Cross

A Vision for the
Catholic Church in the United States
for the 21st Century

United States' Flag

Dove & Crossby Thomas A. Stobie, SFO

Prelude

I felt inspired by the Holy Spirit to write down my vision for the Church in the United States (but can be applicable elsewhere as well) for the 21st Century and share with those who are interested via the internet. If you have questions about what is written here, please contact me. I can also provide more detail on any of the ideas presented below as well.


Table of Contents

Click on a Section to go to it.


Introduction

In considering what the Catholic Church in America should be in the 21st Century, we need to consider the characteristics of secular society in America, including its strengths and weaknesses, the universal mission of the Church, the call of every Christian, and the state of the Catholic Church in the United States.

I have tried to avoid drawing out the negatives and rather focused on the positive or what is needed.

Note: I have tried to distinguish my opinions from my vision by placing my opinions in green like this paragraph is.


American Culture

First, let me state that American Culture is heterogeneous in nature and not at all uniform across the United States. There are however many aspects of the dominant culture, that is what most people have forced upon them or advocated in the public light through the media and government that we can address. I am not stating that most Americans advocate these cultures or even want them, but that most Americans receive the most exposure to them on an aggregate basis. To contrast these dominant cultures, I attempt to describe the cultures that I believe Christ would like to see in this country.

Dominant Cultures in America

These groupings of cultural characteristics are not exclusive, but are used as people are familiar with the terms or the common thread within the culture being described. On the plus side, there are pockets of subcultures that are closer to the desired cultures than the dominant cultures.

  1. Hedonism

    "Seeking pleasure first. If I do not get caught - it is ok to do."

    The American people are encouraged to the practice of Hedonism by the American media, primarily Hollywood through programs, movies, and commericals that glamorize the hedonist lifestyle, while having few if any voices standing up against it. This is also encouraged by much of the liberal elite and the National Education Association and can be found taught in some of the public schools.

    Hedonism has long been one of Satan's tools to draw people away from God and lead them in the process of eternal damnation. The Church needs to oppose Hedonism in all its forms and strongly advocate the truth.

    Some other Christian sects have adopted some Hedonist principles. The Church needs to work with them leading them back to the truth and the true path God wants us all to lead.

  2. Culture of Death

    "Human life is insignificant, just let me do what I want to do."

    The Culture of Death takes the attitude that whatever they (those who can) want to do they should be able to even if it hurts other people. Human Rights are recognized to the least extent possible.

    The American people are influenced to accept the Culture of Death by a majority of American journalists and most of these are or represent the liberal elite and their agenda. Reporting is generalized biased supporting the culture of death and opposing and belittling the culture of life.

    During the last part of the twentieth century, a movement for "Tolerance" of ideas arose, but only in areas, including immorality, approved by the liberal elite. This Tolerance movement is based on the falsehood that "Truth is Subjective; there is no objective right and wrong." and is intolerant of many Christians beliefs and truths. The Church should not tolerate sin in any form; just forgive repentant sinners.

    Human life is sacred. The Church must stand up firmly for life against the Culture of Death in whatever form it appears.

  3. Money Rules

    "Those who have the money rule those who do not."

    The American rich tend to feel that as they have the money and power, they can do what they wish if they can find the right people to pay to let them get away with it. This applies not only individuals but corporations as well. Increasing their own wealth and power is one of the primary concerns and those they hurt in the process do not matter. It also includes ruthless selfishness where they choose to hurt others to save a buck. (For example, littering, toxic waste dumping, etc.) There are exceptions; caring individuals and corporations can be found.

    Capitalism by itself is not evil, but when used a few for their own personal benefit can do a lot of evil to those around them. The Church needs to stand up for the rights of those who are abused by those who chase money and power regardless of whom they hurt.

    People should be reasonably rewarded for hard work, regardless of their status in society. The Church should encourage opportunities in which people can excel and fulfill their potentials.

Desirable Cultures for America

In this section I will attempt to bring out what God desires American Culture to be.

  1. Culture of Life

    "Supporting the Dignity of all Human Life regardless of circumstances."

    In Pope Paul VI's encyclical "Humanae Vitae", he carefully examines the moral issues surrounding the regulation of birth and the sacredness & dignity of human life. In later encyclicals, particularly Pope John Paul II's "Evangelium Vitae", and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the church explains and elaborates on these ideas to full out the full image of the dignity of human life. All human life is sacred and is valuable and deserving of full humans rights.

    The Church should speak out for the dignity of human life whenever and wherever human life is being degraded, misused, harmed, and killed.

    I have created a pro-life webpage explaining the different aspects of the pro-life viewpoint which advocates the Culture of Life.

  2. Culture of Opportunity

    "Anyone who puts an effort in should be able to succeed using their particular gifts."

    In the early 20th Century, the United States was regarded as a land of opportunity, where those who were willing to working for it, could succeed and live fulfilling lives. In the later part of the century, these opportunities are rarer to find due to a large number of factors, most of which come down to greed on the part of a few. Opportunities may still be better in the United States than in many areas of the world, but it is significantly short of what it could be.

    The Church should be supportive of efforts to improve opportunities in the country and oppose those efforts that will result in descreased opportunities.

  3. Culture of Sharing

    "Those who have been blessed share their blessing with others."

    The American society at the beginning of the 21st Century is a very "self"-oriented society, spending significant parts of their income of personal entertainment. Some do use their resources to help others, but the country as a whole and Catholics as a whole could do much better. Many Americans are not willing to sacrifice for another, particularly a stranger. Jesus commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are called to shared what God has blessed us with as country, families, and individuals with those around us.

  4. Strong Moral Advocate Throughout the World

    "We will protect the world from injustice and promote peace, justice, and opportunity worldwide."

    The United States blessed with economic, military, and political might world-wide has an obligation to the world community to stand against injustice and promote peace, justice, and opportunity throughout the world. This power is not to be used to force everyone to be little Americas, but rather to be a better place for all.

    The United States should not do this unilaterally but in conjunction with other likeminded nations, organizations, and the Church. This does not mean that international concensus is required, given that purposes of nations and different international bodies are not always about peace, justice, and opportunity for all throughout the world, but that where a common purpose exists, joint multilateral efforts should be undertaken.

The Church and American Culture

In the 20th century, we have seen the Church move from a strong moral teaching influence on the American Culture, as exemplified by Archbishop Fulton Sheen and his national teachings, to a period where some bishops would speak out for the truth and some would remain silent, sadly weakening the voice and influence of the Church on society. We have also seen the media grow more and more anti-Catholic using any opportunity to put the Church in a bad light.

In the 21st century, we need to regain the high ground, and lead the country back to where God wants it, advocating the Cultures of Life, Opportunity, and Sharing over the dominant cultures of Death, Hedonism, and Money Rules and use the United States' influence to promote this worldwide.

The Church itself as an entity needs to get its house in order, cleaning out the dissident voices, and restoring strong moral outspoken leadership. This will take time and will require the assistance of the Vatican. This should be done prayfully in the spirit of love under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The Church needs to reestablish itself as the voice of morality for the country, advocating the truth and standing for God in all circumstances.

Prayer is one of most valuable weapons in bringing about God's culture for this country. We need to continually pray and strengthen ourselves through prayer for whatever actions He requires of us.

With God on our side and He most definitely is,
we can transform America for the better.


Role of the Catholic Church in the United States

In this section, I will attempt to address the role of the Catholic Church in the United States, looking in general and in various Catholic groupings listed in two columns to facilitate reading.

