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Showing posts with label American Catholic Bishops. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American Catholic Bishops. Show all posts

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Michael Voris: America's Catholic Bishops Are Complicit with Obama, An Agent of Hell

This video presentation may sound harsh to many, but if it does, that reaction reflects one's own numbness to an America that is marinated in the puss and rot of sin.  The willingness of so many Americans to go with the flow, their eagerness to not stand-out, to be accepted, and their vain efforts to reconcile a depraved culture with the Truth implanted by God in their hearts and minds, has infected even America's Catholic bishops who put party loyalties above their Baptism.

Yes, this is a harsh indictment; so was that of Saint John the Baptist.  But at this late hour it is a message that needs to be heard.  America's leadership reflects our collective souls; and the highest leader is truly "an agent of hell."  If there is any hope for the future of our nation, it will not come from the political establishment, candidates, platforms or legislation, but rather through agents of God, counter-cultural souls, saints who bear witness to the light and show the way to a new, more noble, more humane, more Godly Christian era.  Our bishops should lead the way, but let's not wait on them.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Phyllis Schlafly: Common Core a Threat to Catholic Schools

Editor's note:  We are perplexed by Catholic school administrators who eagerly align  their pedagogy, curricula and standards to those of the public school establishment - an establishment that is mediocre at its best and utterly fails in America's inner-cities, where Catholic schools offer the poor a lifeline and hope for a better life.  These Catholic school administrators insist that their compliance is necessary due to the many transfers that occur between the government and parochial systems; but why would so many parents eschew "free" education for tuition payments were they satisfied with government-issue schooling? We suspect the real answer is that some bishops and diocesan education officials are willing to accept shackles in return for government shekels.

The valiant Phyllis Schlafly, President of Eagle Forum, has written the following letter to key leaders of the Catholic hierarchy about a government-corporate alliance to implement Common Core standards in public and private schools, including Catholic schools. It is reprinted here with permission of the author.

Your Excellency,

I write today to share with you our significant concerns about a troubling development in our Catholic schools and to seek your prayerful guidance about this issue.

Under the guise of reforming the nation’s failing public schools, President Obama’s Department of Education offered states $4.35 billion in stimulus funds in a grant competition called Race to the Top in 2010.  In order to compete for the funds, let alone receive them, states had to agree to adhere to the only set of national academic standards then under development by a private organization funded largely by Bill Gates.

Governors of cash-strapped states were only too eager for the opportunity to supplement their budgets regardless of the quality of the standards.  In fact, the standards were not even completed until after the grant applications were due.  As a further inducement to apply for the funds, states were offered waivers of the Bush era No Child Left Behind law and were also warned that failure to adopt the new standards could cost poor districts their Title 1 funds.  One must wonder why allegedly superior academic standards necessitated such underhanded tactics.

The new national standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts, called Common Core, were adopted by forty-five states giving an appearance of national unanimity.  This facade crumbles once you know the standards were approved not by the people of these 45 states or their elected representatives but by governors and state boards of education officials.  Neither the state legislatures nor the voters ever knew about this radical change in their children’s education until this spring (more than two years after they were adopted).

As the standards began to be implemented during the 2012-2013 school year parents noticed disturbing changes in homework, textbooks, and tests.  Suddenly, Euclidian geometry was displaced, children were instructed to add in columns from left to right, and “conceptual” math replaced fundamentals.  In language arts, “close reading” strategies forced students to read texts “in a vacuum” or without the encumbrance of what was deemed “privileged information.” Furthermore, classical literature was dramatically reduced in favor of reading “informational texts” like computer manuals.  The stated goal of the new standards, in both Math and English, is to make students “college and career ready” by focusing on “21st century skills.”

Although Common Core was designed specifically to address public school failings, the standards are impacting Catholic schools as well.  Many Catholic schools have decided to adopt the Common Core in a misguided attempt to remain “competitive.”  This rationale makes little sense as Catholic schools have long enjoyed a superior academic record to the public schools. This is due not only to a faith-filled learning environment and the dedication of good teachers but because they have had the freedom to employ time-honored teaching methods only sporadically seen in the public schools. With a tradition that includes Cardinal Newman, St. Anselm, and Thomas Aquinas why would we ever consider adopting the latest public school fad in education?

