A "Cino" With No Reprimand In Sight

July 31, 2008 09:00 AM

First, let me clarify what "CINO" means. It is the acronym for "Catholic in name only," a phrase used to describe a public figure who supports an evil while claiming to be a Catholic in good standing. This is a form of political corruption that is particularly popular today. The sad thing is that it has become so popular due to the inability or unwillingness of many bishops to assert their authority and work to bring these aberrant souls back into the fold.

The most recent (and I believe, the most ridiculous) example of this comes from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In a recent question-and-answer session at a blogger conference, she exposed her hypocrisy with all the gall one would expect from this woman. On its web site, the Family Research Council posted this assessment of her remarks:

The Speaker called abstinence-only programs "dangerous" to America's youth and said that the only solution is to elect more pro-abortion politicians. She went on to criticize the proposed federal regulations on conscience protections as also being "dangerous" and said that if "you don't like abortion you should love contraception." Amazingly, she goes on to say she is speaking as both a mother of five and a "devout Catholic," despite the fact that her beliefs on abortion and contraception directly contradict the teachings of her Church. As a politician, Rep. Pelosi has every right to disagree with her Church's teachings on abortion and contraception, just as doctors, nurses and pharmacists should have every right to live by their respective church teachings and not be forced to perform abortions or distribute drugs that would violate their beliefs. America does not need more pro-abortion politicians. It needs leaders who respect freedom of conscience.

While this assessment does set forth the problem with Pelosi's statement itself, it doesn't adequately examine the deeper problem that so-called Catholics like Pelosi bring to the fore. Like every other person, Pelosi has a right to speak in any way she sees fit and make claims that may or may not ring true when one examines the teachings of the Church, but it is equally true that corrective statements can and should be made by Church authorities who realize that her words are creating confusion and scandal, not only among Catholics but also among the population at large.

Pelosi is a mother and grandmother, and it occurs to me that she is, at her core, a victim of the philosophy undergirding the 1960s sexual revolution. She has apparently fallen prey to the sort of dissent that began in the early 1960s, when some Catholic theologians and bishops, along with others, made it clear that the Catholic Church had to change her position on birth control and get with the times. Perhaps Pelosi honestly believes that if you oppose the killing of a preborn child, you should love chemicals and devices whose use creates attitudes that lead to abortion.

Moreover, as she spouts a world view that espouses sexuality without responsibility, it appears to me as total negligence that certain Catholic prelates and leaders are not publicly correcting the misconception that anybody can use their Catholic identity to undermine Catholic teaching without ever being held accountable. To my mind, this total silence is far worse than Pelosi’s comments.

Why? Because the truth is that Pelosi, like so many other CINOs, are literally getting away with reinventing Catholic teaching to suit their own agenda – a social agenda that creates havoc in the lives of others and rains down terror on preborn children.

We must never forget that contraception can kill preborn children, and even when it doesn’t, it breeds the attitudes that lead to abortion. Documentation on this subject abounds. All you have to do is read what is readily available on the Pill Kills web site to know why American Life League is never silent on this most fundamental reality. Or review the Spirit and Life columns of Human Life International's president, Father Tom Euteneuer, or the comments of physicians Paul Weckenbrock of the Couple to Couple League, or Chris Kahlenborn of One More Soul.

Some would say that I am a broken record on this subject and they might be right, but I suggest that if Catholic leaders in positions to teach the flock were doing their job as they should, people like me would be able to celebrate their courage and move on. Until that happens, I have no choice but to continue speaking out.

For example, when Cardinal Justin Rigali wrote a letter to members of Congress clarifying the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' support for the Bush administration's proposed regulation for protecting healthcare workers' freedom of conscience, he did not refer to the regulation's definition that establishes the fact that the birth control pill can cause an early abortion. He simply did not mention it.

Why? I do not know.

But that is my point. Someone has to insist on the full truth, correcting those who intentionally misrepresent that truth, and must correct them not with a desire to harass, but with charity and clarity. I cannot wait for the day when every Catholic bishop agrees. In the meantime, however, Pelosi and her ilk will have to bear with me because I am not going to be silent.

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