21 February 2011

Statements Like These Weaken the Credibility of the USCCB

Before we get any funny comments to the effect of "you can't weaken zero credibility" or the like, let me explain. The USCCB has made some small strides in recent decades to regain its voice on the important moral issues facing the country. The Conference has elected more orthodox bishops to some important positions, for one. And an increasing number, though still a minority, of U.S. bishops have stood strong in matters like pro-life issues, the preservation of Catholic identity in a pluralistic society, and the sanctity of marriage.

Of course, the USCCB bureaucracy, even in the absence of competing statements from less orthodox bishops, does its best to weaken, confuse, and make impotent any statement from the conference that doesn't toe the socialist-leftist line. But, like I said, there is some progress.

Which leads me to this story. Though the new ice age, er, global warming, er, "climate change" scam has long ago been discovered and rejected by scientists not on the government dole, and most normal people to boot,
the USCCB has seen fit to revise and restate its support for destroying the middle class, trampling private property rights and otherwise making an offering to the Moloch of the State by standing by the party line on this made-up problem.

A sample:

“Protecting God’s Creation and ‘the least of these’ requires urgent, wise and bold action,” according to the policy statement. “Well-designed climate change policies can both help address climate change and protect the most vulnerable. Most comprehensive policy and legislative approaches to address climate change would generate substantial revenue by putting a price on carbon emissions. The United States bishops insist that a significant portion of these resources be used to minimize the disproportionate burdens felt by those least able to cope with the impacts of climate change and policies to address it.”

This kind of nonsense can get very discouraging to a Catholic who loves the Church and is trying to make it to Heaven. Doctrine is ignored by the sheep in part because there is no attempt to teach it, to maintain it or to defend it-- or else it is forced to take a backseat to purely political pronouncements.

I was going to chalk this one up as just one more in a long line of disappointing statements, but when I read the comments to the Catholic Culture article it motivated me to post. I post some below, not to agree or disagree with them (though just guess if I do), but to point out how Catholics view the Conference when it wades into waters like these:

--I certainly hope the bishops are going to give us an authoritative statement on the correct temperature of the earth, the correct level of activity of the sun, the correct amount of cloud cover, the correct temperature of the oceans. Without their inspired guidance, how will we know how much climate change we should allow? If the bishops are not going to provide this vital information, then I respectfully ask that they attend to their real jobs which have been woefully neglected for 50 years.

--The bishops continue to pontificate (pun intended) on political issues beyond their expertise and the faithful still wait for moral leadership.

--Great! Since we have been saving mucho $$ since we started mitigating CC in 1990, I would suggest people could use part of such savings to help the poor. That would be better than doing a Cain job on CC & its science, & in effect profligately burning one's money in the front yard & ending up in a place a lot hotter than a globally warmed world for all eternity, no less.

--Ah, yes. The science of the climate change debate is specifically addressed in both Scripture and Tradition. No? Maybe he bishops should worry about appallingly poor catechesis, and those who speak in the name of the Church in their official positions and yet deny Catholic teachings? Just a thought.

Our Church, her institutions and her mission are under increasing attack in this country. Catholics need their Bishops to lead them and to defend them. Fronting for the climate change scam is not going to make the USCCB more likely to be taken seriously when real moral issues are in play.
But is that the goal? Or is it to placate the Hindus?


Anonymous said...

You go, Timman! Pick and choose those statements of the bishops which you consider a proper exercise of their office-- and disregard, no, denigrate the rest. You gotta love the cafeteria Catholics-- both left and right.

thetimman said...

I would have been disappointed if I hadn't gotten a comment like that. Thanks for calling!

Anonymous said...

The Bishops' Conference's attention to this nonsense reveals anew what a solid and unambiguous stronghold the heterdox and harmful, vapid and graying LCWR has on the USCCB. This climate stuff is PRECISELY the LCWR agenda, amid complete silence about catechesis and Catholic education, the very reasons the vasy majority of those Congregations were founded! And of course, we can't be surprised to discover that Archbishop Tobin, new asst. in the Congregation for Religious in Rome has already parrotted his scripted, obedient response to the LCWR by speaking critically of the Sisters' Visitation. Good God, save us from this nonsense!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I completely and strenuously agree, Timman. These are head-exploding statements to me.