Catholic educators who propose to “adapt” the Common Core to the Catholic model forget the purpose of Catholic education.  The mission of the Catholic school is to prepare students for eternal life with God while its secondary goal is to prepare them for temporal work.  They accomplish this by pursuing Truth and by seeking to acquire Knowledge for its own sake.  In contrast, the goal of Common Core is the narrow training of students to become mere functionaries educated solely for earthly success.  Catholic educators should be leery of any standards that create automatons rather than humane individuals.

In the United States, Christians in general and the Catholic Church in particular have been under siege over the past five years.  In light of the HHS mandate, the IRS targeting of faith organizations, the active promotion of gay marriage, and other federal efforts designed to dismantle moral society we cannot remain complacent as this administration takes aim at our children.  Just a few weeks ago the president condemned Catholic education in Ireland calling it “divisive.”  Evil is dangerously palatable when hidden in the stew of “good intentions,” and the Church should be particularly cautious about accepting anything at face value from this federal government.  Clear Church teaching on the principle of subsidiarity demands that we guard jealously the local control of our children’s education.

Thus far, only math and language arts standards have been introduced.  We shudder to think of the challenges to the faith that will be posed when the standards for social studies, history, science, and health are released. Because it is impossible to totally remove personal bias and opinion from the development of any set of standards, and because we understand that standards drive curriculum, we must be especially vigilant in examining new standards before they are implemented by our schools.

In addition to a long list of academic worries with Common Core we have additional privacy concerns related to the onerous data collection requirements that are part of the system. The idea behind the federal data collection mandate is to track students from pre-school through their careers so as to determine whether the standards are succeeding in making students “career ready.” While the initial goal may be laudable, there are serious concerns about maintaining the privacy of minors. The federal government has proposed gathering over 400 personally identifiable data points on each student, and whereas that information could have previously been considered “safe,” the federal government’s changes to FERPA in January, 2012 now make it possible for school officials to share private data without parental consent. Once unscrupulous school officials realize they can sell private data to the highest bidder all privacy will be in jeopardy.

The threat posed by Common Core to the Catholic schools comes as they struggle to compete against public charter schools, home schooling, and other innovative models of education. Sadly, Catholic Schools can no longer count on welcoming the children of the parish as many parishioners no longer feel obligated to send their children to parochial schools. As our Catholic schools search for ways to attract new students, they would do well to reject the servile training model of the public schools rather than seeking to imitate it.

My humble request is that you investigate the dangers of Common Core to Catholic education.  Please consider the concerns of a growing number of parents around the country.  More than a dozen state legislatures have now taken some action to review, defund, or repeal Common Core now that parents and legislators have learned the details of this program.  In April, Indiana became the first state to suspend Common Core led by the efforts of two Catholic school mothers.  Your sheep ask for the protection of their shepherd. Your sheep are asking to be fed. The laity needs to hear from the bishops on this very important issue.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Catholic Bishops Unanimously Adopt 'United for Religious Freedom' Statement

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved by unanimous vote on Wednesday a statement reaffirming the church's long standing opposition to President Obama's health care mandate requiring employers and insurers to provide free contraceptive care to employees. The group is meeting in Atlanta, Ga., for their annual conference.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bishops Pledge to Intensify Efforts Against Obama Administration's "Unjust and Illegal" Mandate

The Administrative Committee of the US Catholic bishops said yesterday that they will intensify their fight against the Obama administration’s “unjust and illegal” contraception mandate.  The full text of their statement follows:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Obama Risks $100 Billion If Catholic Hospitals Close

Bishops May Close Facilities Rather than Bend to Contraception Dictate 

Perhaps Barack Obama assumed that religious leaders would simply offer a token protest to his new mandate for religious organizations to provide free birth control, even when contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization violate the core doctrines of their faith. The president might have had reason to expect that Catholic bishops wouldn’t put up much of a fight, considering their support for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly known as ObamaCare, from which Health and Human Services derives the authority to dictate their coverage requirements to employers.

Read the rest of this entry at The Fiscal Times >>

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bishops Plan Aggressive Expansion of Birth-Control Battle

From Reuters
By Stephanie Simon

Bishops listen to proceedings during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore, Maryland November 14, 2011.  Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
Catholic bishops, energized by a battle over contraception funding, are planning an aggressive campaign to rally Americans against a long list of government measures which they say intrude on religious liberty.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops plans to work with other religious groups, including evangelical Christians, on an election-year public relations campaign that may include TV and radio ads, social media marketing and a push for pastors and priests to raise the subject from the pulpit.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Obama Offends the Catholic Left

A contraceptive mandate provokes an unnecessary war.

By William McGurn

When Barack Obama secured his party's nomination
for president in 2008, one group of Democrats had special reason to cheer.

These were Democrats who were reliably liberal on policy but horrified by the party's sometimes knee-jerk animosity to faith. The low point may have been the 1992 Democratic convention. There the liberal but pro-life governor of Pennsylvania, Bob Casey Sr., was humiliated when he was denied a speaking slot while a pro-choice Republican activist from his home state was allowed.

With Mr. Obama, all this looked to be in the past. In 2006, the Illinois senator delivered a speech declaring that "secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square." He followed up by appearing at fund-raisers for the anti-abortion Bob Casey Jr. during Mr. Casey's successful run for Sen. Rick Santorum's senate seat.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Another USCCB Official Supporting Pro-Abort Enemies of the Church

The USCCB announced today that Mary Mencarini Campbell has been appointed director for the Catholic Home Missions and associate director of the Office of National Collections of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  The official news release states she "is best known for her untiring love and dedication to the Church."  

What church?  

Catholics, unlike Mary Mencarini Campbell, don't give to pro-abortion PACS, they don't support pro-death candidates, and they don't support organizations that hate the Church and everything for which it stands.  That official statement about Mary Mencarini Campbell is itself evidence of the deep malevolence that permeates the USCCB.

Many Catholics, ourselves included, will not give to any USCCB national collection or  a local bishop's appeal because of just these kinds of agents who work like cancer cells within the Church's own bureaucracy.  It has been a self-perpetuating bureaucracy since Cardinal Bernardin first installed leftist ideologues and transformed its mission.  American Catholics now have yet another reason to boycott USCCB collections. 

Perhaps when even more Catholics have been alienated from their Church because of the USCCB's far-left agenda, the funding for this apostate bureaucracy will dry up.  In the meantime, Archbishop Dolan would win the enduring admiration of millions of Catholics by clearing out his corrupt organization, ending its political and legislative agenda (which is ineffective anyway) and focusing a small, dedicated and faithful staff on the reevangelization of society and the salvific mission given the Church by Christ.

If anyone doubts that this bureaucracy works at cross purposes with the Pope, take a ride through the USCCB parking lot next Fall and count the Obama bumper stickers.  And what have they received for being the obedient lapdogs of the Democrat Party?  Nothing but contempt.  If Archbishop Dolan would like to clean up this cesspool, we will gladly provide damning specifics, starting with the Office of Education.

Mary Mencarini Campbell, who has been named director for the Catholic Home Missions and associate director of the Office of National Collections of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), contributed $252.40 in September 2004 to an organization led by the president of Emily’s List, according to federal election records. 

Campbell made her contribution to Americans Coming Together, an organization led by Ellen Malcolm. “Americans Coming Together’s creation is further evidence that mainstream America is coming together in response to President Bush's extremism--on the environment, reproductive choice, workers’ rights, civil rights and other critical issues,” the National Catholic Register quoted Malcolm as saying in 2003. Emily’s List, which Malcolm founded and also led at the time, exists to elect “pro-choice Democratic women,” according to its web site. 

