11 February 2012

Necessary Second Steps Should the "Catholic" Dupes and Fellow Travelers Insist on Undermining the Bishops

Phil Lawler, writing at CatholicCulture.org, makes the following excellent observation in the wake of the fawning capitulation of the President of Catholic Charities USA (a priest, no less) to the "compromise" that wasn't:

So here’s where we stand: Within hours of President Obama’s announcement, without waiting for guidance from the US bishops, the heads of the Catholic Health Association and Catholic Charities USA—two of the largest Church-related employers in the country—have announced that they are now satisfied with the plan. Their defection will make it all the more difficult for the bishops to hold the line in defense of religious freedom. 

 There is a solution ready at hand, however. The US bishops could announce that, No, Catholic Charities USA will not provide healthcare under the terms of the HHS mandate—or it will cease to be called “Catholic.” (It would be a small loss; Catholic Charities USA today is mostly a conduit for government funds, carrying out government contracts.) And No, the Catholic Health Association will not accept the Obama “accommodation,” or else its member institutions will cease to be known as “Catholic” hospitals. 

Then the institutions that truly want to be known as Catholic, and want to live in accordance with Church teachings, could fight this political battle on their own. Their numbers would be diminished, but they would be buoyed by the knowledge that they all really were fighting on the same side.

Good points, but there are more steps that need to be taken.  Any Catholic who leads or serves on the Board of any organization that defies the Bishops on the contraception mandate must be excommunicated.   Because it isn't just the "entities" that cease to be Catholic.  Those who run them make the decisions and must face the logical consequences of their actions.

Next, any "Catholic" politician who supports abortion or the contraception mandate must, within short time after any private remonstrance, be canonically disciplined and publicly warned not to receive Holy Communion until they publicly repent of this position.  Then, the Bishops must make it known that if they receive in spite of this warning, both the recipient and the knowing distributor of Holy Communion will be excommunicated.  The spirit of aggiornamento has brought the enemy within the gates, even to the keep.  If we won't mount a defense now, what is the point? 

The bishops must be uniform and firm on these issues to have any hope of success.  The only tools the Church has worth any salt are spiritual tools.  Either the Church's stout defense will win the day or else at least the lines are clearly drawn, so that persecution may be more hopefully endured.


Hootiecootie said...

Thank you so very much for all of the time and effort you put into keeping people informed with these important issues. Eloquently and frankly stated.

May God reward you and your family abundantly for the sacrifice.

Peggy IL said...


If you know about administrative law/rulemakings, you'll get this. The Federal Register Friday published the Aug 2011 rules, with none of the allowances, especially discussed by O today. The rules are final as approved Aug 2011. What was happening was the USCCB's last ditch effort to stop the publication of these rules. So, Jan 20, the Admin announced it would not budge from the Aug 2011 final rules. A new rulemaking proceeding must be opened to change the rules. Or, the USCCB et al must appeal them in federal court. (This happens often w/utility regulations, but never of course with such moral implications.) This publicatoin late Fri may explain the hard statement by USCCB later in the day. See this at NRO:


Fenian said...

Where have the majority of clergy been on this issue for years? Contraception is rarely discussed in the average church and Catholics who use contraception are not explicitly instructed to not present themselves for Communion. The clergy would be more authoritative on the issue if they hadn't dropped the ball decades ago. This is a start, but there is a lot to make up for.

Cathy D said...


You are absolutely right. The average Catholic in the pew couldn't care less about this issue. They just want to get their (now) free contraceptives.

The bishops have failed by not making this an issue in church on Sunday for the last 40 years. Homilies have been watered down to make them "pastoral" to the point where they don't teach anything beyond "God loves you".

Elizabeth Shearer said...

I feel that to do such a thing as you are proposing, the USCCB would have to back peddle on decades of inaction and turning a blind eye to those who very openly dissent on Church teaching in this manner. It would be a welcome blessing to have a much smaller, but holier Church in America. But who knows what the future holds. It's just up to the rest of us to pray without ceasing...and to act. Please Lord give us the grace and courage to stand up to this tyranny.

Anonymous said...

Your plan sounds excellent until you get to the point of absolute impossibility: getting the bishops to act in unison. Forget it!