Showing posts with label USCCB. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USCCB. Show all posts

Thursday, June 14, 2018

It depends on WHICH law, now, doesn't it?

Just when you think the Trump Administration surely can sink no lower, some kakistocrat in the executive branch looks at you, smirks and says "Hold my Zyklon B."

Today in Berlin-am-Potomac, there was the daily White House press briefing with Obergruppenlügner Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and the subject of children being forcibly wrested from their asylum-seeking parents at the Mexican border came up.

It went something like this.

During one exchange, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said to CNN reporter Jim Acosta, a frequent sparring partner, “I know it's hard for you to understand even short sentences.”

Acosta had asked Sanders about Attorney General Jeff Sessions's attempt, earlier in the day, to use the Bible to justify the Trump administration's immigration policies, which include splitting up families that arrive at U.S. borders seeking asylum.

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” Sessions said in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Other biblical passages, including some written by Paul, have been cited by advocates of softer immigration policies. In Romans 12, for example, Paul wrote: “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. ... Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.”
“Where in the Bible does it say that it's moral to take children away from their mothers?” Acosta asked.

“I'm not aware of the attorney general's comments or what he would be referencing,” Sanders replied. “I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law.”

Sanders and Acosta went back and forth until Sanders insulted Acosta's comprehension skills. On a telecast of the briefing, another reporter could be heard scolding Sanders for a “cheap shot.”

Sanders then falsely asserted that the Trump administration is separating children from their parents “because it's the law, and that's what the law states.” In fact, separation is not required by law but is a Trump administration practice that White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly calls a “tough deterrent.”

Sanders gave the next question to CBS's Paula Reid, who performed an on-the-spot fact-check.

Unmoved, Sanders continued to insist, falsely, that the Trump administration is simply doing what the law mandates. When Reid asked whether the administration will “take responsibility for its policy change,” Sanders replied, “It's not a policy change to enforce the law.”
OH . . . and this is what the United States' Catholic bishops think of the Trump Administration's "biblical" immigration policies:

Leading U.S. Catholic bishops on Wednesday escalated their criticism of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, calling new asylum-limiting rules “immoral” and rhetorically comparing the crackdown to abortion by saying it is a “a right-to-life” issue.

One bishop from the U.S.-Mexico border region reportedly suggested “canonical penalties” — which could refer to withholding the sacrament of Communion — for Catholics involved in implementing the Trump policies.

The comments came as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — the organizing body of bishops — gathered for a biannual meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The topics of migration and asylum have long been a focus for the U.S. church; more than 50 percent of U.S. Catholics under the age of 30 are Latinos.

The statements, including by the conference’s president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, came two days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions ruled that fear of domestic violence or gang violence aren’t clear grounds for seeking asylum in the United States. Sessions said asylum claims have expanded too broadly.

But the bishops said the ruling this week came on top of other Trump White House moves that they oppose. Those include ending a program that protected from deportation the “dreamers,” young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, and reducing significantly the number of refugees allowed into the United States.

“At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life. The Attorney General’s recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence,” said a statement Wednesday by DiNardo in his capacity as USCCB president.

According to the Religion News Service, Tucson Bishop Edward Weisenburger raised the possibility of implementing canonical penalties for Catholics “who are involved in this,” referring to children being separated from their families at the border. Canonical penalties can range from denial of sacraments to excommunication, though Weisenburger did not specify what he intended beyond referring to sanctions that already exist for “life issues,” RNS reported.

“Canonical penalties are there in place to heal,” Weisenburger said. “And therefore, for the salvation of these people’s souls, maybe it’s time for us to look at canonical penalties.”

Efforts to reach Weisenburger for details were not immediately successful late Wednesday.

Some activists noted that it was rare for bishops to even talk about spiritual penalties in a political context, aside from warnings from some bishops to politicians who support abortion rights. John Gehring, a former USCCB staffer who is now a progressive faith advocate at Faith in Public Life, tweeted that “it’s hard to overstate” the significance of Weisenburger’s remarks.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Usher us out, the whipped and the feckless

Beauty: Unhip, unhappening, un-now, un-Catholic?

The Catholic Church is under assault from the brownshirts of the Movement for Deracinated Sexuality and its Vichy government in Washington.

Our bishops decry the fiscal destruction of Catholic social services and health care by bureaucrats who insist, in the name of equality, that the church give its blessing to what it theologically and morally cannot. They fret that Catholics are being pressured not only to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, but render what is God's, too.

