Skip to comments.Operation Rescue Founder to Vatican: Remove Cowardly US Bishops
Posted on 03/11/2009 12:54:59 PM PDT by wagglebee
ROME, March 11, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Vatican must remove key members of the US Catholic episcopate and replace them with men who will speak and act courageously and with urgency to stop abortion, a prominent American pro-life advocate has told Catholic leadership at the Vatican. Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue, came to Rome last week with a delegation of US pro-life advocates to ask prominent Vatican prelates to end the "scandal" of some American Catholic bishops refusing to act on behalf of unborn children by replacing them.
Terry told LifeSiteNews.com in an exclusive interview that he and his colleagues had come to Rome, "to help connect some dots for certain prelates who perhaps have not had them connected before. Namely that the greatest single reason that child-killing continues in America is the fear or the outright treachery of US bishops."
Terry was received into the Catholic Church in 2005, and has turned his attention to what he sees as a deficit of orthodoxy and commitment to defending life in the US episcopate. He told LSN that he was committed to founding a new "confederacy" of pro-life groups and individuals who would focus on imploring the leadership of the Catholic Church to "to lay the axe to the poisonous root" of the current episcopate in the US.
Meeting with LSN at the Rome office of Human Life International, within sight of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica, Terry told LSN that the US Catholic bishops' actions and inaction have led directly to the election of Barack Obama, who has been called by pro-life advocates the "most pro-abortion president in US history." After the election, many Catholics, including Vatican prelates, expressed their dismay that 55 percent of the US Catholic electorate had voted for Obama.
Terry said that he learned while in Rome that much of the higher level leadership of the Catholic Church are not aware of the extent of the problem of the US Catholic leadership. "The responses of those we met with ranged from surprise and shock, to sympathy and heartfelt agreement."
Armed with a package of information on the doings of the US episcopate in the lead-up to the election of President Obama, Terry and his colleagues met with Archbishop Rino Fisichella of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Cardinal James Francis Stafford, prefect of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Archbishop Raymond Burke, the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, Cardinal Antonio Canizares, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and representatives of the Congregation for Bishops and the Pontifical Councils for the Laity, the Family and for Justice and Peace.
"One of the reasons we are here is to specifically request the transfer of Bishop Loverde of Arlington and Archbishop Wuerl of Washington DC," he said.
Archbishop Wuerl has gone on record saying that he will not refuse Holy Communion to the large number of pro-abortion Catholic politicians living in Washington. Terry said that his group had chosen to highlight the two DC-area bishops because of their importance politically, but he admitted that the problem is endemic in the US episcopate.
"The majority of the federal politicians who promote and defend child-killing are receiving Communion in Washington and northern Virginia. And both these men have made it crystal clear that they are not going to withhold Communion. They won't uphold the teaching of the Church."
While there are a "handful of bishops speaking courageously," most of the US bishops, he claimed, are "culturally Democrats" who actively supported Obama "for money reasons."
"Obama, as a left-winger on social spending, would certainly offer more money for certain Catholic social works. The US bishops have been in tight with the Democrat party for a hundred years. Culturally they're Democrats," he said.
Terry also brought to the attention of the Vatican officials the influence of the USCCB document, "Faithful Citizenship," which, he said, "paved the way" for the election of Obama. The document said that although abortion is one of the most important electoral issues, that Catholics could in conscience vote for a pro-abortion politician for "proportional reasons."
"So, when person after person stood up after the election and said, 'Well the Catholic bishops told us this is OK,' the bishops did not correct them. So their silence had as a direct fruit the election of Obama."
Terry said that his delegation showed the Vatican officials "well-documented proof," that many of the US bishops, "perhaps the majority of them," are ignoring the teachings of the Church on the requirement to defend unborn children from abortion, and to refuse Holy Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.
The new pro-life initiative, to be called the Vanguard of St. Catherine, is named after the 14th century nun and reformer Catherine of Sienna, whose years of letters and lobbying brought the papacy back to Rome after the so-called "Avignon exile." It will consist of pro-life Catholics and organisations who will petition Rome to address the "ongoing scandal" of bishops who refuse to act to defend human life.
Since founding Operation Rescue in 1986, Terry has been arrested more than forty times. Founded on the same principles of non-violent civil disobedience as the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, Operation Rescue grew to become one of the best known pro-life organisations in the world. Terry told LSN that since becoming a Catholic, he has seen that one of the most serious obstacles to the ending of abortion in the US is the inaction of the Catholic Church.
Diocesan pro-life groups are paralysed by fear, he said. "The road to ending child-killing," he said, "goes through the diocesan offices. And the greatest road blocks to child-killing are in those diocesan offices. Sadly, it's true that very often the biggest problems we face are the people working in diocesan pro-life offices."
