Right to Life - Environment
Living on the Edge of the Abyss?
Jorge Zamora, Chile
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When I saw this photograph for the first time, I felt dizzy. It is a shot of the construction of the Rockefeller Center snapped by Charles C. Ebbets in 1932 from the 69th floor of the GE building. It is titled “Lunch atop a Skyscraper.”
The first impression is a sense of height – hundreds of feet above New York’s streets! One realizes that these 11 men have exposed themselves to the fatal chance of falling: One false move, one strong gust of wind, a small distraction and they inevitably face death. But they are very tranquil. They seem to have lost the notion of the great peril they are in. The photo defies common sense with this bizarre pairing of supreme danger and supreme unconcern.
Lunch atop a skyscraper
In fact, no one seems anxious over the extreme danger. What’s more, everything seems to be normal - one more day in the lives of 11 men. On the far left, one man lights the cigarette of the man next to him. The one to his right converses with his friend, turning his torso so he can speak more comfortably. Yet another reads a newspaper. Relaxed, at ease, calm – they act as if everything were normal. Most of them are conversing; all are enjoying the lunch hour peacefully and happily … at the edge of an abyss.
The elections and US public opinion
That picture of workers on the construction site of Rockefeller Center reflects the optimist mentality that today is expanding powerfully in the U.S. and the rest of the Western nations.
Let me explain. The United States has just elected a President - the one responsible for directing the destiny of the country – and they did so without having a clear picture of who Barack Obama really is. No one can definitively state the real content of his deepest political thinking or what it is that nourishes his most intimate personal convictions.
What we know about the president-elect
“The first thing that I will do as president is sign Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) … On this issue I will not yield.” Obama said in July 2007 at the start of his presidential campaign. (1) FOCA, a radical social legislation, seeks to strip every restraint from abortion – outlawing states’ requirements for waiting periods, informed consent or parental consent, preventing health and safety regulation of abortion clinics and abortionists, and even ending restrictions on partial birth abortion.
It is backed by Obama and by 18 other senators who want to impose this horrendous criminal and anti-natural legislation in the United States. This legislation would also impose legal actions and penalties on those who oppose the demonic practice of abortion in every state in the country.
"The first thing I will do ..."
Likewise, since 2005 Obama has supported policies and initiatives that - under the name of “right to choose” - favor “sex education” (the modern concept used to instill sexuality without Catholic Morals in the youth) and “family planning” (that is, birth control methods such as of contraceptives, day after pills, abortions, and so on). (2)
The hopes of optimists who were expecting a centrist political agenda are already being dashed. The recent naming of Rham Emanuel as Chief of Staff is just one sign of the “changes” coming in North American politics. This congressman from Illinois is known for always having voted in favor of abortion – like Obama himself – in all its forms, and for his radical and intransigent positions on that question. (3) Such background presages only tragedy for the new “Holy Innocents” who will die at the hands of the new regime.
If Obama fulfills his campaign promise - “The first thing I will do as president will be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act” – the national unity he aims to establish will immediately break. What will the optimists do then?
What the USCCB did not say
Justice demands acknowledging a group of North American Bishops who, faithful to their vocation and acting appropriately, pointed out to Catholics what position to take in face of the drama of abortion in the recent elections. (4)
Excepting this handful from blame, the question must be asked about the official position of the assembly of U.S. Bishops on this important topic. What did the American Bishops Conference say? How did it alert Catholic of the danger of electing a candidate that would bring to power a radical abortionist and others like him?
Congratulations from Card. George
“It’s 1932 revisited,” said Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), referring to the election in which Democratic candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt overwhelmingly defeated Republican incumbent President Herbert Hoover following the 1929 stock market crash that contributed to the Great Depression. “The American voters have turned to another party.” (5)
Not a word about what is truly at stake.
Finally, we find a letter of congratulations dated November 5 that I cite in full from the official USCCB site:
Dear President-elect Obama,
Perplexed, I find nothing resembling an apostolic exhortation or a plea to not assassinate the innocent creatures who will die (and who are dying as you read this article) at the hands of abortion providers and groups. Only the timid words: “We stand ready to work with you in defense and support of the life and dignity of every human person,” an argument so weak and ambiguous that it dismisses the possibility of an enmity between the teaching of the Church and a candidate who espouses the ideology described.
I write to you, in my capacity as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, to express our congratulations on your historic election as President of the United States. The people of our country have entrusted you with a great responsibility. As Catholic Bishops, we offer our prayers that God give you strength and wisdom to meet the coming challenges.