I guess that makes me a cafe catholique as well.

Anonymous said...

Jesus came to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.

It must be so hard to have your Republican agenda constantly challenged by our Catholic faith.

Save yourself the trouble of actually looking into why our Pope, the Vatican and the USCCB all believe in environmental issues and mankind's destruction of it, and just hyper-focus on the "scientists" that the trillion-dollar oil industry keeps hiring.

That, or just take Prozac and stick your head in the sand. We certainly wouldn't want our Catholic faith to actually challenge you today, would we?

thetimman said...

The environmental movement seems more akin to new age paganism than to "our" Catholic faith.

Of course, there is no evidence of any "climate change" that humans could do anything to stop or start. But we can use it as an excuse to redistribute wealth. Is forced wealth redistribution Christ's goal, or Marx's?

Anonymous said...

Get ready, 25 February, 2011 09:26, I'm a priest and I'm going after you here.

Whereas there is always a need for Catholics to reverence all of God's creation, there is enough evidence to suggest that recent conversations about "climate change" may have been either manipulated or misunderstood, taking the entire conversation to a level of hysteria in some circles and probable error in mosty circles. Whereas the good Catholic is never off the hook in caring for creation (hence, noted Catholic cooperation with Lady Bird Johnson's "Keep America Beautiful" campaign in the 1960s), the point is that certain Catholic entities betray their responsibilities to the Faith by often remaining silent or extremely reserved about issues central to the faith - like abortion, while they have entered the fevered fray over climate control (and other far less important and soemtimes plainly inappropriate, issues).

Furthermore, some do so in frustration of their correct mission in the Church. For example, a group like the LCWR has absolutely no business clamoring around climate control issues when the now-abandoned classrooms and nursing stations for which most of their members have a critical responsibility according to the original charism of their founders and Congregations continue with Sisters. Similarly, Catholic health care initiatives should correctly be on the front-lines of educating, preaching, demonstrating and doing everything else consistent with strenghtening the Church's anti-abortion and pro-life stands, rather than doing silly little things like encouraging retreatants at New Age retreat centers to measure their carbon footprints!

The editorial flavor of Timman's administration of this blog does not deserve criticism from any Catholic along the lines you are insinuating in your post. Indeed, my priestly advice to you is to skip the next issue of the NCR, avoid reading the next alert sent out by the LCWR, and ask any of the faculty members at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary for a good Lenten reading list.

Please pray for me - even if this post angers you - as such forwardness is not in my character, but my priesthood compels me to step forward in the face of the published nature of your incorrect insinuations. Don't like me, but dutifully follow my priestly counsel here.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Timman, there is a huge redistribution of wealth going on. And that is from the lower and middle class to the uber-wealthy. ALL statistics about who controls wealth indicate this.

After massive tax-cuts, the top .01% of America's wealthiest now own 33% of America. Isn't that enough? So now you have to bust unions to make sure the wealthiest earn even more off the backs of the poor?

It is still stunning to see how "compassion and tears" continue to flow for the wealthiest Americans who "suffer from too heavy a tax burden," while a harsh, totally un-Christian mean-ness exists for the poor.

Class warfare never starts with the poor - it always starts with the rich blaming the poor for being poor. You'd say it's their fault they're poor, right?

We know which side of the divide you stand on (the rich), and in contrast which side Jesus stood on 100% of the time!

Hey there, bud, good luck pushing your peeps through the "eye of the needle." (Oh, I forget, Repubs keep trying to tell themselves that Jesus didn't really mean that when he said that.)

Anonymous said...

Anon at 26Feb 5:47.
Father, we agree that abortion is a horrible thing.

Does that mean that we stop doing everything else to advance the Kingdom of God? Should people living in Germany under Hitler have only focused on the abortion issue? As 2.4 acres of rainforest are being destroyed per second in Brazil, should we turn our back and only picket at abortion clinics? Before abortion was even an issue, should America have allowed corporations to spew toxic chemicals into the air, creating inhumane air quality that some of us might still remember?

It saddens me to think that some think our Catholic faith challenges us simply into "either/or" conflicts, instead of "both/and." Yes, we can and should do what we can to change the minds, hearts and cultures of people considering and performing abortions.

