It’s really not that difficult to see why Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s repeated attempts to compromise the Church have not brought a resounding, united statement of outrage from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. After all, she used an errant group of nuns plus the Catholic Health Association’s own Sister Carol Keehan to her advantage in turning allegedly pro-life votes on to the draconian health care reform bill.
ABC News was perhaps among the most colorful in a political briefing piece, writing,
When Sister Carol Keehan arrives to speak at a "Washington Briefing" packed with progressive Catholics today, will the audience do back flips? In the final days of the contentious health care reform debates, Keehan, head of Catholic Health Association, and nearly 60 other nuns and leaders of religious orders found the legislation's numerous anti-abortion funding provisions -- provisions which did not satisfy the Catholic bishops -- were indeed sufficient. They came out in favor of the bill, saying it was "life affirming" legislation. This gave pro-life legislators enough cover to allow them to vote for the bill.
The use of the term “progressive” is simply a nice way of saying heretical or demonic. It’s not that the nuns themselves are demons, but rather that they have fallen prey to the age-old temptation of following the world rather than the Lord. But, for the life of me, I have to ask: Why were their fanatical actions enabled by the bishops?
Search as I did to find a united statement of condemnation from the shepherds of the Catholics of this country, there was nothing to be found. One has to wonder what could possibly be so intimidating about the woman that the bishops would merely move on with their agenda without taking note of this remarkable redefining of Catholic identity by a public figure who, as far as we can tell, is still claiming to be Catholic.
It was clearly a crowning achievement in Pelosi’s campaign to deconstruct the teachings of the Catholic Church—making it a good thing to kill babies and a bad thing to defend Christ in the Holy Eucharist—and she pulled it off without a single reprimand or announcement of excommunication from her beloved bishops. What a travesty.
And then, she turned around and used the bishops again. Pelosi reportedly told a Catholic audience that she had instructed the bishops to speak from their pulpits about immigration reform because support for such reform “is a manifestation of our living the Gospels.”
When Jennifer Hartline of Catholic Online saw these remarks, she opined, quite accurately, in an “Open Letter to Nancy Pelosi, Master of Hypocrisy”:
You stated with shocking audacity that "We have to respect that dignity and worth of the individual and recognize that the Church has an important role to play in that." Your hypocrisy is simply staggering! You see no obligation to recognize the dignity and worth of the preborn child in the womb—only the dignity and worth of the post-born person who can applaud and cast a vote in your favor.
Where was your conviction that we must respect the dignity and worth of the individual when you insisted, "To me it isn't even a question [of being a faithful Catholic while being pro-abortion]. God has given us free will. We're all responsible for our actions. If you don't want an abortion, you don't believe in it, then don't have one. But don't tell somebody else what they can do in terms of honoring their responsibilities." (Newsweek magazine interview, Oct. 2006.) Funny. I never knew that honoring my responsibilities meant I could kill a baby. And I certainly never knew that it was a "choice" my Church and my God would support.
In case you've forgotten, here was Bishop Vasa's reply to your errant statement: "It is categorically impossible for the same person to state that he or she believes simultaneously both what the Catholic Church teaches and that abortion is just a choice. Furthermore, it is an unjust choice which is diametrically opposed to the clear and consistent teaching of the Catholic Church as well as to the clear and consistent teaching of God Himself in the Ten Commandments. The direct, intentional taking of the life of an innocent human being is inhumane and unjust. It is not just a choice!"
The ongoing Pelosi pronouncements are mere aspects of the overall version of Pelosi cafeteria Catholicism. Or is it? In my diocese in California during the week before the final health care reform vote was to occur, the bishop required a reading at all Masses of his letter on why the nation needed to support immigration reform. Yes, that’s right. He did not press for further action to pressure Congress into stopping health care reform!
By that time, I guess the preborn babies and the imminent Stupak betrayal were hardly worth talking about any more. After all, it’s just the nation’s most pro-abortion piece of legislation ever, but who cares? Onward with that “progressive” agenda!
This entire chapter in the watering down of Catholicism has left me with a very sour taste in my mouth and an ache in my heart. But when I realized that Father Tom Euteneuer had put this in perspective in his recent commentary, I gave a silent prayer of thanks. Writing about “The hostile spiritual takeover of our nation,” he says:
I am not saying that our public officials are demons. I am saying that they are acting like demons. Demons lie, cheat and steal - obsessively. It is their nature. Once the demons rejected God, they fell into a dark world devoid of love and dominated by the ethic of the survival of the fittest where "might is right". The human beings that serve them act in much the same way when they implement their agendas and policies. Whenever they are in control of institutions or governments, they lie, cheat and steal. In their minds, they are right because they have the might - and to the victors go the spoils.
Father Euteneuer then reassures us of what we already know as faithful Catholics, even in these, the darkest hours of our nation’s history and the Church hierarchy’s identity crisis, when he writes,
In time, the proper spiritual leadership will emerge which will bind us together and form us into a fighting force called the Church Militant - the only spiritual force that can truly resist the hostile spiritual takeover of our nation. Let us not forget, however, that we must get down on our knees and beg, plead, and implore God to restore our once-great nation to its grandeur. We will not see the dawn of a renewed nation without prayer and sacrifice. The momentum of righteousness, consisting of all the humble goodness taking place at the grass-roots level of the Church and society, will eventually build, and we will take back our nation - not only at the ballot box but above all in the hearts and minds of all those who love God and are doing their best to love their neighbor. We will then be able to cast out the unclean spirits that are destroying everything that we hold sacred, and society will once again be governed by righteous men. For such an end we place our deepest hope in Christ, our true and only Savior!
Christ, our Lord and King, have mercy on us. Our Lady of Life, intercede for us.