Thursday, December 01, 2005

Mayor Menino, intrinsically evil acts and Catholic Charities

A group of Catholic activists believes that Boston Mayor Thomas Menino should not be honored at the Catholic Charities' annual Christmas fundraising dinner because of his support for abortion and same-sex "marriage" and are calling for a boycott of the event. However, Mr. Paul Grogan of The Boston Foundation, a major donor to Catholic Charities, has indicated that the foundation will attend the dinner since he believes "it's not right to reduce funds for the poor as part of a protest."

This argument is specious. This because prudent judgments are required of every Catholic before contributing time, energy and resources to any proposed project. Moreover, there are almost unlimited opportunities within the Church to fulfill one's responsibilities toward the Church and the poor in one's own parish, diocese, nation and. throughout the world. But there is something else to consider here. And it is this: contestation in the Church tends toward schism and this is a grave matter. Pope Paul VI often spoke of the widespread contestation within the Church which originated at Vatican II and has continued to our present time. By contestation, Pope Paul VI was referring to public insubordination. And the chief example of this is the radical theological dissent from the Church's constant and most firm moral teaching.

Among the Church's constant and most firm moral teaching is the idea that there are explicit kinds of human acts, specified by the object of moral choice, that are always and everywhere morally wrong, for the very reason that a willingness to choose an object of this kind displays a disordered will (i.e., moral evil). The Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1755, states that: "A morally good act requires the goodness of the object, of the end, and of the circumstances together. An evil end corrupts the action, even if the object is good in itself (such as praying and fasting 'in order to be seen by men'_. The object of the choice can by itself vitiate an act in its entirety. There are some concrete acts - such as fornication - that it is always wrong to choose, because choosing them entails a disorder of the will, that is, a moral evil."

And No. 1756 says, "It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc) which supply their context. There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery. One may not do evil so that good may result from it."

The Catechism identifies various other kinds of intrinsically evil acts, proscribed by absolute norms. Among these are: the intentional killing of the innocent (2373), as in infanticide (2268) and abortion (2273), mercy killing or euthanasia (2277); masturbation (2352); fornication (2353); rape (2356); homosexual acts (2357); adultery (nn. 2380-2381) and contraception (2370).

No Catholic who desires to exercise prudence when making a contribution to a certain project will engage in dishonesty by overlooking the grave nature of contestation within the Church and the scandal which will result from honoring politicians who reject the Church's constant and most firm moral teaching regarding those human acts which are intrinsically evil.

God love you,
Paul Anthony Melanson


Anonymous said...

That's really a revelation then. I read somewhere that roughly 80 % of Catholic couples in this country are contracepting. So that would mean that some 80 % of Catholic couples are committing intrinsically evil acts.

Anonymous said...

It's heartening to see that so many bloggers are addressing this scandalous dinner which will be held in Boston on the 9th of December. Hopefully, Catholics will show up to picket the event.

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