It has been our observation over the course of the past 11 months or so that Barack Obama is a master of the stage—even when his teleprompter crashes to the floor. He is a man of many talents, one of which is the concerted, nearly effortless goal of attacking the Catholic Church and her teaching. Oh no, he has not done this by overt comments or threats or acts of intimidation; he has done it and is continuing to do it by shining a spotlight on Catholics who are anything but representative of the fundamental teachings of the Church. Not only that, but as you will soon see, he accomplishes this as the Catholic bishops go silently about their daily activities as if to give assent by non-comment.
It all started with Professor Douglas Kmiec, who in February 2008 wrote in a Slate.com commentary, “Beyond life issues, an audaciously hope-filled Democrat like Obama is a Catholic natural.” In May of last year, Kmiec endorsed Obama and subsequently worked in the Obama campaign. Kmiec made the argument that Catholics could, in good conscience, vote for Obama even though he was committed to abortion on demand. Obama never admitted this in so many words. It must have been that “audacity of manipulation” that he has mastered so well.
Regardless, facts have a way of sneaking into the picture when you actually look for them, and there was never a doubt that Obama not only favored abortion, but was dedicated to it at any point during pregnancy and apparently during the birth process as well.
Kmiec never let that trouble him in the least. And according to my files, there was one only Catholic priest who actually had the audacity of faith to deny the body and blood of Christ to Kmiec. One priest.
Not a single Catholic bishop took the step necessary to make it perfectly clear to Kmiec that his soul was in jeopardy and he was creating enormous scandal, so therefore he would be denied the sacrament until he repented of his obvious support for abortion.
Such inaction clearly inspired others, such as Professor Nicholas Cafardi, to get on the Obama hope-wagon and ride it without apology. He had to resign his post at Franciscan University, which was admirable, but again, no Catholic bishop stood up to point out the tragic error and the horrible price this man might have to pay one day when he stands face-to-face with God. It continued that way right through the elections, and as we all know, over 50 percent of Catholics voted for President Obama. I am positive his audacity of disdain for true Catholicism was highly sated by that fact alone.
Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, a man with a lengthy record of commitment to abortion and an alleged Catholic, was selected by the then-Democratic Party presidential nominee to be his running mate. Bishop Ricard spoke out and suggested that Senator Biden should examine his conscience while Bishop Martino, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, put his foot down and made it clear that Biden would not receive Holy Communion in his diocese.However, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops remained silent.
Once Obama took office, things continued along the same path, as he and his advisors picked one pro-abortion Catholic at a time to fill key posts in his administration. Just a few examples should suffice.
The Obama nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, who now holds that position, is a pro-abortion Catholic by the name of Kathleen Sebelius.
During the period that followed her nomination and subsequent confirmation, there were a couple of bishops who actually spoke out and said in no uncertain terms that she did not represent Catholic teaching and that she should refrain from receiving Christ in the Holy Eucharist. You may recall Archbishop Joseph Naumann‘s public statement:
I reissue my request of the Faithful of the Archdiocese to pray for Governor Sebelius. I hope that my request of the Governor, not to present herself for Holy Communion, will provoke her to reconsider the serious spiritual and moral consequences of her past and present actions. At the same time, I pray this pastoral action on my part will help alert other Catholics to the moral gravity of participating in and/or cooperating with the performance of abortions.
Sadly he did not take the next logical step and announce that if she did attempt to receive the body of Christ, he would not only deny her the sacrament, but instruct his priests, deacons and extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist to do likewise.
Obama’s choice for Secretary of the Interior was Kenneth Salazar, former Democrat senator from Colorado, Catholic and abortion supporter. Salazar was confirmed as the USCCB looked on.
Obama’s choice for Secretary of Agriculture was Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa, Catholic and pro-abortion. Vilsack was confirmed as the USCCB looked on.
The list goes on and on, but I think you get my point. Fast forward to this past week, when we are listening to the confirmation hearings for a certain Latino woman and judge by the name of Sonia Sotomayor. Though the National Catholic Register reports that she is effectively a “lapsed Catholic,” Judge Sotomayor has made it clear that she believes that Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton became “settled precedent” with the Casey decision of 1992. She is therefore a Catholic-in-name-only who favors abortion, or at the very least, is not going to stand her ground as a person educated in Catholic principles, willing to defend the justice of protecting innocent preborn life.
Finally, we have learned that Obama’s selection for Surgeon General, Regina Benjamin, is a Catholic who supports abortion rights. According to an employee in Benjamin’s clinic in Louisiana, abortions are not done at the clinic, but patients are referred elsewhere. She has also advocated in the past that doctors be trained in how to perform “pregnancy terminations.” And finally, she has no problem with contraception. As a matter of fact, the author of the Salon.com article wherein we find rave reviews for Benjamin’s various positions is none other than Francis Kissling, founder of Catholics for a Free Choice.
She writes of Benjamin,
She is an active Catholic and, if her office nurse is to be believed, she is one of the more than 90 percent of Catholics who have no problem with birth control. (I have rarely met a devout Catholic working with poor people who is not an advocate of safe and effective contraception — from nuns in Chile to priests in the Philippines. They get that having children you cannot afford degrades the soul perhaps even more than the body.) This, then, is a near-perfect public face for a president embarking on a controversial last-ditch effort to fix our health care system and serve the poor.
It is no accident that Obama has made it his business to put the spotlight on as many dissenting Catholics as he can find. The only criteria appears to be that they can prove that they were at least once known as Catholic, that they favor abortion and that, as a third criterion, they are somewhat fit to serve in the capacity for which they have been chosen.
As Obama’s skillfully orchestrated use of dissident Catholics continues, the USCCB looks on, perhaps unaware of the game that is being played and the stakes that grow higher with the passing of each day. For that I am truly sorry, saddened and concerned.
Over the years, there have been so many times people have asked me why the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference does not speak out with a unified voice and wield the power that God has given them to set forth the truths of Catholic teaching. Each time, I am moved to near tears, for I cannot explain it. Moreover, it is a question that I should never have been asked in the first place.
The audacious, manipulative resident of the White House knows exactly what he is doing; he is cunning, clever and confident. And he is winning the struggle for the souls of people whose shepherds have thrown them to the wolves.
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO OUR READERS
Catholic Exchange is free—but it is not free to produce. Advertising revenue covers only a fraction of the cost to generate reliably Catholic commentary and news, inspiring videos, a selection of the best Catholic blogs, and daily meditations and prayers.
To give us the strength and stability we need, Catholic Exchange is turning to you—our loyal reader—and asking you to become a monthly contributor.
Whether you can give $5 or $25, $50 or $100 each month, please leave something behind so we can continue—and strengthen—this important apostolate.
We are deeply grateful for one-time gifts, but we encourage you to choose “Monthly” on the drop-down menu. Your support will ensure that Catholic Exchange will be here during this most critical moment for the Church and America.