***The Scandal Continues: As if it weren’t bad enough for bishops to enable the abuse of children, now a bishop is a party to the ultimate abuse, murder of a preborn baby. The case in Richmond involved staff of Commonwealth Catholic Charities (CCC) scheduling a minor for an abortion in January and signing the consent form. They also had the teen fitted with an IUD several months earlier. Both incidents, not only violate Church teaching, but Catholics who assisted in the abortion incurred an automatic excommunication. What is most horrifying about this situation is that Bishop Francis DiLorenzo knew about the abortion the day before and did nothing to stop it. A memo from Vicar General Fr. Thomas Shreve reads, “Both he [the bishop] and the Director [of Catholic Charities] were incorrectly informed that the procedure could not be stopped or prevented.” Nonsense! Is the bishop a mouse? Can anyone doubt that a call to the abortion mill would have stopped the murder? According to news reports the Planned Parenthood facility told them it was a done deal that couldn’t be prevented. How about a call to the police that the parental consent was fraudulent? But the bishop let the evil occur, and then it was business as usual in the cover-up department. Bishop DiLorenzo only fessed up after HHS (Health and Human Services) who were responsible for the Guatemalan teenager, complained to the USCCB on April 23rd. The cat was out of the bag and the diocese moved into damage control mode alerting the bishops about the “tragic” mistake. The story continues to develop with the bishop more and more exonerated in each iteration. What about the famous “Child Protection Policy?” It was no help to this unfortunate child and her baby, illustrating once again that it was never about protecting the children in the first place. [Is silent consent to an abortion a cause for excommunication? See our website e-letter archives on Bishop DiLorenzo.]
***Heads are rolling, but whose? According to news reports the employees involved in the “unfor-tunate event” (so designated by the Director of Catholic Charities, Joanne Nattrass) have received “disciplinary action” (Four were fired.) and CCC is initiating “ongoing education and training” for all employees. [Huh? Employees were never told abortion is verboten?] And what about Ms. Nattrass? If employees were never instructed to follow Catholic teaching she should be fired as well? In the end, however, Bishop DiLorenzo must answer for what happens in his diocese. After the murder of this poor baby with his consent by silence, he should be removed immediately. Interestingly, in late June two of the bishop’s top advisors, Fr. Shreve and Fr. Mark Lane, head of the Child Protection Office, received papal honors. Were the awards a payoff for helping with the cover-up? Ask the bishop. [The Richmond Diocese will pull out all the stops to get a last minute reprieve for a serial killer on death row, but they couldn’t lift a finger to save an innocent Guatemalan baby? No wonder the U.S. Church is in trouble.]
***How could it happen? That’s easy to explain. The bishops teach by example that killing children is no big deal. Pro-abortion Catholic politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy receive Communion at public events with nary an eyebrow raised. Bishops and cardinals treat them and their cronies with fawning deference. Diocesan newspapers feature gushing articles on high-profile Catholics known for their dissent. Is it any wonder a recent Pew survey found Catholics more pro-abortion than evangelicals, Mormons, and Muslims? Most Catholics, including bishops, don’t stand for anything. [Not quite true….They stand to show their respect for the high and mighty who get places of honor at the table.]
***Speaking of High Profile Catholics, The Arlington Herald ran a Catholic News Service article in the May 29 – June 4 issue titled “Author Anne Rice regains her faith.” Unfortunately, that’s not quite true. Rice, author of a series of vampire novels, who gave up her garlic (and pornography and erotica) to write about Jesus, calls herself pro-life but supports contraception, women’s ordination, and gay marriage. She endorsed Hillary for President (with Obama for VP) in an impassioned video on YouTube (no longer available). Rice has not, in fact, “regained her faith;” she denies essential elements of it. She returned to the Church as a cafeteria Catholic who rejects central teachings and publicly advocates heresy. In an email exchange with Les Femmes she labeled Humanae Vitae a “tragic decision” and defended contraception, specifically the Pill, despite a description of its abortifacient action. That’s pro-life?
