Sean Hannity and Contraception

ChelseaAbortion, Contraception, Marriage, Pro Life, Right to Life, Sex11 Comments

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

11 Comments on “Sean Hannity and Contraception”

  1. Should we turn Hannity completly away from the pro-life movement? With all do respect, this “all or nothing” narrow-minded thinking is driving me insane. I am a pro-life, anti-contraception Catholic also, but as a sibling of a person in a state similiar to Terri Schiavo, I will be forever grateful to Sean for all did to save her life. He may not be a 100% devout Catholic yet, but that does not mean God is not working through him. I can give you countless times when God has ministered to me through a non-Catholic or even liberal minded person. His spirit dwells in everyone because he created everyone. I’m not saying he should not be admonished for his BC stance, but we really need to stop throwing stones, love him where he is at, and pray for him and work with him. That is what Jesus would do.

    “Don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good.”

  2. I noted in my post that he has done great things for the pro-life movement and specifically mentioned his work on the Terri Schiavo case. Obviously he continues to speak at pro-life functions and I’m sure he does an excellent job and helps raise much awareness. My real concern about his speaking at the Vitae event was because, as I said, Vitae’s mission is to change hearts and minds and “encourage a greater respect for human life.” Sean’s acceptance of artificial birth control, even as a way to “reduce abortions,” goes against those goals. The use of artificial birth control rejects the child and thus fosters a disrespect of human life and perpetuates the abortion mentality. Therefore, I didn’t see his visit as an appropriate representation of the values and goals of Vitae as an organization.

    Perhaps my words about Sean were a little harsh and it didn’t come across this way, but I do not dislike Sean. In fact, as a human being, a child of God, and fellow member of the Body of Christ, my love for him is so deep that, in light of his comments, it is impossible for me to harbor ill feelings toward him personally. And it is because of my great love for him that I am obligated to point out his failings, especially when they strike at the very heart of our Catholic moral teaching, and ask and pray for his conversion of heart – which I also mentioned in my post.

  3. I think Fr. could have written one more letter this year warning him that he will go public if he does not get a response. Then Fr. E could have written a public letter/blog thanking Sean for all he did to save Terri’s life and his work in the pro-life movement, and THEN he could have pointed out the discrepancy between his Catholic faith and his artificial BC stance so the faithful could have been aware of this, while still affirming Sean’s goodness as a Child of God. There is a way to word things, and I just feel he Christ’s love could have radiated a little more in his writings and persona. As Fr. John Morris said, “branding law without palbable love usually alwasys repels.” Calling people heretics doesn’t usually lead them to conversion. And, I thought the purpose of this was to touch Sean’s heart to foster conversion, not to win an argument. If Sean has been brought closer to orthodoxy from this incident, praise Him, but I get the feeling he was totally turned off.

  4. I quite disagree. Fr. E wrote a letter to Sean regarding this same issue once, in order to speak with him privately and help him understand his error in this matter and hopefully come to a better understanding and acceptance of the Church’s teaching. This may in fact have been done in a very tactful, very compassionate manor, I have no reason to believe otherwise. Sean chose to ignore this invitation and to continue speaking out in opposition to the Church’s teaching. This is not the only issue in which he is in opposition either. He is pro-choice on abortion in the cases of rape, incest and life of the mother and disagrees on homosexuality – his online dating service, Hannidate, has a special section for homosexuals. He is apparently aware of this and has no problem with it. I am sure Sean doesn’t write a letter to every single person he openly criticizes (sometimes very harshly) on his show.

    This issue is not just about Sean. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, says that “dissident Catholics are more worrisome than Atheists.” If Sean were just your average parishoner it would be one thing, but as it turns out he is a widely recognized public figure with a radio and two television shows that have audiences which reach well into the millions – many who are Catholic and many who are not well informed about the Church’s teaching. If Sean if continues to publicly speak against the Church’s moral teaching, while still professing to be in good standing with the Church, he should be called out. The Church cannot afford to remain publicly silent.

    Maybe Fr. E used some strong words to criticize Sean’s opinions, but, Sean is also an adult. He could have taken this criticism as an opportunity to inquire Fr. E as to why he would call him a “hypocrite” or ask him not to be a “heretic” and learn a little something about his faith – or at the very least defend his position in an honest debate. Instead he invited him on his show to publicly berate a member of the clergy and at the same time attack the Catholic Church that he claims to be a proud member of.

    The American Spectator has a good column on this.

  5. So far Fr. E has written 3 pubic blogs regarding Hannity and he did not say one positive thing about him. Whenever you seek to admonish someone you should always start out by saying someting good about them. The latest cartoon he has on the hli website is disgraceful. Sean is in error on the issue of contracetion but he is not evildoes not represent everything that is wrong with the Church. Fr. E. make his point, he said his piece, now it is time to stop berating the man and pray for him. No one will convince me that this is Christ-like. This (the cartoon of Hannity in clerics) is not the way to get him to convert. Jesus loves him, unconditionally just as he is. Sometimes people encounter Truth (Jesus) before they embrace Truth (church teaching). Also I don’t think Sean was attacking the Church by bringing up the sex scandals. They happened.

  6. I said before that I have a great love for Sean, especially as a fellow member of the Body of Christ, and I am praying for him to come to a fuller understanding and acceptance of his Faith – as is Fr. Euteneuer:

    Now I need to ask you for a quick favor. Starting today there are nine days before our Church celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation—that day in history when Our Lord took on embryonic form in the womb of His most holy Mother. Pray with me a novena for the conversion of all those who have bought into the lies of the contraceptive culture—including Mr. Hannity. Then pray that he responds to my second request to meet with him privately. Who knows, we may de-hannitize our whole Church through his conversion!

    If you think Fr. Euteneuer’s tactics are so disgraceful, my suggestion would be that you pray for him as well.

  7. What is the picture of him in clerics supposed to accomplish? Why are we resorting to satire? Do you think Sean will want to meet with Fr. Tom after seeing that?

  8. To “admonish” means to correct lovingly. Fr.’s words, both on Sean’s program and in print afterwards were not loving. Fr. was disrespectful to Sean, belittling his faith, Sean reacted in kind. Fr. could have simply presented the Church’s teaching without insulting.

    As a former cafeteria catholic myself, I wince when faithful Catholics treat dissenting Catholics as if they are doing it on purpose. Sean, like most, has not been catechized properly and that is not entirely his fault. Sadly, plenty of local priests would condone the use of contraception. New York state is a hot bed of dissent.

    As a priest, I hold Fr. E. to a higher standard and feel that he would have achieved much more with Sean had he presented the Church’s teaching on contraception in a loving manner without the personal attack.
    I am glad Sean had Fr. on, however. Finally a huge Catholic audience has been told that contraception is a grave sin!

  9. I can’t answer any of these questions for you, Kristen, all I can do is pray that God will turn this whole unfortunate situation into something good for everyone involved – for Sean, the priests, and for Holy Mother Church.

  10. Joann, good to hear from someone who believes in the Church’s teaching on artificial BC, but feel the delivery of the message was way to combative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *