Taken to extremes

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Sep 07, 2004

For weeks now, Catholic Americans have been arguing back and forth about whether bishops should discipline pro-abortion Catholic politicians. Most American bishops, clearly, are loath to act.

OK, so let's push the argument a bit, to consider a more extreme case.

Suppose, instead of lay Catholics who have taken an oath to protect the Constitution, the people promoting abortion were members of a religious community, who had taken vows of obedience, and who could not continue to act without the canonical approval of the local bishop.

Suppose the support for abortion came not in a vote on a complicated piece of legislation, but in a cash donation, to a group set up specifically to back political candidates who endorse abortion.

Then would the bishop take action?

These are not hypothetical questions. This is an actual case. If the Archbishop of Detroit doesn't take action in this case, we won't have to wait for the McCarrick Commission's report; we'll know that the US bishops determined to stay on the sidelines.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: - Sep. 09, 2004 2:12 AM ET USA

    Amen, AT. Any Catholic organisation that contributes to such a group is not Catholic, nor is it entitled to that distinction. Sr Hamilton uses the most thinly veiled of prevarications to justify IHM's contribution to folks as morally bankrupt as Emily's List. The order should be completely supressed and the leadership disciplined. The ball is in Card Maida's court, now.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 08, 2004 1:37 PM ET USA

    A little hyperbole Wycliffe? No one suggested either literally or figuratively that these nuns be burned at the stake but it's disingenous at best for them to claim to Catholics and yet actively support an organization that lobbies for broader access to abortion as does Emilys list. Charity does demand that because of the scandal created by this the Bishop should squash this religious order until/unless reparations are made and a public mea culpa is issued by them.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Sep. 08, 2004 11:24 AM ET USA

    A widow made a pretty big splash 2000 yrs ago with a single "mite" (less than a penny). It is NOT the amount that is important, (never was and never will be... Consider the 7 loaves and 2 fishes) but the quality of the sacrafice and the attitude of the heart. And as spiiritual actions often do it can work both ways... either for good... ...or for evil.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 08, 2004 9:47 AM ET USA

    Wasn't the original Wycliffe burned at the stake ? But only after he was already dead, buried, and dug up again.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 08, 2004 6:02 AM ET USA

    Burn people at the stake for a $200 donation??? God help us!!!Wycliffe

  • Posted by: - Sep. 08, 2004 1:18 AM ET USA

    Make the dear sisters pay the money back - perhaps to an organization that is Catholic - and then suppress them. If they don't want to look like nuns or act like nuns or think like nuns, let's not treat them like nuns. For those precious souls who have remained faithful and suffered in the modernist Catholic Gulag, let us give thanks for what they have done and pray that they may persevere!

  • Posted by: - Sep. 07, 2004 6:07 PM ET USA

    A few months back I read a flattering article (don't remember where) on one of these women. Proudly, she boasted that she hadn't been to Mass since some time in the early 80's and hadn't been to confession since the sixties, and didn't intend to go ever again.( A man gives absolution, you see). Love of God and of His Christ nowhere in evidence. Rancor against men everywhere. God lets some people go to Hell before they die.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 07, 2004 4:05 PM ET USA

    Emily’s List supports ONLY those female candidates who espouse a pro-abortion viewpoint. Therefore, an observer as astute as Cardinal Maida or the Rev. Reese should be able to discern that a donation to Emily’s List is not a donation to individual candidates, but a donation to a cause, a cause the Church has repeatedly repudiated. How can that comport with what Cardinal Ratzinger wrote or with ancient Church teaching? Answer: It can’t. These nuns should publicly repent or be repressed.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 07, 2004 1:44 PM ET USA

    We should not forget that there are holy sisters in these communities dominated by radical feminists. Many sisters have been pulled out of classrooms and involuntarily retired simply because they choose to wear religious garb and have remained faithful. We need to pray for them and give thanks for them. The other good news is that while bishops don't have the backbone to discipline and suppress corrupt orders, Divine Providence is doing just that. They have no vocations and will soon be gone.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 07, 2004 11:45 AM ET USA

    Cardinal Maida's phone number is: (313) 237-5816; Fax: (313) 237-4642. IHM Motherhouse phone number is: (734) 241-3660; Fax (734) 240-9801.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 07, 2004 11:36 AM ET USA

    In the "good old days" those pro-abortion nuns would have been burned at the stake amid the cheers of the faithful. Oh, for the "good old days" !