Thursday, October 23, 2008

Leon Panetta On His Jesuit Education At Santa Clara

“As a Catholic, I have accepted certain answers as the right ones for myself and my family and, because I have, they have influenced me in special ways. However, as U.S. Congressman, I am involved in defining policies that determine other people's rights in these same areas of life, death, and morality.
Perhaps Rev. Austin J. Fagothey, a Jesuit Priest, who taught me at Santa Clara University and renowned for his scholarship in ethics and morality, stated it most clearly in responding to the abortion question: ‘A state, especially the pluralistic state of today, must operate within the framework of popular consensus. The argument for the immorality of abortion, the theory of rights on which it rests, and the philosophy underlying the ethics there outlined is not accepted by a large part of the population.
I can be convinced of it beyond the shadow of a doubt and steer my own life by it, yet be unable to convince my fellow citizens of my views. Do I then have the right to impose my philosophical convictions any more than my religious convictions on others who disagree with me? I think not, and this is the reason why I think there should be no laws on abortion. I believe the best way to cope with abortion is not by punitive legislation but by a persuasive program of moral education aimed at building up a respect for life.’”

More (here) on Leon Panetta

Link (here) to the full article


Viator Catholicus said...

Or in other words he's saying, "I don't accept the fact that new innocent human life should not be murdered; and I don't think my religion has anything to do with reality - it just makes me feel good to pretend I believe."

Meanwhile, why is the doctrine attributed to "Fagothey" being imposed upon those of us who don't agree with it?

Joseph Fromm said...

The American Bishops are now doing the leading and the "Theology Dept's" will be doing the following.

Anonymous said...

Austin Fagothey died in 1975. Leon Panetta attended Santa Clara in the sixties. How do we know what was really said? Did Father Fagothey publish this view? I doubt it.

Nonetheless, I think Leon Panetta is a great guy.

JC- Santa Clara class of '76

Anonymous said...

Shame on Panetta for distorting Fr. Fagothey's views!

You see, I also was a student of Jesuit Fr. Austin Fagothey back in the '60's at Santa Clara University. He was a brilliant thinker. In fact, I still have his classic book on ethics, Right and Reason, Ethics in Theory and Practice. c. 1967.

Let me quote from page 232:

"A futher question arises on the control of abortion by the civil law. As we shall see later, it is not the business of the state to regulate the whole private life of the citizens. Many immoral practices must be tolerated, especially in a pluralistic society where individual conscience is given as free a rein as is compatible with the public good. Abortion, however, involves another party besides the mother, father and the doctor. Their conspiracy to execute the child may be their private affair, but it is the state's business to come to the defense of the innocent victim. Current moves to liberalize and even abolish the abortion laws overlook completely the right of an existing unborn child to life, whatever the circumstances under which that life was begun, and its right to protection by the state against those who would destroy its life."

Anonymous said...

Panetta admits indirectly that
poitics determine his decisions not his personal convictions of right or wrong; or whatever the people want its okay with me. Wow, what a stalwart wimp is he.