September 22, 2013

September 22, 2013 Column Father De Celles

Prayers for the Navy Yard Victims. I’m sure you all join me in praying for the victims of the Navy Yard shootings, especially for the souls of the dead, the healing of the injured, and their families. Let’s also keep in prayer all those who were emotionally traumatized, in any way, by the shooting. We must also pray for our national as a whole, that the Lord may grant us a reprieve from senseless violence. We should also pray for folks tormented by mental illness. And last, but not least, we must pray for the soul of the shooter; may the Lord have mercy on his soul.

“Virginia’s Next Governor Will Determine Whether Most Abortion Clinics Close.” Thus reads the headline of the Washington Post Editorial Board’s opinion piece, this last Monday, September 16. I read this and thought: “Exactly; for once the Post got it right; please God, let the death mills close!”

But as I read the article I saw, as I expected, that the Post was once again using abortion, and lies, to try sway voters in the upcoming election for Virginia Governor (November 5), attacking the strongly pro-life candidate, Ken Cuccinelli, and promoting the pro-abortion candidate, Terry McAuliffe.

As the Post pointed out: “Ken Cuccinelli II (R) was instrumental in ensuring that new regulations will result in the closure of many of the state’s abortion clinics. Two of the busiest, in Northern Virginia and Norfolk, already have closed. If Mr. Cuccinelli is elected governor in November, most of the remaining 18 clinics are likely to shut their doors within months.”

Again, all faithful Catholics should shout “yay!” Only an unfaithful Catholic would oppose closing these dens of death. And yet McAuliffe, who calls himself a Catholic, does: “Aides to … McAuliffe, believe the next governor could move unilaterally to protect existing abortion clinics…by instructing the health commissioner to grant waivers …or…urging that existing clinics be exempted from the regulations.”

The Post points out: “the state Board of Health was leaning in just that direction when Mr. Cuccinelli intervened two years ago.” Again, good for Cuccinelli.

So far this is simple the Post twisting the truth to hurt the pro-life candidate. But there are also lies, or at least misrepresentations. For example, the Post writes that the closing of these clinics, “would also represent a capstone in the Republican campaign in Richmond to limit abortion, despite Supreme Court rulings protecting it.” Actually, the Supreme Court has upheld reasonable limits to protect the mother’s safety and health, e.g., regulations like these.

Moreover, the regulations simply apply rules that apply to most other medical clinics to abortion clinics; if these close it’s because they refuse to give basic protection to their women patients. But the Post doesn’t seem to care: “Other types of walk-in clinics, including those that perform oral and cosmetic surgery, are unaffected by the regulations. Abortion clinics, singled out arbitrarily, are the sole target.”

So abortion clinics should be treated like dentist offices? Has the Post ever heard of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who just 4 months ago was sentenced to life in prison after his conviction on 3 counts of murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter related to “unsuccessful late term abortions” at his Philadelphia abortion clinic? Did they not read the testimony of the witnesses regarding the unsafe and unhygienic conditions of his clinic that showed a total lack of concern for the women who were his patients? And yet the Post wants to protect similar clinics in Virginia from regulation, and promotes the gubernatorial election of a man who will waive those regulations, much as Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge effectively waived similar regulations in his state, preventing inspectors from discovering the ghoulish practices of Gosnell’s clinic.

The Post goes on to write, “There is no evidence that women are at risk in Virginia’s abortion clinics, nor is there evidence of serious or widespread unsanitary conditions that endanger women’s health.” However on September 13, 2012, The Family Foundation released documentation regarding the first nine inspections of clinics under the new regulations, revealing 80 violations of the rules, “including untrained staff, unsanitary conditions, improperly labeled and stored drugs, and blood on equipment.” That was a year ago, and only covered the first 9 inspections; one wonders what turned up since then regarding the remaining 20 (now 18).

Good Catholic vs. “Good Little Catholic.” Faithful Catholics are under attack in our country for their positions on abortion, contraception, religious liberty, and homosexuality—they are called ignorant, bigoted and hateful. On the other hand, Catholics who reject the Church’s clear teachings on these issues and go along with the new secular morality are lauded as “enlightened” and “loving.” As I wrote a few months ago in a homily: “One can almost see the patronizing hand of secular humanism petting them on the head and cooing: ‘good little Catholics.’”

This is all alive and well in this year’s governor’s race. Cuccinelli is repeatedly attacked and lied about on issues where his position is consistently Catholic, and McAuliffe is consistently praised for his positions which are consistently un-Catholic. This editorial is one example, but innumerable more are out that, ranging from the lies about what Cuccinelli supposedly said about “gays,” or that he’s going to outlaw contraception.

Note: This is not to say “vote for Cuccinelli”—or “vote for McAuliffe.” It simply begs the questions: Can a good Catholic be elected to public office, or only a “good little Catholic”? And if only a “good little Catholic” can get elected, what does that mean, not just for important issues like abortion, etc., but for the basic civil rights of faithful Catholics?

Happier News. Last Sunday’s introduction of the Mass offered Ad Orientem at 8:45 Mass was very well received. I continue to hope and pray that this small change may bear good and lasting fruit for our parish.

Last Saturday Fr. Tad Pacholczyk’s talk on “Gay Marriage” was well attended and received. I’m sure this bodes well for next month’s featured speaker, Abby Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Texas, now a nationally renowned pro-life speaker and author of “unPlanned.” We are blessed to be able to bring this dynamic and passionate defender of life to the parish, so mark your calendars: Wednesday, October 16, 2013, at 7:30 p.m..! (And thanks to all the folks on the Respect Life and Religious Freedom Committees for their hard work in making these talks possible.)

And finally, congratulations to parishioners Bob and Gerri Laird who were honored by the Catholic Press Association with a 2013 CPA Award for their press coverage of religious liberty issues. Well deserved!

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles