ONCE TO EVERY MAN AND NATION

Friday, June 22nd, 2012 | Uncategorized

Jim Naughton’s joint takes note of the US Catholic Church’s latest initiative:

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has called on Catholics throughout the country to observe a “Fortnight for Freedom,” beginning today and running through July 4, to protest the Obama administration’s health care policies.

This is how the USCCB describes Fortnight of Freedom.

The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.

Here’s the obligatory bit that all stories like this are legally obligated to contain about how sharply divided the Roman Catholic Church is over this issue.

Marion McCartney, who attends the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Washington, D.C., opposes the bishops’ campaign. She’s part of a group, Blessed Sacrament Families United in Faith and Action, that wrote a letter to its pastor, saying the partisan nature of the campaign is “a step too far.”

“Nobody’s religious freedom is at stake. That’s just ridiculous!” McCartney says. Is “[Health and Human Services Secretary] Kathleen Sebelius going to come and close all the church doors? I mean, it’s just foolishness.”

Can you say “Episcopalians in Catholic drag?”  Knew you could.

Another member of that group is Jim Zogby, who has worked on human-rights issues overseas. He says the U.S. bishops were spoiling for a fight over social issues with the Obama administration.

“They declared war on the administration, and we the faithful are paying the price for it,” Zogby says. “Our religious freedom, our ability to simply go to church, worship, feel a community, feel safe in that community” has been compromised.

“We’re now being put in the middle of a partisan fight, and that’s wrong.”

It’s easy to see what’s at work here.  To liberal Catholics, as to all leftist Christians, Catholic bishops are “partisan” or “political” when they take a stand on an issue with which the left strongly disagrees(i. e., birth control and abortion).  When they back a cause the left strongly supports, the bishops are acting “pastoral” and truly Christian and doing what God called them to do and stuff.

His wife, Eileen, says Blessed Sacrament, with its mix of liberals and conservatives, has always put politics aside. Not now. At a recent parish meeting about religious freedom, people began attacking President Obama, she says, getting more and more heated.

“Until finally one person leaned forward and he said, ‘Well, I have seen cars in our parking lot with Obama stickers on them, and they are complicit in all of this.’ And I thought, ‘Well I guess I’m not welcome here, because I have an Obama sticker on my car.’ “

If you’ve got an Obama sticker on your car, lady, I have one piece of advice.  Get thee to a Eucharistic Adoration.  Can’t hurt.  Also, the sex abuse scandal.  And nuns are cool now so stop beating up nuns!!

University of Notre Dame historian Scott Appleby says the bishops have lost credibility with many Catholics. There is a valid concern about the health care law, he says, but many Catholics aren’t listening because they’re unhappy about the sex abuse crisis and the Vatican’s investigation of a group of nuns called the Catholic Sisters of America. 

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch wants to know who’s bankrolling all this.

But while Catholic leaders frame the events as a fight for religious liberty, critics see signs of political partisanship and electioneering.

And questions over the financing of the bishops’ campaign have caused those suspicions to multiply.

“The activities around the Fortnight for Freedom cost money,” said Steve Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington. “What groups are paying for this, and what’s the accountability for that money?”

Those kinds of questions were asked of key Catholic leaders like Baltimore Archbishop William Lori last week as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Atlanta.

Lori, who heads the bishops’ committee on religious liberty, told reporters that gifts “from Catholic groups and foundations” would help sustain the campaign.

“The generosity we’ve experienced has been heartening,” he said.

The campaign, Lori said, “is not in any way partisan, either in its spirit or in its funding.”

Maybe the Koch brothers are backing it.  Speaking of whom, Richard Mellon Scaife has got to be seriously bent right about now.  He probably lies awake at night thinking, “For crying out loud, I’ve been around forever while nobody heard of these Koch guys just a few years ago!   What does a guy have to frickin’ do to get a national rep as a rich, evil, right-winger intent on achieving world domination?!”

But while we’re on the subject of fiscal transparency, did any of you guys ever hear whether or not the Episcopal Organization had ever revealed how much money it had spent and will spend on its various lawsuits against fellow Christians and where that money was coming from?  Let me know in the comments; I’d really appreciate it.

41 Comments to ONCE TO EVERY MAN AND NATION

LaVallette
June 22, 2012

“They declared war on the administration, and we the faithful are paying the price for it,” Zogby says. “Our religious freedom, our ability to simply go to church, worship, feel a community, feel safe in that community” has been compromised.”

Pray tell who is challenging Zogby’s religious freedom etc? It was the Obummer who declared war on the Freedom of the Church to practice its religion, and not vice versa. To state otherwise is a calumny, and an offence against the 8th Commandment and the Holy Spirit.

Besides the entire point as put demonstrates that this gripe is the old Freedom of WORSHIP (for an hour or so on Sunday) as against the Constitutional mandate of Freedom to PRACTICE your religion 24/7.

“University of Notre Dame historian Scott Appleby says the bishops have lost credibility with many Catholics. There is a valid concern about the health care law, he says, but many Catholics aren’t listening because they’re unhappy about the sex abuse crisis and the Vatican’s investigation of a group of nuns called the Catholic Sisters of America.”

Two elements here: The Pharasical “we are not like those other men who are sinners” which contradicts how the Catholic Church defines itself. The rest is the usual Progressive dissident claim that “the heroes and saints of the church are those who challenge the Magisterium”

““The activities around the Fortnight for Freedom cost money,” said Steve Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington. “What groups are paying for this, and what’s the accountability for that money?”

This obviously follows from the undoubted “fact” that are no Catholics left who support their Bishops and therefore the funds MUST be come from some other nefarious political sources outside the Church. No need to even ask the question of the bishops first, becasue they would obviously lie to cover their behinds and those of their “sponsors”. But the finger pointers always “know better”. Ask the question in reverse and you are accused of interference and lacking in charity for even raising the question: e.g. Catholics for Free Choice, other dissident organizations including the “Leadership Conference of Women Religious, LCWR), Womenpriests, the Nuns on the Bus, (so outrageously politically partisan, disguised as concern for the poor) etc. In any case even if the Bishops prove beyonf doubdt that their financial support clean the hypocrites’s next the call will be that “the money should be used to help the poor.”

The OBUMMER and his Administration is responsible for this fight against the Church not the other way. So what do these people expect that the Church should do, kick the dog? Or that it should meekly submit to the Obummer ukase and compromise its beliefs and moral principle at the behest of of the State. That has NEVER and WILL NEVER be the way of the Catholic Church.Its Canon of Saints and Martyrs is replete with examples of those who stood up for the principles of the Church against the forces of the State.

Of serious concern to ALL Americans and not just the Catholics is the ease with which this Administration is so willing to ignore the consitution to achieve its poltical ends. Are they prepared to surrender their Freedom, to a self interested megalomanic? This President is breaking his oath to uphold the consitution and the Laws of the USA and should therefore be impeached.

The call therefore is to ALL AMERICANS who value their freedoms.

[...] Go here to Midwest Conservative Journal to read the brilliant rest. Ah, Vichy Catholics, when it comes to chosing between their Church and the Obama administration, it isn’t even close. Tagged Christopher Johnson, Fortnight For Freedom, HHS Mandate, Liberal Catholics, Midwest Conservative Journal, Vichy Catholics [...]

Mary De Voe
June 22, 2012

They were eating and drinking, marrying and being married up until the flood came.

Mary De Voe
June 22, 2012

“Here’s the obligatory bit that all stories like this are legally obligated to contain about how sharply divided the Roman Catholic Church is over this issue.”
Dissidents, renegades and self-excommunicated individuals are divided from the Roman Catholic Church. The Body of Christ in Truth is whole. Individuals leave the Roman Catholic Church when they espouse heresy and they are free to commit self-excommunication by not adhering to the TRUTH.

PNP, OP
June 22, 2012

The day the US Catholic bishops look to the Episcopal Organization for moral guidance is the day I turn to Michael Moore for dieting advice.

Fr. Philip Neri, OP

Katherine
June 22, 2012

Heh. The third comment at Naughton’s site says that Catholics who put money on the offering plate (well, basket) are enabling the bishops’ actions. If this is an Episcopalian who is outraged by (former) Episcopalians doing the same, the irony is thick.

Fuinseoig
June 22, 2012

“the Vatican’s investigation of a group of nuns called the Catholic Sisters of America”

Either the reporter or the Notre Dame historian are confused (and I’m not going to bet which one it is) because I thought the Vatican was lashing out at, cracking down on, and generally getting the racks and thumbscrews in good order for their inquisition of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

Now, maybe this is a completely different group of women religious in the United States that the Vatican is grinding under its jackboot, or maybe the reporter thought that when the historian was talking about “the Catholic sisters of America” (meaning all the nuns who had ever been in America), the reporter thought it was another group and capitalised them into Catholic Sisters Of America.

Whichever way it was, if this is the level of accuracy in the story, well…

:-)

gppp
June 22, 2012

Jimmy’s still throwing his own huge hissyfit. He was shown the door personally by the Archbishop of Washington years ago (1980s I think) because of his inordinate coziness with perverts.

Hasn’t quieted down any, has he?

Chris
June 22, 2012

The problem though is the Catholic hierarchy can’t help but mention illegal immigration.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/religious-liberty-is-not-optional/2012/06/21/gJQAekuMtV_blog.html

The Alabama law follows the Federal law with regards to harboring illegals. And we can see how the Feds are shutting down churches left and right.

You can’t protest one violation of the law (HHS) and then fully support law breaking (Obama’s amnesty) when you like it. So excuse me if I find this Catholic theater to be less about principle and more about Catholic political power.

Daniel Muller
June 22, 2012

“The activities around the Fortnight for Freedom cost money,” said Steve Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington. “What groups are paying for this, and what’s the accountability for that money?”

Well, Stevie, the bishops are paying your salary, and what is the accountability for that money?”

Jacob Morgan
June 22, 2012

The Bishops don’t like some immigration laws, but they aren’t suing over it or holding fortnight events over it. I don’t see what either has to do with power. The Catholic Church is world wide and they’d be “over” them if they were here or in Mexico. And if they had gone along with the “compromise” from HHS they could have spun it as a win. Fighting it outright means they could clearly lose.

Regarding the Catholics in the story, if they had lived in years past, wonder how many would have had a “Catholics for Nero” sticker on their chariot.

Paula Loughlin
June 22, 2012

The press is telling people that this is a “Catholic” issue, giving the impression it is about the big mean Church keeping the downtrodden frail sisters enthralled to the brutality of jabbering slack jawed yokels intent on fielding an entire baseball team from the womb of their victims.

They have no interest in mentioning such news as the LCMS’s support. The letter can be found here and is signed by several religious leaders.

http://www.lcms.org/president

Katherine
June 22, 2012

Chris, I think Bishop Lori is misinterpreting the Alabama law. I don’t remember the specifics, but I think I remember hearing that giving food and a ride to church are not offenses under the law. If they were, it would be objectionable.

Kathy C
June 22, 2012

Chris,

Often it’s not possible to be politically consistent and still do your Catholic duty (not that the Bishops are really good at that anyway.) The law is weighed against the moral obligation, and the moral obligation, as it is perceived, is the decider. The immigration issue is complicated by the necessary preferential option for the poor. If support for illegal immigration is the only or the best option being offered for those immigrants, then the bishops will feel obligated to support that regardless of how they personally feel about the legal principles.

There is no contradiction between the two issues. If the bishops respect the Magisterium’s prohibition of contraception, they will fight to keep from being forced to support contraception. The assumed right of someone to contraception is not injured by this. Any woman can go to any drug store to get cheap contraception. They can go to any women’s clinic and get a prescription on the cheap. Women without insurance do it all the time. Birth control is cheap. We’re not trying to make birth control impossible or illegal. We just don’t want to be forced to promote it or pay for it.

Katherine
June 22, 2012

Kathy C, I think you’re giving Catholic bishops too much of a break on illegal immigration advocacy. Catholic officials have consistently and for decades lectured the American public on the moral necessity, in their view, of rescinding all immigration control laws and allowing anyone and everyone to come here without restriction. In doing so they have not demonstrated that the Hispanic immigrants are starving at home, which would be something in favor of a moral imperative. The two issues (the HHS mandate and illegal immigration) are not on the same moral plane. In the case of bishops applauding the INS new policy as pronounced by Obama and Napolitano, they are applauding an order to make law in the executive branch, bypassing the Congress. In the HHS mandate, they are protesting a regulation which, unless the law is struck down, the HHS Secretary was unfortunately given the authority to promulgate. I do not believe the HHS Secretary should be allowed to get away with violating the first amendment by regulation, and I do not think it is healthy for the country for the president and INS to refuse to execute laws as passed.

It is good that the Catholic bishops are insisting on their first amendment rights in the HHS case, and it is good that members of other churches are supporting them. It is not so good that the bishops applaud what is a deliberately illegal route to another policy they favor.

Paula Loughlin
June 22, 2012

“in their view, of rescinding all immigration control laws and allowing anyone and everyone to come here without restriction.”

