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Bishop Gracida: Catholic News Service should be shut down April 26, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, Society.

Well, there’s no mistaking this opinion from Bishop Emeritus Rene Gracida of Corpus Christi.  He leads a post with “CNS, Catholic News Service, Should Be Shut Down,” and then goes on to re-post an article by George Weigel, criticizing CNS for uncritically repeating statements from pro-abort, pro-gay marriage, far-left Representative Rose De Lauro of Connecticutt regarding Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposed House Budget.  CNS is the official news organization of the USCCB.  Weigel’s post (I add emphasis and comments):

One does wonder, sometimes, just what goes on at Catholic News Service (CNS), an agency that wouldn’t exist were it not for the U.S. bishops and the bishops’ conference. This past April 16, CNS distributed a lengthy interview with Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., giving her a platform to blast the 2013 federal budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and to badger Cardinal Timothy Dolan to pay as much attention to “the poor, the hungry, the middle class, the people who are going to be evisceratedby the Ryan budget” as Dolan and the bishops he leads are paying to the defense of religious freedom.  [What amount to relatively modest cuts in certain programs, re-orientation in others, and reductions of the rate of growth in still others, does not mean that the “poor and middle class” will be eviscerated.  This is ludicrous. It speaks to the leftist mentality of an all-encompassing government which alone sustains and provides for all, ignoring the fact that the more government grows, the smaller the private sector becomes, and the less there is to tax and thus to spend.]

The Congresswoman’s appeal was specifically Catholic—“my Church, the Catholic Church, needs to speak out loud on this issue”—which involved an irony left wholly unexamined by CNS. For Rosa DeLauro’s voting record is in some tension, to put it gently, with Catholic understandings of justice.

The Catholic Church teaches the inalienable right to life of the unborn and insists that that obvious moral truth be acknowledged in law; Rep. DeLauro is a consistent pro-abortion vote in the House. The Catholic Church worked with District of Columbia education authorities to provide “opportunity scholarships” to Catholic inner-city schools for poor children; Rep. DeLauro supportedthe Obama administration’s cruel refusal to fund that program. The bishops have declared that religious freedom is under serious assault in theUnited  Statestoday; the gentlewoman from Connecticut has been notably AWOL in defending the first of American liberties. [That is to say, DeLauro, like many ostensible Catholics in the democrat party, consistently commits grave sins by her votes.  In point of fact, she has removed herself from the Church by repeated violations of Church Dogma.  What we are seeing here, is an attempt by the Catholyc left to claim and equivolency between prudential matters, like how much to spend on certain government programs, and core dogmatic issues, like whether every human being has a right to life from conception to natural death.  This equivalency is completely false, but it is being advanced to try to secure Catholic votes in the upcoming election – otherwise, these Catholycs wouldn’t bother at all with this rhetoric, IMO]

How, then does Congresswoman DeLauro imagine herself as someone who speaks for “my Church, the Catholic Church?”  My hunch is that she imagines herself a spokesperson for authentic Catholicism because she, like many other Catholics on the port side of both American politics and the Church, have long thought that they alone hold the high ground at the intersection of Catholic social teaching and public policy. [a “high ground” built atop the bones of dead babies]

Weigel makes more points at the link.  He argues about subsidiarity, the pending collapse of European economies (Britain has already re-entered recession), and the fact that there are more ways to aid the poor than confiscatory wealth-transfer schemes, which are horribly inefficient and damaging to economies.  Regarding the USCCB, this last bit is the major disconnect which has existed within the national bishop’s conference since its inception 80 years ago.  The bishops have always argued for more and more government wealth transfers, while paying scant attention to private charitable activities (how many press releases do we see from CNS with regard to major new efforts to raise private charitable donations, as opposed to press releases about bishops lobbying the government?  The ratio, in my experience, is at least 100-1).

These confiscatory efforts are also devoid of all Grace.  When you or I give to a charity of our free will, that is a corporal work of mercy and a source of Grace for us.  When government takes our money and gives it to someone else, at the point of a gun, so to speak, there is no Grace.  The welfare-dependence model has gravely wounded the Church by denying this great potential fount of Grace.  There is also the further notion of whether people are truly “lifted up” by government wealth transfers, or if they become dependent, indolent, and sunk in an increasing moral morass.  There is much evidence that the indolence and immorality among the dependent class in this country is indeed aided and abetted by this method of aid to the poor. 

In 1996, Congress and the Clinton White House passed a sweeping welfare reform package.  At that time, both the USCCB and Catholic Charities proclaimed this was a vicious, cruel, immoral act that would lead to tens of millions starving in the streets (I only exaggerate their rhetoric slightly).  Instead, this welfare reform helped lead to the great boom of the latter half of the 1990s by reducing federal expenditures, which benefited the entire nation.  Almost all the long-term welfare recipients were transferred to work, at least for a time.  So, you could say, I’m fairly skeptical of USCCB claims regarding how best to deal with poverty. 

Having said all that, I’ll go Bishop Gracida one step further – I don’t want the end of CNS, I want the end of the USCCB and all these “structures” Pope Benedict XVI so rightly decries.  These conferences have been a blight on the Church and a source of continuing problems, most of all in muddying the waters of authority in the Church, interrupting the clear line from Pope to Bishop to individual.

But that’s a whole ‘nother post.

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