Your editor has been accused of being a Bad Catholic because I criticized Pope Francis for his crude remarks, which are undignified coming from the Vicar of Christ. He first reaffirmed Catholic teaching against contraception, then he said:
But “this does not mean a Christian must make children one after another,” the pope said, citing the case of a woman who became pregnant an eighth time after giving birth to seven children via cesarean section. “Does she want to leave seven orphans?” he said. “This is tempting God. Some people think — excuse me for saying this — that to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits,” Pope Francis said, yet church teaching provides for “many licit ways” to limit reproduction.
Jesuit Father Fessio was on Catholic Answers Live last week. Father is the founder of Ignatius Press. I’ve listened online and transcribed the parts where he very prudently criticizes Pope Francis…but I had to listen very carefully for it.
FATHER FESSIO reflecting on the pope’s phrase that Catholics reproduce “like rabbits”: When you are a person in authority, you always have to be concerned how what you say will be taken the right way, especially if there is something new. The media will report when there is something new in the Catholic Church. [paraphrased.]
Partial Transcription by Nina Rhea:
“What bothers me is the good people who are struggling against society which is anti-child, which is not to have a family. You know what it’s like to walk into a store if you have 3 or 4 kids with you? I mean people stare at you, they mock you, they make jokes about you, they ask embarrassing questions…I mean, these people need our support.
“I know a woman who had 10 cesareans! She got pregnant again. She had her 11th healthy child through cesarean. So was she “irresponsible?” Oh yeah? Tell that to the son, the 11th child!
“What about Saint Ignatius? He was the 13th of 13 children? And Saint Catherine of Sienna was a TWIN, [child numbers] 21 and 22, of the same mother! So we’re going to say they’re rabbits out there?
“I’m getting worked up about this. What the pOPE intended to say – which he said it the day after – is just right.”
FULL AUDIO at Catholic Answers Live.
In September 2014, the political body of bishops, known as the California Catholic Conference, posted the following:
Prop 47 was passed by the voters.
GUESS WHO IS PUSHING FOR “RESTORATIVE JUSTICE” idealogy in the American Catholic Church?
- Prejean is the founder/agitator of the Catholic Mobilizing Network which is working to institutionalize Restorative Justice.
- Also, the California Catholic Bishops!
Restorative justice is a response to crime and violence that shifts the focus from punishment to “responsibility, rehabilitation and restoration.” It holds offenders accountable even as it opens paths to healing, especially with victims. And it addresses the needs of everyone impacted by crime: victims, offenders, families, communities, and those working in the criminal justice system.
RestoreJustice.com is an outreach of the California Catholic Conference offering healing and support to everyone affected by the criminal justice system throughout the U.S.The purpose of RestoreJustice.com is to offer a place of compassion and assistance, resources and services and educational information for anyone who is affected by crime – victims of crime, offenders and their families, corrections staff, chaplains, criminal justice system employees and management, and advocates for restorative justice.
The fallout has been swift and damaging.
“Prop. 47 was a smoke bomb dropped in every courtroom in California,” said Yolo County Superior Court Judge Dave Rosenberg, “and we are working on clearing out the smoke.”
The retroactive measure reduced several nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors — slashing sentences for those in prison — and made it possible for people who were convicted decades ago to have their felony records disappear.
3. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has an office dedicated to Restorative Justice!
“Why Is Vermont So Lenient on Child Predators?” – Bill O’Reilly.
BILL O’REILLY, HOST: In the “Factor Investigation” segment tonight: As you may know, Vermont has rejected Jessica’s Law, which gives mandatory prison sentences to child molesters. The state did that because it believes in restorative justice, where the child rapist and other heinous criminals must be healed, not punished to a great degree.
Now, we believe that philosophy puts Vermont’s children in grave danger. We began our reporting on the Green Mountain State in January 2006 when Judge Edward Cashman sentenced this man [Mark Hulett], who sexually abused a 6-year-old girl for years, to 60 days in prison.
From the department of Small-Minded Rules . . . from a Pope more Liberal Than Thou!
THE TAKE AWAY MESSAGE OF THE POPE: We don’t need prisons!
Traditional Catholic Church Teaching: DEATH PENALTY IS A JUST PUNISHMENT.
Keywords: International Association of Penal Law; Vatican; death penalty; life imprisonment; social justice overrules prison; unspecified forces; unspecified governments.
Our Comments in RED.
Pope Francis calls for abolishing death penalty and life imprisonment
By Francis X. Rocca – October 23, 2014
Updated link 9/25/2015:
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis called for abolition of the death penalty as well as life imprisonment, and denounced what he called a “penal populism” that promises to solve society’s problems by punishing crime instead of pursuing social justice. “It is impossible to imagine that states today cannot make use of another means than capital punishment to defend peoples’ lives from an unjust aggressor,” the pope said Oct. 23 in a meeting with representatives of the International Association of Penal Law.