THey have never done so.

Katherine
June 22, 2012

Paula, individual bishops certainly have, and the council consistently argues that illegals should be legalized without restriction, I suppose unless they’re violent criminals. So while we can’t point to a grand statement from the Catholic bishops as a whole, that is the effect of their advocacy over many years.

Katherine
June 22, 2012

The point which the faithful Catholics at places like National Review make, and they are correct, is that the two issues are on a different plane. Abortion and euthanasia are called sins, and opposition to them is non-negotiable. The bishops’ positions on issues like immigration control are advisory and not a matter of required faith for Catholics.

Paula Loughlin
June 22, 2012

Katherine, I don’t want to take the discussion too far off topic, so I am providing a link to the USCCB’s statement on Immigration reform and people may form their own opinion of the Bishops’ Statement.

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/churchteachingonimmigrationreform.cfm

Dan
June 22, 2012

The biblical mandate to welcome the stranger is pretty clear, and incontrovertible. So the bishops protest a law which they see as trying to prevent the Church and Her members from performing their moral duty.

The biblical mandate to refrain from material co-operation in sexual sin is clear and incontrovertible. So the bishops protest a law which they see as an attempt to coerce the Church and Her members into participation in sinful behavior.

I don’t see an inconsistency. If you think that the problem of illegal immigration is so severe that it’s okay to force the Church to violate Her own moral imperative, there are plenty on the other side that think that overpopulation and unintended pregnancy are far more serious problems.

A Catholic can certainly disagree with the Bishops on their political positions. I have and I occasionally do. Just don’t confuse them with the very real issue that some people, both left and right, demand that the Church sin, that She change her teachings (on abortion, or illegal immigration, or torture), or that at the least She just shut the hell up.

The first is legitimate. The rest are both illegitimate, and impractical, because it won’t work.

Katherine
June 22, 2012

Thank you for the link, Paula. The upshot of the statement is that the bishops support, essentially, the Democratic version of the “DREAM Act,” a position with which I disagree.

I emphatically do not disagree with, and strongly support, their protest of the HHS rule which would prevent them from feeding the poor and healing the sick because they will not be complicit in acts they know are sinful.

Katherine
June 22, 2012

And my argument on immigration is not even on the details of the Democratic, Romney, or any other immigration policy proposals. The point is that the proper place to change current policy is in the Congress. If the law is not good, let us change it using the processes which our constitutional system provides.

Katherine
June 22, 2012

For the statement on Obama’s action, here:

The U.S. bishops’ conference offered its praise for a June 15 presidential order halting the deportation of younger immigrants who would have been eligible for benefits of the proposed DREAM Act.

Chris
June 22, 2012

Katherine, I agree he is misinterpreting the law, but several other Catholics state the same thing.

Kathy, as Katherine pointed out, the Catholic hierarchy in this country has a long history of actively supporting illegal immigration. Since the immigration laws of this country are far from immoral, I believe they are violating God’s call that we should be in submission to secular authorities and follow their laws.(Romans 13:1-7) Doing anything else brings disrepute on Christians. They are welcome to work through the legal system to get the laws changed, but they shouldn’t be encouraging lawbreaking.

Kathy C
June 22, 2012

You’re probably right Katherine. But like I said, the bishops really aren’t that good at this kind of stuff. I do believe that they were acting on the principle I stated, but mostly being good progressives, they were likely blinding themselves to the parts of the equation you were talking about. I just really hate to see this present action pooh-poohed based on immigration. Immigration can be legitimately debated from different points of view. Contraception cannot.

Maureen
June 22, 2012

It was very instructive this year to see the younger bishops, at the annual USCCB meeting, talking about how X and Y are really stuff for the laity to decide, and how the bishops shouldn’t overreach their teaching authority in matters of prudence where there are different legitimate opinions (like finance).

Maureen
June 22, 2012

Re: Mellon, it’s because other Mellons are on the PC giving side, but discourage people saying bad stuff about family members.

Jeffersonian
June 22, 2012

I did a search for this “Blessed Sacrament Families United in Faith and Action” outfit. It’s quite interesting. It’s pretty clearly a prog cabal within The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament parish, whose website states the “Our views and actions on issues of social and economic justice, war and peace, and the dignity of all peoples have been in great measure determined by our life in this faith community.” Anyone who’s spent a decade or more listening to Piskie-speak can translate that into crystal-clear English.

