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Archive for February 13th, 2012

Either Or, Neither Nor

The usually sensible Mark Shea here considers whether the Obama administration’s naked hostility to freedom of conscience and the Catholic Church in particular has made it prudent to vote for the Republican nominee this fall: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2012/02/a-reader-asks-about-whether-obamas-war-on-the-church-is-a-reason-to-vote-gop-this-fall.html

I’m sorry; both parties are promoting grave evils. Every Republican candidate except the unelectable Ron Paul proposes attacking Iran, which is no threat to the US, or arguably to Israel, and every one except Ron Paul favors torture, the  assassination of suspected enemies, and empire. Both parties also, of course, support some things that are good: the Democrats are generally much better on matters of economic justice and labor, and the Republicans talk a good game when it comes to matters of family and fetal life. But both remain morally problematic for conscientious Catholics, and voting remains a matter of prudentially considering which is relatively worse, the Evil Stupid Party or the Stupid Evil Party.

And I remind everyone that there is no moral imperative for voting at all. Personally, I will not choose a grave evil just because there are other grave evils on the other side. And I refuse to quantify moral evils, to play the numbers game when it comes to dead humans.

Obama clearly showed his true colors when he attempted to strip church institutions of their exemption regarding contraception and abortifacients, and this after previously showing – or feigning – great sensitivity to Catholics for three years. One can only imagine that he was the recipient of very bad advice, that he was told that the only people who would object were marginal Catholics of the Right. He was blindsided by the reaction of the usually complacent liberal Catholic world, and who can blame him? I was surprised, pleasantly, when the Church presented a united resistance. He may be backpedaling as fast as he can, but the damage is done. Given the sorry state of the Republican primary candidates he was looking like a shoe-in for reelection. By alienating the Catholic vote that is no longer certain at all.

But Catholics are fools if they make the Republicans’ attempt to co-opt their vote so easy, and they are fools to vote for a candidate who promises another – and I use the term literally- God damned war.

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On January 1, my 6 year old son Michael Seraphim and I went to St George’s Romanian Catholic Cathedral for Divine Liturgy. No one else was up from seeing in the New Year; I had gone to bed early and Micheal, though up late, rose in time to join me.

When we got to St George’s we discovered that the Liturgy for New Year’s Day was at noon, which is certainly thoughtful of the parish, but which left us with a dilemna. I remembered that there was a 10:30 Mass at St Joseph’s, the Roman church I wrote about a few years ago, the one I saw out the hospital window while my bride was undergoing a very difficult labor bring our son Danny into the world.

The church is very beautiful, modeled on a side chapel of St John Lateran in Rome, and I went home intending on featuring it here, but to my surprise I could only find one image of the interior of the church online. I resolved to return and take some photos, which I am finally getting around to posting. Besides the timeless interior, the parish offers a very fine liturgy, among the best liturgies in English I have witnessed, as well as a wonderful choir, which sang the Ave in Latin during the liturgy. Here are some of my photos:

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