time for an intervention

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 09, 2006

Congressman Jim McGovern is a Massachusetts Democrat who, like every other Catholic in the state's delegation, signed the recent "Statement of Principles" in which Catholic lawmakers explained why they couldn't follow certain unpopular Church teachings.

In a chat with the Worcester Telegram the Congressman announced: “We are committed to making real the basic principles that are at the heart of Catholic social teaching..."

Can he get away with that? Can he (and other Catholic lawmakers) claim that support for the "basic principles" of Catholic social teaching is compatible with support for abortion, same-sex marriage, and fetal experimentation?

Yes, he can, if no one in authority contradicts him.

The Telegram story reports:

Mr. McGovern said he supports abortion rights and the right of same-gender couples to marry. He said he has encountered no local opposition from Catholic officials...

McGovern's district stretches across three different Catholic dioceses. So if it's true that his defiance of Church teaching has prompted "no local opposition," perhaps he should hear from:

Archbishop Sean O'Malley
Archdiocese of Boston
2121 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02135

Bishop George Coleman
Diocese of Fall River
47 Underwood Street, P.O. Box 2577
Fall River, MA 02722

Bishop Robert McManus
Diocese of Worcester
49 Elm Street
Worcester, MA 01609

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  • Posted by: - Mar. 12, 2006 6:11 PM ET USA

    It's "pro embryonic stem-cell ..." that is morraly corrupt. Ron, a more useful descriptor is "embryo-destructive stem-cell research". I think this will soon be the norm for reference in the MSM, no? But to the point, I hope that bishops are motivated by an unwillingness to leave their wounded on the battlefield. If some are motivated by power, prestige, money, or apostasy, that shouldn't surprise. Holy Mother Church--sacrifice, suffering, plenty of guilt...come on in, it's awful (as usual).

  • Posted by: - Mar. 11, 2006 10:40 AM ET USA

    I happily stand corrected on the issue of stem cell research, viz. the difference between adult and embryonic. As regards the comparison between our bishops and those in Germany during the first years of the Hitler government, a few German bishops did speak out against Nazi policy. Those priests who spoke out paid dearly, often with their lives. Other priests supported the Nazis,not unlike some of our miscreants today. Even a few bishops spoke well of the party. Sound familiar?

  • Posted by: NonSumDignus - Mar. 11, 2006 10:00 AM ET USA

    It's seems that there is indeed an "intervention." The USCCB issued "Statement on Responsibilities of Catholics in Public Life" yesterday. It clearly states, "As the Church carries out its central responsibility to teach clearly and help form consciences, and as Catholic legislators seek to act in accord with their own consciences, it is essential to remember that conscience must be consistent with fundamental moral principles." Full text: http://www.usccb.org/catholicspubliclife.shtml

  • Posted by: - Mar. 10, 2006 5:21 PM ET USA

    Patricius: It's "pro embryonic stem-cell ..." that is morraly corrupt. Adult Stem Cell research is morally OK, and has been providing useful therapies for decades. If Christover Reeve had put his effort into adult stem cell research instead of embryonic stem cell research, he might have been a real part of his own cure. Not specifying which one you're talking about is a dis-service to your readers, and is how the media and others keep interest alive in the wrong thing.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 10, 2006 3:54 PM ET USA

    I agree, where are all the good Catholics in his district. It's easy to point the finger at nutty Mass., but what about where we live? In Ohio there are cafeteria Catholics all over the place. Few people go to Confession. My son's schoolmates at Catholic school never go to confession, maybe once a year at best. Most of the families are one and two kids. Catholic social club. I'd like to hear a priest scold us for not going to confession and for our obvious use of contraceptives.

  • Posted by: Sterling - Mar. 10, 2006 3:51 PM ET USA

    grainsofhope - The "good Catholics of Massachusetts" are a little demoralized.` They're outnumbered and surrounded by "Catholics" who are pro-choice, and who vote in guys promoting same-sex marriage and mandatory perversion- indoctrination in the schools. Some of their bishops are STILL shielding sexual perverts. Thes"good Catholics" still personally pursue holiness, but they're not hoping for much from their fellow Catholics or their bishops.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 10, 2006 11:14 AM ET USA

    Patricius, I totally agree with you but I would not hold my breath waiting for the bishops to denounce the Democrat Party. In fact, after the 2000 elections, I wrote my local ordinary about a related issue as to why so many Catholics unflinchingly vote for pro-abortion candidates. Archbishop Pilarczyk was kind enough to respond and although his answer was not what I wanted to hear, he explained it is best for the Church to remain above partisan politics. But I agree we need intervention!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 10, 2006 10:02 AM ET USA

    How about publishing Rep. McGovern's address? Perhaps if a goodly number of people write to him directly, in charity, he will reconsider. After all, this _is_ a 'Democaracy' -- our representatives are _supposed to_ reflect the will of the people. Where are all the good Catholics in Massachusetts? They need to make their voices heard!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 10, 2006 9:49 AM ET USA

    Posted by Art Kelly:Since Congressman McGovern does NOT believe what the Catholic Church teaches on abortion and homosexuality, WHY does he want to be a Catholic? This is my question also? Does this cafeteria catholic believe in the Real Presence? Does he frequent confession? Does he even believe in sin and the "Great Deciever"? There are a plethera of churches and faiths that would welcome his convictions with open arms. To be Catholic is to buy the whole package.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 10, 2006 6:03 AM ET USA

    This is PRIMACY OF CONSCIENCE run amuck. I believe this was addressed and put on the forbidden list some time ago in Rome. I no longer will wait for an authoritative voice to speak on this subject in the United States for it is painfully obvious that we have lost our shepherds and must take up the standard and march together toward the Truth, the Way and the Life. Don't give up, we can do it until such time that Almighty God will look upon us with pity, sending us a Brave, New Voice.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 10, 2006 1:00 AM ET USA

    I, as a concerned Catholic, will write all 3 bishops. I predict that I will be either ignored or patronized. The hierarchy has still not learned how to be as responsive to the faithful as cold uncaring corporations are to their customers. Good public relations is not a sign of weakness but rater a sign of good manners and even pastoral concern. I think they will go into defensive mode but maybe I will be pleasantly surprised.

  • Posted by: Art Kelly - Mar. 10, 2006 12:13 AM ET USA

    Since Congressman McGovern does NOT believe what the Catholic Church teaches on abortion and homosexuality, WHY does he want to be a Catholic? Whatever his motivation, a priest, bishop, or even another layman should tell him that the CANNOT be a cafeteria Catholic. The Church actually holds some clear beliefs. Congressman McGovern should be invited to find another place to spend an hour on Sunday mornings. It is clear he has no interest in Catholic doctrines.

  • Posted by: martica - Mar. 09, 2006 9:35 PM ET USA

    hmmm,,,'I will not serve"....where have we heard this before?...St. Michael the Archangel , defend us in battle!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 09, 2006 9:21 PM ET USA

    This is not totally pertinent to the comment by Diogenese but.... I recently read a book on the position of the German Catholic bishops at the time of Hitler. Much too quiet. Not unlike our guys today. By rights, the American Catholic bishops should denounce the Democrat party. Any party that is officially pro-abort and pro-stem cell research (all for science and a better quality of life--not unlike the Nazis) should be denounced and Catholics forbidden from supporting it.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 09, 2006 8:56 PM ET USA

    Three Bishops and this "Catholic" will receive no reprimand. Our Bishops show no profile in courage!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 09, 2006 6:01 PM ET USA

    Rep McPostasy

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Mar. 09, 2006 5:22 PM ET USA

    In today's CWN Headlines is a story titled Canadian Religious Leadership Questions Church Teachings. If the Canadian bishops (and the Bishop of Rome, whom they are apparently visiting, ad limina) let these church leaders get away with their statement, then surely a layman such as Rep. McWhoever need fear no consequences of his. It will be interesting to watch in the days to come.