Frank Coleman surrenders his Catholic credentials

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The media have been very reluctant to bring up the subject of Frank Coleman’s religion. Scary and extreme stuff like religion must be kept ultra-personal and out of sight; very convenient for moral relativists but dangerous to the common good.

My analysis, then, is not a personal attack, but solely an attempt to protect the Catholic faith from misrepresentation and scandal. Consider this letter as a public service.

Coleman declared his 10 commandments in recent days, 10 or more outrageous public statements which amount to a denial (at least objectively) of his Catholic faith. In this letter, I examine briefly just three. Much more detail will be available on my blog. (signofcontradiction.blogspot.ca)

Statement 1: I do not intend to impose my personal views.

The church says: Catholics are “wide of the mark who think that religion consists in acts of worship alone” and “plunge themselves into earthly affairs in such a way as to imply that these are altogether divorced from the religious life.” Such a split is “to be counted among the more serious errors of our age,” a “scandal” and one “fought vehemently against by Jesus Christ himself in the New Testament threatening it with grave punishments.” Vatican II, Gaudium Spes, (43).

Statement 2: That is not my role. I wasn’t ever given any crown to make judgment on the choices that people have made.

The church says: Coleman need not profess any crown or power to judge in himself. He need only joyfully embrace his Catholic faith which insists: “Political leaders” are “not to give in, but to make those choices which, taking into account what is realistically attainable, will lead to the re-establishment of a just order in the defence and promotion of the value of life.” St. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, (90d). “It is, however, the Church’s right and duty to provide a moral judgment on temporal matters when this is required by faith or the moral law.” The Participation of Catholics in Political Life, (3).

Statement 3: Paddy Daly asks: Let’s just call it a march or rally. Does that not, in fact, mean that you are putting forward your opinion that would hope to change policy and legislation? Coleman replies: “No I don’t. I don’t believe so.”

The church says: “But responsibility likewise falls on the legislators who have promoted and approved abortion laws, and, to the extent that they have a say in the matter, on the administrators of the health-care centres where abortions are performed.” St. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, (59b).

Catholic saints have been martyred while uttering dying words such as these: “Man cannot be separated from God, nor politics from morality.” St. John the Baptist surrendered his head to defend God’s eternal law on marriage and divorce. Were any of them “imposing their personal views,” “judging others” or trying to “change policy”?

Pope Benedict XVI, in 2006, chastised the Canadian bishops for the extreme “split between the Gospel and culture, with the exclusion of God from the public sphere,” thanks especially to renegade Catholic politicians who have caused Canadian society to go amok “in the most disturbing of ways” through neglect of the truth and of discipline.

Tragically, our Catholic bishops give little evidence of taking the warning seriously. Not one in our province has stepped forward to diffuse this scandal, safeguard the faith and advance the supreme goal of the church, which is the salvation of souls, including Coleman’s.

Such silence fails to confirm both Catholics and society in the truth, much less empowers them to make wise decisions in overseeing their political masters and striving for the common good.

We ignore these religious realities at our peril.

 

Eric Alcock

Paradise

Geographic location: Vatican

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Recent comments

  • Christina
    May 06, 2014 - 16:16

    Good for you Mr. Coleman. We need more people like you in office ready to protect all life from conception to the grave, regardless of your religion.

  • Doug Smith
    May 06, 2014 - 13:46

    Mr. Burke, this will be my last comment on this topic. A human embryo is not a child; period. An embryo outside the womb will not survive. It will follow nature’s course and die. I was very disappointed to see that torture is OK with you and I quote, “… anyone who does a grave injustice can deserve the worst kind of pain…” Mr. Burke, now see where your religion has led you. Doug Smith, Grand Falls-Windsor

    • Colin Burke
      May 06, 2014 - 16:58

      An infant outside the womb will not survive; it will follow nature's course and die. There are some who think some infants should have food denied them, just as some think embryos should be denied the sustenance available from its being in a womb. Torture is not "OK with" me: I distinguish between torture and surgery performed without anesthetic when using an anesthetic would kill the patient. Why is it untrue that killing is worse than torture? Why is doing grave wrong not worse than suffering --or, as some might say, not as bad as suffering?

    • Colin Burke
      May 07, 2014 - 08:42

      Mr. Smith, in case you have not given up also on reading opinions, I'd like to submit that you have given no evidence or reasons for your dogmatic assertion that a human embryo is not a child, period, and that that suggests you cannot face the reality of what abortion does to children. If so, you would be far saner than those who admit that children in the womb are children but claim that the rights of one person outweigh those of another: that humans are not equal. If this is so, I thank God on your behalf, for "you are not (all that) far from the kingdom of God." Sincere regards, Colin Burke, Port au Port.

  • Doug Smith
    May 05, 2014 - 19:23

    Mr. Burke, I condemn cruelty of all kinds but speaking of cruelty, does your god also have the right to torture humans before he kills them? I refer you to the Bible, Leviticus 10:1-2 and Numbers 11:1 Mr. Burke, your god seems a lot like the devil, can you tell them apart? Seems like the same guy to me. The difference between a kitten and a puppy and a human embryo is the kitten and puppy are already born into this world. Therefore I would think it would be cruel to kill them. Doug Smith, Grand Falls-Windsor

    • Colin Burke
      May 06, 2014 - 09:16

      "Human embryo," Mr. Smith? If an embryo is human, what else is it if not a child? And do you really believe such embryos are killed as painlessly as the humane would prefer an unwanted puppy to be killed? Or is it wrong not to want a puppy already born into the world but perfectly all right to deem a child unwanted who is already begotten and conceived into what is essentially the same world? Or is a child in a womb not in the world although a child in a room is in the world? What exactly do you mean. I believe torturing people is a less bad than killing them, except when it makes them want to die; the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; because injustice is far worse than pain, anyone who does a grave injustice can deserve the worst kind of pain; because our human nature has been warped by original sin, though, it s difficult for us to realize that: we tend to hate pain more than we hate actual wrongdoing.

  • Chris
    May 03, 2014 - 12:30

    No god. No satan....No heaven. No hell......No eternal salvation. No eternal damnation.....No son of god. no anti-christ.....No jehovah. No yaweh. No allah....You’re born. You live. You die......No supernatural predestination......Between birth and death, don’t be a dick.

  • Tony Rockel
    May 03, 2014 - 09:02

    Yes, just what today's world needs--- another theocracy.

  • NL Citizen
    May 02, 2014 - 22:36

    Why does the Telegram publish such non-sense? To promote freedom of speech? More likely pure sensationalism!

  • Laughable
    May 02, 2014 - 18:33

    People please give up the craps, Mr Coleman found his God, Its call the almighty dollar, complete with control. its may bring.

  • Doug Smith
    May 02, 2014 - 16:14

    Mr. Burke, surely you know the difference between a living child and an embryo or fetus on the way ( but not there yet) to becoming a child. And speaking of being “tolerant” of baby-killing, isn’t that what all Christians including you, Mr. Burke are? I refer you to the bible, Exodus 12:29-30. It says god passed through the land of Egypt killing all the firstborn both man and beast. Now since you Christians worship this god, are you not then “tolerant” of baby-killing? Doug Smith, Grand Falls-Windsor

    • Colin Burke
      May 04, 2014 - 06:43

      Mr. Smith, I know the difference between animal, vegetable and mineral; which of these do you believe to be whatever is only "on the way to becoming a child." I believe that God who makes life has the right to take it back to himself, so I am not inconsistent in my belief; your not sharing that belief does not make me inconsistent in it. I assume you condemn cruelty to animals? If what is done often to embryos were done at all to a kitten or puppy, would that not be cruelty to an animal? Or is the embryo only vegetable or mineral? If you think so, I suggest you look a little further into the science people like you seem to value above rationality.

  • Howley's Estate?
    May 02, 2014 - 11:44

    When I studied catechism I didn't do bad, usually >90%. Not every student did as well. Not every Christian studies the gospel, nor Hebrew Torah, nor Muslim Quran. Just because the official doctrine states a belief does not mean any of the congregation are aware of this, much less believe it. They might say, for example, "..... I don't attend Methodist Church except maybe at Christmas, however I am disillusioned with them so now I don't attend the Lutheran Church!! (except maybe at Christmas)....". From [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10782a.htm](Article: Newfoundland) "....The most harmonious relations exist between the different denominations, which are only interrupted on occasions of public excitement, when persons aspiring to political position and honours do not scruple to stir up feelings of religious bigotry and theological hatred among the more simple-minded of the people....." It says this....Really! It was written by Arch Bishop Howley in 1911! Time for a revision? I am less concerned with a politician's personal views as I am whether he/she actually knows what they are talking about. Mr. C. is NOT celibate, NOT Clergy, NOT a Papal scholar. His ONLY job is to (as Joey said) GET ELECTED! this summer in Tom's district and 2015. Nice Cabinet Tom, but you are not running for Premier? Good Luck Frank, maybe a little too early to talk religious philosophy?

    • Eric Alcock
      May 04, 2014 - 20:58

      Howley's Estate: You may be "less concerned with a politician's personal views" but a practicing Catholic is expected to live up to Catholic standards established by Christ and His Church. Nobody is forcing Mr. Coleman to call himself a Catholic; neither has he renounced his faith. What he has done is generate scandal (look up the Catholic definition) in the minds of faithful Catholics.

