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Catholic “Social Justice” Alliance Is All-In For Biden

October 9, 2021 Frontpage No Comments

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

In December 1971, a group of Catholic sisters creates a nationwide “network” of women religious who would trade the spiritual charisms of their communities for a life of political activism devoted to “Social Justice.”
The Network Lobby’s first newsletter addressed several specific issues: “international poverty, congressional reform, minimum wage, child care, consumer protection, the environment, farmworker rights, healthcare, opposition to the Vietnam War, prison reform, tax fairness, welfare reform, and women’s rights.”
This was the unfortunate reflection of the collapse of religious life throughout much of the West.
Not long afterward, Mother Mary Elise, SND, and several valiant coworkers formed the Consortium Perfectae Caritatis. The Consortium welcomed women who sought to preserve the spirit and charisms of their communities, in spite of the wave of Social Justice activists who had emptied their convents, demanding that the contemplatives “get off your knees and do something.”
At the time, many good sisters found themselves robbed of the spiritual life and rule that they had embraced. For them, the Consortium was a tremendous gift, offering inspiration and support as they endeavored to live up to their vows in an increasingly secular and often hostile environment.
In the years since, membership in many of the orders that have concentrated on “going out into the world” has dwindled. Meanwhile, communities that pursue contemplative life in community have flourished — in some cases burdened with severe measures emanating from Rome to discourage their growth.
While members of these communities earnestly pray quietly for their very survival, what remains of the “Liberated Religious Left” rolls on, politicking loudly for the agenda of the Biden administration.
And abortion? Silence. Last year, Sr. Simone Campbell, executive director of the Network Lobby, offered a prayer at the Democratic National Convention. At the time, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported that Campbell, an honors graduate of UC-Davis School of Law, “declined to take a stand” on laws regarding abortion. “That is not our issue. That is not it. It is above my pay grade,” Campbell said. (CNA also reports: “During a 2016 interview with Democracy Now, Campbell said more directly that ‘From my perspective, I don’t think it’s a good policy to outlaw abortion’.”)
Last week the Network Lobby sponsored a statement signed by over a hundred groups including dozens of communities of Catholic women religious. The statement aims to convince the Biden administration to reverse Donald Trump’s immigration policies at the border.
As if Biden hadn’t done enough damage already. But the statement also pretends to embellish its political message with a religious wrapping featuring an official “Catholic” label.
And the Network lobbyists are not alone.

Bishops and Their NGOs
Endorse Biden’s Border Policies

Abortion isn’t Network’s issue, but immigration is, and the more, the better. And there, Network has important allies in the hierarchy as well. Last week immigration advocates at the USCCB and Catholic Charities, USA issued a statement urging “humane treatment of Haitians” and other migrants at the border. Like the Network Lobby, the duo supports reversing the Trump administration’s policies (full disclosure: both USCCB and CCUSA receive tens of millions of taxpayer annually funding for their work with immigrants and refugees, at the border and after they are admitted into the U.S.).
While the joint statement was issued on the occasion of “National Migration Week 2021,” it also came as Panama’s Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes warned that some sixty thousand (60,000) Haitians had already left Panama heading for the U.S. border, while another thirty thousand (30,000) Haitians would soon follow them.
Minister Mouynes said that the Biden administration had not responded to her warning, but White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday that the administration was “working” with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to prepare for the unprecedented and well-coordinated offensive.
Although the USCCB, Catholic Charities, and Network are unanimous regarding opening the border more widely, there are few voices in the hierarchy calling out the Biden administration for its savage attacks on life — not just its attack on the Hyde Amendment, but its reversal of Donald Trump’s historic pro-life policies across the board.
These lonely voices aren’t getting much help from Rome. Peter Cardinal Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, was interviewed by Mike Allen this past Sunday on HBO’s Axios program.
Allen asked the cardinal if he agreed with the phrase often employed by Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego and other defenders of Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and other pro-abortion Catholic politicians: “The Eucharist is being weaponized.”
“The Eucharist should not in any way become a weapon,” said Cardinal Turkson.
“Do you have any question that President Biden is a Catholic in good standing?” Allen asked. “Should he be served Communion?”
Cardinal Turkson responded: “If you say somebody cannot receive Communion, you are basically doing a judgment that you are in a state of sin.”
“It sounds like you don’t think that should happen in the case of President Biden,” said the interviewer.
“No,” Turkson answered, although it might be possible in an “extreme case,” like a known murderer.

Humanae Vitae Won’t Be On The Agenda

The timing of Cardinal Turkson’s statement is unfortunate; is it deliberate?
The USCCB meets next month to consider a draft of a document on the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist; such a document might include the application of Canon 915 in the context of the Church’s teaching.
Was Cardinal Turkson’s comment designed to influence the bishops’ deliberations in Baltimore?
In 2019 the USCCB vote on making abortion the conference’s “preeminent” political issue in 2020 was two to one in favor. The bishops’ permanent bureaucracy immediately shelved the directive, but next month’s agenda will once more resuscitate the issue. When it does arise, Cardinal Turkson’s statement might well serve as a signal to wavering bishops whose silence might nudge that balance in the conference’s membership closer to an even split.
Unfortunately, that might leave outspoken defenders of the Church’s teaching on abortion and the Eucharist — for instance, Archbishops Cordileone and Naumann — “twisting slowly in the wind,” and Cardinals Cupich and Tobin — the only two American members of the Vatican office that recommends bishop candidates to the Pope — ever more firmly in charge.
As things now stand, the bishops’ social program, minus abortion and euthanasia (but not contraception), is Biden’s social program.

Humanae Vitae Gathers Dust On The Shelf

And contraception? Historian Donald Critchlow once searched the USCCB records since 1967. His research found that the bishops had privately discussed over several years whether or not to oppose federal funding of “family planning” in LBJ’s “Great Society” programs. However, they could never reach a firm decision and, thus, they never made a public statement for or against taxpayer funding of contraception, even after Humanae Vitae challenged them to do so.
Critchlow cited attorney William Ball, a brilliant lawyer (and my father’s last editor-in-chief of the Notre Dame Law Review in 1952). While speaking to a Catholic assembly in Pennsylvania in 1967, Ball explained that Church teaching required the bishops’ opposition to taxpayer funding of family planning. An unnamed Church official at the meeting contradicted Ball’s assertion: that was not the Church’s teaching, the official told the audience.
Since then, the USCCB and its NGOs have routinely lobbied for full funding of federal “family planning” programs that include contraception. During Democrat administrations, they have endorsed, and benefited from, broader programs with components that include abortion funding.
That is also the case today under the Biden administration. Yet, the discussion at the USCCB’s meeting next month will focus on abortion. Humanae Vitae will not be on the agenda. In fact, it hasn’t been for over half a century.

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