When I first read the response of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts to Cardinal Sean O'Malley's post-election comments about President-elect Obama, I was captivated by their sincere dedication to deception. Clearly, there is a very thin line, in Planned Parenthood’s game book, between trickery and truthfulness, and that line is blurred by refusing to accept responsibility.
What did Cardinal O'Malley say? According to Michael Paulson who interviewed him, the cardinal said that Obama “is possibly in the pocket of Planned Parenthood, which in its origins was a very racist organization to eliminate the blacks, and it's sort of ironic that he's been co-opted by them.”
Wow! Praise God for Cardinal O'Malley's more-than-forthrightness in this matter. Talk about not mincing words! We owe the cardinal a huge thank you! Contact him at the address or phone number below.
2121 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02135-3192
Of course, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts spun its words in just the sort of serpentine way one would expect from it. Here are excerpts from its response:
It diminishes Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley's credibility when he attacks President-elect Barack Obama and Planned Parenthood for views and services his own members overwhelmingly support. . .
According to estimates by the Catholic Bishops of the United States, 92% of married Catholics use some form of birth control. And a 2006 poll conducted by RKM Research and Communications revealed that 72% of Catholic voters in the Commonwealth [of Massachusetts] support comprehensive sex education – which includes information about abstinence, condoms and birth control – in our public schools.
These are issues that the Catholic Church and Cardinal O'Malley have repeatedly refused to acknowledge as a mainstream part of health and education in our society. Perhaps Cardinal O'Malley should spend less time sharing political opinions and more time listening to the reality of life for his own constituency.
The Catholic Church has an opportunity to reconnect with their members around these issues.
Cardinal O'Malley in a recent interview in Baltimore said, "We want to do all that we can to reduce the number of abortions." President-elect Obama succeeded with voters by highlighting messages about preventing unintended pregnancy and reducing the need for abortion. At Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, we share that belief and would welcome the opportunity to work with Cardinal O'Malley towards this goal. . .
Our programs empower parents to be the primary sexuality educators of their children in order to keep them safe and healthy, goals for parents that are certainly shared by the Catholic Church.
Cardinal O'Malley and the bishops have a lot of work to do in order to reconnect with their members. The constitutional right to abortion has always been a very private decision between a woman, her physician, her family and her clergy. It appears from exit polls during this most recent election cycle, that Cardinal O'Malley is out of step with most voters on this very personal decision. The American public has re-asserted why they do not agree by defeating anti-choice referendums in California, Colorado, and South Dakota.
Cardinal O'Malley's credibility is at an all-time high because he has reiterated the Catholic position, not only on abortion, but on racism. If that is what was troubling Planned Parenthood, one would think they would have addressed his comment with a blow-by-blow refutation. But interestingly, Michael Paulson himself pointed out “the Planned Parenthood response does not address O'Malley's critique, but rather alleges that the cardinal is out of step with Catholics (a suggestion O'Malley in some ways might not dispute – he has repeatedly said that the some of the [C]hurch's teachings are ‘countercultural,' and that the [C]hurch could do better persuading rank-and-file Catholics of its teachings. . .).” Moreover, as we know, the cardinal's statement was totally accurate.
Ninety-two percent of Catholics use birth control and that is a fact, but that does not mean that Catholic teaching has changed, nor does it mean that it will. What it does mean is that the Catholic bishops have a lot of teaching to do to reacquaint contracepting Catholics with their duty to abide by Catholic teaching or leave the Church until such time as they prefer full communion with truth to “cafeteria Catholicism.”
Catholics in Massachusetts, as elsewhere, accept sex education, which is literally sex instruction, because the Church's American leaders have not been unified and committed in their efforts to remove such brainwashing from school systems, starting with their own. Again, the American bishops have their work cut out for them, not in bending to public opinion but in clarifying and educating.
During this Thanksgiving week, we are thankful this that Cardinal O'Malley is listening very carefully to pronouncements regarding what Obamaism means to his flock and what he needs to do to protect them and defend their right to the truth. The reality of life for Catholics does, after all, reside in the truth, which is first and foremost that Christ is the answer, particularly in these days of moral relativism.
The Catholic Church is connected to truth, and we are thankful to God that perhaps at least some bishops are becoming painfully aware that declining respect for human life has come about because of the politics of abortion and contraception. After all, Catholic teaching is above politics, as Cardinal O'Malley has made abundantly clear in his recent statements.
Planned Parenthood's audacious claim to be in favor of parental authority regarding the education of their own children in sexual matters is the frosting on the cake of evil. And Planned Parenthood's false claim that there is such a thing as a right to abortion is the platter upon which that cake precariously sits. Planned Parenthood's total disregard for divine law is the main reason why that cake will crumble. As has always been the case, right will triumph over wrong.
That is yet another reason why we give thanks that God has the power to embolden each of the shepherds of the Catholic Church so that they will courageously teach and preach the Catholic position on the human body, sexuality and the rights of the most vulnerable among us. Those blessings of God's grace do not translate into accommodation of Obamaism, but rather reiteration of Catholicism!
For that, we give thanks.