Quoting the book of Proverbs, he said, "The fear of man brings a snare, and many diocesan pro-life workers are just shackled by fear. They fear losing their job. They fear displeasing the bishop. They fear looking radical. They fear bad press or that they won't get funding. And it mutes their words and shackles their actions so that they say little and do even less."
"You cannot have a polite conversation with people who are committed to slaughtering babies. And that is one of the greatest crises we're facing in the pro-life diocesan works."
He has excoriated the US Catholic leadership for what he sees as an excessive fear of jeopardising their tax-exempt status. He said that the history of the Church, in which people have faced down torture and death for the truth, "stands as a double accusation against the bishops."
"Bishops in other centuries faced death. We face bad press. Whining letters from parishioners. Perhaps losing our tax exempt status. I turned to a group of bishops after one election and asked them, 'Why were you silent?' I said, 'Your tax-exempt status be damned if it keeps you from saying the words of God'."
Terry said that this is only his first of many planned trips to Rome to plead with the Vatican to address the situation.
"The greatest joy I had after I came into the Church was really studying Evangelium Vitae, and I was never so proud to be a Catholic and I was never so embarrassed. Because I realised that if we would simply follow these marching orders we would win. And the fact that the bishops refuse to obey, is why we have child-killing in America."
To read more about the Vanguard of St. Catherine project: http://www.ahumbleplea.com/ ;
** For a different analysis and approach to the problems of US Catholic Church leadership see the LifeSiteNews series of articles "US Election Message to Catholic Bishops: The Broken Window Strategy."
Part I, with links to succeeding parts:
U.S. Election Message to Catholic Bishops: Time to Clean House
I agree with Randy on this one.
Awesome. As a catholic who is often irritated or ashamed of my churches leadership, I think they need a kick in the ass.
A saint for our times.
Interesting post. The RC Church and other Christians as well will have to get militant. We may have to become “fists in the air” screamers and yellers-—something most of us normally despise (not our style). If that’s what it takes, bring it on.
Thanks for the ping.
Every 24 seconds an American baby screams out in horror as it is being murdered, the only way to end this is to scream louder and make sure the murderers hear us.
One of our priests did not make a political statement. He just compared TWO of the first executive orders:
Closing Gitmo and releasing a few to satisfy MANY.
Repealing the Mexico City order and putting MANY in danger to satisfy a few.
He didnt’ understand.
I love Mother Teresa’s quote: “Tis a pity that a child must die for you to have choice.”
The reality is that NOBODY has been murdered at Gitmo, ONE MILLION babies are murdered worldwide each week.
There is no debate that abortion is the gravest of evils before us today, but how loudly will the evangelicals and conservatives cry about Catholic Church intervention in politics when the other areas of Catholic Social Doctrine such as immigration reform and the death penalty are addressed?
Serving the Gospel of life thus means that the family, particularly through its membership of family associations, works to ensure that the laws and institutions of the State in no way violate the right to life, from conception to natural death, but rather protect and promote it.
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list
I am a born “screamer and yeller”. Be happy to give a brief tutorial for a good cause like this one.
The sad fact is that the pro-abortion politicians know full well what abortion is—the taking of the most innocent of human life but they simply don’t care. That is why human life means nothing to the pro-abort liberals. I saw a democrat bumper sticker that stated “Democrats Care”. What BS.
Rndall Terry has gotten a bad rap as a fringer, but he’s right on here. As Catholics, we deserve to have strong, steadfast, and above all, STAUNCHLY CATHOLIC bishops.
Randall Terry's rap as an ineffective and harmful fringer is accurate and has been well earned.
I wouldn't follow him to the corner store, and trust him to get me there.
There are pleny of better and more effective leaders we can find. We don't have to turn to failed leaders from the past.
“The RC Church and other Christians as well will have to get militant. We may have to become fists in the air screamers and yellers-something most of us normally despise (not our style). If thats what it takes, bring it on.”
That is well said. I agree!
My sister in Madison, WIsconsin told me that if anyone would organize a march on Washington regarding the horendous killing of unborn children [beyond the annual January marches] - she and her husband would go to it. I told her to let me know if they decided to join such a march for I would drive over to their house and ride with them.
Folks - what we need is million person march, perhaps 2 million. We cannot seem to get their attention otherwise. Perhaps we should march on the Office of the Speaker of the House! She could certainly use a wakeup call. Two million fists and one million voices screaming at Nancy Pelosi might force a few moments of reflection.
Maybe a few marches on the diocesan chanceries would help too!
Totally disgusted in Minnesota!
“There is no debate that abortion is the gravest of evils before us today, but how loudly will the evangelicals and conservatives cry about Catholic Church intervention in politics when the other areas of Catholic Social Doctrine such as immigration reform and the death penalty are addressed?”
