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March 17, 2005

Affirming the Merchants of Death, 2005

by Thomas A. Droleskey

Several last-minute efforts are underway at present to try to save Mrs. Terri Schindler-Schiavo's life from a cruel death by starvation and dehydration under the terms of an immoral and unjust law on the statute books in the State of Florida. One effort, however, will cause far reaching and catastrophic consequences even if it does wind up saving Mrs. Schiavo's life this week. This particular effort concerns a bill pending in the Florida State Legislature that would forbid the withdrawal of the provision of food and water from patients in circumstances such as Mrs. Schiavo's absent a written authorization, found in a a document such as the so-called "living will," from a patient for such withdrawal to occur. As Judge George Greer has relied solely upon the testimony of Mrs. Schiavo's faithless husband, Michael, that she had expressed a desire not to be kept alive by the provision of nutrition and hydration tubes, advocates of this bill contend that the requirement of written authorization for the withdrawal of food and water would save her own life in this instance and set a standard for future cases.

Overlooked, though, in the rush to "do something" to save Mrs. Schiavo's life is that the bill under consideration in the Florida State Legislature is immoral. It concedes illicitly the "right" of a person to authorize his own starvation and dehydration under the cover of law. No one has the right in the Divine positive law and/or the natural law to authorize any action that has as its only and immediate end his own death. No one has the right in the Divine positive law and/or the natural law to delegate to another the authority to make such a decision. The provision of food and water, as Renato Cardinal Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, is not a matter of medical treatment. Food and water are basic necessities that can never be denied to a human being. We have no right to kill ourselves. We have no right to delegate to others a decision to kill ourselves. The civil law can never concede authority over the inviolability of innocent human life to ourselves or to others.

Several people who are sincerely concerned about saving Terri Schiavo protested upon reading the article below by saying that the bill under consideration in Florida does not "force" a person to starve and dehydrate himself to death, that a person has the free will to make a determination to obey God's law rather than do that which is merely permitted by civil law. These people, however, miss the fundamental truth, explicated so clearly by Pope Leo XIII in Libertas in 1888, that no one is morally free to do evil. We have the physical freedom to sin. We do not have the moral freedom to sin. Civil law must always and in all instances be subordinated to the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law. Perhaps an analogy will help make things a bit clearer.

Advocates of perversity desire the civil law to recognize a "right to marry" for those engaged in perverse acts committed in violation of the Sixth and Ninth Commandments. Using the argument made by the well-meaning person with respect to the Florida statute that might save Terri Schiavo's life, advocates of perversity could argue that no one is "forced" to engage in their own perverse acts or to attend their "wedding" ceremonies. The Church teaches us, however, that the civil law may never recognize as legitimate actions that are contrary to God's laws, injurious to the eternal welfare of human souls, and thus cause grave disorders within and among nations. The mere fact that a law does not "force" anyone to do evil does not mean that it can give the appearance of permitting evils to be committed under cover of law, especially those evils that cry out to Heaven for vengeance.

We must think and act at all times as Catholics, informed by the Church's perennial Social Teaching on the State. To this end, I am re-publishing on this site an article, "Affirming the Merchants of Death," that was published on November 11, 2003, as a special Communique of the American Life League. This article dealt specifically with the very statute that appears to hold such promise for Terri Schiavo while it will affirm thousands and thousands of people in the belief that they do indeed have a "right" to the withdrawal of food and water and thus have themselves starved and dehydrated to death. A few additional comments have been added by way of amplifying the points made therein.

We must find a moral means to save Terri Schiavo's life. Absent the intervention of her shepherd, Bishop Robert Lynch, pleading with her faithless husband to transfer her guardianship to her parents, Florida Governor Jeb Bush could take executive action to protect her life--and there is a bill pending in the Congress of the United States that would give Federal courts habeas corpus jurisdiction over her case to determine if all of her procedural due process rights have been observed by Florida Judge George Greer. To make the concession found in the proposed Florida statute would be to once more reaffirm the merchants of death and to thus deal the devil another victory in the use of law for the institutionalization of evil as the pretext of pursuing a greater good.

I ask that one and all read the article that follows with dispassionate care, keeping the eyes of their souls fixed firmly upon an obedience to God's laws rather than surrendering to the relativist, utilitarian demands of expediency:

Affirming the Merchants of Death: November 11, 2003

False ideas lead to bad consequences. Inevitably. Inexorably. Always. Nothing good ever comes out of an idea based on false premises.

