Friday, July 16, 2010

Archbishop Carlson condemns casual attitude towards abortion :: EWTN News

Archbishop Carlson condemns casual attitude towards abortion :: EWTN News

Explaining the Commandment “you shall not kill,” the Archbishop of St. Louis has said that human life is sacred because “it involves the creative action of God.” He condemned abortion, saying those who view it as merely “a political issue” violate this Commandment and those who are “pro-choice” cannot remain Catholics in good standing.

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson also condemned avoidable war, euthanasia, and the ordinary use of capital punishment while also warning of the dangers of hatred, anger and vengeance.

Writing in a July 6 column in the archdiocesan paper the St. Louis Review, the archbishop began: “God's law in the Old Testament is clear and unambiguous: You shall not kill. Jesus is even more demanding: Every one who is angry is liable to judgment.”

Sins against this commandment are “easy to commit,” he continued, explaining that anytime we think, speak or act out of “anger or hatred or jealousy or revenge” we violate respect for life, God’s “most precious gift.”

“Human life is sacred because, from its beginning until its natural end, it involves the creative action of God,” he continued, noting that all direct and intentional killing is “gravely sinful.”

“God alone is the Lord of life. No one has the right to end arbitrarily what God has begun, and sustained, through the gift of His love,” Archbishop Carlson wrote.

Recounting the murder of Abel by Cain in the Book of Genesis, he noted God’s question to Cain: “What have you done?”

“Today this question is asked not only of those who kill someone, but also of those responsible for violence, anger, hatred and vengeance in any form,” he continued.

Archbishop Carlson also condemned abortion, describing it as “the killing of a defenseless baby in the womb.”

“People who are casual about the sin of abortion and who choose to view it as a political issue rather than the serious moral issue that it is are guilty of violating the Fifth Commandment,” he continued, quoting the Second Vatican Council document Gaudium et Spes: “ … human life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: Abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.”

“You cannot be 'pro-choice' (pro-abortion) and remain a Catholic in good standing. That's why the Church asks those who maintain this position not to receive holy Communion. We are not being mean or judgmental, we are simply acknowledging the fact that such a stance is objectively and seriously sinful and is radically inconsistent with the Christian way of life,” the St. Louis archbishop wrote.

He also noted that “Abortion is so grave a sin that the Church penalizes it with excommunication.”

The archbishop said it was “a shame” that so many violent words are daily expressed between family members. He warned of anger and intolerance being “pervasive in our Church and our society.” These attitudes are destructive and sinful and are “of the Evil One.”

He acknowledged that the Fifth Commandment does not bar legitimate self-defense, which can be “not only a right but also a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life.” However, the Commandment also directs Christians to work “for justice and peace,” to avoid war “whenever possible,” and to limit capital punishment to “the most extreme (and rare) circumstances.”

Explaining the immorality of euthanasia, he noted the need for ordinary care for a sick person though “extraordinary” procedures are not necessary. Those with questions about such situations should contact their pastor, he advised.

“Taking proper care of our health, respecting others and showing respect for the dead are all matters covered by the Fifth Commandment's demand that we reverence God's most precious gift — human life,” his St. Louis Review column concluded.

Some Protestant churches construe the Commandments differently, placing “You shall not murder” as the Sixth Commandment.

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