I am happy to report that I have returned safely from another relaxing and reflective retreat. These retreats always serve to reinforce my love for and faith in the Catholic Church and all of her rich moral truths. Which is why I take issue with Sean Hannity’s recent interview with Fr. Euteneuer about his criticism of Sean’s stance on artificial birth control.
I knew there was a good reason I stopped listening to Sean a few years ago. Even so, I still tuned in every once in a while, but no more. Not only does he openly and quite arrogantly dissent from the Catholic moral teaching (which I did not know) but his treatment of Fr. Euteneuer was utterly disrespectful and his arguments juvenile.
Due to the defensive tone of his remarks he clearly felt threatened by Fr. Euteneuer’s presence on the show, but that doesn’t excuse the rude and accusing way he treated Fr. who is a Catholic Priest, a holy man of God and a Representative of Christ on earth.
While most of his “interview” is just a childish, defensive attack on Fr. Euteneuer and the Church, some of the claims he makes are worth addressing.
First is the question of judgment. On this I quote Domus Dei:
When cornered all Hannity could do was resort to the tired old, “stop-judging-me” bit. He was quick to pull out: “Judge not and you will not be judged.” from Luke chapter 6, verse 37. Sean would have done well to read these passages in context and maybe he wouldn’t have made himself a public fool. We know from Scripture that when “Judge not and you will not be judged” is taught, it does not mean that we cannot criticize or ‘judge’ a persons’ actions and beliefs to be objectively wrong or even objectively sinful. In fact to charitably admonish someone for their sin is a spiritual work of mercy! Sean definitely does not know his Faith and one can judge that with confidence.
It is out of love that we dutifully point out the wrong that another person is doing and call them to conversion. Fr. is also concerned about the impact that Sean’s public expression of dissent may have on his very large audience. Sean is an influential public figure and his words carry weight with his listeners.
Next is his constant attack on the Church and its handling of the sex abuse scandal.
Clearly Sean has issues with the Church’s handling of this issue and that may be legitimate. But here this only serves to divert attention away from himself and the argument at hand and thus has no place in the current discussion.
Again from Domus Dei:
He states that Fr. Euteneuer should be applauding those that stayed in the Church after the scandal. Hannity fails to realize that our hope is in God and not in man. Anyone who leaves the Church due to the failing of any percentage of the hierarchy simply do not know their faith. We are in the Church for one reason and one reason alone: truth. Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church on the solid rock of Peter. No amount of human sin can take that away from us. Christ will always be present for us in the Eucharist and His grace in the Sacraments. God will be with the Church always, according to His promises.
Rather, Sean, you should be applauding Priests like Fr. Euteneuer who have the guts to publicly stand up for the Christ’s teachings uncompromisingly.
He tries to explain away his position on b/c by saying that it’s only for non Catholics that he approves of it because it is better for them to use contraception than to have abortions.
The Church teaches that artificial contraception is a grave moral evil for every human person. Not only does the use of it actively reject God’s plan for life, but, by rendering the marital act sterile, it turns sex from a beautiful sharing of mutual self giving into an act whose sole purpose is physical pleasure.
Besides that, the use of artificial contraception perpetuates the abortion mentality of rejecting the child and in some cases does so physically by acting as an abortifacient and ending the life of an already developing human embryo. The person using contraception, instead of ending the life that is already there, seeks to prevent the life that is to come. They are indeed “fruits of the same tree.”
Just because one is not Catholic and doesn’t espouse the Church’s teaching on sexual morality does not mean that we throw are hands up and give blessing to their immoral actions. As Catholics we are called to evangelize and encourage people to live the splendor of truth.
Then of course is his gross misunderstanding of the Church’s view of Natural Family Planning which he considers “Catholic birth control.”
The use of NFP should be used only as a way to regulate and space the birth of children and to avoid pregnancy only for serious reasons. She remains steadfast that every marital act be open to the transmission of life and that a couple who wishes to employ this method should seek the council of a priest.
I hope that the reason for Sean’s position here is a simple lack of understanding of Church teaching. He has done many good things for the pro-life movement, most notably his rigorous activism on behalf of Terri Schiavo. So I pray that he will soon come to a full knowledge and acceptance of the truth.
It will be interesting to see how this might affect turnout for the Jefferson City Vitae Caring Foundation Event where Sean will be the keynote speaker.
For those of you who don’t know, Vitae is an organization that uses mass media education to help encourage respect for human life and reduce the number of abortions. I used to work there.
While Vitae takes no position on birth control many pro-life supporters staunchly oppose its use and promotion because of its close relationship to abortion and the culture of death. And at the very least, his position on BC does not fit Vitae’s mission to change hearts and minds and encourage respect for human life.
Contraception is a deliberate rejection of the child, and thus serves to disrespect God’s gift of life and advance the culture of death in our society. I had my reservations about his invitation in the first place as I don’t get the sense that abortion is high on his priority list. Perhaps I should have voiced them to the proper person there sooner. The invitations have already gone out and reservations are currently being taken. What a shame.
Update: see my post – Hope for Hannity