So, in a sense, this is a group of left-wing Democrats that has set itself up as such within the parish, opposes Catholic doctrine on contraception (and likely abortion), yet is shocked to find the Church – and even some within the parish! – actually taking a firm position on long-standing Catholic doctrine that is at odds with their LibCat politics.

Am I missing something?

Katherine
June 22, 2012

Maureen, that is encouraging.

Daniel Muller
June 22, 2012

We are a group of thirty parishioners at The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Washington, DC. Our group, formed into a small faith community in the 1960s, has been active in and deeply committed to our parish for all the intervening years.

Polyester pantsuit laity?

WannabeAnglican
June 22, 2012

If the Diocese of Corpus Christi is divided, you wouldn’t know it from last night. The Cathedral was close to packed . . . on a weekday even:
http://wannabeanglican.blogspot.com/2012/06/0-false-18-pt-18-pt-0-0-false-false.html

Thomas
June 22, 2012

I googled Blessed Sacrament Families United in Faith and Action. They have a blogspot. http://familiesunitedinfaith.blogspot.com/

It appears it started up June 19, 2012. Nice timing.

Dan
June 22, 2012

Hmmmm. I imagine to a lot of Episcopalians, 30 sounds like a big number. But 30 out of how many parishoners?
According to this: http://www.blessedsacramentdc.org/about-us/the-basics/fast-facts/ the parish boasts a membership of almost 9,500. That’s large, but not absurdly large for a Catholic Parish in a large city.
So 30 people equals about 0.03%. There are almost as many sodalities, Legion of Mary groups and pregnancy aid organizations within the parish as there are members of this group. Indeed, the phone list in the back of the parish handbook lists over 100 contacts for all of the various ministries, apostolates, and lay organizations in the parish.

Sounds like someone called a friend at NPR and got the message they wanted delivered.

Martial Artist
June 22, 2012

@Fuinseoig,

Your understanding is absolutely correct, the consultation, headed by my Archbishop in Seattle, is with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), not with any group known as the Catholic Sisters of America, however that might, or might not, be capitalized. According to this website the latter group is a traveling exhibit (the full title is Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America) sponsored by the LCWR, presumably engaged in a propaganda tour likely designed to divert attention from the heterodoxy of the Conference by focusing on all the corporal works of mercy performed by nuns in the U.S. over its history.

The spokespersons for the CDF and its consultation have repeatedly made it clear that it is the leadership group, i.e., the LCWR, whose orthodoxy and faithfulness is at issue.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

FW Ken
June 22, 2012

If you Google Alabama immigration law , you get a fair assortment of articles discussion the law, it’s impact, and also the text of the law., which I read.

From my reading, it’s quite possible to see the bishop’s concerns that the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy would subject churches to being unable to serve needy people. There is also language in the law that seems to function as exclusionary of charitable work.

By the way, the bishops in the story were originally the Catholic, Methodist, and Episcopalian bishops of Alabama.

Don Janousek
June 23, 2012

I really like the term “Vichy Catholics” someone used earlier in this thread.

Notice how none of these Vichyites used the words “abortion” or “contraception” in discussing the Kenyan’s health care plan or the opposition to it.

“Hey, I gots an Obama bumper sticker on my Volvo. So…huh…huh? Whatcha gonna do about it? Huh?”

Somehow they missed interviewing someone from “Catholics for Free Choice,” the ultimate group of Marshall Petain followers among Vichy Catholics.

Sacre bleu!

FW Ken
June 23, 2012

I finally realized something last night:

My views are prophetic.
Your views are partisan politics.

Bad bad you!

:-)

And that is my Guide to the Media and the Bishops

Laura R.
June 23, 2012

“The activities around the Fortnight for Freedom cost money,” said Steve Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington. “What groups are paying for this, and what’s the accountability for that money?”

Well, let’s see — my parish is going to have a Religious Freedom Holy Hour after 5:30 pm Mass and Evening Prayer on Monday. I guess we’ll have to find some big donor to fund it …

FW Ken
June 23, 2012

Laura, you big spender. we are incorporating the talks into the existing Wednesday night Mass and Holy Hour.

Daniel Muller
June 24, 2012

Laura, you big spender.

We will be having all-night adoration in conjunction with Ss. Peter and Paul. We are going green instead of spending on daylight utilities, ha!

FW Ken
June 24, 2012

At least we know who is funding the anti-religious freedom campaign:

http://www.catholicvote.org/discuss/index.php?show=papist

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