Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Abp. Dolan Elides an Inconvenient Truth

The Archbishop of Milwaukee re-affirms "neutrality" on AB377--which, by the way, passed and will be signed into law by DarthDoyle in the near future.

When the bishops of Wisconsin met last spring, we discussed what stance we should take on the proposed bill, and unanimously decided that we would neither support nor oppose it. In other words, we adopted a neutral position.

Why? For one, our competent staff at the Wisconsin Catholic Conference advised us that, as a matter of fact, the bill was unnecessary, as it would change nothing that Catholic hospitals were already doing.

In fact, the Catholic hospitals would seem to be the whole point, Abp. Dolan.

Here's where the Archbishop's "competent staff" errs:

As long as there is no evidence of pregnancy, the woman can and should be provided with proper emergency assistance to prevent conception. This is clear church praxis.

Secondly, though, if a baby has been conceived, even by the horror of rape, that baby deserves care and compassion as well.

The weaseling here is highlighted in red.

There is NO pregnancy test which is reliable when administered within 72 hours of coitus. None. So the "reasoning" handed to the Bishops by "competent" staff was, at best, flawed. Worse, this "reasoning" was shown to be erroneous by competent medical authorities (who also happen to be serious Catholics.)

When all is said and done, the Archbishop of Milwaukee simply ignored the Vatican's clear directive (given by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the context of ministry to homosexual persons, but a generality which is applicable here):

Finally, where a matter of the common good is concerned, it is inappropriate for church authorities to endorse or remain neutral toward adverse legislation even if it grants exceptions to church organizations and institutions. The church has the responsibility to promote family life and the public morality of the entire civil society on the basis of fundamental moral values, not simply to protect herself from the application of harmful laws

As the Archbishop admits, such "exceptions" were removed from the final legislation (although they may well be protected under the State Constitution, at the expense of some conscientious Catholic or other Christian.)

Even so, the Bishops should not have accepted "competent" staff opinions which contradict authoritative proclamations from CDF.

Truth is sometimes inconvenient for Catholic hospitals, too--which, apparently, are not going to change whatever they are already doing.

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