It ain't my car I worry about.
It's the lighting bolts.
But it's sunny out today!--so here goes.
If two members of the Green Bay Packers (say DD and KGB) sent out press releases stating that 'the team will NOT prevail in its quest for the Super Bowl championship,' the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel would be on it like...bees on honey, so to speak.
--when two Bishops of the Wisconsin Catholic Church say, in effect, that "we were double-crossed and hoodwinked," and REPUDIATE their Conference's previous approval of legislation;
--and 9 OTHER Wisconsin Bishops, including the Ordinary of Milwaukee and his Auxiliaries, clearly do NOT join with these two Bishops;
--and when lawyers for that group of Bishops are questioned by other practicing attorneys on prima-facie solid grounds (the text, folks, the text);
--and when the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference verbally extends his middle digit to two of his employers;
you'd think that the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel political and/or religious reporters would be in a finger-bleeding frenzy at their telephones and keyboards.
(Cue the crickets.)
Well, that's the Press' problem, I guess.
But (checking the weather once again) I'm not stopping there, folks.
I'm calling out Archbishop Dolan, Bishop Sklba, Bishop Callahan, Abp Weakland, Bishop Bullock, Bishop Wirz, Bishop Morneau, Bishop Banks, and Bishop Fliss.
The substance of the issue is this: the Wisconsin Legislature is about to pass AB377 (SB129), which will require hospitals to administer "Plan B" to victims of rape. This bill is advertised as a 'humanitarian' bill by
It's 'humanitarian' so long as you're not the dead baby, I guess.
The Wisconsin Catholic Conference gave the bill a 'green light' in September. It is clear, however, that their 'green light' rests on the assumption that the rape-victim has NOT conceived a child since the occurrence of the rape. Another problem: the "remedy" is sometimes a chemical-induced abortion. Finally, the Conference assumed that there would be a "conscience clause" in the bill.
That assumption that 'there has been no conception' is flawed. Wrong. Un-provable. In some cases there is conception; in others, there is not. But nobody knows.
And the fact that the "remedy" (Plan B) is (sometimes) abortion is horrible. Somebody at the Wisconsin Catholic Conference should be flayed, or fired--or maybe both. The term "scandal" comes to mind, as Bp. Morlino mentioned.
Here are the manufacturer's OWN words on "Plan B."
Plan B® works like a regular birth control pill. It prevents pregnancy mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary, and may also prevent the fertilization of an egg (the uniting of sperm with the egg). Plan B® may also work by preventing it [fertilized egg] from attaching to the uterus (womb). It is important to know that Plan B® will not affect a fertilized egg already attached to the uterus; it will not affect an existing pregnancy.
And here's the fisking of the verbal engineering used:
However, they (the manufacturers) intentionally define the term “pregnancy” as implantation of a fertilized egg in the lining of a woman's uterus, as opposed to “pregnancy” beginning at fertilization.
The Wisconsin Catholic Conference's 'brain-trust' either winked at the elision or substitution of "conception" for "implantation", or worse, decided to ignore it. (Maybe flaying and firing isn't enough...)
Oh, yeah, there's more. Some doctors like to actually practice medicine instead of merely handing out pills.
Plan B is associated with blood clot formation and a heightened risk of ectopic pregnancy. The common side-effects of the ‘morning-after pill’ (nausea and abdominal pain) are also the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy and could therefore mask the presence of this potentially life-threatening condition. Importantly, there are no long-term studies to show whether women will be permanently damaged, or risk such diseases as cancer, from these chemicals being given in such high doses. Forcing physicians to immediately provide medication to patients based solely upon their request is simply bad medicine. In the case of emergency contraception, such a policy may contradict a physician’s medical judgment as EC could be medically contraindicated for the patient.
(Nothing like waking up to "Greetings" from your neighborhood P.I. lawyer if you're an OB/Gyn or ER physician.)
But I digress. Back to the Bishops.
The United States Catholic Conference's position paper on the question reads as follows:
“A female who has been raped should be able to defend herself against a potential conception from the sexual assault. If, after appropriate testing, there is no evidence that conception has occurred already, she may be treated with medications that would prevent ovulation, sperm capacitation, or fertilization. It is not permissible, however, to initiate or to recommend treatments that have as their purpose or direct effect the removal, destruction, or interference with the implantation of a fertilized ovum.”
It is entirely possible that fertilization occurred immediately or VERY shortly after the rape. But nobody really knows, as pregnancy-tests are not conclusive until at least a week or two into the pregnancy.
Finally, by the way, the Legislature stripped the "conscience clause" out of the bill--thus forcing MD's and/or RN's to act contrary to their deeply-held religious beliefs.
Nine Wisconsin Roman Catholic Bishops are:
1) Ignoring the clear contradiction between the language of the USCC's guidelines and the stated potential effect of "Plan B", which is (sometimes) chemical abortion;
2) Ignoring the verbal gymnastics (and the sloppy work of their employees) of switching "conception" for "implantation";
3) Letting conscientious Catholic doctors and RN's (and, for that matter, non-RC practitioners who have grave reservations about the potential abortions caused by Plan B) "twist in the wind."
All because they have not simply called for re-insertion of the "conscience clause" in this bill.
The Bishops do not have to campaign against the bill as a whole. They are not required to "force Catholic morals" on doctors, hospitals, or nurses (although I think some serious persuasion would be in line here.)
All they SHOULD do is call on the Legislature to allow "conscientious objection" as part of the Bill. Fortunately, there's a letter pre-written for them, by Bishop Morlino. They could even refer Members of the Press (should any of them awaken before March) to Bp. Listecki's comments in his newspaper.
Yoo-Hoo!! Abp. Dolan!!
(HTs: T Berres, F. Klein, Pro-Life Wisconsin, P McIlheran)
UPDATE: Dan Suhr reviews the legalities of the bill (and of 253.09) and concludes that existing Wisconsin law will NOT allow "conscientious objection," although the State's Constitution will do so, given the usual formalities.
"Kevin Fisher said 'I always worry about starting my car' after making critical observations about the Church."
I'll worry if they start returning my checks.
The Conference position might be easier to understand if the Bishops disclosed the legal analysis claimed to support it.
All these are issues that Popes should be in the forefront of settling rather than being involved with writing historical surveys of the early Fathers e.g. or being authors in general.
The problem for the Church is that Catholics (some with degrees some without degrees) are forever arguing these controversies while Popes tend to do what they always liked prior to being Popes... instead of getting involved in these controversies from day one and settling them.
If no Pope gets involved with this issue, 20 years from now this identical controversy will be raging amongst Catholics like yourself....to no effect. It was 20 years ago that Cuomo and Ferraro publically supported choice and.....John Paul wrote about various things rather than got involved directly with the "immediate" and "supreme" power that the canons give him....and the situation is identical right now than it was when he entered in 1979....Cuomo's Nortre Dame speech was in 1984.
As long as Popes do other things, the blogs will fruitlessly rage over these things and that has got to be stressful on the bloggers since they must suspect that the one person who could end these controversies is not really involved. We have all defined Popes as authors now and prior to the printing press, few of them wrote diddly....they managed the Church through action in the form of bulls.
for all concerned
Duc in Altum !!!!!!!
unhhh...Bill--there's no need for the Pope to get into this.
The USCC's guideline is clear as crystal. No call from Rome is necessary.
A call from 3511 S Lake Drive will do just as well.
Well.... then you will have your controversy for another 20 years minimum (if we live by God's grace, I'll check in 20 years) while Popes write rather than settled disputes like this.
Who are the 2 Bishops that recognize the problem?
Bps. Morlino (Madison) and Listecki (LaCrosse.)
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