Campbell served as program coordinator for the USCCB’s Secretariat for Evangelization and Mission from 1994 to 1998. She worked for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development from 1998 to 2007, serving as resource development specialist from 1998 to 2002 and coordinator of resource development from 2002 to 2007. Since 2007, she has served as the USCCB’s assistant director for promotions. 

In November 2004, Campbell criticized those who linked the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to leftist organizations. “It's completely false,” Campbell told the National Catholic Register. “Our criteria for funding are connected to the moral traditions of the Church.” 

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Bishops' Immigration Obsession

The Catholic Church in America has suffered in recent decades from rapidly declining Mass attendance. Its higher education institutions have pushed Catholicism out of the curriculum and culture, with no real catechesis program for young adults. And efforts to attract more young people to the Church have looked more like a “cool” Dad trying to right a fumbled relationship with his children.

Francis Cardinal George, archbishop of Chicago and former president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, recently announced a new effort to “nurture the faith and intellectual and moral development of our youth.” Cardinal George says that young people “encourage us with their passion to learn and their desire to create a better world.”

Yet the particular way the cardinal is calling attention to the development of young people is for the Catholic community to “support and promote the passage of the DREAM Act and the eventual goal of the passage of compassionate comprehensive immigration reform legislation.”

Read the rest of this entry at Crisis Magazine >>

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Reports of CCHD Malfeasance Sent Directly to Bishops Before Upcoming Meeting

The coalition working to reform the U.S Catholic bishops' anti-poverty organization, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, has sent each American bishop and diocesan pro-life director in the U.S., detailed reports on the continuing corrupt and radically leftist purposes of many CCHD grantees.

Compiled by Michael Hichborn of American Life League (ALL) and Robert Gasper of Bellarmine Veritas Ministry (BVM), the reports show that almost 50 grantees still receiving funds from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development remain involved in activities directly opposed to Catholic moral and social teachings.

"We wanted to make sure every bishop can review the facts for himself, because we still hear people saying that all of the problems with the CCHD have been fixed. But we can prove that such claims are not true," said Hichborn, ALL's senior researcher. "We believe that our bishops are doing the best they can with the information they have. We just want to make sure that they have the most up-to-date information as they go into their June meeting."

RCN noted that, during the U.S. bishops' upcoming meeting (June 11-13), the CCHD will be discussed in light of a report recently compiled by Bishop David Zubik of the Pittsburgh diocese.

"Good things have started to happen with the CCHD, and there appears to be momentum toward real reform," said Gasper, president of BVM. "It has become clear that the problems can't be solved merely by defunding individual groups that have been identified as opposing Church teaching. This is why we continue to respectfully call for a complete reform of the CCHD."

"We simply ask our bishops to prayerfully review the information presented, considering how such systemic problems occurred and what the most prudent way forward is for the CCHD," said Stephen Phelan, communications manager for RCN member Human Life International.

Monday, May 17, 2010

From Under the Rubble

Theodore Cardinal McCarrick: 'Show Me The Money!'

From The Wanderer
By Christopher Manion

America’s prelates have finally rallied to confront a pressing moral issue. No, not to oppose the billions in federal funding for Planned Parenthood, nor the additional billions for foreign- aid population programs targeting Catholic Third World countries. No, our prelates have united to condemn those “ mean- spirited” Americans, millions of them practicing Catholics, who support Arizona’s decision to enforce longstanding federal immigration statutes. The bishops’ spokesman on the issue, Roger Cardinal Mahony, charitably accuses the law’s supporters of favoring “ German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques.”

This is nothing new. For years — decades, really — most of our bishops have calibrated Catholic social teaching to conform to the increasingly liberal Democrat agenda. For instance, embattled Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid has often branded opponents of amnesty as “ anti- immigrant.” In less- than- perfect charity, the USCCB has obediently perpetuated that canard. But again, he who pays the piper calls the tune.

And the piper’s tune was called with truly brazen audacity on May 6 by America’s leading pro- abortion Catholic Democrat, who made it perfectly clear just who’s boss when it comes to the Church’s politics.

