This past weekend, the world witnessed the greatest and most damaging incident of Vatican media incompetence that has probably ever happened. It is hard to convey the story because it is so huge and it is not an easy one to explain. But we have done a bit Monday, with more to come.
Phil Lawler, Director of CatholicCulture.org, is one of the more trustworthy and experienced commentators on Catholic controversies. Lawler lays the blame for what has happened largely on L’Osservatore Romano. In his article, “The Vatican newspaper has betrayed the Pope” Lawler bluntly states, “Yet again, Pope Benedict has been badly served by his public-relations staff. In this case, the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano bears most of the blame for a truly disastrous gaffe.” He goes on to charge that the paper “has given rise to a worldwide confusion on a very important moral issue-damage that it may take years of painstaking work to undo.”
Lawler also quotes from Archbishop Chaput in his article now on First Things. Chaput writes, “Ironically, the message of this good and brilliant Pope has been hobbled nearly as much by the baffling failures of some of his own aides as by unfriendly coverage from the world’s media.”
Lawler concludes, “As a necessary first step to address the continuous public-relations bungling at the Vatican, Giovanni Maria Vian, the editor of L’Osservatore Romano should be asked to resign.” I say “Amen to that”.
Now for the CCHD.
In his Monday article on the Chicago CCHD controversy, Patrick Craine quotes Chicago auxiliary Bishop Francis Kane in the Chicago Tribune, “You don’t want social justice people saying they somehow have to compete with pro-life people.”
This seems to highlight what has likely been a core problem with the lack of consistent, strong support from many Catholic Church leaders for the pro-life cause. They don’t see pro-life as a “social justice” issue. They do believe it is important, but it is not in the realm of the restricted liberal definition of a “social justice” cause, which they mean is the cause of helping the poor to overcome mostly economic injustice.
There is no point in my attempting to respond in detail to this. It would take far too long and, really, why should it be necessary? For those who have been in the struggle to save mothers and their babies from the abortion killers, if the pro-life cause is not about violations of social justice principles, then nothing is.
Another thing Bishop Kane told the Tribune was that, “the bishops have commissioned a moral theologian to advise them in the future on which coalitions and collaborative efforts are acceptable under the campaign’s rules.” “We’ll have someone to tell us what’s morally permissible and really against Catholic teaching,” he said.”
The bishops need a moral theologian to tell them what is right and what is wrong? These issues are not that complicated. This is called “passing the buck”, or in other words, avoiding personal responsibility. But then again, maybe it’s really about finally keeping some of the less than responsible bishops in line with authentic Church principles.
Still, they shouldn’t need a theologian to tell them not to fund projects undertaken by organizations that in some way support abortion or homosexuality. Organizations with that kind of mentality cannot be counted on to do genuinely good work for the poor.
Anyone who either supports or is indifferent to child-in-the-womb murder is clearly not worthy of being given funds from Church Sunday collections “to help the poor.” The poor are the biggest target of the anti-life movement, which is all about eugenics, population control and anti-Christianity.
We don’t need theologians or masters and doctorate degrees to discern many of these things. It just takes fidelity to the truth, common sense and a fundamental understanding of natural law moral principles.
Strangely, the elites often seem to lack these necessary components for good judgment.