Role Index (click on a topic to go directly to it.)
  • of the Priesthood
  • of the Bishops
  • of the Religious
  • of the Dedicated Spokesmen
  • as a Collective Body
  • The Role in General

    "A Light Shining Out in Truth and Love"

    We (the Catholic people in the United States) are the light of the world, and in particular of this country. We as individuals, as groups, and collectively, need to let our actions and words witness to the Truth and Love of God.

    In Pope John Paul II's encyclical, "Redemptoris Missio", the Holy Father addresses the urgent need to evangelize the world. This is done not only through preaching and missionary efforts, but also by living lives of Christ; that is, letting our lives radiate Jesus to the world. As Mother Theresa of Calcutta would put it, we are called to be Christ in the world, serving the Christ in our fellow man.

    in the document "Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility" produced United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Social Development & World Peace, we are called to participate in the civil life strongly advocating Catholic teachings. We are called to strongly advocate for and protect the fundamental right of life for all humans beings, from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death as well as adressing other moral issues in civil society. (I have addressed the issues in the Comments on Particular Issues section.)

    We will suffer persecution for living Christ in action and in words and we need to persevere in our love regardless of the hardship that falls upon us. In serving God will also will find the inner joy that only he can give. We all need to live holy lives.


    The Role of the Laity

    "Witnesses of Hope, Truth and Love"

    The majority of the Church in number is the Laity and it is in the laity, through their witness in action and word that others see what the Church and its teachings is all about. By living wholesome faithful lives in obedience to the Church, a strong message of Hope, Truth, and Love is sent to all who see those lives.

    In Pope John Paul II's apostolic Exhortation, "Christifideles Laici", the Holy Father describes elegantly the role of the laity in the world. The laity is the primary workers in Christ's vineyard united with Christ in their attempts to live holy lives.

    There is a lot of untapped potential for the Church in the laity. To tap this potential needs solid moral leadership from the Pope (Thank you Pope John Paul II for your excellent leadership!), bishops, priests, and lay leaders inspiring them to the full Truth of Christianity. Where good moral leadership is lacking, many in the laity will not be movitated to contribute their efforts fully to Christ's work.

    Individual lay members with talents suitable for government service should be encouraged to seek both civil service, military, and (honest and just) political careers.

    Families should be centered on Christ with the Holy Family as the prime example of a healthy family. The family should be a source of love and strength for each family member, living solid holy Christian lives, particularly in the home which should be a place of spiritual renewal for each member of the family. Families should also support the financial needs of the church in the United States (and worldwide needs as well), particularly in its charitable and evangelical endeavors up to and including sacrificing some of their pleasures (wants) for the good of others. Healthy Christian families are the building blocks of a healthy society.

    Lay Catholic organizations, including hospitals, nursing homes, shelters, and charities, should fulfill their purposes in total obedience with the teachings of the Church. These organizations should work with the bishops to provide a more holistic approach to their organizations' missions considering all activities going on in that area so that the organization may be a productive as possible.

    Personally individual laity, like all the faithful, should lead lives that serve as good Christian examples for all to see both publically and privately.


    The Role of the Priesthood (& Deaconhood)

    "Spiritual Fathers of the People"

    In the Gospel of John (21:15-17), we hear Jesus instruct Peter to "feed My sheep". From Peter, our first Pope and all of his successors, this is delegated to the bishops and then to the priests throughout the world. What is this feeding of my sheep? Nothing less than providing the sacraments to the faithful, particularly the Eucharist, Penance & Reconciliation, and the Annointing of the Sick, strongly preaching the gospel, even when it is out of favor, influencing the faithful to be true to the gospel, and guiding their spiritual lives. This is the primary call of every priest and these are their primary duties. For interested bishops, I am willing to lead a day or two long retreat for priests on this subject, illuminating the gospel and challenging priests to truly meet the needs of their people.

    The key words to remember are "Feed My Sheep". They are not "Administer My Sheep", "Keep People Happy", "Avoid Controversy", or "Govern My Sheep". Priests should focus on meeting the spiritual needs of the people entrusted to them by their bishops and superiors.

    Individual priests have be granted individual talents by God, should be recognized as distinct individuals, and use these talents in service of Christ and the people. Not all priests are talented in the same way, so priests and bishops should try to discern their individual talents and to be assigned where they can best be of service.

    Deacons, like Priests, are called to "feed My sheep", but in a more less sacramental role, under the direction of the bishops for the greater glory of God.

    Personally individual priests and deacons, like all the faithful, should lead lives that serve as good Christian examples for all to see both publically and privately.

    The Role of the Bishops

    "Apostles of Truth for the 21st Century"

    Jesus sent the apostles out to convert all nations. This nation is in dire need of whole scale conversion away from the practices of Hedonism, selfishness, and greed, and back to Faith, Hope, Love and Truth. The Bishops have this responsibility to work on this conversion of the United States.

    The priesthood of the bishops calls them to serve ("Feed MY Sheep") the spiritual needs of a greater number of people, usually both Catholic and non-Catholic, in the areas they are assigned. The call to "Feed My Sheep" extends to reaching out to all those in their assigned area. This includes being a "Voice Crying out in the Wilderness" for Truth and Justice as well as disciplining Catholics who publically defy or advocate defying the teachings of the Church. They are responsible for insuring that through their priests and their individual efforts that the people (including their priests and themselves) are feed properly. They can choose where appropriate to use laity to meet some of the needs of feeding their sheep.

    Bishops need to strongly lead their people (Catholic and non-Catholic) towards God, teaching and admonishing where necessary, always pointing towards Christ, regardless of the secular persecution he undergoes (Matthew 5:10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness, the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs."). Bishops should hold (and are answerable to God for holding) their priests up to high standards, including living upright moral lives, speaking out on the Truth, not being quiet when pressure is applied, etc. If a bishop is unable or unwilling to lead, he should resign and let someone who will lead, lead.

    Bishops also need to carefully examine every seminary they use for priestly formation to ensure that it is faithful to the magisterium, provides solid holistic instruction, and is staffed by only good upright individuals living solid moral Christian lives.

    Bishops also have a responsibility to call their brother bishops back to the truth when they stray or neglect their duties, deviate from the teachings of the magisterium, or fail to properly speak out. This should be done in the spirit of brotherhood.

    Personally individual bishops, like all the faithful, should lead lives that serve as good Christian examples for all to see both publically and privately.


    The Role of the Religious

    "Hands of Christ loving according to their Charism"

    Each religious order has is own special charism and its members are called to live out that charism to its fullest in their service of Christ. Always in obedience to the Church and their vows, religious should be signs of Christ in a country and a world that no longer understands love.

    Religious should also work to integrate their service into that of the diocese(s) in which they serve. Communications is important between the religious orders and the dioceses to better and more efficiently serve the people.

    Lay orders, such as the Secular Franciscan Order, should live out their charism as laity being lights of faith, hope, love, and truth in the secular world, having a dual vocation as both laity (single or married) and religious.

    Religious superiors should adapt where appropriate their orders to better fulfill their charism and should ensure that all religious under their care have sufficient opportunities for spiritual growth.

    Personally individual religious, like all the faithful, should lead lives that serve as good Christian examples for all to see both publically and privately.


    The Role of the Dedicated Spokesmen

    "Fulton Sheens for the 21st Century"

    A few good charismatic leaders fully loyal to the magisterium should be designated as official spokesmen of the Catholic Church and be provided funding to advertize (including paid broadcasting) and explain church teachings using the national media. This includes speaking out against injustices and immorality that occur both within the church as well as within American Society in general. Individual diocesan bishops and bishops collectively (such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) can appoint designated spokesmen either for area under their jurisdiction. It may be advantageous in some areas to have spokesmen who speak the diverse langauges of the community.

