My Catholic Conscience

We’ve been here before. And no, it didn’t work then either.

by Jon O’Brien

Like others, I am deeply concerned about recent moves in Congress that would restrict access to reproductive healthcare services, especially for poor women. The situation reminds me of other experiments where a few people with extreme views sought to pass policy that impacted a significantly wider group of people—with devastating consequences. Below, I will recount how the hierarchy of the Catholic church hijacked a process that was on the verge of overturning the complete ban on contraception. But today, in the U.S. Congress, an antichoice cabal in the Republican Party is seeking to prevent poor women accessing federally funded family planning and other reproductive health services.  There are currently three bills that would do just that: the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (HR 3), the “Protect Life Act” (HR 358) and the “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act” (HR 217). They, along with the budget which passed the House and did not include crucial family planning funding will severely impact the lives of millions of American families. As a Catholic, the fact that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has supported these attacks on healthcare services for poor women adds insult to injury. Continue Reading →

Getting Pre-Modern.

Ah, the simpler times. When mass was in Latin, pedophilia was not spoken of, and suffering brought cries for mercy, not cries for justice. Catholic News Service reports on a two-and-a-half hour high mass held on April 24 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

Bishop Edward Slatterly (Tulsa, OK) was called in at the last minute to replace Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos (Columbia) who was, as Kevin Clarke at America writes, “forced to withdraw after a furor erupted over a letter he wrote in 2001 as the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy, praising a French bishop for not reporting an abusive priest to authorities.” For the first time in the Basilica in decades the mass, dedicated to celebrating the fifth anniversary of Benedict XVI’s ascension, was delivered entirely in Latin. The Latin mass wasn’t the only sign of pre-Vatican II nostalgia. Continue Reading →