Monday 20th August 2018

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Contraception And The Catholic Deep State

August 2, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By SHAUN KENNEY

Once again, Catholic Relief Services finds itself in hot water justifying the indefensible — cooperating with InterAction, a group committed to the funding of contraceptive services in direct opposition to the Magisterium.
I have to start with a clear caveat. Bishop Gregory Mansour is a personal favorite of mine, as my mother’s family descends from Maronite Catholics (I myself being a Roman Catholic by virtue of my maternal grandfather). Mansour has shown every inclination toward being a faithful prelate who has a deep love for the Catholic Church and its charitable missions abroad. In fact, Mansour’s appointment as the head of Catholic Relief Services in late 2016 was deemed to be a breath of fresh air, after scandal had plagued the leadership of others who had sadly allowed CRS to debase itself in the name of government grants.
Yet it would appear as if this same bureaucracy — the “Catholic Deep State” — continues to obfuscate and blind the bishops to what is going on in their name.
Of course, the problem isn’t limited to Mansour and CRS. Caritas International has also been engulfed in the same mire of scandal. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has continued to make grants to organizations that oppose Church teaching on life matters.
Thus the conundrum for those of us sitting in the pews. We are asked to give to Catholic charities under the pretense that we are defending the right to life and feeding the poor, when in truth we are effectively doling out contraceptives and teaching the poor in Latin America and Africa “family planning” — often with chemical contraceptives handed out by Oxfam and USAID, and more often than not in opposition to the local bishops who are flatly horrified to learn of what the Catholic bishops are doing in the name of the Church.
When challenged? Not only do members of the Catholic Deep State justify their actions — they outright lie about what they are doing.
Faithful Catholics must ask: How seriously does this undermine the legitimate good work that the Catholic bishops do every day? When I choose to put money in the collection plate, how many of us have hesitated to wonder where that money might actually go? Will it help fund pro-life activities? Or is it going to fund a six-figure salary in Washington? Are we feeding the poor? Or is that a smokescreen for giving them abortifacients?
More to the point, as a father of seven, I have to ask: Why is it that the Church teaches from the pulpit that I must observe the precepts of the Church while the bishops actively undermine everything I am told to believe? What sort of club is that?
Thankfully, there are two responses to this. In an April 28, 2002 report, The New York Times wrote of McCarrick: “Assuming the role of leading spokesman for the U.S. cardinals during their meetings with Pope John Paul II on the sexual abuse crisis, McCarrick came across to many as candid, compassionate and committed to strong reform.”
All things come to light in their due time, and for McCarrick, the good priests he drove away, the seminarians he abused, and the enablers he surrounded himself with should be a stark warning to those who compromise with moral evil for the sake of “prudence” or worldly concerns.
Second and perhaps most important is this. God doesn’t call us to be successful, but He does call us to be faithful. As Fr. Richard John Neuhaus remarked during the high-water mark of the pederasty scandal, had the Catholic bishops chosen the path of fidelity rather than discernment, there would have been no sexual abuse crisis. Fidelity, fidelity, fidelity. . . .
McCarrick’s actions were aided and abetted by the Catholic Deep State, a web of bureaucrats who seek the preservation of their own position rather than the Kingdom of God. Those who have read the book Goodbye, Good Men! know the depth of the rot, and it is apparent that the laity will only be heard when our confidence is placed, not to pay off settlements from the pederasty scandal, or to hand out abortifacients to the African poor, but in those organizations and charities and bishops and priests who are in the world — but not of the world.
Catholic Relief Services could use a serious dose of such introspection. Mansour is a good man in a difficult position, surrounded by a bureaucracy desperate to maintain the smokescreen that all is well. Most of us know better — and it is only a matter of time before our bishops hear the voice of the faithful.

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Mr. K — writes online asking whether or not parishes or pro-life committees ought to start asking public officials, candidates, and so forth where they truly stand on life and constitutional originalism. Simply put, do we have an inalienable right to life because it is in our nature as living beings? Or is such a right a social construct of the law?
These questions are all good to raise. Mr. K. mentions that such an effort need not be a statewide one in order to be efficient . . . just a handful of good and wise Catholics willing to ask some rather simple and humble questions to those who would lead us in the public square. Could it be worth a try?

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I’m not quite done with Cardinal McCarrick yet.
For years we have been told there was nothing to see here with regards to McCarrick. Yet folks knew, they kept quiet, they hid while McCarrick spent decades treating seminarians like cheap meat in the marketplace.
One really wants to stand up and scream: “If this is what the leaders believe, why should we believe differently?!” How come we all can’t succumb to the flesh like Cardinal McCarrick? How come we all can’t cheapen the faith for political access like Cardinal Marx? Or hold cocaine-fueled orgies such as the ones hosted in the secretary to Cardinal Coccopalmerio’s Vatican apartment?
That’s not just immoral — such actions are depraved and debauched. We are no longer talking about the sort of sins described by Donald Cardinal Wuerl (who, incidentally, replaced Cardinal McCarrick) as sins of passion that put souls on the precipice of Hell in contrast to those who sin against truth.
These men — our leaders — have chosen to sin against both and call it good.
St. John Eudes used to say that when God seeks to punish a nation, the most visible mark of His anger are bad priests; men more wolves than shepherds. De Profundis, indeed. . . .

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Of course, I am succeeding (but not replacing) the inestimable Mr. James K. Fitzpatrick for the First Teachers column. Please feel free to send any correspondence for First Teachers to Shaun Kenney, c/o First Teachers, 5289 Venable Road, Kents Store, VA 23084 — or if it is easier, simply send me an e-mail with First Teachers in the subject line to: svk2cr@virginia.edu

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