We all talk about Jesus' command to "take up your cross and follow me," but we all hate it when our turn comes. They killed Him. On His account, they'll kill us, too, given the chance. On to Calvary.

But what really irks me is not that secularists resort to persecution in the name of liberty. That's their nature, like it is the nature of dogs to eat their own vomit.

No, what irks me is that my church -- through its sins and sins of omission -- has made it so damned easy for the devil. Half of those aggrieved bishops have been asleep at the switch, it seems; the other half have been tearing up the track, and now everyone is shocked,
shocked the train's come undone.

There's the lack of catechesis, which is a fancy way of saying we haven't passed the faith down to our young for the better part of half a century now. And, of course, there's the Catholic sex-abuse scandal.
That's a fancy way of saying Satan is running amok in the sanctuary.

THEN THERE'S the Catholic War on Beauty, waged mercilessly by the liturgical betters of the schmucks in the pews, since the first day in 1964 that somebody handed a guitar to a coffeehouse-washout folk singer and said "Go do Mass. And be relevant."

Being "relevant," of course, means "Ignore the accumulated wisdom and beauty of the ages, compiled through the blood, sweat, tears and prayers of the communion of saints." Sometime around 1964, I imagine, that prototypical anti-Dylan first decided "Kumbaya" would be really cool to sing at Mass.

It had to have been like letting the Ebola virus loose at a preschool. A mere couple of decades later, we had whole Masses written by Marty Haugen. My God, Harry Truman just dropped The Bomb on beauty.

On transcendence.

On our ability to . . . check that . . . on our
desire to look upon the face of God.

Looking upon our own deformed visages in sanctified self-worship is so much more satisfying to us now. Which explains the implicit arrogance of "Gather Us In."

But it's worse than that.

For instance, one has to wonder whether the Haugenification of the Catholic Church is manifestation or, to some degree, causation. It's the whole chicken-or-the-egg question: Did our abandonment of holiness and responsibility lead to the godlessness that spawns ugliness and banality, or did our utilitarian embrace of ugliness and banality in the name of "relevance" render us unable to see God?

How does one "see" God, after all, this side of heaven? One sees God in beauty . . . which we Catholics largely have abandoned in the name of utility. That and liturgical lounge lizards.

Maybe it's a moot question now. Maybe what we have here is a feedback loop of mundane wretchedness, both artistic and spiritual. Not to mention moral and behavioral, as in the case of The Scandals.

Whatever the case -- and this gets me back to where we began -- the church now is under attack from a hostile culture and government because we succeeded in losing the culture, something which never is won in the first place so much by argument as it is through aesthetics and witness. Beauty can bypass the brain and its defenses to conquer the soul, and American Catholicism thus has unilaterally disarmed.

And our culture now belongs to the barbarians.

On the bright side, though, martyrdom historically has been an effective witness, too. So there's always hope.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The sexual apostates

The Catholic Church has taught some basic things about human nature and moral theology quite clearly, quite consistently for a very, very, very long time.

From the beginning, in fact.

And in our Western society, with our tradition of freedom of conscience, one is free to disagree with what the Catholic Church teaches. One is also free to leave it if its teachings so offend one's moral, theological or philosophical sensibilities.

Unfortunately, that kind of intellectual honesty got lost somewhere after the Counter-Reformation. Leading the way in this profound intellectual dishonesty -- some might call it subversion -- are "Catholic" academics.

Two of them are mainstays of the theology department at Creighton University here in Omaha. Creighton is a Catholic school, meaning loosely that it is a place where many Catholic teenagers go to abandon their faith altogether or, perhaps, replace it with some quasi-Gnostic, self-gratifying facsimile thereof.

This brief background explains my amazement -- and glee -- that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops finally has stood up and taken down a couple of apostates within -- those who, ensconced
inside the Catholic establishment, try to subvert everything Catholicism has stood for more than 2,000 years. And this academic, theological dismantling of the "work" of Creighton professors Todd Salzman and Michael Lawler is something to behold.

FEW WILL, though, because modern America -- and, indeed, the modern church -- is allergic to deep discourse, and such an involved fisking of The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology cuts against the grain of today's McNews and McThought. Here's a bit from the USCCB press release today:
In the statement, "Inadequacies in the Theological Methodology and Conclusions of The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology," the Committee asserts that the authors of The Sexual Person "base their arguments on a methodology that marks a radical departure from the Catholic theological tradition" and "reach a whole range of conclusions that are contrary to Catholic teaching."

