Sunday, September 7, 2008

On Pelosi, tax collectors, and lost sheep

MR. BROKAW: "Senator Obama saying the question of when life begins is above his pay grade, whether you're looking at it scientifically or theologically. If he were to come to you and say, "Help me out here, Madame Speaker. When does life begin?" what would you tell him?"

REP. PELOSI: "I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. And Senator--St. Augustine said at three months. We don't know. The point is, is that it shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to choose. Roe v. Wade talks about very clear definitions of when the child--first trimester, certain considerations; second trimester; not so third trimester. There's very clear distinctions. This isn't about abortion on demand, it's about a careful, careful consideration of all factors and--to--that a woman has to make with her doctor and her god. And so I don't think anybody can tell you when life begins, human life begins. As I say, the Catholic Church for centuries has been discussing this, and there are those who've decided..."

Since this hi-profile interview with Speaker Nancy Pelosi about 2 weeks ago, prominent bishops have reacted strongly to decisively countermand Pelosi's public statements. Her own bishop, Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco, was a bit late in joining the chorus. On September 5, Archbishop Niederauer finally makes a statement amidst bated breath, and the message turns out to be anti-climactically muted. Father Z annotates the Archbishop's statement here, where we see Abp Niederauer affirming the Church's position while gearing the story into gripping suspense mode by saying: "I am writing to invite her into a conversation...".

It remains unsure whether the invitation to a conversation carries the urgency of a life and death matter, or if Pelosi is in a hurry to accept invitations of this nature. If it does mercifully transpire, I can imagine a conversation over an elegant dinner with excellent food and wine, and guarded confidentiality. Whether the conversation turns out to be pleasant or otherwise, is a matter that might be consigned heretofore to the hidden mysteries of the world. Coincidentally, today's Sunday Gospel (Mat 18: 15-17) concerns dealing with a sinner. Counsel the sinner privately, if that fails, take one or two persons to help out, and if that still fails then involve the church. Finally, if he will not listen to the church, treat him as though he were a pagan or a tax collector. We don't see Abp Niederauer treating Ms. Pelosi as a tax collector, at least not yet. The conversation must take place first, to determine one way or the other. We wonder though, how the unborn children treats her today and come judgment time. We take note however, that immediately prior to the verses on the brother who sins, is the Parable of the Lost Sheep. We should pray for the lost sheep as God doesn't want any of them lost. It would help though, if that one sheep won't be hiding.

No comments: