America vs. Bishop Finn

The Catholic Key blog accuses America magazine, and two other Catholic publications, of grossly misrepresenting Bishop Robert Finn as making “incendiary” comments against murdered late-term abortionist George Tiller.

The Catholic Key is the newspaper of Bishop Finn’s diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo.

In a June 22 commentary entitled “A Higher Righteousness,” America cited a remark Bishop Finn made in an April speech to a pro-life convention — “We are at war” — as a specific example of how “Tiller’s critics were wont to step up to the line of incitement and then draw back.”

Only problem is, Bishop Finn’s comment had nothing to do with Tiller — who was never discussed at all in the bishop’s speech or indeed by Bishop Finn publicly at any other time, according to The Catholic Key — and was made specifically in reference to the spiritual battle that underpins the struggle against legal abortion. Furthermore, Bishop Finn specifically advocated in his speech that pro-lifers act “peacefully, prayerfully, and legally.”

Jack Smith, editor of The Catholic Key, asks in his blog post why Bishop Finn’s four-word comment in a 3,000-plus word speech was lifted completely out of context and misrepresented:

So why would the editors at America, NCR [National Catholic Reporter], and Commonweal, who all got on this anti-bishop bandwagon, attempt to associate Bishop Finn and by extension other outspoken bishops and the pro-life movement as a whole with murder and truly incendiary speech and threats? Why would they seek to make those who have consistently at personal cost defended human life, the enemies of life?

Is it because the ultimate strategy for them to “Sing a New Church Into Being,” is to alienate the Faithful from their Shepherds? Is it because the defenders of life have criticized their master? They will muster any excuse for him, praise him immodestly for actions he has not taken, and destroy the reputations of any who dissent from him.

That is not the way a Christian works for the Risen Lord. But their master is not Risen. He resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And serving a man this way is idolatry.