“All Christians and people of good will are thus called today to struggle not only for abolition of the death penalty, whether it be legal or illegal and in all its forms, but also to improve prison conditions, out of respect for the human dignity of persons deprived of their liberty. And this, I connect with life imprisonment,” he said. “Life imprisonment is a hidden death penalty.”
Special Note for Americans: Disregard the Pope’s message re “improve prison conditions”; our prisons pamper inmates enough! Heck, they can even obtain sex reassignment surgery! Death Row inmates like Mumia Abu Jumal have fan clubs, a radio program, and write books. See widow Maureen Faulkner’s website dedicated to the truth about the death sentence Mumia imposed on her husband, Officer Daniel Faulkner.
The pope noted that the Vatican recently eliminated life imprisonment from its own penal code.
The population of Vatican City is only 839. Source.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, cited by Pope Francis in his talk, “the traditional teaching of the church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor,” but modern advances in protecting society from dangerous criminals mean that “cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”
The pope said that, although a number of countries have formally abolished capital punishment, “the death penalty, illegally and to a varying extent, is applied all over the planet,” because “extrajudicial executions” are often disguised as “clashes with offenders or presented as the undesired consequences of the reasonable, necessary and proportionate use of force to apply the law.”
The pope denounced the detention of prisoners without trial, who he said account for more than 50 percent of all incarcerated people in some countries. He said maximum security prisons can be a form of torture, since their “principal characteristic is none other than external isolation,” which can lead to “psychic and physical sufferings such as paranoia, anxiety, depression and weight loss and significantly increase the chance of suicide.”
Being a victim of heinous violence can be a form of torture.
He also rebuked unspecified governments involved in kidnapping people for “illegal transportation to detention centers in which torture is practiced.”
The pope said criminal penalties should not apply to children, and should be waived or limited for the elderly, who “on the basis of their very errors can offer lessons to the rest of society. We don’t learn only from the virtues of saints but also from the failings and errors of sinners.”
Okay, let’s free elderly Catholic priests who raped children!
The pope said some politicians and members of the media promote “violence and revenge, public and private, not only against those responsible for crimes, but also against those under suspicion, justified or not.”
He denounced a growing tendency to think that the “most varied social problems can be resolved through public punishment … that by means of that punishment we can obtain benefits that would require the implementation of another type of social policy, economic policy and policy of social inclusion.”
That paragraph is a Brain Twister.
Using techniques similar to those of racist regimes of the past, the pope said, unspecified forces today create “stereotypical figures that sum up the characteristics that society perceives as threatening.”
Pope Francis concluded his talk by denouncing human trafficking and corruption, both crimes he said “could never be committed without the complicity, active or passive, of public authorities.”
Example: International Planned Parenthood Federation.
The pope spoke scathingly about the mentality of the typical corrupt person, whom he described as conceited, unable to accept criticism, and prompt to insult and even persecute those who disagree with him. “The corrupt one does not perceive his own corruption. It is a little like what happens with bad breath: someone who has it hardly ever realizes it; other people notice and have to tell him,” the pope said. “Corruption is an evil greater than sin. More than forgiveness, this evil needs to be cured.”
Let me think. How to cure corruption? Let’s invent prisons!
“Just in Time for Halloween: Sister Helen’s Spooky Costume: a Pant Suit” – Fidelity and Action
JUST IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN: NUNS IN PANTSUITS! We copy our page here, the Sister Helen Prejean Dossier.
Profile. Death Penalty Abolitionist, Social Justice Activist, and Community Organizer; Author and Lecturer. Co-Founder of the Catholic Mobilizing Network. Sr. Prejean is based in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille. Her bishop is Archbishop Gregory Michael Aymond – 7887 Walmsley Ave., New Orleans LA 70125-3496 Phone: 504-861-9521 . Her blog.
This Dossier Exposes her BLINDNESS to the ABORTION holocaust; OBSESSION with GUILTY MURDERERS; DEFIANCE against traditional Catholic teaching; her connections with the NEW AGE FEMINISTS NUN MOVEMENTS and DISSENTING ORGANIZATIONS; and the ACLU.
SISTER HELEN ON GOD
“I’ve got to tell you what I’ve learned. When you start talking about the death penalty, there’s a deep religious underpinning. Who is God for us? It is God who demands an eye-for-an-eye. It is God who is pleased with sacrifice.
“And in the Christian tradition, there are those who say God allowed or even willed his own son, Jesus, to be sacrificed and killed on the cross in payment for our sins! And when we kill criminals we have chaplains in death houses! And when we kill criminals for their crimes God accepts their death in payment for their sins so they can go to heaven! What kind of god do we believe in?!
“What kind of father would demand the death of a son? Is this a god? Or is it an ogre, a monster, created by our own violent impulses? We project so this is God who wants vengeance, like we want vengeance. Truly there are contradictory images of God in the Bible. On which one will we model our lives?”
- Source: Prejean’s Speech at the 2008 Democratic Interfaith Gathering. Emphasis added.
