Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview


By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jun 18, 2008

In Virginia, a teenage girl cannot ordinarily obtain a legal abortion without parental consent. But the 16-year-old immigrant's parents could not be found, so employees at a non-profit agency signed the consent form and arranged transportation to the abortion clinic. They must have felt frustrated as they did so, since they had earlier arranged for the girl to obtain a contraceptive device.

What was this non-profit agency? Commonwealth Catholic Charities.

The Washington Timeshas the story, which broke first in The Wanderer.

Federal government officials-- who subcontract with Catholic Charities to care for immigrants, not to abort their children-- were outraged. A panel of Catholic bishops, after investigating the incident, has said that it "a most regrettable stain on the record of excellence" of Catholic Charities and its affiliates. The problem, the bishops concluded, was that some staff members "were not sufficiently aware of church teaching and policy." There are two possibilities here. One is that staff members at Commonwealth Catholic Charities were familiar with Church teaching regarding procured abortion, and chose to ignore it. The other is that those staff members were so profoundly stupid that they were unaware of the Catholic opposition to abortion, and so ethically insensitive that they could not grasp the natural-law argument against the killing of the innocent unborn. Neither possibility leaves room for optimism about the ability of these same staff members to compile a "record of excellence" in the provision of charitable services.

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