A lot of virtual ink has already been spilled over the astoundingly stupid decision by the astonishingly irrelevant National Catholic Reporter to create a special new award--their Person of the Year award--solely in order to award it to dissident nun Sr. Carol Keehan, the Obama abortion shill who worked hard against the bishops to insist that the baby-destroying provisions in the health care legislation were totally unimportant and no reason at all for Catholics to quit supporting it--if they weren't, in fact, really pro-life when you looked closely at their penumbras, which were more about helping poor women than killing as many of their offspring on the government dime as possible.
Sister Carol then added insult to injury by coming out in support of the formerly Catholic St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, for their "courageous" act to kill, directly and intentionally, an eleven-week-old human being rather than attempt to treat both the baby and her sick mother, which would probably have been expensive and bothersome. The hospital maintains, of course, that their act was really really moral because they cried a lot as they ripped the baby's arms and legs off, or some such thing--and Sister Carol Keehan applauds the whole dirty business. The NCR warmly congratulates Sister C. for her heroic woman-spirit vision, or whatever; their prose gives me a headache.
The thing is, this award is a fraud. I highly doubt the NCR really gives a flying fig one way or the other about Sister Carol Keehan (they certainly don't appear to give a damn about her immortal soul, anyway). What the NCR really wants to do is to say to the United States Bishops, and to Bishop Olmsted in particular, "You have no authority here. We reject your silly Church's antiquated teachings on the intrinsic worth of human life. If a higher good, such as the health of a woman with pulmonary hypertension or the glorious passing of a huge Democrat social program, demands that one baby or a million babies a year be slaughtered, so be it. We are not pro-life and never have been; what's more, we reject all the Church's teachings on human sexuality, whether these refer to the evils of contraception, fornication, adultery, or homosexual acts, or whether they place a positive value on chastity and the dignity of the human person. And we insist that we still get to call ourselves Catholic; we insist that we are still singing a grand new church into being, and in our new church there will be abortions and birth control and sex with anyone at all without any guilt at all, so long as the individual believes in his or her sincere heart that he or she isn't using the other person but is really interested in him or her, whether for a night or for a lifetime. But we can't sing this new grand church into being until the old Church stops thinking it has the right to tell people what to believe about sex and about abortion, and we especially can't sing without the voices of woman who should be ordained and made bishops and even popesses who will celebrate their womanhood with as many abortions as they like; and so we'll applaud Sister Keehan as a way of sticking our collective tongues out at the bishops and especially at Bishop Olmsted, who has the audacity to hope that we'll see the errors of our ways one of these days."
If you think I'm overstating things, just check out some of the comments beneath either of the articles linked above, or beneath this truly asinine essay praising St. Joseph's for their practice of murdering unborn babies (remember, there are reports that there have certainly been more abortions than this one at this hospital in the relatively recent past). The absolute hatred directed at the hierarchy in total, and especially toward Bishop Olmsted, is breathtakingly ugly. The sad thing is that these were the same sort of Catholics who have celebrated when liberal bishops have pushed heterodox agendas or honored pro-abort Catholic politicians--and they've had plenty of tsk-tsking for "orthodox" Catholics who stood up to liberal bishops in the past. But now that the hierarchy in America is beginning, once again, to be made up of men with actual backbones who teach what the Church teaches, boldly and without regard for the silly sycophants still puddled in shrinking pools around organs of dissidentia like the National Catholic Reporter, suddenly it's "prophetic" and "heroic" to say hateful and even (gasp!) judgmental things about the American Catholic bishops.
This has never been about a single tragically misguided decision to kill an unborn child rather than attempt to save both mother and baby. It has always been about the moral blind spot of the liberal Catholic, who utterly refuses to accept fully the Church's teachings concerning human sexuality. So long as the bishops of America were willing to stay relatively quiet about abortion, or come up with "seamless garment" constructs that allowed pro-"choice" Catholics to vote for Democrats under the cover of working for a broader vision of the protection of human lives and human dignity, those pro-"choice" Catholics were willing to go with the flow. But now that some of the American bishops are calling an end to that old expedient truce and insisting that, for instance, a hospital that wishes to call itself Catholic can't be in the business of performing any abortions at all, let alone colluding with those who provide abortions, contraception, and voluntary sterilizations, the mask that allowed heresy-affirming "Catholics" to continue to think of themselves as fully Catholic has been ripped away.
So the game the National Catholic Reporter has played of coyly holding up an abortion shill as their "Person of the Year" is simply a sort of last-ditch effort to penalize Catholic bishops who speak and act according to the truth the Church teaches, in the hopes that enough of these courageously Catholic bishops will get the message and stop rocking the boat. There have even been, among the various commenters at NCR, calls for schism from those Catholics who openly disagree with the Church on the matters of sexual morality, including the teaching concerning the intrinsic evil of abortion. Why should they stay, they petulantly whine, in a Church that still prohibits "reproductive freedom," that is misogynistic, that won't ordain women, and that values the lives of human fetuses?
Why should they, indeed?
I know that it would be tragic for many Catholics in America if these sorts of Catholics really did decide to break off into schism. I used to think that such a terrible thing would be an unqualified evil.
Yet these liberal, pro-"choice" Catholics are leading many weak Catholics astray--so many, in fact, that my views have undergone a bit of a change. I now think that those who really are schismatic in all but a formal act ought, perhaps, to make it official. In this way they could stop living the lie that it's perfectly all right to be a Catholic while dissenting from huge swaths of Church teaching; the Church could reach out to those weak Catholics who might still be open to learning the truths of the faith and deepening their relationship with the real Christ, not the counterfeit concocted by those who think there is some sort of enmity between Christ and His Church; and a hospital that wants to call itself Catholic while performing abortions could call itself a member of the "American Universal Catholic NewSpirit Church of God" or something without anybody getting confused about their affiliations--or scandalized by their violence toward the unborn.