As I have explained in a number of articles over the years, including "God Is More Powerful Than Liars" (published on the Seattle Catholic site in September of 2003), Modernity itself is based upon the lie that it is possible for human beings to pursue justice and maintain social order absent a subordination of all things to the Social Kingship of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as it is exercised by the Church He founded upon the rock of Peter, the Pope. This is a lie. If Christ is not King of both men and nations as He has revealed Himself through His true Church, then the Devil will reign supreme. Once men become convinced of their ability to improve their lot without having belief in, access to, and cooperation with sanctifying grace, then ideologies of various stripes, including pragmatism, become the perverse replacement for the true Faith as the basis of personal and social order.

Pragmatism is a particularly American phenomenon, although it has spread elsewhere from this country. That is, Americans are as a whole not very reflective or philosophical. Most Americans, both contemporaneously and historically, care about "solving" problems more than taking the time to understand their root causes. A typical American does not take the time to read an owner's manual accompanying a particular product, thus resulting in frustration when the product fails to work properly when the first attempt is made to use it, precisely because of the carelessness and sloth that led the user to ignore the instruction manual as burdensome and incomprehensible. The typical American simply wants his desires gratified instantly, refusing to do the work necessary to study a problem in depth. This is what results in demands being made of career politicians to solve various problems as fast as they can, no matter what precepts of God are violated or how much more of our legitimate freedom and property are surrendered to the government and its agencies.

Pragmatism is what has guided many in the pro-life movement since the decision of the United States Supreme Court in the case of Roe v. Wade, issue on January 22, 1973. Although horrified by the heinous decision of the Court in that case, many people who term themselves "pro-life" conceded important ground almost from the beginning, contending that we would have to live with "a little bit" of abortion in order to get rid of abortion on demand. This concession ignored the simple fact that we got state statutes decriminalizing abortion in the late 1960s precisely because of the exceptions (for rape, incest, alleged threats to the life of a mother) that existed in most state laws at the time that Bill Baird and Bernard Nathanson and Lawrence Laeder were agitating for "abortion reform." Those interested in institutionalizing abortion on demand in this country managed to be successful in several states (Colorado, Hawaii, California, New York, New Jersey) even prior to Roe v. Wade because they appealed to a sense of egalitarianism: why shouldn't every woman have the same access to abortion as the rich and the famous, who were able to get doctors to certify that their pregnancy fell into one of the exceptions included in state law? That lesson was lost on the pragmatists within the pro-life movement from the very beginning.

The first manifestation of the failure of pragmatism came in 1973, shortly after Roe v. Wade had been issued by the Supreme Court. Then Senator James Buckley (R-New York) proposed a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade by prohibiting all abortions except in cases where it was alleged that a mother's life was endangered by a pregnancy. This was a fatal, morally flawed concession that, sadly, has characterized every effort sponsored by the National Right to Life Committee, which itself states that babies may be sliced and diced licitly under cover of law in instances where a mother's life is said to be endangered, ever since. The morally flawed nature of the Buckley Amendment was criticized by four American cardinals, including John Cardinal Krol of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Humberto Cardinal Medeiros of Boston, Massachusetts, John Cardinal Cody of Chicago, Illinois, and Timothy Cardinal Manning of Los Angeles, California. They opposed passage of the Buckley Amendment on the grounds that the law could never licitly permit the direct, intentional killing of an innocent human being regardless of the age of the victim (that is, from the first moment of fertilization to the moment of natural death willed by God). Although they praised Senator Buckley for his concern about the issue, the cardinals stood tall in opposition to the pragmatism concerned in his amendment. That would be the last time that any member of the American hierarchy, with the exception of the late Bishop Joseph V. Sullivan of Baton Rouge, Louisiana (who I was privileged to meet one month before he died in 1982), opposed the pragmatism of the National Right to Life Committee.

The first alleged success of the pragmatists in the pro-life movement came in 1977 when Representative Henry Hyde (R-Illinois) was able to attach an amendment to the funding of Medicaid that prohibited the use of Medicaid funds to pay for abortions for poor women except in cases where a mother's life was said to be endangered. The legislation containing the Hyde Amendment, which was "liberalized" in 1993 to include the rape and incest exceptions, was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter. Far from being a success, however, the Hyde Amendment conceded the false idea that innocent human beings could be put to death under cover of law and that American taxpayers could licitly pay for their savage murders. The flawed nature of the single exception contained in the original Hyde Amendment was the basis of its eventual, if not inevitable, expansion sixteen years later.