Rice is no doubt a charming and sincere person and we’re relieved she no longer pens porn, but she thinks being Catholic means whatever she says it means. She also says she attends daily Mass and prays the rosary, but her public dissent is a serious scandal that threatens her soul. When Catholic papers present heretics and dissenters as model Catholics, they scandalize as well. St. Paul makes it crystal clear that one can receive the Eucharist “to his condemnation.” Pray for Anne Rice’s true return to the faith and for The Arlington Herald not to perpetrate the scandal of cafeteria Catholicism.***And then there’s St. Tim Russert… Dying suddenly apparently confers sainthood. Not only did The Catholic Standard in D.C. dedicate most of an issue to eulogizing Meet the Press host Russert, but they’ve started a memorial fund in his honor. [Never miss an opportunity to make a buck on the name of a high-profile nominal Catholic.] Russert, in fact, was a liberal Democrat who worked for both Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Mario Cuomo and pushed both to embrace abortion (“I’m personally opposed, but…”) as a strategy for electoral success. There is no evidence Russert ever publicly repudiated his scandalous actions. Pro-abort politicians Senator Jim Webb and Governor Tim Kaine both give Russert credit for boosting their campaigns on Meet the Press and helping them win in Virginia. Tom Roeser evaluated Russert’s career in an article in the July 3rd issue of The Wanderer. It’s worth reading and can be viewed at thewandererpress.com. Pray for Tim Russert’s soul. Dying suddenly without the chance to get one’s spiritual house in order is no blessing. Lord, preserve us from an unprovided death.
***Speaking of sudden deaths, former state senator Joe Gartlan died on July 18th following a brief illness. Gartlan (82) was eulogized in the Catholic Herald as a “pro-life Democrat” who worked for the “weakest members of society.” Fellow “Catholic” dem VA Gov. Tim Kaine, who supports contraception and same-sex marriage, called him “a true statesman.” Another liberal called him “an outstanding Catholic layperson and champion of the poorest among us.” Gartlan was a champion all right – of big government and the nanny state. As for being pro-life, Gartlan, like Jesse Jackson, Ted Kennedy, and other liberal democrats before him, traded his pro-life credentials for democratic ones. He fought for contraceptive/pro-abortion sex ed in the schools even voting against the right of local school districts to omit contraception from the curriculum.
Gartlan was a parent’s worst nightmare. He fought to defeat a parental rights amendment in VA saying if parents directed the education and upbringing of their children it would, "throw into a tailspin society's reasonable efforts to protect against abuse and neglect." [Another liberal who believed parents are the worst enemy of their own children.] He also voted against parental notification before a minor’s abortion, or when school officials suspect a child of drug or alcohol abuse, or when a child tested positive for the HIV/AIDS virus. Joe consistently voted to keep parents out of major decisions affecting their minor children’s health. He voted against parents having the right to preview sex ed materials and against locally-elected school boards which give parents more control. Gartlan endorsed radically pro-abortion Dems including Toddy Puller, his replacement, and Mark Warner who supports partial-birth infanticide. Pray for Joe; he was no friend of the family, but he cared deeply about the Chesapeake Bay.
***Do Words Mean Anything? Apparently not much when those who spout heresy and work to advance positions opposed to Church teaching are presented as model Catholics. When word meanings are distorted, it creates confusion. Here’s another local example. We wrote to Bishop Loverde recently about a parish “mission” at Good Shepherd featuring Jason and Kim Kotecki. Jason is a cartoonist who pens Kim and Jason about two little kids. The theme of the “mission” was "Escape Adulthood." The "enemy," according to the Koteckis, is "adultitis” – not sin, or alienation from God, or selfishness. We all just need to be little kids having more fun. [Huh?...in a culture that spends more time and money on entertainment than any culture since the first-century Roman circus?]
Chancellor Mark Herrmann, responded to our concerns dismissively. “You do not appear to express any reserva-tions with regard to the orthodoxy of Mr. or Mrs. Kotecki, or of their presentation…, but instead raise issues of style and semantics.” What a mystifying statement! Lawyers presumably scrutinize “semantics” to ensure the legality of contracts. Today many use “semantics” to undermine truth. Abortion is choice not murder, sodomy is love not perversion, food and water are medicine not ordinary care, the Mass is a meal not a sacrifice. Calling an amusing talk a “parish mission” trivializes a true mission focused on intense prayer and renewal. When a church known for dissent distorts the idea of “mission,” it is certainly not “just semantics.” People learn through language. The people of Good Shepherd now know that a parish “mission” is not about prayer, the sacraments, and fostering a more adult relationship with God. No, it’s about getting rid of “adultitis.” It would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic.