Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

I$ the U$CCB $upporting Abortion?

January 23rd, 2018, Promulgated by Diane Harris

LifeSiteNews continues its persistent campaign to reveal the inconsistencies between the USCCB’s ‘teaching’ and its ‘lobbying’ for funds to support activities which oppose true Catholic Church teaching, based on the Deposit of Faith. Tonight LSN published an article by Lepanto Institute,  “Bishops ask US gov’t to ‘fully fund’ agency that gives millions to Planned Parenthood.”  As a matter of fact it isn’t only the US Bishops who self-contradict themselves. Every Catholic who throws a few dollars into the annual collection plate for Catholic Relief Services seems to be doing the same thing.

One thing which particularly bothered me in reading the Lepanto article is that it names the Bishop who authored the USCCB letter last month, sent to members of the Senate and the House, as Archbishop Broglio, head of Roman Catholic Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA .  Wanting to support caring for the faith of the members of the military, I thought it was a “safe” charity to which to donate. I am wrong. With Abp. Broglio at the helm, and given the letter he has written supporting grants to CRS, I’ve made my last donation to the Archdiocese for Military Services.

ScreenShot1018I don’t think the worst of this matter is the dollars which underwrite CRS’s support for abortion. I am more worried about the numerous positions by the USCCB, expressed to the US Government as being “Catholic” which are not, and which are prudential judgment issues with which we may well disagree. The government actions in the past year, in support Pro-Life, and in diminishing Planned Parenthood (more by far than in any previous presidency), are seriously undermined by the USCCB’s ingratitude, and its apparent financial and political disordered interests.

Perhaps Catholics in the pew need to have their own campaign to make sure the politicians are informed, and that we are not counted as automatically endorsing the opinions of the USCCB.  We might write:

  • “The USCCB does not speak for me as a Catholic on prudential judgment issues, such as ___(fill in the blank!)___________ .
  • As a Catholic, I am totally opposed to the US Government funding any organization which supports the following intrinsic evils “____________(fill in these blanks too!) __________”
  • Such organizations which I request NOT be funded by public funds include Catholic Relief Services and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and ____(fill in)______.
  • Thank you for all you are doing to reduce the scourge of Planned Parenthood and to protect life.”

The committee letter-writing by the USCCB seems to me to bypass the essence of national conference structure. One committee after another expresses its opinions to government, which opinions cannot help but be seen by most in secular circles as expressing a binding teaching of the Catholic Church.  Wrong!  As Cardinal Ratzinger confirmed in the Ratzinger Report (Ignatius Press 1985, p. 60) “No episcopal conference as such has a teaching mission; their documents have no weight of their own save that of the consent given to them by the individual bishops.” He explained: “It is a matter of safeguarding the very nature of the Catholic Church, which is based on an episcopal structure and not on a kind of federation of national churches.  … in each diocese there is only one shepherd and teacher of the faith ….”

In my opinion, the use of such committee letters to government figures only confuses the faithful, asserts an authority not held, and misleads those in government who are not cognizant of ecclesial dimensions. It also affects the full exercise of the rights of each shepherd.  Cardinal Ratzinger points out that some bishops “lack a sense of individual responsibility, and the delegation of his inalienable powers as shepherd and teacher to the structures of the local conference leads to letting what should remain very personal lapse into anonymity.”  


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