Dopey Dialog Letter to the Editor of the Week

From Joseph Guderian of Claymont (see page 12), we get the following gem:

There’s a tone of wishfulness and a touch of schadenfreude in George Weigel’s vision of “the Anglican Communion … falling apart.” I have to wonder why he’s addressing the subject in the first place, when all he has to do is turn his attention to the Catholic Church in Nebraska, where a bishop has excommunicated a group of faithful Catholics who want nothing more than a say in who leads them, an end to sexual discrimination in the ordination of clergy, and a relaxation of the rule against a married priesthood, all issues supported by a majority of church members in the U.S.

Worst of all, I haven’t heard of a single American bishop (never mind the Vatican’s refusal to intervene) who is standing up to this reckless abuse of office in Nebraska.

The “falling apart” is closer to home.

First, let’s correct something. The Vatican refused to intervene. There were two separate appeals to the Vatican by members of Call to Action (one of about ten groups who the Bishop had said membership in was incompatible with the Catholic faith). The first appeal was denied stating that Bishop Bruskewitz’s decision was within his prerogatives as Bishop of Lincoln Nebraska. The second appeal was denied on the grounds that the Vatican’s “Supreme Court” had no jurisdiction in the matter. So, not only did the Vatican not refuse to intervene, but they upheld the decision of the Bishop.

Next, the Bishop did not single out Call to Action, although he would have been within his rights to do so. First, this was not an immediate excommunication. He gave members of his diocese a month to leave these groups and make things right with the Church before the excommunications were recognized. Those who stayed in these organizations after the deadline excommunicated themselves.

And what were the organizations that were covered by this decree?

Planned Parenthood
Society of St. Pius X (a group that denies the validity of Vatican II)
Call to Action (dissents on many issues like priestly celibacy, election of bishops, male priesthood, etc.)
Hemlock Society(A group that pushed for legalized suicide)
St. Michael the Archangel Chapel (another schismatic group of traditionalist Catholics)
Freemasons (this is in accordance with universal Church law)
Job’s Daughters (also masonic)
DeMolay (Masonic again)
Eastern Star(ditto)
Rainbow Girls (still Masonic)
Catholics for a Free Choice (rabidly pro-abortion)

This was far from a move to single out Call to Action. What’s especially ironic about Mr. Guderian’s complaint about George Weigel’s article and his defense of Call to Action is that he’s defending a group that is trying to make the Catholic Church more like the Episcopalians who are falling apart, even if Mr. Guderian refuses to see it. Taking the Church in that direction would inevitably lead to an Episcopalian type fracture. We only have to look at the Anglican Communion to see it occurring, why does he wish it on our Church?

Excommunication is a last ditch effort by the Church to draw people back into God’s graces; it’s a final statement saying that people have been willfully and stubbornly doing wrong and the have not responded to the Church’s efforts to bring them back into the fold. It’s not done lightly, but only when all other efforts have failed. And remember, this move was upheld by the Vatican so it couldn’t have been done capriciously.

Finally, you often hear arguments like Mr Guderian raises saying “a majority of people believe x, y and z.” To quote our current Pope: “Truth is not determined by majority vote.” Or to quote many people’s mothers: “If everyone else were jumping off a bridge, would you do it also?”

(Again, thanks to Hube for the concept of the “Dopey Letter to the Editor.”)

Why I still don’t trust the Democrats on Life Issues

In 2006, the Democrats made a big deal about how they were now open to pro-lifers and no longer as hostile to them, even running a few avowed pro-lifers for office. We’ve seen some good deeds out of those pro-life Democrats, such as Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, Jr. voting against embryonic stem cell research funding, but there’s more evidence that all the talk of openness was just talk.

For example, take “pro-life” Catholic Democrat Bill Ritter, Governor of Colorado. Ritter campaigned as a pro-lifer, but has just signed a bill that requires Catholic hospitals provide abortifacient drugs to rape victims. Rape victims are certainly deserving of our support, but one, adding an abortion to their conscience is not helping them and, two, requiring Catholic hospitals to provide such drugs is a violation of their freedom of conscience. Ritter has exposed his pro-life rhetoric as just rhetoric with no meaning.

(UPDATE: This blog entry turns out to be incorrect. Despite what I wrote above, based on bad information the Colorado law does not require doctors to provide the drug, merely to provide information about it. My comments were based on the article linked to above, which has since been updated to reflect this correction. My overall point still stands as it requires Catholic doctors to provide information about an immoral procedure, though.)

Meanwhile, in Washington, the Democrats are playing games with emergency funding for our troops in Iraq. What are the Democrats insisting on including in a bill to help our troops: benefits to Planned Parenthood. That’s exactly what will help our troops.

I was always suspicious of the Democrats and their claims to be open to life. I see that was suspicions were confirmed. While the Republicans bring their own set of problems on life issues, the Democrats are still the same old party, never missing an opportunity to promote the culture of death.