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Blowback For The Unborn

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               By CHRISTOPHER MANION

Last week we reported on the “Fatal Fourteen” Catholic senators who cast the deciding votes on January 29 that killed legislation written to protect from abortion those unborn children capable of pain (i.e., past twenty weeks of gestation). While USCCB leaders were at the time announcing “an important escalation of our efforts” in their nationwide campaign in favor of amnesty for illegal aliens, our shepherds made no similar efforts to protect the unborn capable of surviving outside the womb. In fact, to this day USCCB leaders have been silent regarding the “Fatal Fourteen” Catholic pro-abortion politicians.
Only one brave prelate has stepped forward to exercise his consecrated authority in the face of the USCCB’s manifest silence. Three weeks after the vote, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, of Springfield, Ill., announced that he has advised Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D., Ill.), a longtime proponent of “abortion rights” who resides in the Springfield Diocese, that he would continue to be prohibited from receiving Communion.
Quoting Canon 915, Bishop Paprocki said, “Because his voting record in support of abortion over many years constitutes ‘obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin,’ the determination continues that Sen. Durbin is not to be admitted to Holy Communion until he repents of this sin. This provision is intended not to punish, but to bring about a change of heart. Sen. Durbin was once pro-life. I sincerely pray that he will repent and return to being pro-life.”
Many thanks to Bishop Paprocki, and prayers for the conversion of the Fatal Fourteen senators. The late Catholic leader Michael Schwartz once suggested that a good way to start in states represented by pro-abortion senators might be to pray for them by name in the petitions read out loud during the Sacrifice of the Mass in every parish.

New Virginia Bishops
Face Real Challenges

The intrepid Austin Ruse, who’s been fighting (and often defeating) the international left at the UN, reports that things aren’t going well close to home. The population of Washington, D.C., suburb Fairfax County has grown with the federal government (where most of its money comes from) to ten times its size fifty years ago (founding Bishop Thomas Welsh called the Arlington Diocese the “bedroom of Washington”).
So it’s hardly news that the highly paid left-wing leaders of Fairfax — coached by Antonio Gramsci and Sigmund Freud — succeeded in February in forcing down the throats of Fairfax families a pornography-laden “sex education” curriculum that will begin with five-year-olds.
Naturally, a meeting was held — to hear opinions from the community, or so attendees were told. Fake News: “What happened to them is right out of the Politburo of the Supreme Soviet,” Ruse writes. No discussion was permitted regarding the openly pro-LGBT, pro-abortion, pro-sodomy, and pro-promiscuity curriculum. Motions were shouted down by the majority of the “citizens’ committee” who then demanded anonymity by refusing to allow roll-call votes on any of the issues raised.
“This group has come up with over 80 hours of sex education for these poor kids. And some of it is straight-up pornography,” Ruse writes.
Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington continues to very supportive of the laity’s efforts to fight the Fairfax program, with practical steps like bulletin inserts and videos for parents. Clearly, Bishop Burbidge (in office just over a year) and his brand new Virginia colleague Bishop Barry Knestout of Richmond have their hands full.
Unlike Bishop Paprocki, both have so far maintained public silence about their own Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.), a prominent member of the Senate’s “Fatal Fourteen.” Perhaps now is the time. Sooner or later Bishop Burbidge will have to deal with Kaine, as well as former Maryknoll seminarian and now Cong. Gerry Connolly of Fairfax (D., Va.), who, like Kaine, is rated 100 percent in his support for abortion by NARAL.

Challenges Continue
All Around

Last fall, we reported on the letter addressed to Pope Francis by Fr. Thomas Weinandy, OFM Cap., who served as executive director of the USCCB’s Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices from 2005 to 2013 and still serves as a member of the International Theological Commission. Fr. Weinandy sent the letter, which candidly and charitably listed his concerns regarding the Pope’s teachings, on the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola last July. When he made it public a few weeks later, the USCCB asked him to resign as a consultant to the bishops.
However, that didn’t stop Fr. Weinandy from writing. His most recent article, excerpted February 24 on Sandro Magister’s blog — magister.blogautore.espresso.repubblica.it — addresses his concern that all four Marks of the Church — she is one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic — are being challenged by the events, ideas, and errors flowing from Rome.
Weinandy presented this paper at a February 24 conference in Sydney, organized by University of Notre Dame of Australia — see page 7B of this week’s issue for a report on that conference.
It is clear that the silence of the shepherds has not yet silenced Fr. Weinandy.

Socialism Kills —
Abroad And At Home

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator from Vermont, suddenly clammed up when asked about the ongoing disaster in socialist Venezuela. And it is a disaster. Millions of Venezuelans are fleeing starvation and penury in their home country — so many that their plight might represent one of the most dangerous human rights challenges in our hemisphere.
It is curious, given the constant condemnations pronounced by Venezuela’s bishops, that our own hierarchy hasn’t paused to reconsider its longstanding support of the welfare-state agenda of the Democrats in the U.S. Congress. Instead, they seem intent on importing into the U.S. the socialism that Venezuelans, Hondurans, and Mexicans are fleeing.
The news from Parkland, Fla., after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School gets worse by the day. At first, gun control groups seized on the incident to recommend, among other policies, disarming those not in law enforcement. However, we have now learned that Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson was armed and stationed at the school, but cowered outside while the shooting inside raged for several minutes (he immediately retired from the force).
One marvels at the widespread emasculation of men that the feminists, the sodomites, and the LGBT crazies have wrought throughout our culture. The pleasure principle, the desire to “feel good about yourself,” and the general bureaucratic aversion to hard work — not to mention danger — seem to have found their poster boy in Scot Peterson.
Not to be outdone, Peterson’s Sheriff Scott Israel has flouted Florida law, refusing to take responsibility for the wholesale collapse of his department in its response to the incident, even as demands for his resignation mount.
Given the vicious attacks on police during the Obama years, it’s perhaps no surprise that many in law enforcement just choose to lay low until they can retire. Well, the kids at Parkland paid the price for that routine, big time.

Would Fr. Hesburgh
Be A Trump Supporter?

On February 22, Christendom College, in Front Royal, Va., featured a brilliant lecture by Notre Dame historian Fr. Wilson “Bill” Miscamble, CSC. Fr. Miscamble is the author of For Notre Dame, a groundbreaking book that was praised on these pages in 2013 for its painstaking and inspiring defense of true Catholic education. He’s now working on his next book, a biography of Fr. Ted Hesburgh, longtime president of the university.
We will soon address that subject at length here, but one timely observation arises. Fr. Miscamble’s visit prompted some digging in my files, rewarded by the discovery of remarks by Fr. Hesburgh in 1981, when he chaired the President’s Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy. Fr. Hesburgh has long been considered a liberal on many social issues, but his opening remarks in the committee’s final report would unfortunately invite scorn and even derision from many of today’s leading bishops:
“As important as immigration has been and remains to our country, it is no longer possible to say as George Washington did that we welcome all of the oppressed of the world, or as did the poet, Emma Lazarus, that we would take all of the huddled masses yearning to be free…if U.S. immigration policy is to serve this nation’s interests, it must be enforced effectively. This nation has a responsibility to its people — citizens and resident aliens — and failure to enforce immigration law means not living up to that responsibility.”

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