U-S- Conference of Catholic Bishops

Georgetown Outdoing Notre Dame In Church Scandals To Please Obama, Biden

It only figured that with his boss about to accept, controversially, an honorary doctorate from Notre Dame (more on that in a future post), Joe Biden would step back into his bishop's role to preach to all of us that, "You know there is no excuse for violence against a woman or child. There is no excuse." Except, of course, when you want to kill unborn children. But that's Bishop Biden for you, and yet another embarrassment by him to the Catholic Church and its pro-life teaching, as well as another Catholic university flaunting a directive of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (see CSN News).  So Vice President Bishop Biden goes to Georgetown University to get his corresponding JV award, as opening act for the POTUS' appearance at Notre Dame, from a pro-abortion group for his role in the Violence Against Women Act. What's wrong with that phrasing?

Though less publicized than the president's Notre Dame visit, Biden's appearance before this group, much less his acceptance of the award at Georgetown, is more scandalous to the Catholic Church in that Biden is Catholic and professes to believe in the Church's teaching on abortion — but remains pro-abortion in defiance of Church teaching. Then he has the audacity to lecture us on violence. So, both Georgetown and Notre Dame, are bringing shame to Catholic teaching on unborn life.

Said Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society:

"In many ways this honor is worse [than Notre Dame honoring Obama] because not only is Georgetown honoring a pro-abortion Catholic politician, but it is doing so in co-operation with a national pro-abortion lobby, Legal Momentum."  

But that's not all. Georgetown later admitted that it acquiesced to the White House and covered up references to Jesus and a Cross when the president spoke there two weeks ago. According to CNS:

"Georgetown University says it covered over the monogram 'IHS' — symbolizing the name of Jesus Christ — because it was inscribed on a pediment on the stage where President Obama spoke at the university on Tuesday and the White House had asked Georgetown to cover up all signs and symbols there."

A Georgetown spokeswoman told CNS:

""Frankly, the pipe and drape wasn't high enough by itself to fully cover the IHS and cross above the GU seal and it seemed most respectful to have them covered so as not to be seen out of context.'"

A reference to Jesus and a Cross out of context at a Catholic University? In the battle of sellouts to the Catholic Faith, Notre Dame may be getting more publicity, but Georgetown is winning more battles.

Help Maintain Medical Conscience Protections!

Thanks to our friends at The Virginia Catholic Conference — who do fantastic work keeping up with federal issues, especially regulatory matters that don't require Congressional action and therefore aren't in a big a media spotlight — we have an urgent reminder that the Obama Administration is losing no time in trying to force medical workers of faith into providing services they find objectionable. On February 27, it announced its intention to remove current regulations, put in place by the Bush Administration late last year, that protect conscience rights in health care. On March 10, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a formal proposal to rescind these regulations, thereby activating a 30-day period for the public to submit comments. 

The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment has devised an Action Alert explaining why the regulations should be retained and providing directions on how to submit comments to HHS (click here). E-mail messages can be sent directly through the NCHLA Action Center. A preset message is provided, to which the sender can add personal comments. 

Please submit your comments before the April 9 deadline! 

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has set up a special Web site with that provides a wealth of information and resources on conscience protection (click here), including a link to the NCHLA Action Center message. We encourage you to visit that site and others to fully arm yourself on the issue.  

Churches are encouraged to display the NCHLA and USCCB links on their Web pages. Highlighting the critical importance of the current conscience regulations, Cardinal Francis George, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said:

They are "one part of the range of legal protections for health care workers — for doctors, nurses and others — who have objections in conscience to being involved in abortion and other killing procedures that are against how they live their faith in God." 

Removing these conscience regulations "would be the first step in moving our country from democracy to despotism."

The Obama HHS promises to be as destructive as ever toward the unborn. Its secretary-designate, Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic, was the most pro-abortion-on- demand governor in the country before her nomination. He extremist policy positions prompted Archbishop Raymond L. Burk to call her an "embarrassment" (Catholic News Agency). It will take every possible effort to counter the new adminstration's pro-abortion initiatives. Pro-life Virginia activists responded in numbers to impress upon the Bush Administration how important these medical professional conscience protections are (see previous commentary). A redoubled effort is required to convince the Obama Administration to retain them.