The principal legislative effort during the administration of President Ronald Reagan centered on efforts to pass a constitutional amendment that was introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). The Hatch Amendment would have reversed Roe v. Wade by establishing the principle that the right to permit or restrict abortion was held solely by the state legislatures, not by Federal or state courts. This fatally flawed piece of legislation conceded that a human institution, a state legislature, had the authority to permit something that was proscribed by the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law. If it had been approved by a two-thirds majority in Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the nation's state legislatures, the Hatch Amendment would have enshrined abortion as matter of legal right whose exact parameters were subject to the deliberation of state legislators. This morally repugnant legislative initiative was "hatched" by the then Monsignor James T. McHugh of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and endorsed very strongly by the full body of American bishops, save for Bishop Joseph Sullivan of Baton Rouge, and the National Right to Life Committee, which lobbied very hard for its passage in Congress.

The failure of the Hatch Amendment led to the pragmatists to adopt "incrementalism" as their buzzword. As legislative efforts to reverse Roe v. Wade had proved unsuccessful, the only thing that could be done was to limit abortion around the margins. Thus, such initiatives as "parental consent" legislation at the state level became the focus of the National Right to Life Committee and its state affiliate organizations. Again, this was and remains a morally flawed effort. No one has the right to give his consent to his daughter to murder his grandchild inside of her womb. The legal "experts" at the National Right to Life Committee have contended ad nauseum that parental consent laws have been crafted so as to pass the scrutiny of constitutional challenges in Federal and state courts. Well, not only are these laws morally flawed of their nature, they include a judicial bypass provision whereby a minor woman can get a judge's order to kill her child without the "consent" or her parents. Planned Parenthood and related organizations are more than willing to fill out the boilerplate forms necessary to secure the judicial bypass for one of their "clients."

As I have written over and over again in the last eight years, the recently passed Congressional legislation conditionally banning partial-birth abortions is another morally flawed effort that will wind up saving no innocent lives. Not only is there the needless and immoral life of the mother exception contained in the bill, signed into law by President George W. Bush, but the bill ignores the fact that there are two other ways (hysterotomy, dilation and evacuation) by which children may be killed in their mothers' wombs in the later stages of pregnancy. If the baby-killers cannot use partial-birth abortion to kill a child, they will simply resort to one of the other two methods (which might also include saline solution abortion if the child is young enough to be killed by this method). The passage of this morally flawed legislation is already being used by careerist politicians to say that we've done all we can do to stem abortion in the midst of our current circumstances. "The country is not ready to ban all abortions," as President Bush noted in his press conference of Tuesday, October 28, 2003. Well, the country never will be ready to ban all abortions if those who call themselves pro-life are not completely, totally, one hundred percent pro-life and do not exert all of the influence they can to change hearts and minds and to change unjust laws and court decisions.

The folks from the National Right to Life Committee who brought us all of these failures, based on morally flawed principles, are now bringing us a "model state statute" to deal with cases such as those involving Terri Schiavo, the brain damaged woman in Florida who was in the process of being starved and dehydrated to death as a result of a court order secured by her faithless husband when Governor Jeb Bush intervened and used a previously called special session of the Florida Legislature to reverse the court order, thereby saving, at least for the moment, Mrs. Schiavo's life. Michael Schiavo, the faithless husband who some believe may have attempted to strangle his wife in 1990, has contended that his wife would not have wanted to have been kept alive "artificially" by the use of tubes to administer food and water. A Florida judge, George Greer, accepted Schiavo's testimony, which resulted in the issuance of the court order that started the process of starving and dehydrating Terri to death.

As the Florida statute permitting the dehydration and starvation of incapacitated persons permits a spouse or another relative to speak for a relative who is unable to speak for himself or herself, the National Right to Life Committee's "model state law" prohibits a person from being starved or dehydrated to death absent any written authorization, such as those found in a so-called "Living Will." This "model state law" is simply another morally flawed attempt on the part of the National Right to Life Committee to deal with the symptom of a larger problem by ceding ground to the merchants of death, in this case admitting that the law can permit a person to direct himself to be starved and dehydrated to death.