From Foxnews. com: “ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday urged Catholic leaders to ‘ instruct’ their parishioners to support immigration reforms, saying clerics should ‘ play a very major role’ in supporting Democratic policies.

“‘ The cardinals, the archbishops, the bishops that come to me and say, “ We want you to pass immigration reform,” and I said, “ I want you to speak about it from the pulpit…. The people, some ( of whom) oppose immigration reform, are sitting in those pews, and you have to tell them that this is a manifestation of our living the gospels”,’ she said.”

Now this triumphal diktat represents a verifiably “ German Nazi and Russian Communist technique,” aimed directly at the heart of the Church on the part of the omnipotent state. Has even one prelate had the temerity to condemn it publicly? Or did Pelosi’s cardinals, archbishops, and bishops show up with their birettas in hand, instead of Canon 915? ( Canon 915 states in part: “ Those who have been . . . obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”)

Conflict Or Capitulation?

“ In my judgment a conflict between the state claiming unlimited powers and the Catholic Church is inevitable” — Hilaire Belloc, Essays of a Catholic ( 1931).

Pelosi’s brazen outburst represents a primal scream from a depraved powermonger railing at the successors of the apostles: “ Get in line!” But the bishops quietly comply. How did it come to this?

A longtime conservative activist recently gave me a clue. He was explaining why government spending kept growing under George W. Bush, even though most Republicans opposed it. “ The way politicians see it,” he explained, “ interest groups have very specific priorities. When they get their first priority, they are happy. Under George W. Bush, pro- lifers got their judges, the neocons got their war, and evangelicals got their ‘ Faith- Based Initiatives.’ Now, while many groups might want less spending, no powerful interest group came to Bush with ‘ less spending’ as its first priority. So spending just kept going up.”

So the politician’s task is to deliver a group’s first priority. He doesn’t ask, “ What else do you want,” he turns to the next interest group and addresses their highest priority. No matter how much members of an interest group might talk about “ too much spending,” the politician knows that, if they get their first priority, the rest is just background noise.

Let’s analyze the USCCB from this perspective. What does the hard- nosed Capitol Hill pol see as the Catholic Church’s “first priority”? Remember, even though the bishops are undoubtedly a powerful interest group, their first priority is all they will get. Their lower priorities will stay on the shelf — that is the way the game is played.

For almost 100 years — especially since Archbishop Joseph Bernardin planted the USCC’s flag firmly on the left 40 years ago — our bishops have advocated a wide range of liberal social welfare initiatives. They have also strongly opposed abortion. So what’s the score in 2010? Abortion is still legal, but the liberal social welfare agenda has prospered — and so has the USCCB. Catholic “ social justice” bureaucracies flourish, from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to the huge USCCB headquarters in Washington. The bishops’ anointed experts have developed strong ties with the Washington left, on and off Capitol Hill, and those ties have paid off.

Today the Church receives two billion dollars a year from the government for Catholic Charities, tens of millions more for Catholic universities and hospitals, and tens of millions a year more for the USCCB itself.

With that scorecard, would the average Washington politician draw the conclusion that the life issues — especially abortion — are the bishops’ first priority?

Politicians might not be saints, but they’re not dumb. Politicians also understand the law. So they notice when bishops refuse to implement Canon Law (and Canon 915 is mandatory, not optional) in the case of even the most flagrant Catholic pro-abortion scandalmongers. Politicians draw the logical conclusion. And politicians are also well aware that, as Cardinal McCarrick judiciously put it a few years back, Catholic bishops do not want to “alienate” important pro-abortion Catholics on Capitol Hill because “[taxpayer] money is needed for Catholic hospitals, charities, and education.”

The bottom line: To the crass politician — the vast majority — the bishops’ actions have made it clear that their first priority is money.

