all very awkward

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jul 01, 2008

The Washington Times is following up on the story of the teenage foster child who obtained an abortion in Virginia with help from staff at Commonwealth Catholic Charities of Richmond.

The Roman Catholic bishop of Richmond was told that a diocesan charity planned to help a teenage foster child get an abortion in January and did not try to prevent the procedure.

"It is very awkward, it is very embarrassing," a spokesman for Bishop Francis DiLorenzo told the Times. "A human life was taken."

Wrong. It's awkward and embarrassing when you spill soup on a clean shirt. When a human life is taken-- deliberately, with help from an office of Catholic Charities-- it's more than that. It's a scandal.

In his own public statement on the matter, Bishop DiLorenzo says:

There are many questions people have — why did it happen? Were there no checks and controls concerning hiring practices? Was there no on-going education and formation in Catholic Christian morality concerning pro-life issues and social justice questions? There are also questions about why this situation was not revealed sooner. These are some of the questions which need to be answered by the board, the administration and the staff of Commonwealth Catholic Charities.

Wrong again. Your Excellency, those questions need to be answered by YOU.

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  • Posted by: - Jul. 12, 2008 8:59 PM ET USA

    unless the bishop is caught in the act with a live boy or a dead woman, the vatican won't act. the pope's fine words go only so far. these bishops are accountable for their actions and those of their subordinates. you can delegate authority but not responsibility. until the pope starts to fire bishops for negligence in the sex abuse/coverup scandal, or cooperation with abortion providers, or turning a blind eye to the theft of church assets the us church will continue its downward spiral.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 11, 2008 4:13 PM ET USA

    Abortion is NEVER justified. For a Catholic institution to be complicit is such an immoral act is disgraceful. The lay people involved obviously acted in contradiction to Catholic doctrine. If a priest or bishop also assisted in this action all should be removed from their positions.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 08, 2008 6:03 PM ET USA

    This scandal grows worse by the minute; local media here in Richmond is reporting that the 16-year-old Guatemalan girl entered the US illegally. While I’m sure that this will warm the hearts of the “justice and peace” crowd, it only reconfirms in my mind that DiLorenzo and Nattrass need to be removed forthwith. Forget excommunication; with any luck they and the four employees directly involved will see the inside of one of our fine Virginia penal facilities.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 05, 2008 10:03 PM ET USA

    I haven't seen this mentioned, but assuming those who helped procure the abortion are Catholic, aren't they also automatically excommunicated? That's a lot worse then getting fired. Here's another time when action and inaction is giving the Catholic Church a bloody nose. Are our leaders ever going to learn?

  • Posted by: - Jul. 04, 2008 7:25 AM ET USA

    We’ve heard this “bad advice” dodge before; as cover for bishops who would not remove pedophile priests. This sorry episode should never have gotten to the “11th hour, and bespeaks a total lack of leadership at Catholic Charities and the Diocese. If DiLorenzo and Nattrass won’t resign, they should be removed by their respective hierarchies. I live in Richmond and until they are gone, I will not give one dime to either organization

  • Posted by: - Jul. 03, 2008 9:23 PM ET USA

    Don't disagree with you Phil. Was just forwarding today's news release to you. I like the operative word "late" the day before... and of course, it doesn't make too much sense to say to an unjust agressor: "I forbid this to happen" when one may have the power to intervene!

  • Posted by: - Jul. 03, 2008 5:25 PM ET USA

    Nevertheless it happened. What did the bishop do? The chancery line is that the bishop was told that he couldn't stop the abortion. Did he check with lawyers? Call government officials? Drive down to the clinic and plead for the child's life? After the fact, did he immediately fire the aide who gave him that bad information?

  • Posted by: - Jul. 03, 2008 4:07 PM ET USA

    Catholic News Agency reports: Speaking to CNA, diocesan spokesman Stephen Neill said that Bishop Francis DiLorenzo, after learning late on January 17 of the abortion planned for the next day, specifically said “I forbid this to happen.”

  • Posted by: - Jul. 03, 2008 3:17 AM ET USA

    On some level I dont get suprised by what many of the Bishops do anymore. The Conneticut Bishops backed down in the face of State laws that force all hospitals regardless of creed to hand out emergency birth control pills. At first they stood thier ground and alluded to the closure of Catholic hospitals then backed down stating that the loss of jobs for so many would be a greater moral issue than handing out the pills! Amazing! The virtue of courage is difficult for many. We must pray harder!

  • Posted by: - Jul. 02, 2008 11:30 PM ET USA

    I want to know what the Vatican is going to do about Bishop DiLorenzo. He should be relieved of his duties immediately!

  • Posted by: Art Kelly - Jul. 02, 2008 11:30 PM ET USA

    I want to know what the Vatican is going to do about Bishop DiLorenzo. He should be relieved of his duties immediately!

  • Posted by: - Jul. 02, 2008 1:11 PM ET USA

    "Finally, I express my profound apology for the loss of the life of one of the most vulnerable among us, and I apologize for the profound embarrassment this has caused the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, and Catholics throughout the United States." This is from the end of his statement, and possibly could have been included in the original post, don't you think? Bishop DiLorenzo is undoubtedly the head of the board ("These are some of the questions which need to be answered by the board...").

  • Posted by: - Jul. 02, 2008 9:51 AM ET USA

    When did the Bish. dismiss the CCR employees, in Jan., or June when it became public? Jan might mean a sincere but incompetent Bishop. June would mean a knave runs the show, who is only trying to cover up his lack of action. The basic problem exists almost everywhere. In my diocese, the Clergy have openly praised the wonderful spirit of dissent that exists. No one stops it. Supermarket Catholics are everywhere. Ask yourself, when have I last talked to someone who believes everything?

  • Posted by: - Jul. 02, 2008 7:43 AM ET USA

    The bishop is ultimately responsible. Remember the incident last year where the Air Force "accidentally" flew nuclear armed cruise missiles across the United States? Every commander all the way up the chain of command was relieved of duty. The same applies here: A contraceptive device and an abortion were provided under Catholic auspices so everyone from the head of Commonwealth Catholic Charities to the bishop himself should be fired immediately.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 01, 2008 11:42 PM ET USA

    this is so's unfathomable... so, would anyone like to keep a watch at the door of the Nunciature in D.C. to see when Bp. DiLorenzo stops in ? I really hope we can wake-up tomorrow and find there's a missing piece in this story that clears the Bishop---but it doesn't seem like that'll happen. It'd be "embarrassing" to be called to the Nuncio's office with cameras flashing... even a bit "awkward" to forgo his plans for the July 4th weekend to make a trip to Rome.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 01, 2008 4:55 PM ET USA

    Once again the "successors of the Apostles" find it more convenient to find fault with others and make sure the blame is shared by those most directly involved. Evidently, the Dallas Charter has done little to educate our bishops that the ultimate responsibility is theirs!! They choose to ignore directives from Rome, teachings on life issues, liturgical practices, etc. and then wonder "why" there is a problem among the laity and lapsed Catholics. Doesn't the vow to obey apply to them too?

  • Posted by: - Jul. 01, 2008 4:43 PM ET USA

    In the Old Days, back in Saint Lawrence day, they bishops, clergy and deacons died for their choices ("bring your treasures" and St. Lawrence broght the poor, paying with his life). Today when asked to bring their treasure, the bishops bring their lawyers, consultants, boards, plea bergaining, and a remarkable lack of memmory, focus and responsibility. When is Harry Truman when you need him?

  • Posted by: - Jul. 01, 2008 2:56 PM ET USA

    This is one bishop sorely in need of early retirement. Now. No, I mean right this minute.