In order to clarify the governing moral principles in cases such as Terri Schiavo, it is important to remember the following:


  1. The Florida statute permitting the starvation and dehydration of incapacitated persons is immoral and unjust. Every pro-life American must seek the permanent repeal of such legislation.
  2. No human being has any right found in the Divine positive law or the natural law to starve or dehydrate himself to death.
  3. No human being has any right found in the Divine positive law or the natural law to delegate to others the power of starving or dehydrating himself to death.
  4. No human institution, such as a legislature or a court, has the authority to pass or to enforce legislation contrary to the Divine positive law and the natural law.
  5. Terri Schindler-Schiavo's absolute right to live did not and does not depend upon her ability to react to others or to feed herself. Her right to food and water is absolute and cannot be violated. The fact that Terri Schindler-Schiavo does react to others and might be capable of feeding herself if she had been given the therapy for which over a million dollars was awarded to her faithless husband speaks volumes about the extent to which those seeking Terri's murder went to extinguish her life by claiming things that were not so and were irrelevant to her absolute right to food and water. Food and water are not medical treatment, no matter how they are administered.

Here is a simple rule of thumb for pro-life Americans: ignore all of the political and policy judgments of the National Right to Committee. They have affirmed the very principles that have given rise to the culture of death in which we find ourselves at this point in salvation history. All of their pragmatism and incrementalism have failed the cause of saving preborn babies and are failing now the cause of those threatened by euthanasia.

Perhaps of even more concern to Catholics, though, is the failure of the American hierarchy to speak out forcefully against the Florida law. Indeed, St. Petersburg Bishop Robert Lynch affirmed the morality of withdrawing food and water in cases similar to Terri Schiavo's. That most of the bishops in the American hierarchy have worked hand in glove with the National Right to Life Committee over the years should therefore come as no surprise. They, too, believe in minimalism and pragmatism, sometimes even enshrining as virtuous those things that are doctrinally and morally repugnant to the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law.

Good results can only come from basing all of our actions in the splendor of Truth Incarnate, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as He has revealed Himself through His true Church. We cannot fight the evils of secularism with secularism. We can only fight secularism with Catholicism.

As Pope Leo XIII noted in Sapientiae Christianae in 1890:

"Under such evil circumstances therefore, each one is bound in conscience to watch over himself, taking all means possible to preserve the faith inviolate in the depths of his soul, avoiding all risks, and arming himself on all occasions, especially against the various specious sophisms rife among non-believers. In order to safeguard this virtue of faith in its integrity, We declare it to be very profitable and consistent with the requirements of the time, that each one, according to the measure of his capacity and intelligence, should make a deep study of Christian doctrine, and imbue his mind with as perfect a knowledge as may be of those matters that are interwoven with religion and lie within the range of reason. And as it is necessary that faith should not only abide untarnished in the soul, but should grow with ever painstaking increase, the suppliant and humble entreaty of the apostles ought constantly to be addressed to God: 'Increase our faith.'

"But in this same matter, touching Christian faith, there are other duties whose exact and religious observance, necessary at all times in the interests of eternal salvation, become more especially so in these our days. Amid such reckless and widespread folly of opinion, it is, as We have said, the office of the Church to undertake the defense of truth and uproot errors from the mind, and this charge has to be at all times sacredly observed by her, seeing that the honor of God and the salvation of men are confided to her keeping. But, when necessity compels, not those only who are invested with power of rule are bound to safeguard the integrity of faith, but, as St. Thomas maintains: 'Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.'' To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good. Moreover, want of vigor on the part of Christians is so much the more blameworthy, as not seldom little would be needed on their part to bring to naught false charges and refute erroneous opinions, and by always exerting themselves more strenuously they might reckon upon being successful. After all, no one can be prevented from putting forth that strength of soul which is the characteristic of true Christians, and very frequently by such display of courage our enemies lose heart and their designs are thwarted. Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph: 'Have confidence; I have overcome the world.' Nor is there any ground for alleging that Jesus Christ, the Guardian and Champion of the Church, needs not in any manner the help of men. Power certainly is not wanting to Him, but in His loving kindness He would assign to us a share in obtaining and applying the fruits of salvation procured through His grace.

