WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - It sure is an interesting – not to mention a critical - time to be a Catholic in America. The headlines this past week have talked about a "Holy War" going on within the Church between those who want the health care bill rejected and those who want it passed. The bishops have made strong and clear statements about the "fatally flawed" nature of the Senate bill and said in explicit terms that the bill must be rejected by all faithful Catholics.
Sadly, their statements were answered by several groups of so-called Catholics who flat out defy the wisdom and leadership of the Church and insist that the only right thing to do is pass the bill. Included in this defiant group were nuns from a small number of religious orders who published a letter stating their opposition to the Bishops and their support of Obama's plan.
This isn't simply a ping-pong game between two equally worthy opponents. This isn't a back-and-forth debate between two equally morally sound arguments. This is a manifestation of the spiritual battle between truth and lies. There is a right and a wrong here, and the distinction isn't murky.
The Catholic Church teaches that human life is sacred from the moment of conception to natural death, period. One cannot support the mythical "right" to abortion and claim to be a faithful Catholic. One cannot tolerate legislation that uses federal dollars to pay for the execution of the unborn and claim to be a faithful Catholic.
Whatever other good this legislation may
produce will come with innocent blood on it. The ends do not justify the means. On this point, there is no wiggle room; no freedom to "agree to disagree." Humility and obedience ask each of us to heed
the instruction of our Bishops on matters of such grave moral importance, not arrogantly and defiantly dismiss them outright.
Chief among those who call themselves Catholic while openly defying the Bishops and the Church is Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She has spent her political career lobbying and voting for abortion "rights" in utter disregard and contempt for the Church's teachings, all the while claiming to be a faithful Catholic. She manipulatively trots out her Catholic faith for press conferences and interviews, enjoying the glowing support of other so-called Catholic groups, publications, and politicians who defy the Church as openly as she does while they profess how precious their faith is to them.
She wears her Catholic upbringing lovingly around her neck like a trophy charm and then publicly distorts, misrepresents or just plain ignores Church teaching when it suits her purpose. In doing so, she causes scandal after scandal as she confuses the American public and even the faithful about the Catholic Church. She holds herself up as an example of a "modern" Catholic woman and uses her status as a Catholic to give false cover to her immoral and anti-Catholic pursuits.
She is not a faithful Catholic; she is a scandalous dissident. She is also terribly ignorant of the Catholic faith she claims to have been raised and educated with – a fact she made plain at Friday morning's press conference. It was a great day in the Church year; the day we remember and honor St. Joseph, the man charged with caring for our Blessed Mother and our Lord. An honorable, humble, faithful, obedient man who gave us the ultimate example of earthly fatherhood.
Pelosi stood grinning before the press and proclaimed it to be "the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, the day we pray to St. Joseph, pray to benefit the workers of America." Then she added that "that's exactly what this health care bill will do."
Once again, Nancy, you got it all wrong. As The Anchoress
so perfectly put it:
"First off, Nancy, this is not the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker. That feast day is May 1, and it is a simple (and optional) memorial. TODAY is the Solemnity of St. Joseph in his role as the Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Provider and Guardian for the Child Jesus. A solemnity is not an optional feast day, and Pelosi, who was educated by religious sisters and went to a Catholic college, should know that."
"It is highly doubtful that St. Joseph, who was faced with an unimaginable event, one fraught with challenges, things unknown, social questions, difficulties and sacrifice, would be a happy endorser of a "life-affirming health care bill" that includes the federal funding of abortions, sterilizations, contraception – undoubtedly down the road – euthanasia."
Yes, Pelosi actually called this bill "life-affirming" and had the gall to brag about the children she'd hijacked as political props this past week to sell her deadly bill: "Little children, babies as young as six weeks old to talk about what it means to them."
How crass can she get? Babies? The same class of citizens who will be killed in record numbers at our expense after her "life-affirming bill" is passed? Now she wants us to hear them "talk about what it means to them"? How about hearing their silent screams, Nancy?
But she didn't stop there. She went on to gush about the letter sent to Congress by NETWORK
, signed by 60 leaders of women religious who broadcast their opposition to the Bishops and their support of the bill. "Every order you can think of was there saying they wanted us to pass this life-affirming legislation."
She conveniently made no mention of the Bishops' repeated admonishments concerning the bill, nor of the letter from the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, representing thousands of sisters from over 103 different orders who stand with the Bishops against the bill in defense of Life and authentic Catholic teaching. Authentic Catholic teaching is simply of no use to Pelosi.
The shamelessness and deviousness with which Pelosi twists authentic Catholicism into some kind of fetching dog that goes where she commands and brings back the moral approval she needs to market her anti-life, sacrilegious, evil undertakings to the rest of the world is evidence of someone who wishes not to serve
the Lord and His Church, but to undermine
and silence it.
Our decisive shepherd Archbishop Chaput said this week
: "...If the defective Senate version of health care reform pushed by congressional leaders passes into law – against the will of the American people and burdened by serious moral problems in its content – we'll have "Catholic" voices partly to thank for it. And to hold responsible."
Let's start by holding Pelosi responsible.
Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, an Army wife and mother of four precious children (one in Heaven). She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online on topics of Catholic faith, family, Life and politics. She is also a serious
chocoholic. Visit her at My Chocolate Heart.