The Committee concluded that "neither the methodology of The Sexual Person nor the conclusions that depart from authoritative Church teaching constitute authentic expressions of Catholic theology. Moreover, such conclusions, clearly in contradiction to the authentic teaching of the Church, cannot provide a true norm for moral action and in fact are harmful to one's moral and spiritual life."

The views of the two professors previously came under episcopal censure in 2007, when Archbishop Elden Curtiss, then archbishop of Omaha, published a notification in his diocesan newspaper regarding the conclusions of two articles by these professors.

Archbishop Curtiss wrote: "In these articles, Professors Lawler and Salzman argue for the moral legitimacy of some homosexual acts. Their conclusion is in serious error, and cannot be considered authentic Catholic teaching." When in 2008, Salzman and Lawler published their book, The Sexual Person, Archbishop Curtiss wrote to the Committee on Doctrine asking for assistance. After studying the book and conferring with Archbishop Curtiss's successor, Archbishop George Lucas, the Committee decided that the most effective way to address the problem presented by the book was to prepare a statement on the problematic characteristics of its methodology, which leads the authors to a number of conclusions that contradict Catholic moral teaching.

IN BRIEF, the bishops concluded the Creighton professors stretch the meanings of historical context and natural law to the breaking point, so that any interpretation of the demands of scripture and tradition can be transmogrified into "Do what thou wilt."

Needless to say, this take on moral theology might well be more at home in the Church of Satan than it is within any historical understanding of Catholicism -- or, indeed, Christianity itself.

I'm not used to saying this, but . . . good on the bishops.

Likewise, Salzman and Lawler, in their work, elevate personal experience to the level of scripture, natural law and tradition in deciding what is right, and what is sinful . . . that is, if the concept of "sin" even exists in their moral universe, such as it is.

Well, I have some personal experience with Professor Salzman. And I think my personal experience -- elevated, as he would have it, to the level of dogma -- might serve to illuminate how, in the name of "compassion," he and his ilk are more than willing to use the tragedy and pain of ordinary Catholics struggling to be faithful to their church's teaching . . . use it against those ordinary Catholics, all in the name of "liberating" those "oppressed" by the cruel vagaries of "traditionalist" Catholic doctrine.

IN THAT LIGHT, I resurrect something I posted here in January 2008. Then, I called it "I am legend."

* * *

On Christmas morning, our little house bustles with the ghosts of children who never were.

They play tug of war with the ghosts of long-dead dogs and listen to stories of "way back there then" from grandparents who live only in memory. Then we all open presents never bought, tearing through brightly colored wrapping paper that never left its cardboard tube.

And someone always plasters someone's non-existent hair with non-existent bows.

THIS CHRISTMAS, the missus and I sit down for a late supper -- the two of us -- at a table built for six as the old radio on the bookcase plays carols about a holy infant, a mother and child, on some far-away station.

Through nearly 25 years of marriage, we have come to love one another more and more deeply, and we have learned to be thankful for the blessings that are ours. But after years of infertility, then cancer surgery that took a question mark and turned it into a period, we are haunted by the ghosts of our beloved children who never were.

My wife loves babies. She has an infant-seeking radar that will guide her to every small child in a room and have it in her arms as soon as Mama or Daddy will unhand the child. Most people don't realize what a remarkable thing it is to take such grief over what never was and turn it into such love of what is.

Even if "what is" belongs to someone else.

For years, we have volunteered with our church's youth group. And for a while now, we've been going to the weddings of kids the same age as our ghosts, then watching them have their own children.
So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true

There'll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty

Before the last revolving year is through

And the seasons they go round and round

And the painted ponies go up and down

We're captive on the carousel of time

We can't return, we can only look behind

From where we came

And go round and round and round

In the circle game
I NOT ONLY cannot improve upon how Joni Mitchell describes the "Circle Game" of life, I -- and my wife -- have been doomed to not fully participate in it. My better half says there's one question she wants to ask Jesus when she dies, being that we live in a country where there's so few children even to adopt because so many parents don't want to be . . . and can make that so.

I'll bet you can guess what that might be.