But we become irrelevent and laughing stocks when we are single-issue anti-abortionists. Yes, let's continue to focus on that, but to be true Christians, we HAVE to also be concerned about life outside the womb, and that includes nutrition, health care and education for infants and children. It includes making the world a better place because we are a communion of people.

In the seminary, we were challenged to wonder if we go before the gates of heaven as individuals, or as communities.

America's culture focuses on rugged individualism (the exact reasoning giving to allow abortions in the first place), versus our Catholic belief that we live, and die, as a community of people, both unborn and born.

Anonymous said...

Today's news: "St. Louis ranks eighth on the list for its level of haloacetic acids, a known carcinogen that can be found in waste water from chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing processes and industrial cooling water." [From the liberal media, the STL Business Journal]

The article continues and says "[Timman] strongly denied that mankind and its factories had anything to do with this bogus claim, saying that God Himself must have put this cancer stuff there. He went on to claim that this scam was a blatant attempt by liberal, socialistic, one-world trilateral communistic statist thugs trying to stop corporations from making as much profit as possible, and any laws to curtail their damage to the children of the community tramples on the rights of corporations to make obscene profits."

thetimman said...

Ohhhhhh, NOW I'm convinced!

Anonymous said...

This is "Father" returning your insightful volley. I think we are in basic agreement in many ways; I also worry with you about the public image of the Church and her damaged ability to insert credible teachings into society today about ALL of the heresies of our age.

However, the notion that the Church is or has ever been a "single issue anti-abortionist" activist is simply not true in any way. The notion is a lie created by the pro-abortionists to muzzle the Church's voice in this national debate. I don't know a single lay Catholic, priest or member of the hierarchy at any level who would classify abortion (or any other issue) as the only issue about which the Church is concerned. Do you truly know any such people? I repeat: I don't know one, and I'm an old man now, having given my entire life to the Church. Therefore, I have been rubbing elbows with her leaders and congregants for decades. Nor has the Church ever abandoned other issues/campaigns in order to work against abortion or any other evil. All of the Church's projects have steadily continued throughout the decades-long activism for life. As you know, there are public records available for each year of the Church's accounts and none of them reveal an embargo on other projects in order to defend life. Catholic Charities, services to the elderly and the handicapped, peace and justice initiatives at dioceasna as well as aprish levesl, youth ministries, etc. We can all name the MANY projcts and issues the Chuch continues to support throughout the lifetime of the anti-abortion movement.

What we do maintain, however is a proper hierarchy of values and we consistently place pro-life/anti-abortion initiatives very near the top of that list. As St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us in his sermons on the Three Greatest Prayers, one of the 5 reasons the "Our Father" is the most excellent prayer is that it teaches us God's hierarchy of values (i.e. "...Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven....")

My original post was not critical of Church support for environmental issues (although I admit to including a comment emanating from my personal suspicions against the the so-called "climate change crisis"). My comments were about the incorrect herarchy of values to which many of the climate-change worriers subscribe and to respond to your dismissal of Timman's corresponding comments. To quote from my earlier post,"Whereas the good Catholic is never off the hook in caring for creation (hence, noted Catholic cooperation with Lady Bird Johnson's "Keep America Beautiful" campaign in the 1960s), the point is that certain Catholic entities betray their responsibilities to the Faith by often remaining silent or extremely reserved about issues central to the faith - like abortion, while they have entered the fevered fray over climate control (and other far less important and sometimes plainly inappropriate, issues). Furthermore, some do so in frustration of their correct mission in the Church.

That's my clarification. Friends?
Signed: Father

Anonymous said...

I think Father's intervention above is important. I never before realized how thoroughly untrue the expression "single issue" is when used to describe Catholic Church support for the pro-life movement. Pro-life is not the only issue engaging Church action, nor has it ever been, nor has any particular issue ever answered to that description!

On the other hand, there is, as Father shows the Angelic Doctor teaching, a hierarchy of values, and whereas the defense of unborn life isn't the Church's only issue, it is the Church's most important public issue. A very helpful clarification; it was so simple, so why hadn't we heard this before?

Anonymous said...

It always gets simple and clear once we turn to St. Thomas Aq. for an explanation and there's someone around trained to interpret him for us. What baffles me is why we wait so long before consulting this doctor of the Church.