George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New
WRONG WITH THE CATHOLIC
The following is a
clinical evaluation of a sick organization, including symptoms and
diagnoses and proposed treatment. It is
performed, with a heavy heart, by a seven decades-long staunch member
Roman Catholic Faith and usually a loyal supporter of the Catholic
Church. The latter support has at times included
prescribing a dose of salts.
- We deal with the worst-case scenario first:
the Bishops’ positions and action regarding proposed Personhood
amendments to State Constitutions. See the
report of Judie Brown, enclosed. This is
absolutely scandalous. And it is directly
born of the trauma and intimidation, both personal and financial,
resulting directly from the on-going Clergy Sex Scandals, rightly felt
by the Bishops. But it is simply an
unacceptable response to the abomination of abortion, to realistic
efforts to define Personhood (medically, morally and legally), and to a
critical election wherein 54% of Roman Catholics voted for the most
pro-abortion candidate or office holder. Nor
is it acceptable for the U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops, at its recent post-election meeting (as
reported in the December issues of the Four County
Catholic) to exhort the President – Elect with platitudes and pieties. Cardinal George, the Conference President
rightly notes: “This statement is written at the request and
direction of all the Bishops, who also want to thank all those
in politics who work with good will to protect the lives of the most
vulnerable among us. Those in public life
do so, sometimes, at the cost of great sacrifice to themselves and
their families; and we are grateful.” Two points here: 1) where is
the voice of the many U.S. Bishops who are on record as being in favor
of much more aggressive action with regard to the Bishops’
anti-abortion efforts; and 2) what “great sacrifice” have the
Bishops endured or are willing to endure in this effort?
All of this is a failure of the greatest importance.
- Although having been written by Pope Paul VI
in 1968 as an accurate predictor of the immorality then beginning to
spread throughout society, his decision in the encyclical Humanae
Vitae regarding birth control hormonal
contraception as being equally wrong as abortion…a position taken in
opposition to his Commission on the subject… contributed to the
alienation of millions of good Catholics and did little to stem the
explosion of abortions performed in subsequent decades.
Indeed, when one reads through the chain of conclusory and
outcome-determinative statements he used to support his position, we
find in Section 14 that he differentiates between birth control
hormonal contraception and abortion, and that he is at pains to explain
the inherent contradiction between his position on hormonal contraception and “natural family planning”. Both approaches have the same intent. And both
manipulate the necessary normal hormones involved in conception. Furthermore, only in that Section does he come
close to claiming, although not articulating, an “ex Cathedra”
teaching, and only with regard to abortion. Beyond
and before all of this, there is the threshold question of Jurisdiction
in the most intimate affairs of a loving and committed married couple
and in the discharge of their legitimate parental responsibilities
toward spacing the births of their children (see Catechism of the
Catholic Church, Section 2368). This
continues to be a serious self-inflicted wound.
- At the parish level, all we hear is silence. This may be based upon the vow of obedience
taken by priests and deacons to their bishops. But
it is a failure of the Magisterium at all levels. In
this situation, the Laity, as the Body of the Church, has a responsible
role to play.
Our Bishops can
rehabilitate themselves. In Connecticut
and elsewhere, they can refuse to have Catholic hospitals abide by the
regarding requiring the prescription of the abortifacient Plan B
ovulation test. They can mount a
nationwide, State-by-State effort to pass Personhood amendments
life as beginning at the moment of conception.
They can inform and mobilize Catholics throughout the country
the importance of any new nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court by the
pro-abortion President-Elect. They can
inform and mobilize all Catholics to block with all peaceful means
the pending Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) now wending its way through
with a promise by President-Elect Obama to sign it.
And they can immediately exert all of their
efforts, through every parish in the country, to urge the Bush
in its final days to promulgate a Provider Conscience Rule
Department of Health and Human Services. None of this can adversely
their charitable tax status, as they purport to fear, as being the
exercise of our rights as citizens to petition our government under the
5th and 14th Amendments of the U.S.
This is a Call to
Arms, if there ever was one. Will
our Bishops discharge their leadership
responsibilities? Or will the Laity have
to show them the way?
(c) Copyright 1999-2020, Allergy Associates of New London, PC