Paul Martin: party or Church?
Think back for a moment to the federal election of 2004; consider the embarrassing spectacle of Mr. Martin criss-crossing the country, expending great energy, dedicating himself with a zeal and passion for the cause of "same sex marriage," unprecedented in the history of our country. No one ever has so sacrificed himself in the eyes and wonderment of our country for the cause of a moral thesis of such surpassing evil. It is safe to say that no Catholic in the history of Canada has ever raised himself so high, in so singular and public a manner, in opposition to the teachings of the Catholic Church as has Mr. Martin.
Another, even more abhorrent scene from last year's federal election, was witnessed by the entire country during the Leaders' debate. It consisted of Mr. Martin taking Conservative leader, Stephen Harper, to task for not supporting vigorously enough the so-called "women's right to choose." "The woman's right to choose" is the euphemism of choice of the radical feminists to cover over the scientific truth that when a women chooses to abort her child, she is killing, not a potential human being, but a true human person with the unlimited potential characteristic of all human life.
Personally, I could not help but view this episode as the defining moment, morally speaking, of the entire election campaign. Sorrowfully, from a Catholic perspective, it was a moment of unmitigated moral turpitude.
Imagine the heart-rending spectacle for Catholics, and I would hope for all Christians, of seeing a mature gentleman who identifies himself as a Catholic, taunting a fellow Christian, literally goading him to plunge more deeply into the spiritual darkness he himself had already embraced. It was as if Mr. Martin were challenging Mr. Harper to match his own record of total unconditional support for a woman's right to choose, and to choose therefore the killing of pre-born but yet fully human life, that inevitably follows upon such a policy.
Mr. Martin makes no apology for his unqualified endorsation of the policies of the Liberal party. Today, unfortunately, many of these policies, in important areas of moral concern, are far removed from any correspondence with Christian truth and the principles of human reason adduced from Natural Law. Mr. Martin's stance clearly constitutes an action opposed to the faith. This creates a real problem of conscience for Catholic people who take their faith seriously.
Mr. Martin is clearly in the wrong concerning the foundation he has established for eliciting our vote. Does truth matter to us? Can we be right in voting for what is wrong? If he in his generous embrace of the anti-life policies of the liberal Party is acting against the faith, would not we, too, in voting for him, be acting against the faith as well?
It is true, as is often pointed out, that there are more areas of concern for citizens than abortion and "same sex marriage." But it is also true that there are not any that are more fundamental than these.
Often the cry is made that the horizon of social justice, for example, comprehends more than the question of abortion, or, for that matter, of opposition to the "same sex marriage." Again, this is true. Nevertheless, it is beyond any possibility of contradiction that a social justice that fails to embrace the culture of life (which "same sex marriage," by definition, inherently opposes) and the protection of life in the womb, will always fail in bringing healing and wholeness to the society it purports to serve.
Is it not valid to ask that, if the right to life itself is not protected at both ends of the human continuum, are not all other human rights relativized and jeopardized?
No, it is impossible, in good conscience, to vote for Mr. Martin. His unflagging support of "abortion rights' and "same sex marriage rights," neither of which right can be found in natural moral law but are the product of pure judicial contrivance, absolutely preclude Mr. Martin being given consideration for public office.
Indeed, I believe the urgency of the moral issues we face in Canada today constitute a call in conscience for Catholic people to re-assess their political loyalties. Historically, Catholics have been great supporters of the Liberal Party. It is almost a political reflex for many Catholics to vote Liberal. I myself have done so all my life. However, what is needed now is to stop voting for parties and start voting only for individual candidates who are pro-life. One cannot vote for a party anyway, but only for one of the candidates in one's own riding.
With their unyielding support for the pro-choice ideology, the abortion on demand mentality, the redefinition of marriage, the crusade for "same sex marriage," and their utilitarian attitude towards embryonic stem-cell research, the Liberal and NDP parties have transformed themselves into forces that are anti-family and anti-life. No room is left for a man or woman whose conscience includes respect for the Natural law. In my view, Catholic people are being called to seek out pro-life candidates of whatever party. It is not so much that Catholics would be leaving the Liberal or NDP parties but more a case where these parties have already left them.
Presently, Planned Parenthood, supported by our taxes, is being generously funded to advance its activities for abortion among the predominantly Catholic people of Latin America. Since Mr. Martin has become Prime Minster, Canada has quadrupled its financial support of the pertinent United Nations' agency charged with responsibility for reproductive health services (read abortion) for women in the Third World. These are nothing less than hostile acts towards Catholic taxpayers.
No longer, in my view, may a Catholic who seeks to be conscientious, who seeks to be supportive of the culture of life, continue to vote for traditional parties. Catholics must find out where their candidates stand. The professional organization to consult here is Campaign Life Coalition (www.compaignlifecoalition.com/fedvotes/).
With respect to Mr. Martin, the following, March 24, statement states this: "He (Mr. Martin) has come to the conclusion that it is according to the plan of God for him to accept to be the leader of his party and, in this arena, it is acceptable for him to represent its policies. As the leader of the party in power, he believes that his personal opinion is not relevant to his role as a leader." (LifeSite News)
This is as complete and total a moral capitulation as has ever been articulated in Canadian public life. The mention of God in the very context of this abdication of moral responsibility makes the statement border on blasphemy.
Finally, we have the explanation for the anomalous behaviour of Mr. Martin. Mr. Martin must believe that in virtue of his office he is exempt from the duties and obligations that fall upon Christians in general. He has brought a curious moral amalgam to the Canadian scene: the pursuit of an agenda that is in diametrical opposition to the teachings of his Church mixed in with a constant professing of faithfulness to that same Church. This is the sad spectacle that has been allowed to go on unabated since he took office.
Today, Canada is in crisis. The times call for an Edmund Burke or even a Saint Thomas More. What we have instead is the sad spectacle of Mr. Martin banishing from the public square the one indispensable condition for the true greatness of man--God himself.
I believe it is only through a quirk of ecclesiastical capriciousness that Mr. Martin has escaped the censure of excommunication. The Church is always hesitant to impose so grave a penalty. It always favours the tenderness of mercy over the harshness of justice.
However, Mr. Martin's obstinacy, the cavalier manner in which he has dismissed the most sacred tenets of his faith as having no relevance for him since he holds public office, probably do warrant excommunication as the most charitable response to him under the circumstances. Love and truth need each other. I fear the Church has failed in its love for Mr. Martin. As a result, Mr. Martin has not been deterred from his morally errant and destructive course.
We should pray for Mr. Martin. The moral harm he is doing to the country is without parallel in our history. All our Catholic politicians, indeed, all our parliamentarians, should recall that the Day of Judgement is coming as surely as the sun sets in the Western sky.
Pray for Mr. Martin. Pray for our parliamentarians. Pray for God's mercy upon our country.
Fr. Tom Morley is the parish priest of St. Mary's Polish Church, Sydney, NS
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|Date:||Sep 1, 2005|
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