"The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power. For, as is often said, with the greatest truth, there is nothing so hurtful to Christian wisdom as that it should not be known, since it possesses, when loyally received, inherent power to drive away error. So soon as Catholic truth is apprehended by a simple and unprejudiced soul, reason yields assent. Now, faith, as a virtue, is a great boon of divine grace and goodness; nevertheless, the objects themselves to which faith is to be applied are scarcely known in any other way than through the hearing. 'How shall they believe Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? Faith then cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.' Since, then, faith is necessary for salvation, it follows that the word of Christ must be preached. The office, indeed, of preaching, that is, of teaching, lies by divine right in the province of the pastors, namely, of the bishops whom 'the Holy Spirit has placed to rule the Church of God.' It belongs, above all, to the Roman Pontiff, vicar of Jesus Christ, established as head of the universal Church, teacher of all that pertains to morals and faith.

"No one, however, must entertain the notion that private individuals are prevented from taking some active part in this duty of teaching, especially those on whom God has bestowed gifts of mind with the strong wish of rendering themselves useful. These, so often as circumstances demand, may take upon themselves, not, indeed, the office of the pastor, but the task of communicating to others what they have themselves received, becoming, as it were, living echoes of their masters in the faith. Such co-operation on the part of the laity has seemed to the Fathers of the Vatican Council so opportune and fruitful of good that they thought well to invite it. 'All faithful Christians, but those chiefly who are in a prominent position, or engaged in teaching, we entreat, by the compassion of Jesus Christ, and enjoin by the authority of the same God and Savior, that they bring aid to ward off and eliminate these errors from holy Church, and contribute their zealous help in spreading abroad the light of undefiled faith.' Let each one, therefore, bear in mind that he both can and should, so far as may be, preach the Catholic faith by the authority of his example, and by open and constant profession of the obligations it imposes. In respect, consequently, to the duties that bind us to God and the Church, it should be borne earnestly in mind that in propagating Christian truth and warding off errors the zeal of the laity should, as far as possible, be brought actively into play."

These words of Pope Leo XIII are what should inspire us to Catholicize every aspect of our culture, a task that is no less possible now than it was in the First Millennium. The grace won for us by the Divine Redeemer by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood is as powerful now as it was then. The intercessory power of the Mother of God is as powerful now as it was then. It is only by working for the triumph of the Social Reign of Christ the King and Mary our Queen that we can defeat the merchants of death by establishing a culture that is completely and authentically Catholic in every respect.

Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us.

An Afterword: March 15, 2005

Our love for God as He has revealed Himself through His true Church must be so great that we are willing to endure any suffering to help bring about the restoration of Christendom as the ultimate fruit of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary following the proper consecration of Russia by a pope with all of the world's bishops. The martyrs of the first centuries of the Church loved God so much that many of them watched as their loved ones suffered cruel deaths in amphitheaters throughout the Roman Empire rather than concede any unjust powers or honors to the civil State. We must not make such concessions or bestow such honors upon the civil State in our own day. Our Lord will reward us for our absolute fidelity to His truths without compromise. As difficult as it would be for any of us to watch one of our loved ones die a cruel death as a result of the unjust actions taken under cover of law, we must recognize that there is a life above this mortal life which comes before any earthly considerations.

The power to save Terri Schiavo's life rests, humanly speaking, principally in the hands of the shepherd who has said, repeatedly and without concern for how he has been contradicted by Renato Cardinal Martino, that her faithless husband has the right to act in her behalf absent a "family agreement." Bishop Robert Lynch and the Florida Catholic Conference have betrayed Terri Schindler-Schiavo by stating that the civil law may permit the withdrawal of food and water in some circumstances. Indeed, the proposed Florida statute would be used by Bishop Lynch to encourage all Catholics to draw up "living wills" to "decide" how they would want to be "treated" in situations similar to the one experienced at present by Mrs. Schiavo. This is not a matter of a "living will." This is a matter of the faithful observance of the precepts of the Fifth Commandment and of the Corporal Works of Mercy. No civil law that puts such precepts into question will accomplish any good whatsoever. For while God does indeed bring good out of evil He does not permit us to do evil so that good might result.