Winners And Losers

Does that mean our bishops don’t really oppose abortion? Of course not. But listen to them with a politician’s ear. Left- wing politicians will always invoke the usual nostrums condemning “ waste, fraud, and abuse.” Of course, they do not mean it. Those categories finance the power of the left, and they are not about to eliminate them. To repeat: When leftist politicians rant and rave against “ waste, fraud, and abuse,” they are lying. Now, when bishops condemn abortion, they are telling the truth. But politicians wonder, do they really mean it? If they do, why has it never been the bishops’ first priority?

When bishops condemn abortion, as Theodore Cardinal McCarrick carefully observed, they must always keep in view their first priority — the money. If our bishops were seriously to make the life issues their first priority, they would invite a long and bruising battle. Eventually they might win on abortion ( I think they would, in fact, and pretty quickly), but they would definitely lose the money. Nothing personal, that’s just the way the system works. And that’s not all. The left is spiteful. After the enraged pols shut the water off, they might decide to go after the Church’s tax exemptions.

And there’s more: Imagine pro- abortion Sen. Patrick Leahy’s outrage if he were excommunicated. He might not be able to receive the Eucharist, but as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, he could still issue subpoenas.

In recent years, the bishops have received tens of billions of taxpayer dollars. The way the politicians see it, that money has bought the bishops’ tacit agreement never to go to the mat about abortion. Sure enough, the bishops never have. Instead, while formally opposing abortion, their “ experts” have for 40 years emitted a steady ooze of “ social justice” drivel, imparting the imprimatur of the Catholic Church to virtually every line- item in the left- wing policy agenda of the proabortion Democratic Party. In return, the bishops have gotten — the money.

To put it plainly, since 1968, in the hearts and minds of American bishops and in the halls of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, there has been a struggle between Humanae Vitae — which is the infallible teaching of the Magisterium — and government- funded “ social justice,” the left- wing Marxist agenda upon which the bishops have bestowed a Catholic imprimatur.

It’s clear today that Humanae Vitae has lost.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Heretic Grows in Brooklyn -- Bishop Supports Abortion, Sodomy

From Catholic World News

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn has recorded a telephone call praising Assemblyman Vito Lopez, a state lawmaker who helped derail a bill that would have lifted the statute of limitations in clergy sex-abuse cases. Earlier this year, Assemblyman Lopez sponsored, and voted in favor of, a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in New York. In 2008-- as in previous elections-- Assemblyman Lopez was endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice New York PAC.

The recording is being phoned to every registered voter in a city council district where the candidate supported by Assemblyman Lopez is in the midst of a close election battle.

Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Blessing for Catholics

From The American Spectator
By Lisa Fabrizio

In the 1960s, the American Catholic Church, like the rest of the nation, underwent a period of tremendous upheaval. Proceeding from, though not limited to, the willful misinterpretation of the Second Vatican Council by some in the clergy, thousands upon thousands left the Church; older members who could not withstand the confusion, and the younger ones who could not perceive an enduring faith amid the calamitous changes.

But as has happened countless times in her long history, the Church has, by the grace of God, seen good priests and bishops arise to bring her back. Yet still today, far too many American Catholics are like far too many other citizens of their country: they have a vague notion of their history or of the tenets on which they were founded, but not much more than that. Sadly, many of them get serious about the faith a few times a year, much like Americans who recall our founding principles only briefly on the Fourth of July, if at all.

Faithful, practicing Catholics are already painfully aware that, in addition to having to defend their faith to others, they must also sometimes explain it to their fellow Catholics. And, just as knowledge and respect for the U.S. Constitution and capitalism -- which were ingrained upon the American psyche for decades -- have faded into the past, so too it seems incomprehensible that today's Catholics need to be reminded that adultery, euthanasia, and the murder of the unborn constitute grave sin.

Upon this scene comes Barack Obama, the first American president to embrace abortion both personally and politically. Not only does he support a "right" that seeks to cut short innocent life, he has made the case that such life might be the "punishment" for sexual "mistakes." This goes beyond what even some of the most strident advocates of abortion have been willing to say in public, but such is the sorry state of morality in our country.