Abortion is in a different category than immigration and death penalty. Abortion is a civil rights issue, much like slavery. Although there are moral issues involverd, we are still talking about the right to life here - so it is a civil rights issue.
There is nothing in Catholic doctrine demanding 'open borders' or disrespect for just law, such as turning a blind eye on illegal immigration so that companies can get and exploit cheap labor. But many are happy to advance their own agenda's under cover of 'doctrine'.
Also, it was the Catholic Church which originated the theory of "just war" and is at the basis for Western legal theories surrounding just and humane criminal law and punishment.
The Church says that any country which accepts immigrants has a right to make immigration subject to just and reasonable regulation, and to insist the any would-be immigrants "obey its laws and assist in carrying civic burdens" (reference paragraph 2241 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.)
The Church is also not opposed the death penalty under legitimate circumstances (reference paragraph 2266 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.)
I don't hear "evangelicals and conservatives crying out" about such Catholic social doctrines when they have actually read them and undertand what such doctrines intend.
And if any do, they will find me a reliable defender of Catholic Social Doctrine tout court.
Why is he representing us.He’s been a Catholic for all of 3 years.Is he the only speaker they had?
As a convert myself, I don’t agree with the implication of your post.
Sometimes the “new” Catholic has a fire and a spirit that comes as a very great grace attached to their new birth into Catholicism.
He is Catholic. For me, that is sufficient for this moment.
I can never understand why some take any occasion to join in circular fire.
As St. Paul writes: “The man who is in Christ Jesus is a new creation.”
Why don’t we look at Randall Terry in this light rather than maligning him about his past?
Don’t we all need some kind of mercy and forgiveness for things in our past?
If Randall Terry speaks out for the endangered unborn and does so as a Catholic-—fine. May there be many, many more like him. Yes—a million or more—who will do likewise.
You are right. Thanks for your post.
I would rejoice to see a million (2 million) man march on Washington for an end to abortion.
What a great event it would be! And it could not be ignored or underestimated by the press—not with today’s hi-tech ability to assess crowd statistics.
I would hope that such a march could be organized for early summer-—a time when people could take a few days vacation to go, when high school and college kinds were out for the summer and could come, when the weather may not be so likely to be inclement.
If only this could be done!
If you have to know, go and find out. If you have such inside information and contacts with prominent pro-lifers, it shouldn’t be hard to find the answer.
What kind of a ludicrous argument is that? Many people fail to win the presidency upon their first attempt, including Reagan. Perhaps, Reagan should have given up after his first try. For someone not nationally known Romney had tremendous success, and finished with the second most number of Republican electoral votes.
Terry's failure came years ago. I know people who lost their homes because of him, and have long arrest records that have hurt them in countless ways to this day. And I know savvy, effective pro-lifers, responsible for saving as many or more lives than Terry, without losing their homes, having long arrest records, and leading others into financial destruction. It is a travesty that an attention seeking weirdo like Terry, hijacked the pro-life movement so long ago. How many more lives might have been saved, if people had followed someone more effective.
Where is your common sense, Antonnius? You go for ineffective leaders and politicians who don't have a prayer of winning (i.e.Duncan Hunter as nice and conservative a guy that he is) or of success and as such, are suspect in my book. It is precisely because conservatives failed to coalesce around a candidate capable of winning not only the nomination but the general, that we have Obama. Remember that the next time you look into the mirror and stop following people who have only good hearts but find leaders who also have good heads. When you get a clue, perhaps we'll consider welcoming you back into the fold.
Based on his past track record, people should stop following him. There are plenty of other Catholics, who've been with our church longer and who are more effective than an attention seeker like Terry.
Kill all the wicked terrorists. Saw off their heads, I don’t care. Put our outrage where it belongs—the evil practice of killing unborn children.
I’m gonna make a few phone calls to find out a little more.
Thank you! Please let me know when you do find out. : )
Too many of the American Bishops are afflicted with timidity. We have to pray for the bishops and the unborn.
Good quote but can you pin it down a little more, I couldn’t find it on line.
“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”
I was WAY off on verbage. This is from http://www.gargaro.com/mother_teresa/quotes.html
I’ve seen it on bumper stickers.
The bishops should act like abortion is what they say it is. Good for this guy, maybe it’ll get through some mitred heads.
That is a very good quote, thanks
I’m with Randy on this one.
What's to object to? I don't care if he's been Catholic for five minutes, he's bang on the money. Way better than the DRE at my Parish who conviced youth that they could vote for Obama, based upon Faithful Citizenship . All I can say is "Preach it Randy!"
Well, to be honestly few outside really think the Catholic church is that serious about it. When you have a Catholic VP and a host of Catholic congress critters marching lock step with the abortion crowd, I can understand that.
We all agree with Randy on this one. We don’t agree HIS INEFFECTIVE SELF should be the messenger, particularly when there is newer and better blood to choose from.
BTTT for later.