    Most non-Catholics do not understand what the Church teaches and many believe in false myths (such as Catholics worship Mary) about the Church. As one of their outreaches to the community as a whole, these spokesmen should attempt to increase the general understanding of what the Church teaches and what it does not.

    Personally individual spokesmen, like all the faithful, should lead lives that serve as good Christian examples for all to see both publically and privately.


    The Role of the Church as a Collective Body

    "The Conscience of America"

    Just as the Vatican serves as the conscience of the World, including in the United Nations, so too should the Catholic Church in the United States serve as the conscience of the United States looking out for the interests and rights of every person.

    For the United States as a whole, this duty falls to the the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. They can delegate some of the performance of this duty to spokesmen.

    I would recommend finding a charismatic magisterium-loyal priest/bishop-candidate and requesting that the Vatican appointing him as an auxiliary in the Washington DC diocese followed by assigning him this spokeman duty to the federal government as one of his primary duties. He would work heavily with Congress and the Executive Branch representing the views of the Church.

    For smaller areas, such as states or metro areas in multiple dioceses, group of dioceses and the bishops represented in the area, should come together and develop a joint approach to being the conscience of the area and perhaps having a designated spokesman for the area as well.

    Bishops have the responsibility collectively as dioceses under a common archdiocese, dioceses in the same region, and dioceses in the nation as a whole, to correct those bishops who deviate from the teachings of the church or fail to speak out representing the teachings of the church.


    Functioning of the Catholic Church in the United States

    First and foremost, the church in the United States should follow the instructions and laws of the Universal Church.

    These are organized alphabetically by topic in two columns.

    Topic Index (click on a topic to go directly to it.)

    Area Consideration of Mass/Sacrament Times

    Mass times and times for other sacraments among parishes in the same area should be set to allow a longer window of opportunity for use and individuals encouraged to use other parish's when the times are convenient. Often, you can find many parishes nearby to each with vary similar times for all services, and lacking most of the rest of the time. By considering the overall needs and adapting times, the area can better serve the people.

    Dioceses should carefully examine time coverage among nearby parishes and make suggestions to offer wide range of opportunities for the people of the diocese to receive the sacraments.

    In addition, after the last Sunday morning/early afternoon mass, offering and promoting the sacrament of reconciliation (particularly when the readings discuss reconciliation with God) should help bring some people back to the sacrament.


    Auxiliary Bishops

    Diocesan Bishops should request and utilize Auxiliary Bishops to increase their ability to serve the people as apostles, to have time for their own personal spiritual growth and to have time to work with and advise their subordinate priests. Bishops, diocesan and auxiliary, should have time for spontaneous visits (on a regular basis) to people and places within their dioceses.

    Auxiliary Bishops should partake in the full apostolic mission shared by all bishops, learn from example and interactions with the diocesan bishop on how to be a better bishop, and add authority to major endeavors within the diocese with their leadership.

    From what I have seen of Diocesan Bishops' Schedules, a 25-50% increase in the number of Auxiliary Bishops would not be surprising to me, particularly in dioceses today without auxiliaries.


    Catholic Lay Communities

    In this country where many people do not know their neighbors well, having residental communities founded on the Catholic way of life with some common facilities and caring families (living in private residences) would help provide good Catholic families with a environment suitable for raising holy children. The Church should encourage and assist these sort of community to come into being. This can be apartment complexes, subdivisions, etc. I would recommend that these be set as non-profit organizations providing a religious and civil service to the people who reside within.


    Catholic Primary Education

    Providing solid Catholic primary education remains important for the 21st century, given public schools that advocate anti-Christian teachings and do not hold themselves responsible to provide a quality education.

    The Church should lead in trying improved methods of teaching, finding better ways to improve learning and foster interest in learning. This may include have older children teach or assist in teaching younger students, selecting class groups based on learning ability and skill, year-long education (possibly 8 sessions, with parents able to elect any one or even two where their children have off.), school days lasting for the entire business day (to help working parents), ventures with corporations where children do some work for the corporation for pay and learn as well, apprenticeships for older students, daily mass and prayer-centered education, and teachers paid based on teaching ability (not tenure and degrees).

    There are many way that the costs can be reduced to provide Catholic primary education and include: (1) in many locations, school pairing among nearby parishes may make sense, where one parish hosts K-4 and the other hosts 5-8 for both parishes (other small nearby parishes may use these schools are well instead of having their own schools); (2) responsible students may be elect to perform light jobs, such as cafeteria aides, library assistants, janitorial assistants, tutors, office assistants, assistant groundkeepers, coaching assistants, day care assistants, etc., around the school in exchange for reduced tuition; and (3) field trialing new products (taste testing new foods for instance among children).

    See Education and Public Education under issues for further statements about education.


    Clerical Spiritual Growth

    Every individual should have time to work on their own spiritual growth in a manner suitable for them. This is particularly important for the clergy who in serving others may lose out on opportunities available to most other Catholics. Bishops and superiors have a duty to the priests and religious in their care to insure that they have time and access to spiritual growth opportunities and that each individual, including the Bishop or Superior, is working on growing closer to God.


    Distinguish between Pastorship and Parish Adminstration

    We need solid pastorial leadership by priests in each of our parishes. Parish Adminstration is a total different issue, that can be handled by either clergy or the laity. We need to focus on insuring good pastoring first, and then fill in the adminstration using the resources available in the parish. Many parishes have people that can help with the administrative needs of the parish.


    Everyday Catholics

    Unfortunately at the end of the 20th Century, many Catholics in this country are more Catholic on Sunday then the other days of the week. The Catholic Church needs every Catholic to be an everyday Catholic, living the gospel everyday in all situations. We need to evangelize ourselves to be everyday Catholics using the many ways of evangelization available to us. We need to reach out to those Catholics, who put the faith on a back burner part of the week, and try to bring them back to the full Catholic life.

    Inspire New Priestly Vocations

    The Church in the United States at the beginning of the 21st Century is suffering a shortage of priests. It has been observed that areas in the country where the Church speaks out strongly against all injustices and false Catholicism, and for the Truth and the teachings of the Church, have significant increases in priestly vocations compared to areas where the Church is relatively silent on major moral issues. The good men the church needs are the sames ones who are attracted by a strong outspoken church 100% loyal to the magisterium. If we want significant priestly vocations, we must have strong righteous leadership loyal to the magisterium throughout the country.


    Lay Appointments to Church Positions

    When appointing lay people to positions serving and/or paid for by the church, only those who are 100% loyal to the magisterium should be considered. Appointing any one who dissents from church teachings, show some approval of their dissent and even the appearance of approval of any dissent should not be given.


    Loyalty to the Magisterium

    The Church must be absolutely loyal to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and all its teachings.

    This includes using only magisterially approved texts for liturgy and completely following the magisterially approved liturgical guidelines.

    We must all encourage all clergy to firmly resolve to be 100% loyal to the magisterium in all that they do and applaud organizations like Confraternity of Catholic Clergy for their commitment and vocal support to the Holy Father and the Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church.

    It is my hope that one day this will be known and lived by all, clergy, religious, and laity, in the church and not necessary to be explicitly stated.


    Prayful Action

    Everything we do should be done with prayer, always centering ourselves on God, and letting ourselves be His instruments.

    We also should pray for all those endeavoring to bring about the desired cultures, that God assist and guide their efforts. We should pray for a strong (morally) outspoken clergy that will lead the people to the Truth always and correct individuals as necessary.


