Monday 22nd January 2018

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Life Marches On

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By CHRISTOPHER MANION

As hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers prepare for the 45th Annual March for Life in Washington on January 19, America is benefiting from the best year since 1973 when it comes to policies affirming the value of life.
President Trump has reaffirmed and broadened the Mexico City Policy established by Ronald Reagan. He has targeted Obama’s notorious HHS Mandate for extinction, halted United Nations abortion funding, and successfully named Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
Despite these accomplishments, America’s Catholic bishops have found it difficult to praise President Trump. When forced to do so, their tone is begrudging and usually ends with a bitter “but” — especially when it comes to Trump’s determination to restore the rule of law regarding immigration, a move that threatens hundreds of millions of federal dollars that the bishops have routinely received from the Obama administration.
In the main, our bishops have concentrated their ample politicking and lobbying budget on opposing the president. On everything from immigration to taxes to preserving Obamacare, they have ramped up their megaphones and filled their official schedules to keep the drumbeat alive.
Fortunately, as the result of a surprisingly close vote at their meeting last November, one prelate has his priorities firmly in order. Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kans., is currently serving his sixth term as a member of the USCCB’s pro-life committee, and has used that time, in his words, “to study and reflect upon the many and often complex issues related to the Church’s efforts to both protect and promote the sanctity of every human life.”
Archbishop Naumann will assume the chair of the committee next year, replacing Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York.
Is this good news for Humanae Vitae? It was Cardinal Dolan, after all, who five years ago admitted that our bishops had suffered from “laryngitis” on Humanae Vitae since it was promulgated in 1968. Taking our cue from Archbishop Naumann, our efforts to cure this malady “must be grounded in prayer.”

Conference’s Kumbaya
Caucus Meets

Right now, the bishops’ bureaucracy isn’t giving Archbishop Naumann much support. Consider: Italian moral theologian Fr. Maurizio Chiodi, a new member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, uses Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia to insist that some circumstances “require contraception”; a USCCB leader refuses to say whether Amoris permits adultery; and two American cardinals and several bishops have welcomed active sodomites.
And what is the Catholic Deep State’s response? A Social Justice convention!
That’s right. Next month, hundreds of Social Justice champions will convene in Washington “to network, advocate for social justice, and form emerging leaders in service to the Church and society.” Their goal? To “share the Church’s social mission for the common good and the evangelization of the world.”
And what is that mission?
Attendees will hear several presentations from leaders of the scandal-ridden Catholic Campaign for Human Development, a Saul-Alinsky-style operation that “aids the poor” not by raising them out of poverty, but by herding them into a political voting bloc through “community organizing.”
We recall that a young Barack Obama received his first community organizing grant from the Archdiocese of Chicago, which partnered with Alinsky in the city’s Back-of-the-Yards neighborhoods.
Conference attendees will hear about the evils of racism, defined by the bishops as a “subtle sin” that “most” whites (but no one else) commit — a sin so subtle, in fact, that most of us don’t know we’re sinning! And yet, they tell us, racism, and not abortion, is America’s “original sin.”
So attendees will be subjected to repetitions of the Black Lives Matter lies regarding Ferguson, Mo., rather than a discussion of the horrendous black-on-black massacres on the streets of Chicago, Baltimore, and other major American cities.
The list of sponsoring organizations includes Catholic Relief Services, which receives hundreds of millions of dollars per year from the taxpayer but cannot mention Jesus or the faith in its “evangelizing” efforts — because that would be proselytizing!
And CRS routinely sends its lobbyists — paid in full by the faithful — to lobby every year for hundreds of millions in federal funding for organizations that support worldwide distribution of contraceptives and abortifacients.
Last on the list of sponsors is the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, which according to the schedule has no role in the actual proceedings. Instead, the indigenous, the poor, immigrants (legal and illegal), “diversity” (LGBT not mentioned specifically), affordable housing, the nuclear threat, and global warming will be the issues that Catholic “leaders” will be called on to champion for the sake of “justice and peace.”
Apparently marriage, the family, and their role as the foundation and guarantee of social integrity as taught in Humanae Vitae just aren’t worth mentioning in the Catholic Deep State’s pursuit of the common good.

Yes, Virginia, There
Is A Humanae Vitae!

On January 12, Bishop Barry Knestout will be invested as the 13th bishop of the Diocese of Richmond, Va., succeeding the late Bishop Francis DiLorenzo, who died in office.
Bishop Knestout confronts a difficult task. Under Bishop DiLorenzo in 2008, the diocese’s Catholic Charities, under a federal grant, sent a 15-year-old Guatemalan girl to an abortuary to end the life of her unborn child. Alas, Bishop DiLorenzo covered up the incident by terminating those responsible and paying them off (his lawyer denied to The Wanderer that the requirement for silence as part of their severance pay was a “payoff”).
The cover-up lasted for several months, with the formal cooperation of the USCCB’s leadership, until The Wanderer broke the story and disclosed the USCCB documents. Since then, the Richmond chancery has steadfastly refused to discuss the matter.
Bishop Knestout will also confront a major scandal in his diocese in the person of Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.), an ardent 100 percent abortion supporter and a member of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Richmond. There, Fr. James Arsenault, his pastor, describes Kaine as a “devout Catholic” with a “twinkle in his eye.”
Undaunted, Bishop DiLorenzo repeatedly refused demands of Richmond Catholics to condemn Kaine’s abortion support.

Will Bishop Knestout?

And we recall when, six years ago, Fr. Marcel Guarnizo followed canon 915 and denied Communion to a lesbian who had barged into his sacristy before Mass to introduce her “partner.” Bishop Knestout, the vicar general of the Washington Archdiocese at the time, censured Fr. Guarnizo and issued a public apology to the lesbian in The Washington Post.
Not promising.
Bishop Knestout will also have to confront his own Deep State in the Richmond office of the Virginia Catholic Conference (VCC). One Jeff Caruso serves as the conference’s director. In addressing certain “life issues” on the VCC website, he writes:
“We are obliged by our faith and on behalf of the common good to advocate for public policies that end: abortion; human embryonic stem-cell research; assisted suicide or euthanasia; capital punishment; poverty; human trafficking and pornography.”
Curious. Is that all there is? There is no mention of ending contraception, sodomy, divorce, or adultery. If these are not goals of the VCC, Mr. Caruso should say so — although the savvy lawyer lobbyist knows well that, if he does, his career prospects will be severely dimmed.
While certain deadly sins are not mentioned in Mr. Caruso’s lists of evils to end, capital punishment is. Which brings to mind an interesting vignette.
On Election Day 2016, a local Virginia pastor, wearing his clerics, caught sight of Mark Obenshain, our state senator, at the polls.
“Senator, I’d like to thank you for supporting life and opposing abortion,” the pastor said.
“Are you a Catholic priest,” Obenshain asked.
“Yes.”
“That’s funny,” Obenshain answered. “Most Catholic priests I meet ask me to oppose the death penalty. They never mention abortion.”

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