- Our TRANSCRIPT from the view point of a pro-life activist: 2008 Sister Helen Prejean speech Democrat Convention pdf
Dr. Michael Savage responds to Prejean’s speech:
You [Sister Helen Prejean] are a clear and present danger, not only to the survival of America, but to the Democrat Party. … In my opinion, she is more closely associated with being a witch than a nun.
SOFT ON ABORTION
July-August 1997 St. Catherine Review: Sister Prejean “will not take a stand against abortion.”
We issue a public call for Idaho’s Catholic Bishop, Mike Driscoll, to intervene quickly and forcefully in the brewing scandal involving Sister Helen Prejean. As we reported earlier, she is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at an event to raise money for the Idaho ACLU.
Catholic League president William Donahue writes: It is no secret that the “peace and justice” crowd is soft on abortion. Sr. Helen Prejean and others like her can get quite worked up about the rights of serial murderers on death row, but they never seem to be quite as excited about the rights of innocent unborn babies. That’s because too many of them see abortion as merely unfortunate: They positively do not believe it is “intrinsically evil.”
quotes by Sister Prejean:
I don’t trust candidates who claim to be “pro life” simply because they publicly state their opposition to abortion. What good is that if they do not also work vigorously and consistently to create social conditions in which healthy babies are born, children cared for, and families thrive?
I look for “pro-life” politicians to list “eradication of poverty” as a top priority. Poverty in our nation is on the rise. During the last six years those living at or below the poverty line in the U.S. rose 17 percent. To allow even the existence of poor people in this rich nation, much less poverty on the increase, is totally unworthy of us as Americans and certainly not pro-life.
” . . . the bishop had based his decision on his reading of an article about Prejean that was published in Our Sunday Visitor last April . Datillo had two concerns, Lyons said: that Prejean might be soft on abortion and might depart from official church teaching in a book she is writing about women in the church. Lyons told Mayhew that the bishop would therefore be “uncomfortable” appearing with the famous nun.
“The article about Prejean in Our Sunday Visitor was written by Robert Holton, a senior correspondent, based on an interview with her. Holton led off with Prejean’s views on abortion.
“Sister Prejean indicated that while she is adamant about not taking human life when it comes to executing prisoners, she has an at best strained appreciation for the church’s teachings on the sanctity of unborn life, on birth control, and thinks the church is `appallingly’ unfair to women,” Holton wrote. The subhead on the article read, “Why the nun behind Dead Man Walking has a hard time seeing abortion clinics as another kind of death row.”
Prejean told Holton that she regards abortion as “much more complex than a mere choice.”
As a Catholic, Prejean should understand the fundamental teaching of the Church on abortion and capital punishment because there is a nuanced difference.
On abortion, the Catechism of the Catholic Churchstates,”Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law”
On the death penalty, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harmwithout definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himselfthe cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”
In other words, abortion is a crime against God while the death penalty is the exercise of a type of civil punishment in response to a heinous crime that is to be used rarely, if at all.
Combox: “I concluded that she would never touch abortion because she would loose support for her cause from those who support abortion, but oppose the death penalty, and she was not willing to take that risk. Can you imagine how differently she would be treated by the lamestream media if she publicly opposed abortion as well as the death penalty?”
Sr. Prejean was labeled pro-abortion by the Cardinal Newman Society — she gave the commencement address at a Catholic U.
The ACLU and Sr. Prejean – she was given an ACLU award in 2005. She spoke at an ACLU fundraising event. A pro-life group wrote their bishop to stop her. The Oregon ACLU announced Prejean’s October 2011 visit to Oregon. One month later, the ACLU claimed a victory over Oregon voters when Oregon’s governor placed a moratorium on the death penalty.
‘CALL TO ACTION’ organization and Sr. Prejean – Prejean is a frequent speaker at this apostate organization. Her 2000 speech at CTA’s national conference is available on CTA’s site.
Call To Action is a well-known dissenting group of “Catholics” who actively undermine the faith. I have a copy of “Call To Action or Call To Apostasy? How dissenters plan to remake the Catholic Church in their own image” by Dr. Brian Clowes. The book is available at Human Life Intl. It is well researched with citations.
The Vatican excommunicated Call To Action – CNS NEWS
Sr. Prejean doubts the crucifixion of Christ: her appearance at an interfaith gathering for the Democratic National Committee
- COLORADO CONVENTION CENTER — Following the hot topic of abortion, Sister Helen Prejean tackled another: calling for abolition of the death penalty to raucous applause at the DNC’s interfaith gathering.
- She received nothing but a stony silence, however, when she questioned the basis of the biblical crucifixion story as a “projection of our violent society.”
- “Is this a God?” Prejean asked about the belief that God allowed his son, Jesus, to be sacrificed for the sins of humanity. “Or is this an ogre?”
- The audience — to that point in strong agreement with the author of “Dead Man Walking” — said and did nothing.
Mark Shea responds (scroll down that page):
- “Sr. Helen is delusional if she thinks her New Age gospel starring a God without wrath who brings men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross is going to persuade serious Christians to trust her when she talks about the death penalty.”