Sep 17, 2009

Fr. Roger Landry calls our bishops' decades-long "educate the pro-abortion politicians" strategy a total failure notes that in his column (click on this post's title) in the Sept. 4 issue of The Anchor, the Fall River (Massachusetts) diocesan newspaper he edits, Fr. Roger Landry wrote that the U.S. bishops' policy of trying to "educate" pro-abortion politicians has never worked.

Fr. Landry penned these obviously accurate words:

" of the reasons why [Teddy] Kennedy’s example was so injurious to the Church was because the pastors of the Church, for the most part, made the imprudent call to do little or nothing about it beyond general teaching statements that they hoped offending politicians would apply to themselves.

"There were no real consequences, and as a result, Senator Kennedy, scores of other Catholic politicians, and millions of American Catholic lay people concluded that the Church’s teachings in defense of human life cannot be that important if those who publicly and repeatedly act in violation of it do so with impunity."

Fr. Landry went on to write the following:

"This leads to one of the most important lessons that pastors in the United States need to draw from the history of the Church’s interactions with Senator Kennedy for its future engagement of other pro-abortion Catholic politicians. Despite the good intentions to try to engage him, teach him, and help bring him to conversion, the strategy failed.

"There were many words given at the Senator’s exequies about his 'private faith,' but private faith is not enough. 'Faith without deeds is dead,' as St. James poignantly reminds us. The Church has a responsibility to help bring people from 'private faith' to see the consequences of it in public actions, and, in the Senator’s case, we didn’t succeed."

Thank you, Fr. Landry.

Now, we might recall that Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles issued a statement -- -- on August 26 on the death of Teddy Kennedy.

That was the one in which Cardinal Mahony praised Teddy Kennedy as "a great champion" of "the voiceless, the powerless, and the most needy of our citizens." Yes, all of the "voiceless, powerless, and most needy" -- except, of course, for our millions of abortion-targeted preborn babies.

In that same statement, the following words of Cardinal Mahony totally illustrate Fr. Landry's point that the U.S. bishops' "educate politicians, but without any consequences for them" policy is a dismal failure:

"Over the years [writes Cardinal Mahony], however, I was never able to bring him to promote fundamental rights for one important group in our society—the unborn. But he did struggle with this aspect of his Catholic faith, and I was hopeful that at some point he would see that all of his work for the most needy had to begin with a commitment to every person—born and unborn."

The lesson is clear: If we are ever to get anywhere in saving babies from losing their lives to abortion, our bishops need to start warning our politicians that they cannot stay actively Catholic if they keep aiding and abetting the mass murder of God's little babies.

May Cardinal Mahony come to agree with this assessment and then defend the preborn babies in his jurisdiction by truly disciplining the pro-abortion Catholic politicians in his same jurisdiction. (No, I'm not really expecting this to happen. But it sure ought to.)


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