    • Howley's Estate(reply)
      May 06, 2014 - 16:58

      Mr. A: I get it! Good point. A sincere Catholic that chooses to practice the Christian faith differently than the Pope/Vatican decrees is called a "Protestant". "Catholic" means universal, i.e. uniform in practice (?). For example, if a Catholic marries a Protestant in her faith, the vatican does not have to recognize that union. He can leave with an annulment, but the State requires a Divorce Vatican or no Vatican. If Mr. C wants to be a head of a Secular State it is likely that he will violate Catholic rites - mostly venial sins we hope. However after Confession and the sacrament of Communion and he as good as new(?) - is that not the basis of the original gospel? Nobody's elses business. However to act on behalf of another entity when SWORN to be loyal to NL, Canada and HRH is NOT (IMHO is a matter of his own integrity - between him and his maker or his honour - NO intermediary. In civil matters, for example all clergy answer to the State not the other way around, else the Vatican would be denying the right of their congregations to participate in western secular society? When Two popes and one arch bishop criticized or warned two sitting CDN PM's (on marriage policy) they came close to intimidating all Canadian citizens. I wouldn't worry too much though, the PC party - in spite of talented cabinet ministers - appears to be imploding. Maybe(?) too many sinsof the soul arising from this oil patch kitchen party we are enduring. maybe better than the "Crime (or Tragedy)" against the people of this olde Colony in 1934?

  • Herb Morrison
    May 02, 2014 - 11:07

    Mr Alcock's views, as expressed above, represent his personal opinion, which he is indeed entitled to express. Speaking from the standpoint of a Christian, I must protest Mr. Alcock's attempt to encourage people to place a higher priority on the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, which may or may not be flawed, than he places on the teachings of Christ as recorded in The Holy Bible; specifically the Gospel. Jesus said: "Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears and chooses to let me into their lives, or not, it is their decision to make." Elsewhere in Scripture, Jesus instructs His Apostles to simply the preach the Gospel and to move on to the next town, enabling people to choose whether or not to accept the Gospel Truth for the Truth that it is. The message that Christ delivers to Christians is that we are not to force the Truth contained in the Gospels down anybody's throat as some professing Christians, including both Protestant and Roman Catholic alike, have attempted to do throughout the years, and, as exemplified by the contents of Mr. Alcock's submission are still attempting to do supposedly in in God's name to this day Finally, I feel compelled to reject the suggest ion that some people responding to Mr. Alcock's letter have made, that suggestion being that Christians, in particular, should be denied the opportunity to exercise either our right to freedom of speech or our right to freedom of Religion by being denied the opportunity to publicly practice our faith. by participating in public Worship or by performing an act of charity, kindness, or some other act of Public service, for an individual or group within the community of which they are a part, if they do so as Christians, who are responding to Jesus' /God's Commission, to all Christians, that Christians love and serve Godthrough love and service to others. In conclusion, to those who suggest that I confine the practicing of my christian Faith to mysellf, I would suggest that your ignorance of the the teachings of Christ and the Lawa of God, is exceeded only by your ignorance of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; or Laws of The Land, if you perfer.

    • Eric Alcock
      May 04, 2014 - 21:11

      Mr. Morrison, My letter was not written as an apologetic for the Catholic religion. Nor was it written to criticize Christians of other stripes. It was written only as commentary on Mr. Coleman's recent comments insofar as they were a clear contradiction to his Catholic faith. My letter should be judged therefore on that basis, not in other contrived contexts. Thank you for your defense of Free Speech and Religion.

  • Herb Morrison
    May 02, 2014 - 11:05

    Mr Alcock's views, as expressed above, represent his personal opinion, which he is indeed entitled to express. Speaking from the standpoint of a Christian, I must protest Mr. Alcock's attempt to encourage people to place a higher priority on the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, which may or may not be flawed, than he places on the teachings of Christ as recorded in The Holy Bible; specifically the Gospel. Jesus said: "Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears and chooses to let me into their lives, or not, it is their decision to make." Elsewhere in Scripture, Jesus instructs His Apostles to simply the preach the Gospel and to move on to the next town, enabling people to choose whether or not to accept the Gospel Truth for the Truth that it is. The message that Christ delivers to Christians is that we are not to force the Truth contained in the Gospels down anybody's throat as some professing Christians, including both Protestant and Roman Catholic alike, have attempted to do throughout the years, and, as exemplified by the contents of Mr. Alcock's submission are still attempting to do supposedly in in God's name to this day Finally, I feel compelled to reject the suggest ion that some people responding to Mr. Alcock's letter have made, that suggestion being that Christians, in particular, should be denied the opportunity to exercise either our right to freedom of speech or our right to freedom of Religion by being denied the opportunity to publicly practice our faith. by participating in public Worship or by performing an act of charity, kindness, or some other act of Public service, for an individual or group within the community of which they are a part, if they do so as Christians, who are responding to Jesus' /God's Commission, to all Christians, that Christians love and serve Godthrough love and service to others. In conclusion, to those who suggest that I confine the practicing of my christian Faith to mysellf, I would suggest that your ignorance of the the teachings of Christ and the Lawa of God, is exceeded only by your ignorance of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; or Laws of The Land, if you perfer.