We live in a society that feels free to take our pain and use it as a weapon to smash the natural law to politically correct bits. In fact, during one youth-group session, we sat there dumbfounded -- and seething -- as a "Catholic" theology professor speculated upon the possible ecclesiastical permissibility of "gay marriage" someday, on grounds that -- hey
-- infertile couples can't fulfill the procreative nature of matrimony, either.

A roomful of societally brainwashed Roman Catholic teen-agers nodded approvingly.

I wanted to kill the son of a bitch.
Who, naturally -- being a Catholic theologian teaching at a Jesuit university -- was impervious to objections raised on catechetical and natural-law grounds.

of a childless, middle-aged Catholic couple in the Midwest. I don't relish this opportunity to give you a glimpse into our world. To tell you the truth, I've been writing this in fits and starts.

When you take a hot knife and dig around in an open wound, you tend not to have a lot of staying power.

This, however, finally made me do it. "This" being Rod Dreher's "Crunchy Con" post on an article (and online discussion) in The Atlantic Monthly about the apparently grim and lonely dotage we Baby Boomers will be facing.

In his post, Dreher quotes extensively from an online observation by Atlantic
contributor Philip Longman:

Another relationship between fertility and aging is less obvious but also important to the future. Within the Baby Boom generation there was a pronounced disparity in birthrates. Those who remained childless or had just one or two children tended to be well educated, liberal, and secular. By contrast, the roughly 30 percent of Boomers who had three or more children tended be conservative, religious, and less well educated. Members of the later group, though only a minority of their own generation, produced more than 50 percent of the next generation.

Already, as I have argued elsewhere, this pattern in Boomer birth rates (which is much more extreme than in previous generations) has led to the country becoming more morally conservative and pro-family. As Dick Cavett once quipped, “If your parents forgot to have children, chances are you will as well.” The anti-natalism inherent in the modern liberal mindset leads to a gradual return of patriarchy, if only by default.

What does that mean for Boomers in retirement? A majority or near majority of younger Americans, having grown up in conservative and religious households, will tend to view childless Boomers through their parents eyes: as members of an irresponsible, alien tribe. Though the minority of Baby Boomers who rebelled against tradition have a hard time recognizing it, most people wind up adopting their parent’s belief systems, particularly if they become parents themselves. The apple rarely falls far from the tree. Accordingly, in the eyes of many, if not most, younger people, a Boomer without a family will be taken for an aging yuppie, a decaying narcissist, or ailing atheist—none of which stereotypes will be helpful in drawing public sympathy.

THAT'S. JUST. GREAT. If Longman is correct, the answer to "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty-four?" (or 84) may well be . . . "No!"

All because my wife and I are going to be lumped together with all of the most pathological of my fellow Baby Boomers. Accused, tried, convicted and sentenced to die "alone and unloved" by the millennials and their children.

And the ghosts of our children -- our children who were so loved but never born -- will not be able to speak to their compatriots on our behalf.

They will not be able to come back to their childhood home to visit us, and to indulge the waves of childhood memories that, alas, never will engulf them. And we will not sit down together at the family table, eating my wife's wonderful cooking.

Neither will we all gather together at the Omaha homestead for my traditional Louisiana chicken-and-sausage gumbo on Christmas Eve, and I will not tell them stories of growing up down on the bayou. And my grandchildren will not ask me,
"Grandpa, why did black kids and white kids have to go to separate schools?" or
"Papa, how come great-grandma grew up so poor and never got to go to school?"

I WILL NEVER GET the chance to struggle at giving them my best inadequate answer, because our children and our grandchildren are not there, and we -- my wife and I -- are incomplete.

And on future Christmas mornings, our little house will bustle with the ghosts of children who never were.

They -- and their children who never were -- will play tug of war with the ghosts of long-dead dogs and listen to stories of "way back there then" from all the grandparents . . . who live only in memory. Then we all will open presents never bought, tearing through brightly colored wrapping paper that never left its cardboard tube.

And someone always will plaster someone's non-existent hair with non-existent bows.

Then after a Christmas alone with our thoughts, and with each other, the missus and I will sit down for a late supper at a table built for six as the old radio on the bookcase plays carols about a holy infant, a mother and child, on some far-away station.
So if you're walking down the street sometime
And spot some hollow ancient eyes,
Please don't just pass 'em by and stare
As if you didn't care, say, "Hello in there, hello."

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Making a Deal with the devil

Bzz bzzz bzzzzz! Did you hear about the Catholic bishops' conference being in bed with the pro-aborts?