    Retirees as New Priests

    In a society where people live longer and longer and many reach retirement from active work, there is a untapped source of good spiritual men who can serve as priests. These men have a lifetime of experience to draw upon, and given any good spiritual background, can make excellent priests, assisting the bishops in feeding the sheep. Not the 80 hours a week many priests put in, but what they can handle in a way that they can handle it. They should continue to draw their pensions, savings, and Social Security to support themselves, but have an opportunity to share residences with other priests.

    A formation program would need to be developed significantly shortening the formal educational requirements for these men, focused on what they need for their service. Not every priest needs a Masters in Theology. This would require Vatican approval and a good screening process (looking for a good healthy mature spirituality in the men).

    Can a married retiree, become one of these priests? That is a good question open for debate. I would say "yes" provided that the couple has no children needing support, the man and wife live celebately as brother and sister, and they both vow obedience to their bishop.


    Seminaries

    Seminaries should be environment where candidates for the priesthood and the deaconate are guided by only moral upright individuals of outstanding character towards their clerical vocations. These individuals should include priests living holy lives who fully support and live the teachings of the magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church.


    Sense of Reverence

    At the end of the 20th Century, the Church in the United States has lost some of it reverence for holy things and God. We need to through teaching the people and solid examples restore a sense of reverence towards the Eucharist, the altar, and the sanctuary. Individuals should always be aware of their presence and behave reverently towards them and courteously to others around them. We also need to pray reverently remembering that each individual prayer addresses God directly or indirectly.


    Solid Outspoken Church Teaching

    Every Catholic, whether an everyday Catholic, a Sunday catholic, or a non-practicing Catholic should know and understand why the church teaches what it teaches on the major issues of the day. The ignorance present in the "Catholic" population about Church teachings at the end of the 20th century was way too high.

    The Church needs to endeavor to reach out and correct the misinformation about Catholic teachings, particularly to those who claim to be Catholic. This is more than just sermons at mass, but should include an outreach effort using available media that will reach the intended audiences. Good spokesmen can be a significant difference in spreading the truth. The Church needs to speak out vehemently on all major issues regardless of how it will be taken politically.


    Comments of Particular Issues

    Issues are listed alphabetically in two columns (to make reading easier). For every issue, what has been written and approved by the Church (magisterially) should be carefully searched out, understood, drawn upon, and followed.

    Issues Index (click on a topic to go directly to it.)

    Abortion

    I offer one principle about abortion.

    1. Abortion is Always Wrong.

      Abortion is the killing of a human life and thus is always wrong. In every case, it does significant harm to the mother as well.


    Abuse

    I offer two principles about abuse.

    1. Abuse is always Wrong.

      Abusive behavior, whether physical, mental, psychological, sexual, bureaucratic, financial, legal, etc., is always wrong. The Church should actively oppose all abuse in any form.

    2. Help the abused.

      Often the abused does not realize how badly they have been treated and often will enable the abuser to continue to abuse. The Church needs to reach out to the abused and help them learn about how abuse happens and encourage them to stand up against the abusers to end the abuse.


    Abuse within the Church

    I offer two principles about abuse within the church beyond that of abuse in general.

    1. Develop and abide fully with a Comprehensive Abuse Policy.

      My thoughts are written up in a separate document, "Suggestions for a Comprehensive Abuse Policy for the Roman Catholic Church in America".

    2. Investigate and Address the Root Causes for the Abuse.

      The root causes for all abuses, including non-sexual abuse, need to be identified and addressed to truly resolve the abuses on an ongoing basis. The Church must teach and uphold its moral principles particularly in all its operations, regardless of how society feels about these principles.


    Anti-Catholic Bias

    Anti-Catholic Bias is very much alive and present in America in the early 21st century. Lead by those who advocate immorality, they actively including some situations where bias is prohibited by United States law discriminate against Catholics who live their faith.

    I offer four principles about anti-catholic bias.

    1. Anti-Catholic Bias includes all bias against the moral teachings of the church and those who teach it.

      This is very important to remaining, that the focus is bias exercised against the moral truth of God and those who support it. It can come from both those who claim to be Catholic as well as those who claim no affliation with the Church.

    2. The Church must stand up for itself, actively reporting all bias against it.

      As most of the media is in favor of anti-catholic bias and engage in it themselves, the church must remain vigilant and drawn attention to anti-Catholic bias whenever it occurs. See Media Bias for more about media bias. In addition to the media, many organizations that promote the cultures of hedonism and death, such as the Democratic Party and Planned Parenthood, engage in anti-Catholic bias.

    3. People who claim to be Catholic but engage in Anti-catholic Bias should be disciplined.

      The Church has an obligation both to God and its followers in the United States to discipline those who lead Anti-Catholic bias while claiming to be catholics (and in some cases claiming to be good Catholics). See "Catholics" in the Public View who Defy Church Teachings for more on this subissue.

    4. Standing up against anti-Catholic bias is not being intolerant.

      Rather the "Tolerance" movement in itself is intolerant to beliefs contrary to their Hedonist views, such as the existance of object moral truths.


    "Catholics" in the Public View who Defy Church Teachings

    I offer two principles about public defiance of Church Teachings by those who claim to be Catholic. This applies to both individuals and organizations, including universities.

    1. Silence indicates Church Approval of their Defiance.

      Remaining silent sends a false message approving not only of the defiance but the acceptable of defiance in general, particularly in the areas of faith and morals.

    2. Church Disapproval should be strongly and well known among the Public.

      As long as the individual or group in public view, continue to claim to be Catholic and defy the moral teachings of the Church, the Church is obligated in its teaching responsibility to other Catholics to speak out persistantly against the actions of the defiant person or group claiming to be Catholic.


    Civil Law & Morality

    I offer four principles about Civil Law and Morality. Individual issues may be addressed further under their own title.

    1. Civil Laws should exist to protect the rights, dignity, and property of others.

      Often civil laws will duplicate moral laws but the purpose of the laws are different. Moral laws focus on doing what it right and not doing what is wrong, while civil laws exist to protect the rights, dignity, and property of others and the state where the state serves the people. Laws should not grant rights to perform actions contrary to the person's own human dignity. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights outlines fairly well (as the Vatican would interpret it - Not as hedonists try to misinterpret it) the basic human rights to which all humans are entitled.

    2. Civil Laws should not exist just to force morality or to grant a right to perform immoral actions.

      If the only reason for a civil law is to enforce a moral laws, then the civil law should not exist. Likewise, civil laws should not grant rights to perform immoral acts thus hurting the dignity of those involved and lending society's support to immorality.

    3. Civil Legality does not make wrong right.

      An action that is morally wrong is wrong regardless of what civil laws say about it.

    4. Civil Illegality does not make right wrong.

      An action that is morally required is right regardless of what civil laws say about it. If there is no moral right or wrong with the action, we are obligated morally to obey the law.


    Communications Media

    By media, I am referring to television, radios, print (newspapers, magazines, books, etc.), cd's, movies, etc.

    I offer four principles about Communications Media beyond those of technology.

    1. Communications media can be used for both good and evil.

      The communications media itself is neither good or evil, rather it can be used to communicate for good, neutral, or evil purposes.

    2. The church needs to use available media to promote good throughout the country and the world.

      The 21st Century offers significant communication media and the Church should take full advantage of it to evangelize both overtly and subtly. I would like to see an broadcast network available to all Americans which offers a Christian selection of entertainment, including situation comedies, dramas, movies, and talk shows. The PAX network is not bad, but it needs to go further, showing healthy families living solid Christian lives.

    3. The church needs to actively oppose the use of media in evil ways.

      The church needs to stand up against the misuse of media to promote immorality, unhealthy family values, unhealthy life styles, bad role models, and misinformation.

