Halloween: Spooky Tales Of A Catholic Kind

Sometimes the facts are scary enough to double for imaginary witches, goblins and monsters from Count Dracula’s basement all in one fell swoop. These past few days have proven that not all that is bloodcurdling is going to be trick or treating tomorrow, that’s for sure.

There’s the whole rigmarole with Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins. Even though he defied Catholic teaching, and never responded to the expressed concerns of more than 80 Catholic bishops, as he carried on with his plan to host pro-abortion U.S. president Barack Obama, he was still elected by the Notre Dame trustees to serve a second term as president of the prestigious University of Notre Dame. 

As the Cardinal Newman Society pointed out in a press release, even though Jenkins abused the Catholic identity of Notre Dame by rolling out the red carpet for Obama, it didn’t seem to ruffle the feathers of the trustees one tiny bit. What a scary tale this is, as Patrick J. Reilly of CNS makes clear: 

The Board of Trustees has once again neglected their responsibility to uphold Notre Dame’s Catholic mission by reelecting a president who has displayed public disrespect for the bishops and has permitted repeated scandals including the honors to President Obama and performances of The Vagina Monologues.

But then again, as Jill Stanek exposed during the original ruckus, there’s not a whole lot Catholic about that board of trustees anyway. 

On top of this, we find that Jenkins announced publicly that he would be coming to the March for Life in 2010. Well, frankly, that should have been expected. So why is it newsworthy? Aren’t Catholic priests supposed to set a good example for their flock? Oops, I think that lets Jenkins off the hook after his shenanigans, which might be why his public announcement received coverage. The National Catholic Register reported in a huge story covering Jenkins’ namby-pamby announcement: 

The controversy over the University of Notre Dame’s honors to pro-abortion President Obama at its May 17 commencement has led some pro-life advocates to question whether the university is pro-life — or even Catholic.

But it appears Notre Dame is trying to take the high ground.

Holy Cross Father John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, announced in a Sept. 16 e-mail to the university community that he plans to attend the March for Life in Washington next January and hopes to offer a Mass.

If that isn’t a tale from the crypt, I don’t know what is. First of all, Jenkins is not the University; he is the president and none of us question whether or not the “university is pro-life,” but rather why Bishop D’Arcy didn’t suspend Jenkins, whose pro-life credentials are questionable regardless of how many public pronouncements he makes about attending the March for Life.

Why any upstanding Catholic newspaper would give ink to Jenkins’ announcement after the debacles of these past months is a mystery. But then again, I have been known to see hobgoblins where others suggest there are daisies and buttercups.

So perhaps the next item is also a figment of my imagination. It seems that “Sister” Donna Quinn, a Dominican nun, is working as a volunteer at a local abortion mill in the Archdiocese of Chicago. No, she is not volunteering for the local pro-life pregnancy care center in an effort to prayerfully talk expectant mothers out of entering the place to pay someone to kill their own babies. Sr. Quinn is a death-scort. She escorts expectant mothers inside so they can kill their babies. Oh, and Sister has been doing this for at least six years according to one pro-lifer. 

Horrors! And get this:

Sr. Patricia Mulcahey, OP, Quinn's Prioress at the Sinsinawa Dominican community, said in an e-mail response to LSN that the nun sees her volunteer activity as "accompanying women who are verbally abused by protestors. Her stance is that if the protestors were not abusive, she would not be there." 

Though Sr. Mulcahey claimed that her sisters "support the teachings of the Catholic Church," she declined to comment on Quinn's public protest of Catholic Church teaching.

Finally, and perhaps the scariest tale of all, is that the latest Senate version of Obama’s health care reform package should have provoked some sort of comment from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. So far, that organization has been eerily silent.

Many, including yours truly, are convinced that Section 1803 of the Senate bill will make Planned Parenthood a quasi-government agency, as if they weren’t really one already. In a public statement, we explained: 

The Senate version of America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009 may transform the nation’s largest abortion chain into a quasi-government entity for sex education.

Section 1803, page 503, creates a National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Resource Center and states:

The Secretary shall award a grant to a nationally recognized, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that meets the requirements described in clause (ii) to establish and operate a national teen pregnancy prevention resource center (in this subparagraph referred to as the ‘Resource Center’) to carry out the purpose and activities described in clause (iii). (emphasis added)

According to the requirements found in clause (ii):

The organization has demonstrated experience working with and providing assistance to a broad range of individuals and entities to reduce teen pregnancy. The organization is research-based and has comprehensive knowledge and data about teen pregnancy prevention strategies.

According to Rita Diller, national director for STOP Planned Parenthood, there is only one “nationally recognized” organization that fits the bill — Planned Parenthood.

“This dangerous provision to the Senate health care bill could give Planned Parenthood, already under investigation for tax fraud and concealing child rape, quasi-government status and even more influence over our kids,” Diller said.

Section 1803 also creates a “Personal Responsibility Education for Adulthood Training” program (i.e. sex education), which grants at least $250,000 to each state to educate adolescents on "both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and STDs."

We scoured the internet for some late-breaking news, hoping to find a united voice of absolute opposition to this provision from the USCCB, but, so far, such a statement has either been eaten by a ghost or it doesn’t exist. Either way, this too is more than a bit frightening when one considers the power that a forceful statement from the USCCB could have in a matter as egregious as this one.

Even if Planned Parenthood is not the organization the Senate has in mind (which we highly doubt), the sort of “tricks” and “treats” the government has in store for us should generate some sort of comment from the bishops, don’t you think?

All in all, these events add up to some pretty spooky stuff when one considers that, in every situation, the Catholic Church and her leadership should be standing tall, defending truth, exposing evil and dealing with those who make a mockery of her teachings. Until that happens, the treacherous tricks will commence unabated.