The mismatch

CMR reports that Raymond Card. Burke has harsh words for DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius:

“To the degree to which (Sebelius) proclaims herself to be a practicing Catholic, she is very wrong,” said Cardinal Burke. He sees it as “simply incomprehensible” for a Catholic to “support the kind of measures that she is supporting.”

Burke’s comments make for an interesting contrast with Archbp. Timothy +Dolan, who recently sent a letter claiming that religious liberty

is now increasingly and in unprecedented ways under assault in America. This is most particularly so in an increasing number of federal government programs or policies that would infringe upon the right of conscience of people of faith or otherwise harm the foundational principle of religious liberty. As shepherds of over 70 million U.S. citizens we share a common and compelling responsibility to proclaim the truth of religious freedom for all, and so to protect our people from this assault which now appears to grow at an ever accelerating pace in ways most of us could never have imagined.

Even the WaPo noticed the problem.

So why hasn’t Sebelius been excommunicated?

There’s a mismatch here between episcopal rhetoric and episcopal inaction. Whereas Card. Burke gets right to the heart of the matter, +Dolan avoids the issue. If he believes that DHHS is besieging the religious freedoms of Catholics, surely the only thing worse would be to have that assault led by a self-styled catholic. So why hasn’t Sebelius been excommunicated?

Under a nominally catholic secretary, +Dolan says, “it is now standard procedure in the Obama administration to deny funding to some Catholic programs based solely on their pro-life beliefs.” That nominally catholic Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, is “an outspoken pro-choice [soi-disant] Catholic” with “a long history of conflict with Catholic authorities.” Under a nominally catholic secretary, DHHS has adopted policies that USCCB’s President publicly recognizes in writing as “assault which now appears to grow at an ever-accelerating pace in ways that most of us could never have imagined.” So why hasn’t Sebelius been excommunicated?

It’s worth recalling what John Paul II said in 1987: “It has also been noted that there is a tendency on the part of some Catholics to be selective in their adherence to the Church’s moral teachings. It is sometimes claimed that dissent from the Magisterium is totally compatible with being a ‘good Catholic’ and poses no obstacle to the reception of the sacraments. This is a grave error that challenges the teaching office of the bishops….” And if that is so, it is surely the case that presiding over a government body that is at war with Catholic instututions is an even greater obstacle. So why hasn’t Sebelius been excommunicated?

This is grave scandal—not just Sebelius (or Pelosi, Biden, etc. ad nauseum), but the bishops’ failure to act. Qui tacet consentire videtur, but a fortiori he who could take action but does not! Some might say “well, they’re probably working in private.” Well, but that’s not good enough when the problem is public and ongoing. Whatever private measures have been taken, it is a matter of public record that they have been inadequate. This is scandal, and the bishops’ inaction on Pelosi, Sebelius, et al, undercuts their credibility to complain about DHHS. There’s nothing wrong with the Dolan letter within its four corners, but it’s tough to take it seriously when there’s a mismatch between its political rhetoric and pastoral action. How can +Dolan fret that it’s tough to keep breathing with all this constriction going on while the snake remains publicly in good standing?

Linking to the WaPo story above, Bp. Chris Coyne called it “food for thought.” Food for thought? Watch what the snake does when it’s done crushing the life out of us.

Under a nominally catholic secretary, “it is now standard procedure in the Obama administration to deny funding to some Catholic programs based solely on their pro-life beliefs.” That nominally catholic Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, is “an outspoken pro-choice [soi-disant] Catholic” with “a long history of conflict with Catholic authorities.” Under a nominally catholic secretary, DHHS has adopted policies that USCCB’s President publicly recognizes in writing as “assault which now appears to grow at an ever-accelerating pace in ways that most of us could never have imagined.”

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