Freedom Of Choice Act Involves Neither Freedom Or Choice

The so-called Freedom of Choice Act again is before Congress. This dangerous legislation, called FOCA, would eliminate hundreds of pro-life laws and policies in every state as well as those in federal law. (Read the bills' summaries and status, sponsors, and other information, by clicking the bill numbers: The Senate bill number is S. 1173; the House bill number is H.R. 1964).

By imposing federal oversight on the states, this legislation would take away your rights to influence your state lawmakers to pass pro-life legislation by making Congress the only and ultimate authority on these critical issues. Hence, the Orwellian misnomer: It neither guarantees freedom or choice. Most assuredly, it limits representative democracy. This again reveals the shaky ground radical pro-abortion forces are on: If Americans overwhelmingly favor abortion on demand, as they claim, why are they afraid of letting citizen legislators and state electorates make those decisions? What's next, Congress deciding what doctors we can visit? (On second thought, don't ask.) 

We highly encourage you to contact your U.S. Representative (click here for list) and Virginia's two U.S. Senators (Jim Webb, here, and John Warner, here) and urge them to defeat these bills. The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment has a good briefing sheet on the bills (click here). Because of the seriousness of this threat to innocent life and our freedoms — for example, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops calls it "a grave concern" — please forward the information on this blog to as many pro-lifers as you can.

Many thanks to the Virginia Catholic Conference for its work in alerting thousands of Virginians to the dangers to these bills.

"Bishop" Biden Follows "Pope" Pelosi In Attempt To Redefine Church Truth

It keeps getting worse for certain liberal pols, especially liberal Catholics who continue to try to redefine the faith. On the heels of "pope" Pelossi's comments on Meet The Press attempting to redefine when life begins, Democrat vice-presidential nominee Senator Joseph Biden (D-Del.) now wants to destroy human embryos for no reason, also in contradiction to Church teaching. During his own turn on Meet The Press Sunday (see YouTube video here), Senator Biden started off well enough as he distanced himself from Pelossi, saying he knew life started at conception and understood Church teaching. However, he reiterated the typical gross, intentional misleading position that the Church's believes only are for Catholics. (In other words, the "I can't impose my believes on you" theory; or, the "I believe slavery is wrong, but if you want to own a couple, go ahead" defense.) So, when he votes to create new felonies, he's not imposing his views on the rest of us, we suppose; and certainly not when he takes away and spends our money on failed programs that ostensibly are designed to help others. No, lawmakers never impose their morality on us. The fact is, Church teaching is that Catholics have a duty to protect innocent life, not to stand by while it is massacred. (Read the "Biden Gospel" here, by Father Thomas D. Williams, on National Review Online.)

Just as with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's fallacious remarks, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops quickly condemned Biden's remarks (read the entire statement here). Justin Cardinal Riglai, Archbishop of Philadelphia and chairman of the bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William Lori of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., and chairman of the bishops' Committee on Doctrine, wrote that the Church . . .

does not teach this as matter of faith; it acknowledges it as a matter of objective fact. ... Protection of innocent human life is not an imposition of personal religious conviction but a demand of justice.

Then, a cutting blow to the deception on which the so-called "pro-choice" argument is made. Wrote the bishops:

Which living members of the human species should be seen as having fundamental human rights, such as a right not to be killed?

The Catholic Church's answer is: Everybody . . . we have no business dividing humanity into those who are valuable enough to warrant protection and those who are not.

In other words, there is no compromise, senator, no matter how bad you want to rationalize it to accomodate your extremist friends.

Furthering Senator Biden's blubbering attempt at Church doctrine were his remarks yesterday when he claimed that Governor Sarah Palin's (R-Alaska) pledged support for parents raising children with developmental disabilities or birth defects should drive them to support embryonic stem cell research.

Speaking to voters at an event in Columbus, Missouri, Biden said:

I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy, because there's joy to it as well, the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect. Well guess what folks? If you care about it, why don't you support stem cell research?

