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Impossible Laws II (Tue Apr 13, 2004 10:28 am) )

We ask Our Catholics Bishops to serious reconsider their efforts to coerce our elected civic leaders into backing laws that are impossible and morally questionable to enforce. Focusing on birth control laws, is it morally justified to establish laws the enforcement of which are almost impossible or, at minimum, harmful to the common good?

No sane person or just community advocates death in any form, but we must tolerate some occurrence of death not only because it is inevitable, but also because the alternative is too costly. The carnage on our roads is an example. War, the death penalty, death for a good cause, self defense, and to protect others are other examples. States are not bound to do the impossible. They can, and have, enacted laws to regulate abortions, but would any civic leader be justified (no matter what his/her personal opinion might be) in imposing on society the obligation to identify, pursue, arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate all women and collaborating men, physicians, nurses, agencies, single parents, teenagers, mothers and fathers of families, who are involved in abortions? Even if it were possible, it would be financially prohibitive, and completely inundate our legal and penal systems. To demand that a Catholic politicians support such laws in a society the majority of which are not Catholic and do not agree, will result in the elimination of all Catholic politicians as occurred when the Church forbade politicians to support the French Revolution.

We urge our bishops to focus their energies and use the credibility they still have to eliminate the social and economic conditions that support the felt need for abortions. Rather than resorting to antiquated, pre-Vatican II, punitive, and ineffective, methods of bygone days, we urge our bishops to examine their own conscience concerning their refusal to deal with the morality of using control methods to help prevent the need for abortion even though Pope Pius XII in an October 29, 1951 address to Italian midwives permitted the distinction between sexual activity and procreation. (http://deaconninure.0catch.com/A_history_of_marriage.html)

Other voices

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(Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in converation with Dr Ingrid Shafer)

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