Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

the birds, the bees, and the tubes

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 20, 2011

Savor this opening sentence from a Washington Post article on Catholic health-care institutions, mentioned today in our CWN headline coverage:

In Texas, a Catholic bishop made two hospitals cease doing tube-tying operations for women who are not going to have more babies.

A "tube-tying operation" is usually called "sterilization." Why would the Post writer chose an awkward, colloquial construction rather than the simple, accurate term? Perhaps because the writer doesn't want to alert readers to the essential problem here: that the Catholic Church opposes sterilization.

We're not done with the sentence yet. These "tube-tying operations" are performed on "women who are not going to have more babies." And why aren't they going to have more babies? Because their tubes have been tied. A bit circular: rather like saying that you plan to pour water on a fire that is not going to give off any more heat. 

The Post story, on the other hand, is designed to give off heat. The trick for the writer, as evidenced by that remarkable lede, is to produce heat without shedding light.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our April expenses ($18,070 to go):
$35,000.00 $16,930.48
52% 48%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Gaby - Jan. 21, 2011 2:01 PM ET USA

    So it should have read: "A Catholic bishop forbid two Catholic hospitals from performing sterilizations on women who want to enjoy sex without restraint but who don't want any kids to ensue from it." Hum. Can't think why the Post didn't go with that...

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jan. 21, 2011 1:22 PM ET USA

    All the same, Hoorah for the bishop. May his tribe increase.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Round Trip to the present moment: a Catholic jazz artist's latest offering April 22
Easter with the Pope April 21
Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - April 20
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - April 20