Bzz bzzz bzzzzz! It's the Catholic Campaign for Human Development! They gave money to the socialist baby-killer-backers!

Bzz bzzz bzzzzz! The head of the place was on the board of one of those commie-lib poverty-pimp outfits. And they're backing gay marriage and abortion rights!


OF COURSE, the American Life League and the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry never bothered to contact anyone at the CCHD for comment -- that was left to Our Sunday Visitor, which was reporting on the online conflagration. Then again, it's not like these folks are real journalists -- the kind who seek facts and strive for balance -- they just play them on the Internet.

What we have here are activists in search of "gotcha," and that's fine. Just don't pretend it has anything to do with journalism . . . or Catholicism.

Now, mind you, I don't doubt that there's at least some smoke where the witch hunt says it has uncovered the towering inferno. Frankly, I find that the Catholic "peace-and-justice" crowd is at least as consumed by progressive politics as the Catholic "pro-life" crowd is by a slavish devotion to Republican talking points.

And it matters not whether you're prattling on about how "we are church" or happen to be more Catholic than the pope, it's still a sad fact that Jesus Christ and Catholic doctrine get pimped out to politicians and principalities.

In a church no less riven than anything else about the United States these days, that's to be expected. Alas.

BUT THE AWARD for excellence in unmitigated gall and sheer hypocrisy has to go to "conservative" Catholic "intellectual" Deal Hudson, who has busied himself touting what awful sinners the commie-libs at the CCHD be.

What abortion supporters the commie-libs at the CCHD be.

What Bad Catholics (TM) the commie-libs at the CCHD be.

From the Inside Catholic website:
This is the second round of incriminating evidence presented by ALL and BVM about the [Center for Community Change]. Three months ago, they issued a press release and supporting research regarding 31 CCHD grantees with a relationship to CCC -- all of which was ignored by the USCCB.

As ALL's Michael Hichborn points out, these reports have "revealed no less than fifty organizations (one fifth of all CCHD grantees from 2009) that are, in some capacity, engaged in pro-abortion or pro-homosexual causes ( The sad thing, however, is that these recent revelations manifest a pattern of cooperation stretching back for decades."

These latest findings make it impossible for the USCCB not to sever its ties with the CCC. However, the situation is made more difficult by the news that John Carr -- who oversees the CCHD as the USCCB's Executive Director of the Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development -- served on the CCC board from 1999 to 2006 and on its executive committee from 1999 to 2001. Carr was hired by the USCCB in 1987, but his involvement with the CCC goes back to 1983.

ALL research shows that in 2000, while Carr served on its executive committee, CCC itself received a $150,000 grant from the USCCB. Carr's resume at the USCCB Web site does not mention his service at the CCC, while other published versions of his resume do.
I'D LISTEN to Deal if I were you. After all, it takes one to know one . . . on all counts.

Let's go back to the summer of 2001, shall we? That's when President George W. Bush was trying to figure out what to do about funding embryonic stem-cell research.

Historically, the Catholic Church has been -- forgive my phraseology -- death on research involving fetal and embryonic stem cells. That's because it all starts, somewhere, with dead fetuses and discarded, cannibalized human embryos.

And even if you're not the one doing the killing of a developing human being, conducting research with the cannibalized "parts" constitutes significant "cooperation with evil."

Look at it this way, "Well, they were dead anyway, and we didn't want them to go to waste" was the same justification the Nazis gave for making lampshades out of the skin of Holocaust victims, not to mention harvesting the gold fillings they'd no longer be needing.

You shouldn't be surprised that Catholics think Jesus Christ would frown on such.

Not that that stopped Hudson, among other "conservative" Catholic "intellectuals," from trying to gild the moral-theology lily as they "advised" Bush, which is what I think folks call influence-peddling nowadays. From a July 8, 2001, article in the Los Angeles Times:
Now, however, three conservative Catholics who advise the White House are saying a compromise may be possible. Depending on how the details shape up, these opinion leaders may publicly offer arguments for why some funding of embryo experiments is morally acceptable and help Bush win support for the policy among Catholic leaders and voters.

The advisors are focusing in particular on one option, now under discussion among White House aides, in which the government would pay only for research that uses existing stem cells scientists already have isolated from embryos. Any experiment that caused the destruction of additional embryos to obtain new cells would be ineligible for federal funds.

