Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
[Please see the addendum at the end of this post.]
Well, it is done. The Government takeover of health-care is now the law of the land complete with the federal funding of abortion.
At this horrific moment we must make an honest assessment of how we arrived at this point. The responsibility for this terrible moment in history is spread far and wide. The Democrat party, committed to the Siamese causes of increasing government control of lives and desire to have less lives, is the obvious culprit but far from the only one.
A truly honest assessment of the situation should hold the Republican party to account. Truth be told, the Republican party has acquitted themselves well in the past year. They managed to hold off this bill as long as they could facing an opposition with a huge majority. But why did the Democrats have such a huge majority? Because when the reigns of government were entrusted to Republicans, they woefully failed in their duty. They failed to live up to their own creed in both a fiscal and moral sense. No need to go into detail here, everyone knows their failings. Those failings opened the door to a virulently pro-death Democrat Congress and a virulently pro-death Democrat president.
Had the Republicans been good stewards of the authority entrusted them, we would likely not be in this situation now.
There is another group that should also take a hard look at their stewardship and and acknowledge their failures, the US Bishops.
Again, while the Bishops have acquitted themselves well through this process recently, they cannot ignore the past.
The hard truth is that for years the Bishops have allied themselves with the pro-abort party in matters related to health-care, and now they claim 11th hour betrayal.
When you hang out with thieves, you shouldn’t be surprised when you get robbed.
Moreover, the Bishops silence for years in the face of pro-abortion Catholic politicians has given aid and comfort to those who seek the death of children. The Bishop’s unwillingness, with some obvious exceptions, to effectively address or discipline pro-abort Catholic politicians allowed for the Democrats to portray the Church as divided on the issue. They have also allowed a culture of dissent to flourish for decades that culminated in the shameful last minute endorsement by a group of radical nuns that seriously hurt the cause of life.
The bishops’ decades long collective silence on these issues allowed for this culture to develop and has resulted in the USCCB being understandably criticized as an extension of the Democrat party (the Democrat party at prayer they say). This is the horrible result of that ungodly alliance.
Blame may be cathartic for some but that is not the reason I bring this sorry history up now. Like the Republicans, the Bishops too must learn from their mistakes. If they continue to ally themselves with the Democrat party and continue their ineffective “pastoral” approach to pro-death Catholic politicians things will only get worse, and yes they can get worse.
So it is time for all of us to admit our mistakes and learn from them. Lives depend on it. We failed them before, let’s not do it again.
When writing this post, I did not intend it to be the launch area for attacks against our Bishops, collectively or individually. In fact, as I mentioned in my post, I think that collectively the Bishops have done a commendable job in opposing the aspects of the healthcare bill that will provide federal funds for abortions. They have been clear in their opposition from the start of this process and have been actively engaged throughout. I was even more impressed with the quick turnaround of the Bishop’s Conference in pointing out the unacceptability of the Executive Order solution that eventually won the day. The Bishops did all they could during this process and I commend them for it.
In bringing up past failings, I intended it as a learning exercise. This situation was not created only in the last fifteen months. All of us, need to take a deep look at what we could have done better and what, perhaps, we did wrong. I fully expect that most of the Bishops are aware of mistakes that have been made. Their excellent work in defense of life this past year gives proof of it. Yet still, serious consideration should be given to historical mistakes as well if only to ensure that they have learned the necessary lessons.
That said, vitriol and blanket criticism of the Bishops is unfair and certainly not constructive. For that reason, we will be turning off comments on this post. I hope that most of those who have read my post understand the intent of what I wrote and sincere desire to be constructive.
As for those who have used this post as an excuse to bash the Bishops I ask you to turn your anger to something much more efficacious. Pray for the Bishops.