Catholic teaching clearly holds that embryonic stem cell research is unethical because it kills the embryo, from which life springs forth. Furthermore, he showed his lack of knowledge on the issue because recent research has proven there are techniques under development that soon will make embryonic stem cell research obsolete, where adult stem cells can be converted to act as embryonic stem cells. Not that it is necessary — while more than several dozen documented medical breakthroughs have been accomplished through adult stem cell research — not one has been accredited to embryonic stem cell research.

The McCain-Palin campaign fired off this response:

Barack Obama's running mate sunk to a new low today launching an offensive debate over who cares more about special needs children. Playing politics with this issue is disturbing and indicative of a desperate campaign.

Wrote Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List:

Today Senator Biden outrageously implied that Americans who refuse to sacrifice innocent human life in the name of unproven, desperate attempts to cure our nation's ills through embryo-destructive research somehow don't really care about children. I am a mother of five children, one with a mental disability. The fact that Joe Biden questioned the compassion of parents like me — Governor Sarah Palin, among them — makes me sputter in disbelief. 

Religion is breaking out among liberals at a dizzying and profoundly hierarchical pace: first and foremost is Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama, the "messiah;" Governor Tim Kaine played "moses" and attempted to moved mountains in Denver; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fancies herself "pope;" and former DNC Chairman Don Fowler prayed for a hurricane to hit New Orleans for political gain. What, then, could Senator Biden's fallacious and egregious pronouncements make him other than the "bishop"? He preaches at no cathedral we'd want to attend.

"Pope" Pelosi Scandal Escalating

The scandal surrounding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's attempt to re-define Catholic teaching on the beginning of life and abortion continues to escalate. Today, Pelosi stuck to her guns, despite universal condemnation from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. That's right: Nancy Pelosi knows more about Church teaching than the more than 100 Catholic bishops in the United States. That makes her one thing, and one thing only: A blow hard. In a move that only cements that definition, the indelicate Madame, uh, Speaker, fired back at protesters chanting, "Drill here! Drill now!" at her energy policy news conference in Denver yesterday. Pelosi, doubtless pleased at her sense of humor, retorted:

"Drill here? Drill now? Right here? You want to drill right here? Can we drill your brain?"  

Also, doubtless, she could give a flip that many unborn babies are killed by abortionists drilling into their skulls. Madame Tone Deaf? Or Madam Heartless?

But that's not the only unwelcome greeting Pelosi has received since landing in Denver for the Democratic National Convention. Bishop Michael Sheridan of Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs vehemently corrected her distortion of Catholic teaching on life in this statement (click here) as did Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Catholic Archdiocese of Denver and his Auxiliary Bishop, James Conley in this statement (click here). It reads in part:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills. Regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them. ...

Of course, we now know with biological certainty exactly when human life begins. Thus, today's religious alibis for abortion and a so-called "right to choose" are nothing more than that — alibis that break radically with historic Christian and Catholic belief.

Abortion kills an unborn, developing human life. It is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions employed to justify it. Catholics who make excuses for it — whether they're famous or not — fool only themselves and abuse the fidelity of those Catholics who do sincerely seek to follow the Gospel and live their Catholic faith. (Emphasis added.)

Pelosi's own Archbishop, George Niederauer, is rumored to write on her fallacy Friday. But this, by Rick DelVecchio, was posted today at Catholic San Francisco, the archdiocese's weekly publication. Already, the archdiocese has posted the rebuke from the USCCB.

Combine this with the very visible (see Rosslyn Smith at The American Thinker) pro-life march in Denver to a Planned Parenthood facility (that the mainstream media ignored), and which included Alveda King, the niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and one must wonder if Pelosi has converted more to the pro-life cause than any judicial decision. That Newsweek published a column on the issue by George Weigel, the authoritative biographer of John Paul II, proves miracles do happen, especially during adversity. In fact, Denver is alive with pro-life activism as Larry Anderson reports here, at The American Thinker.

No matter what one believes about abortion, the purposeful misstatement of a revered institution's position has no other explanation other than to mislead out of lust for political power. If Pelosi has an honest disagreement, state it, and leave the Church. Faith is about Truth and The Truth cannot be compromised as can a political issue. Faith is dogma. Religions don't change to meet transient notions.

On the other hand, no one forces anyone to remain in a church with which they cannot agree. Pelosi owes Catholic Americans an apology, now.