Spokesmen for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which represents the church in the United States, specifically have rejected this idea, saying it would make the government complicit in embryo destruction. But one of the nation's leading Catholic thinkers on abortion issues now is offering a different view. "I can imagine circumstances in which this would not only be politically acceptable but could be a morally justified policy," said Robert P. George, a moral philosopher at Princeton University who participates in a weekly telephone conference of Catholic intellectuals that often includes White House staff.

Another participant in the weekly calls, Rev. Robert A. Sirico, who leads a Michigan-based ethics think tank, said he has told the White House that the compromise might be regarded as acceptable and consistent with church teachings if it ensures that the government never pays for the destruction of another embryo.

"I am open to it," said Deal W. Hudson, editor and publisher of Crisis, a Catholic magazine. While the compromise would be "a victory for those who want to use embryonic stem cells, it can also be seen as a victory for the pro-life side," Hudson said, "because it ensures, for the time being, that there is no more government support for the destruction of embryos for their stem cells."

The stem cell issue came up during the conference call Thursday, Sirico said, but he would not give details. The Catholic advisors have seen no formal proposal and have not endorsed any.

Still, the comments from the three advisors suggest there is more diversity among conservative Catholic leaders regarding the stem cell issue than previously has appeared in public debate. If Bush moves in any way to support embryo cell research, it will be crucial that he win the support of at least some conservative Catholic leaders, George said. "Then they could say there's a range of opinion and that this issue is not like abortion or euthanasia," which are uniformly condemned by church leaders and ethicists.
AFTER BUSH announced his decision, which was unappreciated by the Catholic hierarchy, I heard from a friend tuned in to such matters that, according to "Catholic gossip circles in DC," Hudson had been "spotted around town looking like the cat who ate the canary today."

This friend said he'd heard that Hudson was "praising Bush's decision as 'Thomistic,' and taking credit for influencing the president's thinking -- which I'm sure he did."

Pot. Kettle. Black.

And we won't even go into why it was that Hudson abruptly quit as a "Catholic-outreach adviser" to Bush's 2004 re-election campaign. That was a doozy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

All you holy murdered children, pray for us

I'll make this short and sweet.

FIRST, an excerpt, please, from The Washington Times -- on a federal investigation into how Commonwealth Catholic Charities, Richmond (Va.) arranged for a Guatemalan teen in foster care to have an abortion.
The bishops' letter, first publicized Friday by the Wanderer, a national Catholic weekly newspaper, detailed a series of botched management decisions that preceded the Jan. 18 abortion.

The unnamed girl, who already had one child, had been fitted with a contraceptive device provided by CCR two months earlier, the letter said. CCR members signed the consent form necessary for a minor to have an abortion and had someone drive her to and from the abortion clinic.

It is illegal in Virginia for a social worker to sign a parental consent form for an abortion. The state's notification law stipulates that at least one parent, grandparent or adult sibling must give consent.

The girl, whose parents are missing, was a ward of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).


The church also teaches that knowingly using contraception is a mortal sin, although it does not incur automatic excommunication. Moreover, the church objects to some methods of contraception - those that prevent a fertilized embryo from implanting in the uterus - as forms of abortion.

"Some members of the MRS
[U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Migration and Refugee Services -- R21]
staff were not sufficiently aware of church teaching and [USCCB] policy regarding these matters to take stronger and more appropriate actions," Bishops DiLorenzo, Wester and Driscoll said in a letter to their peers.

"This incident is a most regrettable stain on the record of excellence in the work both of MRS and of Catholic Charities," they said.
CATHOLIC CHARITIES. Taking teen to be fitted with an IUD. And, later, for an abortion.

Does something seem, uh, amiss here?

And that's even before we get to out-and-out violations of Virginia law.

Screwiest of all is the Catholic bishops' assertion that some staffers of a USCCB agency "were not sufficiently aware of church teaching. . . ." I said "screwy," not "surprising."

Because it isn't surprising that employees of an agency of the American Church knew little and cared less for fundamental Catholic moral teaching. After all, if the bishops -- and their subordinate priests -- can't be bothered to teach the Catholic faithful a damned thing about Catholic moral law, why the Sam Hill should they care to teach their employees . . . who may or may not actually be Catholic?

IN FACT, the only thing the American bishops are worse at than teaching the faith is in modeling it.

And when those bishops go to their exceedingly just reward, the first saint to whom they will have to explain themselves -- I am sure -- will be that precious little child who never got a chance to be born.

Murdered, when it comes right down to it, by their negligence and solipsism.