Skip to comments.Bishops holding health-care bill hostage (Bishop Thomas Tobin speaks Truth to power)
Posted on 11/29/2009 12:58:46 PM PST by Chi-townChief
"Let the healthcare bill allow for one sterilization for everyone of these whacked out females who are so intent on killing babies . . . Then . . . if these Femme-a-Nazis want to have a child, they can rent one."
Reader comment posted on my Nov. 25 column
Incendiary e-mails are still rolling in on Wednesday's column.
It proves you can't write about abortion, women and Catholic bishops and not get heavy heat. Add universal health care to the conversation?
I've had great role models in taking heat.
Jack Egan, for one.
In the winter of 2000, six months before he died, Monsignor John J. Egan, at 84, was battling failing health and rebelling against the confinement that came with it.
And so after yet another hospitalization, we still met as usual downtown for lunch.
It was classic Jack Egan. He talked about social justice, immigration and the tyranny of payday loans. Heavy topics leavened with many lighter moments and a lot of laughs.
Normally after lunch, Jack would walk back home to the rectory at Holy Name Cathedral.
Walking now was out of the question, so we were about to hail a cab when a well-known, very conservative politician approached.
"Monsignor Egan," said the politico. "I'm running for election and if I win, I'll be the first Catholic in that office."
I watched Jack's jaw harden.
"And I'm against abortion," said the politico enthusiastically, adding, "Aren't you?"
"Of course I'm against a abortion," Jack said with fury.
I was afraid he was going to blow a gasket, and so I frantically waved down the next cab and began to help him inside. Not, however, before the politico called out, "I'll pray for you, Monsignor!"
Jack shot back, "Pray for yourself, buddy."
Jack Egan did not believe in abortion.
But he was just as opposed to abortion becoming the church's moral obsession to the exclusion of other life-and-death issues. And he deplored politicians who cynically played the abortion card in order to get elected.
Though some labeled him left-wing, Egan was a moderate in the best sense. He loved his church, loved its teachings and stayed within its fold. But he was never afraid to speak truth to power when he felt church leaders had lost their way. Or their sense of proportionality.
Were he alive today, he would have been appalled to learn that Bishop Thomas Tobin had admonished U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-Rhode Island) not to receive communion unless he got in line with church orthodoxy on abortion.
And he would have been horrified by Tobin's interview last week with MSNBC's Chris Matthews, himself a devout Catholic.
Matthews relentlessly pushed the bishop on the matter of separation of church and state. And on the church's outright lobbying of Congress to further restrict access to abortion in exchange for the passage of a health-care reform bill.
If all abortion is murder, asked Matthews, exactly what penalties would Tobin legislate for women and girls who have one?
Tobin wouldn't say. But it was impossible not to notice that he also couldn't muster a single word of compassion for the plight of a woman or girl in that situation. Or for the difficulty of their choice.
Jack Egan would have talked about compassion first.
For almost a century, the church he gave his life to has been a proud leader in the fight for decent, affordable health care.
But when bishops now hold passage of a sweeping, national health-care bill hostage to their own religious orthodoxy, they deserve all the heat we can give them.
let press make abortion ground zero of this bill — it’s not. the Bishops who know their Catechism object to it more fundamental grounds.
permission granted to add conjunctions where necessary.
Carol “Killing babies is the right thing to do!” Marin.
Killed any babies recently, Carol? In any case, when you write like this, you are complicit in the deaths of many millions of them. Hope that makes you feel good.
The liberal apologist Marin exposes herself when she claims that Chris Matthews is a “devout Catholic.” That’s rich!
Well, in that case I AM GLAD HE IS DEATH. NEXT!...
DEATH=DEAD Geezzz :)
DEATH=DEAD Geezzz :)
Egan was quite the liberal but Marin is still misrepresenting his position on abortion which was very much “in line with church orthodoxy.”
Bishops in the USA are often flaky and unreliable, but here’s hoping that these will hold firm. I am bugged by the rhetoric “necessary health reform” being bandied about by the bishops as though the Rat package came close to that.
Exactly. Two weeks ago, an on-line ‘Catholic’ weekly had an article about Michael Moore’s appearance on Shawn Hannity’s program as an ‘enlightening and informative discussion between ‘two attractive and highly intelligent and well-spoken devoted Catholic family men’ - at: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-in-the-news/michael-moore-catholic-year - there is a column promoting MM as ‘Catholic of the Year’ - and praising his movie ‘Capitalism’ - one respondent said it brought back to Catholicism - if that is what it means to be a Catholic in America - I agree with John Derbyshire that Conservatism in general and Catholicism as a religion are both doomed. The Catholic Church’s fascination with ‘social justice’ can only be explained by their neglect and exploitation of their own clergy and nuns - for whom they constantly shill for extra donations because they don’t have insurance and retirement funds. It appears that they are looking to Obamacare to bail them out. John Neumann must be rolling in his grave.
Mother Theresa on abortion:
“But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?
On Roe vs Wade she said:
America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts — a child — as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters”
And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners. Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.”
I’ll stand with Mother Theresa over Jack Egan any day.
The trouble is that "religious truth" has become de-factualized (is that a word?) and turned into a subjective ethno-cultural or private "identity." The very notion that the existence of G-d and the reality of His Laws is factual rather than speculative has been totally lost. Thus people retreat into their "very private" thoughts to defend their immoral positions or else declare that this or that religion is their "birthright" because of ethnicity and no one may discipline them.
One reason for this is the demonization of "fundamentalism" by "non-fundamentalist" orthodox religion in order to feel superior to "those awful people" or to win brownie points from the secularists. Fundamentalists know that "religious truth" is factual truth just like all other factual truth. Liberal religion has made "religious truth" subjective and speculative. And non-fundamentalist orthodox religion has spent decades demonizing fundamentalists so the liberals will like them.
Well . . . has it been worth it?
While I agree with Bishop Tobin’s stance on abortion, he has definitetly NOT shown courage “ in taking on the most powerful family in American politics”.
He waited until Ted Kennedy died to make a lot of noise about Catholic politicians and their stance on abortion. That does not show courage, and it is not inspiring others to courage either. Quite the opposite, it sets a very bad example ... it shows that Church heirarchy cow tow to powerful politicians.
She got it right.
And she had more courage in her little finger than all the Cardinals, Bishops and Pope combined.
And extraordinary restraint (Tobin).
Not exaactly true. He took on Patrick Kennedy (RI) 2 years ago. It was Patches who decided to make the subjct matter of their conversations public. As far as the other Kennedys are concerned, Bp Tobin only has the faith and morals of those living in RI under his jurisdiction. You need to point your finger at the Bps of Massachusetts and elsewhere to get the rest of the family.
Wonder if he would have been impressed with Bishop Tobin's interview on Bill O'Reilly's program Link.
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