    4. Parents have the primary responsibility of protecting their children from harmful exposure to communications media.

      Parents have the responsibility to protecting their children from the evil present in many forms communicated by television, books, magazines, newspapers, music, and the internet. The Church should help parents to fulfill this responsibility.


    Contraception

    I offer two principles about Contraception.

    1. Contraception is always wrong.

      Disrupting the progenitive aspect (and in most cases the unitive aspect as well) of the sexual act is always wrong. If it is necessary that a married couple avoid having children, abstinence during fertile periods can be used.

    2. Silence on Contraception leads to worse immorality.

      The Contraceptive mentality leads to abortion, encourages extra-marital sex, breaks up families, distorts individuals' views of love, and promote a society based on hedonism.

      It is a grave sin for Catholics to mislead Catholics on the issue of contraception either through the silence (unspoken consent) or active consent. The church should encourage all Catholics, particularly clergy, religious, doctors, and educators, who inform other Catholics about contraception to be loyal to Church teaching and strongly speak out when they are not.


    Corporations & God

    In America today, most corporations take a strict non-religion stance. That is, they will not acknowledge or deny the existance of God at all.

    I offer one principle about Corporations & God.

    1. Good Corporations acknowledge the existance of God and His value to their organization.

      Corporations that invite God to work for common good within the organization benefit significantly for His presence. Prayer inside corporations makes a positive difference, for the corporation, its employees, and its customers. The church should support those organizations that want to value God within themselves.


    Court Systems

    The Courts within the United States are biased towards lawyers and their legal manuevering, rather than focused on justice and fairness.

    I offer two principles about the Court System.

    1. Promote Fairness and Justice within all courts.

      Every person, regardless of education and financial status, should be treated fairly under the law. Courts should not require lawyers to be involved to protect the rights of the people involved. Options should be available for simple people to get fairness for the courts.

    2. Good Arbitrators should be available in all civil cases.

      Individuals should be able to select arbitration based on finding the full truth and resolving it equitably instead of the current lawyer-biased civil courts which is more about legal manuevering rather than justice or truth.


    Death Penalty

    I offer one principle about the Death Penalty.

    1. Unless Human Lives are at stake, the death penalty is unnecessary.

      Given the current state of modern prison technology in the United States, the death penalty is excessive and immoral except in very rare cases when the state can not guarentee the safety of people from the guilty party or their associates, as might be the case with Terrorists. Even with terrorists, a death sentence should be commuted to life without parole, but reinvoked immediately if any terrorist demands (based on terror) are made about their release. As long as prisoners present no harm to the community in prison, the death penalty is unwarranted.


    Discrimination Against the Poor

    I offer one principle about discrimination against the poor.

    1. Oppose Discrimination against the Poor.

      In this country, there are numerous discriminations against the poor, including higher medical prices, legal loopholes for the rich, lack of special tax shelters, lack of equal treatment under the law and lack of fair opportunity. The Church should stand up for the poor giving a voice against discriminatory practices both by government and corporations.


    Dishonesty

    I offer two principles about dishonesty.

    1. Dishonesty is always wrong.

      Evil should never been done, not even for good reasons. Dishonesty leads to people acting and responding to bad information, causing further problems and making the situation worse in the long run. Sometimes it is permissible (and even prudent) to remain quiet on parts of it, but in some cases, even that is wrong if harm would come out of the silence.

    2. Do not deceive yourself.

      Always seek the truth particularly for yourself on emotional issues. Never let the truth be hidden from you on personal emotion issues. It is important to try to look objectively at these issues and make decisions from the objective truth. Listen to those around you who try to be objective and consider if their views might be correct. Emotions often cloud our judgements.


    Education

    I offer six principles about Education.

    1. One-size fits all education discriminates against most students.

      In the United States, the predominant philosophy is that all children born between two birthdays a year apart have identical abilities and educational requirements and then base their educational program as one-size (or mostly one size) fits all (or most) students. Some have programs for the those who have difficulty learning; some add a program for the exceptionally gifted; these usually assume that the quality applies across all topics. The abilities to learn differ based on topic, teaching method, learning to date, student's maturity, cultural background, motivation, and family life. Education that group most to all students in a one-size fits all education limits what many student can do and learn and should be avoided. The Church should set an example with all Catholic educational institutions avoiding one-size fits all education, focusing on the individuals instead.

    2. Each person should be treated as an individual with education designed to maximize their learning.

      The focus should be let each person be the most they can be, facilitating their learning to maximize what they can get out of it. It needs to include not only intellectual, but social, physical, and spiritual development as well. The Church should set the example to follow by all education institutions in their focus on letting each student become the most they can become.

    3. The church should advocate the rights of children to receive quality individual-based education and the rights of their parents to chose it.

      In the United States at the beginning of the 21st century, the loudest voices about education claim to be working for what is best for the students, but in reality are working for what is best for the leaders of the teacher's unions and their supporters. Parents and children need a strong voice crying out against the mishandling of education by most states and school boards permitting the teacher's unions to drive towards factorized education.

    4. Given quality high school education, many individuals may be off with a vocational school or an active apprenticeship rather than attending college.

      Society places a lot of importance in obtaining a college education. Part of this is because of failed high school education; part of this is becuase of a lack of moral development within many high schoolers today. The answer is to fix the problem. Let high schools teach to a high standard and remove the social stigma of lacking a college education.

    5. Education is more than just classroom education.

      The American society values classroom education too highly in comparision with solid real-world experiences. Part of why this occurs it that it is easy to measure the time spent in the classroom, but much more difficult to assess the learning within an individual. Some classroom education is actual determental to the holistic formation of the person. The Church needs to advocate life and work experience is a valid form of education and that discrimination on the basis of classroom education without consider experience should not be permitted.

    6. Parents have the right to home school or use alternative forms of education for their children.

      The primary duty and right to educate children, belong to the children's parents. Provided that a healthy education is provided, any non-harmful form of education should be acceptable. The church should support parents and their rights to determine how their children are educated, particularly when they desire a solid Catholic education for their children.

    7. Catholic Schools and Colleges must be truly Catholic.

      Every school, college, seminary, and other learning institution that claims to be catholic should be 100% loyal to the magisterium not only in their teachings, but in the ways they operate. Every teacher should be require to pledge loyalty to the teachings of the church and that they will not teach in opposition to the magisterium. The bishops have an obligation to enforce this strongly.


    Environment

    I offer one principle about the Environment.

    1. Humanity is the caretaker of the environment; We must steward it well for the next generation.

      God has entrusted our environment to humanity. As stewards of creation, we have an obligation to pass on to the next generation of stewards a healthy environment.


    Euthanasia

    I offer one principle about Euthanasia.

    1. Euthanasia is always wrong.

      Human life is sacred. Pain, handicaps, inconveniences, or the desire to die are not valid reasons to take a human life.


    Faith Based Government Initiatives

    I offer two principles about Faith Based Government Initiatives

    1. Never Compromise the Faith to get Money.

      We must always remain true the the faith, even when we lose out on government funding opportunities.

    2. Where Faith-based initiatives can perform services for the Government better than the Government can, Do It.

      Often, non-government entities can perform services better and less expansive than government can itself. When this is the case, we should encourage outsourcing these functions to the private sector, including faith-based ones.


    Family Life

    The family is the basic building block of the church and society. Healthy family life is important both to the church and the nation.

    I offer four principles on Family Life.

    1. The Church needs to promote Healthy Families to Society.

      In a society of the broken or abusive family, the Church needs to advocate healthy family life, educating the society on what it is, having members living it successfully, and working to aid those families who are lacking. The Church needs to present an alternate view to family life than that depicted by Hollywood. This includes good Christian-oriented use of the available communications media.

