Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Divine Paradox

"Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth, the blessed sacrament. There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity and the true way of all your loves on earth. And more than that, death. For the divine paradox, that which ends life and demands the surrender of all, and yet by the taste or foretaste of which alone, can what you seek in your earthly relationships: love, faithfulness, joy, be maintained or take on that complexion of reality of eternal endurance which every man's heart desires."

~J. R. R. Tolkien

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Why Bother with the Facts?

The LA Times is running an article (House votes for ban on abortion subsidies) written by Kim Geiger which covers the passing of the Stupak amendment. The article contains the following paragraphs:
The compromise won immediate support from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which urged Catholics to "lend their full-throated support" to the Democrats' healthcare bill.

"The bishops' stamp of approval means that this bill is unambiguously pro-life and we will vigorously oppose those who suggest otherwise," the conference said in a statement Saturday.
A little concerned that the USCCB would give such a strong statement urging Catholics to lend not only thier support, but their "full-throated" support, I set out trying to find a source. And guess what - I did.

On the website for an organization named Catholics United, I found the source of the quotes above:
“Catholics across the political spectrum should lend their full-throated support to this legislation,” said Korzen. “The bishops' stamp of approval means that this bill is unambiguously pro-life, and we will vigorously oppose those who suggest otherwise.”
Who is the Korzen referenced above? Chris Korzen is the Executive Director of Catholic United, an organization with a history of working to undermine Catholic Social teachings - not promote them. Whether Ms. Geiger's poor journalism is due to ignorance or more sinister motives I have no idea, but to attribute the statement to the USCCB is misleading and damaging.

And with all due respect to our Bishops, the reason groups like this can make statements on your behalf is because when you do speak it's often not strong enough, not loud enough, or not timely enough.

And unlike the LA Times, I'll do more than give misleading quotes:

Catholics United Threatens Churches, Pastors Over Pro-Life Literature Drops
Catholics United targets Archbishop Naumann, defends Gov. Sebelius
Catholics United praises Sen. Snowe vote while U.S. bishops express concern

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The USCCB, The Democrats, and Health Care Reform

A fable (The Horse, Hunter and Stag) by Aesop:

A quarrel had arisen between the Horse and the Stag, so the Horse came to a Hunter to ask his help to take revenge on the Stag. The Hunter agreed, but said: "If you desire to conquer the Stag, you must permit me to place this piece of iron between your jaws, so that I may guide you with these reins, and allow this saddle to be placed upon your back so that I may keep steady upon you as we follow after the enemy." The Horse agreed to the conditions, and the Hunter soon saddled and bridled him. Then with the aid of the Hunter the Horse soon overcame the Stag, and said to the Hunter: "Now, get off, and remove those things from my mouth and back."

"Not so fast, friend," said the Hunter. "I have now got you under bit and spur, and prefer to keep you as you are at present."

If you allow men to use you for your own purposes, they will use you for theirs.

The USCCB is not happy with the Democrats' health care bill including "abortion funding & mandates". Lots of information about it on their website. Guess the most surprising part of it for me is that they seem ... surprised.

In a flyer they distributed nationally this weekend they state, "The bills will have to change or the bishops have pledged to oppose them." I'm afraid this threat may not carry the same weight it should or once may have. Especially with statements such as the following on their website,

"...the bishops have asked that health care reform be “abortion neutral,” this is, that existing laws and policies with regard to abortion and abortion funding be preserved, ..."

Saints Athanasius and Augustine, pray for us.