Now given Barack Obama's radical support of abortion -- even to the extent that he has voted that the lives of the survivors of this heinous act should also be snuffed -- you'd think that he would be wary of alienating the great majority of practicing American Catholics. Yet, spurred on by exit polling that suggests he won the overall Catholic vote by a slim margin, he has managed to elevate some of the most notoriously pro-abortion Catholics to important posts in his administration.

He has even reportedly gone so far as to try and nominate such nominal Catholics as Caroline Kennedy as ambassador to the Vatican. These choices, of course, have been rejected. Try this stinging rebuke from a Vatican source:

The Holy See has always set a very simple standard: the person should not be in opposition to fundamental teachings of the Church that belong to our common shared humanity. He or she may not believe in Catholic dogma if he or she is not a Catholic, but we could not accept someone who is in favor of abortion, or (human) cloning or same-sex unions equated to marriage. That is a fairly simple principle that governments like, say, Spain and Cuba, or Mr. Clinton's administration, have been able to understand without a problem.

Unfortunately, Obama's reward for all this is that he will be the sixth president to speak at Notre Dame and the ninth to receive an honorary degree from that formerly venerated institution. This despite the fiat from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that "…Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

No doubt Notre Dame and its leadership think that they are being courageous in honoring one who has so publicly spit in the eye of Mother Church, but it's hard to imagine why. In reality, true courage lies in opposing popular opinion in defense of principle. As Jesus explained:

If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (John 15:19)

And here is where we find that God does indeed continue to work in mysterious ways. Notre Dame and Barack Obama have combined to supply the Church with an opportunity to exercise one of its fundamental missions; to provide the faithful with a true teaching moment. Dozens of American bishops have issued statements condemning the Obama invitation and other indiscretions at Notre Dame, perhaps none more eloquently than Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska:

Permit me to add my name as well to the long list of Bishops of the Catholic Church who are utterly appalled at your dedication to immorality and wrong-doing represented by your support for the obscenity called "The Vagina Monologues" and your absolute indifference to the murderous abortion program and beliefs of this President of the United States...I can assure you of my prayers for your conversion, and for the conversion of your formerly Catholic University.

Harsh words indeed, but most welcome to the ears of faithful Catholics everywhere. Let us hope that more and more of our brethren will heed the voices of these brave bishops who understand that one's faith cannot be checked at the church door. And let us all pray together with Pope Benedict XVI who said in America last year:

Praying fervently for the coming of the Kingdom also means...rejecting a false dichotomy between faith and political life, since, as the Second Vatican Council put it, "there is no human activity -- even in secular affairs -- which can be withdrawn from God's dominion."

Lisa Fabrizio is a columnist who hails from Connecticut (

Monday, June 30, 2008

The American Episcopacy: Affable Idiots Encouraged to Apply

Richmond Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo

When did the Church institute affirmative action to encourage affable idiots in the American Episcopacy?

The Catholic Bishop of Richmond, Virginia, was given advance notice that his own charitable arm, Commonwealth Catholic Charities of Richmond, had signed consent forms and was about to help a Guatemalan girl, a foster care client of his agency, obtain an abortion. The bishop would have us believe that there was nothing that neither he, nor the Catholic Charities Executive Director could do to stop the abortion that their own staff had authorized.

The typical diocesan bishop oversees a huge network of parishes, schools, youth and seniors programs, hospitals, colleges, clinics, social welfare programs, stock and real estate portfolios, and cemeteries, and yet we are asked to believe that Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo could not intervene with his own staff to save a life. And if he is unable to intervene to save a life, what confidence should any parent have that he could/would intervene to prevent their child from being sexually molested by his clergy or staff?

If a bishop is this ineffective, how is he allowed to remain in office? How is it that no matter how grievous the moral lapses and shocking the scandal, a bishop never resigns in disgrace or is censured by his fellow bishops? Even the U. S. Congress censures errant colleagues and has expelled Members of Congress from time to time.

Is such a bishop even eligible to remain in office? The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
"Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. 'A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae' by the very commission of the offense, and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law."
Given this teaching, is the Bishop of Richmond even a Catholic in good standing?

Governor Frank Keating, who had the opportunity to see the American hierarchy close up as Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' National Review Board, likened them to the Mafia. He said:
To resist Grand Jury subpoenas, to suppress the names of offending clerics, to deny, to obfuscate, to explain away; that is the model of a criminal organization, not my Church."
And yet these same bishops have the audacity to lecture Congress on social justice issues, foreign affairs, tax and budget policy.

If the hierarchy in the United States and Rome is incapable of ridding itself of these rogues and charlatans, then American Catholics need to refuse them funding and force their resignations, as the Catholics of Boston did with Cardinal Law. The faithful have a right to holy bishops. As followers of Christ they have a responsibility to do all in their power to ensure a Church worthy of its founder.

Bishop knew of abortion plan

Told 'there was nothing he could do'

From The Washington Times

By Julia Duin

The Roman Catholic bishop of Richmond was told that a diocesan charity planned to help a teenage foster child get an abortion in January and did not try to prevent the procedure.

Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo "was told erroneously that everything was in place and there was nothing he could do to stop it," said Steve Neill, Bishop DiLorenzo's communications officer. "He is very apologetic about the whole episode.

"It is very awkward, it is very embarrassing. A human life was taken. He certainly has not taken it lightly in any way. He is clearly opposed to abortion."

Mr. Neill said the bishop was informed Jan. 17, the day before an abortion was performed on the 16-year-old Guatemalan girl, who was a foster care client of Commonwealth Catholic Charities of Richmond (CCR), a group incorporated under the diocese.

CCR Executive Director Joanne Nattrass also knew about the planned abortion, Mr. Neill said.

"The director was very upset about it and it clearly went against all she stood for as a director of Catholic Charities," he said.

After The Washington Times revealed the abortion on June 18, Ms. Nattrass released a statement on June 19 saying the incident was "contrary to basic teachings of the Catholic Church."

Federal authorities are investigating CCR because the girl was a ward of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Department of Health and Human Services. HHS had contracted with CCR to take care of the girl, whose parents are not in the country.

Ms. Nattrass wrote that neither CCR nor diocesan funds paid for the abortion but did not say who did. Federal law forbids any federal funds to be used.

Ms. Nattrass' statement also said a CCR staff member signed the consent form necessary for a minor to have an abortion, even though Virginia law mandates parental consent for anyone younger than 18.

Martin Tucker, a spokesman for the Virginia attorney general's office, would not say whether a state investigation is under way.

After HHS officials learned of the abortion, they complained about the incident on April 23 to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), a parent agency to Catholic Charities. Richmond Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo has reasserted his opposition to abortion.

Bill Etherington, an attorney for the diocese and CCR, said Bishop DiLorenzo was given bad information about whether the abortion could be prevented, but didn't elaborate as to how.

"He was told it could not be stopped," Mr. Etherington said. "It was erroneous information. He didn't have to sign off on it. He was not personally involved."

He added, without elaborating, that the underage abortion did not violate state law.

After learning of the federal investigation, Bishop DiLorenzo and two other bishops issued an April 29 letter to the nation's 350 Catholic bishops detailing the botched management decisions that led to the abortion.

"He wrote the letter with the intent that word was going to get out and they should be notified of the circumstances," Mr. Neill said.

Four CCR employees were fired over the incident, and one USCCB official who worked with its office of Migration and Refugee Services was suspended.

"They were so caught up with the plight of the young girl who already had a child," Mr. Neill said. "She was not a Catholic. She got pregnant by her boyfriend, and she was determined not to have the baby."

The unnamed girl had been implanted with a contraceptive device provided by CCR two months earlier, according to the April 29 letter. Catholic doctrine condemns deliberate abortion and the use of contraception as mortal sins. Those who obtain an abortion or help someone else to do so can be excommunicated.

In this case, it was a volunteer, not CCR staff, who drove the girl to the abortion clinic, Mr. Neill said. CCR staff will be having "ongoing formation and education" regarding church teaching on the matter, he added.

The USCCB has refused to comment. A spokeswoman said the matter was a "personnel issue."