    2. Advocate Covenant Marriage.

      Healthy marriages lead to healthy families.

    3. Teach the young how good Christian families should function.

      We need to extend our religious education programs to include teachings on healthly families and why the church advocates its teachings about family life, marriage, children, and sexual relations. This is particularly important as most media does not depict or advocate healthly family life.

    4. Parents must lovingly teach their children Discipline and Charity.

      Parents as primary teachers for their children should raise their children with good discipline (Spoil the Rod, Spoil the Child - is too true) and to live with a spirit of charity. This is done first by example, exercising self-discipline and self-charity, as a family as a whole, and as needed in response to unruly behavior. Discipline should be immediate and always done in a spirit of love. Parents need to understand that to shelter their children from the consequences of their actions, only leads to worse actions and should always let them face the consequences of what they have done (so that they might learn from it). The Church should help parents to better perform these roles in their families.


    Government Assistance Programs

    I offer seven principles on Government Assistance Programs

    1. People who are truly needy should recieve aid from the government.

      Those who have true essential needs in their lives that they are unable to fulfill should receive assistance from the government in fulfilling them. This is focused on essential needs and not luxuries. The government should not discriminate make it harder to qualify for assistance programs for those without assets, income, or health insurance.

    2. Government programs to assist the needy should reflect the dignity of the person.

      It is important the all government assistance programs respect the dignity of each person, encouraging them to improve themselves and better their own lives (potential getting off of government assistance. It is not desirable to create permanent classes of people (except possibly the disabled) receiving government assistance.

    3. Government assistance programs should be ran as one program.

      The United States government has splintered its assistance programs across the federal bureaucracy. It would be better to have one consolidated adminstration of all the programs to promote a holistic approach that better addresses the needs of the individuals and their families while maintaining a rein on administrative costs. Given the amount of current overhead, I would recommend outsourcing the adminstration to multiple competitive private organizations, including faith-based initatives. In addition, where feasible state and local programs that augment what the federal government provides should be considered as part of the whole as well and administered by the same organization.

    4. Abuse of government assistance programs should be heavily punished.

      Those who deliberately abuse the government assistance programs are stealing from the American tax payers and should be heavily punished.

    5. Government assistance programs should not be used as rewards for political support.

      They should be created and ran apolitically for the good of the nation and its people. Never should government assistance be used as a political reward.

    6. Government assistance programs should be based on repayment when feasible.

      Many government assistance programs improve the individuals' and/or organizations' (including businesses) ability to provide themselves, such as corporate bail-outs, agricultural subsidies, and student grants. In this cases, repayment of the assistance should be encouraged. This could be done fairly simply as a slightly higher tax rate for those with a government assistance repayment balance until it is repaid (I would not worry about interest except in corporate cases) with the differences in tax considered as repayment of some of the government assistance.

    7. The costs of administering the programs should be kept low.

      There are numerous ways in a free-market economy to keep adminstration costs low. The government should take advantage of these ways to keep their administrative costs low. The government should be required for every program to separate the adminstrative costs from the benefits provided.

    Health Care

    Health Care at the end of the 20th Century in the United States was characterized by the (1) significant advances in medical options and treatments, (2) discrimination in who can receive care, (3) unfair pricing policies, (4) overwhelming admistrative bureaucracy, and (5) lack of medical record sharing among providers.

    I offer eight principles about Health Care. In addition the principles about Technology apply to Medical Technology.

    1. Advocate Affordable Medicine for all.

      Everyone should have access to medical care, but some procedures that are extremely expensive do not have to be available for all.

    2. The Poor should not Subside the Medical care of the Rich.

      At the end of the 20th Century, insurance and pricing favored those with money (and clout) over the poor, charging those who could least afford it the highest prices, often denying them access to even basic medical care. This is an abuse of the medical pseudo-monopoly.

    3. Advocate Fair and Reasonable Worldwide Drug Pricing.

      Currently drug pricing discriminates against the poor. This is wrong. Medicines are prescribed based on their marketing rather than based on their value to the patient. This too is wrong and results in higher drug costs. Overprescribing drugs is common as well. Many public schools overadvocate the prescribing of behavior modification drugs, for example. This too is wrong. The Church should advocate informed prescribing of drugs and fair pricing throughout the world. Catholic Hospitals, Doctors, and Medical Plans should be examples of fairness and informed use.

    4. Advocate Catholic Health Care.

      Catholic should be able to get health care that is provided by moral medical practitioners fully in accordance to the teachings of the Catholic Church. This is our right in this country (The first amendment); the Church needs to ensure that this right is not trampled upon by immoral agendas. A federal law supporting religious-based health care (where nothing is done that the religion finds immoral) would be useful to protect these rights.

    5. Advocate Catholic Medical Insurance/Health Plans.

      Medical Insurance tends to be one-size/type fits all. We would be better if we had an option for Catholic Medical Insurance, supporting good medical care (electable options for some of the more expensive treatments) that fully support the teachings of the church. The Catholic Church is large enough to advocate and get Catholic Medical Insurance with options from the major insurers, particularly if the extraneous medical lawsuits are eliminated as part of the insurance.

    6. Medical Pricing should be provided prior to purchase/rendering where feasible.

      When people do not know what they are being charged for medical services and in many cases never find out (as this is hidden in the insurance process), prices should be given prior to service being rendered, except in emergency situations. Cheaper alternatives should be discussed so that the benefits of each procedure can be weighed against the costs.

    7. Medical records should belong to the patient and be shared among all medical practitioners who work with the patient.

      At the beginning of the 21st Century, medical records were poorly shared among practitioners, resulting in lower quality care then would have been received if true sharing of records was being done. Off-site medical record storage and access should be used to provide provider-independent automated storage and access to medical records. In addition, better analysis of conditions according to metabolitic factors should be able to be done from these independent records stores.

    8. Advocate the avoidance of overmedicating.

      The medical industry at the beginning of the 21st century had a tendency to overprescribe medications, just in case, they may be of health. This is a costly and bad practice that results in unpleasant drug interactions, higher cost of medicine, and less focus on the essentials of healthy living, which should be the core of good health care. The church needs to advocate a proper use of medicines, along with healthy lifestyles to promote health and speak out against the overprescribing medications.


    Homosexuality

    I offer two principles about homosexuality.

    1. Active Homosexuality is a Serious Sin.

      The Church needs to deal with active homosexuality as any serious sin. Strongly standing against these sinful acts, including punishing and removing priests that actively practice it or advocate its practice. Anyone who advocates homosexuality should not be permitted to teach in any Catholic institution, particularly in seminaries.

    2. Love those who are confused about their Sexuality.

      Homosexuality is a mental disorder, sometimes caused by childhood abuse and should be treated. Many efforts supported by the Church have been successful in reaching out and helping those affected by this disorder, helping them to live in accordance with the teachings of God; The Church should continue this efforts.


    Involvement of the Church and the State

    I offer four principles of what should not be done. Everything not specially excluded is included and encouraged.

    1. The Church shall not Govern the State.

      The Church should not force itself on either the state or individuals. Christianity itself calls for voluntary submission to the laws of God and the Church by the individual or by his guardians acting in faith and love on his behalf. This does not mean that the Church should remain silent when basic human rights (such as the right to life) are being denied by the Government.

    2. The State shall not Govern the Church.

      As stated in the first amendment of the United States Constitution, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", it is essential that we support this as written and not as some would like, that the Church should avoid politics or any issue addressed by the government. Congress should be considered to include the Courts, the public schools, the state and local governments, and the whole federal bureaucracy as well.