Indeed, Bishop Robert Lynch has it within his own power to intercede with Judge Greer to save Terri Schiavo's life by stating that there is no evidence whatsoever that Mrs. Schiavo, a believing Catholic, would want to to be starved and dehydrated to death, no matter any protestations by Michael Schiavo to the contrary, following Pope John Paul II's reiteration of Catholic moral principles on March 20, 2004, and following Renato Cardinal Martino's specific plea for her own life to be spared from this cruel death under the cover of an unjust and immoral law. For Bishop Lynch to make such a pleading, however, would be to admit that he has been wrong, that the Florida bishops' 1989 pastoral letter on this subject was wrong, that the Florida law under which Michael Schiavo is seeking to kill his wife is immoral, that he himself has been derelict in his duty as a Catholic bishop in his repeated assertions that this is a matter of "family discussion" rather than a faithful fulfillment of the Fifth Commandment. Bishop Lynch continues to act as though Pope John Paul II has not spoken on this matter and as though Cardinal Martino has not applied the immutable teaching of the Catholic Church on this matter to Mrs. Schiavo. It is because of Bishop Robert N. Lynch's treachery in this case that so many good people are willing to overlook the evil contained in the proposed Florida statute that may indeed save Mrs. Schiavo's life as it reaffirms people in the errors that have been propagated by himself and the Florida Catholic Conference. In the rush to "do something," good people, lacking authentic Catholic direction from a Successor of the Apostles, are suspending their sensus Catholicus to try to save the day for Mrs. Schiavo while her shepherd defies the law of God and precepts of Christian charity and compassion.

We must therefore continue to pray before the Blessed Sacrament and to the Mother of God during this Passion Week so that Terri Schiavo's life may be saved in a way that does not jeopardize the lives of others and thus further affirms the merchants of death as they do the devil's work in every aspect of social life. The bill passed unanimously by the United States House of Representatives on March 16, 2005, but is stalled in the United States Senate as of this posting, appears to be a moral means by which the arguments that have been rejected by Judge Greer can be made in the Federal courts, which have thus far refused to accept the case by citing a "lack of jurisdiction." A review of the actual text of that bill will be done once a thus far unsuccessful effort to examine it online has taken place. In the meantime, though, we continue to storm Heaven for Terri Schindler-Schiavo--and for all of those who are in plights similar to hers but who are out of the spotlight as they are being starved and dehydrated to death in hospitals and hospices and nursing homes every single day.

Viva Cristo Rey!

Saint Patrick, pray for us.

Saint Joseph of Arimathea, whose feast day this also is, pray for us.

A Few Words from Father Lawrence C. Smith

We must not sprinkle incense to Divus Caesar nor to the the false god American Constitution nor to the false god false sympathy nor to the false god convenience. Neither ruler nor politics nor squeamishness nor laziness trumps God's Truth and His Law. Any concession in the slightest matter in the devil's direction will bring death -- both to the body by way of abortion and euthanasia, and to the soul in perdition. Your article hits all the nails squarely on their heads. Here are a few other thoughts from my past:

Evil needs only to compromise one element of the good in order to gain victory

Evil can be a little good and not suffer the loss of any evil

Evil can defer to good on many principles so long as it maintains the vital principle that evil is permitted in at least one arena of the moral life

Good can never surrender to evil; to admit even one exception to absolute good is to admit total defeat

Good must be wholly good, rejecting not only actual evil, but especially rejecting all evil principles

Good might not have the power to conquer all evil immediately, but it must condemn all evil from the outset, even if final victory is long delayed

Good must meet a higher standard than evil

Mediocrity is the friend of evil

The perfect must not be the enemy of the good, true; but good must never betray the perfect; nothing is good which makes ultimate perfection impossible

It is one thing to be forced to tolerate evil remaining evil; it is forbidden for the good to participate in evil, even in the short term

Good which does not strive for perfection will not remain good, but will become evil

Evil can be satisfied with partial victories because as long as those partial victories are allowed to stand, good can never have a total victory; good can never be satisfied with partial victories because perfection is its goal, and anything short of that is utter defeat for the good

Perfection will not come to us on earth, but our earthly lives must be informed by the will to remove all obstacles to perfection

Only God can do all good, but His children are commanded to do and are given grace for the accomplishment of only good

God will bring to perfection the good He begins in the baptized Catholic; the baptized Catholic can not stand idly by and let grace lie fallow, nor may he will evil, but instead he is to order the whole of his natural life toward the goal of attaining supernatural perfection


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