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Pandemic Prompts Painfully Predictable Palaver

May 9, 2020 Frontpage No Comments

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

Last week the USCCB announced the retirement of Bishop R. Daniel Conlon of Joliet. It was Bishop Conlon, we recall, who once chaired the conference’s Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People. In August 2012, he addressed the National Safe Environment and Victim Assistance Coordinators Leadership Conference in Omaha. After ten years of failed cover-ups, he was blunt. The bishops’ credibility was “shredded,” he told them.
Bishop Conlon likened our own era to the Reformation, when “the episcopacy, the regular clergy, even the papacy were discredited.” While Bishop Conlon had once thought that the Charter, “coupled with some decent publicity, would turn public opinion around….I now know this was an illusion,” he told the group.
Bishop Conlon retired a couple of years early due to reasons of health, and we wish him well. Meanwhile, pandemic or no pandemic, the Social Justice Warriors who staff the USCCB bureaucracy are still hard at work trying to manufacture “some decent publicity” for their countless committee chairmen to promulgate as gospel. One wonders, now that the bishops have so much time on their hands, why do they need these well-paid staff “experts” at all — can’t they write their own stuff? After all, Bishop Rick Stika of Knoxville tweets that the lockdowns have left him and his bishop friends with so much time on their hands that he’s now working on his Spanish.
But the show must go on, so in the midst of this historic pandemic confronting the faithful and the country, the bishops have returned to the familiar litany of issues that they consider fundamental. And what are those issues? Why, illegal immigration, racism, and xenophobia, of course!
A group of U.S. bishops “tasked with the pastoral care of migrant populations” writes that “political leaders and policymakers” should come up with a few billion dollars to provide illegal aliens with free health care and a litany of other services — demands that the bishops have made their highest priority since long before the Wuhan Virus showed up.
Meanwhile another group of bishops writes that “African American communities across the nation are being disproportionately infected with and dying from the virus. . . . We raise our voices to urge state and national leaders to examine the generational and systemic structural conditions that make the new coronavirus especially deadly to African American communities.”
Curious. Like this writer, most bishops are in their seventies or close to it. One wonders, why don’t they “raise their voices to urge state and national leaders” to find out why the vast majority of Wuhan Virus deaths have occurred among us old folks? Or why one-third of those deaths have occurred in New York?

The Prelates’ Pathetic Palette

No, the bishops must paint with a broad brush, with precious few choices on their palette. Since 1979, “racism” has been a primary color that they manage to blend into virtually every political issue they embrace. When a white shoots a black offender, it is “racism.” When an African-American targets a white man, it’s “gun violence.” And of course, when inner-city blacks shoot one another, as in Baltimore and Chicago, the bishops don’t seem to notice at all.
But consider the bishops’ request regarding African-American Wuhan Virus victims. They demand that our “national leaders” hire a bunch of sociologists using Marxist methodology to describe the “systemic structural conditions” that make African-Americans especially vulnerable to the Wuhan Virus.
One is inclined to ask, what planet do these prelates live on? Do they even bother to read the blather that their staffs put in front of them? If they did, they’d realize that it’s little more than rehashed agitprop from the USCCB’s dismal 1970s — recycled with their upgraded and undoubtedly patented version of George Orwell’s Versificator Machine.
Mired in NewSpeak, the bishops ignoring the massive suffering experienced by millions of Americans of all races. They allow infanticide governors to dictate Church law on Mass attendance. In February, dioceses in Harrisburg and Buffalo filed for bankruptcy. St. Cloud says it is next. Detroit will run out of money in August. The Vatican sits on the McCarrick Report while announcing celebrations of unity with other religions and the glories of internationalism and equality.
Here’s the problem: that bunch of sociologists using Marxist methodology and fascinated by “systemic structural conditions” are on the bishops’ staff at the USCCB. And remember, the “experts” who dole out this drivel are paid with the voluntary donations of the people in the pews, whose parishes are taxed by their chanceries, which are in turn taxed by the USCCB.
This permanent bureaucracy is obsessed with its warmed-over class-struggle theology. And frankly, they’ve already exhaustively examined the “systemic structural conditions” they describe. They did it in their 1979 pastoral on racism, where they concluded that capitalism is bad, racists don’t really know that they’re racists, and that “most” whites are racists but no one else can be.
But wait, there’s more. Another group of bishops has just issued a statement expressing their “deep concern. . . .”
Just a moment. A note on “concern.” I remember a prominent senator who gave his staff an ironclad rule regarding constituent mail. Letters on various issues were directed to the members of the staff responsible for them. These staffers would then compose responses that the legislative correspondents would put into final form and mail to the constituent.
The senator’s office rule required that the first paragraph of the letter include the statement, “I am very concerned about [insert particular issue here].” Versification 101.
Back to the bishops and their deep concern. “We are also alarmed to note the increase in reported incidents of bullying and verbal and physical assaults, particularly against Americans of Asian and Pacific Island heritage. Way before state and local ordinances brought to a halt almost every economic sector in the country, communities across the country, from Oakland, California, to New York City, reported a sharp decline in the patronage for businesses owned and operated by Asian Americans. These are only a few painful examples of the continuing harassment and racial discrimination suffered by people of Asian and Pacific Islanders and others in our country.”
I am not making this up. That’s a direct quote. We recall that this is the same USCCB that raises no objection when a pro-abortion governor incarcerates us at home and deprives us of the Mass for months on end. Right. But if you didn’t join the crowds dining in New York City’s Chinatown as the Wuhan Virus invaded the Big Apple, you are indulging in “vile displays of racism and xenophobia.”
Just another swig of their fetid, stale brew of class struggle that has prospered for decades in their handsome Washington headquarters — which are off-limits to uninvited visitors, even if we’re paying their rent, by the way.

A Question Of Priorities

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson is a homosexual. His city’s response to the Wuhan Virus has been a disaster. So in April, a Christian group volunteered to help afflicted New Yorkers. They set up a field hospital in Central Park.
Good news? One would think so. But Mr. Johnson has other priorities. You see, Christian charity offends the “LGBT community.”
“It is time for Samaritan’s Purse to leave NYC,” he announced on May 1. “This group, led by the notoriously bigoted, hate-spewing Franklin Graham, came at a time when our city couldn’t in good conscience turn away any offer of help. That time has passed.”
Three days later Samaritan’s Purse announced that it was shutting down its hospital.
Sodomy over sanity? Sure. Anti-Christian bigotry? Absolutely.
We pray that our bishops will soon “raise their voice” to condemn the “bigoted, hate-spewing” Mr. Johnson.

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