    3. The State shall not Corrupt the Church or its Members.

      As stated in the first amendment of the United States Constitution, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", it is essential that we support our free exercise of religion and object to any attempts to teach or influence individuals with contrary beliefs or practices by the government. Congress should be considered to include the Courts, the public schools, the state and local governments, and the whole federal bureaucracy as well. We must object as individuals and as Church to the advocating of immorality in any form by the government, including teaching of hedonism (a false religion) in the public schools and to the denial of basic human rights (such as the right to life) to any individual (whether Catholic or not).

    4. A Nation without God is without a soul.

      God should be a vital part of the peoples of every nation. A nation that denies God, denies the very soul of the people, hurting the people and destroying itself. The Church should endeavor to keep the nation as a "Nation Under God".


    Marriage

    I offer three principles on the issue of Marriage.

    1. Advocate Covenant Marriage.

      Many people in the United States do not understand that marriage is meant to be a covenant, a total giving of oneself to another. We as Church need to educate the public on what a covenant marriage is, why it works, and why it is good for the couple involved. The culture today teaches that marriage is a convenience that is discarded when it gets uncomfortable. This is wrong. The Church needs to lead the effort to transform marriages back to covenant marriages.

      I recommend the use of the term Covenant Marriage in our speech to be clearer to those who do not understand our viewpoints.

    2. Marriage is always between a Man and a Woman.

      No exceptions ever.

    3. The state should grant special benefits for Covenant Marriages

      Covenant Marriages, that is marriages for life between a fully committed man and woman, promote healthly lifestyles and behaviors of their entire family and those they associated. This is very good for society and the state should grant special benefits for those committed to covenant marriage. In many cases, this means that a state may recognize two different forms of marriage, covenant marriage and non-covenant marriage with preferential treatment given to covenant marriage and divorce being much more difficult under covenant marriage. This is fine as the benefits of covenant marriage over non-covenant marriage to society warrant the preferential treatment.


    Media Bias

    At the end of the 20th Century, the United States news media for the most part, presented a slanted view of the news, presenting opinions as fact, and misleading the general populace. The Catholic Church is often the victim of this bias for speaking up against the immorality supported by the major news media in an attempt to belittle the Church and its statements.

    I offer three principles on Media Bias.

    1. News should be Objective Reporting of Facts.

      News should always be the objective reporting of facts. Any opinion given should be stated as opinions and properly attributed with an opportunity given for alternative opinions to be presented. Under no circumstances should opinions be presented as fact. The Church needs to stand up against those media outlets that use their news programs to spread the opinion as fact.

    2. Experts representing a view should represent the official view.

      People who dissent from church teaching should not be used to present the Catholic view on an issue. The Church needs to speak out strongly when the media chooses dissenters to represent Catholic views.

    3. The Church should be very vocal when Church teachings are misrepresented.

      It is important that the Church speak out whenever the news media misrepresents the teachings of the Church. This should include denouncing those who Dissent from Church teaching and claim to speak for Catholics.


    Population Control

    A large myth floating around is that the world is overpopulated and action must be taken to reduce population - this is false.

    I offer two principles on Population Control.

    1. The world has plenty of resources to support more people.

      There is plenty of land to support a much larger population. This can be further augmented through the use of the oceans and outerspace.

    2. Killing or abusing people to reduce population goes against the teaching of the Gospel.

      Abortion, euthanasia, forced sterilization, and government-based indoctrination of anti-life philosophies are always wrong. The church should stand up against governments, organizations, and corporations that advocate these beliefs.


    Pro-Life

    I offer one principle about pro-life viewpoint and the Catholic viewpoint.

    1. If you are truly Catholic, you are Pro-life.

      Catholic Teachings are 100% pro-life as is God.


    Public Education

    I offer four principles about public education in the United States beyond what I list under Education.

    1. Parents have the right to select the religious instruction associated with their public education.

      The first amendment of the United States Constitution states that no law shall prohibit the free exercise of religion. This unfortunately has not been enforced in the 20th century with not only public funding denied religious schools opted by the parents, but also false religions, such as hedonism and atheism, are taught in some of the public schools. In each area, elementary and secondary schools should all be eligible for public funding as well as home schooling and collectively offer a range of religious instruction and environments to their students.

    2. Education without Religion is not Complete.

      Christian Parents have the moral obligation to education their children in ways of Christianity, not only in a formal setting but in social interactions as well. Any educational environment selected by the parents should offer a social environment corresponding to their religion.

    3. Administrative Costs of Public Education should be kept low.

      Focus on quality education. Administrative costs should always be published with every government program so that people are or become aware of inefficiencies and waste and can refocus funds toward the students.

    4. Organizations that oppose Parental Choice need to be strongly opposed.

      Organizations, such as the NEA, that desire that their beliefs on religion be taught in every public school without the consent of the parents should be strongly and vigorously opposed. The NEA, National Education Association, for instance, advocates the religion of Hedonism be taught in all public schools. The Church needs to stand firmly for the truth and parental choice against these organizations.


    Rudeness

    Rudeness in society and in homes has drastically increased during the twentieth century.

    I offer one principle on Rudeness.

    1. Courteous Behavior always.

      Christ calls everyone the respect each other. This includes being courteous to everyone anywhere. I have a webpage of my Thoughts on Modern Courtesy.


    Scientific Research on Humans

    I offer one principle about scientific research on humans.

    1. Scientific Research on Humans is permited if it respects the human dignity and rights of all.

      The dignity or human rights of the person being experimented upon must be respected in all scientific research. It is never valid to use illicit means to accomplish good ends. The creation of human life just to kill it is a serious sin and should never be permitted under any circumstances.


    Sexual Relations

    I offer one principle about sexual relations.

    1. Sexual relations between husband & wife in covenant marriage only.

      Sexual relations should be restricted to be only between a husband & wife in a covenant marriage. All other sexual relations are degrading to the value of human life and injure both the parties involved as well as others. Sexual relations outside of marriage is always wrong.


    Taxation

    I offer seven principles about taxation.

    1. Taxation should not discriminate against the poor.

      Tax structures should be applied fairly to all people, without special breaks for the rich and without overburdening the poor. This needs to consider the effects of loopholes. (For example, The estate tax disriminates against the poor and middle class in that the rich use tax shelters to hide their estates from it, thus avoiding the taxes while making a select group of lawyers wealthy, and the estate tax delays processing estates which hurts the poor significantly more than the more wealthy.)

    2. Taxes should not encourage unhealthy practices.

      The government should not through its taxes encourage behavior that is physically, psychological, or spiritually unhealthly for its citizens or lower level governments. (An example of a bad tax item is a deduction for state taxes in determining federal tax. This means that the federal government is encouraging bloated state governments by subsidizing their inefficiences.)

    3. Taxes should be considered in aggregate.

      When considering the effects and fairness of taxes, all applicable taxes and ways to avoid them should be considered in the evalutation. This will often show unfairnesses in aggregate that discriminate against the poor or the working.

    4. Taxes should not discriminate against healthy family lifestyles.

      The tax structures should never encourage unhealthy life styles and should always promote stable healthy families.

    5. The tax structure should promote economic growth.

      A growing economy brings opportunities to people to work, to improve their lives, and to improve others lives. A good tax structure will encourage economic growth, rewarding new investments, expansions, and innovations. A growing economy results in greater taxes and if taxation is managed well, a reduction in tax rates as well.

    6. The costs of collecting & enforcing taxes should be considered.

      This applies when looking at who to tax as well as what sort of taxes make sense. For instance, by having a higher minimum threshold for income taxation, more people do not have to fill out forms and file taxes, so less support staff is required overall to support the tax.

