life, perhaps the best document the U.S. Bishops have ever issued.
After all, I don't think that they would be very comfortable with the proposition that my "well-formed conscience" compels me to disregard church teaching regarding respect for the ordained members of the Body of Christ. Nor would they be particularly comfortable with the notion that my conscience further compels me to confront and chase errant clergy around the parish complex, brandishing a hockey stick and singing the Welsh war anthem "Men of Harlech", all the while calling upon them to repent. But since I have it on their authority that my conscience is my guide, they can't say they haven't been warned.
Here's paragraph 30 of Living the Gospel of Life:
"Priests, religious, catechists, Catholic school teachers, family life ministers and theologians all share, each in their appropriate way, in the Church's task of forming the Catholic faithful in a reverence for the sanctity of life. We call them to a renewed commitment to that task. In their words and example, they should witness loyally and joyfully to the truth that every human life, at every stage of development, is a gift from God."
And here's the truth they are supposed to be teaching, per the CCC:
2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.
2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.
2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae," "by the very commission of the offense," and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.
2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:
"The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being's right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death."
"The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined.... As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child's rights."
Funny how none of that made it into the priests' letter.
Cardinal Maida, the ball's in your court. Meanwhile, my conscience tells me I need to do some shopping today.