Monday, March 22, 2010

Patrick Archbold: Bishops Share the Blame

Bishops helped pave the way.
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(I reprint this article because I'm afraid it could be removed from the National Catholic Register blog it originated on.  Although my worries seem to be unfounded since it is also on his blog, Creative Minority Report - doh - I didn't know it was that Patrick - great blog BTW!  Courageous post as well.)
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Bishops Share the Blame.
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Well, it is done. The Government takeover of health-care is now the law of the land complete with the federal funding of abortion.
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A truly honest assessment of the situation should hold the Republican party to account. Truth be told, the Republican party has acquitted themselves well in the past year. They managed to hold off this bill as long as they could facing an opposition with a huge majority. But why did the Democrats have such a huge majority? Because when the reigns of government were entrusted to Republicans, they woefully failed in their duty. They failed to live up to their own creed in both a fiscal and moral sense. No need to go into detail here, everyone knows their failings. Those failings opened the door to a virulently pro-death Democrat Congress and a virulently pro-death Democrat president.
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A truly honest assessment of the situation should hold the Republican party to account. Truth be told, the Republican party has acquitted themselves well in the past year. They managed to hold off this bill as long as they could facing an opposition with a huge majority. But why did the Democrats have such a huge majority? Because when the reigns of government were entrusted to Republicans, they woefully failed in their duty. They failed to live up to their own creed in both a fiscal and moral sense. No need to go into detail here, everyone knows their failings. Those failings opened the door to a virulently pro-death Democrat Congress and a virulently pro-death Democrat president.
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Had the Republicans been good stewards of the authority entrusted them, we would likely not be in this situation now.
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There is another group that should also take a hard look at their stewardship and and acknowledge their failures, the US Bishops.
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Again, while the Bishops have acquitted themselves well through this process recently, they cannot ignore the past.
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The hard truth is that for years the Bishops have allied themselves with the pro-abort party in matters related to health-care, and now they claim 11th hour betrayal.
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When you hang out with thieves, you shouldn’t be surprised when you get robbed.
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Moreover, the Bishops silence for years in the face of pro-abortion Catholic politicians has given aid and comfort to those who seek the death of children. The Bishop’s unwillingness, with some obvious exceptions, to effectively address or discipline pro-abort Catholic politicians allowed for the Democrats to portray the Church as divided on the issue. They have also allowed a culture of dissent to flourish for decades that culminated in the shameful last minute endorsement by a group of radical nuns that seriously hurt the cause of life.
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The bishops’ decades long collective silence on these issues allowed for this culture to develop and has resulted in the USCCB being understandably criticized as an extension of the Democrat party (the Democrat party at prayer they say). This is the horrible result of that ungodly alliance.
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Blame may be cathartic for some but that is not the reason I bring this sorry history up now. Like the Republicans, the Bishops too must learn from their mistakes. If they continue to ally themselves with the Democrat party and continue their ineffective “pastoral” approach to pro-death Catholic politicians things will only get worse, and yes they can get worse.
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So it is time for all of us to admit our mistakes and learn from them. Lives depend on it. We failed them before, let’s not do it again. - Patrick Archbold
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Addendum:

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When writing this post, I did not intend it to be the launch area for attacks against our Bishops, collectively or individually. In fact, as I mentioned in my post, I think that collectively the Bishops have done a commendable job in opposing the aspects of the healthcare bill that will provide federal funds for abortions. They have been clear in their opposition from the start of this process and have been actively engaged throughout. I was even more impressed with the quick turnaround of the Bishop’s Conference in pointing out the unacceptability of the Executive Order solution that eventually won the day. The Bishops did all they could during this process and I commend them for it.
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In bringing up past failings, I intended it as a learning exercise. This situation was not created only in the last fifteen months. All of us, need to take a deep look at what we could have done better and what, perhaps, we did wrong. I fully expect that most of the Bishops are aware of mistakes that have been made. Their excellent work in defense of life this past year gives proof of it. Yet still, serious consideration should be given to historical mistakes as well if only to ensure that they have learned the necessary lessons.
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That said, vitriol and blanket criticism of the Bishops is unfair and certainly not constructive. For that reason, we will be turning off comments on this post. I hope that most of those who have read my post understand the intent of what I wrote and sincere desire to be constructive.
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As for those who have used this post as an excuse to bash the Bishops I ask you to turn your anger to something much more efficacious. Pray for the Bishops.
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My thoughts:
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I could add to this, but I won't take the time right now, except to say remember Fr. Paul Marx and the little support he had when pioneering the pro-life movement.  Remember the bishops, priests and religious who dissented from Humanae Vitae - who trashed just about every document that came out of Rome.  Sure the episcopate is changing today - but it wasn't always like it is now.  (Much before Vatican II prelates were rubbing elbows with the elite to get better recognition and social acceptance for Catholics in the U.S. - names such as Cushing, Spellman, come to mind.)    This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons why dissident Catholic politicians will follow their conscience - no matter how badly formed or supressed - they were taught their own version of pluralism - which is now aptly described as relativism.
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Photo:  It just works for the post - that's all.

2 comments:

  1. We need another Archbishop Sheen. Chaput and Burke are strong and consistent - but wouldn't a show on EWTN or somewhere on cable similar to Sheen's old show be awesome right now? What a platform that would be to set the record straight on authentic Catholicism!

    Maybe Fr Z could do a show?

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  2. I think your choice of photo, Terry, is excellent; a picture is worth a thousand words.
    The present group of American Bishops is not the focus of this commentary(I'm sorry to say Cardinal Egan has a lot to reckon with in his tenure in CT...bad, bad stuff happened under his watch); it's the past 45 or so years of backing away from the real issues, beginning with the Liturgy, going into their silence during the promulgation of "Humanae vitae" (which is documented in several very reliable sources), esp. how Catholic U in D.C. basically pulled the rug from Archbishop O'Boyle's feet during the Charles Curran debacle. Then Roe vs Wade, which was practically ignored except by a few courageous bishops and archbishops (cardinals), to this present fiasco with women religious (although this had been brewing for decades beginning with Cardinal McIntyre's headache of what happened to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Congregation--basically liquidated by the machinations of Carl Rogers and company).
    Our present Bishops, esp. those appointed during Pope Benedict's reign are basically good men, with the Church, solid and articulate.
    We have to pray very hard that he continues to appoint real shepherds so that this rot will be contained and disposed of.
    Otherwise, we'll be back in the Middle Ages (or Dark Ages, I should say) when anarchy and chaos reigned because nobody was really in charge of the ship, even if the Pope tried to be.

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