    7. Sales tax on necessities should be lower (or even non-existant) compared to luxuries

      Necessities, such as simple food, water, basic housing, basic clothing, basic utilities, etc., should have lower sales tax rates (or even a zero sales tax rate) than luxury items and entertainment. The lower tax to necessities helps the poor, particularly the working poor while costing pleasure seekers and those who buy luxuries high sales tax rates. In a consumer-based economy, the state should strive to keep total costs of necessities down and rely more of entertainment and luxuries sales taxes to fund their activities,


    Technology

    We have seen in last part of the 20th Century, incredible advances in technology.

    I offer five principles about Technology.

    1. Most technology is neither good nor evil by itself.

      Technology is just a tool of man. It can be used to in both good and evil ways. Some technology only has evil uses and these technologies should be actively opposed by the Church.

    2. Technology should be used to accomplish good means.

      Technology well used can improve the lives of everyone. It can be used to improve the quality of life, the quality of education, communications, transport, etc. The Church needs to advocate technology use that helps people.

    3. The Church needs to oppose evil uses of technology.

      Just like all evil, the Church needs to actively oppose all evil uses for technology and all technology, such as the Abortion Pill, that only has evil purposes.

    4. Illicit means should not never be used to advance technology.

      Technology research and advancement should always occur through moral means.

    5. Where technology can be used to advance the Church's mission, it should be.

      Where technology facilitates the Church's mission, the Church should take advantage of it. In this case the technology can be considered a gift from God.


    Terrorism

    I offer one principle about terrorism.

    1. Terrorism is always wrong.

      Terrorism, the use of violence, internationally, nationally, or domestically, to terrorize a population by individuals, groups, or governments, is always wrong, regardless of the desired purpose.


    Violence

    I offer one principle about violence.

    1. Violence should be avoided as much as possible.

      Violent acts should be avoided as much as possible, including domestic violence, neighborhood violence, vandalism, terrorism, etc. You are permitted to use violence only to the degree necessary to defend yourself and those in your care and when necessary in lawful moral endeavors, such as old building destruction and mining, for examples, providing that other people and property are not harmed.


    Women's Issues

    I offer three principles to remember about the womanhood.

    1. Respect the Dignity of Womanhood.

      Pope John Paul II in his apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem calls on women to be women emphasizing the special gifts of womanhood. This philosophy should be an essential part of address woman's issues. It is important that we draw from the wide body of material addressing women and women in the Church that have been produced by the Church.

    2. Remember that most of the Feminist Agenda is Anti-Christian.

      The majority of the Feminist Agenda does not reflect good Christian womanhood. The Church should activity speak out against all aspects that go against Church teachings and lead women to true womanhood.

    3. The Blessed Mother is the Example of Womanhood.

      The Virgin Mary is the perfect example of true holy womanhood. While it is important to respect individual differences between women, it is equally important to lead all woman to holy womanhood, as exemplified by the Blessed Mother and Mother Theresa of Calcutta.


    Work

    I offer 2 principles on the issue of Work.

    1. We must advocate for the basic rights of Workers, owners, and the recipients of the work.

      Human work should also be conducted maintaining the humanity dignity of all involved. This includes protecting the rights for workers to organize (or not organize as the individual sees fit), to be evaluated and compensated based on what they produce, and demanding that all labor associations represent the interest of all of its members and not advocate their leadership's distinct political agendas.

    2. We must advocate for meaningful work to be available for all people.

      It is within the dignity of man to work and participate in God's creation. Society should foster opportunities for all people to work using their skills and providing for themselves and their families.


    General Notes

    Eastern Rite Roman Catholic Eparchies

    In this document, for Eastern Rite Roman Catholics, the term bishop is considered include Eparchs and the term diocese is considered to include Eparchies. Eparchies should work with their Roman diocese counterparts where they geographically overlap with a special focus on the ethnicality on which they are focused.


    What to Remember

    Dove & Cross
    • The Church exists for Sinners.
    • The Church should transform Society.
    • Do not let Civil Society define the Church.
    • Civil Legality does not make it Right.
    • Civil Illegality does not make it Wrong.
    • Always Advocate the Truth regardless of Consequences.
    • Actively and Public Teach the Church Teachings on Sexual Morality including Why and the Damage done through Sexual Immorality.
    • Silence on Moral Issues is almost always immoral.
    • Even Good People can make Mistakes.
    • Leave the Final Judgement to God.
    • Forgive those who make Mistakes.
    • It is not weakness to ask for help, it is wisdom.
    • The Church is Responsible for Educating Society about the Church and all its Teachings.
    • Bishops are called to be Voices Crying out in the Wilderness.
    Dove & Cross
    Dove & Cross Dove & Cross
    Dove & Cross Dove & Cross
    Prayers
    Cross in Heart Image


    Fancy Cross Image


    Cross in Heart Image


    Fancy Cross Image


    Cross in Heart Image


    Fancy Cross Image


    Cross in Heart Image

    References

    1. Catholic Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 15 August 1997, The Holy See, Vatican City. It is also available online from the USCCB.
    2. Congregation of the Clergy, "The Priest, Pastor and Leader of the Parish Community", 4 August 2002, The Holy See, Vatican City.
    3. Doubleday (pub.), The New Jerusalem Bible, 1990, Doubleday, New York, New York.
    4. Pope John Paul II, "Christifideles Laici", 30 Dec 1988, The Holy See, Vatican City. It is also available online at EWTN.
    5. Pope John Paul II, "Ecclesia in Europa", 28 Jun 2003, The Holy See, Vatican City.
    6. Pope John Paul II, "Evangelical Vitae", 25 Mar 1995, The Holy See, Vatican City. It is also available online at EWTN.
    7. Pope John Paul II, "Mulieris Dignitatem", 15 Aug 1988, The Holy See, Vatican City. it is also available online at EWTN.
    8. Pope John Paul II, "Redemptoris Missio", 7 Dec 1990, The Holy See, Vatican City. It is also available online at EWTN.
    9. Pope Paul VI, "Humanae Vitae", 1968, The Holy See, Vatican City. It is also available online at EWTN.
    10. Stobie, Thomas A., SFO, "Suggestions for a Comprehensive Abuse Policy for the Roman Catholic Church in America", 2002, Divine Love Ministries, Internet.
    11. Stobie, Thomas A., SFO, "Thoughts on Modern Courtesy", 2002-2003, Divine Love Ministries, Internet.
    12. United Nations, Universal Declatation of Human Rights, 10 Dec 1948, United Nations.
    13. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, "Called and Gifted for the Third Millennium", 1995, United States Catholic Conference, Inc., Washington, D.C.
    14. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Social Development & World Peace, "Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility", 10 Oct 2003, United States Catholic Conference, Inc., Washington, D.C.

    EWTN is the Eternal Word Television Network with extensive document libraries online at their website, http://ewtn.com.

    While my links connect to the English versions of the Vatican documents, The Holy See does have non-English versions of its documents available on its website as well.

    Special Thanks

    I would like to thank the Holy Spirit for all of His inspirations for this document.

    I would like to thank the following people for their suggestions and contributions to this document:

    Pope John Paul II (through his life and his teachings)
    Kristen, SFO
    Les Richardson
    Tony Russo

    Blessed Virgin Mary image

    This document is dedicated
    and entrusted to
    the Blessed Virgin Mary,
    in her Immaculate Conception,
    as Patroness of the United States.

    © 2003-2004 by Thomas A. Stobie, SFO - permission to copy for personal or church use is granted.


    End of Document


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