  • The "Holy" Roman Empire
    May 02, 2014 - 10:58

    Leaving Coleman aside: I imagine some Catholic "saints" have been martyred in the past, but certainly not as many as the Protestant "saints" who were martyred by the Catholics. If there's any group of people on this earth world famous for imposing their beliefs, it's the Catholic Church. Remember the Inquisitions?

    • Eric Alcock
      May 04, 2014 - 21:18

      The "Holy" Roman Empire: You wouldn't be using this comment box to "impose your beliefs" now, would you? Regarding the Inquisitions, you should take a history lesson from an impartial source. You might be quite surprised.

  • Colin Burke
    May 02, 2014 - 09:56

    May I assume that no one who believes religion is a crock irrelevant to politics is at all interested in getting the Catholic Church to change its beliefs so that it will endorse his own position? Or may I assume that none of the heathen voters in Newfoundland would encourage Catholics still to vote for Catholic Coleman so that the province will again have a premier officially "tolerant" of baby-killing? Or would that be just too damned pettifoggingly logical of me?

  • Thomas
    May 02, 2014 - 09:16

    God or god's in my own opinion are lumped in with unicorns, leprechauns, the tooth fairy and other sky fairies. None belong in politics. With the exception of one group feeling oppressed by another most wars occur due to religious beliefs. Johnny Lennon had the right idea.

    • Colin Burke
      May 04, 2014 - 09:15

      Johnny Lennon's "idea" was sheer sentimentalism. "Nothing to kill or die for" means virtually nothing to live for. In any case, death seems to be inevitable for us, so we might find it comforting to have a reason for it. At least, rational people might; I don't know about you. Anyway, are you familiar with the opinion that religious freedom makes sense where and only where the citizens of a state all share the same standards of natural conduct regardless of having additional beliefs regarding only their religion. People who take seriously what they deem gravely different standards of actual conduct are not really part of the same polity and ought not to pretend to be so for the sake of enjoying the comforts of global capitalism or even just to enjoy the "right" to "health care" for which only a large polity of the indifferent can pay enough taxes to afford.

  • guy incognito
    May 02, 2014 - 09:00

    We ignore these religious realities at our peril? Realities? One person's reality is another person's superstition. Religion has no place in politics. The premier should represent everyone. They should work for everyone. I find your views interesting, but I don't want to subscribe to your newsletter.....

    • Eric Alcock
      May 04, 2014 - 21:24

      guy incognito: you might find a short course in basic philosophy will help you to understand the very real connection between religion and politics. just saying.

  • Harvey
    May 02, 2014 - 08:11

    How bloody ridiculous. Go back and sleep it off.

  • bill
    May 02, 2014 - 05:51

    religion has no place outside of a church or a personal home. It should not enter into the public realm and certainly not into politics where people have the power to enforce laws based on religious doctrine. If you want to see what happens when religion meets politics, take a trip to saudi arabia, where women aren't allowed to drive, vote, show their faces, or talk to men, and it's perfectly acceptable to beat your daughter to death in the street for talking to boys.

    • Eric Alcock
      May 04, 2014 - 21:31

      Bill: Maybe you don’t realize it but you are making a case against yourself when you use the example you did. You should be thankful we don’t share the same religion as those in Saudi Arabia, otherwise we would have the same predicament here as you describe over there. Fortunately Christianity has shaped our laws over the centuries. Religion always precedes laws. As I suggested to guy incognito in the comment box above, “you might find a short course in basic philosophy will help you to understand the very real connection between religion and politics.”

  • dave sharpe
    May 02, 2014 - 04:59

    Wow. yeah, lets use religious mumbo jumbo to run a province. You have to be kidding. I don't care what religion anyone is as long as they leave it at home when they go to work, Your time has come and gone. We ignore these religious realities at our own peril...what a crock. You may need that crutch to get through everyday but I most certainly do not.

    • Eric Alcock
      May 04, 2014 - 21:39

      Dave, your argument is something like dave sharpe's so see my comment above. Also, I see you are a macho man who needs little or nothing, certainly not "crutches," to master life. Personally, besides religion, I also need water to get through the day. I guess that 's also one of my crutches. How about you? And besides that I really depend on a job, family, friends and a wife to add deeper dimensions to my life. How about you?