Giuliani, the Pope, and Aristotle
How the mighty are fallen! Or falling, anyway. Tony Blair is finished. George W. Bush is being deserted by the party he has wrecked, the submerging Republican majority. And Rudy Giuliani, only recently the front-runner for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, looks like a goner. Thanks to Pope Benedict, he probably has no hope of capturing the White House now.
Bush, of course, is the central figure in this contagion of ruin. Blairs loyalty to Bush he warned his fellow Englishmen that Saddam Husseins fearsome arsenal might strike them within 45 minutes destroyed the plausibility of everything else he said. And Giuliani, a rodent who lacks the sense to desert the sinking ship, is now paying the price for his nakedly cynical betrayal of the Catholic faith.
I hate abortion, he has said lately; and everyone knows this is a naked lie. For nearly two decades his words and deeds have been emphatically proclaiming the precise opposite. No observer in his right mind would even suggest that Rudy Giuliani had the faintest moral qualms about feticide.
He has eagerly courted pro-abortion groups, called abortion a constitutional right, opposed restrictions on gruesome late-term killings of unborn children, applauded President Clintons veto of such restrictions, advocated forcing taxpayers to subsidize abortion, and more. His record couldnt be more unequivocal.
Needless to say, he adds to all this the standard hypocrisy of modern abortion advocates: he has studiously avoided describing abortion with such plain Anglo-Saxon words as kill, death, and blood.
Here its instructive to read Book VII of the Politics of the great pagan philosopher Aristotle, who frankly recommends both abortion and infanticide in certain situations; refreshingly free of modern cant, he says simply that as a matter of good government, crippled infants should not be raised. Dont expect such candor from a Giuliani.
Enter the Pope. Speaking in Brazil, without mentioning Giuliani by name, he made it clear that the killing of an innocent child is incompatible with being in communion with the body of Christ a pointed reminder that a politician who promotes abortion has excommunicated himself.
This wont stop the much-married Giuliani from continuing to gobble the sacraments of the Church he evidently cares more about staying in favor with the New York Yankees than about fidelity to his professed religion but it will certainly stop many Republicans, especially the Catholics he has lately been trying to woo, from voting for him in the party primaries.
In fact, Giuliani attacked Pope John Paul II in 1996 for condemning Clintons veto of the late-term abortion ban. Now he says his own positions on abortion public positions, mind you are between me and my confessor. So why make them public at all? Why not keep them private, in the intimacy of the confessional?
You have to wonder how often Giuliani visits that confessional, anyway. What does he think he needs to confess? Lukewarm support of Bush? He doesnt appear to be a man who lets his religion cause him much inconvenience. His idea of charity is public funding for abortions for poor women.
Well, each of us has to apply the Sermon on the Mount in his own way. And nobody can say the abortion-hating Giuliani hasnt found a way that is both original and unique.
Liberals accuse the Catholic Church and the popes of failing to speak out against evil, especially Nazism. Their favorite target is Pope Pius XII, whom the Nazi press in fact called a mouthpiece for the Jews. But of course they are not always delighted when the Church does speak out; then they accuse it of butting into politics and violating the separation of church and state.
Giuliani, a liberal who wants to be taken for a conservative, assures us that he wont be taking orders from the Pope (just in case you were worried). Heres hoping he wont let that confessor push him around, either. We can only hope and of course pray that its not the same confessor who gives Nancy Pelosi her marching orders.
I wonder how Aristotle would define a Catholic these days. We can only guess, but I think hed agree that papist is usually a misnomer.
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