American Catholicism’s Pact With the Devil: Paul Rahe


American Catholicism’s Pact With the Devil –

By Paul A. Rahe, Hillsdale College

Feb. 10, 2012


You have to hand it to Barack Obama. He has unmasked in the most thoroughgoing way the despotic propensities of the administrative entitlements state and of the Democratic Party.

And now he has done something similar to the hierarchy of the American Catholic Church.

At the prospect that institutions associated with the Catholic Church would be required to offer to their employees health insurance covering contraception and abortifacients, the bishops, priests, and nuns scream bloody murder.

But they raise no objection at all to the fact that Catholic employers and corporations, large and small, owned wholly or partially by Roman Catholics will be required to do the same. The freedom of the church as an institution to distance itself from that which its doctrines decry as morally wrong is considered sacrosanct. The liberty of its members – not to mention the liberty belonging to the adherents of other Christian sects, to Jews, Muslims, and non-believers – to do the same they are perfectly willing to sacrifice.

. . .

In my lifetime, to my increasing regret, the Roman Catholic Church in the United States has lost much of its moral authority. It has done so largely because it has subordinated its teaching of Catholic moral doctrine to its ambitions regarding an expansion of the administrative entitlements state. In 1973, when the Supreme Court made its decision in Roe v. Wade, had the bishops, priests, and nuns screamed bloody murder and declared war, as they have recently done, the decision would have been reversed. Instead, under the leadership of Joseph Bernadin, the Cardinal-Archbishop of Chicago, they asserted that the social teaching of the Church was a “seamless garment,” and they treated abortion as one concern among many. Here is what Cardinal Bernadin said in the Gannon Lecture at Fordham University that he delivered in 1983:

Those who defend the right to life of the weakest among us must be equally visible in support of the quality of life of the powerless among us: the old and the young, the hungry and the homeless, the undocumented immigrant and the unemployed worker.

Consistency means that we cannot have it both ways. We cannot urge a compassionate society and vigorous public policy to protect the rights of the unborn and then argue that compassion and significant public programs on behalf of the needy undermine the moral fiber of the society or are beyond the proper scope of governmental responsibility.

This statement, which came to be taken as authoritative throughout the American Church, proved, as Joseph Sobran observed seven years ago, “to be nothing but a loophole for hypocritical Catholic politicians. If anything,” he added, “it has actually made it easier for them than for non-Catholics to give their effective support to legalized abortion – that is, it has allowed them to be inconsistent and unprincipled about the very issues that Cardinal Bernardin said demand consistency and principle.” In practice, this meant that, insofar as anyone pressed the case against Roe v. Wade, it was the laity.



USCCB Pandering to Obama Reaps Cruel Result



USCCB Pandering to Obama Reaps Cruel Result

By Judie Brown, President, the American Life League


Obamacare and its progeny might never have become law if the bishops, united in their resolve, had opposed it from the start and pointed out the specific flaws in what is now the law of the land.

The backstory on this most recent government requirement goes like this:  Obamacare first came to the public’s attention in 2009 as a proposal introduced in both houses of Congress.  At the time, American Life League sent out a warning aimed at Catholic charitable organizations including Catholic Charities, the Society of St. Vincent DePaul, and the Catholic Health Association—three major Catholic groups that were not only supporting the newly introduced Obamacare but that were rallying their troops to contact Congress and get involved in helping pass the proposal.

Try as we might to convince those organizations—including the USCCB—that Obamacare was fraught with problems, their support continued with the single caveat that the healthcare proposal must be “abortion neutral.”  The USCCB has argued for years that every American has a right to healthcare and that the government should be providing it, though the current law is flawed.