Our country is confronting many uncertainties. We pray that you will use the powers of your office to meet them with a special concern to defend the most vulnerable among us and heal the divisions in our country and our world. We stand ready to work with you in defense and support of the life and dignity of every human person.
May God bless you and Vice President-elect Biden as you prepare to assume your duties in service to our country and its citizens.
Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago
The result of the USCCB silence
Let us look at the data provided by an independent center of investigation, “Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life.”(6): 54% of Catholics voted for the candidate with an anti-Catholic program. The support of Catholics was greater for this democratic candidate than it was in the past for Kerry or Gore.
Now, what would have happened if the greatest Catholic authority in the country, the USCCB, had guided its flock on this issue? Certainly, the result would have been different.
Only after the elections, facing the consummate fact of the tragic absurdity of an abortionist candidate supported by Catholics, did the USCCB attempt to rescue its moral prestige, which was rapidly fading because of its inexplicable omission. The Bishops referred to national unity as “impossible” if the new government’s policies would increase abortions. (7) It is as opportune as if they had alerted the faithful about a theft planned by a group of delinquents a week after the robbery had taken place!
The words of Pope Pius XI - as true today as always
Warning priests of their duty to serve the truth and not public opinion, Pope Pius XI states: “The priest's first loving gift to the world is to serve truth – the truth in its entirety – and to refute error in all of its forms. Failure on this score would not be only a betrayal of God and your holy vocation, but also an offense against the true welfare of your people and country.” (Encyclical Mit Brenender Sorge, of March 14, 1937, § 36)
Disconcerting papal statements
In face of this clear teaching of Pius XI, it is difficult to understand the statements of His Holiness Benedict XVI about the North American election. If the first thing that Obama says he will do is to fortify the abortionist agenda and toward that end names a well-known abortion legislator as his Chief of Staff, what can we think about the words of congratulations that Benedict XVI sent to Obama?
The media reported that Pope Benedict XVI sent a telegram to President-elect Barack Obama November 5, congratulating him and offering his prayers to help him in his great responsibility and encouraging him in the task of “building a world of peace, solidarity and justice.”(8)
Warm congratulations also from Benedict XVI
Astonished, I can only ask: What true “peace, solidarity and justice” can be founded on a pro-abortionist agenda?
The statements of the Director of Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi increased my surprise:
“The job of the president of the United States is one of immense and most high responsibility, not only for his country but for the whole world. … Believers pray that God illuminate and assist him in his great responsibility.” (9)
Reading those statements, it is clear that this is the official position of the Vatican regarding the election of a candidate deeply compromised on the cause of abortion. How shameful!
The omission of the Vatican on matters so important is disconcerting. Especially when we know that His Holiness attacks moral relativism, and yet at the same time he permits the advance of abortion by his disconcerting silence.
Optimism at the edge of the abyss
As in the first photograph, the optimists who directly or indirectly support Obama have led the nation to the end of the cliff, to the edge of the abyss - in terms of the radical moral degradation he aims to legalize. They have begun to live normally with the catastrophe – like those workers on Rockefeller Center.
The American people have made an imprudent bet on someone unknown, leftist, and radically pro-abortion (10), with the accessory silence of the American Bishops and with the non-condemnation and later congratulations of the Vatican. The country – and the optimists of the other Western nations - seem to be, as in the photograph of the skyscraper, enjoying themselves on their lunch break. Perhaps they will fall, perhaps not…
In this scenario, the answers to the following questions speak to the future: To what extreme of moral depravity can the nation fall following the perfidious program announced by Obama? What responsibility do the American Bishops have for their enigmatic silence and congratulations to the recently elected President?
1. Life Site News http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08061010.html
2. Pro Choice America
3. Life Site News, ibid.
4. Human Life International, http://www.hli.org/sl_2008-10-31.html
5. http://www.usccb.org Official site of the USCCB. See “Elections”: Questions at bishops' press conference focus on U.S. election results
8. ACI PRENSA http://www.aciprensa.com/noticia.php?n=23308
9. Vatican Radio http://www.radiovaticana.org/spa/Articolo.asp?c=242652
10. Since 2005, Obama has voted on 13 occasions in favor of abortion and other so called reproductive “rights.” During that time, he has cast 13 votes on abortion and other reproductive-rights issues.
Posted December 15, 2008
Jorge Zamora first published this article in Spanish on his blog
A site to expose Socialism, Communism and the Revolution in the Church
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